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

January 2010
When pundits offer statistics in support of their opinions, it is hard to know whether to trust the numbers; economics and finance are difficult enough to navigate without suspecting that someone with an agenda is deliberately misleading you. Even the numbers on your own financial statements are not a true reflection of your business operations. READ MORE
December 2009
The year-end holiday season prompts decisions about giving to charitable organizations, customers and employees. It may seem cold-hearted to evaluate gifts in terms of the potential return on your investment, but it is simply a bad business practice to distribute wealth out of habit. Plan your giving as you do any other budget item, and use your best financial judgement to scrutinize purchases. READ MORE
November 2009
Waiting for the economy to rebound can be highly stressful for an electrical contractor, and one way to reduce that stress is to step back and gain perspective on your financial situation. READ MORE
October 2009
What is your most valuable asset? Don’t look at your last balance sheet because it has limitations. It fails to show a value for the people in your company, and it does not measure intangibles, such as goodwill. Goodwill underlies everything else you do to build a successful operation. READ MORE
July 2009
In the first column of this three-part series, I discussed the relative value of money. Last month, we looked at the effects of changes in value, such as inflation and deflation. Now, let’s look at how the government attempts to manipulate the economy. READ MORE
June 2009
Last month, we defined money and its relative value in the marketplace. This month, we’ll analyze who benefits when the value of money changes. Keep in mind that the laws of physics also apply to the value of money: what goes up must come down. Inflation READ MORE
May 2009
Are we headed for another great depression or simply working through an expected blip on the recession radar screen? If you find yourself confused about economics and wish there was a version of Whac-A-Mole, substituting economists for the furry rodents you smack back into their holes with your padded mallet, keep reading. READ MORE
April 2009
When stock market investments and property shrink in value, it is tempting to convert them into safer vehicles, such as bank deposits. Is the banking system still safe, or is it a house of cards that will collapse under pressure? Fractional banking READ MORE
March 2009
There is no question that we are in a severe bear market. From a record high of more than 14,164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell to 8,777.67 on Dec. 31, 2008. If any financial indicator in your electrical contracting business fell to 62 percent of what it was, you would expect your investors to demand a clear explanation. READ MORE