• LIFETIME TRANSFER PLANNING is more about “discussion of contingencies rather than structure,” focused on strategies for wealth protection (including tax avoidance) and for distribution of assets to loved ones, charitable entities and/or other legacy objectives, before deathbed decisions & declarations in the midst of family turmoil. Best approaches ensure (1) Tax advantages and inflation protection from incorporating insurance and/or annuities programs; (2) Trusts which allow “best use of accumulated assets to achieve goals rather than numbers”; and (3) Reality-based strategies about succession versus sale of family businesses. An optimal transfer plan involves sophisticated financial and tax tools, but MUST incorporate pragmatic and often emotional interpersonal family issues. As a strategic & financial planner, Certified Family Business Advisor, technician and family Mediator, I can help you develop an optimal Transfer Plan.  [ADVISOR TODAY – Mar/Apr 15] 
  • TECH-COMPANY VALUATIONS IN THE BILLIONS SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH ‘MARKET’ VALUATIONS. The reason that a Snapchat, for example, (a photo-messaging app with nominal revenue and no profits) is raising funds at a $15 billion level is that “the numbers are sort of made-up by early private investors… in exchange for guarantees” – that they’ll get money back first if the company sells or goes public, rights to additional heavily-discounted shares, free shares if subsequent round Valuations are “less favorable,” and so forth. Other creative variables which underlie, for example, a $40 billion Valuation for Uber or $20 billion for Airbnb include: (1) “how quickly the startup is growing… regardless of whether people using the product will pay for it”; (2) Founders’ hopes and dreams based on their last Valuation and/or those of competitors; and (3) FOMO – investors’ “Fear Of Missing Out on the next Google or Facebook… All these practices obfuscate the meaning of a Valuation, because private investors aren’t taking the same risks a public-market shareholder would.” Just be aware. [BLOOMBERG.COM – Mar 17, 15]
  • “WITHOUT QUESTION, THE RESULTS OF THE ISRAELI ELECTION WILL DEEPLY DISAPPOINT President Obama and some European leaders, who were hoping Israelis would swap out an intractable ‘hawk’ for a more flexible ‘dove’ – whom they assumed would pave the way for a quick final deal with Iran and hasten a two-state solution before Obama leaves office… But even if Israel’s left had prevailed, it is hard to imagine that a deal for a solution could be reached in the next two years. Hamas’ continuous terrorism and genocidal hate, and the celebration by leaders of the Palestinian Authority of vicious terrorist outrages against Jews, have left most Israelis warily awaiting a Palestinian leader who would be ready to tell his constituents that their Jewish neighbors are there to stay and that the Jewish state has a legitimate right to be there… Against this background it seems almost ludicrous for anyone to believe that Israeli voters could somehow be manipulated by forces outside of Israel as to whom they should cast their ballots for… since Israeli parents who have to send their 18-year-old sons and daughters for two years of military service to protect the homeland cast votes as if their lives and the lives of their children depend on making the right choice.” Winston Churchill’s one-liner is most appropriate: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” [FOXNEWS.COM – Mar 18, 15]
  • MOBILE PHONES ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO HACKING AT TRADE FAIRS, thru ‘rogue networks’ masquerading as legitimate hotspots… when crooks create official-looking sham hotspots before a conference opens, putting them on the show floor and in after-work locales such as bars & clubs.” Additionally, calls placed from foreign countries involve host carriers obtaining the user’s encryption key from the user’s regular security provider… fulfilled in seconds with few verifications of legitimacy, providing keys to criminals… Mobile security is treated like safety in the early days of the car, when nobody thought about seat belts or air bags as long as every generation of cars was faster or cooler than the last one.” [BUSINESS WEEK – Mar 16,15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:       Air Pano is the world’s major panoramic film competition. Amazing photography:                                                                                                https://www.youtube.com/embed/h3LeVGOBjSg?feature=player_embeddedhttps://www.youtube.com/embed/h3LeVGOBjSg?feature=player_embedded                  

A major reason that “the middle in politics – where you govern from – is sort of disappearing… is that journalists used to be dispassionate observers of the process. Today they are players, and that’s not good because it tends to more divisiveness and discord.” – James Baker, Cabinet Member to three Presidents

“As functional MRIs become more widespread, increasingly sophisticated neuro-technologies will enable the legal system to spot when suspects, witnesses and police are telling the truth or inventing fictions – replacing juries as finders of facts.” -The Futurist