IRS Delivers Covid-19 Surprise To Workers:  A Chance To Redo Their 2021 Health Plan And FSA Choices

If your employer lets you make changes to your workplace healthcare elections for 2021 under new Treasury guidance, it could cut your tax bill.

 

Wish you could change your health plan for 2021? In newly released guidance on new flexible rules for healthcare and dependent care FSAs, the Internal Revenue Service has included a new Covid-19-relief surprise: Employers can allow employees to make changes prospectively to health care coverage for 2021.

“The guidance is very employer and employee friendly; it really gives a lot of flexibility,” says Jake Mattinson, an employee benefits lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago.

Notice 2021-15 allows for mid-year changes to employer-sponsored health care coverage, healthcare flexible spending accounts and dependent care accounts. It will help employees whose medical and caregiving situations have changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. That is, if your employer is on board.

Usually healthcare elections are set in stone on a calendar year basis. Last May, the Treasury Department came up with a partial mid-year fix for 2020, allowing prospective changes and extending grace periods and carryovers through year-end (IRS Notice 2020-29). But employees still cried foul: they had socked away more money than they could spend in these workplace tax-favored accounts, and would be subject to forfeiture rules.

In December, in the tax provisions tied onto the year-end spending package, Congress passed new special rules allowing rollovers and more for leftover 2020 and 2021 FSA money for employees and ex-employees. Notice 2021-15 answers a lot of the open questions about how to implement the new rules.

For 2021, you can revoke an existing healthcare plan election and make a new election, or revoke an existing election and attest that you’re getting coverage elsewhere. Say you picked an HMO plan, but really want to be in a PPO plan. Or say you decide you’d be better off under a spouse’s plan. This gives you the chance to make a mid-year change. That allowance is not in the December law, so it was a surprise, Mattinson says.

For healthcare and dependent care FSAs, the guidance says employers can allow employees to carryover unused amounts they’ve stashed in these accounts from the 2020 and 2021 plan years. It wasn’t clear before, but the IRS says that any plan can implement a 100% carryover or extended grace period, no matter what feature the plan had before, Mattinson says. That means employees might be able to carry over their whole balance (instead of just $550 under current law) from one year to the next.

The extended grace period could go out 12 months, instead of just 2.5 months. as of January 1, 2022, everything would shift back to the regular rules. Under the regular rules, you can stash up to $5,000 pretax per year in a dependent care FSA, but if you don’t use the money for the specified year, you lose it. You can put up to $2,750 in a healthcare FSA, and if you don’t use it, you may be able to either use it up during a grace period or carry over $550.

Don’t get your hopes up just yet: Employers have to adopt these changes, and while some have already been working on amendments to their plans based on the December law even before today’s guidance, others have decided to do nothing. “The reaction among employers is mixed; everyone has their own ideas of what to implement. It’s all optional,” says Mattinson. One client said they would implement it all, while another client said they wouldn’t make any of the changes, for example.

Some of the nitty-gritty guidance surrounds COBRA and health savings accounts. For COBRA, the guidance makes clear that if an employer lets terminated workers seek reimbursement from an FSA, that won’t hurt their qualification for COBRA. For health savings accounts, the guidance clarifies that for employees who want to make a midyear change into a high deductible health plan with an HSA, they could convert a general purpose FSA to a limited purpose FSA so as not to be disqualified from contributing to the HSA.

Notice 2021-15 is 34 pages long and includes detailed examples, suggesting this is an area of the tax code that could be simplified! Here’s a bullet point summary of the law changes addressed in the IRS guidance; employers can:

 

  • allow employees to carry over unused money up to the full annual amount from the plan year 2020 to 2021, and also from the plan year 2021 to 2022 for healthcare and dependent care FSAs
  • allow up to a 12-month grace period for employees to incur new expenses and submit claims against unused accumulated funds for plan years ending in 2020 or 2021 for healthcare and dependent care FSAs
  • allow midyear election changes on a prospective basis without a change in status event for plan years ending in 2021 for healthcare and dependent care FSAs
  • allow dependent care reimbursement up to age 14 in cases where an employee’s dependent turned 13 in 2020 and the employee had leftover funds from 2020 (this special carry forward rule helps employees whose dependents “aged out” during the pandemic) for dependent care FSAs
  • allow health FSA participants who stop participating in the plan (ex-employees) during calendar year 2020 or 2021 to continue to receive reimbursements through the end of the year, including grace periods (this post-termination benefit applies to healthcare FSAs, not dependent care FSAs)

 

Further reading: Healthcare And Childcare FSA Fix For 2021, Finally: Special Carry Over Rules And More

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I cover personal finance, with a focus on retirement planning, trusts and estates strategies, and taxwise charitable giving. I’ve written for Forbes since 1997. Follow me on Twitter: @ashleaebeling and contact me by email: ashleaebeling — at — gmail — dot — com

Source: IRS Delivers Covid-19 Surprise To Workers:  A Chance To Redo Their 2021 Health Plan And FSA Choices

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An Investment in Hershey’s Stock Looks Sweeter Than Ever

Hershey’s (NYSE:HSYbecame an attractive investment last year when the COVID-driven sell-off resulted in ultra-low prices for this consumer staple. The company was not only well-positioned to weather the storm internal efforts to reposition the portfolio for longer-term sustainable growth were beginning to pay off. Over the past year, the company has finalized three major divestitures that have it in leaner shape, with a healthier balance sheet, and accelerating business.

Hershey’s, A Triple-Dip Of Good News

Hershey’s reported a very solid quarter despite headwinds related to divestitures and FX. Divestitures and FX resulted in a 0.2% and 0.4% headwind to the topline results with the takeaway being these headwinds are largely behind the company. That said, the $2.19 in reported consolidated revenue is 5.8% higher than last year and beat the consensus by 330 basis points. The gains were made on a 6.3% increase in organic sales due to a 5.75% increase in volume and a 0.6% increase in pricing. The U.S. segment was strongest with a bain of 9.06% while International saw its sales fall 13.1%.

Moving down the report, the company’s volume increase and internal efforts resulted in a significant increase in both the growth and operating margins. At the operating level, the GAAP margin increased by 470 basis points to 18.5% while the adjusted margin widened 170 basis points to 19.6% and both ahead of the consensus. The increase in revenue and margin resulted in earnings leverage and adjusted EPS of $1.49 or $0.06 better than expected.

“We delivered a strong quarter with continued share gains and volume growth to finish the year.   While the impact of key external factors on our business remains uncertain, we have good momentum going into 2021 with visibility into a strong start to the year.  We anticipate we will deliver another year of balanced sales and earnings growth in 2021,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company President, and Chief Executive Officer.

If the first dip of good news is the earnings beat, and the second the company’s increasing margins and earnings leverage, the third is the guidance. The company was among the first to reinstate guidance at the end of the calendar 3rd quarter 2020 and it has upped that guidance now. The company’s new projection has F2021 revenue growth in the range of 2-4% versus the previously expected 2.0% and a more robust 6-8% increase in EPS versus the $4.54 previously announced.

Hershey’s Dividend Is The Sprinkles On Top

If accelerating business, improving profitability, and earnings leverage aren’t enough to get you interested in Hershy there is also the dividend to consider. The company pays about 2.2% in yield with shares near $147 and there is a high expectation of future distribution increases. The company is paying about 48% of its earnings but that is based on a consensus figure well-below current guidance. The company’s earnings picture is backed up by a very healthy balance sheet as well, one that carries a moderate amount of cash and debt has good coverage and ample FCF. If the company follows true to form the next increase will come in later summer and could be worth as much as 10% of the current payout.

The Technical Outlook: Hershey’s Is Struggling With Resistance

Shares of Hershey’s popped on the news but resistance at the short-term moving average threatens to keep price action range-bound or moving lower. If price action cannot get above the 30 EMA a retest of the $144 level or lower becomes the most likely scenario. If, however, the bulls can rally and get above the EMA a move up to $152 or $153 looks probable.

By: Thomas Hughes

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How Sales Enablement Can Drive Revenue Growth in 2021

How did your leadership priorities change in 2020? If you started paying more attention to the sales enablement needs of your organization, you’re not alone.

According to recent HubSpot research, 65% of sales leaders who outperformed revenue targets in 2020 reported having a dedicated person or team working on sales enablement efforts instead of making it an initiative someone works on off the side of their desk.

[New Data] The 2021 Sales Enablement Report

For sales organizations that have been waiting to implement dedicated sales enablement measures — the time is now. With 2021 right around the corner, intentional sales enablement is a must-have for organizations that want to remain competitive in the future.

HubSpot recently sat down with Chris Pope, Director of Sales at Crayon, to discuss how companies can implement sales enablement strategies that can move the needle and drive revenue growth.

“Crayon defines sales enablement as providing our account executives with the resources and content they need to win more deals. Closing deals is more important than ever, especially in today’s competitive market where there are fewer deals to close,” he says.

In 2020, Crayon placed even greater emphasis on sales enablement to support their sales force. “We’ve put even more effort into making sure that our sales teams have the resources they need, simply because every deal matters more than ever,” says Pope.

How to Improve Sales Enablement for Your Team

1. Use data to inform your sales enablement content.

Crayon uses data to inform sales enablement decisions. According to Pope, his team relies on “velocity reports” to determine what areas of the sales process reps need the most support with.

“Velocity reports tell us what our reps conversion rates are at every stage of the sales funnel. How many opportunities are turning into discovery calls? How many discovery calls are turning into demos? How many demos are turning into proposals? And how many proposals do we send out that turn into closed business?” says Pope.

“We leverage that data to inform us where each individual rep needs to spend the most time, and where managers need to spend time training individual contributors.”

From an organizational level, this approach helps sales leaders know how to support sales managers and reps, and provides valuable insight into the type of training and content would be most effective.

Two examples of enablement content Crayon leadership has provided to their sales team include:

Call Recordings

“We love call recordings. We not only have call recordings of what the perfect call sounds like, we also have recordings of ideal discovery calls, effective demos, and successful closing calls. We share these recordings with reps who may need help in those areas, and we share them broadly across the organization so everyone is on the same page,” Pope says.

Battle Cards

Battle cards are a valuable tool for preparing reps to speak to features and objections related to your product. Crayon relies heavily on battle cards to ensure sales reps understand what they’re selling inside and out.

“We use our own product to make sure that our individual contributors have the most up to date messaging on how we position against our competition. This knowledge has been crucial not only for our organization, but for our customers as well,” says Pope.

2. Focus on sales team culture.

Chances are, you’re familiar with the term “company culture” — the idea that a company should have a shared set of beliefs, values, and practices. But when was the last time you assessed the culture of your sales team?

Sales teams are often dynamic organizations with motivated team members whose ability to sell is critical to the health of a company. Building strong rapport among members of the sales team and having a culture of open communication, especially in a remote environment, is an effective way to support sales enablement.

Feeling supported and included while selling remotely can be challenging for reps. For Crayon, sales team cohesion is a high priority.

“We’ve done our best to create a team atmosphere. We have daily calls where the entire sales team is on together, we have a peer program where our more experienced reps are paired with less experienced reps to offer coaching and mentorship, and we’re creating cross-functional opportunities for our pipeline generation team to work closer with our closing team,” says Pope.

These activities build trust across the team, and strengthen communication among sales managers and reps, creating a better environment to tackle sales enablement issues as they arise.

3. Prioritize sales enablement at each level of the organization.

At Crayon, sales enablement is an all-hands-on-deck initiative from the top down.

“Sales enablement is a team effort at Crayon. It starts at the top with our Senior Vice President of Sales, who delivers insight on broad topics and training related to overarching sales themes such as a demo workflow, or how to run a closing call,” says Pope.

“The managers and directors are responsible for individual training tailored to the needs of their reps. This can include listening in on at least a few calls for each individual contributor weekly, and providing regular feedback.”

In addition to the sales enablement work of leadership, Crayon focuses heavily on team selling to get everyone involved.

“If one of our reps is great at positioning our product against a competitor’s or they’re strong at demoing a certain aspect of our platform, we’ll invite their team members to tune into their sales calls so they can learn from them.”

Everybody within the organization plays a role in our sales enablement.

In 2020, sales managers at Crayon took a hands-on approach to coaching reps who had opportunities for improvement.

“We’ve really made it a focus to make sure managers are involved in more calls. Managers are putting time aside to give individual contributors and feedback that they need after calls, and benchmarking performance after every stage of the sales cycle,” says Pope.

According to Pope, if a rep is struggling with a specific part of the sales process, Crayon’s team will “focus our training on the specific aspect of the process they’re struggling with to help them improve and get their overall win rate up.”

4. Don’t wait to give feedback.

When sales managers and seasoned team members are coaching reps, the Crayon team makes it a point to provide feedback quickly.

For example, if Pope were to listen in to a rep’s sales call with a prospect, he would schedule 15 minutes with the rep right after the call to deliver feedback on how it went.

“When you let time pass, the call is not as fresh in the rep’s mind, and your feedback is not going to be as direct as it would be if you delivered it right away.”

5. Make sure sales managers feel supported.

Sales managers often have a lot on their plate. They are responsible for coaching and leading their reps to success, and are accountable for their team’s performance to leadership. For growing companies, relieving pressure from sales managers is crucial for a healthy organization.

“As you continue to scale your teams you don’t want your managers to feel overwhelmed. You want to make sure they have enough time in the day to give every individual contributor the attention that they need to to perform their best.” says Pope.

Pope says Crayon focuses on conscious staffing and resourcing to avoid sales manager burnout:

“If we know we’re going to hire a new group of sales reps, we make sure we already have enough managers in place who have the bandwidth to lead.

So when those people start we don’t have a new manager meeting new reps, we have experienced managers working with new reps, and we make sure that team members have the data they need to understand what their path to success will be as an individual contributor.”

Improving Team Morale in 2021

Per HubSpot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, 40% of sales leaders expected to miss their revenue targets this year. That means sales enablement efforts are not only necessary for growth — they are critical for survival.

In a competitive landscape where sales teams are working with volatile markets and buyer uncertainty, keeping morale high is more challenging than ever. Pope shares why communication is Crayon’s greatest tool for keeping employees engaged.

“Morale has been all over the map for different members of the team. At Crayon, we never go a day without checking in on our reps,” he says. “I try to at least have two times a day where I’m asking them how their days are going, what they’ve been working on, what calls have gone well, what calls haven’t gone well, and asking how can I continue to support them.”

This approach to communication happens at the organizational level as well.

“Crayon has done a really great job of communicating, being honest about when we might go back into the office, and making sure we’re meeting with folks who are concerned about not having an office atmosphere to make sure that they’re comfortable with their remote work setup,” says Pope.

If you’re looking for more advice on boosting sales rep productivity and morale, check out this post for advice from an Aircall sales leader on navigating employee fatigue.

By: Lestraundra Alfred @writerlest

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HubSpot

Learn more about Sales Enablement: Why You Need Sales Enablement: https://clickhubspot.com/Sales-Enable… The Sales Enablement Certification will teach you how to develop a marketing-driven sales enablement strategy. This course was designed with marketing managers in mind, but other marketers, as well as sales leaders, can benefit from learning the principles involved in this approach to sales enablement.

This course is made up of 12 classes and a 60-question exam. Completing this course will help you: 1. Align your marketing and sales teams around business-level goals 2. Define your target customer using buyer personas and Jobs to Be Done 3. Implement marketing processes that will provide your sales team with a steady flow of qualified leads 📔 Grow Your Career and Business with HubSpot Academy: https://clickhubspot.com/Popular-Courses 📔 Favorite Free Certification Courses: • Social Media Marketing Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Social-Media… • SEO Training Course: https://clickhubspot.com/SEO-Training… • Inbound Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Inbound-Cert… • Inbound Marketing Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Inbound-Mark… • Email Marketing Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Email-Market… • Inbound Sales Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Inbound-Sale… • Taking your Business Online Course: https://clickhubspot.com/Business-Online

5 Things You Should Know About Capital Gains Tax

A capital gain occurs when you sell something for more than you spent to acquire it. This happens a lot with investments, but it also applies to personal property, such as a car. Every taxpayer should understand these basic facts about capital gains taxes.

Capital gains aren’t just for rich people

Anyone who sells a capital asset should know that capital gains tax may apply. And as the Internal Revenue Service points out, just about everything you own qualifies as a capital asset. That’s the case whether you bought it as an investment, such as stocks or property, or for personal use, such as a car or a big-screen TV.

If you sell something for more than your “basis” in the item, then the difference is a capital gain, and you’ll need to report that gain on your taxes. Your basis is usually what you paid for the item. It includes not only the price of the item, but any other costs you had to pay to acquire it, including:Your resource on tax filingTax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.Go Now

  • Sales taxes, excise taxes and other taxes and fees
  • Shipping and handling costs
  • Installation and setup charges

In addition, money spent on improvements that increase the value of the asset—such as a new addition to a building—can be added to your basis. Depreciation of an asset can reduce your basis.

In most cases, your home is exempt

The single biggest asset many people have is their home, and depending on the real estate market, a homeowner might realize a huge capital gain on a sale. The good news is that the tax code allows you to exclude some or all of such a gain from capital gains tax, as long as you meet three conditions:

  1. You owned the home for a total of at least two years in the five-year period before the sale.
  2. You used the home as your primary residence for a total of at least two years in that same five-year period.
  3. You haven’t excluded the gain from another home sale in the two-year period before the sale.

If you meet these conditions, you can exclude up to $250,000 of your gain if you’re single, $500,000 if you’re married filing jointly.

AdChoices

Length of ownership matters

If you sell an asset after owning it for more than a year, any gain you have is a “long-term” capital gain. If you sell an asset you’ve owned for a year or less, though, it’s a “short-term” capital gain. How much your gain is taxed depends on how long you owned the asset before selling.

  • The tax bite from short-term gains is significantly larger than that from long-term gains – typically 10-20% higher.
  • This difference in tax treatment is one of the advantages a “buy-and-hold” investment strategy has over a strategy that involves frequent buying and selling, as in day trading.
  • People in the lowest tax brackets usually don’t have to pay any tax on long-term capital gains. The difference between short and long term, then, can literally be the difference between taxes and no taxes.

Capital losses can offset capital gains

As anyone with much investment experience can tell you, things don’t always go up in value. They go down, too. If you sell something for less than its basis, you have a capital loss. Capital losses from investments—but not from the sale of personal property—can be used to offset capital gains.

  • If you have $50,000 in long-term gains from the sale of one stock, but $20,000 in long-term losses from the sale of another, then you may only be taxed on $30,000 worth of long-term capital gains.
    • $50,000 – $20,000 = $30,000 long-term capital gains

If capital losses exceed capital gains, you may be able to use the loss to offset up to $3,000 of other income. If you have more than $3,000 in excess capital losses, the amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to future years to offset capital gains or income in those years.

Business income isn’t a capital gain

If you operate a business that buys and sells items, your gains from such sales will be considered—and taxed as—business income rather than capital gains.

For example, many people buy items at antique stores and garage sales and then resell them in online auctions. Do this in a businesslike manner and with the intention of making a profit, and the IRS will view it as a business.

  • The money you pay out for items is a business expense.
  • The money you receive is business revenue.
  • The difference between them is business income, subject to employment taxes.

For more tax tips in 5 minutes or less, subscribe to the Turbo Tips podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and iHeartRadio

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

More From TurboTax:

Capital Gains and LossesWhat is a capital asset, and how much tax do you have to pay when you sell one at a profit? Find out how to report your capital gains and losses on your tax return with these tips from TurboTax.Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.comStimulus 2020: Unemployment Insurance for Self-Employed IndividualsDue to the recent coronavirus pandemic, many businesses and individuals are facing challenging times — including those that are self-employed. The government has issued unemployment insurance for self-employed individuals to help them manage their finances.Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.comGreat Ways to Get Charitable Tax DeductionsGenerally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as an itemized deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.comManaging Your Retirement Account and Taxes During Economic UncertaintyIn times of economic uncertainty, you might start to notice some alarming changes to your retirement account. It’s usually unwise to panic and withdraw early, even if the temptation is strong.Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com

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Jazz Wealth Managers

If you have a robinhood or active trading account it’s very likely you have just past tax return season with a lot of questions on long term and short term capital gains. While that is not our main focus here at jazz wealth, today we give you a brief and basic overview. We’re an investing service that also helps you keep your dough straight. We’ll manage your retirement investments while teaching you all about your money. —Ready to subscribe— https://www.youtube.com/jazzwealth?su… For more information visit: http://www.JazzWealth.com — Instagram @jazzWealth — Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JazzWealth/ — Twitter @jazzWealth Business Affairs 📧Support@JazzWealth.com

Up 50%, Goldman Sachs Stock Can Still Grow

After a 56% rally off the March bottom, Goldman Sachs’ stock (NYSE: GS) seems to still have some room to grow based on its historic P/E multiples. Goldman Sachs, a leading U.S investment bank with a global presence, has seen its stock rally from $135 to $211 off the recent bottom compared to the S&P which moved a similar 55%.

The bank’s stock is closely following the broader markets as investors are positive about the strength of its Sales & Trading and investment banking operations. Notably, its Q2 2020 results saw a 41% y-o-y increase in revenues which was way ahead of market expectations, mainly driven by growth in trading and the investment banking business. Despite this, its stock is still 8% below the levels seen in late 2019.

Goldman Sachs’ stock has partially reached the level it was at before the drop in February due to the coronavirus outbreak becoming a pandemic. After the healthy rise since the March 23 lows, we feel that the company’s stock still has some potential as its revenues have benefited during the lockdown and its valuation implies it has further to go.

Some of this rise of the last 3 years is justified by the roughly 19% growth seen in Goldman Sachs’s revenues over 2016 to 2019, which translated into an 11% increase in Net Income. The net income was unable to capitalize on the rise in revenues due to higher non-interest expenses – especially due to a jump in compensation cost, which weighed on the net income margin reducing it from 23.2% in 2016 to 21.65% in 2019. While the net income did suffer, the earnings figure increased by 28% over the same period, thanks to the bank’s regular investments in share repurchases. Recommended For You

While the company has seen steady revenue and earnings growth over recent years, its P/E multiple has actually decreased. We believe the stock is likely to see some upside despite the recent rally and the potential weakness from a recession-driven by the Covid outbreak. Our dashboard Why Goldman Sachs Stock was stagnant between 2016 and 2019 has the underlying numbers.

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PROMOTED

Goldman Sachs’s P/E multiple changed from close to 14x in 2016 to around 11x in 2019. While the company’s P/E is down to about 10x now, there is some upside potential when the current P/E is compared to levels seen in the past years – P/E of 11x at the end of 2019 and 14x as recent as late 2016.

So what’s the likely trigger and timing for further upside?

Goldman Sachs has a loan portfolio of around $89 billion (as per 2019 data), which could lead to substantial losses if consumer activity levels fall and the economic condition further worsens, leading to a rise in loan default rates. Not to forget, it would make it expensive for the bank to secure funding, impacting its overall operations. Similarly, its asset management business is likely to suffer due to economic slowdown which was also evident from the Q2 2020 results – segment revenues down by 18% y-o-y.

However, there is a silver lining, both the investment banking and sales & trading businesses have seen significant growth over the first half of 2020. Fortunately for Goldman, it has a noteworthy presence in both segments, driving around 19% and 40% of the total revenues, respectively, (as per 2019 data). Given the level of volatility in equity & debt markets, the bank is well-positioned to report growth in its securities trading arm, coupled with higher investment banking revenues driven by growth in debt origination space. This, in turn, would offset the negative growth in other segments and benefit the revenue trajectory over the coming months. While Goldman Sachs’ results for Q2 saw unprecedented growth, we believe that Q3 results will also be positive.

Further, over the coming weeks, we expect continued improvement in demand and subdued growth in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. to buoy market expectations. Following the Fed stimulus — which helped to set a floor on fear — the market has been willing to “look through” the current weak period and take a longer-term view, with investors now mainly focusing their attention on 2021 results. Though market sentiment can be fickle, and evidence of a sustained uptick in new cases could spook investors once again.

What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Here’s a top-quality portfolio to outperform the market, with over 100% return since 2016, versus 55% for the S&P 500, Comprised of companies with strong revenue growth, healthy profits, lots of cash, and low risk. It has outperformed the broader market year after year, consistently.

See all Trefis Price Estimates and Download Trefis Data here

What’s behind Trefis? See How It’s Powering New Collaboration and What-Ifs For CFOs and Finance TeamsProduct, R&D, and Marketing Teams

Trefis Team

Trefis Team

Led by MIT engineers and Wall Street analysts, Trefis (through its dashboards platform dashboards.trefis.com) helps you understand how a company’s products, that you touch, read, or hear about everyday, impact its stock price. Surprisingly, the founders of Trefis discovered that along with most other people they just did not understand even the seemingly familiar companies around them: Apple, Google, Coca Cola, Walmart, GE, Ford, Gap, and others.

This might include you though you may have invested money in these companies, or may have been working with one of them for years as an employee, or have consulted with them as an expert for a long time. You can play with assumptions, or try scenarios, as-well-as ask questions to other users and experts. The platform uses extensive data to show in a single snapshot what drives the value of a company’s business. Trefis is currently used by hundreds of thousands of investors, company employees, and business professionals.

Goldman Sachs recently released their “Rule of 10” stock list. These growth stocks have shown sales increases of more than 10 percent each of the last two years, and are projected to grow sales over ten percent annually over the next two years. Stock lists like there can help investors build prospects for the next generation of FAANG stocks. 👍 GET MY FREE STOCK ANALYSIS GUIDE: “15 Minute Stock Analysis” https://40finance.com/free-report15/ This video reviews several Rule of 10 stocks in detail, including their PE ratio, earnings per share, and analyst price projections for the next year.. The following stocks are mentioned in this video: Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN) Adobe Inc. (ADBE) Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) ServiceNow, Inc. (NOW) PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL) The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Are you interested in any of Goldman Sachs “Rule of 10” stocks? Let me know in the comments! Other 40 Finance videos you may like: Snowflake IPO Breakdown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SZ09… 5 Value Stocks with Upside https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ1Tb…

The No. 1 Reason You’re Not Experiencing Consistent Revenue in Your Business

Spend any amount of time in entrepreneurial social media groups and you’ll get a glimpse into the things that are happening in entrepreneurship.

You’ll see entrepreneurs posting screenshots of five- and six-figure months. You’ll see leaders talking about experiencing their highest-revenue months. You’ll see experts left and right offering advice. You’ll even see a few entrepreneurs posting about their struggles. 

While looking successful on social media can feel good for a while, it’s not the path to building a business that creates financial security and options for an entrepreneur. One-hit wonder months aren’t sustainable and will have an entrepreneur frustrated by the lack of return for the effort they’re putting into building their business. 

While entrepreneurship isn’t the same as having a traditional job, there are strategies an entrepreneur can use to create consistent revenue. 

Related: 4 Expert Tips for Creating a More Repeatable Sales Process for Your Startup

We live in the Digital Information Age. With more than 4.5 billion daily Internet users, the opportunity for an entrepreneur to reach their target clients has never been better. Creating consistent revenue is possible with a plan and an understanding of modern business development principles. 

Lead generation and pipeline 

The number one reason entrepreneurs aren’t experiencing consistent revenue months is that they don’t have a plan for lead generation that fills their pipeline with potential customers who want what their business offers.

Randomly posting on social media is not lead generation. Even consistently posting on social media is only one part of a solid lead generation strategy.

The issue is that you don’t own social media platforms. If any social media platforms decide to make a change that affects the reach of your content, it will have an impact on sales. That’s why social media is just one piece of a bigger lead generation pie. 

Messaging people on messenger, sending prospects on social media to a funnel, or adding the names of people that didn’t give you consent to your email list is not lead generation. 

Ways to create a lead generation system 

Businesses thrive or close based on the systems they create for growth. Winging it only works in the movies and often leads to inconsistency. Clarity is one of the most under-utilized strategies to know what actions to take and how it all fits together.

Here are some ways to create a system that generates leads consistently and fills your pipeline with clients who help you grow your business and that you enjoy working with.

1. Use content to convince 

There’s a lot of noise online. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs who post consistently trying to convince consumers of their expertise. What separates the noise from the real is seeing an entrepreneur demonstrate expertise through content. 

Your content speaks before you ever do. If you’re publishing content on your topic on social media, your blog, newsletter or other mediums, your ideal target client can consume that content, get value and want to know more. 

Content that hits on the pain points of your target demographic tends to get shared and engages online consumers of content. It builds your email list and those who want to follow what else you do. 

It adds people to your pipeline because the consumer wants more. It’s a way to nurture prospects and turn followers into customers. It’s one of the strongest parts of any lead generation system.

Related: Why Sales Copywriting Is Crucial for Your Business

2. Leverage other audiences

In the digital age, the ability to be present has increased. While you can add value through content to your own audience, you can also be an expert on other outlets. 

Podcasts are one of the premier audio means to deliver content today. They’re so powerful, entrepreneur Joe Rogan signed a reported $100 million dollar deal with Spotify because of the podcast he’s built. Imagine what being on Rogan’s podcast would do for your business? While you may not have the opportunity to be a guest on his podcast, there are many others you could be a guest on. 

You can also host joint webinars, train in Facebook groups, get on TV and leverage other media opportunities. One of the best ways to generate leads is by showing cold consumers who you are, what you know and how what you offer can help solve their pain points. 

3. Demonstrate expertise

One under-utilized way to use social media platforms — and to those who causally follow you — is by offering the chance to win training with you, then doing that training live. 

It creates engagement because consumers want to win the session and more engagement because people want to see live training. It’s an incredible way to demonstrate the expertise of what you do and starts the “buying” process in your consumer’s mind. Consumers buy from someone they know, like and trust. They buy from entrepreneurs and businesses that have demonstrated an ability and a knowledge base of the topic your business is built around.

You can also upload the recording training session to your website. It creates an additional piece of content on your online real estate. Tell your social media audience they can get the reply on your website, which brings them to an opportunity to sign up for your email list. It increases website traffic dramatically because your consumer wants to see how your cookies are made, for example. 

Showcasing your expertise in a variety of ways helps you generate leads and fill your pipeline because you’re visually demonstrating you know what you’re talking about and can offer practical value for the consumer. 

Related: Online Content Monetization 101: How to Make Money From Content

A better way

Inconsistent months don’t have to be common in your business. Use content more strategically, leverage other audiences that are filled with your ideal prospects, and demonstrate your expertise by doing more than talk about it.

You can create the kind of lead generation that keeps your pipeline full and leads to increased sales. Don’t rely on old school tactics that don’t translate to a digital world. 

By: Scot Chrisman / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Revenue streams or sales refer to how you generate cash from your clients. Without sales a business can’t function, so this is the most important aspects of any business. 7 most used revenue types include: 1- Asset sales refers to cases where you sell a product to a client who then becomes the owner of that product. 2- Usage fee refers to when a client uses your product or service but its ownership remains with you. 3- Subscription fee refers to when your clients subscribe on a monthly or weekly basis and can use your infrastructure. Examples of this include software as a service, gym memberships, etc.. 4- Leasing or renting or lending refer to allowing clients to use your assets for a period of time as if it is theirs 5- Licensing revenue is earned when you give clients a permission to use your intellectual property. 6- Brokerage fees are earned when you take commission from facilitating a business transaction between two parties 7- Advertising results from fees for advertising a particular product or service or brand. Empower Yourself with more Practical Business Education to Reach your Potential by visiting our site: https://www.potential.com/ Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… Follow us on our social media channels: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PotentialCom LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/pote… Twitter: https://twitter.com/potentialcom Goolge+: https://plus.google.com/+PotentialCom… Video Sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH0eT.

7 Habits to Create Multiple Streams of Income and Financial Independence

Many dream of leaving corporate life to become an entrepreneur. The call for independence, both from “The Man” and financially, is strong. For those wanting to hang up a shingle and live off their accumulated expertise, it can be daunting though. It sounds great, but how, really, do you do it?

I recently shared the 11 streams of income I created by monetizing my expertise in my post corporate life, so it’s certainly something that can be done, and at a level that creates financial independence. Specifically, building a multistream revenue-creation model requires building the seven habits that follow.

1. Ask first whom you can serve, not what you can sell.

The latter flows from the former. Many wanting to monetize their expertise focus first on the product they can sell. What form should it take? Should I write a book? Become a speaker? That comes after determining whom to serve and what you know that would serve them well. Having a clear picture of your target audience means you know whom you won’t be selling to. That’s a big first step, as often when I ask entrepreneurs, “Who’s your target audience?” I hear, “Anyone with a dollar!”

It doesn’t work that way.

Once you know whom you can serve, then figure out what unmet needs and wants they have, what burning problems they have that must be solved. In this way you’re filling a hole and creating demand for your expertise versus hawking mere common knowledge or solving a problem nobody has. Only after achieving this clarity should you figure out what vehicle your offering should be encased in (book, blog, keynote, etc.).

2. Play the short and long game in your portfolio.

Having a robust portfolio of income streams requires habitually balancing things that bring short-term benefit (fast revenue) with longer-term plays (which build your brand and deliver financial returns further down the road). You need both to pay today’s bills and create tomorrow’s riches.

For example, plenty of people want to write a book, which takes time (two years on average). If your book does reasonably well, it’s a great platform for big-ticket revenue items like keynotes. But in the meantime, you have bills to pay, so maybe you write for an online publication, create concise online courses, or do some short-term consulting gigs. You get the idea.

3. Even breadth requires focus and hard choices.

It’s wise to spread your bets when trying to achieve financial independence, to a point. Even in creating different streams of income, I’ve had to make hard choices. I’ve opted out of heavy email list building, podcasting, and some consulting gigs, for example, to focus on activities that better fit together and support my business model and interests. Articles I write generate income but also get me keynotes and give me fodder for more books and courses, which give me more opportunities to keynote, and so on.

Do what you enjoy, and blend your revenue-generating activities into a broader, integrated plan.

4. Stay present to your network.

Believe it or not, when I left corporate to become a speaker, writer, etc., I wasn’t on Facebook and barely on LinkedIn. I was about to lose touch with all the contacts and relationships I had built up over a three-decade career. As it turns out, 80 percent of my business in the first few years post-corporate came from past contacts.

So stay committed to stay in front of your network, providing value as you do.

5. Get over your distaste for “selling yourself.”

I absolutely hated selling books, courses, etc., to my email list and social following in the beginning–until I realized that I have great value to provide. There’s nothing wrong with being compensated for that value to make a living (people understand that). If you don’t promote yourself, your expertise will stay buried with you.

6. Repurpose content.

This should be the first habit you establish. Content I’ve created for my books has been reframed and repurposed for online courses, classes, keynotes, and articles, just to name a few of the reapplications. Be organized and archive your work in a way that makes it easy for you to remember and reuse. And remember your ABCs: Always Be Creating (content).

7. Build it and believe they’ll come.

Many people don’t monetize their expertise because they undervalue it. What’s obvious to you isn’t to others. Have faith in what you create and develop the habit of telling yourself repeatedly that if you build it (well, based on understanding of your target audience), they will come. On those occasions when they don’t, learn why and press forward.

So be wise and you’ll monetize.

By: Scott Mautz, Keynote speaker and author, ‘Find the Fire’ and ‘Make It Matter’

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Rejuvenate Your Business

Getting a nice tax refund back is one of the best feelings in the world for small business owners. The big question is: how to spend that dough? We have a couple of suggestions on how to spend that money so that you can rejuvenate your business in the process.

Spend it on marketing (in the right places).

According to Cyber Alert, non-software companies with revenues less than $100 million spend between 3 percent and 10 percent of revenues on marketing. That’s a pretty decent amount of money to put towards marketing. That’s because, for small businesses, marketing efforts are hugely important when trying to grow their brands and gain new customers.

This year, put some of your tax refund towards marketing your business, but don’t just throw money blindly at your same old marketing tactics. Take this as an opportunity to try something new and really track your ROI. How much did you put in, how many clicks back did it earn? How many new or return customers did it bring in? What was the viewership like? Put some of your refund into trying new efforts and tracking their progress meticulously.

Once you’ve tested a couple new options, you should know what’s most worth your business’s money in the future. Some areas you could spend this money on: boosting different types of posts on Facebook and Twitter, creating advertisements for different social sites, and trying out different press release publication sites.

Thinking of investing in a CRM? We’ve answered your questions in our free e-book.  

Add a pop of color to your office and team-build at the same time.

A couple years ago, we had a paint night at the office after hours. We enjoyed some wine and cheese while an instructor walked us through how to paint a beautiful landscape filled with brightly colored trees. It was such a fun team-building activity, and we ended up with lots of great paintings! We liked them so much, we ended up painting our entire office based on the colors used in the paintings, and then we hung everyone’s painting above his/her desk. Using some of your tax refund on an activity like this is a great way to change up the look of your office and it’s a lot of fun, too.

Replace old equipment.

It’s always good to take inventory of the equipment your business uses on a regular basis. Just as you couldn’t run your business without your employees, you couldn’t run your business without the equipment you use. Though it can be pricey to replace something, it’ll more than make up for it in the long run by ensuring you keep on providing your customers with the best possible products or service, plus, it’ll eliminate the stress of having to worry about whether your equipment will break down on you or not. It’s important to take care of what takes care of you.

By: Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

Financial Strategies for Keeping Your Business Afloat Amid COVID-19

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For the past month or so, normal life in the U.S. has ground to a halt as states and cities work to slow the spread of COVID-19. These steps, which include collective stay-at-home and physical distancing orders, are necessary to save lives. But they come with an economic cost.

The scale of the fallout is unprecedented, and small businesses are particularly hard hit. From restaurants to construction companies, the vast majority “require human interaction of some sort,” says Rob Einstein, a regional sales manager at U.S. Bank. “They are all being impacted by this.”

Despite the continued uncertainty, there are steps business owners can take to alleviate at least some of the hardship and worry. Below, Einstein breaks down how businesses can strategically prepare for the future.

Understand your expense structure.

If you haven’t already, Einstein recommends conducting a detailed analysis of your finances. Knowing exactly how each dollar is earned and where it’s spent is always a good idea, but “it’s more important in hard times,” he says. “Right now, it’s more important than ever.”

This includes doing a deep dive into all your revenue sources. Once you understand how money is coming in, you can plan for various scenarios in which individual channels are reduced or dry up altogether. Just as important is having a comprehensive understanding of your expense structure, including costs that are fixed versus those that are variable.

Run a stress test.

Once you have a solid grasp on your financials, Einstein recommends going on the offense by conducting a stress test. If you typically do a certain amount in sales, measure how your business will be impacted if that figure drops by 10 percent, 20 percent, and even 50 percent. How does the reduction impact your cash flow? And are there steps you can take to continue to operate even if revenue declines significantly?

Make contingency plans.

Given how quickly the economic climate is changing, Einstein advises that business owners plan for a number of different scenarios—an exercise that should include a clear-eyed understanding of how long your company could survive in each situation. Having a number of contingency plans outlined in advance allows “you to act versus react,” making quick decisions that could ultimately save your business. For example, is there a way you can adapt to serve clients virtually if stay-at-home orders persist? Many businesses that rely on in-person interactions have found that some of their services can be conducted remotely, if imperfectly.

Talk to your banker.

He or she will be able to help you navigate the continuously evolving relief landscape and advise you on a financial path that works best for your business. If you have a pre-existing relationship with someone at your bank, be it a relations manager or a business banking specialist, lean on them as a resource.

If you don’t, Einstein recommends reaching out to a branch manager at the bank where you do either your personal or small business banking. “They should be able help guide you in the right direction,” he says.

U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Your tax and financial situation is unique. You should consult your tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning your particular situation.

Credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Equal Housing Lender. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.

By: Entrepreneur Partner Studio Staff

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Lemonade Stock Soars Over 100% On First Day Of Trading, But When Will It Post A Profit?

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Shares of Lemonade, an online insurance company backed by SoftBank, have surged more than 100% since the company went public on Thursday, pricing its IPO at $29 per share.

KEY FACTS

The stock, trading under the ticker LMND on the New York Stock Exchange, has skyrocketed 135% in its public market debut, more than doubling to over $65 per share.

Lemonade, a New York-based company founded in 2016, is disrupting the traditional insurance business by using a mobile app to turn property insurance into a Millennial-friendly, consumer-focused product. (It recently appeared on Forbes’ 2019 AI 50 list of America’s most promising artificial intelligence companies, and is an alum of ForbesNext Billion-Dollar Startup list in 2018.)

The company offers insurance to renters and homeowners using artificial intelligence and chatbots. Rather than sell policies backed by established insurers, Lemonade retains claim liability on its own balance sheet, allowing it to pay out insurance claims in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

Lemonade said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it’s offering 11 million shares in its public market debut: That means it could raise up to $367 million at the IPO price, which would give it a valuation of around $1.6 billion.

 

That valuation is down from its latest round of private fundraising, led by SoftBank in April 2019, however: Lemonade was valued at $2.1 billion at the time. SoftBank’s recent investment struggles, including overvalued WeWork and Uber, are no secret, but for now, Lemonade seems to be bucking the trend.

One concern for investors: when will Lemonade turn a profit? The company reported $67 million in revenue last year with a loss of $108.5 million, compared to $22.5 million in revenue and a loss of $53 million in 2018.

Lemonade is hopeful that its focus on younger, newer customers—over 70% of customers are under the age of 35 and 90% are first-time buyers of insurance—can help drive the path toward profitability.

“A core part of our strategy is to acquire younger buyers before they become attractive to larger insurers,” says Lemonade’s chief financial officer, Tim Bixby. “As those customers age, that drives up the value of their belongings, their need for insurance and the value to us.”

Crucial quote

“Investors are really quite warm to the idea of disruption in the insurance business,” says Bixby. “We’ve been very resilient amid the pandemic—all of our key growth metrics continue to be strong,” he added.

Tangent

According to Lemonade’s SEC filing, SoftBank will own a 21.8% in the company after the IPO on Thursday. Famed hedge-fund Sequoia Capital and venture capital fund Aleph will each hold a stake of 8.3%. Lemonade’s two co founders, Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger, will hold a 28.3% and 29% stake, respectively.

What to watch for

Whether the company can achieve profitability. Bixby says that Lemonade is not profitable yet “by design,” as it is still heavily investing in growth and spending a good deal of money on marketing to attract new customers. But the company is “on the right track,” he says, pointing to Lemonade’s improving cash flow and operating margins in recent years. “I would expect Lemonade to be profitable in the medium term,” Bixby estimates, adding, “but in the short term we see such an opportunity for customer acquisition.” Lemonade, which recently expanded into Europe, is planning to eventually provide customers with more areas of coverage. It will launch pet insurance in the near future, while eventually hoping to add life insurance and auto insurance coverage for its customers.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York—based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news, with a focus on financial topics. Previously, I wrote about investing for Money Magazine and was an intern at Forbes in 2015 and 2016. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source:https://www.forbes.com

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Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber joins “Squawk Alley” to discuss the company’s IPO. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi Shares of Lemonade, an online insurance company, more than doubled in its Thursday market debut to reach a $3 billion market cap. Shares closed $138.79% higher. The company’s stock opened at $50.06 after pricing at $29 per share on Wednesday. Lemonade, launched in 2016, offers insurance to renters and homeowners with the use of artificial intelligence and chatbots, allowing the company to speed up the process. Customers are guided by a chatbot through the application process in under a minute, and claims get paid that quickly as well. It charges renters a monthly subscription rate of $5 and homeowners a monthly rate of $25. Lemonade was named of of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 companies in 2020, placing at No. 17. »
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