Janet Behm’s Tips for Building a Business Emergency Fund



“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” - Langston Coleman

Prior to the economic fallout from 2020’s happenings, the typical American small business only had 28 days’ worth of cash reserves on hand.

Meaning, the average small business in this country couldn’t survive for a full month if revenue were suddenly turned off. As a result, Congress had to prop up small businesses through programs such as the EIDL and PPP loans that you’re sick of hearing about by now.

As the economy rebounds strongly, it’s a good time to set aside a business emergency fund for your business to tide you over during the next period of economic upheaval. This isn’t doom and gloom thinking, it’s simply the reality of the business cycle: There will be another recession at some unknown point in the future.

You Need To Know How Much Is Enough
In many ways, your business eme

Understanding FICO Scores



"We do not remember days, we remember moments.” - Cesare Pavese

One of the most confusing and misunderstood components of modern life is an individual’s credit score. A simple Google search reveals billions of websites and posts, all sharing information -- some of which is accurate, and some of which is just plain wrong.

At its core, it’s simply a number that tries to represent the likelihood that you will pay back money that you borrow. Because banks and lending institutions use credit scores as a key component in their determination to lend money, it’s also a key element for individuals with nefarious plans – stealing a person’s identity allows your credit worthiness to also be stolen and used by the crooks.

Unlike, for example, annual income, FICO scores represent long-term action (or inaction) on the part of the consumer, so while the actual number can be “managed,” to an extent, it tends to be a pretty good representation of how well a person repays debts.

Now, obviously, there is more to it than that. A FICO score merely represents the number,

Keys to Title #3



So far is our series on title companies and title insurance, we’ve covered the basics of the title industry and the three types of insurance policies you will encounter in closings. In this article, I will cover holding title to real estate and in the next, common title issues that you’ll see as investors.

Owning real estate is done through recording “deeds” at the county recorders office (where all land records are held). These deeds transfer ownership from one person to the next. A Warranty Deed transfers title, and the seller warrants (guarantees) that the buyer is getting clean, marketable title. This is the kind of deed that title companies use because the title company is searching and insuring that title is clean.

A Special Warranty Deed transfers title, and the seller only guarantees that title is clean from the date the seller first took ownership. So, this one does not guarantee any problems with title before that point. You may see this if people are transferring title but not going through a title company. And finally, a Quit Claim Deed is simply a transfer of ownership with no guarantees at all from the seller. The new owner takes the property simply as it is.


Cryptocurrency Taxation



"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson

In recent years, some cryptocurrency traders have been caught off guard by the surprise tax bill generated from their trading activities. Many others have simply failed to report these transactions to the IRS at all, unaware that they even need to. Those folks in particular are in for a rude awakening someday, as the IRS expands its enforcement against crypto traders.

So, what are your responsibilities as a crypto trader? What if you’re not actively trading these assets, but simply holding them? What records should you be keeping?

Crypto is Taxed as Property
Let’s start with the most important thing you need to understand about crypto, and its relationship with the IRS: The federal government taxes crypto like property.

In other words, the IRS looks at crypto the same way it looks at houses, cars, paintings, even baseball cards. While

Free Puppies, Sleight Of Hand, And Pennies On The Dollar



Some things are obviously a sales pitch and a come-on. Unsuspecting taxpayers get hooked into this tantalizing offer every year.

Almost no one qualifies for this program from the IRS. By-the-way, it is unethical for a licensed tax preparer to make this offer.

When I hear commercials on TV or on the radio that promise specific results to people who owe money to the IRS, it really bothers me.

One of the most pervasive advertising schemes you’ll hear repeated over and over again is about only paying “pennies on the dollar” to the IRS.

The reason this one rubs me the wrong way in particular is quite simple: It doesn’t exist.

If you’ve heard this program referenced and have been curious about it, it’s time to set the record straight.

The Truth About “Pennies On The Dollar”


Keys to Title #2



In my last article I discussed some of the key elements of title like the settlement statement (CD) and the title commitment (PR). Go back and read that article if you haven’t already. In this article I will cover the three types of insurance policies.

There are two policies that protect the new owner and one policy (essentially) for lenders. The two owner policies are the Alta Homeowner’s policy and the Standard policy. The Homeowner’s policy is the default policy provided on almost all retail transactions and covers the most things. It is also more expensive than the Standard. For a complete review of coverage, ask your escrow officer for a sample policy or list of coverages and exclusions.

Some of the important things the Homeowner’s policy covers that the Standard does not are boundary lines (fences and shrubs in the wrong place), adverse possession (when a neighbor encroaches on your property without you knowing it), unrecorded easements (like a right of way or access) and mechanic’s liens. These are the most common problems that you will find affecting your property. So, I do recommend the Homeowner’s policy to protect you. But you can opt for the Standard and add on

Crypto and Buying a Home


Originally posted on Porch.com

If you’ve ever walked around at an arcade with a couple pocketfuls of game tokens or won similar tokens at a fair to be exchanged for candy and stuffed bears, you already know how cryptocurrencies work. Except cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are digital currencies that can be used to purchase goods and services. Today, there are more than 6,700 types of cryptocurrencies, some better known than others. Traded as commodities on the stock market and known for their volatility, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly mainstream as more people invest in them and trust the blockchain technology employed to secure them. In fact, some people are using their crypto assets to purchase large, expensive items—like houses!

Introduction to Cryptocurrencies

Major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, an

It Ain’t Over ‘Till The XXXXX Lady Sings



This has been an apocalyptic year and tax season for our Investor friends. In reality, there are only a few folks who are COMPLETELY done with their income tax today. For most, their questions go unanswered.

As I write this, today (May 17th) marks the end of a tumultuous tax season.

Without a doubt -- pardon the pun -- it’s been taxing for everybody. In conversation with many colleagues around the country ... there is wide agreement that *this* season has been the most challenging in decades.

Next Steps

Soooooo, what now? I'm glad you (ahem) asked.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be looking for information from the IRS, status updates, or just needing help with various matters. Here are a few “what ifs” that you might be thinking about.

1). If the IRS owes you a 2020 refund, be patient.
While they aim to issue most refunds within 21 days, the reality is that the IRS is

The Side Hustle Tax Trap


“Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.” - Ernest Hemingway

Earning some extra cash from a side hustle is something many are doing these days. Here are some tax implications we want you to know about so you can hold onto as much of it as you can.

In most situations, you’ll be earning this extra income as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee. As a point of clarification, you may hear the following terms bandied about in relation to the gig economy

Independent contractor
Sole proprietor
Schedule C business
1099 contractor

Here’s the important part: All of these terms mean the exact same thing.
In other words, if you’re delivering for Doordash on the weekends, you’ve now become the self-employed owner of a Schedule C sole proprietorship business.
Now, let's prepare you for what this means in terms of your new tax situation and responsibilities.

You’re Responsible for More Taxes

When you work a regular job as an employee, your employer pays half of the legally requ

Keys to Title #1



Title closings and title insurance are very important real estate investing topics that don’t get a lot of attention. Along with the real estate purchase contract, title is something that you will need with every transaction. Next month I will cover the contract.

The first thing you need to understand is that your title company (or attorney) is really an insurance sales company: they sell title insurance on real estate transactions. The underwriter (who you might not even know about) is the title company’s insurance company—the company that actually insures the transaction. As insurance agents, title companies are heavily regulated by the state, including their fees. Most investors choose a title company not necessarily based on costs, but on experience doing investor transactions.

So, the first key is to choose a title company and escrow officer that are highly experienced working with investors! Investors use techniques like seller financing, wholesaling, private lenders, etc. that require knowledge and experience beyond processing the closing. Without experience, the title company may not close the transaction correctly.

Split closings are another important thing to understand about title. In Utah, we’re allowed to have split—where the buyer and seller close their side at different title companies. But, a title c