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Are You Getting the Benefit of Low Natural Gas Rates?

Here’s a D-E-A-L for oXYGen Financial Clients and Your Smart Money Moves Readers By Kevin Greiner President & CEO, Gas South It’s the end of summer, and that means back-to-school activities, football season, and…making sure you’re on a favorable natural gas plan!  Yes, it’s time to get your household ready for the winter months, when you use higher quantities of natural gas. The good news: natural gas rates remain low in Georgia’s competitive market. Since the commodity bubble burst in 2008, natural gas prices have come down and stayed low for the most part.  A big reason is the supply revolution created by hydraulic fracturing (aka, “fracking”) — the process by which natural gas is produced in prodigious quantities from shale formations located throughout the US. It’s meant huge increases in production from places like Pennsylvania and North Dakota, not traditionally considered as being energy-producing states. The US is now the largest producer of natural gas in the world, and ...

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The Drug Of Buying ‘Stuff’

The weather is warm and in the United States we are about to start enjoying some of the national pastimes of our country.   We love things like baseball, apple pie, the 4th of July, and grilling out in our backyards.    Oh yeah, and we also LOVE spending money.    In recent years, I’ve noticed that spending is more than just making a purchase here and there.  It’s almost a ‘crack’ like addiction, whether you wait for that Amazon package at the door or to take a photo of your tricked out new ride to post up on Facebook.   Like it or not, many Americans are addicted to the drug of buying ‘stuff’.    Why is this and how can you get your patterns changed on the home front? It seems pretty apparent that ease of access to drugs can make a user want more of them.  In our spending patterns, the ease of credit, access to our cash, and online transactions with ...

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Is It Time To Rent A Friend?

Sometimes I wonder whether the internet is a good thing or a bad thing.   When it comes to making smart money moves, the internet has opened up a realm of possibilities making it easy for people to buy, rent, barter, or sell their goods on the internet to almost anyone anywhere in the world.  I hear people comment sometimes that they think the internet can be creepy with all of the social media and access people have to personal information at the touch of their fingertips. With websites like eBay and Craigslist, the buying and selling of goods became painfully easy.  You really only need a decent digital camera and some imagination to get people excited about the piece of merchandise you are selling, and you can make money on just about anything in a short period of time.   However, we quickly realized that people on Craigslist may have opened an invitation to sell other things that the website wasn’t ...

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Should You Sell Your Business Now?

If you have owned a business for a long period of time and were considering selling, 2012 may be year for you find a buyer to take over your shop.   The Presidential election and many open tax patches/increases loom on the horizon in 2013 which could alter tax rates substantially.   2012 could actually prove to be a much more a favorable year to play let’s make a deal for your business.  Here are four reasons to consider selling your business now. 1.) Historically low capital gain rates –   Currently, we have long term capital gain rate of 15% on most items.    It has been very uncertain where this rate will head in 2012, but 20% at a minimum has been the number thrown about over the past year.    If that occurs in 2013, it will represent a 33.33% increase in your capital gains tax.   The Government will spin it as if it is only a 5% increase, but in really ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – What Kind Of Term Insurance To Buy?

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    This week I wanted to discuss what kind of term insurance to buy. One of the questions I’m getting a lot from Gen X’ers as of late (especially those recently married in their late 30’s/early 40’s is around buying term life insurance.   Many people seem to be confused around their options and how they can buy the protection.   Before you purchase life insurance, make sure ...

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Pay As You Drive Car Insurance: A Good Idea?

Every six months you get a bill in the mail from your auto insurance company.   After your eyes glaze over 12 stapled pages of different line items of coverage and boiler plate language, you get all the way to the bottom to see your semi-annual premium.    Maybe if you are a really good driver according to the insurance company, you’ll get some sort of good driver discount which nobody can explain the math behind anyway.   Or, you can reduce your premium by buying more insurance through your auto carrier like your home insurance.   So you start to wonder . . . should there be a better way to come up with the correct premium on your auto insurance? Let’s face it, two people could each drive 5,000 miles during the year.   One person racked up their miles by sifting through the morning traffic to and from school dropping off and picking up their kids every day.  Bumper to bumper, they ...

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Personal Finance 101 – How To Value Your Business

One of the trickiest details of a good Buy-Sell Agreement is determining the purchase price to be paid for a departing owner’s interest in the business.  Most Buy-Sell Agreements create a formula to estimate the business’s actual “fair market value” and then derive a purchase price for an owner’s pro-rata share of the business.  Sometimes the Buy-Sell Agreement requires the business to be appraised by an independent qualified appraiser with special certifications.  Whether there is a formula in the agreement or an appraiser will be involved, the goal is identifying “fair market value” of the business and the interest to be transferred.  “Fair market value” is often defined as the price that would be paid between willing and independent buyers and sellers, assuming neither is being forced to buy or sell and both have good knowledge of the facts.  If a minority owner’s interest is being acquired or there are restrictions on subsequent transfers of an ownership interest (e.g. in ...

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