Luncheon Invitation: Austrian Economics, Business Cycles, and the Theory and Practice of Money with Dr. Robert Batemarco

Luncheon Invitation: Austrian Economics, Business Cycles, and the Theory and Practice of Money with Dr. Robert Batemarco

This luncheon presentation will have invaluable economic information that is more essential than ever before to the entrepreneurial community. With a practical focus and theme, Austrian Economics, Business Cycles, and the Theory and Practice of Money with Dr. Robert Batemarco will combine in-depth expertise from both academia and industry to equip attendees with a practical toolkit of understanding about the realities of economic truths.

Regardless of your economic and monetary knowledge, you will gain great insights from the brilliant splendor of economic truths illustrated in an easy-to-follow format from attending this presentation particularly relevant to business cycles and money.

Dr. Batemarco will explain, among a host of economic and monetary truths for entrepreneurship:

A) How does money benefit society?

B) Who is responsible for inflation?

C) How is the Fed destroying the Middle Class?

D) What does the Austrian theory of the business cycle teach us?

Dr. Batemarco has degrees in Economics from Princeton University (A.B, cum laude) and Georgetown University (M.A. and Ph.D.). He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Studies in the Austrian Theory of the Cycle and wrote the entry in the Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics on Austrian business cycle theory. He taught at Mises University, a week-long seminar in Austrian Economics, as well as at Fordham University and at Manhattan College.

He has had articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Review of Austrian Economics, Atlantic Economic Journal, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies; his online publications can be found on and

When: Wednesday July 27th 2022
Time: 11:00AM – Segment 1
              12:00PM – Lunch
              1:15PM – Segment 2
             2:15PM – Wrap-up
Where: Shady Maple Smorgasbord

Register: This luncheon is free attendance for all firm clients and friends of the firm – email Seating limited

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT)

Preface: “Whether you come from a council estate or country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude” – Michelle Obama.

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT)

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) can be a powerful tax and estate planning vehicle. The technique works like this—a donor places appreciated assets, such as stock with growth potential or undeveloped real estate into a CRT. The donor receives an income-tax deduction in the year of the gift based on the present value of the remainder interest, as computed under certain IRS-provided tables. The charitable gift also removes the gifted assets from the donor’s estate and, thus, from exposure to estate taxes. The CRT, without direction from the donor, then sells the assets, incurring no capital-gains taxes for the donor. The CRT invests the proceeds in a new diversified portfolio, typically made up of income-producing assets such as high-dividend stocks, bonds, and real estate. The donor, or other person(s) designated by the donor, receives the annual income from the investments for either a set period of time, such as term of years, or for the life of an individual or individuals.

 The payout to the donor may be a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the fair-market value of the assets, so long as the dollar amount or the percentage is at least five percent of the value. When the donor dies, the remainder goes to the qualified charity designated in the CRT.

 CRTs are divided into two main types. The first is a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) and the second is a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT). They can be set up during life (inter vivos) or at death (testamentary).


 A CRAT is an irrevocable trust that pays a non-charitable beneficiary an annuity interest with the remainder interest going to a charity. The Internal Revenue Code requires that the annuity payout percentage be at least five percent, but not more than 50 percent of the initial value of the trust assets (as finally determined for federal tax purposes). In addition, the value of the remainder interest must be equal to at least 10 percent of the net fair market value of the property transferred to the trust (on the date of contribution to the trust). The latter requirement effectively eliminates the use of CRTs by younger donors. That’s because the longer life expectancy of the donor or other income beneficiary reduces the amount of the remainder (charitable) interest. If a CRT fails this 10-percent test, the trust is either voided or it must make appropriate changes to meet the 10-percent requirement.

 In the case of a lifetime transfer, the donor receives both an income tax and a gift tax deduction for the present value of the charitable interest. In addition, the gift tax annual exclusion  may be used to reduce the value of the lead interest. The amount of the gift, income, or estate tax deduction (in the case of a testamentary CRAT) is the fair market value of the property transferred to the trust, minus the value of the annuity interest. If the annuity payments are received by someone other than the donor, gift or estate tax will be payable on the present value of the lead interest.

The term of a CRAT will either be (1) for some number of whole years (term certain), not to exceed 20 years, (2) the life of one or more persons (life), or (3) the shorter of term or life. When first establishing a CRAT, the present value of the remainder interest may be calculated using the Code Sec. 7520 rate for the month of the transfer date or the rate for either of the two preceding months. The Code Sec. 7520 rate is 120 percent of the federal mid-term rate rounded to the nearest 0.2 percent. It is published monthly by the IRS in a revenue ruling. Which of the three rates you select could make an important difference. Note that the higher the interest rate selected, the larger the income, gift, or estate tax charitable contribution deduction. And, in those cases in which the lead annuity interest is subject to gift tax, the higher the interest rate, the lower the amount of the taxable gift.


CRUTs are similar to CRATs in several ways, such as the fact that the payout rate in a CRUT must also be at least five percent, but not more than 50 percent of the net fair market value of its assets, valued annually and, with respect to each contribution of property to the trust, the value of the remainder interest must be at least 10 percent of the net fair market value of such property as of the date the property is transferred to the trust.

However, in a CRUT, the annual payments may instead be fixed at the lesser of a stated percentage or the amount of income the trust actually produces. Such trusts are sometimes referred to as income exception unitrusts or net income unitrusts (NICRUTs). When the income produced is less than the unitrust payment amount, a payment deficiency builds up. Then, if the trust later produces income in excess of the unitrust payment amount, the difference is distributed to the beneficiary until the deficiency buildup is gone.

CRATs vs. CRUTs—Advantages and Disadvantages

A CRAT is generally inferior to a CRUT if the trust assets are expected to appreciate rapidly. This is because in a CRAT, all of the trust return in excess of the payout rate accumulates and goes to the charity at the end of the trust term. However, in a CRUT, because the unitrust assets must be revalued each year, part of the growth in principal is paid to the holder of the unitrust interest in the form of higher annual payments. On the other hand, for this same reason, a CRUT may not be advantageous when asset values fall.

If the assets to be transferred to the charitable trust are difficult-to-value assets, such as closely held stock or real estate, a CRAT may be a better planning device than a CRUT. The fact that the assets in a CRUT must be re-valued each year adds expense and administrative inconvenience.

Another difference between CRATs and CRUTs is that it is possible to make additional contributions to a CRUT and receive a charitable deduction each year a gift is made. This could prove advantageous for investors with a large position in a stock that they wish to sell over a period of years. Alternatively, a CRAT cannot accept additional gifts.

For further information on how a charitable remainder trust may be a valuable tool to implement as part of your planning strategy, please contact our office for information on our alliance affiliates. 

How to Design a Proper Monthly Budget Plan

Preface: “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” – President Biden.

How to Design a Proper Monthly Budget Plan

Designing a proper monthly budget plan is one of the primary tasks involved in your personal money management system. Budgeting becomes all the more essential as you need to fit in all your expenses within the salary that you get once a month. Any disparity in the ratio of income and expenditure can lead you to debts. Thus, it an essential task that you cannot surpass by any means. Having a proper monthly budget not only makes duly payments affordable but also makes life tension free.

Thus keeping all these in mind listed below are few of the things that you need to keep in mind if you want to frame a proper monthly budget for your household:

Read: How to Design a Proper Monthly Budget Plan

Business Tax Attributes for Costs of Computer Software

Preface: The way to be successful in the software world is to come up with breakthrough software, and so whether it’s Microsoft Office or Windows, its pushing that forward. New ideas, surprising the marketplace, so good engineering and good business are one in the same.  -Bill Gates

Business Tax Attributes for Costs of Computer Software

Businesses that have purchased or developed computer software programs for internal purposes, the following blog is for your convenience, to provide a concise review of how you may perhaps write-off the software expenses your business incurs.

Generally, you must amortize the purchase cost of computer software and AI developments over a period of three years, beginning from the month in which you placed the software into service. If the software is acquired together with the computer equipment, then you should depreciate the cost of the software over the useful life of the computer (separately stated computer hardware costs are depreciated as 5-year).

However, if you purchase software or artificial intelligence technologies with the acquisition of a trade of a business, you must amortize that software over a 15-year period. For businesses that create their own computer software or artificial intelligence technology with developers, the cost of developing the programs or software may be treated in a manner similar to research and development expenses.

Thus, qualifying expenditures may be A) deducted as a current expense, or B) capitalized and amortized using the straight-line method over a period of 36 months beginning in the month that the software is placed in service or over 60 months from the date of completion of development if a Code Sec. 174(b) election is made.

Additionally, all software development costs are included in the definition of research and experimental expenditures, effective for amounts paid or incurred in tax years beginning after 2021. All research and experimental expenditures must be amortized over 60 months, effective for amounts paid or incurred in tax years beginning after 2021.

For tax purposes, computer software is defined as a program designed to cause a computer to perform a desired function. Computer software tax rules includes programs of all classes in all forms and media and the documentation required to describe and maintain the programs.

If you are investing software implementations or artificial intelligence programs for your business, please discuss the tax attributes with your trusted tax advisor.

Five Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Marketing

Preface: You’d laugh if a cat food producer was trying to market to cats. It’s not the cats who make purchasing decisions about their food, but their owners. – Marvin Martin

Five Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Marketing

In 1855 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

Over the years this has been boiled down to this pithy statement: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

This seems like a simple formula (better product = sales success), but you can probably identify what is missing: how is the world going to find out about the better mousetrap? We could revise that formula this way: better product + good marketing = sales success.

Your mousetrap needs to be marketed, and that responsibility falls to you. If you’ve been a regular reader of this column, you’ve learned a lot about how to market your product service effectively and ethically.

Whether beginning marketers or experienced ones, we at times inadvertently get in the way of our own success. Here are five ways you may be sabotaging your own success– shooting yourself in your marketing foot.

Sabotage #1. Lack of a marketing plan.

The phone rings. On the line is the rep from a magazine that you advertise in. “Your deadline is today and we noticed that you have not submitted an ad for the next issue,” the rep says. “Shall we rerun your ad from the past issue?”

You remember in despair that it’s the time of year to advertise your annual sales event, but you forgot to plan advertising for it. Now you don’t have time to get the details together and submit the ad.

Being haphazard and flying by the seat of your pants is marketing sabotage. One of the many benefits of a marketing plan is that it helps you avoid situations like this. At the beginning of the year, create a document listing the due dates of all advertising and other marketing-related things.

“Being haphazard and flying by the seat of your pants is marketing sabotage”

You can add more detail to your marketing plan as you develop it year after year, but in its simplest form, a marketing plan answers the question: Who does what by when?

Dwight Eisenhower said, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” The discipline of planning brings consistency, structure, and efficiency to your marketing efforts.

Begin assembling a simple marketing plan today by corralling the details for the advertising/marketing that you would like to do between now and the end of the year. The last step in your new plan should be to plan your marketing for the following year. Schedule time for that in your calendar right now.

Sabotage #2. Failure to schedule enough time.

Have you ever said this? “I’m sorry. I don’t have time for that this week. I’m just maxed out.” Have you noticed that the next week is rarely any different?

Nothing gets done without time. Marketing takes time. Back to the previous point, planning your marketing for the rest of the year takes an initial investment of time, though it will save you time later. But even after you have a marketing plan in place, you need time to implement the steps in the plan. Otherwise, it will get pushed aside by more urgent items.

Remember that what is urgent is not always important. Marketing is rarely urgent but is always important. Set aside a day or half a day each month to execute items in your marketing plan. Here is a checklist to get you started:

• Review progress on current marketing projects.
• Identify next steps. Schedule time to do those steps or delegate them to someone else.
• Create and/or review testing and measuring reports so you know how well your marketing investment is paying off.
• Think of ways to improve your marketing. Read books and articles to glean ideas.
Evaluate yourself to see if you are reserving for yourself tasks or responsibilities that should be delegated to someone else. In the Bible, Moses was spending too much time helping solve people’s problems. It wasn’t until his father-in-law Jethro advised him to delegate that responsibility that he finally decided to get others involved to help (see Exodus 18:13-26).

You might say, “I don’t have employees who know how to do what needs to be done.” Hiring outside help—a marketing agency or freelance designer or copywriter—is a form of delegation. It not only buys the results you need, but it buys you time.

Sabotage #3. Indulging in procrastination.

We tend to see procrastination as a solution to problems (albeit a temporary solution). However, procrastination often makes the problem even more difficult once we are forced to confront it.

When you are tempted to procrastinate on a marketing project, try to identify the reason you are avoiding the project. It may be a lack of time (addressed above) or it may be a feeling of uncertainty or burden.

Marketing can feel complex, and you may feel buried under a barrage of advice and options. Or perhaps you know where you want to go, but you aren’t sure how to get there.

“Procrastination often makes the problem even more difficult once we are forced to confront it.”

When you realize you are procrastinating because you don’t know how to proceed, try reaching out for some help. This could be an “expert” or a peer-like fellow business owner or an employee who has experience you can tap into.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help.

Sometimes we procrastinate because the job feels too big. We don’t know where to start, so we don’t start at all. Try breaking the job into small, specific tasks. For example, you can break down the big job of creating a marketing plan into a few easy starter steps:
1. List all of your advertising avenues.
2. Contact each one for deadlines/prices for the coming year.
3. Consider whether you will add or remove any avenues based on your goals, events, new products, budget, etc.
Once you get started, your momentum will help carry you the entire way through the project.

Sabotage #4. Failure to connect with the right audience.

You’d laugh if a cat food producer was trying to market to cats. It’s not the cats who make purchasing decisions about their food, but their owners. So cat food producers need to connect with cat owners, not the cats themselves (though, of course, it helps if the cats like the food).

In spite of the humor, not connecting with the right audience is a common way marketers sabotage their own marketing. Like a pro fisherman tailors his tactics and bait to the species he is trying to catch, a marketer should tailor his message and tactics to the audience he is trying to attract.

Instead of trying to sell to everyone, identify your ideal customer. Who is my product designed to serve? What factors are most important to them in relation to this product? What is their mindset or worldview? How old are they? Where do they spend time? What do they read? Whom do they trust? What are their income and education? How do they make purchasing decisions?

Targeting the right audience means that your prospects are warmer instead of cooler. Your marketing is more efficient because you aren’t wasting your time and dollars on people who will never buy from you anyway (or would be a poor fit if they did buy).

Sabotage #5: Distracted by shiny new objects.

With today’s economy and technology, there are endless places to spend marketing money. You probably receive an endless stream of offers: “Advertise here!” “Try this offer!” “We’ll 10x Your Investment!” And don’t forget about online marketing: social media, email marketing, YouTube videos, blogging, and the list goes on.

If you are constantly chasing new projects, new strategies, and new opportunities without any overarching structure or goals, you may have what is sometimes called “Shiny Object Syndrome.” calls shiny object syndrome a disease of distraction: “It’s called shiny object syndrome because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next thing . . . business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.”

“Marketing success happens when you develop a plan and a process and consistently implement it over time.”

I’m not arguing against trying new things, but we need to consider new opportunities thoughtfully. Where does this fit in with what we are already doing? Does this help us or hurt us in relation to our long-term goals?

If you believe that a new opportunity has potential, try a pilot project first. Invest a small amount of money and gauge the results. If it seems to be working, adopt it into your marketing plan and increase your investment.

This evidence-based approach is much wiser than trying a lot of different things willy-nilly because “everyone else is doing it.” Utilize methods that are relevant to your unique company and situation.


The first step to fixing a problem is to identify it. Hopefully, this article has helped you identify a way in which you might be sabotaging your own marketing efforts. If you know what’s wrong, now you can work on improving it.

Marketing success is not like suddenly winning the lottery. It happens when you develop a plan and a process and consistently implement it over time. That’s how to sell the better mousetrap that you built.

About the Author: Marvin Martin is head of sales and marketing at Rosewood. The Rosewood team guides business owners through marketing challenges into sustainable growth.