Resources by Topic

Business Owners

Blog

Stock Options and Restricted Stock – Key Things to Consider In this Downturn

If you are an executive working for a public company, it’s likely that a big portion of your wealth is tied to your company stock. As stock prices fall, obviously the value of your stock-based compensation also drops. This can be paralyzing. Amid the chaos, how do you answer the simple question: “what should I […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Lessons Learned: “This Time is Different”

The COVID-19 outbreak has created stress and uncertainty in all phases of our lives. Worrying about our family’s health, learning to work from home while trying to educate and entertain children, and watching our income decline or for some completely go away has understandably caused many to panic. This stress and panic can lead many […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

FDIC Insurance – Have You Maximized Your Coverage?

During the Great Depression, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, was created to instill confidence in the banking system.  On January 1, 1934, the first deposits were insured with a limit of $2,500.  FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.  How well do you know FDIC coverage? […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Gifts to Children – Making Them More Effective

Gifts are made to loved ones for many reasons.  Parents may just want to give their children financial help or accomplish other worthwhile objectives.  Well-planned gifts can reduce a donor’s estate for estate tax purposes and shift income taxation to or away from the recipient of the gift.  Many objectives can be addressed in a […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Top 5 Mistakes in Estate Plans – Does Yours Have Any?

The primary purpose of an estate plan is to provide for the thoughtful transition of asset ownership to intended heirs.  After a plan is drafted, mistakes can creep in and upset a carefully-drafted plan.  Below, are five of the more common problem areas to consider. 1. Misusing Joint Ownership Joint tenancy is a common form […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Should My Agency Be an S Corp or a C Corp?

Recently I spoke at the Independent Insurance Agents (IIA) of Illinois annual conference on financial planning for agency owners. After the presentation which included a discussion on taxes, an owner approached me about the tax structure of his agency. He is currently structured as a C Corporation and wanted to know if that was the […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Updating an Estate Plan – Organizing Your Thoughts

Preparing an estate plan can be an intimidating process, since final instructions for a family’s assets are memorialized.  Upon death, those instructions are fixed – forever.  Estate plans should be reviewed frequently as family circumstances change – children mature into adults and in-laws are introduced into a family.  When children are very young, parents focus […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Solve the 4 C’s Before Selling Your Agency

Last month I had the opportunity to moderate an M&A panel at NAHUs (National Association of Health Underwriters) Annual Conference in San Diego. The panel was focused on what agency owners should look for when considering buying or selling an agency. Panelist Mike Deagle of Benaxis and Lily Lam of OneDigital did an excellent job […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Blog

Child’s UTMA is Ending – What Protection Exists?

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, or UTMA, accounts are a popular way to hold investments and bank accounts for minors.  Such accounts are owned by the minor but controlled by a designated adult custodian.  The minor becomes the outright owner of the account assets when he or she reaches the age of majority specified in […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Wealth Watch

Picking Up Pennies

In investments, there’s not much more boring than cash.  Sure, it provides immense comfort when the markets go south, but in the long-term, cash is the piece of your portfolio which is basically set up to fail versus inflation.  By that measure alone, it’s exposure should be limited. Even so, cash still plays a critical […]

Read More

View All Wealth Watch Posts
Blog

Theo’s 20% Rule

I’m a lifelong Cubs fan as required by my grandfather who took me to my first Cubs game back when you could buy a bleacher ticket for $3 and bring your own cooler full of drinks into Wrigley Field (Grandpa Tom liked his Old Style). Wow, have times changed. My 12-year-old son Kevin and I […]

Read More

View All Blog Posts
Wealth Watch

Annoying Averages

Growing up in school, no one wants to be average.  From the start, averages are ingrained into us, and behaviorally, we always want to be better than average in everything we do.  Take this question: Are you an above average driver?  My guess is you’d answer yes.  And I’d venture to say that more than […]

Read More

View All Wealth Watch Posts