Volume 18, Number 7, April 1, 2019
MLA Lumber Industry News Express
Here's the new issue of the Mid-America Lumbermens Association online newsletter. We'll send another issue every two weeks to let you know what's happening in the industry, at your MLA, and in the world that affects your business. We welcome your opinions and ideas. If you have information you'd like to share with other members, we'd be happy to include it in our next issue. We welcome both personal and industry-related news - members would love to hear your news and views - so don't hesitate to email us with information.
Swing-into-Spring - May 2-3!

The annual Swing-into-Spring Event is just one month away, so it’s time to sign up and make plans to attend!

Suppliers must sponsor to participate. Click here for a sponsorship form .

For complete information about the event, which includes fishing, bowling and golf, along with a great network building event on Thursday, May 2 – the very popular Steak and Chop Fry, go to the MLA website .

Invite friends and customers! Everyone is welcome at this fun event that raises funding for the Missouri Scholarship Fund!
Sunflower Shootout - June 14th!

Plan to attend the 31 st annual Sunflower Shootout to benefit the Kansas Lumbermens scholarship program. We’ll play at the Hesston Golf Course, in Hesston, Kansas. Sponsorships are available and registration is open to all.

Save the date and plan to attend!   Read more and register 
Uncertainty Drives First Index Decline Since 2016

The Building Supply Index saw its first year-over-year decline since 2016, driven by a notable dip in consumer confidence. BlueTarp's supplemental contractor survey also revealed uncertainty with nearly 30 percent anticipating the economy to slow down within the next 12 months. BlueTarp's quarterly Index shows how the health of the building supply industry is trending, compared to last year, by taking a look at driving factors. Read more .

Source: Scott Simpson, BlueTarp
It's Time You Outsourced Your 401(k)

With building concern over fiduciary risk, the argument for outsourcing your 401(k) plan to the Mid-America Lumbermens Multi-Employer Plan (MEP) keeps getting stronger.

W. Scott Simon referred to joining a Multiple Employer Plan as, “…the platinum standard of delegation of fiduciary responsibility (and liability) by a plan sponsor.” It has been suggested that multiple employer plans offer the most significant mitigation of fiduciary risk available today.*

  • Pooled MLA-MEP retirement plan resources greatly reduce expenses incurred by adopting employers. (Tax savings alone may be greater than plan expense.)
  • Customizable plan features.
  • Single point-of-service for broker, advisory, and TPA functions.
  • Provides a diverse collection of quality investment options.
  • One-on-one investment advisor access.
  • Roth deferral option eliminates income qualification restrictions.

If your business has only a few employees, you may think you’re too small or it’s too expensive to offer a complete 401(K) retirement savings plan. Not so! Companies with as few as two employees can participate in the MLA 401(k) retirement savings plan.

For more information on the MLA MEP, please contact Bill Male at Tax Favored Benefits: 913-648-5526 or billm@tfbusa.com . It costs nothing to ask questions.

*From an August 6, 2009 article in Morningstar Investor.

Securities and investment advisory services offered solely through Ameritas Investment Corp (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC. Bill Male is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative offering securities and investment advisory services solely through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC). Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. AIC and Tax Favored Benefits, Inc. are not affiliated. Additional products and services may be available through Bill Male or Tax Favored Benefits that are not offered through AIC. Representatives of AIC do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding your circumstances.
Four Struggles Shippers Face that Ultimately Strengthen a Business

Freight shipping is a complicated process that can stress out most business owners. Constant roadblocks challenge shippers and getting a resolution can be time-consuming and costly. With a little bit of guidance, these obstacles can actually evolve into opportunities to streamline your freight transportation and improve your bottom line. MLA members have a valuable resource in PartnerShip®. Learn more about how you can turn your common freight headaches into victories for your business. Ship smarter with the MLA Shipping Program and Partnership. Create an account today.

This tip is brought to you by PartnerShip®, the company that manages the MLA Shipping Program. For more information or to enroll, email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902.  
Lumber News

Take Action! Support the Restoring Investments in Improvements Act… NLBMDA urges its members to take action by contacting their Representative and Senators and asking them to cosponsor the Restoring Investments in Improvements Act (H.R. 1869, S. 803), which would fix a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and make interior improvements to retail stores eligible for accelerated bonus depreciation. If you have questions, please contact NLBMDA staff at membersupport@dealer.org or 202-367-1106.
Source: NLBMDA, March 29, 2019

Mortgage Rates Take a Dive... According to  The Washington Post , today's data from Freddie Mac, shows the 30-year fixed-rate average dropping to 4.06 percent, and the average point charge falling to 0.5. The change in the fixed rate was the largest one week drop in 10 years. The previous rate was 4.28 percent and a year ago the rate was 4.4 percent. The current rate is at its lowest level in 14 months. Read more .
Source: Builder Online, March 28, 2019

Expense Pressure Builds, even as Builders Work to Lower Prices... April may be the cruelest month in some people's book, but it's when U.S. home building activity kicks into its highest gear for the following 90 days. Naturally, costs—or rather, rising costs—are a focus, a fanatic one. Because work in process pace picks up, expenses snowball, and this year, in light of higher stakes all around in bringing price points down, accepting tighter margins, and trying to capture profits back by driving volume through the system, builders need a lot of things to go their way. Read more .
Source: Builder Pulse Newsletter, March 28, 2019
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Unless you are a computer, you can’t multitask. You might be able to quickly switch from task to task, but the idea that a person can effectively perform two or more actions simultaneously is just plain false. Whether it’s at home, at work, or on the road, you’re at your best when you concentrate on one activity.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While drivers should always keep their eyes — and minds — on the road, this month is a good time to remind yourself, and everyone in your life who drives a vehicle for personal or professional use, that when behind the wheel, the only things that matter are the road in front of you and the other vehicles around you. Read more .
This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.
Employee Training that's Just Right, Just Enough and Just in Time

The MLA Online Campus provides you and your employees with high-impact, "real-world" training that develops your leaders, retains your best people and increases your customer loyalty. Each employee has a unique username to access the campus, which houses more than 1,000 courses on customer service, sales, leadership and more. Want to try a program for yourself? Click here to view an example. If you like what you see, contact us for a one-week trial subscription to see the hundreds of available courses. Learn more
The Last Word

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

~ Aesop
Mid-America Lumbermens Association | 800-747-6529 | 816-561-1249 (fax)| oholcombe@TheMLA.com | Website