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Financial Questions and Answers

Q: Every year I pay for an all-day employee picnic during the summer, not to mention a holiday party later in the year. Are these expenses still deductible after the tax law changes?

A: The new tax law eliminated much of the 50% deduction for meals and entertainment expenses related to customers and business prospects, with some exceptions. If your company gatherings are for employees or the public, the cost is still deductible. Costs are generally not deductible if you entertain clients. Look for future guidance from the IRS on this matter.

Q: I used to invest through an online trader, but my income has increased significantly and I want to work with an investment advisor. How do I compare fees?

A: Comparing fees can prove difficult because of the number of different compensation methods. While there are still commission-based advisors out there, it’s more common to see asset-based advisors, who typically charge a small percentage of total assets they manage. Some advisors also charge an hourly fee, such as for advising about your investments in a company 401(k) plan or advising on other assets they don't manage. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus on what advisors net their clients after expenses to find a true measure of performance.

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