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Cheat Sheet Q&A: About Identity Protection & personal endorsements
Today’s Entry: I heard on the show the week you were out… Jim quoted you saying that purchasing identity theft protection is the cheapest insurance you can buy. He said that he purchased Life Guard and that you have the same protection from another service. I cannot remember which service it was to which he said you subscribe. Could you please let me know. I have since been convinced that this is worthwhile. I have been a listener to the show long enough that you do exhaustive research into financial decisions. Additionally I am curious if you are prevented from making an endorsement or recommendation based on an advertising agreement which may restrict you.
Bottom Line: I’m sorry to hear that an event may have occurred that makes you feel the need for the service but its better late than never. The identity protection service I currently use and prefer is Identity Guard – especially if you will use a “family plan” (have multiple people in your family requiring service. I’ve used TrustedID (which was the best about four years ago), Lifelock & ID Guard. Lifelock has really improved their products within the past year. It’s now nearly a push in my view with ID Guard but I still on balance prefer Identity Guard.
If you are going to go with Identity Guard and have a Costco membership, be sure to initiate service through the Costco portal: http://costco.identityguard.com/ - it saves you about $4 per month per person if memory serves.
If you go with Lifelock use offer code “Rush” (as Rush Limbaugh endorses Lifelock) and you’ll save 10% on service.
With regard to endorsements & restrictions. What you hear is what you get with me. Years ago I had an understanding with our management team that I had to be real with the audience about everything I talk about. That occasionally means that I may say something that might not reflect well on a particular company – they’ve been tremendous in allowing me that freedom to do so responsibility. Therefore I have no inherent restrictions in discussing specific companies. Now for the companies that I do specifically endorse… It’s all real. I literally am a customer of every business I endorse save one – John Convery. Since I manage my own money I don’t have a need for his services but so many listeners do have a need & I never had someone to send them to. John earned my trust and has a long history and excellent track record. So hopefully that clarifies how I go about making recommendations.
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to discuss email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
California just passed a smart phone law that likely will impact the entire country:
Bottom Line: Two days ago California became the first US Government entity to mandate a final solution for stolen smart phones. More on that in a moment – first a little background.
The current Federal consumer protection standard for stolen smart phones is a national service registry. Simply put if you report your phone as stolen, no service provider in the US is able to ever activate service on that phone again. The issue is that organized crime syndicates still steal them and ship them outside of the US where they can be activated.
California’s new law goes into effect in July of 2015. It mandates that if you report your phone as being stolen you have the remote ability to wipe all data off of the phone & the ability to permanently end the life of the phone so it could never be used again.
Aside from California being a huge smart phone market it’s also setting a proxy the industry. It would be cumbersome and prohibitive for companies to create two types of phones for the US to accommodate the CA mandate. Plus its possible that other states could follow the CA model and really put them in a bind – thus by the middle of next year there is a very strong chance that all new model smart phones will come with the kill switch option because of one states’ law.
More evidence that you'll likely be making more money soon (if you aren't already):
Bottom Line: From 2010 through the first half of 2014 the average income growth per person (for staying in the same job) was just 1.8% per year. That hasn’t kept up with the real rate of inflation over that period of time (including the cost of food and energy). In June I shared an improving trend based on 2nd half budgeting. The trend demonstrated that the average increase in income was pacing 2.1% by the end of 2014 which indicated increased optimism. Well the news is continuing to improve.
Aon Hewitt just completed the most recent research on salary increases and found that the average increase for the second half is now on pace to be 2.9%. Should the hold true it would be the best annual increase since 2007 (3.7%). Now the most likely form of the income increase will be a bonus or one time like payout rather than an increase in base salary. The reason is that it allows businesses to reward deserving employees while allowing some flexibility to deal with economic uncertainty and the still unknown cost of ACA compliance (as 2015 is the first year it begins to phase in for businesses).
Since corporate tax inversions are now mainstream... Just how does our corporate tax rate compare to the world?
Bottom Line: So the standard corporate tax rate in the US is 40%. You’ve likely heard that it’s the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. But just how non-competitive is our corporate tax rate?:
- The average corporate tax rate is 23% world-wide
So we’re 17% higher than average! What’s more is that we are the only country in the industrialized world that double taxes money that’s repatriated into the United States (which is why virtually no US international companies ever do). In the case of Burger King they now earn more than half of their income outside of the US. By moving to Canada they not only save on the overall corporate tax rate but can also freely bring back international money to use as they see fit domestically.
It’s not Burger King or any of the myriad of other companies that’s anti-American. It’s our Federal corporate tax code that is.