I Fired a Woman Yesterday

by Robert Kunisch 18. February 2015

The Associate photo by Kanji Takeno

I fired a woman yesterday. The decision to do so was one of the hardest of my career. She was smart, highly motivated and worked more hours than most of her peers. Why did I do it, you ask? I had to. Someone had to go - it is part of the rules.

A few months ago I was approached by Towson University to serve as the “Donald” for an annual competition called "The Associate" that simulates the hit TV show The Apprentice. In the Towson version, the presenting company offers the winning student a job.

At the time Towson asked me to participate, I had never seen the show, but like many, I was familiar with the tagline, “You’re fired.” In truth, I have little in common with Donald Trump. He owns airplanes; I hate to fly. He's been married 3 times; me just once. He loves New York; I love Maryland. I naively accepted the role thinking it would be fun to exclaim, “You’re fired” to some college student. Man, was I wrong.

There are two main reasons why I accepted the opportunity to portray the “Donald” and give 1st Mariner’s commitment to hire the winning student.

1) 1st Mariner has several Towson University alumni in key positions in our company, so we are familiar with the quality and integrity of the students they produce.

2) We are a local Maryland bank and we look to partner with other institutions that have a vested interest in our marketplace.

Eight students from the College of Business and Economics were selected to compete in "The Associate" competition. They receive no college credit for participating. The students are divided into two teams, and each week a local company presents the teams with a real-life case study. The teams have one week to prepare a detailed presentation outlining a solution to the local company’s case study. The following week the local company selects the team they believe offered the best solution to their question.

It is an extraordinary amount of work to complete in one week and all for no class credit. One person from the losing team is let go from the competition each week until there is one person standing.

If your company is in the market to hire a highly motivated, smart individual who outworks their peers, here's a great place to start.

If you are a company who wants to improve your product awareness, contact the university and ask them to be involved next year. It will benefit your organization tremendously.

Next week B’More Organic, a vibrant Baltimore-based company, will select the team that provides the best solution to their case study. I can’t wait to see the presentations by team Synergy and team Eminence. I know B’more Organic is excited as well. It's reality TV without commercials, and it’s a lot of fun up until that final decision on who has to go is rendered. Hats off to Towson University for creating an event that benefits everyone who participates.

As if Tax Rules Weren't Complicated Enough...

by Marylove Moy 17. February 2015

Individual Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Tax Court in 2014 re-wrote the rules on rollovers between Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Up until until January 1, 2015, an IRA account holder could withdraw IRA money from either a traditional or Roth IRA and have 60 days to redeposit the funds back into the same type of retirement account. No penalties or taxes were imposed in this "rollover" as long as the funds met the 60-day rule. The IRA investor could use this "60-day" rollover every 12 months on each IRA owned. This type of rollover is considered "indirect."

According to the new IRS rulings, in 2015 a taxpayer can only do ONE indirect rollover no matter how many IRAs he or she owns be they traditional and/or Roth. The IRS lumps the traditional and Roth IRAS together for this rule.

Investors are given a fresh start for tax year 2015. Indirect rollovers completed during 2014 will be disregarded for the purposes of determining whether a 2015 distribution is eligible for rollover "provided the 2015 distribution is from a different IRA that neither made nor received a 2014 distribution."

The once per year limitation does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • Indirect rollover from a qualified plan, e.g. 401(k), 403(b) etc.
  • Traditional to Roth conversions.
  • Trustee-to-trustee transfers.

The safest way for a client to move funds between IRAs is to use the "trustee-to-trustee" transfers such as a bank moving funds to another bank, investment firm or credit union. It should be noted that a check from one IRA custodian made payable to another IRA custodian will qualify as a trustee-to-trustee transfer even if the first custodian gives the check to the IRA owner.

Specialized tax advice not provided: please consult your professional tax advisor.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. 1st Mariner Bank and 1st Mariner Financial Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

www.finra.org / www.sipc.org


Not FDIC Insured Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
Not a Bank Deposit    Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agenc

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

The Importance of Reviewing Your Beneficiaries

Individual Retirement Accounts: An Introduction

Traditional vs. Roth IRAs: How to Choose

Harford County Neighborhood Conservation Initiative (NCI)

by Charlie Maykrantz 12. February 2015

Shopping for Homes

If you are looking to purchase a home in the Harford County area and need assistance with closing costs, there's a great program designed to encourage Harford County residents to consider homeownership in the areas of Aberdeen (21001), Abingdon (21009), and Edgewood (21040). It's called the Neighborhood Conservation Initiative (NCI) program that is administered by Home Partnership, Inc. (HPI) on behalf of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Loans will be available for qualified buyers up to $7,500 that are to be used for closing costs only. The funds can’t be part of meeting the minimum equity requirements with FHA mortgage products. Buyer(s) must meet the income restrictions per program guidelines. Homebuyer Education including in-person workshop(s) and counseling session(s) with a HUD certified counseling agency are required. The buyer must occupy the property as their primary residence. Post purchase liquid assets cannot exceed 20% of gross annual household income. The borrower minimum contribution in the transaction is $1,000. The borrower must apply for a fixed-rate first mortgage. The loan will accrue interest at the rate of 0% and must be paid in full when the home is sold or transferred.

1st Mariner Bank/1st Mariner Mortgage is not responsible for the availability of these funds or any change in the program guidelines as required by the administrator.

For more information on these programs or any of our other products at 1st Mariner Bank please feel free to contact Charlie Maykrantz at cmaykrantz@1stmarinerbank.com or 410-735-2068.

The above programs are subject to change at any time and this does not constitute a guarantee on the part of 1st Mariner Bank as an obligation to offer these programs without the approval of the program administrator. All applicants must be qualified to purchase and participate in these programs per underwriting guidelines of both 1st Mariner and the program administrator.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Howard County Settlement Down Payment Loan Program

Baltimore County Settlement Expense Loan Program

Anne Arundel County Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP)

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