November 25, 2008

A Rough Ride in Collectible Cars


NOVEMBER 25, 2008
A Rough Ride in Collectible Cars


For some, the first sign of trouble was a Daytona Spyder.

When one of these rare early-1970s Ferrari sports cars turns up at an auction, high-end collectors typically bid aggressively, even fiercely, to acquire it. But at a recent sale in California, one Spyder failed to fetch the minimum bid.

In recent years, the vintage car market has soared, led by the priciest European models. But now, as the economy worsens to the point where even the wealthiest collectors feel pinched, demand for million-dollar sports cars is starting to skid.

Continue reading "A Rough Ride in Collectible Cars" »

November 06, 2008


I just came across this and thought it would be of interest.


Goebel of North America Latest News from the M.I. Hummel Club

Pennington, N.J., August 29, 2008 - Goebel Germany has recently announced that it will discontinue production of M.I. Hummel figurines on October 31, 2008 and focus its resources on the company's home accessory brands. Current details concerning Goebel Porzellanmanufaktur's
M.I. Hummel business division are as follows:
The Goebel Information Center in Rodental, Germany closes at the end of August 2008.
The production of Hummel figurines at the Rodental, Germany facility will end on October 31, 2008. Sales will continue as long as supplies last.
The M.I. Hummel Club Center in Rodental, Germany will close at the end of September 2008. The North American M.I. Hummel Club Center in Pennington, NJ USA will remain open for business.
The 2008 International Club Convention in Germany planned for October 17 & 18, 2008 has been cancelled, please read below for more details on this German event. The 2009 International Club Convention in Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY USA is going forward, please visit to register for the North American event.
We are confident that a new "solution" will soon be found for M.I. Hummel figurine production and for the Club. Goebel is actively working in this direction and we expect to have further information by the October 18th get together in Rodental, Germany... Visit these pages regularly for the newest information concerning further developments. 



August 21, 2008

Estate Liquidation – The Final Accounting

Insuring Your New Life

Insuring Your New Life
Acquiring things together means insuring your future together.

Rare-auto breeds retain their allure

Rare-auto breeds
retain their allure
Pebble Beach car auction
tops last year's tally
for prized collectibles

August 21, 2008

August 08, 2008

Marketing, Business improving your skills

Brian Kathenes wrote a good email the other day and I thought I would share a link to his thoughts and links to the books he suggested.

Plus take the time to announce our new bookstore -

Continue reading "Marketing, Business improving your skills" »

August 03, 2008

The Future of Estate Taxes


The Future of Estate Taxes
August 3, 2008
Q: I read your recent answer to a reader question about estate taxes. Part of your answer stated that the estate tax is supposed to disappear entirely in 2010. I seem to recall that when the current rules were put in place several years ago, unless Congress makes changes, starting in 2011 the exemption reverts back to the $600,000 limit that was in place before the current rules were enacted. Is that the case? Also, what will happen to the step-up in basis for inherited assets?

--G.H.P, Sacramento, Cali

July 22, 2008

A Portrait of Art As a Tax Deduction

A Portrait of Art
As a Tax Deduction

July 22, 2008; Page D1
Jon and Mary Shirley used to give artwork by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Alberto Giacometti to the Seattle Art Museum. No longer. A federal crackdown on deductions for so-called fractional gifts of art has made donating too onerous for them.....

July 17, 2008

When Public Art is orphaned

A WSJ article covering the issue of older public art

July 14, 2008

Family Money: When to Think About Tomorrow

Family Money
When to Think About Tomorrow
It's always good to have a financial plan. But some times are especially crucial.
July 14, 2008; Page R4
Mapping your financial future can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if rising prices and a sputtering economy are straining your budget and battering your portfolio. It's enough to make you want to put planning off indefinitely.

July 06, 2008

Valuable artwork can be converted into liquid assets

From the Asheville, NC Citizen-TImes

Valuable artwork can be converted into liquid assets 


"The first thing is, you've got to determine what you have," he said.

Appraisers assess the value of art the same way real estate agents do houses - by comparing them to similar items and checking the prices they brought when sold. Appraisers are available in the Yellow Pages, on the Internet and from estate attorneys.

You'll want an appraiser who is accredited by the American Appraisers Association, the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers, said Milner. With an appraisal, you'll know how much it's worth when you offer it for sale, at an auction or online.

July 02, 2008

Stayin' Alive: How to Cheat The Estate Tax


Stayin' Alive: How to Cheat The Estate Tax
July 2, 2008; Page D1
You still can't take it with you. But by timing your death, you can leave more of it to your heirs....

June 25, 2008

Safeguard your collection

WSJ covering the basics of insuring, protecting and cataloging your collection.

June 16, 2008

More Signatures Less Value

 A WSJ article covering the intricacies of the inverse relationship between the quantity of signatures and the value of the object.

May 30, 2008

Death by Taxes: Seniors May Plan Their Demises to Maximize Their Bequests

Death by Taxes: Seniors May Plan
Their Demises to Maximize Their Bequests

May 30, 2008; Page W11
A few weeks ago, I gave a talk about tax policy to a group of elderly people at a ritzy country club in Jupiter Island, Fla. I reminded the audience that the estate tax is scheduled to fall from 45% today to zero in 2010, but then rise all the way up to 55% in 2011. I joked that what we have here is the "Throw Mama From the Train Tax." I even playfully surmised that by this time next year, when kids visit the nursing home they'll be pleading: "Come on, Grandma, hold on for just a few more months." But then in late 2010 it will be the opposite: Heirs will be disconnecting their parents or grandparents from life support or slipping arsenic in their Vodka Tonics....

March 04, 2008

IRS & Appraisals

 This is an interesting article from the Times (LA) about inflated donation appraisals and the IRS.,1,6630967.story?t rack=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true


(HT Roseann Root-Hudson, ISA) 

January 18, 2008

Easing the workflow

So you have another appraisal to do, and amazingly the client has invoices, receipts and other relevant documents to make your life easier. Bring along one of these scanners and you will have nice digital copies of those documents , the client gets to keep their copies and you can use the digital documents within your new document.
Mac Windows

January 15, 2008

Apple iPhone

For those of you out there who know us, you know that we are a Mac based company.  Though we are always careful to make sure our deliverables work on PCs as well.

I know everyone has heard way to much about the  Apple iPhone but, it really has changed the way we work.  Email when and weher we need it.  Google maps, with live traffic feeds. Weather. Calendar. Notes. World Clock.  & the big one - a REAL web browser all have made life so much easier.

So why talk about it now?

Macworld Apple just announced new software upgrades to the iPhone that make it even more useful.  The key being location based maps using cell networks and Wifi hotspots.

 An updateable phone really does change things.