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What is this new chip-card technology I've been hearing about in the news?

In recent years, data breaches at major retailers have increased across the United States. As a way to counteract these data breaches, many U.S. credit-card companies have started implementing a more secure chip-card technology called EMV (which is short for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa).

Currently, most retailers use the magnetic strips on the back of your debit or credit card to access your account information. Unfortunately, the information contained in the magnetic strips is easily accessed by hackers. In addition, the magnetic strips use the same account information for every transaction. So once your card information is stolen, it can be used over and over again.

With the new EMV technology, debit cards and credit cards are embedded with a computer chip that generates a unique authentication code for each transaction. So if your card information is ever hacked, it can't be used again--it's a "one-and-done" scenario.

Major Food Service Company to Distribute Weber’s Products to Restaurants

Major Food Service Company to Distribute Weber’s Products to Restaurants


Heintz & Weber Co., Inc. of Buffalo announced this week that the Sysco Foods New York Division in Syracuse has added Weber’s Brand Horseradish Mustard to its lineup and will now supply the legendary mustard to restaurant accounts in New York and Pennsylvania. This marks the first time that a major food service company has taken on Weber's products for widespread distribution. 

Initially, Sysco Foods New York Division has taken on Weber's Horseradish Mustard in the 12-ounce squeeze size. Additional Weber’s products will also be made be available to restaurants upon request. 

Is there a new one-rollover-per-year rule for 2015?

Yes. The Internal Revenue Code says that if you receive a distribution from an IRA, you can't make a tax-free (60-day) rollover into another IRA if you've already completed a tax-free rollover within the previous one-year (12-month) period. The long-standing position of the IRS was that this rule applied separately to each IRA someone owns. In 2014, however, the Tax Court held that regardless of how many IRAs he or she owns, a taxpayer may make only one nontaxable 60-day rollover within each 12-month period.

The IRS announced that it would follow the Tax Court's decision, but that the revised rule would not apply to any rollover involving an IRA distribution that occurred before January 1, 2015. The IRS recently issued further guidance on how the revised one-rollover-per-year limit is to be applied. Most importantly, the IRS has clarified that:

Harter Secrest & Emery Attains Prestigious National Ranking

Harter Secrest & Emery Attains Prestigious National Ranking

Chambers & Partners, the worldwide leader in law firm and attorney rankings, released its Chambers USA 2015 Client Guide and Harter Secrest & Emery was once again recognized with rankings for its Immigration, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, and Litigation practices.

The firm’s Immigration Practice was, for the fourth year, ranked as one of the Leaders in Immigration Law in all of New York State, while the Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions and Litigation practices were recognized for their excellence in Upstate New York. In addition to the practice rankings, John Horn, partner-in-charge of the firm’s Buffalo office, was one several individual attorneys from Harter Secrest & Emery to be recognized as outstanding practitioners in their respective areas of practice.

Points to Consider If Your Retirement Goal Seems Out of Reach

Each year in its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reiterates that goal setting is a key factor influencing overall retirement confidence. But for many, a retirement savings goal that could reach $1 million or more may seem like a daunting, even impossible mountain to climb. What if you're investing as much as you can, but still feel that you'll never reach the summit? As with many of life's toughest challenges, it may help to focus less on the big picture and more on the details.* Start by reviewing the following points.

Retirement goals are based on assumptions

Cake Crazy Bakery Celebrates Six-month Anniversary with Daily Specials

Cake Crazy Bakery Celebrates Six-month Anniversary with Daily Specials


Cake Crazy Bakery & Catering is celebrating its six-month anniversary this month and would like to thank the Western New York community with daily specials on cookies, cupcakes and other delicious treats!

Located at 2525 William St. in Cheektowaga, near the I-90 entrance and exit, Cake Crazy Bakery is now offering daily specials every Tuesday through Friday: Tuesday is $1 cookie day, Wednesday is $2 cupcake day, Thursday is two slices of cake for $5, and Friday is buy two brownies and get one free.

How can I try to manage the impact of an interest rate hike?

With higher interest rates a distinct possibility in 2015, you may want to think about whether the bond portion of your portfolio is positioned appropriately given your time horizon and risk tolerance. One factor you might consider is which types of bonds may be most vulnerable to a rate hike.

Some investors forget that a bond's principal value may fluctuate with market conditions. When interest rates rise, longer-term bonds may feel a greater impact than those with shorter maturities. When interest rates are rising, bond buyers may be reluctant to tie up their money for longer periods if they anticipate higher yields in the future. The longer a bond's term, the greater the risk that its yield may eventually be superseded by that of newer bonds.