- Created on Thursday, 05 December 2013 09:23
Too many times pride stands in the way of folks asking for help. But if you are a small business, asking for help is the only way to stay above the fray. One area that business owners tend to run from is tax preparation.
Whether the business is fledgling or experienced, tax preparation is always dreaded. It is a necessary evil that cannot be avoided under any circumstance.
Here's a snapshot of the tax issues that can arise and detrimentally affect a business:
- Created on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 11:10
In the midst of what is turning out to be a very busy holiday season, I have somehow found time to catch a couple of movies! As far as the African-American moviegoer is concerned, this holiday season has been very nice. We have at least three major films that are geared toward "us" that will be in theatres by Christmas day.
Of course, the first was "Best Man Holiday," which was a great film that I'd go see again and you should see at least once. Then there was "Black Nativity," which opened this past weekend and stars Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese, Angela Bassett and Forrest Whitaker. Not quite the blockbuster that I hoped for, however, it still was a really good film.
"Black Nativity" had a lot of good moments, most of which came with music. If you watched the trailers, it should have come as no surprise that this film was actually a musical. If you get to check it out, be sure to pay close attention to Mary J. Blige's scene where she sings. That had to have been the most soulful Christmas music I have heard in a long time. I'm not sure if this was actually lip-synced, but both Bassett and Whitaker's characters sang as well. If it wasn't actually them, it was at least great acting.
- Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:23
A proven talent as an actress, writer and director, Kasi Lemmons continues to tantalize creatively with her thought provoking body of work. Her work as an actress includes roles in :Silence of the Lambs" opposite Jodie Foster, and Spike Lee's "School Daze," as well as "Hard Target," "Fear of a Black Hat," "Candyman" and "Vampire's Kiss."
Kasi's magical directorial debut, "Eve's Bayou," was the highest-grossing independent film of 1997. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and received seven NAACP Image Award nominations, including Best Picture.
Her sophomore offering, "The Caveman's Valentine," opened the 2002 Sundance Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim. And, in 2008, she received an NAACP Image Award for directing "Talk to Me."
- Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 08:53
This is a question you could soon begin asking as a recent rise in interest rates contributed to price declines in many bond funds. News the Federal Reserve feels comfortable enough with the strength and state of our economy to consider a change in current monetary policy is, without doubt, a positive development. Unfortunately, for some bond investors, good news may be bad news!
Bond prices and yields have an inverse relationship, meaning they move in opposite directions. This means as yields (interest rates) rise, bond prices (values) can fall. Many investors – driven by fear, the need for income, increasing underweight allocations, or other factors – have invested heavily in bonds. Over the past five years, this demand has helped drive bond prices higher, lowering yields and subjecting many investors to the often ignored or forgotten risks associated with these investments, one of which is "interest rate risk".
"Interest rate risk" is a term used to describe how an investment's value will change due to an increase or decrease in interest rates. As a simple example: a bond yielding 4 percent is more valuable to investors if interest rates fall to 2 percent and is less valuable to investors if interest rates rise to 6 percent. This is because their fixed interest income would either be greater than or less than what a new investor would receive purchasing a bond at current rates. Interest rate risk affects all bondholders, but typically bonds with longer maturities and/or lower yields are most impacted.
- Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 08:40
Who'd ever think that a black kid from South-Central Los Angeles could grow up to become the personal photographer of a Republican President of the United States? But that's precisely the unlikely career path enjoyed by Eric Draper, who served as head White House shutterbug from 2001-09.
How did he get the job? Well, after covering the 2000 campaign for the Associated Press, he was invited by George Bush to a Christmas party at the Texas governor's mansion. Taking a page out of the President-elect's own playbook, Eric summoned up the gumption while shaking his hand and looking him straight in the eye to paraphrase one of his popular stump-speech refrains: "I want to be your personal photographer."
Bush took the inquiry seriously, and hired Eric a week later, after closely examining his portfolio. And over the next eight years, Draper would be a constant companion and an eyewitness to history, accompanying the Chief Executive on trips to 70 countries and 49 states.