Monthly Archives: January 2006

Postage hikes in the Amazon Jungle

As we all know, (or should know), postage has increased about 5.4% across the board. This makes sense considering the last postage hike hasn’t been since June of 2002.

Unfortunately for some online retailers, they’ll have to eat that cost while they wait for the consumers or their affiliate partners, ( to catch up.

I have one friend who had heard about the price increase just before she was about to send a letter from her home. After some minor deliberation, she decided to tape on two pennies and let the post office work it out.

Unfortunately for online retailers it may not be so simple. Many people fear that by passing the cost on to their customers they’ll lose business to those people who don’t.

Personally, I don’t think that increasing shipping costs by 5.4 percent will affect the sales–at least as long as the price has a nice marketing ring to it.

I’m curious to see when Amazon will pick it up and offer their sales partners an increased shipping credit. I’m sure they’ll take their time for now. We’ll see…

You’d Better Watch your Assets

The conference in San Francisco wasn’t quite the organized educational experience I thought it was going to be, but there were some very insightful issues that were brought up. (It was a conference for a Utah-based company called investools that sells investing software and business service packages. The concept of the conference I attended was, (other than making money for investools) asset protection. Protection from Taxes. Protection against death. Protection from litigation. They wrapped it up into a neat little package that could be purchased for about 3K, and supposedly would provide all of the asset protection you would ever need.

The strategy was simple. To protect yourself against litigation, set up a family limited partnership and place all of your valuable assets inside it with yourself as the general partner. To protect against taxes, incorporate yourself and funnel as much of your expenses as possible through a separate C-corp. To protect against death place your family limited partnership inside a living trust.

In theory it seems so simple. What they failed to mention however was that a family limited partnership isn’t bullet proof, funneling everything through a personal c-corp is considered fraud, and somethings inside a family partnership can’t be held within a living trust. Hmmm…

It is important stuff to think about though, and finding a qualified personal finance specialist is absolutely necessary as soon as you have enough money to protect. Here’s a great resource for learning more about family limited partnerships.

The San Francisco Treat

I’ll be headed to a wealth building conference in San Francisco this weekend. I can’t lie that a big part of my motivation is an excuse to meet up with some of my good friends while I’m out there.

The conference is on Saturday, Jan. 14th 8am to 5:30 pm in San Francisco. I haven’t heard too many reviews about the conference but the general opinion is that everyone does learn some new things about wealth management, real estate investment, and other personal financial methods. People have also said that the things learned at the conference were not anything that one couldn’t learn online by doing some research.

Honestly, I hope to learn some good things from this conference. I want to learn how trusts work, and maybe some methods to protect the corporate veil, or set up limited partnerships within limited liability corps. Most of all though, the real reason any one should go to these conferences is to meet people. Find people who have similar interests and complimentary talents.

In the end, who knows what will come out of it. Either way, I’m looking forward to Ghirardelli Square and some Rice-A-Roni. I’ll be sure to post any good notes that I pick up while I’m there.

Who really owns the public domain?

So I recently got my copy of, The Public Domain, a NOLO (do-it-yourself law book). (Thanks Janet.) It’s been a little slower of a read than I had hoped, but it is absolutely fascinating. I had never considered how much money is really available for people who understand how to organize or distribute materials from the public domain. So far the main lesson I’ve got from the book is, s/he who successfully markets the public domain, really owns it :) Granted this includes development, distribution and promotion, but really it seems to be the truth. This book is loaded with valuable case studies and all sorts of useful information. I’m looking forward to some more good reading.