119 Old State Rd., Ellisville, MO 63021 CapitalAdvisoryGrp.com THE WEALTH ZONE Plus, How to Make the Most of Your Bonus Day in February WHAT’S IN A CARD? FEB 2020
Besides celebrating Valentine’s Day this month, there’s another holiday that caught our attention: Send a Card to a Friend Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 7. Now, we don’t know about you, but we get far fewer handwritten cards these days. Can you think of the last time you got one, much less wrote one? Because of the rarity of seeing a card that’s handwritten, when you do open your mail and see one, it’s the first thing you go for, right? It feels extra special. Sometimes companies even try to use that novelty to fool us with mail that looks handwritten but is just a convincing font. This holiday is a great reminder about the power of a handwritten card. While an email or text might be much faster, there’s something that gets lost in digital format. A handwritten card seems to impart more of the author’s personality into the message. In that spirit, we encourage you to take a moment this month, sit down, and write to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. You will most certainly make their day. For all of you born on leap day, happy birthday! We can only imagine how exciting it is to have this year roll around
(though we’re guessing — and hoping — you find a way to celebrate every year). With this February having 29 days, we like to think of it as a bonus day, and there are so many ways you could spend it: going to see that movie you’ve been wanting to see, taking a spa day, or just hanging out with your family. We also encourage you to do something that may not sound as exciting in the moment but that will surely save some stress and headaches in the next two months: tax organization.The tax deadline will be here before you know it. Are you ready? It will make a world of difference if you do some simple organization and clean up now. Catalog and file the documents you’ll need to hand over to us, review your charitable contributions from last year, and see that you have receipts for all of them.This
will also give you time to contact the organizations if you need to get another receipt or proof of your donation. Particularly when it comes to your taxes, there are so many ways you can get ahead and take the stress element out of the tax season. Once you’ve put everything together, you can hand it off to us, knowing you’ve done what you can to put yourself in a good position with your taxes and feeling the weight lifted off as you let us take care of the rest. As always, let us know if you have any questions or would like guidance as you’re going about this process. Have a great February, an extra great Feb. 29, and we’ll talk to you next month.
-Jeff and John Zufall
(636) 394-5524 1
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Boosting customer retention by any amount can have a huge impact on your revenue. A study conducted by Bain & Company and reported by the Harvard Business Review found that even a 5% increase in retention can boost revenue by 25%–95%. In short, your ability to retain the right customers can make or break your business. Businesses are constantly searching for ways to achieve customer loyalty. After all, it’s far more cost-effective to keep the same customers coming back to you than it is to constantly go after new ones. Marketing to new customers can cost up to 25 times more than simply catering to your existing customer base. Loyal customers who love your business are an incredibly powerful asset.They can do a lot of your marketing for you through social media and other word-of-mouth channels, convincing others that your business exists and has value. But how do you get to that point? How do you develop a strong bond with your customers that is hard to break and will keep them coming back time and time again? It really starts with stellar customer service. Poor customer service is the No. 1 cause of customer loss. Upward of 71% of people say they cut ties with businesses over poor customer service. Customer service includes your employee-customer interactions, your response to problems, your response time , and your approachability on social media. Look to businesses that have figured out how to do customer service right, like Apple, LEGO, and other beloved businesses in your community. Consider what you can incorporate into your own customer service experience or become a customer yourself and see just how far other businesses are willing to go for you. Another way you can win loyal customers is just by being present. One way to do that is by answering phone calls, emails, and online inquiries immediately .The more time you put between the initial customer contact and your response, the worse it looks for you. When people visit your business in person, be there to offer a hello, answer questions, and engage in casual conversation. When you’re there for your customers, your customers want to be there for you. Turn Amazing Customer Service Into a Major Revenue Source GIVE LOVE, GET LOVE
One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.”This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course. CREATE YOUR OWNODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean
LEAP AHEAD OF TAX STRESS Maximize Your Deductions for Leap Year
TAKE A BREAK 2. ORGANIZE YOUR BUSINESS EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENTS. Making sure you have all your business expenses in a specific file will make your 2020 is a leap year, meaning we have an additional day in February.This extra 24 hours is the perfect opportunity to get organized, especially when it comes to your business. If you are ready to make the most of your taxes this year, here are five ways you can make that happen right now! 1. CHECK YOUR DOCUMENTATION. Reviewing your documentation for your business is a great and simple way to increase tax deductions, as proper documentation leaves less room for missed deductions.
life much easier. If you paid for any business expenses personally (this includes your own business) and have not been reimbursed, make sure you submit those as well. 3. SCHEDULE YOUR ANNUAL MEETING. Get this on the calendar now! Meeting minutes are an ideal place to document the activity in your tax strategy. All the items on this list should make their way into your annual meeting. 4. ADD AN ENTITY TO YOUR STRUCTURE. Entities are one of the most effective tools for tax reduction. Knowing the right time to add an entity — and knowing the right entity to add — can save you as much
as $10,000 per year in taxes. However, the entity needs to be in place in order for the tax savings to occur, so this is an important one to look at right now! 5. CHANGE HOWYOUR ENTITY IS TAXED. When we create a tax strategy with a client, it’s not uncommon for an entity to be created with the intent that once it reaches a certain income level, an election will be made to change how it is taxed. Let’s get this process started!
EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI
Ingredients • 4 tbsp butter • 4 tbsp olive oil
1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.
• 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 cup dry white wine • 1/4 cup lemon juice • 8 oz cooked linguine • 1/4 cup parsley
Inspired by The Blond Cook
119 Old State Rd. Ellisville, MO 63021 CapitalAdvisoryGrp.com
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The Other February Holidays
Your Epic Adventure Awaits
Get More Love Back FromYour Customers (When You Love Them First)
Leap Ahead of Tax Stress
Easy Shrimp Scampi
National Pizza Day
What’s in a Pie? NATIONAL PIZZA DAY
Pizza styles are as varied as the toppings that adorn them — thin crust, deep dish, stuffed, you get the idea. Here are three delectable varieties you might find in different establishments
Neapolitan, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the sacred style, provides
clear guidelines. DEEP-DISH
across the country. NEAPOLITAN
Most people can agree on one aspect of the potentially polarizing deep-dish: It will leave no one hungry. Originating in Chicago, this hearty pie does things a little differently. A high-sided pan creates a tall crust capable of containing a deep layer of cheese and toppings, including sauce, spices, and a smattering of Parmesan cheese, of course. ST. LOUIS We’d be remiss not to mention our hometown’s namesake pizza. Made with a crisp, crunchy, thin crust, what really defines a St. Louis is the cheese.
You might call the Neapolitan the granddaddy of pizza. After tomatoes came to Italy from South America in the 16th century, clever Napolitanos saw the potential.They began using them to top flatbread, then smothering the combo with mozzarella. Today, Neapolitan is defined by a fermented dough baked to perfection in a wood-fired crust and topped with red sauce, minimal chunks of mozzarella, and herbs. For the exact specifications on what makes a true
Provel — made up of an all-its-own mixture of cheddar, provolone, Swiss, and liquid smoke — was first invented by St. Louisans in the mid-20th century and has continued to adorn pizzas here ever since. When it comes down to it, one quality unifies all pizza, regardless of style: It’s delicious.
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