Category Archives: Personal Finance

Finacial Tips When Starting Your Own Business

Entrepreneur

Making 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.

Recently, small business owner, entrepreneur and CEO of WolfBridge Financial, Michael Kothakota sat down to discuss some financial tips when starting your own business.

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1. How Much Money Do you need to start a business?
2. How can I sustain my business when it is not yet cash flow positive?
3. What is cash flow?
4. How much money should I save to pay taxes at the end of my first year of business?
5. Are there any expenses I should budget for – no matter what my business model is?
6. How do I go about making sure my business is official, in a legal sense, and what type of cost can I expect to become official?
7. Are their any things you didn’t know to expect when you started WolfBridge Financial?

Are you a business owner? If so, what are some tips you can share that you wish you had know prior to the first year of business? Was there anything that would have either helped with the initial set up of your business or even something that may have given you pause when it came to becoming an entrepreneur?

Financial Stance of 2012 Presidential Candidates

obama-romney_101

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

how to talk to your spouse about finances

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.

Should I Buy Apple Stock?

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.