Trevor Stasik - About Me

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FASB - Financial Accounting Standards Board


FASB stands for the Financial Accounting Standards Board. This is an important non-profit organization run by seven members which establish standards and rules that govern accounting and financial reporting in the United States. The ten step process FASB uses in determining statements and interpretations is as follows:

1) Introduction of topic or project on the FASB agenda
2) Research and analysis of the problem
3) Issuance of a discussion memorandum
4) Public hearings
5) Board analysis and evaluation
6) Issuance of an exposure draft
7) Period for public comment
8) Review of public response, revision
9) Issuance of Statements of Financial Accounting Standards
10) Amendments and interpretations, as needed
(Steps taken "Understanding Financial Statements" by Lyn Faser and Aileen Ormiston)

FASB's role in creating accounting standards can be an important public issue as well as a matter of private business. The rules sets by the FASB provide a measure of standardization and transparency that should help investors in determining the value of a firm. The FASB may soon be asked to look into whether or not to suspend a Mark-To-Market system of accounting. This could have vast implications regarding how firms account for their assets, since they currently value them based on what those assets would currently fetch in the market.

Visit the FASB website to learn more about this organization.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gaming On A Budget

I would like to give a shout-out to my friend Douglas Bushong. You should consider visiting his site "Gaming On A Budget". He has some very fun and interesting videos with great tips about how to find deals. Also, his rules about how to play games on a budget is a must read. I hope you will all take a moment to visit him: http://www.gamingonabudget.com/

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do Your Taxes Early


Please let this be your reminder to get your taxes done early this year. I'm doing mine today. In case you haven't been following the news lately, both of the states of California and Kansas have decided that they don't need to pay tax refunds anymore. They are giving IOUs to the taxpayers instead. The irresponsibility of the government in finance necessitates the re-doubling of effort when monitoring your own financial situation. Therefore, get your taxes done earlier and get those refund checks as fast as you can. Who knows which state will run out of money next?

Consider this as an example and warning of what can happen in your own life when you fail to act responsibly. These states have programs that they can't afford and never really could afford in the past. They have spent money that they didn't have bread and circuses for decades. The states made the mistake of promising money and programs for people for so long that they now have a sense of entitlement. The states spent too much time focusing on how to spend more money, rather than how to raise its income and cut unnecessary programs. Use the states' irresponsibility and fiscal malfeasance as an example of what NOT to do in your own life.

I'd love to hear more about your individual experiences in California and Kansas? Feel free to leave me a comment to this post.


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Santelli

If you haven't seen the rant by Rick Santelli, it's a very interesting video. Here's the video taken from CNBC via YouTube:

People are getting more upset over these bailouts and stimulus packages. Where does it end? I'm going to look into how to start a local referendum to block these politicians from continuing with these bad policies.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

National Debt

Just a quick note. Talk about having a massive credit card - the U.S. has a debt of $10,759,016,081,652.99 as of this afternoon. I remember when I was a kid and Ross Perot was making a big deal about a debt that was over $3 trillion dollars. Yes, it was a big deal then and it isn't getting any smaller. Anyway, I found a great twitter that tracks the national debt and think you should check it out:
http://twitter.com/NationalDebt

Also, Ross Perot has a new site visually explaining just how deep our problems go and his site provides some current ideas for how to follow fiscal responsibility: http://perotcharts.com/home/


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Escheatment

Have you ever wondered where the money in the government's unclaimed property website comes from? Well, one of the sources of this unclaimed property comes from uncashed checks and abandoned accounts that have been escheated to the state. People and their beneficiaries lose out on money simply because they don't know it's there.

Here's how an escheatment works: Sometimes there are uncashed checks that have been lost and never reissued. These simply need to be reissued. The bigger concern may be when the entire account is due to be escheated. Say that you move twice in a year and forget to tell somebody, for example, the post office and your mutual fund company. If that mutual fund company receives several pieces of returned mail, the company will freeze the mail going to that address while it puts in a search to find the missing shareholder. Unfortunately, you never told the post office that you were moving, so they don't have a forwarding address. The mutual fund company is then required to expend resources trying to locate the shareholder. The firm may use the internet with sites like anywho.com, switchboard.com, and whitepages.com to locate the shareholder. Search engines like google rarely provide quality results because there is too much unfiltered information to wade through. As a last resort, the company may use a paid search service such as Intelius to try to find the shareholder.

After an extended period of time, usually several years, the mutual fund company will need to abandon the search. At that time, the account or uncashed checks, will be turned over to the state treasurer's office. The process to get your unclaimed property can be lengthy and complex at that point.

So how can you avoid your account and uncashed checks from going to the lovely state government? It's pretty easy. Make sure that people have a way to contact you. Update your post office when you move and keep the financial institutions in the loop. If you have a will, it's a good idea to let the beneficiaries and heirs know that the account exists. Let them know that in the event of your passing, that they will need to contact the companies to update their records.

Escheatment can be an important topic to know about and I hope that this brief post has been useful. Feel free to drop me a comment if you have any questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.



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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Twittering For Your Career

Have you signed up for a Twitter account yet? I just activated my account, check it out HERE. This could be a way to connect with others in your industry. Twitter can act to give potential contacts a glimpse into your way of thinking. It can also help you raise your visibility on the web promoting your "brand". If you want to start your own Twitter account, you can do it HERE. Finally, there is a useful tool that I found can help you with searching the twitterscape HERE. Okay, best of luck to those of you that decide to try opening accounts.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Consider Changing Parties

I've been upset with my political party before and I changed parties. I've changed parties more than once, and now I'm changing parties again. You may want to try changing parties too if you don't feel that the old one is representing you anymore.

I am very upset with my party in regards to the bailout/stimulus packages. I keep calling my representative and Senators and telling them to vote no, but to no avail. The idea that big government will be able to solve the problem of big government with a bigger government is quite ludicrous. Keeping the government out of business and letting people be responsible for themselves might be a better idea. "Failure" can be a responsible option if we learn from it. This is especially true when it comes to banking institutions, homeowners, and car companies.
Anyway, I am going to be a Libertarian for a while. I've never been a Libertarian before, so this should be interesting. I don't agree with all of their platforms, but at least they are for smaller and more financially responsible government.

I don't know when I will post again, so in the meantime, why not check out this financial website about the state of our economy. It's an interesting read.

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