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Margaret Starner

Margaret’s Musings

Here’s where you’ll find Margaret Starner’s thoughts and insights on developments that shape your community, your world – and your portfolio.

Margaret Starner

In the Chinese art of Feng Shui, the red door brings luck and positive energy to those who live behind it. Throughout our website, the red door is your portal to Margaret's Musings. “Red Door with Tassel” photograph appears courtesy of Julie Masterson Photography.


| Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 – Happy Thanksgiving |

Starner Group logo

wishes you a…

Happy Thanksgiving

I am a big Thanksgiving fan because I love having a special day to pause, reflect, and say thanks with our friends and families. Though I am grateful for many things, I must first say that I am thankful for 2018, since this was the year that I turned 80!! While I’m certainly fortunate to be a healthy, working 80 with a good life…I want to especially share my thanks for being able to celebrate my 80th all year…and many times. I had 3 main birthday celebrations and more good wishes and little parties than I can count! And the year isn’t over!!

My first celebration was in July, when Roger and I treated our family to a week at a Culinary Villa just north of Rome, which I described in my July 4th Musing. The second party was also just for family; at my sister’s Judy’s home in southern CA. As most of you know, I grew up in a small Mississippi Delta town named Shelby. Believe it or not, Shelby’s second most common language was Italian; due to the large Sicilian population. In fact, my childhood next-door neighbors, Bob and Mary Bob Campanova, were Sicilian. Every Xmas eve, Mary Bob would prepare her famous spaghetti and meatballs as a present to our family. Since we grew up eating primarily Chinese food, homemade Italian was about the best gift we could receive! My childhood holiday memories always begin with Mary Bob’s meatballs and spaghetti on Xmas eve. In fact, I loved them so much that I asked my family for Mary Bob’s meatball and spaghetti for my 80thbirthday present. My sister Thelma agreed to search out the recipe. Once found, my brother Wallace agreed to experiment a few times…to make sure the meatballs and sauce were both authentic “Mary Bob’s.” The results were a little mixed…the meatballs were great and close to Mary Bob’s. The sauce was not; though it was still pretty tasty. Anyway, my brother has vowed that he will perfect the sauce by the end of the year. In his support, Thelma has reached out to friends in Shelby to determine any ingredient modifications that should be made after 70+ years. Hopefully by Xmas, we will be able to replicate the real Mary Bob’s spaghetti sauce!

Mary Bob's spaghetti and meatballs
Mary Bob's Spaghetti and Meatballs

Regardless of the recipe, we all had great fun reliving our youth while commenting on the food. Of course, being the oldest, I had more stories to tell. I especially enjoyed explaining why Mary was called Mary Bob…due to the fact there were so many Mary’s and her husband was Bob! In additional to the pasta, Judy’s husband, Bill, made a Tiramisu birthday cake using a recipe from our lessons at the culinary villa. Most delicious birthday cake ever! Let me know if you want the recipe and Bill’s tip on making a delicious tiramisu. I know you will thank me!

Tiramisu and Baker Bill
Tiramisu and Baker Bill

The last party was a surprise dinner at the Forge in Miami Beach with many of my Raymond James family….honestly, I felt like the queen for the evening.

private room at the forge
Private Room at The Forge

Raymond James Friends
Raymond James Friends

As if a year of celebration was not enough…I’m also thankful that:

  • Both my daughters, Lise (married to Bruce) and Dana/Kenji, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary; Roger and I celebrated our 56!
  • My grandkids continue to make me a happy and proud “granny”.
  • Roger and I had the opportunity to babysit and be with Cole (14) for 2 weeks…and his friends thought “granny” was a hoot
  • Jessica, our Service Associate, gave birth to healthy, baby boy
    Joshua Eli Delgado
    Joshua Eli Delgado
  • All of you remain readers, friends, associates and clients of the Starner Group
  • We are blessed with a wonderful Starner Group team – all smart, hardworking and still young :)
  • And lastly, that we are finally done with the mid-term elections!

Before I close, I did want to tell a brief story about how Thanksgiving began…

Sarah Josepha Hale (the “Mother of Thanksgiving”) famously campaigned for the creation of the American holiday for many years. Finally, in 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that created the annual holiday in hopes that it would help “heal the wounds of the nation” during the Civil War. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt briefly moved Thanksgiving up a week, in an attempt to spur economic activity during the Great Depression. After much protest, in 1941 the holiday was moved back to the fourth Thursday of November.

Lastly, I wanted to send our Thanksgiving prayers to those in California who have suffered through the wildfires…and share a story that really shows the Thanksgiving spirit:

Calif. HS volleyball program rallies to support team, town reeling from wildfires

In Celebration of Thanksgiving, our offices will close on

Thursday, November 22nd
&
Friday, November 23rd at 2:00 pm

Thanksgiving comic

| Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 – Independence Day |

Starner Group Logo with Chef's Hat
Happy 4th of July

Happy July 4th from La Cucina Sabina! Actually, I am writing this Musing from Florida, but by the time you read it, my family and I will be learning to cook at the La Cucina Sabina culinary villa, which is 30 miles north of Rome. The villa owes its name, Tartaruga Sabina, to the family Micheletta's love for turtles (tartaruga is turtle in Italian, and Sabina is the name of the region). Today the villa is surrounded by 1,000 olive trees and produces some of the finest olive oil in the world. It combines the comfort and elegance of an Italian villa set among rolling olive groves, a great chef teaching traditional and contemporary Italian recipes AND the breathtaking beauty, culture and fun of Rome.

Long time readers of my Musings know that July 4th is always a celebratory time in my family. As a reminder, my father was born on July 4th, and remarkably, the year after he died, my eldest granddaughter Micaela was born on the exact same day! Also, my younger daughter Dana and her husband Kenji were married on July 4th as well! So, clearly, we all love July 4th.

Dana and Kenji Wedding

Dana and Kenji's - July 4, 1998

This July is extra special though – Micaela will be celebrating her 18th birthday and Dana and Kenji will be celebrating their 20thwedding anniversary. Since this is the case, I decided to celebrate my October birthday a few months early and the entire family is headed to Italy to celebrate the 4th. My surviving brother and sisters (and their spouses) are joining us too. I plan to take a small jar of my dad’s famous BBQ sauce …maybe to put on our eggs; but I guess we’ll have to survive on amazing pasta and wine….plus all the gelato my grandkids can eat!

The last time this many members of our family were together to celebrate a “destination birthday,” we were in Memphis for my mom’s 80th, nearly 17 years ago. We rented out rooms at the famous Peabody Hotel and watched the ducks stroll through the lobby

My mom was so happy to have the family together that she purchased presents for everyone else, even though we were supposed to be giving presents to her! That was the kind of person my mom was, generous and kind always. Plus, it’s the Chinese tradition that the elder gives a gift to her children who host the birthday celebration of their elders. Bruce still uses the Mont Blanc pen that she gave him on that occasion. My treat to the family is the week at La Cacina Sabina!

Family Dinner

Family dinner at La Cucina Sabina

Margaret and Bruce Making Pizza

Margaret and Bruce making Pizza

I’m proud to again celebrate being on the Barron’s 2018 Top 100 Women Advisors list....now since 2007. In Barron’s (June 9 ) and WSJ (June 12) I was featured with my picture and an interview “Cash is the Key to Success”. If the link doesn’t work, we have reprints in my office.

Barron's 2018 Top 100 Women Advisors

Changes...

In other news, GE was removed from the Dow last week, following in the footsteps of Alcoa, AT&T, Bank of America, and Hewlett Packard. Though GE’s recent performance justifies the move, this is the ending of an era, as GE was the final original member left in the Index.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC.

Source : Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” DATE, XXXX. Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 individual advisors and their firms and include qualitative and quantitative criteria. Data points that relate to quality of practice include professionals with a minimum of 7 years financial services experience, acceptable compliance records, client retention reports, charitable and philanthropic work, quality of practice, designations held, offering services beyond investments offered including estates and trusts, and more. Financial Advisors are quantitatively rated based on varying types of revenues produced and assets under management by the financial professional, with weightings associated for each. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment picking abilities. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Barron’s is not affiliated with Raymond James. Rankings are comprised of wirehouses, independent and RIA advisors; individual advisors not required to be individually registered in FINRA.

The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM). The FT then invited a list of just under 1,000 advisors to complete a survey used to obtain more information on the advisors practices. 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant’s score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that's roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James.

The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors with a minimum of seven years of experience. Ranking algorithm is based on quality of practice, including: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on the ranking. Research Summary (as of DATE XXXX): (Insert total amount) Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. (Insert total amount) Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. (Insert total amount) Advisors were interviewed by telephone. (Insert total amount) Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors’ location. Final list of the top (Insert total amount) Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.

Here are America's top women financial advisors, as identified by Barron's. The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms and the quality of the advisors' practices. The scoring system assigns a top score of 100 and rates the rest by comparing them with the top-ranked advisor. A ranking of "N" indicates the advisor was not ranked in the specified year.

| Sunday, May 13th, 2018 – Happy Mother's Day |

Happy Mother's Day

Tree

Mother’s Day is a very special day…an opportunity to recognize and thank all the mothers in the world just for being our moms. This year, I want to also celebrate two ladies who have been mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers for most of the years you and I have been here on earth…Barbara Bush and Queen Elizabeth of England.

Barbara was buried on April 21st. She had recently turned 93. Coincidentally on the same April 21st, Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her 92nd birthday. Regardless of your political beliefs…both woman were remarkable examples of motherhood. Both were married for over 70 years…Barbara married in 1945 and the Queen was married in 1947. And because of their visible roles as leaders, both made tremendous impacts on the world.

Of course, being Americans, we know more about Barbara Bush….her strong sense of family, outspoken demeanor, and sense of humor…all qualities I love. Interestingly, Bruce grew up in Kennebunk, Maine; the summer home of the Bush family, and has many memories of the Bushs around town. Despite their fame, the family always took part in community events; often speaking at high school graduations and always hiring local high school kids as interns. Amusingly, Roger and I visited Bruce’s family in Maine during the summer of 2001 and Roger almost got hit in the head by one of Barbara’s errant golf shots! Barbara apologized to him with her signature dry humor and Roger was tickled for the rest of the afternoon!

For Queen Elizabeth, I recommend watching “The Crown” on Netflix to appreciate how she grew from an unprepared young woman who was tutored at home into a distinguished symbol of leadership. There is something fairytale about the English royalties…but the Queen’s life was anything but a fairytale. She was the first born of King George VI and became queen at the age of 26 in 1952. She is the longest serving monarch in British history, celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee last year.

The lives of these two remarkable ladies share a common theme…longevity and living a full life with relatively good health. Similarly, many of us can expect to live way beyond the normal retirement age of 65. Question – are you prepared to enjoy a long life? Though most people spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of aging…poor health, poor vision, and poor mobility, we don’t always think about the upsides. A 65-year old will spend nearly 8,000 days on this earth before turning 85 – close to the same number of days between birth and college graduation. How do you plan to spend all those days? Will you just play golf, tennis, or watch TV for the equivalent of your entire childhood? If so, can you afford to be healthy for that long? As always, we at the Starner Group are here to help you grapple with these questions.

In the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to all of us still lucky enough to be around after all these years! Please let us know if you have any exciting Mother’s Day plans. I’ll be spending a quiet one with Roger.

Remembering my mom…

Below is a picture of my mom with me when I was just a baby. My parents had a matched marriage. My mother was quite a beauty with good taste…however, my grandfather insisted on buying all my mother’s clothes. Being careful and frugal with his money, he always bought the largest size dresses since he was getting more material for his money. Thus in the picture, you can see her dress is a bit large for a petite lady. In due time, she learned to shop as she wished.

MARGARET AND HER MOM
MARGARET AND HER MOM

MY MOM AS A YOUNG GIRL IN CHINA
MY MOM AS A YOUNG GIRL IN CHINA…

Despite her young beauty, in this picture, she has a pillow under her dress to make her fuller and more appealing.

MOM CELEBRATING HER 85th BIRTHDAY
MOM CELEBRATING HER 85th BIRTHDAY

| March 29th, 2018 – Welcome Spring and Spring Rites |

Starner Group Spring Logo

Welcome Spring

As a reminder, in observance of Good Friday, our offices will be closed on March 30, 2018

Spring is celebrated in virtually every culture…in the United States, most celebrate Easter and/or Passover. Growing up in an overseas Chinese family, our Easter Sunday always included a visit to the cemetery to pay homage and respects to our deceased relatives. The Chinese cemetery was located in Greenville MS, about 50 miles from the small town of Shelby where I grew up. Every Easter after attending church, the entire family would go to the cemetery and visit each grave site (my great grandmother, grandmother, cousins, uncles and more recently, my father). We always took food and drinks to share amongst ourselves, with extra to leave at the gravesites. We always paid our respects first, and then feasted on the food and drinks like a family reunion with the ancestors. My parents told me the spirits would enjoy the food too! As a young kid, I imagined their ghosts showing up after we left. We would also see many other Chinese families who had driven from throughout the Delta to pay respects to their deceased ancestors too.

In the mid 80’s, I went with my parents and siblings to our villages in China, where we followed a similar ritual while visiting our ancestors who were buried all over the hills. We ate and drank tea with each ancestor…but we didn’t leave any food! Unlike Mississippi, the Chinese villages had no cemetery…each ancestor was buried in a spot that was predicted to bring good luck to future generations in the family. We spent extra time at my paternal grandmother’s burial site, which my mother told me was very important to protect. My mother took these matters very seriously. Apparently, my family fell upon ill fortune after having failed to protect it properly in the past. I’m hoping my relatives in China continue to protect her burial site even today.

Of course, Spring is about much more than Cemetery visits. Spring is a time to enjoy fields of beautiful tulips, songs from the melodious birds, and a respite from the snow and winter (except for us in Florida). Conversely, Spring is also about the annual ritual of “Spring Cleaning,” which I know is painful for many; though likely not as painful as the onerous task of preparing for paying our income taxes.

Speaking of taxes, the recently enacted tax bill will have virtually no impact on your personal return this year. Of course, this will not be the case for the 2018 tax return that you will be preparing next spring. The new bill will certainly impact all Americans; though the size of this impact varies greatly depending on your annual income, the nature of this income, and the type of deductions you normally have, especially deductions related to state and local income taxes. While we cannot give specific tax advice, once your 2017 tax return is complete, we are happy to partner with your tax professionals. The purpose of this partnership would be to evaluate the impact of the new tax law and identify if any tax mitigation strategies are available to you.

Though the new tax bill has many provisions, we would like to highlight one provision that is especially beneficial to those focused on education savings. Specifically, the bill expanded the benefits of 529 plans, which can now be used to pay for $10,000/yr. of private elementary and secondary schools. Reminder- 529 accounts grow tax free and are not taxable when used for college expenses (and now private school expenses). This benefit should be attractive to grandparents as well as parents.

Another key provision of the new bill relates to estate taxes. The amount you can leave for your heirs has been significantly increased to $11.2 million, or over $22 million for a couple. Given this is the case, we advise all clients to put on your Spring Cleaning hats to dust off and review all estate documents that were created years ago to mitigate the estate tax bite. If your documents are more than 2-3 years old, they may need to be updated to ensure that assets are made available for the surviving spouse in the most efficient manner. This is also a good time to review permanent life insurance policies to ensure they are still necessary. As always, we are happy to help in the review process.

RECOGNITIONS
This Spring I was named on the following lists:
(click below for full articles)

Barron's America's Top 1200 Financial Advisors

FT 400 Top Financial Advisers 2018

Forbes Best-In-State List

Michigan State Logo

In the meantime, enjoy the spring thaw and the final throes of the College Basketball Tournament. Scott is especially excited that Michigan has found its way into the final four after nearly being eliminated in the tournament’s first two rounds. He will be watching with baited breath and hoping the Maize and Blue can bring home their first championship since 1989. I’m excited because my grandkids from Dallas will be visiting for Easter weekend.

Happy Easter - Happy Passover

Source : Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” DATE, XXXX. Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 individual advisors and their firms and include qualitative and quantitative criteria. Data points that relate to quality of practice include professionals with a minimum of 7 years financial services experience, acceptable compliance records, client retention reports, charitable and philanthropic work, quality of practice, designations held, offering services beyond investments offered including estates and trusts, and more. Financial Advisors are quantitatively rated based on varying types of revenues produced and assets under management by the financial professional, with weightings associated for each. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment picking abilities. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Barron’s is not affiliated with Raymond James. Rankings are comprised of wirehouses, independent and RIA advisors; individual advisors not required to be individually registered in FINRA.
The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM). The FT then invited a list of just under 1,000 advisors to complete a survey used to obtain more information on the advisors practices. 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant’s score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that's roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James.
The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors with a minimum of seven years of experience. Ranking algorithm is based on quality of practice, including: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on the ranking. Research Summary (as of DATE XXXX): (Insert total amount) Advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. (Insert total amount) Advisors were invited to complete the online survey. (Insert total amount) Advisors were interviewed by telephone. (Insert total amount) Advisors were interviewed in-person at the Advisors’ location. Final list of the top (Insert total amount) Advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.

| February 15th, 2018 – Happy Year of the Earth Dog |

Chinese New Year - Year of the Earth Dog

Dear Margaret,

Tonight in Chinese communities around the world, families will begin the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

New Year, or the "Spring Festival" as it is known in China, is the longest and most important Chinese Holiday. The Chinese New Year 2018 begins on February 16th.

For those who haven't read my New Years' Musings in the past, a quick refresher:

The Chinese zodiac is made up of 12 different signs (all animals). In addition to the 12 signs, the calendar also includes 5 elements (earth, metal, water, wood, and fire) which have a strengthening or moderating influence upon the signs. Hence, in total, the Chinese calendar goes in a 60 year cycle (12 signs multiplied by the 5 elements). This year, the place in the calendar and zodiac makes 2018 the year of the Brown Earth Dog.

If you have read my past year Musings, you know an important part of welcoming the New Year is to prepare for good luck and ward off bad luck. Today is the eve of the Chinese New Year....still an opportunity to make your luck!

  • Celebrate with RED...wear red clothing, write poems on red paper and give children money in red envelopes. Why red? In China, red symbolizes fire which, according to legend, drives away bad luck. (The Starner Group's conference room is a lovely red with red candies for all who visit).
  • Clean your house and yourself today. Do all sweeping/dusting or hair washing before New Year's Day as there is fear of sweeping or washing away your good luck for the New Year.
  • Pay off your debts before the New Year!
  • Do not lend or cry on the New Year...as it is thought that anyone who lends or cries on the New Year will be lending or crying all year round. (this is how you keep complainers and children quiet)
  • Do not cut on New Year Day as you might cut away your good fortune
  • Welcome the DRAGON - the loud cymbals and drumming that comes along with the dragons are thought to chase away evil spirits as well.
  • Use fireworks galore - In the old days, bamboo was set on fire, the crackling flames are meant to frighten the evil spirits. Modern day fireworks have taken the place of bamboo but are still thought to do the same thing.

Now, before we share predictions for what may happen this year, let's review some Past Dog Years:

2006 Fire Dog

  • The Yogyakarta earthquake kills nearly 6,000 people in Indonesia
  • Warren Buffett donates more than US$30bn to the Gates Foundation
  • Twitter launched
  • Pluto loses planetary status- downgraded to dwarf planet
  • Saddam Hussein sentenced to death and executed
  • Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion
  • Italy wins the World Cup in Germany
  • Price of gas $3.03/gal.

1994 Wood Dog

  • The USA and China get their first internet link
  • Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa
  • First conference on the World Wide Web begins in San Francisco
  • Construction begins at the Three Gorges Dam in China
  • Channel Tunnel between France and England opens
  • Norway votes NO to join the European Union
  • Brazil wins World Cup in US
  • OJ Simpson flees police in white Bronco
  • Price of gas $1.09/gal

1982 Water Dog

  • The first computer virus is released as a joke
  • Adobe Systems founded
  • Argentina begins the Falklands War
  • Israel invades Lebanon
  • Time's Man of the Year is the computer
  • First Issue of USA Today published
  • Price of gas 91 cents/gal
  • Italy Wins World Cup in Spain
  • Epcot in Disney World Opens

1970 Metal Dog

  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect after being ratified by 43 nations
  • Hijacking of JAL flight 351
  • Pan Am Boeing 747 makes it first commercial trip from NY to London
  • 100,000 people in Washington demonstrate against the Vietnam War
  • Syria invades Jordan
  • Beatles disbanded
  • Russian Lunar 17 mission sends first robot device to the moon
  • Price of Gas 36 cents/gal
  • Postage stamp 6 cents
  • Scott and Bruce were born and will later become integral parts of the Starner Group

Now for 2018 Earth Dog - What to Expect

  • In Chinese astrology, the dog is the most likable, honest and straightforward of all animals. Its influence is expected to bring a year of justice and harmony. The Year of the Dog will bring happiness and dissent in the same boat.
  • The Chinese Horoscope 2018 predicts that this year of the Brown Earth Dog is going to be a good year in all respects, but it will also be an exhausting year. You will be happy, yet frustrated, rested, yet tired, cheerful, yet dull!
  • Refreshed and regenerated, the Dog will accelerate the initiation of all things, but this will bring, in the same time, pressure and stress in the everyday life.
  • All will want to pay special attention to their health. Year 2018 is the ideal time to start eating healthy, doing sports and getting rid of bad habits.
  • The year of the Earth Dog is a good time for lifestyle changes...quit smoking or change residences..and for start of new business ventures.
  • Postponing and negligence are words you will need to remove from your vocabulary during this year.
  • The Chinese zodiac sign of the Dog, a symbol of intelligence and protection, can also turn the year 2018 into a sensitive period, during which activists and students, but also ordinary citizens, won't hesitate to demand radical changes to their life conditions, and to preserve the future of their children.

What's in store for you?

See Chart below to determine your Zodiac sign

🐭 Rat - The year will be kind to you. It is a fairly good year for you. Despite your inner voice to the contrary, you have no serious reason to complain or worry. Celebrate the many good things you've been given.

🐮 Ox - It may appear to be a good harvest for the Ox, but do take some precautions.

🐯 Tiger - You can expect the year to be a very good year for you. Dog year for you will be extremely wonderful! You will prosper this year when involved in projects.

🐰 Rabbit - It is not exactly a good year nor is it a bad year. Be careful in all business ventures. Be careful about your diet, and think of getting more fresh air.

🐲 Dragon - This is generally not a good year for you. If you must travel, do be careful. You will also have tendency to adopt overly radical positions at times; try to be more moderate. Beware: by refusing to make concessions, you'll antagonize even those who only want to help you. Still you can expect luck to smile upon you.

🐍 Snake - It is a great year for the Snake. You will discover new things that interest you and you will better understand the direction of your destiny.

🐴 Horse - A great year for the Horse to enjoy themselves. Don't be doubtful of your abilities; you will find the necessary resources within yourself to make the most of changing conditions.

🐑 Goat - A great year for the Goat and full of surprises! Important you give top priority to your health to make the most of this year.

🐵 Monkey - It is a good time for your hard work as they will all be recognized. Better to remain confident when you actually feel like sweating! If you act, rather than panic, you will find brilliant solutions and triumph over difficulties.

🐔 Rooster - If you need to make good decisions, make it now. Generally, quite a good year. This year, it will be in your best interest to think of other people more. Good fortune will smile upon you if you put your family and friends first.

🐶 Dog - It is your year, so do be careful in whatever you wish to do. Still, you will have good luck in most areas of your life. Develop two key qualities - the art of negotiating and the ability to make sensible choices.

🐷 Pig - It is a year of fulfillment for you. The Pig is going to have many opportunities this year. Important not to be too " piggy".

Zodiac Chart

A couple points of interest:

Scott and Bruce, my partners, were both born in year of Metal Dog (1970). People born in the year of the Dog are conservative and full of justice. Because of their loyalty, Dogs are valued in the workplace. They are most compatible with Tiger and Horse. (I'm a Tiger!). They are least compatible with Dragon (both of their oldest children are Dragons!)

Donald Trump is the 4th American president born in the Dog Year (1946), but is the first American president to hold presidency in the Year of the Dog and the only American president who has no dog.

Wishing you good health (Gong Hay) and Prosperity (fat choy)!!!

| January 10th, 2018 – Happy New Year 2018 |

Happy New Year! I hope that 2018 will bring all of you joy and prosperity. For myself and the Starner Group, 2018 has already shown itself to be a year of new beginnings and endings. On the beginnings front, we are excited to announce that Scott's son, Dylan, has been accepted into The University of Michigan, and though he hasn't officially committed, we suspect he will follow in his dad's footsteps and join the ranks of maize and blue in the fall. Also exciting, Bruce's daughter (and my granddaughter), Micaela, will be attending Columbia University.

As Micaela and Dylan begin their journey towards adulthood, I am sad to announce that Linn Kee Pang (aka "Uncle Pap") passed away on January 2nd at the age of 105. Uncle Pap was a close friend of my parents...and one of the few remaining living members of their generation. In my childhood, our families shared many holidays and countless evenings together while our parents played Mahjong into the wee hours of the morning.

Though I knew Uncle Pap as almost family and a member of the Mississippi Delta Chinese community, he also led a remarkable life and was both a soldier and world traveler. Given this fact, I wanted to share some of his obituary with you:

Linn Kee "Pap" Pang

L.K. Pang, (Uncle Pap), 105, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January, 2, 2018 at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Oxford.

He spent the majority of his adult life in Clarksdale, MS but travelled the country and the world in his lifetime. He was a venerated member of the Greatest Generation, serving others throughout his life.

Uncle Pap is survived by my cousins...his niece and nephews, Sammy Chow (Sandra), Sally Chow (Gilroy), Audric Chow (Alice), Dean Chow (Yung) and other nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews as well as great, great nieces and nephews.

He was born in Marks, MS growing up with his many siblings operating the family grocery store and farm. In his teen years he went to China with 7 other siblings to further his education. His father wanted each of them to know their culture and heritage in great detail. Uncle Pap came back to the US to complete his education, graduating from high school in Helena, Arkansas. He then went to Nashville to study electronics where he achieved great proficiency. It was there that he volunteered to join the Navy; he immediately started performing maintenance on state-of- the art, sophisticated classified avionic equipment. In the Navy, he was assigned to Naval Air Wing, in Attu, Alaska. One of his primary assignments was to blow up all of the classified equipment if the base were to fall into enemy's hands. Fortunately he never had to exercise that assignment. He served there in the Aleutians until the Japanese surrender in 1945. He served several more years before he finally went home to Dublin, Mississippi. Uncle Pap lived with his sister King and her family for the next 67 years in Clarksdale.

Uncle Pap was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word; he owned property, he had several farm enterprises, operated rental property, bought and sold items, all the while taking care of multiple entities. He belonged to the American Legion, VFW, DAV, and was the founder of the Chinese American Christian Organization in Clarksdale. He was named a Colonel on Governor Cliff Finch's staff. Uncle Pap was a founding member of the Blands' Bayou Hunting Club. Recently, he was awarded a flag flown over the US Capitol by US Rep. Kelly.

He was an avid Ole Miss Rebel fan and was recognized as the "Home Town Hero" on the field at Vaught- Hemingway Stadium during a game on his hundredth birthday. When he turned 105, he was again recognized at the Ole Miss half time performance on Veterans Day.


Uncle Pap at Ole Miss celebrating his 100th birthday

He moved into the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Oxford after his health required special care. Uncle Pap received excellent care and all his needs were met for five years by the staff. Uncle Pap was disappointed that there was no PX or store on site to purchase gifts for his many visitors. He embraced the old Chinese custom of giving guests a "happy" before leaving. In a short while, he was recognized as the oldest living WWII veteran in Mississippi, and the second oldest in the nation.

This past Christmas Eve, Uncle Pap was able to sing with his family as he had done for many decades; he loved to sing Christmas carols. Uncle Pap enjoyed celebrating all holidays, but Christmas was always his very favorite holiday. His time at the Veterans Home was very special for him and to help serenade his fellow veterans at Christmas was memorable.

Thanks for the memories Uncle Pap.

New Tax Law…

In other news, 2018 also brings us a new tax bill. We will write more about taxes in an upcoming Musing. The new bill dramatically lowers the corporate tax rate to 21%, and also lowers marginal taxes on individuals. The corporate tax cut is clearly good for American companies, and should make us more competitive across the world. The individual tax cut is more of a mixed bag for those who live in "high tax" states, as the SALT (state, local, sales, and property taxes) deduction has been limited to $10,000. Most of us in Florida will benefit from the tax cuts. Already, governors in high tax states are vowing to find workarounds, and there will still be technical corrections to the tax bill. As details of the law emerge; we will be exploring recommendations that will benefit you.

In closing ....I hope you all had wonderful holiday celebrations with friends and family. Roger and I were with our children and grandchildren, spending time in both California and Florida.


The Starner Family Xmas 2017

We at the Starner Group look forward to catching up with all of you during 2018. In the interim, please don't hesitate to contact us with any planning or tax questions.