Passionate Pursuit of Purpose

Doing your taxes is as easy as managing your fantasy football team?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Perfect questions, Personal Finance | 4 comments

Doing your taxes is as easy as managing your fantasy football team?

1040One of the DIY tax programs describes doing your own taxes “as easy as managing your Fantasy football team.”  This may or may not be true depending on 3 factors:

1.    How good of a Fantasy Manager are you?

2.    How complicated your Tax situation is?

3.    How much time you plan on investing in your tax education?

How good are you?

I play in 3 fantasy leagues and I am a mediocre manager.  I spend probably 1 to 2 hours per week during the season reading news.  Then I listen to sports radio and watch 3 to 5 games each week.

During the 15 week season, I spend about 12 hours each week on football related education.  Not including listening to sports radio while driving.  I suspect the better managers spend even more time.  And the worst, ignore their teams, have guys on byes in the starting roster and finish last, and probably spend almost no time.

It is probably not a linear relationship and there is a lot of luck.  However, the more time you spend the greater your chances of winning your league.

How Complex are your taxes?

If you have no kids, don’t own your home, and your only income is from a w-2 job… File your own.  Your difficulty level does compare to “installing a light bulb, or being a bad fantasy manager.”  Easy peazy!

It is amazing how often smart people miss things deductions on their tax return.  Or deduct things that could get them in hot water with the IRS.   Just because you are smart at your specialty, doesn’t mean you will prepare your taxes correctly.  It seems our government enjoys changing the tax rules and adding lots of new ones.

How much time are you going to spend learning about taxes?

I spend about 180 hours per year on my football education.  Thanks to that I am a mediocre fantasy manager.  I spend around 1500 hours each year learning and preparing taxes.  I am a very good preparer, and constantly getting better.  Let a professional’s experience work for you.

Yes I know this article may seem self-serving, and it is because I want to serve you.  I want your taxes done correctly.  I want to see you become wealthier each year.

Last year over 55% of my clients paid less than $95 to have a professional prepare their taxes.  Let me help you file your return with confidence.   Learn more about my tax preparation services here!

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The Looming Bitcoin collapse

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Perfect questions, Personal Finance | 0 comments

The Looming Bitcoin collapse

“Bitcoin is the currency of the future.”  “The first first ever fully decentralised payment network on the planet (and still the strongest), moving billions of dollars of value every day with no fees.”  “There has never been anything like this before.”  This is the rhetoric of Bitcoin evangelists. Is it true?

Are these worth a years salary?

Are these worth a years salary?

I remember hearing about “the new economy” and how internet companies would change the world and make investor rich (Dot com bubble).  In the 1630’s, one tulip bulb in Holland became worth an entire years earning for a wealthy merchant.  Human history is littered with obscene and unrealistic valuations for various currencies, commodities, or securities.

Money is a tool used to simplify a transaction between 2 or more parties.  It is a recognized store of value.   It can have intrinsic value such as Gold or silver, or it can be a fiat currency.  Almost all currencies today are Fiat currency and are backed by a government that has a vested interest in the long term value of that currency.  Bitcoin has none of this (read what Alan Greenspan thinks here).

Fiat currencies usually deflate in value over time, (causing inflation in the prices to purchase goods and services with those currencies).  Slow, controlled, and consistent inflation over time has some economic advantages.  However, sometimes currencies depreciate rapidly causing hyperinflation.

Zimbabwe $100,000,000,000,000 Now worth nothing.

Zimbabwe $100,000,000,000,000 Now worth nothing.

Hyperinflation is a very real risk of Fiat currencies. In Zimbabwe everyone was trillionaires.  Although now those trillion dollar notes are worth nothing (except as a collector item).  Zimbabwe no longer has its own currency, it uses U.S. Dollars.  (Currencies that went to zero)

Bitcoin is a virtual fiat currency.  There is a growing group of people who use it as money.  Some vendors are even beginning to accept it as payment for goods and services.   The value of a bitcoin has exploded over the last few months and seems to be growing at an accelerating rate.

  • Why is this happening?

  • Why do people feel the need to use this currency?

Markets are driven by 5 things: 3 are actual and 2 are perceived:

  1. Supply: how much of the product is available.
  2. Demand: How much people want of a product
  3. Price: impacts demand and how much is supplied
  4. Fear:  people hate to lose what they have.
  5. Greed:  People want to make money without having to invest something in return.

What is driving Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is being driven by fear and greed.  The interesting thing is fear and greed are both driving the price up.
Some people buy Bitcoin because they fear their national currency (or several national currencies) will become worthless.  Which is a valid fear based on the national debt loads of several western nations.

Is Bitcoin the right investment if you fear your national currency becoming worthless?

Some are buying it to make money because it is the wave of the future.  Some believe the price will go up for a long time as everyone converts to it.  They want to buy early and become a Bitcoin millionaire.

Why the bubble will burst?

It has no intrinsic value.  You can’t eat it or use it to produce something.  It is not regulated and backed by a government that regulates the creation of the currency.

When the factory workers and the school teachers start buying them; I could see the value of a Bitcoin reaching $50,000.   Everyone will tell me how wrong I am.

Then…  History will repeat itself.  The Bitcoin will disappear except for case studies and history books.  It will be of no value.  But do not fear, in the day and age of the worldwide marketplace… another bubble shall take its place.  That bubble will be driven by fear and greed too.

Are you buying Bitcoins?

 

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Create your Personal Vision and Mission Statement

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny, Leadership, Personal Finance | 0 comments

Create your Personal Vision and Mission Statement

What is a vision statement?

Your vision statement is the flowery, abstract, concepts and goals you want to see happen in your life or business.  It is the dream. I will use poeticrevival.com’s vision statement as an example.  Poetic Revival is a faith based poetry site and their vision statement is:

“To see the Glory of God spread like a wildfire over drought stricken land; where the heat from fiery flames awaken dormant seeds, to grow with new life from the ashes.”

This vision statement paints a picture; you can see a raging wildfire exploding across the forest.  The fire turns the thick forest into a black smoldering wasteland scene.  Then we see the green shoots of new life begin to grow from the ashes of the seeming wasteland.Dream big enough

It is a great picture, that gives us a vision of what Poetic Revival wants to happen in the world… but it doesn’t tell us how we are going to accomplish our vision.

What is a mission statement?

A Mission statement tells the actions you will take and the tools you will use to accomplish your vision. It expresses the “what” and the “how” you will utilize to see the dream happen.  Once again let us look at Poetic Revival and their mission statement.

“Bring Revival through spoken word, poetry, verse.  Using web, print, audio, and visual avenues to expand minds, encourage hearts and inspire change.”

  • What they are bringing:   “Revival through spoken word, poetry, verse.”
  • How they will deliver it:   “Using web, print, audio, and visual avenues”

How to create your vision statements:

Picture your funeral… see each group of people that is in your life.   Your spouse, your family, your co-workers, your church, your communities, your customers….  What did you do with your limited time on Earth?

  1. What do you want each of those groups to say about you?
  2. What mark do you want to leave on this world when you are gone?
  3. How are you going to make the world a better place?

In your answers to these questions you will begin to find your vision.

Creating your mission statement:

Evaluate the following three areas:

  1. Skills and talents (what are you good at?)
  2. Opportunities (who do you know, where do you have credibility, what can you do?)
  3. Passions (what gets your motor running, what you love doing?)

The collision of these 3 areas is where your current mission should be focused.   If you are there it is time to create a plan to move to those areas.   That is where you will most likely find your most success. 

Your current mission is not a forever thing.  As you move up your mountain of success you may see other opportunities open, develop new skills, or find new passions to purse.  Then you should revisit your vision and mission. 

Do you want help developing vision and mission statements then create a plan to pursue?  I am here to walk you through the process of find your mountain of success.  Fill out the form below to find out more and jump-start your life with life coaching!

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