June 1, 2015 • Curriculum
How is it June already?!? We’re one (unofficial) week into summer and I am supposed to be fully rejuvenated by now. (Get it? Re-JUNE-venated?)
Except that it’s not going well. Where did May go? For that matter, where did April go? In the spirit of rejuvenation, I hope your summer slows. And in the spirit of that slowing we’ve listed only four things to think about this month with respect to the business of your art. (And really, only two of them are challenging. The other two are fun. I’ll let you decide which two I’m talking about.)
Pay Your Taxes
Wait, didn’t we just do this? It feels like it, but this month, you’re thinking ahead, not behind. On June 15th, your second estimated tax payment is due for 2015. Don’t forget to re-estimate what you think you will earn and what you will spend… Then calculate the tax due on that amount. (And by the way, if your projections are less rosy now than they were in April, you may not have to pay as much.) Your June Tax To-Do: Make your second quarterly tax payment by June 15.
Check In With Your Investments
Once upon a time, classic investment advice told us all to take it easy during the summer. Vacationing investment bankers (aren’t the links lovely this time of year?) kept trading volumes low. But don’t listen to that. (In fact, an analysis by the Telegraph found this old adage was accurate only 42% of the time.) Instead, take a bit of time this month to check in with your investments.
Have there been any major changes in your life? (Think about changes that would affect your risk tolerance, your investment horizon, or your overall volume of assets.) If so, you may want to re-evaluate your overall investment strategy. But if not, check in with your portfolio and re-balance it if you find yourself overexposed in any areas. Your June Investment To-Do: Check in with your portfolio and re-balance if necessary.
Read Something Fulfilling
You may find a beach read fulfilling. More power to you. But I’m talking about reading something fulfilling to your artistic soul or your creative career. Maybe you always wanted to read Women Don’t Ask or Letters to a Young Artist or even Predictably Irrational, all three of which grace my favorites list. Also on my list to read this summer is Lena Dunham’s memoir, The Goldfinch, and The Cellist of Sarajevo, which is a beautiful (and very brief) meditation on the transformative power of the arts, particularly in times of upheaval. (Want more of my favorites for this summer? Here’s my list of summer reads.) Your June To-Do: Stack your nightstand with fulfilling reads that expand your creative business horizons.
This summer, I’m hoping to complete a non-profit certification program for CPAs. I’d also love to learn a bit more about early 2015 changes to unrelated business taxable income guidance and reconnect with a colleague who just happens to be an expert in the subject. What would you like to learn about this summer? June is a great time to think about your own professional development goals… And to start working towards them. Maybe you really want to bolster your basic Excel skills; maybe you really want to better understand the tax laws behind your expense deductibility. Maybe you always wanted to learn more about Egyptian art history. Summertime is a delightful time to bolster your own professional credentials, either formally through a certificate program or informally through your own learning. Enjoy! Your June Assistance To-Do: Take a class or a workshop with someone you’d like to spend more time with.
To recap, there are a few things you can do this month to rejuvenate your artistic perspective… And maybe even your financial outlook.
- Taxes: Make your second quarter estimated tax payments (due June 15).
- Investments: Check in with your portfolio and rebalance based on market performance or changes in your needs, circumstances, or tolerance.
- Growth: Read something fulfilling to achieve a bit of personal creative growth.
- Assistance: Find someone you’d like to reconnect with and invite him or her to attend a professional development workshop.
With a bit of planning, a lot of reflection, and perhaps even more diligence, this month really will be rejuvenating. Don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine that comes with it too…
Oh, and slow down.