Our Illustrious Industrious Cincinnati

From the beginning, Cincinnati was destined to be a great place to do business. Once the U.S. Congress opened land for settlement west of the Alleghenies and east of the Mississippi in 1787, John Cleves Symmes applied for and won a grant for land between the Great and Little Miami rivers, later known as the Miami Purchase. Settlers wasted no time, streaming westward down the Ohio River, aptly named as it means beautiful in the Native American tongue. One of the earliest settlements was Losantiville in 1790—later renamed, Cincinnati.

Cincinnati in 1800

Cincinnati in the year 1800, population 750, when only about 30 structures had been built. Many of these structures and some streets are identified by number in the print. Lithograph by Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati, based on a painting by A.J. Swing. Public domain.

Within 20 years, Cincinnati had prospered and the locals were already referring to it as The Queen City of the West. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized our nickname in his tribute to the city’s vineyards:

Catawba Wine
And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver,
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River.

From Fountain Square’s “Genius of Water” built in 1871 and moved to its present location in 1971, to the cherry red pressed brick of Music Hall with its many carvings and symbols built in 1878, the early business leaders of our Queen City expressed visions of excellence. The original Chamber of Commerce building at the SW corner of 4th and Vine built in 1889 was destroyed by fire in 1911, yet shortly thereafter Cincinnati played a significant role in 1914 when 1,000 chamber of commerce executives from all over the country gathered here to form ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. President William Howard Taft, a Cincinnati native, is credited with the formation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

Today, Cincinnati ranks higher in the “Top 10” of Fortune 500 headquarters per million residents, higher than New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. In fact, 9 Fortune 500 and 15 Fortune 1000 companies call Cincinnati home. (Source)

Cincinnati’s top 5 employers are Kroger, UC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, TriHealth, and Proctor & Gamble. Together, these 5 employ close to 76,000 people.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 55% of the nation’s workforce and 63% of net new jobs come from small business. In 2014, Cincinnati was named one of the best cities for small business in the United States. These companies are invested in the health care, banking and financial management, education, manufacturing, and consumer products, to name a few. The survival rate of our 6,000+ small businesses is on the rise.

As one of Cincinnati’s small businesses, we are proud of our beloved city, its heritage, and people. By the way, as we write this, President Trump is delivering remarks on tax reform in Cincinnati and we’re pretty sure that the choice of venue is not by accident.

Keeping Senior Independent

The Chicago Tribune recently ran an interesting article that everyone who has a relative or loved one having trouble paying bills and managing life’s paperwork, especially insurance paper, would benefit from reading.

senior man

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

Entitled Daily Money Management Services Keep Senior Independent, the article points out how hiring a professional daily money manager associated with the American Association of Daily Money Managers may help maintain a senior’s independence, protect their nest egg, and make their lives more peaceful and manageable.

When doctor bills, Medicare statement, and credit card bills begin to pile up, it’s a good indication that a senior may be becoming increasingly forgetful, unable to handle the mail because of poor eyesight, or is simply becoming overwhelmed.

The frauds prey on seniors and they are defenseless against money scammers. The article reported one client who was an “inch away from sending her checking account number to a foreign entity.” When the adult children live far away and can’t regularly monitor a senior’s bill paying, having a trusted daily money manager can be the only resource available to be 100% sure assets are protected, and what little money might be available is spent properly and legally.

Our fees for these services are reasonable, especially considering the risk taken without this type of financial oversight. Clients send their bills to us, and we in turn pay them from the client’s account. If there are insufficient funds in the account, or if an invoice or statement appears out of line with the norm, the senior and/or a family member is immediately notified.

Not just for seniors, busy executives who frequently travel, and snowbirds that maintain two residences, also benefit from daily money management services. If you believe these services may be beneficial to your or a loved one, we invite you to call us for a friendly no-obligation conversation at (513) 322-1036. You can learn more at www.aadmm.com or visit our website’s Money Management page.

Tax Less – Give More

money umbrellaThe big gift under the Christmas tree for most Americans this year was the 2018 Tax Code for individuals and businesses. Santa has not delivered a gift this significant for U.S. taxpayers for over 30 years. Most of us are happy he made it down the chimney.

To explain in our blog what’s included in the bill, and how it is likely to affect you and your business, would be redundant. Plenty has been written in the press and online. An article that we found to be easy to understand comes from The Motley Fool. The impact of the Bill is explained in layman’s language and we especially like the tables. According to the Fool, a few interesting individual deductions will soon be history. These include theft losses (no need to fill out that pesky police report), unreimbursed employee expenses (no incentive to bring the boss a Starbucks latte), moving expenses (it now pays to stay in one place), and employer-subsidized parking (no problem for us whose office happens to be in the suburbs).

For corporations, the GOP-proposed Bill is exciting. Businesses can sell worldwide without double taxation, and if you’re one of the those businesses who made money overseas but couldn’t afford to bring money into the U.S. because of taxation, it’s good news.

Read the entire article (really, it’s a good one).

Of course, not everyone is happy. Parents who sacrificed so their kids could go to college won’t get the $2,500 tax credit and charities are all wondering whether the goodness of the average American wage earner will be “as good” if they aren’t able to deduct charitable donations. We believe that generosity and compassion, more than a tax deduction, drive American giving. Next year will be our litmus test. In the last election, according to Pew Research Center, 54% of us Americans voted, but 60% of us gave to charity.

Charitable giving, in all its forms, transcends politics. Giving is as American as apple pie and will remain that way regardless of our politics, tax rules, and financial forecasts.

Merry Christmas :) Now Leave Me Alone :(

It happens every year. We look forward to the holiday lights, the office party, impromptu get togethers with friends and family, and most of us look forward to giving and getting Christmas gifts. So why is this most joyful time of the year so stressful? Why are we so good at sucking all the goodness, peace, and good cheer into shopping madness, stress, and quick tempers.

failed expectationsThe answer is obvious…or should be. It’s the disappointment of failed expectations.

Setting expectations for ourselves is meant to be energizing, motivating, and a guiding light toward a purposeful life. When done right, setting expectations for ourselves can make us better people, improve our relationships, and make us more value employees. When done wrong, as we tend to do with these short term “to-do” lists for the holidays, we fail and stress out. Why?

Setting expectations for the long term can help us change from being self-centered infants to meeting the needs of ourselves and those around us in the framework of a wide perspective.

However, at this time of year we’re setting expectations for about a month’s worth of days that lay between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have little time, so we over-program ourselves. Our to-do lists automatically set up bloated expectations for ourselves and for those around us, with the results being a tendency toward being cranky, tired, and ungrateful.

Take for example, gift shopping! Since so many of us shop online, we don’t even get to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas malls and the ringing of Salvation Army bells. Instead, we hear only the click-clack of the keyboard as we learn that the gift we’ve located for our grandson has “only 1 more left” so we buy it anyway knowing full-well we’re being lied to in order to get us to “add to cart” before we second guess our decision, which we will anyway when the shipping we expected to be free is more than the money saved choosing gifts on sale.

After we blow our budget, max out our credit cards, give in to whining demands of spouses, employees, store clerks, and Amazon’s shopping cart, we feel like a failure yet still accept every invitation to every holiday party so we can talk with much animation to people we barely know while we snack raw carrots and molasses cookies.

The double-edged sword comes when we not only continue to have failed expectations of ourselves, but also become disappointed in others. But we can stop the madness! This Christmas, let’s agree to appreciate ourselves more, be more patient with ourselves, and accept our shortcomings. It may well be our greatest gift to those around us.

Merry Christmas from the DL MoneyMatters Team

Gratitude & Thanksgiving

Gratitude opens more doors. When you send thank-you notes to new customers or acknowledge the value of their business in any way, you open new doors to opportunity from referrals and additional business.

gratefulGrateful business owners feel better. Long or irregular hours take their toll on business owners and their employees. Busy people often ignore their health and lack time for exercise. Studies show that grateful people take better care of themselves, exercise more frequently, and enjoy better overall health.

Gratefulness improves mental health. It’s as important to take care of our mental health as it is our physical health. Grateful people have better emotional balance. They are less likely to be envious, resentful, frustrated or regretful. Being grateful makes us happier and less depressed when the inevitable downsides occur.

Grateful people don’t get as upset when others are rude or negative. When confronted with unkindness by co-workers or customers, they are better able to handle negative feedback appropriately because they are able to be more empathetic towards others.

Gratitude reduces stress and plays a major role in overcoming adversity. How can we all become more grateful? We practice and experience gratitude on those occasions when bad things happen and we still find something to be thankful for—and not just on Thanksgiving Day.

At DLMM, we are grateful for your friendship and for your business and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. We wish you plentiful opportunities in the coming season for which to be grateful!