Finacial Tips When Starting Your Own Business

By | Financial Empowerment, Personal Finance, Podcasts | One Comment

aking the decision to become an entrepreneur is not an easy one. You may be giving up a full time job, spending a ton of saved capital or going into significant debt to follow your lifelong dream. No matter what the situation, starting a business is difficult and their are going to be a ton of questions during the start up process and your first year when it comes to finances.

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Financial Stance of 2012 Presidential Candidates

By | Personal Finance | No Comments

With the first Presidential Debate set for tonight at 9PM (EST) we thought it would be fun to point out the major differences between the candidates on issues involving finances. Information was compiled by the Sacramento Bee and ProCon.org.

The main focus tonight is on domestic policy and will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes.

Which financial issues are most important to you?

Debt

OBAMA: Fourth consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits projected. Won approval to raise debt limit to avoid default. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000.

ROMNEY: Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse and opposed the auto bailout. Plans to cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of 1st term (down from 23.5 percent currently) with spending cuts. Favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.

The Economy

OBAMA: Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in previous administration and gradual recovery. Responded to recession with $800 billion stimulus plan. Continued implementation of Wall Street and auto industry bailouts begun under George W. Bush. Proposes tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or repatriating jobs from abroad, and tax penalties for U.S. companies outsourcing jobs.

ROMNEY:Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector, and the law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals.

Social Security

OBAMA: No comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure of inflation to reduce annual increases in Social Security benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries.

ROMNEY:Protect the status quo for people 55+. For the next generation of retirees, raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.

Taxes

OBAMA: Wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay 30 percent of their income at minimum. Supports extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples. But in 2010, agreed to a two-year extension of lower rates for all. Wants to let the top two tax rates go back up 3 to 4 percentage points to 39.6 percent and 36 percent, and raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy. Health care law provides for tax on highest-value health insurance plans. Together with Congress, built a first-term record of significant tax cuts, some temporary.

ROMNEY: Keep Bush-era tax cuts for all incomes and drop all tax rates further, by 20 percent, bringing the top rate, for example, down to 28 percent from 35 percent and the lowest rate to 8 percent instead of 10 percent. Curtail deductions, credits and exemptions for the wealthiest. End Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals, eliminate capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent.

Podcast: Communicating Finances with your Spouse

By | Budgeting, Financial Empowerment, Personal Finance, Podcasts | No Comments

If you are in a marriage, or have been in a marriage, you know how difficult it can be to communicate about money and finances. Whether it is talking about one partner spending too much or figuring out the benefits or a shared bank account – none of the conversations are ever very easy.

There are keys to making those conversations more productive however, and recently WolfBridge CEO, Michael Kothakota, sat down to discuss them.

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1. Is talking about money with your spouse important?
2. Are there times when you should hide or keep financial information from your spouse?
3. Is it important to have a shared bank account when you’re married?
4. Are there things you shouldn’t talk about with your spouse when it comes to money or spending?
5. What is the most important things you need to understand when it comes to spousal finances?
6. Is there a secret to handling financial issues in a marriage?

Do you have any secrets to share when it comes to talking about money and finances with your spouse or partner? Are there tips you can provide other married couples on how to talk about money? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

What is Collaborative Divorce? The Video

By | Divorce, Video | No Comments

We spend a lot of time trying to explain collaborative divorce on the WolfBridge Financial blog and our new video follows that pattern.

WolfBridge CEO, Michael Kothakota, recently sat down to discuss in simple terms what collaborative divorce really is. In the video he specifically breaks down the difference between collaborative divorce and traditional divorce and explains the role of a financial neutral in the collaborative divorce process.

For additional free collaborative divorce information, check out the links below:

More Free Information on Collaborative Divorce Process:
–> Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce: A Process for Effective Dispute Resolution
–> Podcast: The Differences Between Traditional & Collaborative Divorce
–> Collaborative Divorce in Simple Terms
–> Who is Involved in the Collaborative Divorce Process
–> Financial Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
–> Podcast: Choosing Collaborative Divorce

Should I Buy Apple Stock?

By | Personal Finance | No Comments

We’re avid users of Apple products at WolfBridge Financial. From the iPhone, to the iPad, to the iMac, to the new MacBook Pro with Retina display – our business functions efficiently with a great deal of everyday help from Apple. Our CEO, Michael Kothakota, even penned a blog recently titled Steve Jobs: A True American.

At some point we may look back at August 20, 2012 and see that as the exact date when we should have seriously considered the merit of Apple shares.

Why? Because Apple is now considered the most valuable company of all time with stock rising 1.8% to $664.74 and pushing it’s market capitalization to $623.14 Billion.

Just a few days ago Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claimed a new iPhone announcement, that should come in mid-September, would boost his price target to $900.

Some analysts are even going as far to say that that shares could reach $1,000 with the launch of the new Apple TV product.

Should I Temper my Apple Expectations?

While Apple shares have no apparent reason to head in a negative direction based on their current 5 year growth trajectory – there are always reasons for concern when purchasing shares at such a high price.

That being said, there was a point not too long ago when Apple was trading at $7 a share.

Go ahead and do the math on if you had $600 worth of shares at $7 per share. We’ll wait.

That’s right. Your $600 investment in Apple would now be worth $56,562.

Is the time right to purchase some Apple shares? Contact us and we can give you our two cents.

In the meantime, check out this video from less than a month ago explaining when you should consider SELLING Apple shares.

Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce: A Process for Effective Dispute Resolution

By | Divorce | No Comments

WolfBridge Financial CEO, Michael Kothakota, recently co-authored an article with attorney Randolph (Tre’) Morgan III, JD entitled Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce: A Process for Effective Dispute Resolution.

The article was featured in the Charleston School of Law Journal Resolved: A Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Morgan and Kothakota are both members of the Raleigh organization Separating Together, a group of attorneys, financial specialists, child specialists and co-parenting advisors working together to help couples and their families access the collaborative family law alternative in North Carolina.

Below is a short excerpt of the article and a link to download the PDF.

The practice of law is changing. Clients now demand quicker, less expensive, and more effective legal services. In fact, clients do not want legal services anymore. They want solutions.

This is especially true in family law and divorce matters. Fewer and fewer clients adopt the divorce is war mentality that characterized traditional divorce and family law processes. Fewer and fewer clients are willing to tolerate the emotional, financial, and legal destruction that comes with adversarial divorces. Clients want to protect their children, preserve their financial future, and begin the next stage of their lives free of the trauma of an ugly divorce. Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce (ICD) is designed to meet those needs.

However, most dispute resolution professionals either have not heard of ICD or lack sufficient familiarity with the process. This paper presents an overview of ICD, seeks to explain the method, and describes the professionals involved in making it a highly effective dispute resolution process.

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Podcast: What Does a Collaborative Divorce Cost?

By | Divorce, Podcasts | No Comments

One of the most frequent questions we receive when it comes to the collaborative divorce process is a simple one – “How much does Collaborative Divorce cost?”

It’s a sensible question and certainly one that should be asked about any form of divorce you choose. It may seem like collaborative divorce must be more than a traditional divorce, right? Not exactly the case.

WolfBridge Financial CEO, Michael Kothakota, takes a few minutes to answer some of the pressing questions that most divorcing couples have when it comes to the cost of divorce.

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1. So, how bad can the cost of a divorce really be?
2. What happens to a lot of these individuals who you’ve seen go through tough, financially straining divorces?
3. In your opinion, how important is it to make sure the divorce process is a smooth one?
4. Knowing that Collaborative Divorce involves a lot of professionals – is it expensive?
5. Is there are reason collaborative divorce can be more expensive?
6. OK, so collaborative divorce can potentially be more expensive, but there are hidden costs in traditional divorce that often make it more expensive from a financial and personal standpoint?
7. What are some exact cost comparisons between traditional and collaborative divorce?
8. So bottom line, how expensive is divorce?

More Free Information on Collaborative Divorce Process:

–> Podcast: The Differences Between Traditional & Collaborative Divorce
–> What is Collaborative Divorce
–> Who is Involved in the Collaborative Divorce Process
–> Financial Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
–> Podcast: Choosing Collaborative Divorce

Free Collaborative Divorce Information

By | Divorce | One Comment

Because we get a lot of good information from a lot of great people online via websites, blogs, Twitter and Facebook, we thought we would pull together a comprehensive list that includes some of the great places where you can find free collaborative divorce information online.

Check out some of the links below and please let us know if we are missing any other great sources in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

Twitter

@PeaceADRLawyer –> collaborative practice lawyer settling cases in a peaceful, dignified way. Love music, craft beer, Detroit & U-M sports, husband & lucky father of 3 teen boys.

@SacDivorce –>The family law attorneys at Bartholomew & Wasznicky provide families and individuals throughout the Sacramento region with exceptional legal representation.

@CollabLawKerry –> Collaborative Divorce Attorney in the Triangle Area of North Carolina dedicated to client-determined resolution to separations and divorce.

@LanderholmLaw –> Portland, Oregon Family Law (divorce, child custody, child support and spousal support)

Blogs/Websites

Facebook

 

Podcast: Choosing Collaborative Divorce

By | Divorce, Podcasts | No Comments

As mentioned in previous posts, the WolfBridge Financial team works with groups like Separating Together and the North Carolina Association of Collaborative Divorce Professionals (NCACDP) to promote the Collaborative Divorce process.

In a new podcast from WolfBridge Financial CEO, Michael Kothakota, we cover the process of choosing Collaborative Divorce. This podcast could be extremely helpful if you are in the midst of a divorce and are unsure as to what you should do. It explains whether or not you may be right for collaborative divorce and how you can get the process started. A full list of the questions asked can be found below.

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1. Who is right for collaborative divorce?
2. What if you don’t think your spouse will be cordial in the collaborative meetings?
3. How can I get the Collaborative Divorce Process Started?
4. What questions should I ask collaborative divorce professionals before choosing one?
5. I know the collaborative process puts a great deal of emphasis on making sure the kids aren’t forgotten. Can you explain how they are involved in the process?
6. What if I have additional questions about the collaborative divorce process?

Additional Free Information on Collaborative Divorce Process:

–> Podcast: The Differences Between Traditional & Collaborative Divorce
–> What is Collaborative Divorce
–> Who is Involved in the Collaborative Divorce Process
–> Financial Benefits of Collaborative Divorce