Whitepaper – The New RIA Workplace

Our industry, our country, and the entire world was turned on its head in March as local and federal governments began to institute widespread stay-at-home orders. While some RIAs were caught flat-footed from a technology perspective, the RIA industry has been luckier than many brick-and-mortar establishments that needed to completely shut their doors during this unprecedented time. With most custodial systems, financial planning tools, CRMs, performance reporting technology, and data file servers now in the cloud, many RIAs did not miss a beat when employees fired up their internet-connected computers from home and logged into their typical applications.

Working from home has undoubtedly required our teams to work harder, but at a high level it has been fairly close to “business as usual.” Clients are still being serviced: accounts are still being opened, wires are still being sent, model portfolios are still being implemented and rebalanced. Even those RIA owners who have historically been the staunchest opponents of remote work have had to admit that this forced experiment has gone better than anyone could have imagined. And as the stay-at-home orders have continued from weeks to months, many are questioning if the traditional workday will ever look the same. Much has been written and discussed about the technology advancements not just in our industry but in society at large, but for the first time, we are now examining the physical space we work in and what the physical office of the future will look like.

Click here to reach the full article.

Authors:
Stacey McKinnon, Morton Capital, COO
Matt Sonnen, PFI Advisors, CEO

Featuring:
Michael Kossman, Aspiriant, COO
Brandon McKerney, Columbia Pacific Wealth Management, Director of Operations

 

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Final Webinar

Our final COVID-19 webinar was moderated by our COO, Stacey McKinnon, who asked the following questions of Wealth Advisors Bruce Tyson and Jason Naiman related to the impact of government policy on investor portfolios: 

  • We have seen a massive amount of money printing over the last decade – how has that impacted stocks and bonds?
  • How might the pandemic impact the election?
  • How should business owners think differently coming out of the lockdown?

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com

https://vimeo.com/mortoncapital/stayingconnectedwebinar05052020

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Webinar #5

Led by our Wealth Advisors Alan Kane and Chelsea Watson, this webinar addressed client questions surrounding the latest developments of COVID-19 and its impact on the market. Alan Kane has more than 39 years of experience in financial services. He shared his views on the past major cycles and what we can learn from history in the current environment. Chelsea Watson has been with Morton Capital for over 10 years. She shared her perspective on how we may need to change plans and adapt to life after the pandemic.

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com

https://vimeo.com/mortoncapital/stayingconnectedwebinar04282020

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Webinar #4

Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor, Joe Seetoo, and Wealth Advisor, Priscilla Brehm, this webinar addressed the following client questions surrounding the latest developments of COVID-19 and its impact on the market:

  • Why is the Federal Reserve buying bonds as part of the newest stimulus package? Emotions often drive decision-making.
  • What behavioral biases should I look out for when making financial decisions?
  • I’ve been told to invest for the long term. What does that mean?
  • What does that mean? How should I invest differently for the short term vs. the long term?

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com

https://vimeo.com/mortoncapital/stayingconnectedwebinar04142020

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Webinar #3

Wealth Advisors, Chris Galeski and Wade Calvert navigate tough water in our third webinar by addressing the following client questions surrounding the latest developments of COVID-19 and its impact on the market:

  • Is Morton Capital finding potential investment opportunities?
  • How does the CARES Act impact my retirement accounts?
  • Some friends are buying, some friends are selling. What do I do now?

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com

https://vimeo.com/mortoncapital/stayingconnectedwebinar04072020

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Webinar #2

In the second webinar of the Staying Connected series, our Wealth Advisor, Executive Vice President and CCO, Eric Selter, and Wealth Advisor, Celia Meagher addressed the following client questions surrounding the latest developments of COVID-19 and its impact on the market:

  • What does the stimulus package mean for my portfolio?
  • What are some tips on handling my financial emotions during this unsettling time?
  • What is Morton Capital doing behind the scenes?

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com

https://vimeo.com/403014629

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Webinar #1

Led by our Chief Investment Officer, Meghan Pinchuk, and Wealth Advisor, Kevin Rex, our first webinar on Tuesday, March 24 discussed the latest developments of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the market. Below are the client questions we addressed:

  • What do all these government policy moves mean for my portfolio and the markets?
  • Should I be looking to buy or sell with everything going on?
  • How will our alternative investments be impacted?

To register for access to these online events and/or submit any questions you would like our Wealth Advisors to answer for you please email us at questions@mortoncapital.com


https://vimeo.com/400419802/9407412948

We look forward to you joining us on future webinars!

Staying Connected During COVID-19 – Introduction to a new weekly webinar

Given the current global uncertainty, our advisory team will be hosting weekly webinars to share our take on the news, policy changes, the economy and potential opportunities. Our goal is to stay connected, ease some of your fears and ensure you feel informed and empowered with regards to your financial plan. To learn more about the webinar series, please see the below brief video from our CEO, Jeff Sarti by clicking the image below or the following link: https://vimeo.com/399004159

We look forward to seeing you on the webinar and addressing any concerns you have about the market and your investments.

 

Monitoring the Coronavirus

The coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan, China, in December, and as of our writing this communication it has infected over 82,000 people resulting in 2,800 deaths. Up until the last week, global stock markets shrugged off concerns about a wider spread of the virus. However, an increase in reported cases outside of China in recent days has raised concerns about the potential for a global pandemic. This has resulted in a stock market correction around the world with the S&P 500 correcting over 10% in the last week.

There are a few main issues that are occupying our minds and that of global markets:

How contagious and dangerous is the virus?

  • While the absolute number of cases outside of China still remains small, the increased pace of reported cases is concerning. Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan are currently hot spots of particular concern. As we write this, the first coronavirus case in the United States that could not be linked to foreign travel was confirmed as well.
  • However, it appears that the growth of reported cases in China has slowed in recent days. If this data can be relied upon and the trend in China continues, this may demonstrate that human behavior (e.g., quarantines) can control transmission of the virus and perhaps the virus is not as contagious as was originally believed.
  • Early estimates of the death rate upon contraction of the virus are roughly 2%. As a point of comparison, the SARS outbreak in 2003 had a fatality rate of 9.6%.
  • To date, there have been no reported deaths in those aged nine years and younger, implying that very young children are not as susceptible to this virus.

How much can the virus hurt global economic growth?

  • Efforts to contain the virus have resulted in numerous factories, public sites and workplaces being closed both in China and now abroad.
  • This has caused and will continue to cause substantial business disruption across the globe. One example is Apple’s recent warning that they expect lower revenue growth due to the outbreak’s impact on iPhone manufacturing (they have numerous factories near the heart of the outbreak).
  • At around 20% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), China is the second-largest economy in the world. Estimates are that growth in China in 2020 will slow from pre-virus forecasts of 5% down to 3%. This should reduce global GDP growth by roughly 0.4% from forecasts of 2.9% to 2.5%. These estimates may be somewhat rosy depending upon how far the virus ultimately spreads.

Historically, financial markets have been somewhat resilient in the face of past epidemics. Short-term corrections in global stock markets have typically been followed by renewed uptrends within a few months. The concern, of course, is that the spread of this virus will be more aggressive than the spread of other viruses in recent decades. The most important question for investors is whether your portfolio is prepared for the potentially challenging environment ahead. While our portfolios are not immune to stock market corrections, our concerned view of the world and heightened exposure to alternatives should provide some insulation against market shocks. We prefer to be prepared in advance of unexpected market events such as this as opposed to reacting after the fact. In the face of short-term volatility, it is important to keep in mind the goals and financial plan that helped build your portfolio for the long term.

New Year’s Wishes

As 2019—and this decade—comes to an end, we at Morton Capital would like to thank you for allowing us to continue to be part of your story. And for those of you who just joined our community this year, we are excited to start our story together. As we look forward to the year ahead, we would like to take a moment to share with you some highlights of what we’ve been working on over the past year.


MC TEAM AND GROWTH

In 2019, we continued to focus on making our team even better through initiatives around hiring, team structure, and firm growth.

  • We were named one of the Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors by Investment News. This list highlights the top 75 firms nationwide in the financial advice industry. We were chosen 2nd among firms our size and 16th overall.
  • We hired talented new people across several teams, including the advisory, financial planning, investment research and operations teams. New hires included:
    • Brian Standing, Esq. (Wealth Planner); Patrice Bening (Client Service Associate); Olivia Payne (Client Service Associate); Adam Bartkoski (Finance and HR Manager); Milan Pfeisinger (Research Analyst); Elana Yaffe (Paraplanner); Amber McBride (Paraplanner); Edward Garcia (Client Service Administrator); Chris Wahl (Client Service Administrator); Clarence Welton (Client Service Administrator); Austin Overholt (Private Investments Administrator); Benjamin Markman (Private Investments Administrator); and Kierstan Lewis (Administrative Assistant)
  • Two of our Wealth Advisors, Kevin Rex and Wade Calvert, became new partners in the firm.
  • We built out our internal team structure to create additional client support and to create new opportunities for team member career growth.
  • Through the hard work and dedication of our team, we were able to add just under 40 new client households to the MC community.
  • Two team members have welcomed beautiful baby girls Audriana (Kevin Rex) and Harlowe (Sarah Ellis) this year. Since sourcing young talent is always important, stay tuned for our 2041 year-end letter, as these girls’ names may appear amongst those hired!

EDUCATION AND ENHANCEMENT

Continuing to cultivate our team’s passion for education and to enhance our offering through technology, security, and leadership initiatives was also a focus over the past year.

  • Team members attended multiple conferences to stay at the forefront of our industry, network with thought leaders and enhance our financial planning and technological capabilities.
  • Our COO, Stacey McKinnon, spoke at 5 events this year, including at such leading conferences as Bob Veres’s Insider’s Forum in Nashville in September.

  • We worked to make our internal processes more efficient by introducing new CRM and workflow systems to improve your client experience
  • We continue to utilize multiple fraud prevention measures, such as verbal confirmations and dual-factor authentication when available, to protect our clients from increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts.
  • In August, we introduced our popular Financial Bites lunch series for clients in our downstairs suite, where advisors spoke about the basics of a number of financial planning topics to educate and empower attendees.

  • This year, Wealth Advisor and Senior Vice President Joseph Seetoo earned his CEPA (Certified Exit Planning AdvisorTM) designation, and Associate Wealth Advisor Sarah Ellis passed her Series 65 exam.
    • As part of our focus on education, many other team members are in the process of obtaining additional certifications in such areas as financial planning, investment research, private wealth management, and insurance.

INVESTMENT RESEARCH AND FINANCIAL PLANNING

We work diligently behind the scenes to source great investment opportunities for our clients. To give you a peek behind the curtain, this year:

  • We screened hundreds of new investment opportunities and performed nearly 90 more in-depth reviews, which included meetings and/or phone calls with fund managers.
  • Out of those 90 opportunities, we introduced 6 new strategies for client portfolios.
  • In addition to numerous site visits around Southern California, we also performed due diligence on various groups in New York, Texas and Kentucky.
  • We made three new additions (see above) to our investment research and operations teams.
  • We continued to augment our internal research with outsourced research, both from larger, more institutional groups (e.g., Capital Economics, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Dimensional Funds, GMO, Elliott Management, Litman Gregory) and from more niche authors as well.

Over the past year, we have refined and expanded our financial planning offering by:

  • Adding wealth and legacy planning as an additional component of our financial planning service. This additional service has been spearheaded by Wealth Planner Brian Standing, who has 12 years of estate planning and wealth transfer experience.
  • Making three new additions (see above) to our financial planning and wealth and legacy planning teams.
  • Completing 180 financial plans for our clients.
  • Holding 50 education sessions for our advisors, with the goal of enhancing our ability to provide you with advice in estate planning, insurance, tax strategies, and retirement planning.
  • Collaborating with clients’ other professional advisors, including estate attorneys, CPAs and insurance agents.

 

Looking back on all that we’ve accomplished over the last year, we are excited to see how our constant pursuit of knowledge and growth has been better able to help you, our clients, get the most life out of your wealth. We truly appreciate your continued confidence and wish you and your family a very happy new year.

See you in 2020!

-Your Morton Team