Wallingford Financial Planning: Evaluating the American Dream
As part of a larger investigation on the state of the American Dream, CNN Money released the results of a poll which asked the public to reflect on the attainability of the American Dream. Not surprisingly, over half of the population believes that they will never fully attain the quintessential American Dream, with 63% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 asserting that the dream is an impossibility. The skepticism surrounding the reality of an American dream is largely a reaction to the still turbulent socio-economic climate and reevaluation of traditional financial goals and values. Economists suggest that while the vast majority of Americans have higher incomes than their parents, only half have more wealth. The poll further investigated popular perception about the correlation between financial gain and emotional well-being by asking citizens to estimate their financial need to maintain a happy lifestyle.
Historically, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the role that financial gain, wealth and monetary assets play in increasing emotional well-being and happiness. The findings of CNN Money’s American Dream Poll however, suggests that individuals are increasingly convinced that money and happiness are not synonymous. Over 60% of individuals claimed that they would consider themselves wealthy with an annual combined household income of less than $250,000, which is only a fraction of the income of a large corporate leader. Fifty-five percent of all respondents said they would feel happiest making between $50,000 and $200,000 each year. In fact, a quarter of the respondents claimed they would find happiness making between $50,000 and $70,000. The poll findings seem to support an older Princeton University study which asserted that emotional well-being increased with financial gain up an amount of $75,000 after which the well-being no longer increased based on monetary gain but other factors.
Some economists suggest that this culture shift has some correlation to the increase in low-wage jobs, where individuals and families are becoming more accustomed to simply scraping-by making hourly wages with no benefits and limited job security. Financial planners and economists agree that the key to stability has become less about landing a high paying job and more about properly managing your assets. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management, we understand the necessity of proper Wallingford financial planning and long term capital management. We proudly specialize in personal and business financial planning and risk management services, and offer a wide range of services, including retirement planning and personal insurance solutions, that take into account both your short- and long-term goals. We have experience working with individuals from all walks of life and our specialists can help develop strategies that fit your lifestyle, needs and priorities. Give us a call today at (877) 602-2305 for information about our offerings.
Tips for Reducing New Haven Employment Practices Liability Risks
Hiring can be one of the most challenging parts of operating a business, and it all starts with writing a job posting. Crafting the perfect job posting requires great attention to detail, strong diction and a clear understanding of state and federal employment regulations. A well-executed posting can help bring in more qualified and promising applicants, while a poorly planned listing can have devastating effects. If improperly written a job listing can leave employers open to a host of legal accusations including discrimination and failure to hire.
According to a recent University of Michigan study, some of the most common mistakes made by employers when writing their postings include:
Providing details about a desired candidate’s physical characteristics or lifestyle. It is all too easy to desire a specific type of candidate for a position, for example, younger companies typically seek young and energetic workers. However it is essential to display no preference or bias during the hiring process. Focusing on the desired qualities, skills and work habits of necessary to perform the essential functions of the position can help prevent allegations of discrimination. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, color, national origin, family status and more. It is essential to keep any mention or suggestion about these elements out of your job posting.
Describing the candidate, not the position. It is important to emphasize the essential functions of the position to engage and entice the proper demographic of applicants. Professionals suggest letting the job description speak to the types of candidate you are seeking by detailing the roles, responsibilities and functions necessary to succeed in the position. Doing so will allow the position itself to weed-out unqualified or weak candidates.
Requiring, requesting or otherwise stating a preference that a candidate is an American citizen. While certain positions do require proof of citizenship, the vast majority do not. In fact, in most circumstances it is actually illegal under federal and state antidiscrimination laws to require American citizenship when considered employment. Doing so could be seen as discrimination against any applicant who is legally permitted to work in the U.S. To avoid any legal complications employers may only ask for “proof of eligibility” to work in the U.S. as a part of the application process.
While nothing can fully protect you from the risks of running a business, the right New Haven Employment Practices Liability coverage can help secure your business assets should any allegations of misconduct arise. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management we proudly offer the most comprehensive New Haven business risk management solutions in the industry. Our New Haven Business Insurance coverage includes Employment Practices Liability, Workers Compensation and a full host of specialty coverage options to ensure that your business is protected. Give us a call today at (877) 602-2305 for more information about any of our offerings.
Connecticut Energy Dealers Insurance: Renewable Energy Faces Setbacks
Renewable energy dealing is facing mounting hurdles in Ohio after a bill passed both the state House and Senate revising energy standards established in 2008. Existing standards required utility providers to cut consumer power consumption by 22% and use alternative energy for 25% of their power load by 2025, setting guideline increases every few years. The new bill will place a freeze on the timeline requirements previously established to increase renewable energy to 5.5 percent by 2017, and simultaneously lower the required percentage to 3.5 instead. Proponents of the bill claim that the regulations would be too costly for energy producers, yet many of Ohio’s energy producers actually opposed the bill as did a variety of large manufactures and consumer organizations.
Opponents however, are claiming that the bill will do more harm than good for Ohio’s economy. Representative Robert Hagan energetically spoke out against the changes noting that restricting the rapidly growing sustainable energy industry will place the state at a disadvantage and cause increased energy costs for consumers and businesses. While many alternative solutions were proposed, all were blocked from consideration and the bill underwent minimal negotiation before passing. Those opposing the bill were able to successfully remove one of the most controversial clauses in the bill that would have allowed utilities under a future renewable energy contract to be released from their obligations should any change in renewable energy resource requirements arise, which could have potentially caused devastating financial setbacks for the alternative energy industry.
Defying popular opinion and appeal, Ohio is now the first state to pass legislation curbing sustainability efforts and many critics wonder if other states will soon attempt to follow. Luckily, Connecticut renewable energy providers are constantly gaining legislative and financial support from state and federal organizations, like the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), looking to advance responsible and sustainable fuel production efforts. The wide spread enthusiasm and support for sustainable energy sources has catapulted Connecticut’s renewable energy industry into increased expansion, especially of small scale projects and service providers.
As energy dealers continue to explore their options, the need for a reliable, tailor-made insurance and risk management programs remains critical. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we offer solutions to the challenges Connecticut Energy Dealers face from legal complications to operational mishaps. We specializes in providing the most comprehensive Renewable Energy Insurance, Fuel Energy Insurance, & Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Insurance coverage available to protect your infrastructure, equipment, employees and all company assets. Contact us today at (877) 602-2305 for more information about all our Connecticut Energy Dealers Insurance programs.
Connecticut Directors and Officers: Core Behaviors of Success
Connecticut Directors and Officers of a corporation often hold a great deal of power and influence. As the face of a company, an organization’s leadership can make or break the public opinion about not only the business work culture, but also the brand itself. In recent years greater mistrust of corporate America has often hurt large corporations clinging to traditional acquisition based capitalist models. At the same time, consumers are looking to business leaders for more than good products and services; they want Connecticut Directors and Officers to carry strong moral and ethical values that reflect their own. Many successful business owners and operators understand the significant roles they play in American culture, the most successful share few common habits that separate them from other business leaders. The primary difference is a concrete drive to have a positive social impact.
Forbes recently published an article outlining some of the most common traits of a positive influence. Some of the most prominent traits listed include:
Dedication to something they believe in. People with a sense of purpose to work towards something they believe in are driven, focused, committed and passionate to achieving their goals. These individuals will often do whatever it takes to continue pursuing their purpose and are rarely deterred.
They commit to continuously better themselves through knowledge and experience. Many of the most successful positive influences understand their limitations and are therefore constantly seeking opportunities to further develop their skills and minds. They embrace critique, challenges and experience as opportunities to continue to grow
They are mutually respectful and help others progress. Positive people help others learn, grow and rise along with them by facilitating mutually respectful and beneficial relationships. These individuals do not take credit for the hard work of others, nor are they afraid of sharing their expertise with others to help encourage and inspire.
Much of a business’s prosperity depends on the conduct of their directors and officers. A positive role-model figure will truly use their power and influence wisely by constantly remaining mindful of their prominence and the truly important role they play in shaping people’s minds and perspectives. Just as prominent Connecticut directors and officers can have a positive impact, they can often have a negative influence as well. Misconduct or poor public relations can lead to a company’s leadership getting the reputation for having a negative influence on their community.
Connecticut businesses can protect themselves from the financial impact of leadership misconduct by investing in a complete Connecticut Business Insurance policy which includes comprehensive Directors and Officers Liability coverage. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management we specialize in assessing the challenges your business may encounter, including providing risk assessments of employees and corporate leadership. Our Connecticut Directors and Officers Insurance is specifically designed to minimize the financial impact of negative publicity your business leaders may generate from alleged wrongdoing. For more information about any of our offerings call us today at (877) 602-2305.
Wallingford Business Insurance: ACA Allows Bare-bones Healthcare
Controversy over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has yet to fade out even four years after the legislation passed. Business and officials are stuck in a seemingly endless battle of wits. Corporate leaders are looking to ease the transition into providing many hourly-wage, short-term and variable-hour workers with affordable healthcare options under the new regulations. Meanwhile, legislators are strongly driving progress and holding more businesses accountable for upholding the ACA standards.
ACA regulations require all operations with over 50 employees to offer an “eligible employer-sponsored plan” that meets the minimum coverage stipulations. Any health insurance plan that is legally sold within a state’s boundaries qualifies as an “eligible employer-sponsored plan.” In many states, insurers market inexpensive plans that cover a limited range of services. Under current policy in many states, employers can offer these inexpensive plans to their workers and thereby avoid punitive penalties. Many organizations are seeking strategies that minimize the impending financial impact of increasing employee benefits.
One of the most prominent options many businesses choose to offer remains “skinny” healthcare coverage options. These healthcare policy options, called fixed-indemnity coverage, typically offer group health benefits that only provide coverage of specific types of medical care, excluding events such as hospitalization and severe illness management. However, such plans generally fail to satisfy the 60 percent minimum value threshold established by ACA legislation mandating that plan participants pay no more than 40 percent of covered medical expenses and spend no more than 9.5 percent of their annual wage for healthcare coverage. Employees or government funded support systems end up absorbing the financial burden involved with providing adequate healthcare coverage options. Some industries faced with the challenges of a large workforce are opting to absorb the penalties for not providing the “minimum essential coverage” rather than the harsher ramifications for businesses with “no offer.”
The best solution for your business can often be hard to find, especially for operations looking to balance the well-being of their workers with the limitations of their budget. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management we offer a wide array of risk management and financial planning services. We specialize in developing comprehensive Wallingford Employee Benefits packages complete with cost effective healthcare solutions. Our extensive Commercial Insurance portfolio allows us to address all your Wallingford Business Insurance needs with ample solutions. For more information about all our services, give us a call today at (877) 602-2305.
Wallingford County Fuel Insurance: Gas Flaring Under Scrutiny
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a hearing in May to discuss the growing issue of “flaring” and “venting,” two mainstream industry practices designed to prevent dangerous build-ups of natural gas at drilling sites. Venting and flaring practices have recently entered the public consciousness after an industry report from nonprofit organizations the Western Values Project indicated that an estimated 50 million dollars in royalties and taxes were lost in 2013 from gas flaring and the burning of large amount of natural gases. Despite an increased shift towards natural gas use, the volume of unutilized natural gas has risen dramatically. Previous EPA findings suggested that burning excess natural gas has been deemed less environmentally harmful than venting ethanol and other elements directly into the atmosphere, and has therefore been a preferred method of disposal for many producers. The EPA New Source Performance Standards require increased action to increase natural gas capturing and minimize venting and flaring practices across the country.
Thus far, collection of the gases has not been widely favored in the industry. Low natural gas prices have provided little incentive for oil producers to implement infrastructure and technology that would easily and effectively harvest and store the naturally occurring byproducts of drilling. The BLM indicated at the hearing that “current regulations do not reflect the best management practice” and they hope to create regulations and agreements that will ensure better control of natural resources and fuels sources. Furthermore, regulatory crackdowns are expected to curb unauthorized flaring practices of potentially usable natural gasses which could increase penalties for fuel producers caught participating in wasteful practices.
The fuel industry is heavily subject to changing regulations and requirements which often alter established business practices. Keeping up with the latest federal regulations is essential to a Connecticut fuel producer’s risk management strategies. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management our specialists are experts in assessing the needs of our Fuel Industry clients. We understand that a typical Connecticut Business Insurance is not enough to cover the unique risk exposures that oil dealers face. Our Connecticut Fuel Insurance programs are designed to fully protect your assets and reduce losses. Call us today at (877) 602-2305 for more information about any of our products.
Wallingford Business Insurance: Challenges with Marketing to Children
Soft-drink producers have fallen under investigation in recent years for their marketing tactics. Many beverage producers, including Monster Beverage Company and 5-Hour Energy, have been accused of unfairly marketing their allegedly dangerous energy drinks to children. For over two years the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been cracking down on the distribution of highly caffeinated beverages, claiming that the mixtures of sugar, caffeine and other compounds used in the products pose public health hazards. Monster continues to claim no wrong doing and full compliance with FDA policies, including the warning labels printed onto their cans cautioning pregnant women, children and consumers to use the products responsibly at their own digression. The beverage manufacturer has not been charged with violations of any specific legislation yet, however the increase scrutiny about their “Monster Army” marketing campaign and other advertising tactics may lead to future challenges.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lists monitoring and reporting on commercial marketing practices specifically aimed at children as a one of their top priorities. Currently, few laws exist specifically detailing what are and are not appropriate practices, and industries rely heavily on self-regulation to protect children from deceptive and unfair marketing tactics. There are three standards regularly enforced by the FTC when challenging a businesses’ marketing or advertising practices.
The Theory of Unfairness standard is designed to protect consumers from marketing and advertising practices that cause or potentially cause substantial injury or adverse effects such as economic “injury.” Marketing tactics that entice children to act in a manner that could be dangerous or costly are generally considered punishable offenses by the FTC.
The deceptive performance standard is designed to protect consumers from claims that misrepresent the abilities or capacities of any product. For example depictions of a toy animal standing or walking on its own when in fact the product cannot do so, could leave the company exposed to a lawsuit for misrepresentation of a product’s capabilities. Under this standard, advertisements and other marketing tactics must account for the target audience’s capacity to understand the limitations of the product.
Nutritional claims must be accurate and scientifically tested to be utilized as a selling point or promotional claim. Misrepresentations of nutritional information and health benefits of a product pose a “public safety risk” according to the FDA, especially when manipulated to entice children and parents to purchase products that could be nutritionally lacking. Claiming that a particular cereal will help increase a child’s strength or performance capabilities, for example, could be considered a misrepresentation if not factual evidence is attainable.
It is increasingly likely that your business will face claims of misconduct, negligence or irresponsibility. Whether the claims are justified or complete fabrications, the financial impact of legal complications can be costly to any business. Obtaining a comprehensive Wallingford Business Insurance plan will help your venture weather any operational impediments that may arise.