Capital Advisory Group - March 2018


119 Old State Rd, Ellisville, MO 63021

MAR 2018



While there’s still some uncertainty about the history, the name likely came from miners who were displaced from the area that’s now Forest Park, as they used big dogs to guard their homes. Regardless of the origins, the nickname stuck, and thanks to many Irish folks who settled there, it’s become famous for something else — the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Little did I know when I met my wife that I’d be marrying into the legacy of the Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade. As it turned out, her father’s position guaranteed that we’d be at the parade and get a view even better than the front row — we’d be in it. Have you ever seen the Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade? If not, you’re missing out. Dogtown is a small neighborhood full of quaint older houses and narrow streets, and the parade starts at the St. Louis Zoo and winds through the streets of Dogtown, across the bridge, and over the highway. It really is a sight to behold. People find space in their yards and in the yards of family and friends to watch the parade go by.There’s dancing, floats, and plenty

THROUGH AND THROUGH, SO FOR US, MARCH 17 IS A FUN HOLIDAY, BUT WE’RE NOT CONNECTEDTO IT THROUGHOUR ANCESTORS. Then I married an Irish girl, and that all changed. For many years, my wife’s father served as the director of the Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade. When I became part of their family, this meant that I got to join in the festivities, too. We even carried the banner at the front of the parade some years. As our kids grew, they too eagerly awaited the day we’d don green and watch floats go by. You’re probably familiar with some of the history and hearsay surrounding Dogtown, a neighborhood in St. Louis with a strong Irish heritage. The neighborhood has been called by that nickname for many years. One infamous story goes that it got the name when some of the visitors to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair staying in that neighborhood killed and ate local dogs. Turns out that’s just an urban legend.

of green as far as the eye can see.The sidewalks are filled with people young and old.They’re there to take part in the tradition and to find a connection with the family who came before them. Since my father-in-law passed away, we’re no longer up front carrying a banner. Now we think of him every year at this time and how much he enjoyed being part of the celebration. On the inside of the newsletter, we have a few exciting things to share with you, including an introduction to our amazing team member, Margrit. Read on to hear more about her role at Capital Advisory Group and what makes her such a great part of our office. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, whichever part of town you find yourself in.Though if you do make it to Dogtown, you’re in for a treat. John and Jeff Zufall

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This month, we’re back to introduce another amazing part of Capital Advisory Group, Margrit Hamilton. Margrit has been in the finance world for over 22 years, and we’re so happy to have her expertise at our firm. Here’s Margrit’s take on her role and what she loves most about it. I majored in accounting in college, and I love working with numbers and organizing data.Maybe it’s because I’m a Capricorn — everything has to be in its place and add up. After my former supervisor retired and sold the business, I was looking for a new opportunity and got connected with Capital Advisory Group. It’s like it was meant for me. What I love most about my job is helping people. From the moment you walk into our firm, I want you to feel comfortable. As your first point of contact, I’ll be here to greet you with a smile, a handshake, and answers to any questions you might have. In this business, you’re constantly learning, which means it’s never boring. I have the pleasure of talking to so many different people every day. We work as a team, and that also makes this a great place to work. Jeff, John, and Laurie are so patient and easy to work with that they make coming to work a joy.Their vast knowledge makes it a great experience for our clients, and I’m grateful to work alongside them. After work, I’m a homebody. I like to be at home with my husband, and we enjoy our quiet nights in. I love reading, especially mystery novels.Working out is another passion, and I enjoy finding different ways to stay fit, whether it’s a workout class or a walk outside.Most of all, I treasure time spent with family and friends. THE PERSONWHO WELCOMES YOU WITH A SMILE

The first quarter of 2018 is rapidly coming to an end. What steps have you taken to achieve the goals you’ve set for your business this year? How much progress have you made? Have you already logged a string of successes, or are you struggling? Business owners and entrepreneurs set their sights on a number of goals every year.The problem is that a lot of those goals are left unaccomplished due to flaws in the planning stage. Here are some common goal-setting mistakes. • Setting goals that are too lofty or unrealistic • Not taking the proper steps to see goals through • Not working together as a team to achieve goals • Not defining the goals in a way you, and anyone in your organization, can clearly understand • Not having a tracking system in place to monitor and review progress As you work toward your goals, it’s critical to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way. Recognizing achievements keeps your team energized and motivated. As part of the celebration, discuss what still needs to be done to accomplish big-picture goals. If you find yourself or your team falling short of expectations, use this as a learning opportunity. Evaluate your progress and see if you can identify any roadblocks. Did you give yourself and your team enough resources? Were goals miscommunicated? Did changes in your business, your community, or the economy affect your goals? How can you get back on track? If you need to make changes or recalibrate — do it! The longer you wait to adapt to changing circumstances, the longer it will take to find the right course. Even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. It’s up to you and your team to embrace change. It’s not uncommon for marketing strategies to evolve over the course of a year. You may discover that certain aspects of your referral campaign aren’t working. Trimming the fat isn’t necessarily easy, but taking the time to do so will set you up for better results in the long run. Don’t be afraid to make decisive cuts. If a strategy or a goal simply wasn’t a good fit, say goodbye and revisit it later. For now, take some time to review your Q1 progress. What do you need to do to make Q2 — and the rest of 2018 — a smashing success? When Many Businesses Fall Short, Here’s How You Can Succeed ARE YOU KEEPING UPWITH YOUR BUSINESS GOALS?


Here’s a Hint: Find Your Own Pot of Gold W hen you see a rainbow, do you get excited not just for the spectacular view, but for to leprechauns and rainbows? We have a few tips for you. 1. PREPARE It won’t do to wait for that pot of gold. WILL A FOUR-LEAF CLOVER HELP YOUWITH TAXES?

they’ll be able to file your taxes quickly and efficiently. 3. USE YOUR RESOURCES Remember that your advisor and CPA don’t just materialize out of thin air in March. They’re around all year. Utilize them whenever you have a question or an idea. Late fall is a great time to call up your team and strategize for the next tax season. The experienced team at Capital Advisory Group is here to help. Leave the four-leaf clovers in the ground and

TAKE A BREAK the pot of gold that’s waiting at the other end? Are you the type to sit in a field of clover, hoping the next one you pick might have the fortuitous four leaves? If you answered no to both questions, you’re probably someone who takes action rather than waiting for good things to happen. Maybe you’re not the type to believe in luck. When it comes to your future, that’s a smart strategy. If you answered yes, it’s time to look to your strategically minded friends. With tax season on the horizon, how can you take control of your taxes and not leave everything up

The further in advance you prepare your taxes or retirement, the more you can ensure you’re paying the smallest amount of taxes legally possible. Who doesn’t want that? 2. KNOWWHEN TO PLAN If you’ve done the preparation, planning season will be a breeze.That way, you get to turn over all your documents to the person who does the planning — your advisor. Waiting on a 1099 or another document? It’s still best to have everything organized. When you get that last bit of paperwork, you can turn it over to your advisor immediately, and

contact us today to start your planning session. Find out what a little preparation can do for your future.


For a lighter take on enchiladas, go carb-free by swapping tortillas for zucchini!

Ingredients • 4 large zucchinis • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 teaspoons cumin • 2 teaspoons chili powder • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken • 2 cups shredded cheese


Adapted from

1. Heat oven to 350 F. To make enchilada sauce, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chicken to 1 cup prepared enchilada sauce. 2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini. Lay out three slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. 3. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes and enjoy.


(636) 394-5524

119 Old State Rd Ellisville, MO 63021


page 1

Where to Find the Real St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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Keep UpWith Your 2018 Business Goals

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Meet Margrit

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Luck and Taxes

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Go Carb-Free for Dinner

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The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers


Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical- themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens.The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year.This colorful garden is open annually from mid-March to mid-May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips. displays in the world. NETHERLANDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travelers who visit the Tidal Basin during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms.The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April. ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colorful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours

from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March. Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.


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Country music embraces a long tradition of songs about sadness and ruin, heartbreak and pain. It just makes sense, then, that sometimes artists run afoul of the tax system. Most famously, Willie Nelson found himself on the wrong side of a $16.7 million tax bill. And outlaw country icon David Allen Coe, who penned Take This Job and Shove It, drew three years probation and $980,000 in restitution for failing to report his income, which he insisted on taking in cash to hide from the taxman. Joy Ford probably never expected she would become a part of that particular tradition. She got her start as a carnival dancer performing at state fairs. Her co-star Loretta Lynn inspired her to start singing, and she had several minor hits in the 1980s. She went on to operate the Bell Cove Club outside Nashville, where she showcased up- and-coming acts. But her eye for talent turned out to be far better than her eye for business. Ford met with a producer to talk about a TV show and met with a consultant, who suggested converting the club into a seafood restaurant. But the show went nowhere, and the consultant’s

advice went in one ear and out the other. She claimed losses of $210,298 for the years 2012–2014 and deducted them against income from trusts and a brokerage account. Business losses are deductible against outside income, of course, if you can show you’re really trying to make money. However, the IRS decided her business was just an expensive hobby, disallowed the losses, and the case ended up in court. Judge Foley took just two pages to find that Ford wasn’t really trying to make a profit. “She had no expertise in club ownership, maintained inadequate records, disregarded expert business advice, nonchalantly accepted Bell Cove’s perpetual losses, and made no attempt to reduce expenses, increase revenue, or improve Bell Cove’s overall performance.” Not much to sing about there! Not all country musicians who take on the IRS wind up on the sad side. Remember Conway Twitty? (Who could forget a name like that?) In 1968, he rounded up 75 friends and associates to invest in a side venture called Twitty Burgers. Apparently, his fans found his voice more appealing than his burgers, and by 1971, all but

one of the restaurants were closed. Twitty worried that the failure would hurt his reputation, so he repaid his investors out of his music income. Naturally, he deducted those repayments, totaling $96,492. The critics at the IRS disallowed Twitty’s repayments because they were related to the burger business, not the music business. So Twitty took the IRS to court, and the Tax Court ruled in his favor. Judge Irwin found that repaying the investors was an “ordinary and necessary” expense for “furthering his business as a country music artist and protecting his business reputation for integrity.” (We’re not sure how Twitty would have translated those happy results into a country song!) Are you looking for happier tunes where your taxes are concerned? You’ll need to do a little planning and probably a little homework. But we can help you with that effort, and we promise you’ll whistle a happy tune if you do. So call us when you’re ready to save, and remember we’re here for your friends and family, too!


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