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Friday Financial Five – December 13th, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013


Congressional budget deal moves forward

The budget deal won’t address many of the long term financial problems the country faces, but the fact that Congress was able to agree on anything should be seen as a positive. After the recent government shutdown, the inability to come to some budgetary accord might have made Congress less popular than the winter flu. As it stands, they’re tied. The deal didn’t address corporate tax breaks, entitlement spending or the debt ceiling, but it prevents automatic spending cuts important to both sides of the political aisle. There’s plenty of work to be done, but at least there’s finally a budget in place.

Facebook to join the S&P 500

Thanks to a market capitalization over $100 billion, Facebook shareholding friends will soon be part of the S&P 500. The company becomes part of the S&P on December 20th, replacing Teradyne. News of inclusion in the index has been good for those owning the stock, as shares have seen a nice bounce since the announcement. Lost in the sea of good news is that the company still has a minimal earnings per share.

Still time to get RMDs processed

For those needing to beat the December 31st deadline, there’s still time to get Required Minimum Distributions squared away. For active employees, remember that the RMD calculation includes SIMPLE IRAs, but does not include 401(k) participants. The penalty for missing the withdrawal can be punitive. The amount not withdrawn is taxed at 50%, unless the IRS grants an exception.

The Volcker Rule is finalized

Following the financial crisis, former Fed chairman Paul Volcker suggested banning proprietary trading and limiting the use of hedge funds by banks. This week, the Volcker Rule has finally been approved by the five federal agencies necessary to implement the rule effective April 1st, 2014. While there are numerous exclusions to the rule, there is also increased compliance, including a requirement that bank CEOs attest to compliance with the rule.

The rise of socially conscious “B” Corporations

A relatively new business structure is the “B” Corporation, available to companies that have a well defined social mission. While “C” and “S” corporations routinely answer to the companies’ shareholders, “B” corporations have a duty to the environment, community, and their employees. The company must also publish financial reports and reports of social accomplishments that coincide with the stated mission. The expectation here is that these companies will focus primarily on transparency and the greater public good as opposed to the bottom line. There are currently a handful of states that allow the formation of this type of company, while others are expected to get on board soon.

Dan Forbes is a regular contributor on financial issues. He is a CFP Board Ambassador. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in Providence, RI and can be reached at dforbes@forbesplanning.com.


Related Slideshow: Central MA Non-Profit Hospital CEO Pay, From Least To Most

Here are the total annual compensation amounts for the CEOs of the four non-profit hospital groups in Central Massachusetts. The source is each hospital group’s latest available 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, which is filed with the IRS and available at Guidestar.org. The CEOs are shown here, from lowest to highest total compensation.

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#4 Winfield Brown

Salary: $192,828

President and CEO, Heywood Healthcare, with campuses in Athol and Gardner

Note: Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital and Athol Memorial Hospital merged in January 2013 to form Heywood Health Care. Brown, who had been president and CEO of Athol Memorial, became head of Heywood Health Care in August 2011. Daniel Moen, who had been president and CEO of Henry Heywood Memorial, was terminated in January 2011. His total compensation for fiscal 2011 was $993,456.

Latest available 1099 filing: Athol Memorial

Latest available 1099 filing: Henry Heywood Memorial

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#3 Edward Moore

Salary: $461,607

President and CEO, Harrington Memorial Hospital, Southbridge

Latest available 1099 filing

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#2 Francis Saba

Salary: $603,232

CEO, Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford

Latest available 1099 filing

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#1 John O'Brien

Salary: $2,358,455

Former President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care, with campuses in Worcester, Clinton, Leominster, Marlboro and Palmer

Note: John O’Brien retired as president and CEO in January 2013. Dr. Eric Dickson, MD, became the new president and CEO the following month. The UMass Memorial news release announcing Dickson’s appointment did not include his compensation package. According to UMass Memorial’s latest available 1099 form, Dickson received a total of $650,589 in compensation during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2012.

Latest available 1099 filing


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