Blog   Tagged ‘investment’

How investors keep calm and carry on amidst turmoil

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It sounds so easy: buying low and selling high – yet in practice it is very difficult. Why? When stocks are low (attractively-valued), there is often something happening to shake our confidence in the markets and question if we should even consider owning such risk-based assets.

What shakes investor confidence?

  • economic recessions
  • military conflicts
  • terrorist attacks
  • health epidemics

Obviously with all of the unknown factors with these events, investors find themselves questioning how long they will last, how they could impact economic fundamentals and ultimately, how to respond when the stock market reacts.

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Military conflict

The difficulty in buying low always comes down to timing. World War II serves as a perfect example.

The United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.  As expected, the stock market sold off.  One school of thought is to return to buying stocks when we receive the “all clear” signal, which perhaps would have been when Japan formally surrendered on August 2, 1945. But if we were looking to buy low, historical data indicates the time to buy would have actually been long before the war was over.

The bottom of the market actually occurred on April 27, 1942. At that time, the S&P 500 was at 7.61. When the war ended in 1945, the S&P 500 stood at 15.5. This means investors had an opportunity to more than double their money in the middle of a war. It seems buying stocks was not top of mind after the United States bombed Tokyo.

Now let’s take a look at a more recent situation: the Gulf War in 1991.

In August of 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait. The U.S. got involved immediately by building up troops in a deployment called Operation Desert Shield. The combat phase, Desert Storm, began January 16, 1991 and the war ended shortly after that on April 6, 1991. In this conflict example, the S&P 500 bottomed in October 1990, again long before the conflict was resolved.  At that time the S&P 500 was at 295, and by the end of the war it was at 378, or up 28 percent in less than six months.

The time to buy is when uncertainty is peaking and emotions are running high. If you have found yourself fearful of the market reaction during military conflicts in the past, I suggest you look at historical data during times of military conflict as a starting point before making any dramatic investment decisions.

Terrorism 
Terrorism has plagued the globe for many decades. One might think that terrorism would have an impact on financial markets, but it actually does not. History tells this story as well.

One of the worst acts of terrorism on American soil occurred on September 11, 2001. In addition to the catastrophic loss of life, the twin towers of the World Trade Center, considered the most important financial hub in the United States, were destroyed. This caused the financial exchanges in New York to be closed for four trading days, the longest shutdown since 1933. On September 17, 2001, the first day of New York Stock Exchange trading since the attack, the S&P 500, expecting chaos, lost 684 points or 7.1 percent – the largest loss in history for one trading day. By the end of the week, the S&P 500 was down 11.6 percent.

Many expected the markets would be down for several months. However, it took only 30 days for the Dow Jones, the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 to regain their pre-9/11 price levels.

As I mentioned, some industries may sustain a more material impact. The airline industry suffered significant losses after 9/11 as the fear of additional hijacks escalated. The major airlines saw their stock prices tumble approximately 40 percent at the opening of the market on September 17. Steep declines also hit the travel, tourism, hospitality, entertainment and financial services industries.

But even as the number of terrorist attacks rise, it appears the markets have learned that they don’t change the fundamentals of the economy.

Unfortunately terrorism is now part of our lives.  My point is not to desensitize these issues, but to strictly investigate the economic data and market action around these events. It is clear that, at least historically, terrorism does not change the fundamentals of the economy. It may have a material impact on specific industries, but much of that has proven to be temporary.

Health crises

From time to time the human population becomes concerned with potential healthcare scares or epidemics. In 2013 an Ebola outbreak in Africa began. In September 2014 the CDC confirmed a case of Ebola in Dallas. Once again the markets sold off and recovered to pre-event levels less than 30 days later. I caution you to keep in mind when analyzing these events and market reactions that other variables will always concurrently impact markets. Market action is a function of the news of the day. The question is: what news is nothing but noise and what news changes the underlying fundamentals?

You may have news of a terrorist attack and favorable earnings reports on the same day. And while the market will react to uncertainty in the short-run, only a change in the fundamentals will cause a long-term market reaction.

Buying low can be difficult, but selling low becomes easy when investors erroneously react to events without knowing what truly impacts markets and companies’ fundamentals. Perhaps the most profitable strategy is to invest in great companies and continue to deploy capital into the markets when there is a high level of uncertainty. As Warren Buffet who once said, “The best time to buy a farm is in a drought.”

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

UMB Investment Management is a division within UMB Bank, n.a. that manages active portfolios for employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations, fiduciary accounts and individuals. UMB Financial Services, Inc.* is a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation. UMB Financial Services, Inc is not a bank and is separate from UMB Bank, n.a.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and contains no investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any specific securities. Statements in this report are based on the opinions of UMB Investment Management and the information available at the time this report was published.

All opinions represent our judgments as of the date of this report and are subject to change at any time without notice. You should not use this report as a substitute for your own judgment, and you should consult professional advisors before making any tax, legal, financial planning or investment decisions. This report contains no investment recommendations and you should not interpret the statements in this report as investment, tax, legal, or financial planning advice. UMB Investment Management obtained information used in this report from third-party sources it believes to be reliable, but this information is not necessarily comprehensive and UMB Investment Management does not guarantee that it is accurate.

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Neither UMB Investment Management nor its affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of your use of all or any part of this report.

“UMB” – Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Copyright © 2016. UMB Financial Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Securities offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC or the Investment Banking Division of UMB Bank, n.a.

*Insurance products offered through UMB Insurance Inc.

You may not have an account with all of these entities.

Contact your UMB Representative if you have any questions.

*Securities and Insurance products are:

Not FDIC Insured  *  No Bank Guarantee  *  Not a Deposit  *  Not Insured by any Government Agency  *  May Lose Value


K.C. Mathews joined UMB in 2002. As executive vice president and chief investment officer, Mr. Mathews is responsible for the development, execution and oversight of UMB’s investment strategy. He is chairman of the Trust Investment, Asset Allocation and Trust Policy Committees. Mr. Mathews has more than 20 years of diverse experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining UMB, he served as vice president and manager of the portfolio management group at Bank of Oklahoma for nine years. Mr. Mathews earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Mathews attended the ABA National Trust School at Northwestern University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the CFA Institute. He is past president of the Kansas City CFA Society and a past president of the Oklahoma Society of Financial Analysts.



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Investment broker vs. investment advisor: who should you choose?

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What’s the difference? Which is better?  

Let me try to clear up some of the confusion. In the investing world, there are two standards of care that can be given by financial service providers: the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard. Before we look at the differences between brokers and advisors, let’s first define the two standards.

The fiduciary standard – Your financial service provider must advise you without conflicts of interest and for your sole benefit as the client they serve, always putting your interests above their own. The fiduciary standard of care was established by the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.

The suitability standard – Your financial service provider must make recommendations consistent with your best interests and in line with your investment objectives and tolerance for risk. Suitability rules are established by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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Some believe that there should be a uniform standard of care. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, legislators in Washington D.C signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law in July 2010. Part of the act directs the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to study the need for establishing a new, uniform standard of care for the investment industry. To this day, multiple agencies, industry groups and regulators continue to debate what that standard should be, and there are plenty of arguments for and against a uniform standard. The debate has been going on for years with no resolution. Here’s why: there is not just one right answer.

On its surface, a uniform standard makes perfect sense. In reality, consumers of financial services may need a provider operating under either or both standards and many providers are able to act as both, depending on the needs of the client.

Now, let’s take a look at the difference between advisors and brokers.

Investment advisors

Investment advisors provide a fiduciary standard of care. They give advice on what to invest in and will typically charge a fee for their advice on an ongoing and fully-disclosed basis. It could be either a flat fee or a percentage of your investment assets. Investment advisors are regulated by the SEC and the states in which they do business.

Investment brokers and agents

Investment brokers and insurance agents provide a suitability standard of care. They sell financial products like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance and annuities. Brokers and agents typically charge a commission on the product they sell or are paid a commission by the product manufacturer. Investment brokers are regulated by FINRA and the states in which they do business. The states also regulate the insurance industry.

So which is better, broker or advisor?

Again, there is no right answer. For example, perhaps you need help with planning for retirement and have a nest egg to invest, but don’t have the time or inclination to invest the money. An investment advisor that can do the planning, choose investments, monitor your portfolio and make changes along the way may be a good choice for you.

Or, maybe you know that you want to buy or sell a stock, bond, mutual fund, buy life insurance, an annuity or even add gold or silver to your portfolio. A broker or agent can help you make the transaction.

Who should you choose?

Depending on your situation and needs, it could be one or the other or both. When searching for a provider, look for a person or firm by clearly communicating your needs:

  • your expectations for service,
  • asking what you will receive,
  • when you’ll receive it and
  • how much it costs.

Many financial firms can provide both brokerage and advisory services, so there are many providers to choose from with varying products, services and service levels. Like anything else you buy, shop around, ask questions and take your time to find the right fit.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 

DISCLOSURE AND IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS:

UMB Private Wealth Management is a division within UMB Bank, n.a. that manages active portfolios for employee benefit plans, endowments and foundations, fiduciary accounts and individuals.  UMB Financial Services Inc * is a wholly owned subsidiary of UMB Bank, n.a. UMB Bank, n.a., is an affiliate within the UMB Financial Corporation. Banking and trust services offered through UMB Private Wealth Management, a division within UMB Bank, n.a.

s/b

UMB Financial Services Inc * is a wholly owned subsidiary of UMB Financial Corp and an affiliate of UMB Bank, n.a.

This report is provided for informational purposes only and contains no investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any specific securities. Statements in this report are based on the opinions of UMB Private Wealth Management and the information available at the time this report was published.

All opinions represent our judgments as of the date of this report and are subject to change at any time without notice. You should not use this report as a substitute for your own judgment, and you should consult professional advisors before making any tax, legal, financial planning or investment decisions. This report contains no investment recommendations and you should not interpret the statements in this report as investment, tax, legal, or financial planning advice. UMB Private Wealth Management obtained information used in this report from third-party sources it believes to be reliable, but this information is not necessarily comprehensive and UMB Private Wealth Management does not guarantee that it is accurate.

All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. This information is not intended to be a forecast of future events and this is no guarantee of any future results. Neither UMB Private Wealth Management nor its affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising out of your use of all or any part of this report.

“UMB” – Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Copyright © 2012. UMB Financial Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

*Securities offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC, or the Investment Banking Division of UMB Bank, n.a.

 

Insurance products offered through UMB Insurance, Inc. You may not have an account with all of these entities. Contact your UMB representative if you have any questions.

Securities and Insurance products are:

NOT FDIC INSURED * NO BANK GUARANTEE * NOT A DEPOSIT * NOT INSURED BY ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY * MAY LOSE VALUE


Mr. Ellis is the president of UMB Financial Services, Inc., UMB’s securities broker/dealer subsidiary, and UMB Insurance, Inc. He is responsible for strategic planning, products and services, personnel and financial management. He joined UMB in 1996 and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Ellis volunteers his time to not-for-profit organizations needing advice on investment policy and governance issues.



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The Credit Conversation: Now is the time to talk with your private banker

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Personal lending was a completely different world just a few short years ago. With shifts in the financial landscape, economic uncertainty and low interest rates, this is a good time for you to talk with a private banker and create a financial plan for the future—and the conversation should start with the topic of credit.

What was best for a person five years ago may not be the right choice now. Markets shift, and it’s important to occasionally survey the financial landscape with your private banker and possibly prepare for new opportunities.

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  • Work with advisors, not transaction managers.
    Sound financial planning is built on strong relationships, not individual transactions. Those relationships are built on knowledge and trust. A private banker should be acting as your advisor so they can help you make decisions that fit both your short- and long-term goals. Advisors will focus on tomorrow’s financial decisions, not today’s transaction.
  • Don’t make credit decisions with blinders on.
    No financial decision should be made without knowing the overall financial picture. In a trustworthy banking relationship, your private banker works alongside an entire team of experts to determine the best lending solutions for areas such as investment, tax and retirement purposes while also taking into consideration the overall wealth and estate plan.
  • Create a customized credit plan.
    It’s important to understand all the options. The truth: most people don’t proactively manage the borrowing side of their personal balance sheets when they plan to purchase a luxury vehicle, a business or a second home. That may stem from not knowing all of the varied credit options available.

    A private banker can help you explore and customize lending solutions to match risk and best leverage your assets. This provides you with options that may extend beyond the ones commonly offered in the marketplace.
  • Prepare for the unexpected with a line of credit.
    As the old saying goes, the time to borrow money is when you don’t need it. For example, a line of credit can be an invaluable tool to help you prepare for the unexpected and manage your overall financial picture. 

    Lines of credit can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including major ticket purchases, home improvements, education and medical bills. Additionally, lines of credit can provide you with peace of mind if and when unexpected expenses occur.

As you plan for your future, it’s important to talk with a professional who can ensure you are taking full advantage of the many credit solutions available to you while also providing you with advice related to your overall wealth plan.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.




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The Plan in Planned Giving

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Planned giving can be an important tool when planning for the future of your estate. Some may have a desire to give to non-profit organizations, including their alma mater, a medical research project or a favorite youth organization. Whatever your desire, make sure you work with an experienced financial partner that can help guide you through the process to ensure your goals can be met.

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First, what constitutes a meaningful gift?

Quite simply, any gift is a meaningful gift. Many people are under the impression that only the very wealthy can be philanthropic. However, this is not the case. Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated by non-profit organizations, especially now as economic challenges have affected many individuals’ ability to donate while the needs continue to grow.

Motivations for gifting

The reasons for gifting vary greatly depending on the individual. Compassion for those in need, an extension of a religious or spiritual commitment, desire to share good fortune with others and memorializing the lives of others are some of the most prevalent reasons for planned gifts. You should personally evaluate your motivation and goals, and keep them in mind when determining how and when you want to support a cause.

Selecting the “right” organization

There are many worthy organizations, and choosing the non-profit that best fits your giving intentions is extremely important. Once your inspiration for giving has been clearly identified, make a short-list of potential groups. Organizations should be carefully researched and vetted to ensure you are comfortable with the final decision. It’s important to learn about a specific topic or organization, so your philanthropy can be used in a meaningful way. Once one or more organizations have been selected, a financial partner can help you define your vision, determine how the gift will be distributed and then evaluate, when possible, how the gift has been used.

Gift Options

Another item to consider is the type of gift you may want to give. Many organizations have gift acceptance policies, which may exclude certain types of donations. Things like stocks, real estate, art or other items may be quite valuable, but you should have a conversation with the organization first to ensure they are able to accept these types of gifts.  

Planned giving is an extremely meaningful and personal investment. Taking the time to evaluate these types of questions can really help individuals and organizations make the most of charitable gifts.


Jan Leonard is senior vice president and managing director for charitable trusts, private foundations and fine art services. She joined UMB in 2003 and has more than 25 years of experience in the management of private and public organizations. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. She is also a graduate of the Cannon School of Foundation Management.



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Is Amazon the new Christie’s?

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Would you like to add a Norman Rockwell original to your shopping basket? Well, now you can.

Amazon recently launched a new platform where you can purchase fine art just like you would buy toys, books or laundry detergent on their site. On Amazon Art, you can choose from a wide array of options in price, artists and quality.

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Buying art online

 

 

Research on internet art purchasing shows that online sales tend to be in the $5,000 and under price range and are usually the works of living artists with or without a significant resume. Online buyers also tend to view their pieces as more decorative versus a long-term investment.

 

 

 

There are both benefits and drawbacks to buying fine art online. If you’re thinking about purchasing a piece of art from an online source, consider these benefits:

  • Easy access to more artists: The online option increased the market for sellers by providing an inexpensive, easily-accessible platform and fronting with a brand name.
  • Pick your price point: Sites now offer options that range from $20 to $4 million, so there is something for everyone. With a broader selection of pieces, you will be able to stick to a price point that fits your budget.
  • Customized shopping: Some sites are very user-friendly and give you the option to shop by color, price, size, etc. These sites will only continue to evolve, which will force all players to keep improving their online customer experience to be competitive.

On the flip side, there could be some risk to buying art online:

  • Value risk: Basically, are you getting what you paid for? This is something to think about because there may not be an opportunity to verify authenticity or provenance (or origin) before buying a piece.
  • Transactional risk: Depending on the online seller or site, there may not be a guarantee to return a piece you purchase if you learn it’s not authentic, is misrepresented, etc.
  • Lack of References: Check references before buying a significant piece. Call the gallery directly or arrange to view the piece on site.  While we encourage this practice, you may or may not have this option depending on the online seller.
  • Hidden Costs: You may also encounter added expenses, such as shipping, handling, administrative fees or insurance.

When you look for your next piece of art, keep your options open and these tips in mind. If you are thinking about buying a significant piece, you may find traditional shopping methods are best.  But if you’re interested in looking online, there are many options to choose from ­– just remember to proceed with caution.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Jan Leonard is senior vice president and managing director for charitable trusts, private foundations and fine art services. She joined UMB in 2003 and has more than 25 years of experience in the management of private and public organizations. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. She is also a graduate of the Cannon School of Foundation Management.



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Making the most of your HSA

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As health savings accounts (HSAs) become more popular with employers and employees, you should be well-informed about the benefits and rules around this option. For example, did you know you can use an HSA as a savings/investment tool? Most HSAs are tax-advantaged, offer investment options and you can use them in retirement planning.

So, what else do you need to know? To get the most out of an HSA, you need to understand some of the long-term benefits of this health care savings strategy and what options are available when you sign up for an HSA.

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  • Move past the “use it or lose it” mentality

    HSAs are different than flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), because your unused HSA balance rolls over from year to year so you will not give up the money and your account may grow over time. FSA funds that aren’t used by the customer within a certain time period are lost.Here is an example of how an HSA can be used to save for future expenses.You’re a generally healthy, 20-something male who doesn’t have many major health care expenses. You would like to save for future health care expenses for when you start a family or possibly for when you are closer to retirement age and are more likely to have substantial health care costs. You should consider an HSA.

  • Take a long-term view

    Eligible HSA deposits are tax-deductable, earnings grow tax-free‡(1), and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free1. These features may make the HSA a more appealing choice than other tax-advantaged financial instruments such as an IRA. With an IRA, you will pay income tax on your withdrawals used to pay for medical expenses and you may have to pay a penalty for withdrawing money too early. If you withdraw from an HSA for a non-qualified medical expense, you will have penalties and tax implications similar to an IRA.Many HSAs offer investment options. You can invest part or all of your HSA into money market accounts‡(2),or self-directed brokerage accounts (3) for mutual funds or individual stocks. Like all investments, other factors will determine the actual returns on those made within an HSA, but the reality is that these options are underutilized by most HSA accountholders.

  • Learn more and determine next steps

    If your company offers a high-deductible health insurance plan with an HSA, talk to your benefits department about what is included with the HSA. Determine if an HSA is right for you at the time. Many benefit partners will offer “people like me scenarios” to give you a better idea of how you can benefit from an HSA.Here is another example of how an HSA can be used to save for future expenses within a shorter timeframe.

    You’re a woman in your 50s and you are preparing for your retirement in the next 10 to 15 years. You have noticed that your health issues are more frequent and more expensive. You realize that the HSA makes the most sense for you to start investing in now, while you’re still eligible. You also learn that you can make a catch-up contribution to your HSA since you are over age 55. It’s not too late for you to consider an HSA.

To learn more, click here.

UMB CFO Mike Hagedorn discusses the innovation of HSAs and how they have become an important part of the payments industry. He explains the distinction between product and innovation and how a company can poise itself to be a leader in innovation.

 

1All mention of taxes is made in reference to federal tax law. States can choose to follow the federal tax-treatment guidelines for HSAs or establish their own; some states tax HSA contributions.  Please check with your state’s tax laws to determine the tax treatment of HSA contributions, or consult your tax adviser. Neither UMB Bank n.a., its parent, subsidiaries nor affiliates are engaged in rendering tax advice.

2 Contributions up to the $1,000 peg balance are FDIC insured.  Any funds over the peg balance that are swept into a money market mutual fund are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency.  Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market mutual fund.

3 Investments made through your HSA Self-Directed brokerage account are not FDIC insured.  Investments offered through UMB Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC.  UMB Financial Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of UMB Bank n.a.  UMB Bank n.a. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation.  UMB Financial Services, Inc. is not a bank and is separate from UMB Bank n.a. and other banks.

Investments in securities, whether through the money market sweep account or through other investment options available in the self-directed brokerage account are:

Not FDIC-Insured · May Lose Value · No Bank Guarantee

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dennis Triplett is chairman of UMB Healthcare Services. He has responsibility providing strategic direction and insights to the leadership team. Dennis has more than 29 years of experience in the banking industry. He currently serves as Chairman of American Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP) HSA Leadership Council, Board Member and past Chairman of the Employer’s Council of Flexible Compensation (ECFC), and a Charter member of the American Bankers Association HSA Council.



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