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Charities should be poor.

I sit on the board of a local non-profit and I happen to have a Masters in Business Administration. Yet only until very recently have I realized that how wrong this idea is. Up until this point, the mention of charitable or nonprofit work would conjure up in my mind humble mendicants in tattered frocks scrounging up donations to serve some underserved segment of society. It seemed natural to me that those do-gooders in the non-profit world would forego the material trappings of the world-at-large. After all, the term “non-profit” almost expressly says as much. However, I recently saw a video clip which completely changed my thinking on this issue, and I wanted to share it with you.

Video from TED Talks: 

If you have clicked on the link above, you can stop reading as the remainder of this article will basically be a summary of its contents. However, I wanted to pass this idea along as I think it is an important one.

The way that we think about charity in America is influenced in large degree by Puritanical beliefs. The Puritans came to America in search of religious freedom, but also in search of economic profits. In comparison to other colonists, the Puritans were extremely capitalistic. The Puritans were also Calvinists, and one of their core beliefs was that acting in self-interest was a one-way ticket to eternal damnation. One way the Puritans strove to reconcile these conflicting beliefs was through charitable work. They used charity as a method of doing penance for all of their profit-making. Necessarily, the charity could not make money as it was done specifically to counteract the spiritual effects of other profitable activities. Over time, the idea took root that charitable work should not or cannot result in financial gain. This idea has not changed in four centuries.

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Buried Alive

by Cynthia Palm

  Are you burying yourself in mail, paperwork and other administrative tasks? Do you have times when keeping up with your personal finances can seem like an overwhelming task? Do you incur bank overdraft charges even though you have plenty of money? Do you withdraw money out of ANY bank regardless of the fee’s you [...]

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You Need to Pay Closer Attention to Estimated Taxes in 2013

by Steven J. Bloch, Esq., CFP®

With all of the increased tax rates and “hidden” taxes that went into effect on January 1, high-earning taxpayers will likely find themselves paying more income taxes than they have in the past. However, when you pay those taxes is often the difference between using a good tax preparer and an income tax “shop”. Taxpayers [...]

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401(k) Loans: Yes, No, Maybe Never

by Jeff J. Kim, CFP®

Let’s say you have been working at your job for number of years and have been faithfully contributing to your employer’s 401(k) plan every pay period. You receive your quarterly statements and see that compounding has worked its magic and you have a good chuck of money saved up. All of sudden, you have the [...]

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TWENTY-THIRTEEN

by Jeff J. Kim, CFP®

Happy new year from all advisors at Bright Financial Ideas! We are set to relaunch in mid-February so until then, feel free to wander around our site and keep yourself Bright! We wish you nothing but the best in 2013 and can’t wait to share our Bright Ideas in weeks to come!

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Today’s Most Commonly Asked Questions About Real Estate Mortgages

by Jean-Marc Herrouin

As a mortgage broker, I have seen many changes to the guidelines lenders have put in place, however, the terminology hasn’t changed. So, today I thought I would provide a list of many of the questions I have been asked over the years in hope of clearing up any confusion when dealing with a lender [...]

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The Independent Contractor Myth

by Jeff Haaz

At a time when employers are increasingly feeling the pinch of the ongoing recession, many are exploring alternative ways to boost the bottom line, including changing employee status to avoiding paying health benefits or workers compensation insurance. Employers often times classify employees as “independent contractors” to avoid payroll taxes, overtime and workers compensation insurance costs. [...]

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