News & Events

Making Cents: The Ups and Downs of Family Owned Real Estate

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

Some families intentionally pool their resources to make investments in real estate. Others inherit properties and become partners, whether that was their plan or not. Either way, owning real estate with family members can be a great way to benefit from family resources or be the straw that breaks the camel’s back with respect to family harmony.

Whether the real estate in question is a three family inherited from Mom or a collection of commercial properties, the essential issues to resolve surround the management of the properties, the division of cash flow and profits and the estate planning consequences of owning valuable illiquid properties. The ownership of real estate is a business with active moving parts, not a passive investment, and must be dealt with accordingly.

How Long Will the Money Last




by Michael Velazquez


“There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, why am I doing this? But you take a drink of water and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.”

An incredibly fit, silver haired couple with perfect teeth is walking along the beach in their short shorts, with a beautiful Golden Retriever alongside. The couple appears to not have a care in the world, and their whole universe is in balance. This hopeful association is what some TV ads want us to project ourselves into, to feel like one of these characters. They hope we conclude that we need their product or service to be happy, just like the subjects are in their retirement commercial.

Real Estate as an Asset Class

by Michael Velazquez

Ideally, your financial plan includes real estate, which offers the kind of attributes that will often take the pressure off the rest of your portfolio to perform. Having the right allocation of real estate in your portfolio provides enhanced diversification and non-correlation, (assets behaving in different ways, not related to the general markets at large) not to mention certain tax advantages, cash flow, and equity appreciation. Of course, there is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Life Gets Better with Change


“I’ve never found up without a down, a smile without a frown, I’ve never learned to climb without a fall.”  

Extracted from the song “Fog” written by Gaby Velazquez   


Life Gets Better with Change

by Gaby Velazquez Wealth Manager Assistant

Many times in my 38 years, life’s pendulum has swung in a direction that I never thought it would take me. From baseball, to travel, to rock and roll, and love, one could say that I’ve embraced my passions. Some of these passions I did not know I had in me, until a fateful moment came along. A moment, an opportunity, and a desire to improve at something completely new.

Physical Fitness & Financial Planning


by Michael Velazquez

A couple of years ago, as I was coming off the typical Holiday binge-eating period, I decided to do something about it besides the all-too-common New Years resolutions, which usually die on the road to February. This time was different. I decided to get some help. I hired a personal fitness trainer. I was amazed at the similarities of what he does with his clients and what I do with my clients.

Buried Treasure - No Treasure Maps


“We are all gifted. That is our inheritance.”

Ethel Waters


Treasure Dug Up In Uncle Fred's Backyard  - Copy 3.jpg

Treasure dug up in Uncle Fred's backyard, now adorning my office wall.


Buried Treasure – No Treasure Maps

by Robert Crawford

You talk about the big dig, well my Dad told us this story about a big dig!

While most people place their hard-earned savings in a safe place, my Dad's Uncle Fred had his own idea of a safe place. Since he was a product of the great depression and hated banks, he found a better safety net for his old empty coffee tin cans buried in his back yard.   As time went by he buried lots of cans, but he was sure of the exact location of each. Realizing his memory was fading he wrote in his will, "not sure where your inheritance is anymore so just grab a shovel and start digging up the back yard."

Dodgers vs. Red Sox

Dodgers - Game 7 Victory National League Champs.jpeg

Dodgers-Game 7 Victory - National League Champs


by Michael Velazquez

Anyone who dares put up the argument that baseball is boring clearly did not see (or hear) me screaming in my car when, during a pivotal moment of the decisive game, (Game 7 of the National League Championship) Yasiel Puig hit a 3-run home run to expand on a one run lead.

The sheer poetry of Charlie Steiner’s narrative made me not miss seeing it on TV, I didn't need to after all. To my wife’s dismay, I continued to scream for several minutes on the 405 Freeway. The Milwaukee stadium went from deafening roar to eerie silence. Even though several innings were still to be played, the result had been all but sealed: The Dodgers are in the World Series! Against the Red Sox!

The last time these two teams met in the World Series was 102 years ago, in 1916. Even though Fenway Park, the venerated palace of the game and now the oldest stadium in baseball had been built, because it only had capacity for 35,000, they played the games at the other park in Boston, the home of the Braves, who are now in Atlanta. But that is not the most fun fact.

Making Cents: Temporary Renting of Personal Real Estate Has Many Possible Risks

by John Napolitano CFP®, CPA, MST

US Wealth Management Chairman and CEO


Whether it’s called home or room sharing, short term rental arrangements (or whatever the regulators ultimately call it), millions of people have jumped on the bandwagon of either renting or advertising rooms for rent for as short as a single night. This may work wonders for your cash flow if you need extra money, but it also has a set of income tax and risk management considerations that can’t be ignored.

For tax purposes, as soon as you make your home available and start to advertise it, you’re technically converting all or part of it to rental property for tax purposes. What that means is that you’ll have an accounting exercise each year to segregate your expenses to separate those costs incurred towards the rental activity versus those that were for your personal portion of the property.

Telling It All

by Carol Duschinsky


“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.” 
― Gabriel García Márquez, Gabriel García Márquez: a

Living in the age of Social Media, - selfies, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, it seems there are no secrets. The minute you have a thought, an emotion or an event you want to share it and share it with the world. That is what it seems like to me, but I am not one of those. Oh not to say, I am shy. Far from it. There are people on this earth who know everything about me. You would be astounded at the random subjects that come up in my conversations, with my inner circle and the details they know. But that is the catch – I like choosing who knows all about my personal detail. I am just not “Modern”.

It used to be to get a personal glimpse of a life you had to read their diary, or journals, or memoirs. Creating that media was not easy. It is raw, self- examining, time consuming. That is the downside. But it is cathartic, lasting, and intimate. A gift for generations. That is the upside.  Oh how I miss the written words, written notes, pictures in albums of family generations and friends. Social Media seems so fleeting. The new family album is scrolling through a cell phone. Goodbye Kodak.


by Michael Velazquez

Mike with High School friends in Miami.jpg

Mike with friends from High School in Miami. Years don't matter!


We all have friends. Friends at work, friends from high school, friends from college, boyfriends, girlfriends, Facebook friends. In fact I would submit that we are suffering from hyper-inflation and dilution of the concept of friendship.

The standard of friendship, in my mind, someone whom you trust that accepts who you are despite knowing all your warts and defects, maybe even knows some of your secrets, has been over-extended to circles of acquaintances that are undeserving.

If we believe that our friends should earn the moniker, then you have to decide what to do with new prospects. Should you have them fill out an application for friendship? Do a background check? Credit check? Political compatibility? Same religion?

Syndicate content