How Family Dollars Can Make More Cents
December, 2012 - Issue #98
Is your business prepared for a natural or man-made disaster? Create a plan with this tips, plus learn a new way of thinking about bankruptcy.

"Giving Back" has its Rewards
Millions of Americans choose to "give back" to their communities by making donations to their favorite charities each year. Qualifying organizations are those that have been granted tax-exempt charity status by the IRS and include churches, religious organizations and various organizations that promote education, health and other social services to benefit the general public.

While gifts of cash are probably the most common type of gift, many individuals find that it is beneficial to make charitable gifts in other ways. When determining a charitable-gifting strategy, it's important to keep in mind that there are annual limits on the amount you can claim as a charitable deduction for tax purposes, depending on the types of charities you donate to and the type of assets gifted.

To help you determine what giving alternatives may be a good fit for your personal financial and overall tax situation, talk with your Financial Advisor and tax/legal professionals for guidance in initiating a charitable-giving strategy.
Janelle M. Koester, Financial Advisor of The Shipper/Koester Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. 818-226-1480
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Preparedness Planning for your Business
Whether natural, human-caused or technology-related, hazards are all around in today's world. Taking an "all-hazards approach," there are resources available to help businesses develop a preparedness program. The five steps in developing a preparedness program as suggested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are:

1. Program Management Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program. Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program.

2. Planning Gather information about hazards and assess risks. Conduct a business impact analysis and examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks.

3. Implementation Write a preparedness plan addressing resource management, emergency response, crisis communications, business continuity, information technology, employee assistance, incident management and training.

4. Testing and Exercises Test and evaluate your plan. Define different types of exercises and learn how to conduct them. Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.
5. Program Improvement Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program. Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed and utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements.

Establishing a Trusted Advisor relationship with your banker can help your business down the road in the event of an emergency. The Relationship Bankers at Mission Valley Bank welcome the opportunity to discuss all your financial needs, even those that will hopefully never materialize.
Mission Valley Bank Valencia Office 775-4112, Centre Pointe Business Banking Office 253-9500

When Bankruptcy Is Unavoidable
A lot of people end up filing bankruptcy when they get to the point of feeling hopeless about their financial problems. Despite what others may think, there is no shame in needing a second chance to secure your financial future. Bad things can happen even to good people. The purpose of the bankruptcy laws is to legally give people that second chance that they badly need to start over. Anyone who has fallen behind in debt payments understands the stress of dealing with bill collectors. So, for many people, the decision to file bankruptcy is initially one of desperation. But once they understand the legal process, they then realize that things are not really as bad as they first thought. A wise man once said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." If you are currently overwhelmed with your finances, take the first step of at least knowing what your options are. Every step afterwards becomes easier and easier. There's no progress without action.
Ray Bulaon, Esq. of Ray Bulaon Law Offices, Inc. 888-256-8581

Once-a-year Review can Save You
Review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have sufficient coverage and aren't overspending. Mercury insurance offers a loyalty discount to all customers; "good student discounts" are available for young drivers; and, since we have access to a variety of insurance carriers, we can get the best possible rates and service for you. Our clients also benefit from a referral program; get a $25 gift card for every person you refer to us.
Kane Insurance, Mercury Insurance Group 268-4354
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