As we move into the fullness of spring here in metro NY, the nation seems to be holding its collective breath (and getting the popcorn ready) for what will prove to be a fascinating election cycle. I don’t presume to have any foresight into the matter, butwhat I can confidently predict over the next year is a significant amount of uncertainty and upheaval.
Yes, these next few months and years will be extremely “interesting” … and it’s all the more reason why it’s so good that metro NY small businesses and families have someone like me in your corner. Because those who don’t have someone who can pay CLOSE attention and plan accordingly on their behalf are going to deal with tax and financial consequences as a result, whether they like it or not.
Before the actual election, I will do an analysis of the different tax plans proposed by the presidential candidates (with a posture of aggressive neutrality!), which could give you some clarity on that aspect of things, but I’m going to keep my powder dry here, until we get closer.
In any election season, our candidates are (somewhat perversely) incentivized to “talk down” the economy, and our future. And some of their arguments might even have merit.
But what I want my metro NY tax and accounting clients to focus on — instead of the doom and gloom of “the world out there” — is what they can realistically control within their own sphere.
And so I have some thoughts for you on that matter.
Barry Picker, CPA, CFP Zesha Auerbach On Keeping Your Mind Clear From Financial Junk
“The present time has one advantage over every other – it is our own.” -Charles Caleb Colton
In the midst of the media, presidential candidates and the headlines running our internal world … how can metro NY small businesses and families maintain a sense of personal peace in this … while NOT simply “ignoring” everything? I have four suggestions for my clients and friends:
1) Firstly, DO be very selective about (even, yes, choosing to ignore) certain media elements that have an agenda of spreading fear.
24-7 news channels and certain online outlets would make no money if they stopped preying on people’s fear. (You realize these ventures are not a public service, right? They are in the business of getting ratings to sell advertising. Period.)
Have you ever noticed your feelings after watching just 20 minutes of 24-7 news, or browsing certain media sites? Everything is going to pot. You’ll find negative stories on the environment, war, disease, crime, and of course … the economy. It’s sometimes almost laughable what they’ll come up with just to put out some bad news.
Everyone is selling crisis. This is true, from the media to the politicians. So stop browsing newsfeeds or watching CNN all day, refuse to participate in the circus, and instead start planning your first (or next) million. Seriously.
2) Look for the good news.
Now, I’m very careful here, because I’m aware that some of my clients and friends really are feeling the pinch, but let’s ALSO look at the bigger picture, especially in comparison to how things have been historically.
Despite fears of currency collapse in Europe, economies of certain countries reaching “breaking points” (e.g., China) and other challenges on the horizon, our nation and our global economy is nowhere near the kind of imminent collapse that people have been foreseeing for years (actually, for decades and for centuries). Do you remember what the environment was like in 2009 and all of the apocalyptic economic scenarios we faced?
The point is this: You can always find doom and gloom if you want to. So turn off your TV, shut down the social media on your phone for a while and focus on other activity. It will significantly help your inner peace.
3) Get out and do something profitable.
That may mean actually starting that exercise regime you’ve been putting off. Take up a new hobby. ANYTHING to get your mind in a more “profitable” mode. Go do it.
These steps will NOT solve the problems in your wallet, and in the economy. However, how you choose to respond to whatever comes in the subsequent months and years will affect your peace, and, actually … this WILL impact how you spend your money. Please, for your sake, tune OUT the fear, and tune IN to smart preparation.
4) Stave off fear by knowing actual numbers.
A bit self-serving? Sure, but also grounded in reality. The great problems many businesses and families face when money’s “tight” is SIGNIFICANTLY compounded by not knowing. Any number of pessimistic scenarios play out in your head.
So here’s how to fix that. Sit down with an advisor, get the real facts — and if they’re bad, you can still come up with a plan. You’ll find that laying out action steps with somebody competent changes everything. Call our office to schedule an appointment to lay out these steps with us. (718) 336-8842
Barry Picker, CPA, CFP Zesha Auerbach, CPA
Picker & Auerbach CPAs