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The Endless Recession and the Work Revolution

Seth Godin kills it again. Here is his must read post on the past, present and future of work and how it affects you now. Do you have a job that can be done cheaper and faster by someone else? How should you position what you do and how you do it for the new economy? There are actually two recessions: The first is the cyclical one, the one that inevitably comes…

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What’s In It For You – Estate Planning

Many of our recent clients have been older folks whose children (children in their 40s or 50s) have driven the estate planning process. The children have realized that if mom and dad (or the survivor of them) don't do good comprehensive estate planning, then they will be left holding the bag. Think about it. As busy as you are working, paying your bills, raising your kids, taxiing them to activities you never…

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History of Income and Corporate Taxes

You have and will continue to hear a lot of politicians arguing about taxes: what is fair and what is needed to help the economy. John Steele Gordon has a good and brief summary of the history of US income and corporate taxes.  After the Civil War, there was no income tax and a surplus. After the Civil War, nearly all the wartime taxes—including the nation's first income tax—were repealed and the…

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Irrevocable Trusts for Estate Planning

My friend Steve Oshins was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article on Irrevocable Trusts. The article discusses the importance of Crummey Notices when using an irrevocable gift trust for estate planning. It's a good overview on the subject. [using one's annual gift exclusion] make sense now, advisers say, despite the fact that Congress raised the lifetime threshold for tax-free giving to $5 million in 2011 and 2012 from $1 million last…

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US Education & 7 Strengths That Predict Success

Must read article from NY Times Magazine on US education by Paul Tough. US education system is in bad shape, but not for reasons you expect. What direction are you leading your children when it comes to education and success? Are we teaching and putting our kids in an environment to teach them really how to succeed? You need to read this article, especially if your kids are younger and they are…

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Your Business and Employees

If you have the type of business that requires very few employees (consultant, solo attorney, solo CPA, solo financial advisor, and many others) should you consider whether you need ANY employees? The consultant's mantra the last 25 years has been to hire others to do the menial less critical tasks so you can focus on the important revenue generating tasks. You justified the expense knowing your employee's work would free you up…

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How Important is Your Parent’s Estate Planning?

Have your parents done their estate planning? This will impact you. If you are the responsible child, it will really impact you. In fact, it will impact you more than your own estate plan. Why? Your estate plan will kick in when you die. It is for your spouse and kids. But at that point, you are dead. You won't have to clean up the mess of no estate plan or a…

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Action Trumps Everything

Leonard Schlesinger in Action Trumps Everything writes about how entrepreneurs think: 1. They take a small (smart) step forward. 2. Pause to see what they learned by doing so; and 3. Incorporate that learning into what they do next. Successful entrepreneurs put thinking into action to see if they are right. Then they act again based on what they learned from the prior action. You can't predict the future, especially in the…

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Should You Innovate? William Jessup University Is

Many of our clients own small businesses, and many have been walloped by the great recession. Angus Loten in the WSJ profiles several small businesses which innovated their business model to adapt to the changing business climate. For nearly a century, Olympia Candy made mostly boxed chocolates and other bite-size treats. But last spring, the company's owner converted part of his Strongsville, Ohio, factory into a diner serving burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches,…

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Steve Jobs Stuck to His Guns Despite . . .

Behance has a great tribute to Steve Jobs discussing his leadership and vision. He did not let obstructions distract his vision. It must have been so seductive to stray at any moment and compromise to get it done. As people around him said, "Let's just let that go because [fill in the great excuse here]," Jobs always somehow stayed course. Perhaps the difference between Steve Jobs and the "visionaries" at other great…

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