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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25

States are increasing the pressure for a tax on online sales

by Samia S. Morgan


States are starved for tax revenue, and the solution could be taxing sales from the Internet, where cash is flush. That's the thinking in many states, Rieva Lesonsky reports, and some business groups support the move, arguing that big Internet retailers have an unfair advantage over Main Street businesses. To make the change more palatable, one bill in Congress would require states to streamline their sales-tax structure before taxing out-of-state businesses. 

Read the rest of this article by visiting Small Business Trends

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

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Revisiting the Three Rs

by Samia S. Morgan

The very essence of life is that it can change abruptly. And, clearly what happened in the real estate, mortgage, credit and stock markets in the past years falls into the “abrupt” category. In addition to the tremendous stress that it presented, the changed financial circumstances brought new choices to evaluate.

One place where it’s always safe to boldly move ahead is in the arena of planning. And, the three Rs are still relevant today. However, they’ve been changed to represent some of the key components of a personal financial strategy: Retirement, Returns and Real Estate.

  • Retirement: In the the past, many people have thought that maxing out their 401(k) plan was sufficient to fund their retirement. It’s best to reevaluate that approach and determine if that strategy will produce the expected results.
  • Returns: The returns we’ve seen this decade have been very different from the high returns of the previous two decades. Now is the time to determine what returns are expected going forward and to position one’s portfolio to achieve that. What returns are needed to generate an appropriate retirement income?
  • Real Estate: Many people in the Bay Area, have 50% of their net worth tied up in their home (real estate – including a primary residence home – is an asset class), which means they also have a 50% exposure connected to that single asset. Is there a strategy in place to manage that asset?

There are many questions to consider regarding a home purchase, a refinance decision or managing investments. A comprehensive financial plan helps to avoid actions that could negatively affect one’s overall financial situation, taxes, future wealth and retirement plans.

Opes Advisors provides integrated personal finance services encompassing stocks, bonds, real estate and real estate financing. We regularly create personalized wealth building strategies for our clients by reviewing all of their assets and liabilities, as well as their commitments and long term goals.

Having a valuable plan in place takes away the insecurity of wondering where you stand. If you, or someone you know, needs to create or update their financial strategy, please contact me.

 

Andy Block - Mortgage Advisor & Financial Advisor
Opes Advisors
Email Me

Direct: 650.931.0605
Fax: 650.931.0601

License #01096311
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 250
San Mateo, CA 94402
Fax 650.931.0601


Opes Advisors is licensed as a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is licensed as a Residential Mortgage Lender by the CA Dept of Real Estate.

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Be wary of satellite-TV offers

by Samia S. Morgan


Over the past three years, a large number of satellite-TV customers have complained to BBB about confusing contracts, exorbitant termination fees and continuing service issues. BBB recommends that customers get everything in writing, read all terms and conditions carefully, and above all, look at your bill closely each month. The Macon Telegraph (Ga.) (8/17) ,MSNBC (8/12)

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

What to do when a problem can't be solved

by Samia S. Morgan


No matter how good your innovation program, some problems simply can't be solved. Even then, though, it's possible to make the best of a bad situation: Paul Williams suggests treating intractable problems as an opportunity to reassign innovation resources to more fruitful areas. "The realization that you can't fix something can be liberating," he writes. "It frees you to focus resources on things you can change." Business-Strategy-Innovation.com

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

Bay Area Labor Day Events

by Samia S. Morgan

Labor Day is just around the corner and we are so lucky to be able to have so many fun and family friendly events around the Bay area to enjoy! There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy so make your Labor Day plans now and enjoy! 

Labor Day On The Bay

Sept. 3-5, 2010 Pier 3                                                               Hornblower Cruises & Events is offering cruises on the bay over the holiday weekend. Tickets range from $29 to $119 depending on the date and cruise option. Options include Sights & Sips, Discovery Lunch Cruise, Supper Club Cruise, Dinner Dance Cruise and Champagne Brunch Cruise.

Gourmet Walks

September 4
Departs from Justin Herman Plaza (near U.S. flagpole), foot of Market Street
On Saturday, Sept. 4,
Gourmet Walks is offering its last “Celebrity Chocolate Tour” with Chuck Siegel of San Francisco-based Charles Chocolates. Siegel will accompany the group on a downtown circuit, adding his personal insights and experience as participants taste a variety of chocolate; tour price is $49 per person and includes generous samples from seven different chocolate boutiques. Tour begins at 2 p.m.

San Francisco Zoo Wild Summer Overnight

September 4-5 One Zoo Rd., 415-753-7080      

Spend Labor Day weekend in the wild at the zoo! A deluxe family overnight at the zoo includes meetings with keepers, guided tours, outdoor camping and a hot breakfast. Children 6 years old and up; ages 6-18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost ranges from $80 per person (if registering five or more) for San Francisco Zoo Society members to $100 per person. Pre-registration, which closes on Sept. 1, 2010, is required

Labor Day Eco Tour With The Whales

September 6
Ready for a “whale of an adventure?”
S.F. Bay Whale Watching is offering its “Labor Day Eco Tour Special with the Whales” on Monday, Sept. 6 with $10 off regular fares of $125 for adult passengers and $85 for youth fares, making an all-day excursion out to the continental shelf and the Farallon Islands $115 and $75. Regular fares apply to Saturday and Sunday excursions, Sept. 4-5. Mention SFCVB and receive an additional 10 percent discount. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch and a beverage.

Golden Gate Park Band

Sept. 5-6, 2010 Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, 510-530-0814                                           Pack a picnic for Sunday’s celebration of Spanish music and dance at 1 p.m. with El Grupo de Espana. A special Labor Day concert celebrating the American worker is also planned for Monday at 1 p.m.

Songs Of Sea Labor Concert

Sept. 6, 2010 Ferryboat Eureka, Hyde Street Pier, Fisherman’s Wharf                                       Noted Connecticut sea chantey singer Rick Spencer will perform a special Labor Day concert aboard the historic 1890 ferryboat Eureka. Spencer has been a respected part of the world of maritime music for nearly 30 years, working and singing on traditional sailing vessels. A musician and songwriter, he accompanies himself on banjo, guitar and concertina. The performance is 2-3:30 p.m. Admission is included in the fee to board the fleet of historic vessels berthed at Hyde Street Pier: $5 adults, ages 15 and under are free.

/kh

Small businesses benefit from stimulus funding

by Samia S. Morgan


Despite tight credit conditions, more than 600 small businesses in San Diego County have received stimulus loans in the past 18 months. Dan Hurd used a $1.6 million Small Business Administration-backed loan to open a second restaurant and bowling alley last year, and says business is so good he's planning a third location. "I think we're a perfect example of what this program was really intended for," Hurd said.

Read more by visiting the following articles. . CNNMoney.com (8/16) , The Wall Street Journal(8/17) , Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (8/16) , The Hill/On the Money blog

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

Google exec: Rely on the truth while building trust

by Samia S. Morgan


Building trust is a challenge for any business that deals in information, mainly because people tend to be suspicious of large institutions and unfamiliar products, writes Google Chairman and Chief Executive Eric E. Schmidt. The best way to do this is by relying on transparency, because showing weakness is an easy way to endear yourself to consumers and competitors alike, he writes

Read the remainder of this article on Forbes

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

Parents - Is your childrens identity safe?

by Samia S. Morgan

Identity thieves are stealing and selling the Social Security numbers of young children, even babies, which can result in poor credit at an early age. "The only way to check this is to get a credit report on your child," said BBB's Dick Epstein.

Watch this video by visiting Clip

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

Keeping capital close to home

by Samia S. Morgan


Studies show that most outside capital for startups comes from friends and family, not banks and investors. Experts say that's because the loan terms tend to be more manageable -- even if the emotional implications are more complex.

Read the remainder of this article at The Wall Street Journal

Samia Morgan is proud to be listed with the Better Business Bureau -
BBB Accredited business since 03/01/1994

Your San Mateo Real Estate Advisor

BBB - TrustBrief - Advancing trust in the marketplace

What Today's Homebuyers Are Looking For

by Samia S. Morgan

Potential homebuyers in today's market are much more specific with their amenities list. Many are looking for efficient, sustainable materials and features for their new home. Oversized “McMansion” style living are a thing of the past and has now has given way to thoughtfully planned living areas that combine indoor and outdoor lifestyles along with energy efficiency. Below are some of the top trends that homebuyers are looking for:

  1. Green building and sustainability – from recycled materials to water wells and water collection systems, today’s home buyer is concerned with organic, sustainable features. While green building can sometimes be expensive up front, even the cost conscious know that the results may save money in the long run.
  2. Energy efficiency –buyers want energy efficient appliances and the latest in insulation techniques using spray foam and gels. Going green can not only reduce current energy costs, but energy efficient homes help with resale.
  3. Outdoor living areas – more people are staying home these days, and one of the hottest trends is outdoor living areas that create a seamless indoor to outdoor space and include living room style features. From comfortable sofas to televisions and sound systems and creative outdoor cooking areas, the right outdoor space becomes a natural extension of the interior.
  4. Main floor master suites with luxurious baths – now more than ever, home is an oasis for hardworking homeowners, and large masters on the main floor (away from kids rooms or play areas) are key to a homeowner’s satisfaction. Along with the master, buyers are interested in soaker tubs, walk-in showers with seating and dual showerheads.
  5. Home offices – more and more people find themselves telecommuting or working from home in the evenings, and space for a home office has taken priority over traditional home features like formal dining and living and even media rooms. Home buyers seek that unique space that separates work from family living areas.

Home buyers priorities have shifted to reflect changing economic times. The top trends reflect a new desire for comfort and flexible lifestyles, along with an ever growing concern for sustainability and efficiency.

 

/kh

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 25

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