Spring Cleaning Your Debt

It's springtime--time for you to take stock of your surroundings and get rid of the dirt and clutter that you've accumulated during this past year. In addition to typical spring cleaning tasks, you may want to take this time to focus on your finances. If you have followed my blog posts, now may be as good a time as ever to evaluate your debt situation and try to reduce and/or eliminate any debt obligations you may have. The following are some tips to get you started. 

Determine whether it makes...

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If You Thought You Planned Wisely for Your Retirement Years Ago...

Retirement planning can be confusing. I recently contributed to a national article by Paula Aven Gladych for Benefitspro.com, an online publication for benefits brokers, HR managers, and retirement advisors.

The article, Target-date Funds Have Some Critics, brings to light that some target date funds (TDFs) may not be aligned with capital preservation. Why?

Because most TDFs have an unnecessarily high allocation to stocks, which are historically more risky that bonds.  Consider, for example, a...

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Featured Job Opportunity: Controller/Business Manager

Skoda Minotti Professional Staffing is currently assisting a service client in their search for a Controller/Business Manager.

The Controller/Business Manager will oversee daily, month-end, and year-end accounting and human resource functions, including: 

  • Payroll, accounting responsibilities, benefits, 401k, banking relationships, and business insurances.
  • Month-end account reconciliations – prepare or assist in preparation of:
    • Bank account reconciliations
    • Accounts payable reconciliations
    • Any other...
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Aurum Wealth Managment Adds New Partner Manager

Aurum Wealth Management is pleased to announce the addition of Wendy Eldridge as a partner in the firm’s retirement plan practice.

Eldridge specializes in working with 401(k), 403(b), 457, defined benefit and non-qualified plans. She assists clients with every aspect of their plan, including negotiating plan fees, investment options, compliance testing, Form 5500, audits and the day-to-day administrative management of the plan.

“With Wendy’s extensive experience, passion and knowledge in...

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What's WhatsApp Worth?

Like many other finance professionals, the recent news of Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp had me wondering, how can Facebook justify such an exorbitant purchase price?  In the valuation world, we often get caught up trying to justify the purchase price with complex math and fancy sounding terms like revenue enhancement, monetization, and synergy.

But as I read the commentary on the acquisition, I found that the application of any traditional valuation method to justify the $19...

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ACA Update: Keeping Your Current Health Insurance? It May Cost You Benefits

Beginning January 1, 2014, the health insurance mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect. As you’ve read in our recent blogs, this provision requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have minimum essential health coverage or pay a penalty fee.

If you already have health insurance, you may have the option of keeping it or opting for a new plan. That's because the ACA includes provisions for grandfathering health insurance plans in existence on...

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Lessons Learned: 3 Changes Affecting the Financial Landscape of a College Education

What's New in the World of Higher Education? If you follow my recent blogs about higher education, you know the answer is “plenty.” Whether you have a son or daughter just beginning the college planning process, you are in college or considering returning, or are in repayment, the financial choices you make today will affect you for years. We’re up-to-date and always informed of the changes affecting higher education. Here are a few of more pressing issues:

Costs for 2013-2014

Question: What goes...

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What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

Spring training and opening day are traditions that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. As this year's baseball season gets under way, here are a few lessons from America's pastime that might help you reevaluate your finances.

 

Sometimes you need to proceed one base at a time

There's nothing like seeing a home run light up the scoreboard, but games are...

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U.S. Economic Round-Up

The stat collectors released many data points over the past week. This note walks through a few charts we found interesting.

The graphic below breaks up the five components of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (blue line) to show the contribution made by each sector. Fourth quarter GDP came in at 2.6%, slightly below expectations and down from 4.1% in the third quarter. Personal consumption was solid while the inventory build in the third quarter predictably had companies pulling back in the...

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Selling Your Business: 5 Reasons Why You Need an Expert Valuation

In my last blog, "Why Net Working Capital Must be Considered in Transactions," we looked at the potential purchase or sale of a business. Today, we'll focus on the selling side. Selling a company can be a daunting task for a small business owner.  With countless legal experts, consultants, bankers and accountants from which to choose, a small business owner may be asking, “What services do I need and who should I hire?”

One very important and often overlooked step in the process of selling a...

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