Are You and Your Business Covered?

If your business leases space from a commercial property manager, chances are you have sufficient business owner and umbrella insurance coverage.  Most landlords have extensive insurance requirements tenants must obtain prior to occupying their space.  If you are contemplating whether to start a business or if you already run a business out of your home or another piece of property, having the right insurance coverage is important. The Basics While specific coverage amounts requirements may vary depending on the type of business, tenants are generally required to maintain the following types of insurance coverage at their own cost. (1) Commercial general liability insurance applicable to the premises and its appurtenances. (2) Property insurance covering all above building standard leasehold improvements and tenant’s trade fixtures, equipment, furniture and other personal property within the premises. (3) Business income (formerly “business interruption”) insurance written on an actual loss sustained form or with sufficient limits to address reasonably anticipated business interruption losses. (4) Business automobile liability insurance to cover all owned, hired and non-owned automobiles owned or operated by tenant (5) Workers’ compensation insurance Read on! →

Caring for kids, parents, sandwich generation savers pressed for time

Cheryl Sherrard quoted in CNBC article about why Sandwich Generation savers are in a pickle – by Deborah Nason. Members of the so-called sandwich generation, Tiffany and Andre Trent, ages 40 and 43, were afraid they would have to choose between taking care of their elderly parents and adopting a child. People in such a sandwiched situation are simultaneously caring for a minor, or grown, child as well as for a parent age 65 or older. Around 42 percent of Gen Xers and 33 percent of baby boomers fit this profile, according to a2013 Pew Research report. It had taken 15 years for the Trents, of Blacksburg, Virginia, to recover financially from cutting short their overseas careers to care for Tiffany’s gravely ill father. Childless, they had also been saving up for years to do an overseas adoption. Then Andre’s parents became ill. “We had a big moment of pause,” Tiffany Trent said. “My in-laws have no savings, and my mother in Wisconsin is not well. We will probably have to take care of them, so should we take on Read on! →

Lessons from Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, we’d like to give a small tribute to Dad this week. For the many lessons and unspoken words of wisdom we’ve received over our lives, we say “thank you” to all the dads out there. To the dad who taught us to save Remember when you received your first piggy bank? I do, although it was not a piggy at all, but rather a red crayon shaped “bank.” Fortunately (or unfortunately maybe) for me, the memory is captured on film somewhere in our vault of embarrassing, never to be shared home videos. While my reaction to the gift at the time was what you might expect from any child on their third birthday – two seconds of mediocre excitement followed by a race to rip through the next present – I didn’t realize this was the beginning of a lifelong lesson. Beyond the gift of my first piggy bank, my father continued to reiterate the importance of savings and frugality through positive reinforcement and leading by example in his own life. While the lesson may Read on! →

It Pays to Allocate

U.S. equity markets have struggled to gain ground year-to-date, posting a meager 2.7% return by mid May. Still, the S&P 500 has slowly climbed to an all-time high and a few weeks ago peaked over the 1,900 level.  Over the past year, success in the equity market was supported by a pickup in economic activity and a dampening of tail risks globally.  However, going forward investors should not be surprised by mean reversion in both annual returns and volatility. As shown by a recent JPMorgan chart of the week, the maximum drawdown (intra-year decline) so far this year was -5.8%.  This was also equal to the largest pullback in 2013.  The average annual drawdown since 1980 put these pullbacks in the -14% range.  Despite these annual pullbacks, the S&P 500 index still returned to investors an annual total return of 9.9% since 1980. What does this tell us about stock investing?  It reinforces the notion of diversifying investments across all asset classes.  It pays to have a portion of your portfolio allocated to equities despite the volatility associated with them. Equity markets Read on! →