How Much Have You Lost Today?
Auto Care Forum
By Lance Wallach
How much have you lost this month? Is your insurance company,bank, etc. still in business? How much do you have left in your retirement plan? Are you still listening to your insurance agent, your financial planner, your stockbroker, your accountant, and your friends? They have probably lost more than you. None of my clients lost anything in 2008. All of my retirement plans, etc. went up in value every quarter in 2008. Put Lance Wallach into any search engine like Google and see what I have done. Now put your advisors' names into Google.
Who do you think knows more about what is going on? Without serious knowledge of things like finances, taxes, tax audits, and retirement plans, it's hard to keep a shop open for business and to ensure that your future is in good hands. Especially now, as the economy begins to change, it is smart to look into different ways to secure your future and money. Recent well documented events have made it increasingly important to educate yourself on how to handle such endeavors correctly. Thousands of businesses have closed as a result of bankruptcy, corrupt policies, lowered sales, and other factors, often because issues that seemingly, in hindsight, should have been obvious were overlooked. In this environment, more than ever, you simply cannot afford mistakes or omissions with respect to your finances. Simply being aware of the amount of debt that you are carrying, for example, is an important aspect of watching your money. Web sites such as IRS.gov, FinanceExperts.org, and TaxLibrary.us are resources that can help make sure that there are ZERO unpleasant surprises in your numbers. Additionally, keeping accurate records and constantly double checking your numbers are two obvious, yet often neglected, things that you should do. So the question stands: how knowledgeable are you about your own finances?
Many of you have received information about the current state of your investments in the past few months. Sticker shock would be an understatement. Thousands have been lost as a direct result of the fiascoes constantly occurring as of this writing. Savings that would not only brighten your futures, but in many cases investments that you planned to use for your children's educations, are gone. The downward spiral will continue, as the shrapnel from these events moves throughout our failing economy. It won't stop in the foreseeable future, and it will entail more than just monetary losses. The watchdog agencies that will now have to redeem themselves for failing to perform their regulatory functions, leading at least in part to all of these failures, will respond with increased scrutiny of American citizens and businesses in every manner imaginable. Trust me, no stone will be left unturned, including that of increased IRS audits for the express purpose of raising money, which in fact has already started. All of which is why treading water in the tide of an ebbing economy is not a solution.
It would appear that the seemingly indestructible giants of Wall Street have begun to crumble. Lehman Brothers is no more, Merrill Lynch has been taken down a peg or two, and now, disaster is apparently looming over Morgan Stanley. To say nothing of the looming threat to the consumer banking industry. As industry insiders, we've seen the writing on the wall for quite some time. Now, everybody else can see it, too.
The veil has been pulled back on the stock market's heavy hitters. Consumers now know there is indeed no "wizard" behind the curtain, just a few individuals in designer suits pulling down astronomical sums of money for the advice they send down from on high. Who can forget the images of the Lehman Brothers employees in New York City, emptying their offices into boxes and carrying them down Seventh Avenue? As sad as it was to see, it was a day we all had the feeling was coming, right? But now that it's here, why don't we feel any better?
The hopes of many investors in the stock market have been shaken to the core, but we cannot forget about the morose consumers and business owners. A number of individuals are suffering the potentially substantial loss (or potential loss) of their hard-earned money in a volatile market. Consumers need advisors who can guide them toward a safe harbor. As previously mentioned, financeexperts.org can give you the help you need in this failing economy. The leading authorities are members, and will most likely give helpful feedback. Consumers are fearful, and if they say they aren't, they probably are not being honest . For most Americans today, a stress free retirement is looking more and more impossible, and the difficulties looming between ourselves and that goal seem insurmountable. But things do not have to look and seem so bleak.
In a sense of the word, we feel compassion. We hate to have an "I told you so" attitude, but at times it is hard to avoid. However, rather than dwell on this compassion, why not capitalize on it? Often unforeseen opportunities arise from the ashes of situations such as these. In fact, many such opportunities are available as I write this. They will be taken advantage of by those with the imagination and talent to position themselves to do so.
By reading this, you may be off to a good start. There are many ideas you will get from our leading finance experts to better run your business, reduce taxes and insurance costs, and much more. You will learn how to avoid audits, which are already up fifty (50) percent and are expected to increase further still, and turn your accountant into your protector instead of a tax collector. You will learn from Lance Wallach, who, as an American Institute of CPAs instructor and course developer, teaches CPAs. Lance also draws upon the knowledge and expertise of his associates, who are the leading finance experts in the United States. None of them work for any of the firms that were affected by the recent and ongoing financial fiascoes. Many of them perceived the arrival of these problems, and only their clients benefited because most other business people were too busy buying products from stockbrokers, insurance agents, and so-called financial planners who did not know what was going on. In Lance's spare time, between speaking at conventions, writing and helping a select few business owners, he often serves as an expert witness.
In fact, for two days in September 2008, Lance testified as an expert witness in Federal Court for a business owner that was sold a faulty financial product by a combination of his accountant and a so-called retirement plan expert. After Lance completed his testimony, the judge called the retirement plan salesman a "crook" and said that he should settle with the plaintiff. He did not, and the jury awarded the business owner TWICE what he had sued for. As a side note, Lance had advised the lawyer that this was a so-called "ERISA case" and instead of the $400,000 that the business owner was suing for, $800,000 (double damages, as is possible in "ERISA" cases), could be awarded if the jury felt that was appropriate.
The point is that, under no circumstances, should you be forced to lay down and take the abuse and malpractice that most salespeople pin on you. Get your financial and business affairs in order, and, if necessary, take some action! Take some serious action! Lance Wallach is a frequent speaker at national conventions and writes for more than 50 publications. He was the National Society of Accountants Speaker of the Year. He welcomes your contact. E-mail him at email@example.com or call (516) 938-5007. Also, visit his web site Vebaplan.com for further information. The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any other type of advice for any specific individual or entity. You should contact an appropriate professional for any such advice.