Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers has a song, "You've got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them," and that's one of the keys to success. It applies to hiring and firing employees, selecting new products, opening and closing store locations and buying and selling stocks in your own retirement account. All this is tied into understanding the minimum performance level or "rate of return" you want to achieve. Financial people working with businesses—public or private—call this "hurdle rate" the "cost of capital" or "discount rate." It is a "benchmark" to measure relative performance. Establishing a hurdle rate or minimum goal is a

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