NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Below are experts from the ProfNet network who are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.
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OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES
Credit and Divorce
Director of Public Education
While many are planning romantic Valentine’s Day dates, many other Americans are single and newly divorced this year. Griffin is available to discuss how couples should have open and honest conversations before and during the marriage to help lead them to a happily financially ever after: “It’s important for couples to discuss finances before saying ‘I do,’ and to communicate frequently. Couples should also make sure they agree when it comes to financial practices, such as budgeting and how to utilize credit throughout the marriage. Individually, each partner should make sure to be engaged with the household finances so they can protect themselves and their assets if the relationship ends.”
Griffin can also discuss the results of an Experian study of recently divorced consumers on how finances played a role in their marriage — and their divorce — as well as the financial repercussions of divorce. Some top findings: 59% of divorcees surveyed say that finances played at least “somewhat” of a role in their divorces; 36% say their spouse’s credit score was a source of stress in the marriage; the average financial loss reached nearly $20,000 (in cash and assets); 39% say the financial loss from their divorce made them never want to marry again.
Contact: Corynne Randel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax-Efficiency and Retirement
Richard Myerson, CPA, CLU, ChFC
The Myerson Agency
With another tax season upon us, some Americans will find themselves owing jaw-dropping amounts, leaving them with less for the future. Myerson can discuss the minimization of estate taxes and complete tax-efficiency through specially designed wealth accumulation vehicles: “The impact of income taxes is possibly the greatest risk we face on our ability to retire in comfort — greater than market volatility, inflation, and asset value erosion. Investors can and should find tax-efficient alternatives to qualified retirement plans. Such alternatives include using life insurance for long-term investment planning and asset accumulation. Cash value life insurance has come a long way since the days of Ordinary Whole Life. Today, there are several different options to accumulate wealth inside a life insurance ‘wrapper,’ including a technique called Maximum Funded Equity Indexed Life Insurance, which delivers unparalleled long-term results while mitigating risk and keeping costs and expenses relatively low.”
Myerson founded Los Angeles-based The Myerson Agency in 1994. He was recently featured in a U.S. News & World Report article discussing the drawbacks of life settlements, specifically in relation to taxation (http://tinyurl.com/z3ob2ja).
Contact: Dani Miles, email@example.com
How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Tax Return Spending
Co-founder, Managing Director
TransMerit Merchant Services
Like any “holiday,” small businesses should see a spike in sales these next few months as consumers spend their tax refunds. By creating efficiencies through their payment processing solutions, these businesses are poised to capitalize on this spike. Csahiouni can discuss the importance of preparation: “A lot of small-business owners often procrastinate until after Tax Day to upgrade their merchant processing and POS systems. In waiting, they’re missing out on the additional revenue that comes with the season. Small businesses should ask themselves questions like, ‘What tools am I using to profit from this increase?’ and, ‘Is my terminal slow to function?'”
Csahiouni is the co-founder of TransMerit Merchant Services, a Los Angeles-based merchant services company specializing in processing solutions for small to mid-sized businesses.
Contact: Dani Miles, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Entrepreneurs during National Entrepreneurship Week
Arthur “AJ” Merrill
Business Consultant, Attorney, and Professor
Argosy University, Atlanta
National Entrepreneurship Week celebrates entrepreneurs and small businesses across the United States, providing support and resources to help entrepreneurs be successful in their endeavors. Arthur Merrill is available to discuss entrepreneurship, offering tips for budding entrepreneurs. Merrill states: “Often entrepreneurs start out with a lot of passion. But if we don’t build in elements to what we’re doing that will sustain that passion, it will be difficult to keep caring. Add meaning to what you are doing. Public benefit aspects of your business are a great way to do this! Build in a way that the business gets people involved in doing good things together for others and each other.”
Contact: Carole Carr, email@example.com or +1-404-563-2824
Is Your Smart TV Watching You?
Andrew J. Hacker
Cybersecurity Expert in Residence
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Smart televisions have application software that let them do more than just change a channel, like connect to the Internet, apps or even your phone. Those TVs also keep track of your viewing habits: what you were clicking, what channels you were watching, how long you watch them. Says Hacker: “You would hope that information is just used for your benefit to recommend new TV shows, movies or even products you might be interested in, instead of padding the companies’ wallets. These companies are keepers of your information, so they should be protecting it, but that’s not always the case. Vizio was recently hit with charges for tracking that information on 11 million TVs and selling it, without the viewers’ agreement, to the highest bidder. The technology is so advanced in many of the smart TV series that it can pinpoint exactly what you’re watching and when, down to the second. What you’re watching, what you’re doing at a certain time of the day, whether you’re there, whether you’re at work — it could be used to harm you. “
Hacker is cybersecurity expert in residence at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania. He is the former deputy chief information security officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where, for six years, he supported the Enterprise Information Security Office in managing information security. He has worked for large information technology thought-leaders and service providers such as VeriSign, Verizon Business, and AT&T, and has a deep understanding of enterprise security technologies, architecture, policy and governance. He has authored editorials appearing in publications, such as Network World, Information Week, and Help Net Security. Hacker holds numerous industry certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP), Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO), and is a former Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor (PCI QSA).
Contact: Steve Infanti, sinfanti@harrisburgU.edu
Louis Vuitton Missed Joke from Parody Handbag Maker
Intellectual Property Attorney
Lynn Pinker Cox Hurst in Dallas
Louis Vuitton’s trademark infringement suit against My Other Bag over an inexpensive canvas tote bag was tossed out of court when the judge said it was clear the parody bag wasn’t a typical knockoff copy. Says Schwegmann: “This case is very different from most counterfeit litigation. Just by looking at them, the products sold by My Other Bag are clearly not Louis Vuitton bags. That is part of the joke. This is lawsuit is a cautionary tale that trademark holders need to pick and choose their targets carefully. Sometimes by suing, you bring more attention to the alleged infringer, and in this case, it seems that Louis Vuitton is the butt of the joke. There are several examples of trademark holders sending silly cease and desist letters, only to have the action backfire on them in a very public way.”
Contact: Holly Scimeca, firstname.lastname@example.org
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