Denise Norberg-Johnson

Financial Columnist

Denise Norberg-Johnson is a former subcontractor and past president of two national construction associations. She may be reached at

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

April 2017
Productivity improvement is more than reducing waste. Understanding how routines and environment affect our physical and mental states can help you and your employees get the work done more efficiently and accurately without spending a fortune or revamping your organization.
 Motivation and mental state
March 2017
In the original “Jurassic Park” movie, mathematician Ian Malcolm warns the creator of the park that control is an illusion. Regardless of how many electric fences, backup systems and contingency plans are in place, there is ultimately no guarantee of safety in the park. “Life finds a way,” the chaos theoretician observes. READ MORE
February 2017
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued an amended executive order that, within four years, required tradeswomen to perform at least 6.9 percent of the labor hours on construction projects. Contractors on federal projects are still expected to make a “good faith effort” to hire tradeswomen, but, after nearly 40 years, women still perform only 2–3 percent of construction work. 
January 2017
Despite political and social controversy surrounding the 2016 election, there are reasons for electrical contractors to be optimistic about the next four years. One potential benefit of electing a business executive is the expectation of economically minded policies and regulations.
November 2016
My September column, “America’s Money,” explained the basic structure of the Federal Reserve, including the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, Board of Governors and Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). All checks are cleared through this system. READ MORE
September 2016
Most taxpayers know the Federal Reserve Board of Governors meets periodically to set interest rates, but too often, they leave the deeper analysis to economists. Since monetary policy affects the economy’s health and stability, everybody—including electrical contractors—should be familiar with how these decisions are made.
July 2016
For the last two months, I have offered information on choosing an honest, responsible financial adviser. But all investments involve some element of risk, and scam artists can victimize even the most sophisticated clients. This column offers methods for identifying and protecting yourself from investment scammers who want to separate you or your company from your money.
June 2016
Choosing a trustworthy financial adviser can be confusing and stressful. In last month’s column, we learned that researchers have not been able to find a link between financial literacy education and improved consumer decision-making. However, even alleged experts don’t necessarily produce better returns on client investments. READ MORE
May 2016
Do you believe that your financial adviser knows more than you do about how to make your money work for you? Do you trust that adviser to be ethical? These are questions investors are asking more than ever, since the losses of the past few years have depleted retirement accounts, and scandals have rocked Wall Street.