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Fearing Biden tax hikes, wealthy Americans rush to change estate plans By Reuters

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© Reuters. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigns in Phoenix, Arizona

By Suzanne Barlyn

(Reuters) – Wealthy Americans are scrambling to change their estate plans before year-end, worried that Democrat Joe Biden will win the U.S. presidential election and raise taxes, say financial advisers to the moneyed set.

The biggest concern is that the White House and Congress could get swept up in a “Blue Wave” of Democratic wins that give Biden the power to propose and pass a sweeping set of tax reforms.

Wealthy people are especially nervous that an exemption allowing individuals to leave up to $11.58 million to heirs, free of estate or gift taxes, could be cut before it expires in 2025.

Democrats want to raise estate taxes to the “historical norm,” according to the party’s platform. That could mean slashing the exemption to $5.49 million, the figure in place before Republican President Donald Trump signed a sweeping tax bill that included benefits for corporations and wealthy Americans in 2017, advisers said.

It is unclear how the election will go or what, if any, tax reform will pass. Tax code changes can also be complex and time consuming. But as Biden has climbed in the polls, rich people are rushing to set up trusts and revise existing ones before year-end to avoid 2021 tax consequences, advisers said.

“The $11.58 million question is, ‘What is going to happen to the gift and estate tax exclusion?'” said Toni Ann Kruse, a New York estates lawyer who counsels ultra-high net worth people. “We don’t know who will win the election or control the House or Senate – and all of those factors will play into what could happen.”

Biden would also “return the estate tax to 2009 levels” to fund paid family and medical leave, according to his website.

His plan also includes raising taxes on long-term capital gains, which is the profit earned by selling assets whose values have appreciated. Taxpayers with income above $1 million would pay a 39.6% income tax on the profit, instead of the current tiered approach that maxes out at 20% for individuals with $441,450 or more income.

In a statement, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates reiterated the candidate’s intent to change tax law in ways that benefit less affluent people.

“Joe Biden is running to rebuild the backbone of this nation – the American middle class – by ensuring that our economy rewards work and not just wealth,” he said.

The uptick in requests for estate changes intensified in June when Biden pulled ahead of Trump in polling, advisers said. Several firms said they have been overwhelmed by requests since then, and expect business to pick up more toward the end of the year.

Tax-related workflow is triple the norm at Miller Samuel Inc, a New York-based real estate appraisal firm, said Chief Executive Jonathan Miller.

“We are flooded with requests for gift and estate tax appraisals right now,” he said.

New York estate and tax planning lawyer Philip Michaels has added around 15 high net worth clients during the last several months who are revising estate plans.

Rockefeller Capital Management, a financial advisory firm in New York, is holding virtual events for customers while working with legal and tax advisers to sort through nuances of possible legislation, said Joe Roberts, Senior Wealth Strategist.

Clients are worried about a “quick turn and drastic departure” from the status quo, Roberts said.

At the same time, some customers are worried about making decisions too early. That is because trusts created to use lifetime exemptions are not easily unwound.

“It’s a lot of money to give away,” Indianapolis estate planning lawyer John Olivieri said of some of his clients. “People are struggling with, ‘Do I really want to give this away?'”





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Economy

IGNITE International Brands, Ltd. Enters Manufacturing Agreement With CannaPiece Corp. to Meet Overwhelming Demand for IGNITE Cannabis Products in Canada

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VAUGHAN, Ontario, Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IGNITE International Brands, Ltd. (CSE:BILZ, OTCQX: BILZF) (“IGNITE” or the “Company”), a global consumer packaged goods brand, is pleased to announce that it has broadened its manufacturing capabilities by signing a contract manufacturing agreement with CannaPiece Corp. (“CannaPiece”), a leading contract manufacturer of cannabis and hemp. CannaPiece operates a 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art licensed manufacturing and processing facility, with ability to expand its operations to 150,000 square feet. The operation includes R&D, Product Development, Third-Party Processing, Packaging, Large-Scale Extraction, Production of Edibles, Topicals and Concentrates with the ability to provide IGNITE Branded products to domestic markets.

“Canada has shown to be a burgeoning market for IGNITE. Collaboration with CannaPiece is a strategic move that will position IGNITE to maximize its potential in the Canadian cannabis market,” said Gene Bernaudo, Global Head of Cannabis at IGNITE. “Curating premium craft cannabis and delivering consistent products has gained the loyalty of consumers and has been essential to generating brand awareness as IGNITE continues to scale the country. Demand for IGNITE products has grown since launch and the team at CannaPiece will be instrumental to IGNITE’s ability to meet demand and deliver uber-premium cannabis products.”

“CannaPiece is excited to be the manufacturing body for IGNITE, and we look forward to leveraging our manufacturing expertise, technology and high-end equipment to offer sustainable high quality cannabis and hemp products to the Canadian market,” said Afshin Souzankar, Chief Operating Officer at CannaPiece.

AboutIGNITE

IGNITE is a global consumer brand, operating in the premium product segment of the market. Founded by Dan Bilzerian, the Company’s ‘quality‐first’ approach is fundamental to the brand and its products. Originally operating in the cannabis and hemp‐derived cannabidiol (CBD) wellness space, IGNITE was able to establish its brand awareness. IGNITE product categories now include a full line of CBD oil tinctures, CBD topicals, CBD pet products and CBD vape devices, nicotine and synthetic nicotine vape products, a line of premium performance drinks, named Z‐RO as well as a gluten‐free, seven‐time distilled vodka, and apparel produced by various partners and sold through select distributors, brick and mortar retailers, and online through the Company’s website, ignite.co. The IGNITE THC product line, which was launched subsequent to the CBD product line, incorporates quality, locally sourced, cannabis products.

Shares of IGNITE are listed on the CSE under the symbol “BILZ” and quoted in the United States on the OTCQX under the symbol “BILZF”.

Further information on IGNITE can be found on the Company’s website at ignite.co.

For further information, please contact:

Linda K. Menzel, General Counsel
Tel: 310‐867‐3859
Email: linda.menzel@ignite.co

ABOUT CANNAPIECE CORP.

Headquartered in Pickering, Ontario, CannaPiece Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CannaPiece Group Inc., a Canadian based, vertically integrated cannabis company. CannaPiece Corp. is a contract manufacturer of cannabis and hemp products and provides the industry with services and products to cover gaps in the supply chain. CannaPiece offers a complete selection of high-quality services ranging from R&D, product development, third-party processing, packaging, large-scale extraction, production of edibles, topicals and concentrates as well as white-labeled products to the Canadian market.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARDLOOKING INFORMATION

This news release includes certain “forward‐looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward‐looking statements include, but are not limited to, the success of the arrangements with CannaPiece, the ability of IGNITE to distribute its products in Canada successfully and the ability to have a successful market strategy in Canada. Forward‐looking statements are necessarily based upon several estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward‐looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; the effects and impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) pandemic, the extent and duration of which are uncertain at this time on IGNITE’s business and general economic and business conditions and markets; the ability of IGNITE to give effect to its business plan; reliance on the “IGNITE” brand which may not prove to be as successful as contemplated; the ability to and risks associated with unlocking future licensing opportunities with the “IGNITE” brand, and the ability of IGNITE to capture significant market share. There can be no assurance that any of the forward‐looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward‐looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICESPROVIDER ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

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Holiday shoppers are coming to town with health checklist: survey By Reuters

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2/2
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Black Friday ads lay on top of clothes during a sales event on Thanksgiving day at Walmart in Westbury, New York

2/2

By Nathan Frandino

(Reuters) – Holiday shoppers braving the coronavirus pandemic to buy gifts in person are checking which stores are naughty or nice in terms of public health, a worldwide survey released on Monday showed.

About 79% of respondents want to see masks being worn, 82% demand visible cleaning efforts, and 76% prioritize reduced occupancy in stores, according to the survey by Oracle Retail, a unit of software maker Oracle Corp (N:).

Contactless checkout and social distancing requirements are also paramount.

“Customers are eager to shop,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Retail. “What consumers are looking for is basic levels of protection and safety and they’re looking for that confidence that their needs are being looked after.”

More than 5,100 consumers were surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates in September.

The pandemic has killed more than 1.1 million people and infected more than 41.9 million worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.

Countries have imposed new restrictions as COVID-19 cases have risen again in recent weeks. Wales on Friday banned the sale of all non-essential goods in stores as part of a two-week lockdown, while regions in Italy have announced measures such as shuttering shopping centers.

San Francisco has capped occupancy for storefront retailers at 50% of the normal maximum. At the Californian city’s Union Square plaza, shoppers lined up outside the Apple (NASDAQ:) Store and Gucci, where an associate took their temperature.

“A lot of the shops that I go to, they offer hand sanitizer and seem pretty up to date on all the equipment and everything that they have in the shop, so I feel safe going into stores,” said 26-year-old Antioch resident Teino Stingley.

Nearly 20% of survey respondents said they planned to shop in-store this holiday season, while 47% plan to split between online and in-store and 16% will opt for curbside pick-up.

“I feel too many people inside of a store makes me uneasy, so I’d much prefer an outside open-air environment,” said Param Sharma, 24. “And it’s more convenient to order it on the app, pull up curbside, and have them hand it to you.”

Fellow San Francisco resident Katrin Eyjolfsdottir, 27, plans to split her shopping between going online and visiting stores for the live experience.

“That’s a big part of the whole Christmas holiday spirit,” she said. “I think the stores are doing a good job of keeping everything clean and sanitized and following the procedures.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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BlackRock Downgrades U.S. Government Debt on Blue-Sweep Outlook By Bloomberg

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© Reuters. BlackRock Downgrades U.S. Government Debt on Blue-Sweep Outlook

(Bloomberg) — BlackRock Inc (NYSE:)., the world’s largest asset manager, is downgrading its views on U.S. government debt even as Treasuries retain their value as a haven amid Monday’s stock-market selloff.

Worries about rising coronavirus cases weakening the global economy pushed the S&P 500 Index toward its biggest drop in a month. Treasuries advanced, sending 10- and 30-year yields down by around 5 basis points each, to 0.80% and 1.59%, respectively.

Treasuries Gain Most in Weeks as Investor Optimism Takes a Hit

In a note released Monday by BlackRock’s research arm, strategists cited the growing likelihood of significant fiscal expansion under a unified Democratic government. Such a scenario, in which Joe Biden wins the White House and his party takes control of both chambers of Congress, would bring forward the market pricing of higher inflation, they said.

“This is why, tactically, we are downgrading nominal U.S. Treasuries and upgrading their inflation-linked peers,” said strategists Mike Pyle, Scott Thiel and Beata Harasim, along with researcher Elga Bartsch.

New York-based BlackRock oversees $7.8 trillion, $2.5 trillion of which is in fixed-income assets. It joins a growing list of major firms, which includes Credit Suisse (SIX:) Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:)., that have weighed in during the past month with the prospects of a “blue sweep.”

BlackRock changed its view by saying the strategic case for holding nominal government bonds has diminished with yields closer to “perceived lower bounds.”

“Such low rates reduce the asset class’s ability to act as ballast against equity market selloffs,” the strategists wrote.

“We prefer inflation-linked bonds as we see risks of higher inflation in the medium term,” they said. “On a tactical basis, we keep duration at neutral as unprecedented policy accommodation suppresses yields.”

Earlier this year, the firm was buying Treasuries along with other assets being purchased by the Federal Reserve as part of a “follow-the-Fed” mantra.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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