Tag Archives: economy

BenchMark Energy releases fact sheet

Coldspring, Texas (September 26, 2013 via OTC Disclosure & News Service) BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) announces today that they have released their fact sheet. The fact sheet is now posted on their website and includes recent Important Events and Projected Shipments.The Company will continue releasing pertinent information from Phase 1 as it becomes available.



“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at



The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.


Ashlee Guzman
(832) 691-0011

The above news release has been provided by the above company via the OTC Disclosure and News Service. Issuers of news releases and not OTC Markets Group Inc. are solely responsible for the accuracy of such news releases.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 26, 2013 in BLOG, News


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Raising money – entrepenuers log book…

For the entrepreneur, everything starts with a business plan that lays out what they will be doing.  Once the plan is in place, now you have to finance your new start-up, or ongoing business that has a new “use of proceeds” for a new line of business.  This is where most entrepreneurs fail – finding money and putting it to work is an art form.  Find the wrong money, and it kills you (like factoring when your clients take too long to pay).  Find the right money at the wrong time, and you never get to use it again (commercial lines of credit when your bank uses cash flow and you are building assets).

Therefore, entrepreneurs need to be adept at securing equity, but there are so many laws surrounding this area that most entrepreneurs as well as seasoned professionals run afoul of the laws, both federal and state securities laws.  For instance, as a merchant banking organization, Rhodes Holdings LLC does not raise money – we restructure organizations, working with them to re-write their business plans with strategies that allow them to secure financing.  I, Robert Rhodes, accepted the position of Managing Member of American Equity Fund LLC (“AEF”), so that public companies that were reorganized could be offered a financing facility that was legal, and did not run afoul of these laws – specifically because AEF works with clients to file registration statements with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) for the equity investment.  We would like to help entrepreneurs understand the process though; here are few articles that you should read:

© 2012 by Rhodes Holdings LLC, all rights reserved.


Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

LBB BRIEFS for Smaller Reporting Companies, SEPTEMBER 2012

This information comes from the LBB & Associates Ltd., LLP September 2012 newsletter, reprinted here with permission. This information is focused on issuers and issues that they will encounter.

SEC Comments – Most Frequent Comment Areas

In looking at the frequent staff comment areas over the past year, many are familiar topics and some represent implementation related issues for relatively new standards. The following are the most frequent comment areas:

  • Loss contingencies – disclosures often inadequate;
  • Income taxes – very complex, #1 cause of financial statement restatements;
  • Segments and related disclosures;
  • Goodwill and intangibles impairment;
  • Securities – Fair Value and OTTI (other-than-temporary-impairment);
  • Disclosure considerations
    • Non-GAAP measures – cash flow per share will definitely draw staff’s attention
    • Proforma financial information

Disclosure focus – Liquidity & Capital Resources

Consider the following partial list of guidelines in getting the most out of your company’s liquidity & capital resource disclosure:

  • Avoid rote recitation of the actual statement of cash flows;
  • Disclose primary drivers of cash flows and the reasons for changes underlying major captions in financial statements;
  • Disclose significant debt instruments, guarantees, and covenants;
  • Consider a table of contractual obligations, loss contingencies, and cash requirements;
  • Disclose significant subsequent events;
  • Disclose liquidity implication of overseas cash balances;
  • Disclose borrowing activity to fund significant share repurchases or other discretionary investing and financing activities.

Indefinite-lived intangibles – qualitative assessment now available

This quarter, the FASB finalized a standard intended to reduce the cost and complexity of the annual impairment test for indefinite-lived intangible assets. The guidance may look familiar-it’s similar to the revised goodwill impairment test issued last year. Both allow companies to perform an elective qualitative assessment to determine whether further impairment testing is necessary.

Early adoption permitted this quarter

The standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after September 15, 2012. Early adoption is permitted as long as financial statements have not yet been issued for the period that covers the annual assessment. That means, for example, a calendar year-end company with a third quarter annual test date can use the qualitative assessment this year.

LBB & Associates Ltd., LLP is an AICPA, PCAOB, and CPAB registered public accounting firm with a concentration in audits of smaller reporting companies.  LBB is also active in SEC reporting consulting and acquisition due diligence efforts with smaller reporting companies.  Past issues of our newsletter can be found at


© 2012 by LBB & Associates Ltd., LLP with portions © by Rhodes Holdings LLC.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in BLOG, Business, Public markets


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

American Equity Fund LLC announces Robert C. Rhodes appointed Managing Member

Sugar Land, Texas (September 5, 2012) – American Equity Fund LLC (“AEF”) announces today that its founding member and Rhodes Holdings LLC have come to the conclusion of negotiations to name Robert C. Rhodes of Rhodes Holdings LLC as managing member of AEF.  Working as partners on a number of projects together, Rhodes Holdings LLC and ReCap Marketing & Consulting, LLP (Hunter M.A. Carr, founding member and general partner) determined their interests aligned perfectly on what was missing from the arena that both worked – micro-cap publicly traded companies.  This missing component was non-death spiral funding.

This announcement follows more than six (6) months of review of previous funding(s) that Rhodes Holdings LLC and ReCap Marketing & Consulting, LLP have been a party to, as well review of competing equity line facilities in order to construct an AEF equity line facility that will only enhance shareholder value.

About American Equity Fund LLC

The American Equity Fund LLC (“AEF”) provides an alternative funding mechanism, an Equity Line Facility (“ELF”), for SEC reporting publicly traded micro- and small-cap companies that want to take control of financial futures.  An ELF is a flexible financing structure in which AEF commits to purchase shares of Common Stock directly from an Issuer, at prevailing market prices, over a multi-year period.  When an Issuer elects to drawdown on the ELF, AEF is obligated to purchase an amount of shares equal to the dollar amount requested with a discount to market and warrant coverage to underwriting expenses.  Issuers request drawdowns at their discretion in accordance with the terms of their funding agreement.

About Rhodes Holdings LLC

Rhodes Holdings LLC (“RHL“, was founded on the principle that public companies‘ top officers need help with the complexities and demands of the public markets.  Funding their companies and managing public S.E.C. reporting shouldn’t take all of these officers’ time and that is when RHL comes in.  RHL provides a turnkey solution for companies that would like the benefits of being public but have not experienced it before.  RHL was founded by Mr. Robert C. Rhodes in 2005.  Mr. Rhodes is surrounded by professionals dedicated to your success, including SEC lawyers, general counsels, auditors, IR professionals, and investment sources that he has historical knowledge.

Contact information

American Equity Fund LLC
Robert C. Rhodes – 281-435-3917 |
Hunter M.A. Carr – 281-600-6000 |

© 2012 by American Equity Fund LLC, all rights reserved.  Original news release located on American Equity Fund LLC’s website.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 5, 2012 in News


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Supreme Court rules on Healthcare Reform

[This was a newsletter that I received permission to reprint from Mr. Lee McFarlain of the McFarlain Group]

What does Healthcare Reform mean to me?

Last month the Supreme Court ruled on several challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Healthcare Reform”, “Obamacare” or PPACA).  While the details could fill volumes, in a nutshell it means implementation of the law will continue unless there is a repeal by Congress.  Given that many provisions will not phase in until 2014, repeal is still a possibility, but you still should start planning now for the implications of this law.

For Individuals

Health care reform?

Health care reform? (Photo credit: creatures of the earth)

On the positive side, the law provides a number of advantages to individuals.  These include better coverage for preventative care, coverage for dependents up to age 26 (student or not, married or single), elimination of annual and lifetime coverage limits, and gradual elimination of restrictions on pre-existing conditions.  The law also expands coverage for low income individuals and families, and provides tax credits to many households to make purchasing coverage more affordable.

For many the biggest bone of contention in the law is the “individual mandate”.  This provision was the most hotly contested, and ultimately the Supreme Court found it constitutional.  This means starting in 2014 most people will be required to participate in some form of health insurance program.  Those choosing not to participate will be subject to a fine (or tax as the Supreme Court ruled) based on their income.  Fines start at $95 or 1% of income (whichever is greater) in 2014, and increase to $695 or 2.5% of income by 2016.

Other issues to consider for your personal taxes are:

  • MSA and HSA Penalties: Tax penalties for using MSA or HSA money for non-medical expenses increased to 20% this year.

Starting in 2013:

  • Increased AGI Threshold for Medical Expenses: If you itemize, medical expenses will now have to exceed 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI) before you can start writing them off.  This is up from 7.5%.
  • Increased Hospital Insurance Tax: If you earn over $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly) you will pay an extra 0.9%.  This tax also now applies to investment income under some circumstances.

For your Business:

If you average fewer than 50 full time employees then the PPACA may not have a dramatic affect on your business.  However, starting in 2014 companies with 50 or more full time employees will have to provide “minimum essential coverage” to employees and their dependents or face fines.  Although the exact mechanics of calculating these fines are as complex as you might expect them to be, for most businesses the fine will probably be less than the cost of providing coverage.  This means that many businesses that don’t currently provide coverage will probably opt to pay the fine instead.

The law also means that the cost of coverage will continue to rise since insurance companies are now required to provide broader coverage.  These rising costs could drive some businesses to drop existing plans and opt to pay penalties instead.

There are a number of additional provisions for small, medium and large businesses, including simplifying section 125 (cafeteria) plans for companies under 100 employees, new reporting requirements, other new taxes and penalties, and even some tax credits for smaller companies.  So many in fact, that if I tried to go into them I would break my promise to keep my update brief!


English: President Barack Obama, Vice Presiden...

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many have been holding their breath wondering what the Supreme Court might do with the PPACA.  Now that we know that answer it is time to start preparing for the eventual implementation of this law.  While it is still conceivable that congress might overturn all or part of this, don’t count on it.  You should start working with your tax, legal, and benefits advisers to prepare for the changes this law brings.

If you need help deciphering the implications for your personal or business situation give me a shout!  I hope you found this helpful, and please feel free to pass it along to your friends and colleagues!

H. Lee McFarlain, Jr.

McFarlain Group is not a licensed CPA practice.  All CPA services are provided by H. Lee McFarlain, Jr., CPA.

© 2012 by H. Lee McFarlain, Jr. and the McFarlain Group, all rights reserved.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthcare rebates and Euro exits

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Healthcare insurance rebates

Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or what I call “Obamacare“, many of companies and their employees that pay a portion of their healthcare insurance policies’ premiums are due a rebate.  Read the HBJ article that peaked my interest and the government’s article on it, and if it effects you, please comment here telling us if you are due a rebate.

Related Articles

Europe’s Crisis, will Italy exit the Euro…

When former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi asks the question, “would it be so bad if Italy exited the Euro?” that is when everyone else should start to see the writing on the wall.  Although it harkens back to when Texas Governor Rick Perry let loose the shot hear in D.C. – “Texas can just exit the U.S… we’d be ok…” which evoked a quick and, what I thought, over wieghted response from President Obama – no way.

Berlusconi, as one of the wealthiest Italians, has more to lose than most, and he can’t see why they need to stay in the Euro zone; so why should anyone else?  Does that mean that Italy, Greece, Spain, and others will exit.  Read on…

Related Articles

1 Comment

Posted by on June 21, 2012 in BLOG, Business


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Securities in America, what’s changing

stock market

stock market (Photo credit: 401K)

Every since the Jump-start Our Businesses Start-ups, or JOBS Act, was signed into law this last week, there have been a number of items of interest coming out in the press.

Community Banks and Second Markets Holdings Inc.

The article just released today in the Houston Business Journal entitled, “A stock market for Houston, other community banks?” brought out some great points, but missed the biggest one – this is not a new issue.  The federal government enacted laws, and continues to enact laws and taxes, that severely hamper the transfer of shares, restricted or otherwise. provides a great service – Rhodes Holdings LLC and its parent are members of their service.  Recently they were in the news since many Facebook shares were traded over their service, or more properly, in their market.  We got involved with their market as they were liquidating many of the mortgage and bond packages caused by the 2007 – 2008 financial melt down.

Now that the JOBS Act will introduce a whole new set of investors to investing in start-ups with a plan and gumption enough to take advantage of the markets / PPM portals that will inevitably pop up, Second Markets stands out as a top end portal.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,