Five Attributes of Life-Changing Summer Jobs

Take a Pop Quiz!  Suppose you have $100 in a savings account and the interest rate is 2% per year.  After five years, will you have more than $102, exactly $102, or less than $102?  That’s one of three questions used worldwide to test financial literacy.  In the United States, only 30% of adults can […]

Business Owners Forum Video

We recently invited local business owners to Ballast for a discussion on topics important to them. This is the video from our meeting. Topics Include: What makes businesses attractive to buyers? What is the current state of the private equity market? How to separate finances between business and personal? How should owners prepare now for […]


The Ballast Atheneum is a collection of our thoughts on the twelve most important topics in financial planning. Today, the focus is on Insurance.   Insurance may be the most common form of financial protection out there. From protecting your loved ones from financial hardship after an untimely loss to protecting your income stream or […]

Open Enrollment Period

This week, we have a quick video from Cameron Hamilton. Many of you are currently in an open enrollment period for health insurance. Based on the plans we are seeing, for many, it may be better to choose a High Deductible or HSA Eligible plan. Give us a call and we can help you decide […]

Evaluation of a Job Offer

Key Takeaways – The following considerations must be made when reviewing an opportunity to take a new job or leave a W2 salary to start a business.   Nearly 93% of Americans earn income outside their primary job1. What are all the aspects of my compensation package?  This includes salary and other benefits such as […]

The Driving Forces Behind the Closely Watched Consumer Price Index (CPI)

By: Brian Burton, CFP®   Key Takeaways: CPI is the average change in the prices paid by consumers for a basket of goods and services over time that demonstrates price trends within the economy The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports index weights for eight major categories and many more specific items resulting in the […]

Employee Stock Ownership & Options

Key Takeaways:   Company stock plans & stock options have many customizable details Employees should understand their stock plan’s features & tax consequences With correct utilization, employee stock can meaningfully increase compensation     When evaluating a job offer, it is best not to focus only on salary or an hourly wage.  We have the […]

October Market Update

This week, John Boardman (Founder and CEO) and Andy Reynolds (COO and Partner) sat down to discuss some of the factors at play in this market environment, how we address those as an advisory firm, and share some of the conversations they’ve been having with clients. Check out the video for the full discussion.  If you have any questions, please reach […]

Should Business Owners Raise Their Salary to Earn More Social Security?

Key Takeaways: Pass-through entity owners can choose to take profits as wages or distributions Increasing owner salary raises payroll tax liability but also increases future Social Security benefits Older owners and owners with non-working spouses and/or incomplete earnings records stand to benefit the most from increasing their salaries       Lower taxes are better, […]

After a Historic Boom in Venture Capital, the Well Appears to be Running Dry

By: Brian Burton, CFP® Cash-burning startups are being forced to take on increasing amounts of debt as VC funding dries up With funding slowing, fundamentals and profitability should return to the forefront of company evaluation The mantra of “growth at any price” that we’ve seen in recent years is likely gone for the foreseeable future […]

Tax Savings on Company Stock

If you work for a publicly traded company, chances are you can own company stock inside your 401(k) retirement plan.  We’ve seen many workers nearing retirement who have accumulated substantial shares of company stock.  These workers are often unaware that they have an option with the tax treatment of these shares that could potentially result […]

Fighting Inflation – Why This Time Feels Different and Could Actually Be Successful

Key Takeaways There were 11.4 million job openings in April equaling 1.92 job openings per unemployed person, a huge benefit to a Fed attempting to bring down inflation without cratering the job market. The Fed’s ideal labor market resolution is that companies fill current openings while maintaining their current workforce. Friday’s jobs report showed a […]