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High Potential or High Performer. Which One Are You?

10/09/15 2:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

 

I was intrigued by the article “High Performers and High-Potential Employees Are Not One in the Same” , by Andre Lavoie.  So I did a bit more investigation and found some other references out there. The consensus was:

High Performers achieve your goals today.

High Potentials help you achieve your future.

High-potentials have the ability and aspiration to be successful leaders within an organization. A high-performer may also have high potential but not necessarily. They may be great at their job and take pride in their work and accomplishments, but don’t have the potential (or desire) to assume a leadership role. Lavoie lined out four traits of high potentials vs. high performers:

1. Proactive vs. reactive – High potentials take a proactive approach to problem-solving, planning for the future versus waiting until a problem occurs and reacting.

2. Leaders vs. followers – High-potentials are characterized by their ability to go above and beyond. They don’t leave the office the second the clock strikes five. They don’t focus on themselves but on the team as a whole.

3. Receptive vs. unreceptive to feedback – Employees who are truly receptive to feedback will take immediate action, not to save their own skin, but to become an all-around better worker. Employees with high potential will avoid making the same mistake twice.

4. Knowing the business vs. knowing the job – High performers and high potentials both strive to reach peak performance, but high potentials aim above that peak. They can clearly see how their work contributes to overall success and set out to achieve the company vision through achieving their individual work goals. Whereas high performers seek to do well as individuals, high potentials desire to do well as a company. High potentials have that entrepreneurial spirit.

So what should companies be looking to retain? High performers for today. But high potentials for tomorrow. And we need those future leaders. These are the high potentials you should be identifying and sending to leadership development programs. Everyone need not apply.

 

Did you buy a new home this summer? – Basis tracking and accounting can save you thousands in the future.

02/09/15 11:17 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

 

The housing market is beginning to turn around in Nevada over the last couple years. Data provided by Trulia.com indicates that twice as many home sales occurred in 2015 when compared to the bottom of the market in 2009. Many home owners who either lost, or liquidated, their homes over the past several years are finally in a stable financial position to get back into the market.

Many of the homes that are being purchased during this period of growth are those that have either been left vacant for years, require some refurbishing, or need massive upgrades and overhauls to qualify for lending, or to even be livable! Even new homes require additional capital influx in order to complete the front or backyard landscaping.

When we purchase a house, many of us use this required influx of capital to negotiate down the current selling price. But how many of us keep track how much actual additional capital we put back into the house after the sale has been completed? Improvements and substantial repairs such as landscaping, a new roof, fencing, etc., should be accounted for and included in your basis (capital costs) of your home. Keeping track of and having the appropriate record keeping of, these improvements can save you thousands of dollars in capital gains, and possibly net investment income tax, when you decide to sell the home in the future. Even if you decide that renting the home is a better course of action, having an accurate recordkeeping of the basis will allow you to depreciate the maximum allowable amount in order to reduce the rental income created from the business use of the property.

Keeping track of your basis in real property is an important part of homeownership that many of us forget about until it is time to sell. Twenty years from now, will you remember how much you paid the landscaper to put in a sprinkler system? Probably not. So help your future self out of a headache, and probably save a couple bucks, and keep track of those expenditures that you put into your new home. And after you are done, sit down on that new patio with a cold drink and relax, you’ve earned it.

 

 

Presidential candidate tax returns show how tax law has changed

27/08/15 3:04 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Like almost all presidential candidates trying to be transparent to their voters, Jeb Bush recently released tax returns dating back to 1981 and going through 2013.

I could write the standard blog on how Mr. Bush’s income went from nothing in the 1980’s to topping $1,000,000 for many years in the 90’s, becoming in the low six figures in the 2000’s while he was governor to ballooning to over $2,000,000 for almost every year after 2007. How his income went above $6,000,000 for 2011 & 2013 while he was getting rich from speaking fees and consulting for banks. Or I could write about how his net worth has gone up 14 times since he left the governor’s mansion in Florida in 2007 or question how he got in excess of $1,000,000 consulting for Lehman Bros and over $10,000,000 in speaking fees since 2007.

But as a Reno CPA that wasn’t practicing during the 1980s & 1990s, I found it interesting how much the tax code has changed just from reviewing Mr. Bush’s return. For instance, when Mr. Bush sold his first home in 1981 he wasn’t allowed to exclude from income up to $500,000 from the sale of his primary residence as taxpayers can now. His gain of $34,980 decreased the basis in his new residence he purchased to give him a higher gain and tax in the future when that home was sold.

I also found it interesting how in the 1980s political contributions were allowed to be deducted and up until 1986 charitable contributions were deducted without having to itemize on Schedule A. This was the same in 1983 when employee business expenses were an above the line deduction; today they must be on Schedule A and less than 2% of adjusted gross income. There was also the deduction for married couples that both worked that was present in the tax code in 1982, which Mr. Bush and his wife did not utilize. In the 1980s it was also possible to deduct interest expense on credit cards and car loans as a personal interest expense. With the somewhat new tax regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act and constant bickering and promises by Congress about changing the tax code I’m sure in 20 years the tax code will again be drastically different.

 

Want to start a family? It helps to be financially prepared!

20/08/15 11:37 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When preparing to start a family, it is important to look at your finances, and assess your current financial situation. You are not always in a situation where you can do this, but if you can plan this ahead of time it could help ease some worry to know you are financially prepared. There is no exact amount you need to have saved when preparing to add a new family member, but it is important to make sure you have the bare essentials covered.

There are many added expenses that come with having a baby. A good way to plan for all of these new expenses will be to assess what is essential and put them at the top of your list to save for. A good way to limit your spending on some of the items needed would be to try to borrow them or buy them used.

Start looking at your financial situation by tracking all of your expenses to see if your income is covering your current expenses and determine if you have additional money left over. It is recommended to do this for at least a month, but this should only be used as a guideline since your monthly spending will vary, and this wouldn’t account for seasonal changes. Once you have listed your expenses, go through them and separate the items you need verse the ones you can go without. This will be helpful to determine the areas that you could limit your spending to help save.

When looking at your monthly income, it is important to factor in the difference in earnings that will occur when you are on maternity leave. Check to see what your company’s policy is for maternity leave. This can make a large difference to your monthly income if your plan is to take time off work and it is either unpaid or a percentage of your income.

Ideally, you should have enough savings to account for the change in your earnings over maternity leave, or if you are planning on changing your work schedules after you have the baby. It is also recommended to have an eight month emergency fund to keep you out of debt if anything unexpected occurs. It is never too early to start saving – the earlier you save the less of a burden it will be to set the money aside and get your finances in order.

 

Disneyland on a budget

13/08/15 11:15 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As summer winds down, Disneyland begins to get ready to start the transformation for Halloween, Christmas and New Years. If you have never had the chance to see what the park looks like during these special times of the year, I have to say that the transformation is quite spectacular. Growing up in Orange County, CA, I had many opportunities to visit Disneyland during these periods; often owning a season pass to help save me the most money while visiting the park. Season passes save you 15% on dining, 20% on merchandise, 20% on guided tours, 20% off special events, and even saves you money when staying in the Disneyland hotel. The season pass is your best bet if you plan to visit the park more than 4 or 5 times, but this is not possible for all of us. Many of us, as I do now; live too far away from Disneyland to plan multiple trips to the park during the course of just one year. So I am going to give you some other tips on how to save some money while visiting Disneyland that do not involve purchasing an expensive ($779) season pass.

  1. When purchasing your tickets to attend Disneyland Park, do not purchase your tickets when you get to the ticket windows at the park. The lines are incredibly long, and the prices are more at the park than purchasing from authorized sellers of Disneyland tickets. Authorized sellers of tickets include; AAA, Safeway, Costco, as well as many online retailers. Just be sure that you trust the website that you use to purchase your tickets if you do in fact choose to use an online retailer. Do not use eBay, Craigslist or a private party.
  2. With the addition of California Adventure, the park has only gotten more crowded and thus visiting all your favorite rides in one day may not be possible anymore. One way to combat this problem is that you can hold a fast pass (a pass that allows you to avoid the long lines) for one ride in both Disneyland Park and California Adventure at the same time. Thus, if you carefully plan your rides, you are more likely to get on more of your favorites using the two fast pass systems.
  3. Dining in the park can be extremely expensive, often costing upwards of $20 per person at many of the resort restaurants. If you still like to eat out, but do not have to eat inside the park, there are some slightly cheaper options in Downtown Disney, but there is not much of a reprieve there. Your best option for saving money on food is to bring your own food, something that most people think is not allowed, but food is allowed to be brought into the park. Bringing your own food is likely save you the most money, especially if you are like me and eat at least 3 meals a day if not more. It’s great if you plan a multiple day trip to Disneyland.
  4. Merchandise also runs at a very large premium within the Disneyland parks, so if you would like merchandise cheaper; your best bet is to visit Disney stores. These stores generally carry most of what you can find in the park, and you can get these items ahead of time to bring with you into the park if you so choose. My last piece of advice is to download the Mouse wait app in either Apple’s app store or in the android marketplace. This app will tell you ride wait times as well as many different secrets that I have not included here, including the search for the hidden Mickey’s.

 

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