2012 May Newsletter
5/1/2012 7:37 AM
We hope that you have been enjoying some of this bright, clear weather, especially following what appeared to be an endless winter.
Most of you probably think that things are slowing down here. Sure, we factor in some much-needed vacation time to rest and recharge and the deadlines have dwindled for the time being, but there is still a lot to do.
This month, we share tips from some other areas of our firm as well as some compliance information which affects those of you who have not filed your business Personal Property tax statement with King County. Relief is in sight which we'll talk more about below.
Now is also a great time to activate your new online portal account, if you haven't already. Whether your banker requires financial statements or your mortgage broker needs prior year tax returns, this is the tool you use to access that information anytime. If you need help activating your account, contact Marcia and she will get you up and running with this convenient and secure tool.
Business owners in King County have until July 1, 2012 to file unreported business personal property without tax penalty, which can run as high as 25% of the total tax liability. Any tax due should be paid by September 1, 2012. These forms were originally due on April 30, 2012.
Do you need to file?
Business owners are required to report to the county assessor a list of personal property, what it cost, and the year it was acquired. Personal property can include machinery, equipment and supplies owned by businesses and farms; state-assessed commercial boats; and most operating property owned by public utilities. The King County Assessor's Office encourages business owners with questions about the personal property amnesty program to call 206-296-5126.
Read the full article, compliments of the Puget Sound Business Journal.
It's hard not to get caught up in the issue of the moment when investing and instead, focus on the long term. That's why we are such huge advocates of having a proper financial plan in place. We know the one constant in life is change and we all see that in our investment portfolios from time to time. With a proper plan in place, you are better able to adjust and adapt to the changes as they occur to help preserve the wealth you have created and worked so hard for.
In the future, when you see and hear some of the doom and gloom in the media about the financial markets, try to keep investment veteran Bob Farrell's 10 rules in mind:
- Markets tend to return to the mean over time.
- Excesses in one direction will lead to an opposite excess in the other direction.
- There are no new eras - excesses are never permanent.
- Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think, but they do not correct by going sideways.
- The public buys the most at the top and the least at the bottom.
- Fear and greed are stronger than long-term resolve.
- Markets are strongest when they are broad and weakest when they narrow to a handful of blue-chip names.
- Bear markets have three stages - sharp down, reflexive rebound and a drawn-out fundamental downtrend.
- When all the experts and forecasts agree - something else is going to happen.
- Bull markets are more fun than bear markets.
If you think it's time to get your financial plan put together, updated or reviewed (which is easy to put off, we know), or simply have questions regarding the current market conditions, please let us know and we'll put you in contact with a financial planning advisor.
The concept of etiquette is still essential, especially now and particularly in business. New communication platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have blurred the lines of appropriateness, making us question how we should be navigating these social territories.
When you get down to the core of etiquette, you realize that it's really about making people feel good.
- Send a Thank You note
If you have a job interview, or if you are visiting clients or meeting new business partners - especially if you want the job, or the contract or deal - take the time to write a note. You'll differentiate yourself by doing so and it will reflect well on your company too.
- Know the Names
It's just as important to know your peers or employees as it is to develop relationships with clients, vendors or management. Reach out to people in your company, regardless of their roles, and acknowledge what they do.
- Observe the 'Elevator Rule'
When meeting with clients or potential business partners off-site, don't discuss your impressions of the meeting with your colleagues until the elevator has reached the bottom floor and you're walking out of the building. That's true even if you're the only ones in the elevator.
- Focus on the Face, Not the Screen
It's hard not to be distracted these days. We have a plethora of devices to keep us occupied; emails and phone calls come through at all hours; and we all think we have to multitask to feel efficient and productive.
But that's not true: When you're in a meeting or listening to someone speak, turn off the phone. Don't check your email. Pay attention and be present.
- Don't Judge
One of the most important parts of modern-day etiquette is not to criticize others. You may disagree with how another person handles a specific situation, but rise above and recognize that everyone is trying their best. It's not your duty to judge others based on what you feel is right. You are only responsible for yourself.
Etiquette is a way of being - not a set of rules. So before you post on Facebook or text someone mid-meeting, ask yourself: Will this make someone feel good? And remember that putting pen to paper and writing a note will make more of a lasting impression than a shout-out on Twitter or Facebook can't even touch.
RAC to Redhook Fitness Series Benefiting Hopelink: June 17, 2012 - Redmond Athletic Club
Redmond Derby Days Dash Benefiting Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: July 15, 2012 - Redmond Town Center