Murphy Bussiness January 2018

SMALL-BUSINESS QUARTERLY Empowering Jacksonville’s Business Community, One Business at a Time


I’ve been a part of the financial industry for about 30 years. Back when I was in college, I had no idea where my education and interests would take me. I went to Penn State University — a school that had a program in just about every area of study you could imagine. That’s one of the reasons I chose that school. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I “grew up” and at Penn State, I could explore to my heart’s content. I took all kinds of classes and saw what the world of academia had to offer.Then, I took an accounting class, and suddenly, everything made sense. In short, accounting just clicked. I fell in love with the class and, really, everything accounting had to offer.The reason it clicked was simple.Accounting, in many ways, is black and white. It’s numbers and math; there are right and wrong answers with no in between. I loved the lack of ambiguity.A number is a number. From there, I started my career auditing nonprofit organizations. It was a great job that brought with it a strong sense of accomplishment.As my career evolved, I knew I wanted more, though I couldn’t have imagined making the switch from auditing to more tax-based accounting. But that’s what happened.

I get to serve as an educator and help people work through the tough stuff so they can get back to what they love to do: Running their business. If they need training on QuickBooks, I’m there. If they need to outsource some CFO work, I can help. If it’s straight bookkeeping and accounting, that’s why I’m here! My priority is to meet your business’s specific needs. Though my career takes up a big part of my life, my family is incredibly important to me. I’ve raised three kids who are all out of the nest. I also have a granddaughter who’s approaching 3. Plus, I’ve been married to my best friend now for the past four years. I love them all, and I’m glad they’re each a part of my life. Looking ahead to the rest of 2018, there are so many things I’m looking forward to.When it comes to my business, I’m in the process of making a few changes. Well, I say changes, but they’re really more like upgrades. For one, we’re getting a new name: LKP Group CPA! We’ll also be getting more technical and utilizing the cloud more than we have in the past. Everything we do is with our clients in mind, whether it’s myself, Rick Dwyer, Kim Deas, or John Miller. It’s going to be a great year!

my own firm. I knew I could do more for small businesses and individuals on my own.That’s where my real passion was, helping small business owners and individuals navigate the complicated world of finances and taxes. I love that I can work directly with clients. I work with so many people who feel stressed or uncertain about dealing with the IRS or sifting through countless rules and regulations. Even seasoned business owners and entrepreneurs often find it difficult to sort through.

– Lisa Pilgrim

It was a change that began as a realization. I knew I wanted to have


Richard R. Dwyer Argallus Financial Group 904-800-7299

Kimberly Deas 904-263-5546

Lisa Pilgrim 904-694-4275

John McE. Miller 904-241-1113



“Rarely do you meet someone in the sales business with the willingness to help others without a ‘What’s in it for me?’ attitude. I really felt that way meeting with Kim Deas. “Kim could certainly have told me that she could sell my business and signed me up, but she didn’t. She told me that if I was able to implement a few strategies (which she gave me), that I

could grow my company significantly and realize a lot more value.

you can bet I will only call one person: Kim Deas.

“Instead of taking the easy path and making a commission now, she helped coach me so that I could realize a far greater value down the road. She never asked me to guarantee her the ‘deal’ in the future, and she truly provided added value. In the future, when I do decide to sell my company,

“If you are considering selling your business or buying a business and want to work with an honest, caring, and incredibly intelligent person, Kim Deas is that person.”

–Howard Meltzer (business owner)

CASE STUDY A Jacksonville business owner was interested in accomplishing several goals — to maximize retirement income, partner.This policy will also serve the needs of the buy- sell agreement.

protect his business, improve cash- flow, and reduce taxes. In addition, the business owner was preparing to bring on a partner. To maximize his retirement, we began by reviewing his existing 401(k).After a fiduciary review, we transferred his 401(k) to lower his fees and arranged for the money manager to become a plan fiduciary.

As an alternative to a cash balance plan, and to reduce the amount of funds that were required to fund his existing life insurance policies, we utilized Enhanced Planning™.This

enabled the owner to fund $350,000 per year in premiums, the majority of which was going to cash value.The initial cost is $41,000 per year and will level out at $112,500 per year.This saves $220,000 in cash flow in years 1–3, while still providing $150,000 in savings per year by year 8. This case illustrates how planning can dramatically improve cash flow and reduce taxes, while making the overall portfolio less prone to losses. Currently, less than 25 percent of the

owner’s net worth is subject to direct market fluctuations, while 60 percent is protected from any losses and is still capable of gains over 10 percent. We specialize in working with business owners who are looking to reduce their tax burden by deducting up to $1 million or more per year. Let’s discuss how we can help you save for retirement and keep more of your tax dollars.

ARGALLUS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. We then put insurance policies in place to cover death, disability, and terminal illness.The policy was set up to maximize cash value and enable the cash value to grow tax-deferred, and to provide tax- free income when needed under current tax law.

Next, we placed a key-man policy on his associate, who was also becoming his

Rick Dwyer



Rick Dwyer, Financial Advisor “My goals are to train and enter my first triathlon; launch our new website, logo, and branding on Jan 1.; and add property and casualty insurance to our practice during the first quarter of 2018. We want to continue to help business owners dramatically reduce their tax liability and plan for future success while ensuring they’re properly protected today.”

Lisa Pilgrim, CPA “My goals for 2018 are to help and educate as many clients as possible, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and grow my practice and relationships. It’s all about balance!”




If you’ve ever been told you won’t succeed because you lack talent, bring a copy of “Grit” to your next meeting.

While teaching high school math, author Angela Duckworth noticed some of her highest-achieving students weren’t the ones with the highest IQs, while some of her “smartest” students weren’t doing all that well in class.“Why?” she wondered. She followed her curiosity to Penn State’s psychology program.There, she studied several demographics, including cadets atWest Point, young teachers, and sales representatives.After numerous psychological studies, Duckworth discovered that “grit” was the common denominator in successful people. Duckworth defines grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.” People who display grit don’t start a project and abandon it a month later.They devote themselves to an overarching goal that drives everything they do. She explained that someone who practices grit goes through life like a marathon, not a sprint. “Effort counts twice” could be the battle cry of grit. Gritty people are willing to put in the extra effort to achieve their goals, and that’s what helps them reach their goals if they don’t have innate talent. While this provides a strong case that those born with grit will succeed, grit doesn’t factor luck and opportunity into the equation, something that Duckworth is transparent about in her book. She says those who aren’t born with grit can develop it in four simple steps. First, identify an interest that can blossom into a passion. Second, practice that passion, a lot. Third, develop the belief that your passion has purpose.While it’s not an overnight transformation, these guidelines can at least give us hope, which is the fourth step: Hold on to hope that you can succeed. Our biggest takeaway from“Grit”? Look at failures as milestones on the journey to success. Getting gritty means failing and learning from it.Any of us can get gritty if we’re willing to put in a little elbow grease. Perhaps most instructive is Duckworth’s equation (she was a math teacher, after all): Talent x effort = skill. Skill x effort = achievement.

Often, business owners know they want a certain price when they go to sell their business, but they have not invested the time and effort to create that value, or they have liquidated the value, leaving the seller deeply disappointed — if they had only known!

This checklist will reveal the six things you can do to secure the largest value possible for your business.

Ready to get started taking care of your loved ones and leaving your legacy? Some people worry about gathering everything that’s needed for the initial meeting with an attorney. However, it really isn’t that much. Check out the list below and get started!


Prior estate planning documents (if any exist and if you can find them), including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.


List of assets (anything you own with a value of, say, over $5,000 or any items that have particular value to you).


List of liabilities (what you owe and to whom).

Types of assets (might be the same answer as No. 2 above). Asset categories include real estate, personal property, stocks, insurance, equity in a business, vehicles, bank accounts, etc.


5 6

How the assets are held (jointly or individually).

Approximate or estimated value of each asset.

Your designated beneficiaries (people or organizations you want to give something to).


8 9

Names of those who will be included in your documents.

Just kidding! There isn’t a No. 9. It’s that simple.

John Miller

Kimberly Deas, Business Broker “My goals for 2018 are to reach 200 business owners about exit planning and selling, hire four more business brokers, and raise over $150K for Project SOS at their annual gala that I am chairing.”

John Miller, Attorney “I want to spend more time with my wife, daughter, and son; lose at least another 17 pounds, like I did this year; and get healthier, so I can keep up with said wife, daughter, and son! We want to continue to be one of the 10 fastest-growing law firms in Florida so that we can serve more

wonderful people, businesses, and families! I want to travel internationally, and play and hear some great music.”




Lisa Pilgrim on the Simplicity of Numbers INSIDE page 1

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Client Testimonials

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Case Study

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DoYou Have the Success Gene?

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Your First Meeting to PlanYour Will or Trust

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Local Events

New Adventures in the New Year WHAT MEMORIES WILLYOU MAKE IN 2018?

Jax Gala 2018: BowTie Bash Where: lntuition AleWorks, Jacksonville When: Saturday, Jan. 27, 7-11 p.m. Admission: $25-$40 Website: Time to celebrate for a good cause! Put on your finest bow tie and come party at Intuition AleWorks. Feast on catered hors d’oeuvres, take a picture in the custom photo booth, play a game of giant Jenga, and enjoy some of Jacksonville’s finest libations. Proceeds from the gala will go to subsidize Jacksonville Ultimate League high school leagues and other youth events. Support youth sports while having a fun night out with friends! Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ Where: Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Jacksonville

When: Wednesday, Jan. 31, through Sunday, Feb. 11; showtimes vary Admission: See website for pricing Website: An evil uncle.A terrible crime.A runaway prince. Disney’s “The Lion King” is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, and for over 20 years, is has been the most successful musical in history. This incredible feat of artistry and music has dazzled 90 million audience members around the world. Now, your family can visit Pride Rock in person as a talented cast of performers dance and sing their way across the Serengeti. It’s the circle of life like you’ve never seen it before. 50thAnnual MandarinArt Festival Where: Mandarin Community Club, Jacksonville

When: Saturday, March 31, through Sunday, April 1 Admission: $1 cash donation per person Website: For 50 years, artists from every medium have come together to celebrate art and culture in Jacksonville. In addition to high-quality juried fine art, festival patrons enjoy live performances, raffle drawings, vendors, and a children’s art show, too! If you have never been a part of this community tradition, now’s the time to come out and see what makes the Mandarin Art Festival so special.


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