UPDATE: Stock Markets, the Economy and Pandemic

By Staff Reporters

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  • Stock Markets: US stocks staged a big afternoon comeback for the second day in a row … but still not big enough to close in the green. American Express was the top performer in both the S&P and the Dow after the company reported its highest billings volume ever in Q4. And, enthusiasm over meme stocks more broadly appears to be dwindling along with cryptos. And, while NASDAQ took a hit, Microsoft reported quarterly sales of more than $50 billion for the first time ever.
  • Economy: The weight of the financial world is on Jerome Powell’s shoulders today. The Federal Reserve chair will provide an update on the central bank’s views on sky-high inflation and its plan for interest rate hikes this year (though none are expected until March).
  • Pandemic: Pfizer and BioNTech started clinical trials for an Omicron-specific vaccine yesterday. The results will help the pharma partners decide whether to replace their current jab formula with one that targets the most dominant Covid variant. The new vaccine is being tested both as a three-shot series for un-vaccinated participants and as a booster for the already vaccinated.
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The BUSINESS [Economic] CYCLE: What is it Really?

Of Bull and Bear Markets, too!

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

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The business cycle is also known as the economic cycle and reflects the expansion or contraction in economic activity. Understanding the business cycle and the indicators used to determine its phases may influence investment or economic business decisions and financial or medical planning expectations. Although often depicted as the regular rising and falling of an episodic curve, the business cycle is very irregular in terms of amplitude and duration.

Moreover, many elements move together during the cycle and individual elements seldom carry enough momentum to cause the cycle to move. However, elements may have a domino effect on one another, and this is ultimately drives the cycle.  We can also have a large positive cycle, coincident with a smaller but still negative cycle, as seen in the current healthcare climate of today.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

  1. First Phase: Trough to Recovery (production driven)

Scenario: A depressed GNP leads to declining industrial production and capacity utilization. Decreased workloads result in improved labor productivity and reduced labor (unit) costs until actual producer (wholesale) prices decline.

  1. Second Phase: Recovery to Expansion (consumer driven)

Scenario: CPI declines (due to reduced wholesale prices) and consumer real income rises, improving consumer sentiment and actual demand for consumer goods.

  1. Third Phase: Expansion to Peak (production driven)

Scenario: GNP rises leading to increased industrial production and capacity utilization. But, labor productivity declines and unit labor costs and producer (wholesale) prices rise.

  1. Fourth Phase: Peak to Contraction (consumer driven)

Scenario: CPI rises making consumer real income and sentiment erode until consumer demand, and ultimately purchases, shrink dramatically.  Recessions may occur and economists have an alphabet used to describe them.

For example, with a V, the drop and recovery is quick. For U, the economy moves up more sluggishly from the bottom. A W is what you would expect: repeated recoveries and declines. An L shaper recession describes a prolonged dry economic spell or even depression.

NOTE: Historically, contractions have had a shorter duration than expansions.

Bull and Bear Markets for Medical Professionals

A bull market is generally one of rising stock prices, while a bear market is the opposite. There are usually two bulls for every one bear market over the long term.

More specifically, a bear market is defined as a drop of twenty percent or more in a market index from its high, and can vary in duration and severity.  While a bull market has no such threshold requirement to exist, other than they exist between these two periods of sharp decline.

Whither the Bear?

As a doctor, your action plan in a bear market depends on many variables, with perhaps your age being the most important:

In your 30s:

  • Pay off debts, school or practice loans.
  • Invest in safe money market mutual funds, cash or CDs.
  • Start retirement plan or 401-K account.

In your 40s:

  • Increase your pension plan or 401-K contributions.
  • Stay weighted more toward equity investments.
  • Review your goals, risk tolerance and portfolio.

In your 50s:

  • Position assets for ready cash instruments.
  • Diversify into stock, bonds and cash.


  • Maintain 3 years of ready cash living expenses.
  • Reduce, but still maintain your exposure to equities.

ASSESSMENT: So, where are we right now in the economic business cycle? Your thoughts are appreciated.

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IRS Tax Reduction Issues for Self-Employed Physician Executives


By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

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Whether you do contract work or have your own small business, tax deductions for the self-employed physician consultant and/or medical executive or nurse consultant, etc., can add up to substantial tax savings.

Welcome Tax Season: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/taxes/tax-season-2022-irs-now-accepting-tax-returns-what-to-know-before-filing-taxes-about-your-refund/ar-AAT53rR?li=BBnb7Kz

With self-employment comes freedom, responsibility, and a lot of expense. While most self-employed people celebrate the first two, they cringe at the latter, especially at tax time. They might not be aware of some of the tax write-offs to which they are entitled.

When it comes time to file your returns, don’t hesitate to claim the benefits you get for being the boss. As a self-employed success story, you’ve earned them.

FORM 1099 NEC: Form 1099 NEC is one of several IRS tax forms used in the United States to prepare and file an information return to report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. The term information return is used in contrast to the term tax return although the latter term is sometimes used colloquially to describe both kinds of returns.

READ: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/self-employment-taxes/how-to-file-taxes-with-irs-form-1099-misc/L3UAsiVBq?tblci=GiC9aWPDzN9yXLpSuE8LDo3YRMDPuoFwO9ycCY6qixKJ8CC8ykEo94-H7prplp7cAQ

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

“Many times an overlooked deduction is educational expenses. If one is taking courses or buying research material to be more effective in their work, this can be deductible.”

Individual Retirement Plans (IRAs)

One of the best tax write-offs for the self-employed physician consultant is a retirement plan. A person with no employees can set up an individual 401 (k). “You can contribute $19,500 in 2021 as a 401(k) deferral, plus 25 percent of net income.”

If you have employees, consider a SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) IRA—an IRA-based plan that gives small employers a simplified method to make contributions to their employees’ retirement. As of 2021, an employee may defer up to $13,500 and employees over 50 may contribute an additional $3,000.

“A third retirement plan is Simplified Employee Pension IRA (SEP IRA).” The employer may contribute the lesser of 25 percent of income or $58,000 in 2021. If the employer has eligible employees, an equal percentage of their income must be contributed.

Recall that retirement plans are “absolutely the No. 1 tax deduction. The government is helping fund retirement.”

Business use of home or dwelling

Now, most self-employed taxpayers’ businesses start as home-based businesses. These people need to know portions of business costs are deductible and so “It is very important that you keep track of expenses relating to your housing costs.”

If your gross income from your business exceeds your total expenses, then you can deduct all of your expenses related to the business use of your home. If your gross income is less than your total expenses, your deduction will be limited to the difference between your gross income and the sum of all business expenses you would pay if the business was not in your home. Those expenses could include telephone lines, the Internet, and other costs to do business.

You must also have a home office that is truly used for work and the Internal Revenue Service may require you to document this.


Deducting automobile expenses

If you travel for business, even short distances within your own city, you may deduct the dollar value of business miles traveled on your tax return. The taxpayer may file the actual expense s/he incurred, or use the standard mileage rate prescribed by the IRS, which is 56 cents as of 2021. The IRS allowable mileage rates should be checked every year as they can change.

“If you decide to use actual car expenses, be sure to include payments, depreciation, registration, insurance, garage rent, licenses, repairs and maintenance, and parking and toll fees.” AND, “If you decide to use the standard mileage rate, it would be in your best interest to keep a log—daily, weekly or monthly—of miles driven to distinguish personal use from business use.”

Depreciation of property and equipment

Some self-employed people may purchase property and equipment for a business. If they expect that property to last longer than one year, it should be depreciated on the tax return.

Claims regarding property, according to the IRS, must meet the following criteria: You must own the property and it must be used or held to generate income. The property should have an estimated useful life, meaning you should be able to guess how long you can generate income with it. It may not have a useful life of one year or less, and may not be purchased and disposed of in the same year.

Certain repairs on property used for business may also be deducted.

Educational expenses

Any educational expense is potentially tax-deductible.

“Many times an overlooked deduction is educational expenses. “If one is taking courses or buying research material to be more effective in their work, this can be deductible.”

Think about any books, web courses, local college courses, or other classes or materials that you have purchased to improve your job or business. It’s easy to forget a work-related webinar or business e-book that was purchased online, so remember to save e-receipts.

Also recall that subscriptions to trade or professional publications and donations to business organizations, both of which are frequently necessary for the continuation and growth of your business.

Other areas to explore

Other deductions that can be easily missed are advertising and promotional expenses, banking fees, and air, bus, or train fare. Restaurant meals and other entertainment costs may be written off as long as they are necessary business expenses.

And, consider health insurance premiums, which in most cases represent a credit rather than a tax deduction. “A credit goes directly against one’s taxes, rather than a reduction of income.”

Regardless of which expenses you discover that you may write off, the most important thing is to keep accurate records throughout the year. Save receipts, including e-mail receipts, and file or log them so you have easy access to them at tax time. Not only does keeping receipts, mileage logs, and other expense records make filing taxes easier, but it also facilitates a system that allows you to track changes from year to year.


Long-term tax-saving strategies

Don’t just look at last-minute write-offs when considering self-employment tax deductions. Think about laying down some long-term strategies for money savings from year to year—particularly if you are a high earner.

“Accountants typically tell you what you have to pay but they don’t always tell you strategies to reduce your payments.”

To reduce your gross taxable income, consider setting up a defined-benefit pension plan. This plan is based on your age and income: The older you are and the higher your earnings, the more you are allowed to contribute. An alternative plan is an age-weighted profit-sharing plan, which is similar and can benefit those who have several employees.

Another strategy for high-earning business owners who own their own building through a limited liability company or similar business structure is to pay themselves rent. This rent is used to pay down the mortgage, but it is also considered a business expense for tax purposes.

Self-employed professionals required to have liability insurance should consider setting up their own insurance company. A captive insurance company is one that insures the risks of the business—or businesses, in the case of a cooperative. Its premiums can be tax-deductible.

But, if money accumulates and claims are minimal, the money taken out is taxable under capital gains. This is not a retirement strategy, but that it can save you money by allowing you to “pay yourself” instead of an insurance company and still deduct the premiums.


With any of these more complicated, long-term strategies, consult with a business attorney, CPA/EA or financial planner to ensure you have the best plan possible for your business.


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