Tag Archives: 401(k)

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: What is cloud computing?

Question: What is cloud computing?

Answer: Everyone is talking about cloud computing.  So, what exactly is it and it is right for your business? Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

The real question is should you use a hosted or non-hosted cloud? In other words, does your company want to own the system or lease it?

We’re firm believers that owning is a better solution. There are so many variables in cloud computing that no one takes into consideration. Where are you geographically located? How reliable is your internet connect? Can you survive without access to your cloud system? These are just a few things to think about.

Some benefits of cloud computing are lower overhead and system maintenance. Lower cost of ownership and upgrades. To determine which solution is best you really need to sit with a IT consultant and map out the big picture of your company.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: Outsourcing vs. consultant

Question: In this economy, does it make more sense to outsource IT or utilize a consultant?
Answer: Outsourcing is more cost effective than a full time person and you gain 24/7 support, whereas an employee only works a certain shift like 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Outsourcing means you are getting more than just a single person who manages your network. You are a getting a team of experienced technicians who can handle all areas of telecommunications and technology.

Let’s say you have an IT issue in the middle of the night, Marcus Networking has the ability to connect remotely to most computers and take control of the user’s session and see what’s going on.  We can provide hands-on support without being onsite. Most issues are resolved within 15 minutes and that’s faster than it would be to wake a sleeping employee, have them get dressed and drive to the office.

If we find a problem with parts or equipment, we can generally purchase a replacement component and be on-site and have the issue fixed within an hour or two of the diagnosis.  Again, much more efficient than waiting for the employee to get to work and diagnose what’s going on.

In today’s marketplace, outsourcing is about 45 percent less than the cost of a full time employee.  When you consider salary, benefits, payroll taxes, mandatory workman’s compensation, vacation days, sick days, 401K’s or a bonus plan it adds up quickly. Outsourcing is an affordable option for many businesses who wish to get a higher level of work.

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Reviewing Investments Annually

Reviewing Investments Annually: Review The Past, Prepare For the Future

It’s that time of year again when the holidays are right around the corner, and everyone is looking forward to family time, bright lights and festive attitudes. However, it is also a time for investors to begin preparing for 2013, finalizing plans for 2012, and acting on any last minute tasks such as IRA contributions, Roth contributions, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), 401(k) contributions and estate planning updates.

These are only some of the options investors can review each year. Reviewing investments is something I practice and highly encourage with my clients. It helps to keep them on track with planning, updating and making changes. In fact, it keeps investors in check much like having an annual medical check-up.

Throughout our lives, we are constantly preparing for the future. Having evolved into a planning society, we plan marriages, having children, our careers and family vacations. We have learned that having plans in place is important. It is also important to have a process in place to monitor and evaluate a plan’s progress. A plan is only as good as the actions taken to reach its goal; this is why annual “check-ups” are needed.

Having a process in place helps organize planning and assists in adjusting or implementing new strategies. Taking the time to prepare for the future, plan and take action are key ingredients for individuals when investing. I would also recommend working with a financial professional or someone you trust who can review past, existing and future strategies. This can help investors to be objective about their decision making and keep them on track to meet their goals.

After setting some goals and implementing a plan, we then must keep an eye on our constantly changing economic environment. Some examples of changes happening in our economic environment:

  • 2013 corporate sponsored plans are scheduled to allow a new max contribution of $17,500 (an increase of $500.00)
  • traditional IRA contributions are scheduled to allow a $5,500 contribution (an increase of $500.00)

These are huge changes that can have a serious impact on current plans. Hence, having an annual review of personal and financial plans can help investors remain informed about new regulations and opportunities.

This year is a very important year because of the presidential elections, possible tax changes and retirement contribution changes. Although we can plan, there are still a lot of unknowns. In my experience, there are many factors that are out of our control. With that in mind, as investors, it is important to be mindful of our objectives and goals, and review them on a consistent basis.

For more information about reviewing investments, visit jacobgold.com.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through ING Financial Partners, Inc. Member SIPC. Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by ING Financial Partners, Inc. This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.