There is a saying by an unknown author that "anger is one letter short of danger."
Due to recent bank failures and the overall economic climate, I have received several calls recently from clients wanting to know whether their bank accounts that are held in the name of a trust would be fully insured by the government if their bank failed.
With the presidential election approaching, we find one candidate wanting to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor by raising taxes on the "rich," with the other candidate wanting to lower taxes across the board. As you may have surmised, I do have more financially conservative leanings. I did vote for George Bush and now feel betrayed by his spendthrift policies.
It's been said that movies are created with at least one, and up to three, combinations of plots. Those plots involve: man versus man, man versus the environment and man versus himself.
Imagine that your life as a business owner is going fine. Clients are buying and paying, your employees are happy and you've got money in the bank for rainy days and opportunities.
Everyone else is getting a Federal bailout, why not you? If you are a small business owner, you may be able to enjoy an interest-free loan from the government. Employer contributions don't need to be made until the filing date of the tax return, including extensions. This means that for a calendar-year taxpayer with extensions, the actual contribution does not have to be made (depending on the type of retirement plan) until Sept. 15, 2009 ...
This is the third and final part in a series of columns about 10 common IRA mistakes. Naming trusts as beneficiaries of IRAs may become a tax trap. Although it eliminates the spousal IRA option, estate planning attorneys frequently use trusts as beneficiaries of IRAs. If the trust is not structured properly, however, and does not qualify as a look through trust, the IRA assets will be paid out within five years after the owner ...
One of the biggest mistakes business owners can make is saddling themselves with too much overhead.
Disputes among family members can arise when funeral arrangements are made after the death of a relative. Everyone may be trying to do the right thing, but disagreements and anger can continue long after the funeral. Families in our American culture don't want to talk about death, especially in advance.
The current economic situation and the time of year may call into question the performance of business owners. Was it a good year? Was it a bad year? Why? How could it have been better? Why didn't the objectives get achieved? What problems surfaced that the organization was unprepared for?
Vacations and long weekends are behind us, the economy remains a challenge and now is an excellent time to get refocused and reenergized, regardless of company size, industry or success to date.
A lot has changed since you were a kid. Retirement has changed as well. The way you picture yourself in retirement is probably different from your parents' retirement. It's no longer about a few years of rest and relaxation. It's about pursuing your lifelong dreams or discovering new ones.
You may be in Mail Order, Direct Mail, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever - you've got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions.
If you're among the casualties of recent cutbacks in the corporate world, you might be looking for a job in another field.
Communicating with teenagers is hard enough for most parents, and talking about money is no exception. In fact, research shows that only 36 percent of adults are teaching their children how to become financially responsible. In general, parents are uncomfortable speaking with their children about finances because a lot of people hold the widespread view that personal finances is a taboo topic.
Peggy Noonan wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal on April 20 about her attendance at Margaret Thatcher's London funeral service. She commented that Mrs. Thatcher was often frustrated with her staff. Thatcher once said to her aides, "I don't need to be told what, I need to be told how."
Heated market conditions fueled by a tight inventory and strong sales in higher-cost coastal regions drove California's median home price in March to its highest level since May 2008. Local prices, right here in the Santa Clarita Valley are headed higher, too.
This week I'd like to introduce a company in a far different place compared to just a year ago. The organization has gone from despair to celebrating success. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the owner said his company had "…Increased sales, reduced costs and improved our overall financial position in terms of positive cash flow and profitability, as well as reduced debt."
This is part two of a two-part column.
Some homeowners who are still struggling to avoid foreclosure may soon benefit from streamlined rules that offer an easy way to lower monthly payments and modify their mortgage without requiring financial or hardship documentation.
Looking back on those individuals who were my bosses, a clear distinction comes to mind.
The only people who benefit when a house is built are the family members who get to live there, and the builder who constructed and sold the home, right?
This column is part one of a two-part column.
In 1970 I started my first official job. I worked nine hours a week at a small grocery store. For the next two years I grossed $11.25 a week.
The residential housing resale market in the Santa Clarita Valley continued to recover during February, with sales and prices up to their highest levels in years.
There is a terrific exchange in the courtroom drama "A Few Good Men." Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicolson, turns from being a witness in a court martial to being the prosecutor when he asks Lieutenant Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise: "Have you ever spent time in an infantry unit, son?"
Is your business prepared for a disaster? While it is not something any of us like to think about, businesses should have a disaster plan in place.
Most people understand the basic economic principle of supply and demand and incorporate it into their daily decisions. They may not do it consciously, but economic decisions are made every day by each and every one of us.