Archive for October, 2018

Why Taxes Should Have You Re Thinking Your Retirement Strategy}

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Submitted by: Robert T. Boyer, Ph.D.

Have you given any thought to funding your retirement? If you are like most Americans, you have received plenty of advice from well-meaning co-workers and possibly even financial professionals, but you have done little to start saving. Times and the rules have changed; now you should consider yourself entirely responsible for your retirement. It is not only time to begin acting on your retirement strategies, but to understand the critical role that taxes play and why you should perhaps re-think your strategies entirely.

Like all laws, the tax codes are used to promote public policy. Giving tax breaks to certain classes of income encourage the actions that generate those types of income. E.g., 1031 tax deferred exchanges encourage continued investments in real estate while short-term capital gains discourages churning investment portfolios.

Despite a thorough understanding of the value of diversification and asset allocation, unfortunately, many advisors fail to consider the tax ramifications of the savings and, later, the retirement distribution options. Tax planning can easily make 5-8 years, or more, difference in how long your retirement dollars will last. You need to consider both the income classification (e.g., earned, passive, etc.) and the tax rate.

The income classification matters because different classifications provide for tax deductions. E.g., you could receive $200,000 per year in passive income, but match it with $200,000 or more in passive (paper) losses such that you have zero net taxes. But, $200,000 in earned income cannot so easily be offset.

Although there are specific tax rates for given income classifications, the remainder falls into the graduated tax brackets of our current system. This means you fill up a lower tax bracket until it overflows and your next dollars are taxed at a higher rate, and so on. This is crucial when receiving your retirement distributions, because each additional dollar coming from a taxable account costs more to receive, yet must be traded-off against the growth of tax-free accounts.

When you retire, you should have options for income streams. You may want to withdraw from your 401(k), up to a given tax bracket, then pull from your tax-free bucket to top up your income to the amount needed for the year. And, your real estate strategies can be favorable if you actively manage your depreciation and cash flow to get a tax neutral or beneficial position.

A sound retirement strategy ought to have both certainty and flexibility. You should be certain as to a minimum amount of income you are guaranteed, regardless of market conditions or tax code changes. You also need flexibility in order to be able to adjust your distributions based on market conditions and your tax situation for that year.

As you can see, there is more to retirement planning than contributing to your IRA and watching it grow. In fact, you can easily over-fund your IRA when contributions would be better positioned in an alternative type of retirement vehicle. Whether you have started saving, or are one of the many Americans who have thought about it, but done nothing, it is time to begin re-thinking your retirement strategies.

About the Author: Robert T. Boyer, Ph.D., VP of

San Diegos Finest Real Estate

and Ryan Ponsford, VP of

Crosswind Strategies

collaborate with other professional advisors to perform comprehensive, collaborative, integrated financial planning. Their collaborative approach benefits from a synergy of specialties to provide the best planning solution for their clients.


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2008 YODEX Review: Varied competitions, Vast creations

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Monday, May 26, 2008

The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition 2008, recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations, recently ended Sunday May 18. It was held at the Taipei World Trade Center. Improvements and expansions were seen with 107 academical and industrial units. Different design competitions participated and showcased their products and also received awards.

It’s no doubt that companies related to design and cultural industries want to discover creative talents from academical units in this exhibition. However, most companies still try to showcase different conceptional and applicative products in order to promote Taiwan’s designs into the world market. A typical example is Fora Series, a photo-voltaic product series by the Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group.

Before entering into their careers, students participated in this show and showcased varied styles that differ from the usual industrial businesspeople. To get more opportunities and in order to interact with the design and cultural industries, students also participated in vast competitions and tried to get the top places. Some students also tried to design conceptional products in conjunction with industrial designs, especially in some design competitions.

In summary, not only did the 2008 YODEX, have companies which can discover talents and showcase achievements of industrial design in the exhibition, but students can make their stages to showcase excellences from their creations in several competitions related to YODEX.

Runaway train causes chaos on London Underground

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Monday, August 16, 2010

A London Underground engineering train ran away and travelled four miles on the Underground’s Northern Line early on Friday morning, resulting in part of the Northern Line, which carries 500,000 passengers daily, being closed for much of the day. The runaway train apparently had an engineering defect.

The London Underground, also known as the Tube, reported that the engineering train had been working on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line when it broke down at 5.25 a.m. BST (0425 UTC). It was attached to an out-of-service passenger train to be dragged northwards when, for reasons which are being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, it broke free near Archway station at 6.44 a.m. and started rolling southwards. The train ran through six stations before it was finally brought to a halt by a slight incline in the track at Warren Street at 6.57 a.m.

Passenger Tom Redfern, on the preceding train at Archway, described what happened to the BBC: “As soon as we pulled away the driver came on the tannoy and said, ‘There is an emergency, will everyone move towards the front of the train’. There was a ripple of panic. I went from half asleep to a big adrenaline rush. I thought, ‘Is this it?'”

The passenger train was rerouted onto the City Branch of the Northern Line, and bypassed all stations until Moorgate in an attempt to keep ahead of the runaway, while the runaway was routed down the Charing Cross Branch.

Mr Redfern said: “We went full speed. We knew the situation was dangerous because we were going fast. Even by the driver’s voice, we could tell it was serious.”

London Underground director Richard Parry said that at no time was the runaway closer than 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) to a passenger train. Service was suspended between Finchley Central and Archway, and between Camden Town and Kennington via Charing Cross, while investigations into the cause of the runaway took place.

Founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma talks about e-commerce in Taiwan

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Following the success of “Chinatrust Global Leaders Forum” in 2005, Chinatrust Commercial Bank (CTCB), the forum organizer, invited Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, to give the main address on the subject of “Cross-Strait e-Commerce Development” yesterday.

“We (CTCB) held this forum originally with a speech-style type, and hoped participants absorb good experiences from some world-class notabilities. At the first holding, we invited Dr. Edward Prescott forecasting the future of global economics and this invitation was finally respected by financial people in Taiwan. With trendy transformations and global popularization of the Internet in the presence, we finally decided to invite Jack Ma to share experiences from his successful management theory.” Jeffery Koo (Chairman of CTCB) remarked at the opening.

With Alibaba Group now entered into the Hong Kong market, Ma sees a bright future with partners’ cooperation. He said: “A successful company is decided by flexible wisdoms more than its scale.” Those words echoed some of the quotes he used in his speech at the forum: “Rich is a sum by team collaborations and accumulating several experiences but not money. Several valuable things can’t buy with money. A company should have a long-term consideration and planning to meet success with creative, better, and different products and services.”

He not only taught some strategies but also cited Chinese stories on Three Kingdoms and Tang Dynasty to point out key factors (visions, ambitions, bosoms, and actual strengths) which determine the success or failure of a company leader.

BDSM as business: An interview with the owners of a dungeon

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Torture proliferates American headlines today: whether its use is defensible in certain contexts and the morality of the practice. Wikinews reporter David Shankbone was curious about torture in American popular culture. This is the first of a two part series examining the BDSM business. This interview focuses on the owners of a dungeon, what they charge, what the clients are like and how they handle their needs.

When Shankbone rings the bell of “HC & Co.” he has no idea what to expect. A BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism) dungeon is a legal enterprise in New York City, and there are more than a few businesses that cater to a clientèle that wants an enema, a spanking, to be dressed like a baby or to wear women’s clothing. Shankbone went to find out what these businesses are like, who runs them, who works at them, and who frequents them. He spent three hours one night in what is considered one of the more upscale establishments in Manhattan, Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, where according to The Village Voice, “you can take your girlfriend or wife, and have them treated with respect—unless they hope to be treated with something other than respect!”

When Shankbone arrived on the sixth floor of a midtown office building, the elevator opened up to a hallway where a smiling Rebecca greeted him. She is a beautiful forty-ish Long Island mother of three who is dressed in smart black pants and a black turtleneck that reaches up to her blond-streaked hair pulled back in a bushy ponytail. “Are you David Shankbone? We’re so excited to meet you!” she says, and leads him down the hall to a living room area with a sofa, a television playing an action-thriller, an open supply cabinet stocked with enema kits, and her husband Bill sitting at the computer trying to find where the re-release of Blade Runner is playing at the local theater. “I don’t like that movie,” says Rebecca.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came at the end of the night when Shankbone was waiting to be escorted out (to avoid running into a client). Rebecca came into the room and sat on the sofa. “You know, a lot of people out there would like to see me burn for what I do,” she says. Rebecca is a woman who has faced challenges in her life, and dealt with them the best she could given her circumstances. She sees herself as providing a service to people who have needs, no matter how debauched the outside world deems them. They sat talking mutual challenges they have faced and politics (she’s supporting Hillary); Rebecca reflected upon the irony that many of the people who supported the torture at Abu Ghraib would want her closed down. It was in this conversation that Shankbone saw that humanity can be found anywhere, including in places that appear on the surface to cater to the inhumanity some people in our society feel towards themselves, or others.

“The best way to describe it,” says Bill, “is if you had a kink, and you had a wife and you had two kids, and every time you had sex with your wife it just didn’t hit the nail on the head. What would you do about it? How would you handle it? You might go through life feeling unfulfilled. Or you might say, ‘No, my kink is I really need to dress in women’s clothing.’ We’re that outlet. We’re not the evil devil out here, plucking people off the street, keeping them chained up for days on end.”

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Bill & Rebecca, owners of Rebecca’s Hidden Chamber, a BDSM dungeon.


  • 1 Meet Bill & Rebecca, owners of a BDSM dungeon
    • 1.1 Their home life
  • 2 Operating the business
    • 2.1 The costs
    • 2.2 Hiring employees
    • 2.3 The prices
  • 3 The clients
    • 3.1 What happens when a client walks through the door
    • 3.2 Motivations of the clients
    • 3.3 Typical requests
    • 3.4 What is not typical
  • 4 The environment
    • 4.1 Is an S&M dungeon dangerous?
    • 4.2 On S&M burnout
  • 5 Criticism of BDSM
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Sources

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

DaimlerChrysler plans to cut 13,000 jobs

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

International car company DaimlerChrysler announced today it would cut 13,000 jobs in North America. It could part ways with the loss-making business.

It also plans to cut two Chrysler plants in an attempt to make Chrysler business profitable by 2008.

About 9,000 production jobs will be cut in the U.S., 2,000 production jobs in Canada, and 2,000 salaried jobs.

“It’s hard to say if it’s enough … but the stock is reacting nicely, which is further verification that this is a favorable restructuring move and a much-needed one at Chrysler,” said chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, Tim Ghriskey.

Following some speculation that the companies Daimler-Benz (Mercedes-Benz) and Chrysler, which merged together in 1998 to make DaimlerChrysler, would split, chairman Dieter Zetsche denied allegations.

“We do not exclude any option in order to find the best solution for both the Chrysler Group and DaimlerChrysler.”

Animal Hospitals In Mesa Az Make Your Pet Their Top Priority

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

byAlma Abell

Animal Hospitals in Mesa AZ work to make your pet their top priority not just for one appointment, but over the lifespan of your pet. To serve these ends, the veterinary staff works with pet owners to make sure they understand what is important for each pet from a health standpoint. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians and the entire staff welcome questions from vet owners for this reason. It allows them to understand what may be troubling an animal from the viewpoint of those who live with them and love them the most.

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Animal Hospitals have evolved over the past few decades to offer services akin to those offered to human adults and children. Veterinarians have an opportunity to work with animals from their earliest days as a puppy or kitten, through the time their senior years are well underway. In particular, the fact that so many pets reach their senior years is due to the increased knowledge of pet medicine, better nutrition and Preventative Vaccines.

A visit to a website like is a good way to learn more about how each owner can provide for the health of their pet. There is even a “pet portal” where pet owners can check on their pet’s information and ask questions of the staff online. It also serves as a reminder to pet owners of when routine appointments are due and when one needs to come into the office for tests and more complicated treatments.

Animal Hospitals in Mesa AZ area work with pet owners in other ways as well. They provide boarding facilities that come in handy during the holidays or when one’s vacation has been scheduled. Unlike a pet that has been left alone in one’s home, a pet that is boarded is less likely to be bored or create havoc. Unlike a situation where a pet is walked or played with only once a day, an animal that is boarded can be tended to by the staff several times during the day. As well, with experienced staff members at the helm a pet can be fed a special diet or receive their medications without fear or delay.

Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Yesterday, UK singer Ed Sheeran won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for his song Thinking Out Loud from his album Ă— ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright; Wiz Khalifa’s, featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again; Little Big Town’s Girl Crush; and Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. Girl Crush won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Welsh singer Amy Wadge co-wrote the song. Sheeran during the ceremony said they wrote the song on a couch in his house. In remarks to the Western Mail, Wadge said the album was already complete when they wrote the song.

Thinking out Loud remained #2 on Billboard Hot 100 for almost two months, and topped the UK rankings last year. Its video song has 969 Million YouTube views and has more than four million likes. The song also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.

US singer Stevie Wonder announced the winner for the Song of the Year, and the envelope was written in Braille script. He joked about it saying “You can’t read it, you can’t read Braille!”

Along with Ed Sheeran’s first Grammy, Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber won Grammy awards for the first time.

Dresden city council wants DNA matching for doggy-doo

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Councillors at Dresden City Council in Germany would like to match doggy-doo left by pets on the sidewalk and in parks, against a DNA database storing profiles for all of the city’s 12,000 registered dogs. Karl Jobig, a Christian Democrat politician in Dresden, was surprised when his proposal received a majority vote.

“In this way, Dresden will once again be one of the cleanest cities in Germany,” Roland Putzger, the leader of the local council, told The Guardian.

DNA from registered dogs would be collected from blood or saliva for the “genetic fingerprinting” service.

Saxony’s data protection commissioner, Andreas Schurig, ruled that dogs had no rights over their data and could not object to the compulsory tests.

The proposal will be binding if the council passes it by majority vote in May.