"Growth" May Be Getting Long in the Tooth

"Growth" May Be Getting Long in the Tooth

As investors digested news of the Federal Reserve's plan to unwind its balance sheet starting in October, both interest rates and equity markets remained unchanged for the week.

Smoke on the Water

Smoke on the Water

As the Western states struggle with wildfires and the Southeastern states get pounded by hurricanes, the stock market quietly made new highs. The S&P rallied this week 1.4 percent, closing in on the psychologically important 2,500. Conversely, bonds felt the swing into equities with rates on the 10-year U.S. Treasury rising 13 basis points to 2.20 percent.

Safeguarding Personal Data Online

Safeguarding Personal Data Online

Last week, we sent a notice to clients regarding the Equifax data breach. To read that information, please click here.

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect

The passing of Hurricane Harvey and the imminent landfall of Irma failed to rock the boat for equities, which remain near all-time highs despite puts and takes amid industries being impacted by severe weather events. More remarkable than trade posturing in home improvement and insurance stocks is the observation that benchmark interest rates and the dollar continue to slide.

Steps to Take Following the Equifax Breach

Michael 2016-11.jpg

by Michael Garcia
Chief Technology Officer

Equifax, one of three credit reporting agencies in the United States, reported on Thursday that the company experienced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.

Ferguson Wellman and West Bearing recognize that many of our clients may have questions as a result of the announcement. While it is still early in the process, we would like to share a few thoughts:

  • Equifax has established a website to assist clients in understanding the incident and to allow consumers to determine if they are known to be impacted. The website is www.equifaxecurity2017.com. To determine if you have been impacted, select the, “Potential Impact” link
  • Whether or not you are reported to have been impacted, you may want to consider enrolling in an identity monitoring and credit protection program. While our firm does not endorse any program, here are the names of several offerings rated by Consumer Affairs:

www.creditsesame.com
www.lifelock.com
www.identityguard.com

  • As reported on the website, Equifax is offering complimentary access to an identity theft protection and credit file monitoring product called TrustedID Premier. However, by enrolling in the complimentary program, you may be agreeing to settle grievances through arbitration. There is a link to enroll in the program on the website referenced above 
  • No Ferguson Wellman nor West Bearing clients own Equifax stock (ticker EFX) in portfolios managed by our firm, with the exception of a few clients who transferred the position in from other managers. Not surprisingly, the stock dropped 13.66 percent on Friday following the news

As always, now is an excellent time to use complex and unique passwords for all of your accounts. We recommend:

  • Changing your password immediately if you know of data breach and any like passwords on other sites
  • Create strong passwords everywhere and do not use the same password on different sites
  • Use a password manager to do the heavy lifting of creating strong passwords. Many are free
  • Enable two-step or even multi-step verification if available. Even if your credentials are compromised, they are useless without additional verification
  • Monitor any financial accounts associated with any breach that you believe have been associated with fraud. Your liability may be impacted by how quickly you identify fraudulent activity
  • Be aware of “phishing” attacks that may increase shortly after news of a breach. They may pose as the affected company to trick consumer

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at mgarcia@fergwell.com
 

Disclosures

The Need for a POA Starts at 18

The Need for a POA Starts at 18

Mark Kralj shares a piece by Financial Advisor magazine regarding the need for a power of attorney at the age of 18.

Hurricane Force

Hurricane Force

Stock markets were higher this week, despite Hurricane Harvey and a weaker-than-expected jobs report. The S&P 500 was up 1.5 percent, ending the week close to the all-time high of 2,480 from early August. Bond yields slid slightly lower, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield dipping to 2.14 percent. August’s nonfarm payrolls report showed a gain of 156,000, which was below the expected 180,000 jobs.

Low Expectations

Low Expectations

The dog days of summer have officially set in. Millions of people took Monday off to watch the eclipse, while millions more merely peeked out their office windows.

Fed Balance Sheet Unwinds

Fed Balance Sheet Unwinds

For the week, the equity markets were down more than 1 percent as investors followed political events in Washington D.C. While the markets have been mostly focused on the global surge in earnings growth this year, political drama took center stage this week as there are concerns that the current administration will be unable to successfully enact tax reform and deregulation.

Fovinci Quoted in Bloomberg

Fovinci Quoted in Bloomberg

Fed Taper Brings Risk to Mortgage Bonds Unseen in Treasuries

For all the talk that Janet Yellen’s plan to shrink the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet will hurt Treasuries, U.S. mortgage bonds face a bigger test.
   

Rattle and Hum

Rattle and Hum

Headlines screaming, “fire and fury,” and “ballistic rockets are on constant standby,” could have surely warranted a multi-percentage sell-off. Fortunately, the market’s reaction was somewhat muted, falling just over 1 percent for the week. Historically, North Korean headlines have had minimal impact on the stock market. In 2006, when they detonated their first nuclear device, U.S. stocks were actually up.

All Things Being Relative

All Things Being Relative

The slow creep higher in the markets continued this week. The S&P 500 finished the week up 0.12 percent with financials stocks leading the way, up 2 percent. The ADP jobs report on Wednesday and the nonfarm payroll today gave us “not too hot, not too cold” readings. 

Charlie Brown Kicks the Football

Charlie Brown Kicks the Football

Amid the busiest week of second quarter earnings reports, blue-chip stocks continued to trade near record levels. With nearly 40 percent of the S&P 500 companies having reported over the past five days, the clear plurality of results has exceeded expectations.

Fovinci Quoted in Forbes

Fovinci Quoted in Forbes

A White House in Turmoil, The Fed Shifting Policy: Treasuries Are Actually Calm About It

For all the turmoil roiling Washington, D.C. from the Federal Reserve to the White House, and Treasury bonds, typically a go-to segment of the financial markets when you’re looking for a pessimistic take on the day’s affairs, appear unusually placid.

Persistent, Pesky Problems Facing Pensions

Persistent, Pesky Problems Facing Pensions

Equity markets sold off on Friday, but were mixed for the week. The S&P 500 closed out the week slightly higher, returning a positive .45 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Index ended the week about -.30 percent lower, with energy leading decliners. The Nasdaq returned a strong 1 percent for the week.

Kinateder Hired as Executive Vice President

PORTLAND, Ore. – July 1, 2017 – Ferguson Wellman is pleased to announce that Tara Kinateder has joined the firm as executive vice president and a member of the firm’s wealth management committee.

With more than 15 years of experience in the financial industry, Kinateder came to Ferguson Wellman after working at U.S. Trust as a private client advisor and market leader. Before her career at U.S. Trust, she worked for Bernstein Wealth Management as a financial advisor and Paychex MMS as a strategic consultant. Kinateder specializes in business succession and pre-transaction planning, asset management and asset allocation planning, retirement planning and advising women in transition on strategies to help them protect their wealth.

Raised in Georgia, Kinateder earned her B.A. from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, with a double major in journalism and business, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She received a certificate in personal financial planning from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business and a certificate in investment strategies and portfolio management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Kinateder serves as chair of the Classic Wines Auction board and has been a board member since 2014. She is also current chair of the annual Wine Auction. Kinateder chairs the Arlington Club entertainment committee and is a member of the house committee. 

“We are extraordinarily pleased to add Tara to our team of investment professionals. Her expertise in all aspects of wealth management allows her to become a value-add to our clients immediately. She has a shared vision with us for serving clients and growing our firm. We are delighted to have her,” said Jim Rudd, principal and chief executive officer.

Founded in 1975, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management is a privately owned registered investment advisory firm, established in the Pacific Northwest. As of January 1, 2017, the firm manages over $4.5 billion for more than 760 clients that include individuals and families; Taft-Hartley and corporate retirement plans; and endowments and foundations with portfolios of $3 million or more. West Bearing Investments, a division of Ferguson Wellman, serves clients with assets starting at $750,000. (Data as of January 2017).

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Last Mile Home

Last Mile Home

Led by a 3.8 percent gain in emerging markets, global equities sustained their upward march this week. The S&P 500 returned 1.4 percent and again flirts with an all-time high. 10-year U.S. Treasury yields fell seven basis points as soft inflation data weighed on expectations for future interest rate hikes. The Fed continues to grapple with conflicting signals in an attempt to balance the dual mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices.

Ferguson Wellman Ranked on Portland Business Journal Money Management List

Ferguson Wellman Capital Management and its division, West Bearing Investments, are pleased to announce that the firm has been named by Portland Business Journal as top money managers in their 2017 Money Management Firms list.

Portland Business Journal ranked Ferguson Wellman fourth in Oregon and Southwest Washington on their list of 25 money managers. The listing was created by calculating the total number of assets under management for Oregon and Clark County, Washington clients as of May 31, 2017. Forty firms were originally surveyed.

“We are always glad to see our firm listed among our Oregon and SW Washington peers. It is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Ferguson Wellman, but even more importantly to the wonderful clients we serve,” said Jim Rudd, principal and chief executive officer.

Founded in 1975, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management is a privately owned registered investment advisory firm, established in the Pacific Northwest. As of January 1, 2017, the firm manages over $4.5 billion for more than 760 clients that include individuals and families; Taft-Hartley and corporate retirement plans; and endowments and foundations with portfolios of $3 million or more. West Bearing Investments, a division of Ferguson Wellman, serves clients with assets starting at $750,000. (data as of January 1, 2017).

Disclosures: Portland Business Journal produced this list by soliciting firms in Oregon and Southwest Washington for information regarding their assets under management. Ferguson Wellman (the firm) is not aware of any facts that would call into question the validity of the ranking. The firm does not believe this advertisement is inappropriate and is not aware of any unfavorable rating towards the firm. The rating category is the Top 25 in the Financial Services Guide, forty firms were surveyed and 62.5 percentage of advisers polled received a ranking. The rating does not involve client experience and is not indicative of Ferguson Wellman’s future performance. Ferguson Wellman did not pay a fee to participate in this survey.

 

Paradoxical

Paradoxical

Despite improving economic data, the S&P 500 finished the week flat. Solid global PMI’s continue to move interest rates higher around the world. 10-year yields in Germany hit an 18-month high, and the 10-year U.S. Treasury finished the week at 2.39 percent. Just 11 days ago the benchmark U.S. rate was at 2.13 percent.