Senior Vice President, Joseph Seetoo, recognized as a finalist in the 2018 Trusted Advisors Awards by San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Congratulations to Senior Vice President Joseph Seetoo, on his becoming a finalist for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Trusted Advisors Awards. This annual event honors attorneys, accountants, business bankers, insurance professionals and wealth managers in the greater San Fernando Valley region for their commitment to high quality client service and overall excellence.

At the award ceremony, hosted on August 9thpublisher Charles Crumpley commented “This event helps to recognize the importance of the relationships they have developed with their clients as they guide them through this complex business environment,” Crumpley said in his opening remarks. “Everyone understands that in these industries, professionals have to help their clients comply with rules and regulations. But it is those rare individuals who do that but also combine market knowledge with superior service to help their clients thrive and achieve. And many of them go way above and make significant contributions to our community.”

We are incredibly proud of Joseph and his relentless pursuit of excellence in both client service, and as a leader within our team. In 2017 Joseph was also awarded the Wealth Management – Trail Blazer Award by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Read more here

Disclosures:

San Fernando Valley Business Journal (“SFVBJ”) Trusted Advisors is an independent listing produced annually by the SFVBJ. The award is based on data provided by individual advisors and their firms. Only advisors who submitted information are included for consideration, and investment returns are not a component of the rankings. The award is based upon a recipient’s application and not upon any qualitative and quantitative criteria relating specifically to one’s position as an investment advisor. As such, the award is not representative of any one client’s experience. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the investment advisor’s future performance. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to the SFVBJ in exchange for inclusion in the Trusted Advisors awards.

Joe Seetoo (Podcast) – The Realities of Selling your Business in a Zero Interest Rate Environment

Joe Seetoo is a Partner and Vice President with Morton Capital Management – a Registered Investment Advisor managing about $1.6 bn in assets under management as of June 30, 2016. As a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Analyst, Mr. Seetoo has 17 years of experience in developing investment strategies for affluent business owners and high net worth families.
Questions Answered:
1. Why is it important for business owners to do financial planning prior to selling their business?
2. Your firm has a niche in identifying alternative investment strategies – why is that?
3. How can business owners (or any investor) generate sufficient income in Zero interest rate environment after they
sell their businesses?

Disclosures:
Morton Capital Management ($1.6 billion in assets under management (“AUM”) as of June 30, 2016) is registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. SEC registration should not be interpreted to mean that Morton Capital or its personnel has been sponsored, recommended or approved, or that Morton Capital’s or its personnel’s abilities or qualifications have been passed upon, by the United States or any agency or office thereof.

The alternative investment opportunities discussed may only be available to eligible clients and involve a high degree of risk. Opportunities for withdrawal/redemption and transferability of interests/shares will be limited, so investors may not have access to capital when it is needed. Additionally, the fees and expenses charged on these investments may be higher than those of other investments.

Barron’s rankings are based on data provided by individual advisors and their firms. The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms and the quality of the advisors’ practices. Only firms that submit information are considered.

Past results are no guarantee of future results. Inherent in all investments is the possibility of a loss.

Vice President, Joseph Seetoo, Interviewed in About Money – Should You Own Alternative Investments in Retirement?

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By Dana Anspach, Money Over 55 Expert
Updated March 16, 2016.

Alternative investments can offer higher yields to retirees, but they aren’t for everyone. To present both the pros and cons I reached out to Joe Seetoo, Vice President, Morton Capital Management.

Morton Capital, a registered investment advisor in California, specializes in bringing hand-picked alternative investments to their high net worth clients. They receive no compensation from the underlying investments which puts them in the perfect position to offer an objective opinion and do the research and due diligence that needs to be done before venturing into the alternative asset class world.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley building Dedication honoring Rocky & Lon Morton

Rocky & Lon_Boys & Girls Club building Dedication_large
Recognized for their support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley and for their many contributions to the community, Rocky & Lon Morton were honored at a Building Dedication of the Rocky & Lon Morton Boys & Girls Club last month.
The Dedication was open to local businesses, organizations and individuals who had an interest in honoring Rocky & Lon Morton. Event highlights included building tours and dedications followed by a luncheon.
Lon Morton has been a board member for over 10 years, and has served as the Sponsorship Chair each year at the annual ‘Stand up for Kids’ Gala Dinner & Auction. He was a past recipient of the distinguished Cal Johnston Service Award and has been elected to serve as incoming Board Chairman for 2016. Rocky Morton has been involved as a community leader since 1998 serving on the Malibu Search and Rescue team for over 25 years. Her activities and leadership has resulted in helping to make the community a safer and better place to live and raise children.

Investment Update Q4, 2015

 

In our Q4 Investment Newsletter, we take a look at the following stories.

  • IRS Zeros In On Dirty Dozen Tax Scams In 2015
  • 401K – Take Early Withdrawals Penalty-Free
  • Federal Reserve Holds Interest Rates Steady For Now
  • Bigger Retirement Plan Benefits For Elders
  • Here’s What You Can’t Do In An IRA

Read More in our Q4 Investment Newsletter

Jeffrey Sarti Featured in Forbes article on How to Invest Your Money In Q4

September’s stock market sell off either created tremendous opportunities to put money to work at lower prices or alerted active investors to position their portfolios defensively for a deeper correction. To find out how you should invest your money in the fourth quarter,  I assembled a panel of Barron’s-ranked financial advisors to share their best mutual fund or exchange-traded fund picks. This elite group is hailed as the top 1% in their field. Barron’s evaluates financial advisors based on their assets under management, annual revenues, years of experience, client retention, charitable contributions and regulatory records.

5. Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX)

by Jeffrey Sarti

The recent bout of stock market volatility across the globe was just the excuse the Federal Reserve needed to refrain from raising interest rates.  However, we believe the collective “wisdom” to agonize over a meager quarter-point hike is typical of the short-term mindset of the investing public.

Read the full article

Market Overview August 2015

“In the world of investing, being correct about something isn’t at all synonymous with being proved correct right away.” – Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital

The global equity markets have been in full retreat since China devalued its currency (CNY) relative to the U.S. dollar (USD) on August 11th. Since then, more than $5 trillion has been erased from the value of global equities on fears that the slowdown in the Chinese economy is worse than expected. As a result, there is now widespread belief that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) will not be in a position to raise interest rates in its September meeting as had been expected. The table below summarizes the year-to-date performance of the S&P 500 (U.S. large company stocks), MSCI EAFE (developed international stocks) and MSCI EM (emerging market stocks) indices. While the equity market drawdowns have been more dramatic in the emerging markets, the S&P 500 Index has also entered a correction phase – defined as a decline of over 10% – since reaching an all-time high in mid-July.

YTD Financial 08.2015

As is evident from the graph below, the S&P 500 Index (green) has enjoyed a relatively calm climb with little to no volatility since late 2011. The Volatility Index (white) measures the 30-day volatility of the market. It is often referred to as the “Fear Index”. A low level of this index is a sign of too much optimism in the equity markets. The psychology has now changed dramatically, as the current selloff has raised many concerns with respect to currency wars, global growth, valuations of the equity markets, and whether the global central banks – stuck on ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) for almost 7 years – have any ammunition left to battle a global economic slowdown.

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Source: Bloomberg

While U.S. markets have somewhat stabilized this morning, our concern going forward is that the poor underlying fundamentals could finally derail this resilient bull market. We have been articulating the risks associated with the global monetary policies for some time now and have reduced our equity exposure in recent years in response to escalating valuations. Just in July, we published a position paper detailing our thought process with respect to expensive global markets and the rationale behind including an allocation to gold as a hedge against depreciating paper currencies. We encourage you to read this paper and have included a link to our website below.

https://mortoncapital.com/uncategorized/the-case-for-gold-in-an-uncertain-world/

If you would like to discuss this paper, the financial markets, or your portfolio in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sasan Faiz
Co-Chief Investment Officer

The Case for Gold in an Uncertain World

gold barIn this position paper, we will discuss our rationale for instituting a position in gold across our clients’ portfolios. There are many opposing viewpoints about owning gold in a diversified portfolio. We will look to address these countering points of view and explore how the current macro landscape makes the rationale for owning gold more compelling than it has been for quite some time. Specifically, we will discuss:

  • Opportunity cost of owning gold – Investors often shun gold in favor of assets with a positive expected return, namely stocks and bonds. However, stocks are trading near all-time high valuations and yields on traditional bonds are anemic, making alternative investment opportunities such as gold more attractive on a relative basis.
  • Traditional diversification is broken – Historically, stocks and bonds have behaved differently from one another and have therefore acted as efficient diversifiers when combined in a portfolio. However, in recent years, the data has shown that stocks and bonds have become more highly correlated with one another. Gold, on the other hand, has displayed a low correlation to both stocks and bonds over extended periods of time.
  • Gold as a store of value – Gold is the one global currency that cannot be created out of thin air in this age of undisciplined money printing. All currencies are susceptible to debasement by central banks looking to stimulate their debt-ridden economies through easy monetary policies. Unlike most paper currencies, gold has maintained its value over long time periods.

We understand that this positioning may not be popular as traditional assets continue their march upward with the support of central banks. However, with the expensive nature of traditional stocks and bonds, coupled with the heightened risks of currency debasement and possible inflation, we believe that a modest allocation to gold can act as a meaningful hedge over time.

Read the full position paper here

A Hybrid Approach to Active vs. Passive Investing

Active-vs-Passive-Investing-Image-largeThe investing world has changed dramatically since the credit crisis. Technological advances have continued to reduce trading costs in the equity markets and global central banks have embarked on and sustained zero-interest-rate policies. According to Merrill Lynch, 83% of the world’s equity markets are currently supported by countries with such policies. From a historic perspective, the current low level of global interest rates, both real and nominal, is only parallel to the depression era of the 1930s. These conditions have resulted in a global stock market that is driven by broad economic announcements as opposed to company fundamentals. The evidence of this trend can be seen in the high correlations amongst sectors and stocks as they react as a group to economic news such as employment or inflation statistics.

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Jeffrey Sarti Featured In Financial Advisor Magazine – Alternatives: A Way To Lock In Historic Market Gains?

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In the summer of 1982, Duran Duran was atop the music charts, Leonid Brezhnev was still calling the shots in the Soviet Union, and the United States was just coming out of a decade-long economic slump. Back then, the S&P 500 stood at 105.

Fast forward to 2015, and that market index has surged nearly 2,000%. A multi-decade plunge in interest rates has led to stellar returns for bond investors as well. Despite some notable bumps in the road in 2000 and 2008, the bond and stock markets have delivered remarkable long-term returns, enabling many baby boomers to build powerful retirement nest eggs.

Yet few expect the stock and bond markets to deliver such robust returns in the years ahead, and for many the question is whether the remarkably long bull market in stocks and bonds will end with a whimper or a bang.

At this point, a quick history lesson about stocks and bonds is helpful. From the 1960s through the end of the 1970s, “stocks and bonds were negatively correlated,” notes Jeff Sarti, co-president of Morton Capital Management. Since the early 1980s, however, these two asset classes have often moved in lockstep. They have both benefited from falling inflation, rising corporate productivity and, more recently, a fire hose of liquidity from the Federal Reserve.

A changing Fed stance regarding liquidity may have an equally deleterious effect on both asset classes. “We’re very concerned about central bank policy. … We’ve had a free lunch thus far,” says Sarti, adding that if stocks lose ground, “bonds are unlikely to be the diversifier they once were.”

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