Fed Fundamentals

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As bond market volatility increases, analysts are heightening their watch on Federal Reserve commentary. Turn on any financial channel and see how long it takes to hear the word Fed or Federal Reserve.  While many of the organizations provide insight (with no lack of opinion,) it would be a good idea to explain a few basic […]

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The First Question to Ask Everyone

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Suppose you truly want to connect with other people.  What’s your best strategy? Most of us start off with questions like: what do you do for a living?  And: where did you grow up?  We ask for facts and then try to extrapolate a living person around the data that we gather.  But that doesn’t tell […]

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Life Satisfaction and Economic Growth

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You’re probably tired of hearing about the Greek debt crisis, but sometimes it helps to connect the abstract with the concrete—that is, the huge numbers involved with the actual lives of the people living in the country. The Greeks today live in a vacuum of uncertainty, with their banks closed at least another day, limited […]

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The Doctor On Your Wrist

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Chances are you think that medical costs are going to bankrupt America, and if we assume that Medicare and Medicaid costs will rise as they have for the past 20 years (despite the brief interlude these last three years), then there is reason for alarm. But ask yourself: how much of those costs are related […]

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Is this the right time to go off the grid?

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The world is buzzing about the latest innovation by Elon Musk, founder of the Tesla battery-powered cars.  Soon you’ll be able to hang a 220-pound battery on the wall of your garage, hook it up to solar panels, and cut the electrical wires to your house.  The solar panels will give you electricity and hot […]

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Advice to grow by

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In case you were looking for interesting (and possibly life-changing) bits of advice, a website called Raptitude (subhead: “Getting better at being human”) is offering 67 different ideas on better ways to live.  The list includes interesting fusions of practical and metaphysical (“Notice how much you talk in your head and experiment with listening to […]

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Forrest’s Great Investment

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If you watched the popular Forrest Gump movie, you may have noticed that moment when the perplexed young man opened his brokerage statement and noticed that a big chunk of his shrimp operation profits had been invested in (as he said) some kind of fruit company.  He had opened a brokerage statement and comically misinterpreted […]

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Are you aware of your SALT liabilities?

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Does your company operate in multiple states? If so, there’s a good chance that you owe some state and local taxes (SALT) outside your home state. But many closely held private businesses are unaware of their SALT liabilities. While it’s sometimes difficult to determine whether sufficient business activity has taken place in another state to […]

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Understanding the NIIT

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The 3.8% tax can take a bite out of some home sale profits Summer generally is an optimal time to sell your home. If you’re putting up a “for sale” sign on your lawn this year, make sure you understand the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) that applies to profits on some home sales. […]

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How to meet the challenges of managing a family business

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Owners of family businesses face unique challenges that non-family business owners don’t have to worry about. These often arise from the dynamics of family relationships and the need to transfer these into the business environment. Family relations can sometimes get messy. When family members go to work together, it can be hard to flip a switch […]

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