• A REMINDER ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF AN UPDATED ‘LIVING’ TRUST’ after you die – not about estate taxation, but for purposes primarily of: (1) Avoiding Probate, a Court process where assets are Frozen – i.e. cannot be withdrawn/ transferred/ sold – during an expensive and lengthy (in LA, often up to 24 months), while a judge Administers the Will (or, if no Will, by ‘intestate succession’ laws which prioritize children/ spouse/ parents/ siblings, etc); (2) Avoiding a Public Record and access to your assets & distribution plan; (3) Controlling certain actions, like timing of distributions to minors, and protecting assets from creditors of the beneficiaries; (4) Protecting how beneficiaries will spend their inheritance to reduce risk they may blow it. Call DCG for courtesy consult in this area.
  •  NEW YEAR REMINDER: EMPLOYEE VS. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR RELATIONSHIPS place the burden of proof, for California employers, on showing three factors: (A) How a task is done; Freedom from factual control & direction; (B) that it’s outside the usual course of employers’ business; and (c) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade or business (including equipment) of the work nature. Over a hundred categories of Exceptions apply to specified professionals, performance artists, media, varying industries and business-to-business services. However, “policymakers and courts continue to expand the application of labor & employment laws to Independent Contractors and employees of franchises, shifting away from regulations put in place during the previous presidential administration, while challenges to the state’s ABC regulations are still pending and downside risk of judicial reclassification” can be substantial. So, review of policies & procedures is advisable. Call DCG for courtesy guidance. [JEFFER MANGELS – 12/21]
  •  INFLATION IS UNQUESTIONABLY OUT OF CONTROL, and unfortunately “as much about psychology as about economics, since expected inflation begets inflation, since once people think prices are going up, they in turn, raise their own prices.”  Economists  never agree on forecasted timing, but major factors in 2022 include the degree of impact from: (1) Eventually diminishing backlog & bottlenecks in production & supply lines, availability of travel, re-opening of day care centers, increasing workforce (as unemployment & ‘stimulus’ payments wind down), and reduced panic-stocking of goods; (2) U.S. Dollar depreciation against foreign currencies, caused by unsustainable government debt – just another form of inflation; (3) Appreciation in real estate and rental costs, which tend to have further self-fulfilling momentum as owners/investors pass on price increases to tenants.   [KELLOGG INSIGHT – 8/6/21]
  •  AMERICA HAS NOW ALMOST COMPLETELY BIFURCATED INTO THREE PRETTY DISTINCT NATIONS: (1) Liberals – predominantly bi-coastal with higher percentages of college-educated & pseudo-credentialed, mostly in control of the nation’s culture & politics – as defined by the administrative bureaucracies, media, academia, foundations, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the elite echelon of military, professional sports, arts & entertainment industries; (2) Conservatives – the vast interior between the coasts where food grows, oil & gas gets pumped, timber is cut, building materials fashioned, and things get built by the folks who kept driving trucks, and millions who’ve lost their jobs, spent their savings and borrowed trying to save their homes & small businesses while following the orders of the Liberals; and (3) Progressive Leftists – now some 40% (according to Gallup) who believe they deserve ‘equal’ lives, and that a Socialist society, with security of government-provided food/ shelter/ education/ insurance, will accomplish this without having to commit their lives to work & competition for money, many willing to literally burn down the capitalist structure.  We’re past the point of any reconciliation among these disparate groups, so 2022 is a future of Uncertainty and Change [VICTOR DAVIS HANSON]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: A magnificent 2½-minute piano concerto in all regards:  https://biggeekdad.com/2021/12/lola-astanova-she/ 

      99% of cyber-attacks can be disrupted by utilizing multi-factor authentication, according to CISA (U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) – see:  https://www.slashgear.com/why-you-should-always-enable-2-factor-authentication-30704830/    The other riskiest and exceptionally dangerous omissions involve software which is unsupported or without current update patches, and allowing use of default usernames & passwords. For other easy protection steps, click: https://securethevillage.org/ 

     We are living in dangerous revolutionary times. https://amgreatness.com/2022/01/05/who-are-the-real-insurrectionists/