As a business owner, you should be aware of some recent federal tax legislation changes. Many of the changes can affect the bottom line for the business as well as you as the business owner - some in a good way and some in a bad way.
The taxable income of a C corporation is now taxed at a flat 21% rate. Previously, the tax rates generally ranged from 15% to 35% (but some income was taxed as high as 39%). There is no longer a corporate alternative minimum tax.
We often take for granted the many opportunities over the years to be social. All of our school years provided a variety of chances to make friends. Most of our young lives we make friends through our community as well as shared interests to forced interaction. You had to deal with others and communicate, whether you wanted to or not. Careers offer social outlets for the same reason, you see the same faces, you have a common interest (work) and there is the potential to turn a co-worker into a friend or partner. Having children also opens the door to making friends with other parents.
Suddenly you’re paying for a house that is too big, or a lease on a pickup truck you don’t use or just a membership to that fancy gym that you haven’t had the time to take advantage of yet. If your regular expenses are being paid for by credit cards or you can’t seem to save money at the end of each month, you might look toward “lifestyle creep” as the culprit. While it is easy to understand what lifestyle creep is and how it happens, it is still dangerously common among young professionals and those midway through their careers.
No doubt you’re familiar with the word stoic. Perhaps you yourself have been described as such at some point.
But are you familiar with the philosophy of stoicism? The Stoics got their start around 300 B.C.E. More than mere philosophy, Stoicism is a way of life. In fact, the tenets of stoicism have been utilized since the early 21st century with the creation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.[i] The main objectives of stoicism are clear judgment, inner calm and freedom from suffering as the ultimate goal.[ii] Since being blessed with 2 daughters, I have realized the importance of inner calm and clear judgment will come in very handy as the teenage years start and “boys” enter the picture. Those who practice stoicism live by four major principles: delaying gratification, controlling emotion, always thinking big picture, and only taking effective action. Looking at those tenets it probably isn’t hard to understand why stoicism and wealth management go so well together.
Whether you’re looking to make a New Year’s resolution or you’re simply trying to implement some information security best practices, you would be well served to start using a password manager. Why?
Passwords: The weak link
According to a survey by Digital Guardian, “password overload” is a real problem. Worse, despite known risks, at least half of us admit to reusing passwords.
How many online accounts do you have? Probably more than you think. You’ve likely got at least one social media profile. Then, there’s your e-mail (which might include both personal and work accounts), your various banking accounts, streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, and your Amazon account (who doesn’t have one of those?!). That’s not to mention all those apps on your smartphone.
It’s been a wild couple of months in the market. People are always guessing that “our phone must be ringing off the hook.” Well, not really. A large part of our job is devoted to behavior management. We try our best to “educate rather than prognosticate.” Credit to you for listening, accepting our advice, and remaining calm and disciplined in these uncertain times. The reason not to invest has and will always exist. Until you accept that, it’s not worth being an investor.
Society thrives on bad news and the media gravitates towards it. 200 million websites, 9000 magazines, and 2500 TV channels are all telling you to stay on the sideline or ‘cash out.’ The most fearful articles are always the ones that generate the most attention. The more we read and study the markets, the more “buy and hold” continues to make sense. Relying on your ‘well-thought-out’ financial and investment plan is the best advice we can give.
We look forward to spending some time with you this Tax Season. Don’t forget to “wait to file” if you have taxable investment accounts. And remember, “lack of investor discipline can ruin the best portfolio ever built” (Warren Buffet).
We get asked about company stock a lot. What’s the appropriate amount, for instance? I will tell you that anything above 20% raises our level of concern.
We all have heard about that janitor or secretary that has worked at a public company for 35 years, amassed a ton of company stock, and then retires a multi-millionaire. But for every story like that, I think there are two that go in the other direction. Enron, Lycos, Lehman Brothers, Polaroid…are just a few that I can think of. And I heard a lot of “janitor” stories from GE personnel back when Jack Welch was running the show, but have you looked at GE’s stock lately?
Preparing for succession or transition in your family business requires prudence, contemplation and organization.
As you prepare for the family business succession/transition process, it’s important to address the underlying issues at play before you calculate your business’s value or the amount of life insurance the business might buy. Your vision for your business, the objectives you hope to achieve from the transition, and whom you choose as a successor—a family member or someone else—are ultimately what will drive the plan and its execution.
Champagne pops, songs are sung, and resolutions get made. And this year, you want to make a big transition.
For me, it always starts with how I feel and my ability to chase around my children with increased energy. And so, I begin my annual diet/workout regimen, in hopes of winning the bet with my friends. There is some sort of re-birth that January 1 brings to all our hopes and dreams. You’ve been on a path for a while, perhaps it's a career or a relationship and now, as you’re reaching mid-life/mid-career, you are starting to question if it’s the right one for you. Before you make any rash decisions let’s take a moment to explore what you want to change, why you want to change, and then the all-important how of making a major life course correction. In this article, we will go over some techniques and thought exercises that everyone who wants a life change could benefit from.
This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of CA, CO, CT, FL, IN, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside these states due to various state regulations and registration requirements regarding investment products and services. Investments are not FDIC- or NCUA-insured, are not guaranteed by a bank/financial institution, and are subject to risks, including possible loss of the principal invested. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Fixed insurance products and services offered through Doble LeBranti Financial Group or CES Insurance Agency.