CPA Client Bulletin Select March 2017


Playing Defense as Stock Prices Soar
Holding Down Premiums for Medicare Part B
Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans for Small Companies
Tax Calendar

Factoid: States for Seniors

Of more than 55 million total Medicare beneficiaries, about 10 million live in just two states: California and Florida.

Did You Know ?

The average published cost for tuition, fees, room and board at private nonprofit colleges and universities is $45,570 in the 2016-17 academic year. At public institutions, that average cost is $35,370 for out-of-state students, while state residents pay $20,090, on average. Financial aid and tax benefits may reduce the actual cost of higher education.



Article: Playing Defense as Stock Prices Soar

As of this writing, major U.S. stock market indexes are at or near record highs. This bullish run might continue...or it might end with a severe slide. Here are some strategies to consider.

Stay the course

Many investors will prefer to keep their current stock market positions. For nearly a century, every stock market reversal has been followed by a recovery. Even the severe shock of late 2008 through early 2009 has led to new peaks, less than a decade later.

What’s more, holding onto stocks and stock funds won’t trigger any tax on capital gains.

Move into cash

Investors who are truly nervous about pricey stocks can sell some or all of those holdings, then put the sales proceeds into vehicles that historically have been safe havens, such as bank accounts and money market funds. This would reduce or eliminate the risk of steep losses from a market crash. In both the 2000–2002 and the 2007–2009 bear markets, the S&P 500 Index of large-company stocks fell about 50%. After a loss of that magnitude, investors need a 100% rebound, just to regain their portfolio value.

However, cash equivalents have negligible yields right now, so investors would essentially be treading water in bank accounts and money funds. Timing the market has proven to be extremely difficult, so investors who go to cash risk missing out on future gains as well as possible losses. In addition, investors who sell appreciated equities held in taxable accounts will owe capital gains tax, which could be substantial.


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Playing Defense as Stock Prices Soar

Holding Down Premiums for Medicare Part B

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans for Small Companies

Tax Calendar

 [AS1]Marketing Tip:Five-Step Spring Cleaning Marketing Strategy

Now that winter is coming to a close, it’s time for spring cleaning. Here’s what you can do in the marketing area to keep things fresh and consistent.

1.      Review your goals. How are the marketing efforts you’ve been doing helping you to attain the firm’s goals? Have you checked recently? A monthly update is best, but quarterly is good too. Now is a good time to revisit those efforts and determine successes, failures, and areas for adjustment.

2.      Is it time for something new? If efforts you’ve liked in the past just don’t “fit” any longer, it’s time for a new effort. Sometimes you have to get rid of the good to find the great.

3.      Go shopping! If your marketing efforts feel a little stale, it might be time to shop around for marketers with fresh ideas, graphic designers with a new perspective, or vendors with better pricing advantages.

4.      Sharpen your pencils and create some new content. Develop a spring and summer content strategy that you can leverage the rest of the year. Start with 5 to 10 topics you can quickly write about (e.g., “Top 3 Advantages of [fill in the blank]” or “5 Ways Small [industry] Companies Can Save on Taxes”). Then post them on your website over the next several weeks. You can future date most blogs to release on the same date each month. Voila, content through fall.

5.      Stop trying to be everywhere on social media. Focus on one or two platforms, where your target market is, and form a strategic plan to reach new leads through those channels.


Bonus Tip

Consider adding a paid promotion element to your efforts to increase exposure in niche markets. This can be done with sponsored Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Google and Bing AdWords are also a great tool.


Now that you have the cleaning supplies you need, what will you tackle this spring?

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