Shriners Hospitals for Children Combats Bullying with CutTheBull

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Barry M. Kornfeld is a financial advisor who, alongside his wife, leads First Financial Tax Group with more than 50 years of combined experience. Beyond his responsibilities at the Florida-based company, Barry Kornfeld supports the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which promotes anti-bullying initiatives through its CutTheBull campaign.

Bullying is a serious problem in schools across the country, and the National Center for Education reports that one in four US students will experience bullying. The numbers increase for children with disabilities due to the perceived differences between them and students who are not disabled. Furthermore, studies indicate that most incidents of bullying go unreported. Without intervention, bullying can cause depression, anxiety, and poor academic performance for children who are targets of the behavior.

Shriners Hospitals for Children’s CutTheBull campaign focuses on addressing bullying and promotes acceptance of children with disabilities. The campaign consists of three primary components: respect, reach out, and respond. It begins by inspiring children to look beyond their differences and see the potential in others while reaching out to those on the receiving end of bullying. Additionally, the campaign encourages children to become advocates for those who have been bullied and to report incidents of bullying they witness.

CutTheBull provides a number of community resources that include anti-bullying tip cards and a tool kit designed to empower children and anti-bullying supporters. The tool-kit promotes advocacy and offers guidance on igniting discussions on bullying prevention. Resources also include articles written by Shriners Hospitals for Children authorities on bullying and its effect on children with disabilities.

What Are First Position Commercial Mortgage Notes?

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Barry Kornfeld

Barry M. Kornfeld is an experienced financial advisor based in Boca Raton, Florida. As a principal of First Financial Tax Group, Barry Kornfeld advises clients on alternative income and wealth management opportunities, including first position commercial mortgage (FPCM) notes.

For individuals planning for, or who are already in, retirement, first position commercial mortgage notes present an attractive alternative income source. First position commercial mortgage notes allow clients (of a given financial institution) to act as lenders of private third party loans. Secured by high value commercial real estate properties such as multifamily residential buildings, office buildings, and retail centers, these bridge loans yield monthly interest payments for a relatively short duration. At a minimum, they provide returns of six percent for one year, paid out monthly.

FPCM notes are a lower-risk option for individuals seeking alternative monthly income. As indicated by their name, first position commercial mortgage notes allow lenders to hold the first lien on a commercial property. This ensures that they hold priority over all other lien holders, giving them greater security.

First position commercial mortgage notes typically require a low minimum initial commitment of just $25,000 and may be strategically incorporated into a diverse array of financial portfolios. To take advantage of this opportunity, lenders may use funds from a variety of accounts, including trusts, joint accounts, or IRAs.

Tax Exemption Thresholds Remain Largely Unchanged in 2017

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First Financial Tax Group

Barry M. Kornfeld is the principal of First Financial Tax Group, a Florida tax and insurance services provider. As an experienced financial advisor, Barry Kornfeld strives to keep his clients up-to-date on the regulatory developments that could impact their financial strategies.

Every year, the United States Internal Revenue Service adjusts the thresholds and limitations for retirement plan contributions, tax credits and deductions, and personal exemptions. In 2017, many regulatory requirements affecting retirement planning remained unchanged from 2016. The majority of employees enrolled in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans may still defer a maximum of $18,000 to their retirement accounts, while employees over 50 years old retain the right to defer an additional $1,000. Similarly, the annual IRA contribution limits of $5,500 for individuals under age 50 and $6,000 for those over 50 years old have not changed.

The IRS did make one noteworthy change to its estate and gift tax regulations. While the annual limit for gift tax exclusion holds steady at $14,000, the threshold for gift and estate tax exclusion has risen from $5.45 million in 2016 to $5.49 million in 2017.

Explaining the Rights of a Senior Lien Holder

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Barry Kornfeld


A graduate of American University in Washington, DC, Barry Kornfeld is a financial advisor currently serving as the principal of First Financial Tax Group. Barry Kornfeld specializes in First Position Commercial Mortgage Notes (FCPMs), which make a lender the senior lien holder on titles of high-value commercial and retail properties.

FCPMs offer clients nearing retirement or already retired a safer income alternative. They provide a regular, 6 percent interest payment on loans that mature over the course of a year. The lender is granted the primary lien interest in the property in exchange for the money lent.

An important point of distinction is that a senior lien holder does not hold title of the property. Instead, they are granted a number of rights upon taking the position. The most important is receiving priority in the share of a sale if the property is sold. This also protects the senior lien holder in cases of foreclosure, or if the property owner defaults on payments. To reduce their clients risk, Kornfeld’s firm utilizes a specialty mortgage finance company that contractually obligates itself to make the interest and principal payments no matter what.