Simple leveraged investments

 In News

by Gene Christian

This editorial appeared in the May 19, 2014 edition of the Vancouver Business Journal

Gene ChristianSimplicity. How can we live deep and rewarding lives, yet do it in a simple way? This is a concept not easily achieved by Americans.

Leverage. I’m always looking for it, and I presume you are too. Multiple books have been written and lectures given to teach us how to better leverage our time, work and influence.

Investments. Are you searching for just the right opportunity with very little risk, but the promise of a tremendous upside – returns that will be remarkable over time?

What if these three things could be achieved simultaneously? Is there a simple investment; one that promises high leverage and a tremendous return?

Leaving a bequest in your estate plan for the causes you care about is one simple solution.

Consider higher education. For less than $2,000 a year, a student can receive education and training in order to pursue his/her dream career. Statistics show that when people love what they do professionally, incomes go up, taxes are collected at higher levels, crime rates and unemployment go down, and communities become more vibrant and dynamic.

For instance, Chandra Chase received a scholarship when she attended Clark College. She earned her associate degree at Clark and a bachelor’s from Washington State University Vancouver in public affairs. At Clark, she served as the sports editor for the student newspaper, The Independent, and was captain of the women’s track team. Today, she’s the communications director at the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, volunteers for the Children’s Center’s Annual Toy Drive and serves on Clark’ Alumni Association Board. Recently she was a nominee for the Marshall Public Leadership Award.

There are other options if you are at or near retirement age and are disappointed with your CD or bond rates. A charitable gift annuity could increase your payout rate by 6 percent – or more – annually for as little as $10,000 invested.

If you have a business or investment properties that have grown significantly in value to the point at which a capital gains tax would be significant if they were sold, a charitable trust might be a better alternative. Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) can potentially allow for five favorable tax outcomes: capital gains tax avoidance, income tax deductions, tax-free compounding, favorable taxation of payments and estate tax elimination.

There are many simple financial tools available for individuals and businesses to invest in their community and receive the benefit of getting a fixed income for life coupled with high payout rates.

Gene Christian, MA, has 30 years of experience working with individuals and businesses in estate and planned giving. An expert in the field, Christian works with Clark College Foundation to help individuals and businesses determine the best leverage their estate plans. He can be reached at or 360.992.2542.

Read it in the Vancouver Business Journal

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