Wage-tax cuts would help Philly prosper

What could put Philadelphia on a new path of growth? For the region, the Economy League’s World Class agenda has identified key priority strategies to boost growth over the long haul — supporting entrepreneurship, stoking our innovation economy, and selling our goods and services to the world. For Philadelphia, these strategies are also critical. But the city has one policy option supported by stacks and stacks of research that could put its economy on a different trajectory — lowering the wage tax.

Since its inception as a temporary tax in 1939 to tide the city over the Great Depression, the wage tax has been identified in scores of commissions and studies as the root of the city’s wealth-building challenge. By taxing people’s wages at such a high rate, Philadelphia drove away jobs and income. It’s a major reason, as Center City District data shows, that 40 percent of Philadelphia residents outside of Center City leave the city every day to go to work. The wage tax has been a significant barrier to more job creation in Philadelphia.

ARBOR OUTLOOK: Western wealth, property records and Aretha

But a book titled “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando de Soto (not the Spanish explorer buried in the Mississippi River) postulates that property ownership is more than an investment vehicle, it is the foundation of wealth creation in the West.

Massive economic growth, asserts de Soto, cannot be achieved without personal property (most often housing) that is documented by government records. Sounds simplistic, right? I mean, whose house and/or property aren’t listed on a county website?

It’s hard to imagine, but a significant part of the world lives in undocumented housing. In developing nations, land or property ownership often cannot be easily ascertained and frequently no official government records exist at all. Even when property records exist, many are not updated or accurate enough to be functionally useful. Squatters sit on properties that are listed as owned by others. This situation permeates Central and Latin America, Africa and large swathes of Southeast Asia. De Soto contends that this is the primary hurdle to wealth building, as well as the essential reason the West is wealthier than “the rest.”

When you tie someone to an address, someone who owns the property or legally resides there, they can engage on a much deeper economic level than those who have no legal residence. And it’s not because the property-less people of the world are lazy; it’s that property gives folks the ability to generate additional capital.

“The poor inhabitants of these nations…do have things, but they lack the process to represent their property and create capital,” says de Soto. “They have houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation…”

Documented property and home ownership allows us to borrow money, to start businesses, and to inject capital into the economy. Without property or home ownership or the capacity to procure a title to a property we own, our economy would be severely impacted. The red tape and taxes and fees (who hasn’t recoiled at the word “doc stamps” when purchasing a home) associated with property and home ownership are significant, but we are offered tremendous opportunities for wealth accumulation through official documentation.

As de Soto said, “This is the mystery of capital … Westerners, by representing assets with titles, are able to see and draw out capital from them.” A person’s home is his castle, but it is also his capital.

Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC, AIF, author of the syndicated economic column “Arbor Outlook,” is the founder of Arbor Wealth Management, LLC, (850-608-6121 — www.arborwealth.net), a “fee-only” registered investment advisory firm located near Sandestin.

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There’s a very good reason why we cover stocks so extensively here at Wall Street Daily.

The stock market represents the single best way for investors to build wealth.

As you know, we focus our efforts on uncovering the market’s most innovative and disruptive small-cap companies — primarily in the tech space.

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Not by a little, but by a whole lot…

According to data crunched by famed economists Eugene Fama and Kenneth French, dividend-paying issues have beaten out nonpayers by as much as 1.9% on a total return basis over the last 90 years.

Heck, Warren Buffett — one of the greatest investors of all time — will hardly look at a stock that doesn’t pay a dividend.

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Ahead of the tape,

Louis Basenese
Chief Investment Strategist, Wall Street Daily

Stiletto Society hosts Ignite Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Those seeking new opportunities and getting their business startups off the ground came together this morning.

Ignite Savannah is a seminar hosted by the stiletto society. the focus this morning was channeling business growth for entrepreneurs all around Savannah. The program featured inspirational speakers who talked financial independence, wealth building, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

“Not just launching my website, not just selling a t shirt, not that kind of stuff I am talking about making a global impact. You could have a major multi million dollar, multi billion dollar company and that’s what today is about,” says Sarita Pittman, founder of Stiletto Society.

Alert: This Multi-Millionaire Reveals His Top 3 Wealth-Building Tips

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with David, who very quietly amassed a fortune of several million dollars before his 55th birthday.

There’s nothing remarkable about David. Both he and his wife had very regular careers. David leveraged a summer jobinside a packaged-foods plant into a sales rep position — a position he held for 30 years. His wife, Tammy, taught first grade at a local public school. They raised two boys and put them both through university.

Yet David was able to accomplish something many of us can only dream about. He and his wife accumulated more than $3…

America Ranked Near the Bottom — Again — In Wealth Inequality

The stark earnings gap between Black and white Americans also is a growing problem in the US, with the disparities widening year by year. A study from theInstitute of Women’s Policy Research in 2016 showed that Black Americans and Latinos (both male and female) lagged behind in weekly wage earnings compared to their counterparts. For instance, Black and Hispanic workers had their weekly wages decrease in 2015, while workers of other races saw their weekly earnings nearly double.

When comparing Black and white economic wealth, study after study has shown that Black Americans fall behind in this area as well because they simply don’t earn as much. In 2016, researchersfrom the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Institute for Policy Studies examined the growing racial wealth gap and found that it would take the average Black family a lengthy 228 years just to accrue the wealth of today’s average white family. That’s because, over the past 30 years, the wealth of white families ballooned 84 percent — three times the rate of economic growth for Black households.

Institutional racism has played a role in the widening disparity, as researchers highlighted the wealth-building policies that have consistently given white families financial advantages over Black ones. Such policies have exacerbated America’s poor distribution of wealth and have further slowed the upward mobility of African-Americans on the economic ladder.

“If the past 30 years were to repeat, the next three decades would see the average wealth of White households increase by over $18,000 per year, while Latino and Black households would see their respective wealth increase by about $2,250 and $750 per year,” the study read.

Recognising our limiting beliefs

This weekend I played my first game of Monopoly. I realise this may be met with the same incredulity as when I admitted I only recently learnt how to ride a bike!

I did not have a deprived childhood, just poor co-ordination. My aversion to Monopoly, however …

I remember it vividly, although I could only have been about five. My sister and her friends, all ten-year-olds, were playing the board game on the living room floor. I wanted in.

I’m not sure if they tried explaining the rules or just said it was too complicated for me, that I wouldn’t understand: it was about money, wealth and mortgages. Grown-up stuff and I was too little.

My mature response to this was to stomp all over the board, sending the little red and green buildings and silver trinkets flying. And, I haven’t played since, firmly believing the game boring and beyond me.

Until now.

My nine-year old asked me to play. My response: “No way, that’s a really hard game! I don’t even know how.”

I got an odd look. “I’ve played it before, mom. It’s really fun … I can teach you.”

Not wanting to be outdone by a fourth-grader, we set it up; apportioned the cash. I was the Top Hat. I poured over the directions trying to figure it all out: buying lots, charging rent, mortgaging.

Just reading the game rules I noticed the same anxiety building as when my bank statements arrive, which often remain unopened. The truth is, I find dealing with money matters a little bit scary. There’s a nagging sense that I do not understand money, it’s too complex, so I’d just rather not engage.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind author, T. Harv Eker, suggests there are four different Money Personalities: The Hoarder, The Spender, The Avoider, The Money Monk, and that we are all either one or a mixture of these. (https://www.srpl.net/there-are-4-money-personalities-whats-yours/) Guess which one I am?

His book theorises that we each have an inner financial blueprint, a “preset programme or way of being in relation to money”. Our blueprint is based on the messages we received as a child, from parents, teachers, media, siblings: the verbal messages, by modelling what we saw, and from experiencing specific incidents.

Children are impressionable little sponges soaking up all the information around them. How they process it and the meanings they make from it, however, can often be other than intended. Skewed meanings can become fixed and form the belief system by which that person continues to view themselves and the world around them, for life.

Could it be I created my relationship with money based on a board game and a tantrum? I laughed to see so many of my real-life “patterns” at play in the game: fear of not having enough, using “hope” as a strategy, “getting by” rather than proactively wealth-building, looking forward to Passing Go and Payday.

Consciously, I know managing finances is not that hard. Plenty of people do it. Self-sabotage, however, comes when deeply rooted feelings rear up and we act on them: especially fear. Fear that I am not grown up enough to handle money and I will not understand it.

Recognising our limiting beliefs is like a “get out of jail free” card. It’s the first step in addressing them and creating new and empowering beliefs that are truer and more useful for us now. What do you believe about yourself that might be holding you back? Why not get some coaching to better set yourself up for success.

o Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441)705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.lt;;/igt;

Local investment company fined $70000

A local investment company has been ordered to pay $70,000 in fines and penalties for failing to properly supervise one of its past advisers.

Professional Investments, which has been headquartered in Kingston since 1984 and has five other locations between Belleville and Ottawa, faces the penalties from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA). The settlement hearing was released publicly on Friday. It states Professional Investments failed to supervise Patrick Caicco, who admitted in a statement of agreed facts and to the Whig-Standard to engaging in securities outside of a MFDA member.

Between May 12, 2009, and March 12, 2010, Caicco was registered as a mutual fund salesperson with Professional Investments based in Ottawa. Without initially notifying or asking permission from the local company, Caicco incorporated Advantage Wealth Building Strategies Inc. to carry out wealth coaching and wealth planning services, reads a November 2015 MFDA case summary.

Caicco said on Thursday that, at the time, he was moving out of the mutual fund game and into alternative investments. One of those investments was The Skyline Real Estate Investment Trust, between March 2008 and May 2010. Caicco referred 21 people, four of whom were clients of Professional investments, to invest a combined $1,343,449. Caicco collected one per cent in referral fees from Skyline. Caicco said that the Skyline investment was a success and that some of his clients have doubled their investments.

Things went south in 2009 when Caicco started to work with the Assaly Group. Caicco recommended that 21 people, including five Professional Investments clients, invest a combined $1,838,000 in the Assaly Groups Natures Walk Gated Community and one person to invest $171,000 in Villa Montague. Natures Walk was going to be a gated community and golf course in North Grenville while Villa Montague was a real estate investment pool to redevelop an existing retirement residence located in Smith Falls.

Investors were initially receiving returns on this investments but they suddenly stopped in February 2011. Suing The Assaly Group, the court process revealed the two projects were hopelessly insolvent and in stages of abandonment. The settlement from MFDA says there is no reasonable prospect that investors will recover the full amount of their investments.

For his actions, Caicco was banned from the MFDA and from ever working in the mutual fund business. He was also fined $50,000 and ordered to pay $5,000 in proceedings costs. Caicco said on Thursday he likely wont pay the penalties.

I havent paid the fine and probably never will because I dont have the money to pay it, Caicco said.

While Caicco didnt invest in the Assaly ventures and made three per cent in referral fees, he said he went bankrupt going after The Assaly Group.

I spent a whole year trying to fight Assaly with the lawyers, because I wanted to get them, so I didnt work for a year, lost probably $100,000 of income, and I get bankrupt and I lost all my assets, Caicco said. If [Assaly] hadnt defaulted, MFDA wouldnt have found out and I wouldnt have had to go bankrupt and my clients wouldnt have lost money.

His default set a cascading effect right across the board.

Caicco said one of the advisers at Professional Investments knew he was working in a grey area because he was transferring his mutual fund clients to him. MFDA and Professional Investments agree in the settlement that when they found out about Caiccos actions, they didnt initially report it to the MFDA. Caicco said Professional Investments had eventually suggested that he resign from the company.

Because Professional Investments wasnt adequately supervising Caicco and it failed to report to the MFDA that Caicco was working outside its domain, panelists Martin Friedland and Guenther Kleberg fined Professional Investments $60,000 and $10,000 in proceedings costs.

This is not the first time Professional Investments has been penalized by the MFDA. In December 2008, the company entered a settlement with MFDA that stated it did not establish, implement and maintain two-tier compliance structure. A compliance structure ensures investments are right for the individual investor. Investments must be approved by a manager and the companys head office.

Professional Investments was fined $10,000, was ordered to pay the $2,500 for the costs of the MFDA disciplinary proceedings, and was ordered to retain KPMG Inc. to help set up and monitor the compliance structure.

Caicco now works in mortgage investments with FMP Mortgage Investments Inc. but would like to expand further into the food services industry.

scrosier@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/StephattheWhig