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Mid-Quarter Newsletter – May 2020

The Birth of the Federal Reserve

Global central banks and their unconventional monetary policies have been in the limelight since the financial crisis in 2008. Given the unprecedented actions of the Federal Reserve (aka the Fed) recently, we wanted to give you a closer look into why the U.S. central bank was created and how its mandate came about.

Early attempts to establish a central government bank started as far back as the birth of our country in 1789, but none of those attempts made much headway. By 1860, the need for reliable central financing was clear, as there were nearly 8,000 state banks, each issuing their own paper notes. Thus, the National Banking Act was passed a few years later, which created a uniform national currency and only allowed nationally chartered banks to issue bank notes. The act didn’t, however, create a strong central banking structure. As the industrial economy expanded, the weaknesses of the nation’s decentralized banking system became more pronounced, leading to serious consequences. The 1907 Bankers’ Panic—a three-week financial panic that occurred during an economic recession, where liquidity dried up at local and state banks, causing many of those companies to go bankrupt—fueled a much-needed reform movement.

After six years of debate and negotiations, the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law on December 23, 1913, establishing the Federal Reserve System. Sixty years later, in the early 1970s, unemployment and inflation levels began to rise, reigniting fears of an economic recession. In 1977, Congress enacted the Federal Reserve Reform Act, which explicitly set price stability as a national policy goal for the first time. The very next year, Congress passed the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act, which established the second policy goal as full employment. Today, price stability and full employment are referred to as the dual mandates of the Fed.

The Fed, along with other global central banks, has responded rapidly and forcefully to the current pandemic crisis. Central bankers clearly want to prevent the pause in economic activity from turning into a permanent solvency crisis and wave of defaults. Many will argue that the Fed’s response goes beyond its mandates—a stance that will be debated for many years to come.


How Business Owners Can Find Opportunities in Chaos
By: Wade Calvert, Wealth Advisor and Partner

While 2020 may seem like a difficult time to be a business owner, there are hidden opportunities to grow in the chaos, especially if you think of opportunity as the ability to make positive changes in your business regardless of what’s going on around you.

Click here to read the article below to learn about five things that every business owner should consider in this environment to capitalize on potential opportunities for growth.


Leadership in a New Workplace
By: Dan Charoenrath, Director of Private Investment Operations

As businesses prepare for a return to work in the coming months, one of the most important questions that every leader must be ready to address is: How do we operate differently to ensure that our people are still engaged and motivated? Beyond questions surrounding how to resume regular operations, we must first consider how we’ll successfully lead our teams through the drastic changes in their work environment. Every person in your organization has been profoundly impacted on an emotional, mental and financial level over the past few months—therefore, it’s unreasonable to expect that we can continue to communicate, direct and inspire them in the same way that we always have. Leading an individual through change can be challenging in and of itself because, by nature, change is uncomfortable for everyone.


Read the full article by clicking here!


New Partners

We are pleased to announce that Wealth Advisor Chris Galeski and Compliance Manager Menachem Striks have become partners at Morton Capital.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Follow Us On Social Media

This year we have focused on updating our social media pages to stay connected as well as provide you with timely tips, videos and advice to help you get the most life out of your wealth. Please click the social icons below to keep up with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo!

We welcome you to visit our new COVID-19 resources page on our website as well, where you can find trusted and helpful information related to financial planning and replay our entire Staying Connected During COVID-19 webinar series.


Welcome New Team Members: Amber and Benjamin

Amber McBride
Paraplanner

Amber graduated from California State University, Channel Islands, where she studied psychology. She always knew that wherever her career took her, she wanted to help people and solve problems. Before coming to Morton Capital and joining the Financial Planning Team as a paraplanner, Amber worked as a senior paralegal at a law firm specializing in estate planning, trust administration, and tax planning, where she gained nine years of experience. During her downtime, she enjoys traveling, hiking, live orchestral music, and spending time with her family.

Benjamin Markman
Private Investments Administrator

Benjamin Markman joined Morton Capital in July 2019. As a Private Investments Administrator, Benjamin plays a critical role in managing the coordination and administration of a variety of alternative investments. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics. Benjamin holds a Series 65 license and is currently studying for the CFA® Level I exam. In his downtime, Benjamin enjoys exercise, playing piano, and chess. 


Oh Babies!

Our MC Family just grew by three! Wealth Advisor and Partner Chris Galeski and his wife, Briana, welcomed a baby girl, Aila Grace, on March 16. Client Service Administrator Carly Powell and her husband, Andrew, welcomed a baby boy, Anderson Eric, on March 27 and most recently, Private Investments Administrator Patrick Garcia and his wife, Pauline, welcomed a baby boy, Presley Grayson, on April 29. We congratulate all three couples on their growing family. Fun fact: this is the first child for each family.

Mid-Quarter Newsletter & Reporting Update – March 2020

Morton Capital Reporting Update

As part of our efforts to provide you with up-to-date information in a secure and efficient manner, beginning in March 2020 Morton Capital will no longer automatically send out quarterly reports.  Clients will still be able to receive reports upon request.

We are making this change because our clients now have on-demand access to current account information, including performance and portfolio balances, via our online portal. We have had widespread adoption of the portal and received positive feedback as to its ease of use and timeliness of information.  In addition to being environmentally friendly, the portal also has important security features such as dual-factor authentication that make it more secure than email or mailed reports.

Please contact your advisory team if you need assistance in setting up or accessing your client portal.


VIDEO: Top Considerations When Selling Your Business

Business owners are often faced with numerous questions: What will become of my business after I retire? Am I financially prepared to retire? Will I be able to protect the financial future of my family during retirement? With roughly 4 million businesses owned by the baby boomer generation and nearly $10 trillion of wealth tied up in those businesses, it’s important to consider an exit planning strategy to help lead to your retirement goals.

Watch our Wealth Advisor and Senior Vice President, Joe Seetoo, as he touches on the first steps business owners should take in order to develop an exit planning strategy. Please click the image below or the following link: https://vimeo.com/395538551


Does the Secure Act Impact Your Financial Plan?

While the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, passed in December 2019, includes many updates to retirement account rules starting in 2020, we’ve highlighted a few below that could impact your financial plan:

  • Delayed Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) – Mandatory distributions from your pre-tax retirement accounts are now required at age 72, increased from age 70½. (This only applies to individuals turning 70½ after January 1, 2020.)
  • No Age Limit on IRA Contributions – You can now contribute to your IRA after age 70½ (as long as you’re earning income).
  • Elimination of “Stretch” Provisions for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries – Previously, non-spouse beneficiaries could take distributions from inherited IRAs over their lifetimes; the SECURE Act now requires non-spouse beneficiaries (with some exceptions) to fully empty the inherited IRA within 10 years of inheritance. Since this change will impact your kids’ inheritance, you may have to consider other ways to maximize tax efficiency, such as using your IRA assets to give to charity.
  • Exceptions to this rule include minor children (until they reach adulthood), the disabled or chronically ill, or individuals no more than 10 years younger than the decedent. If you have beneficiaries with special needs, it’s important to revisit your estate plan to make sure these beneficiaries qualify for this exception.

Welcome Edward and Chris

Edward Garcia

Paraplanner

Edward Garcia joined Morton Capital in July 2019 after a career as an educator in both public and private education. In his role as a Paraplanner on the Financial Planning Team, he now collaborates with the advisory team to analyze and help prepare financial plans. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an option in writing from California State University, Northridge, and a master’s in education with a specialization in cross-cultural education from National University in San Diego. Currently, Edward is in the process of earning his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification from the University of California, Los Angeles. He resides in Oak Park with his wife and their two daughters, and enjoys traveling, adventures in the great outdoors, and a good book.

Chris Wahl

Client Service Administrator

Chris Wahl joined Morton Capital as a Client Service Administrator in August 2019. With more than six years of experience helping high-net-worth and institutional clients in the financial services industry, he has held various roles in operations, regulatory compliance, and consulting and has extensive trading experience. He uses the skills he has gained to provide excellent service and ensure client needs are met in a timely and efficient manner. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing communication from California Lutheran University. He has passed the Series 7 and 63 securities exams, and is currently studying for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, yoga, and being outdoors with family.


The Great Race of Agoura Hills

We’re very excited to participate as a team in the 35th annual Great Race of Agoura Hills on Saturday, March 28. The Great Race has continuously been a popular family-friendly event in the local community since 1986. Interested in joining our team on race day? To learn more and reserve your spot, visit their website at greatrace.run. Choose from one of their featured race options: Old Agoura 10K, Deena Kastor 5K, Kids 1 Mile (ages 6-12) or Family Fun Run (all ages and strollers too) and don’t forget to select us, Morton Capital, as your team. Once you sign up, we’ll coordinate the race details with you directly and include an MC team shirt for you to wear on race day. We hope that you join us for this fun event!


Financial Bites Lunch Series

Our seventh and final event of our popular Financial Bites lunch series will take place on Friday, March 20, from 12 pm to 1 pm. This session will cover personal lines insurance, where we’ll be breaking down policies that deal with accidents and liabilities to help you understand how you’re covered.
You can RSVP to our last session by visiting mortoncapital.com/financialbites.

Last month, Kevin Rex and Patrice Bening, members of our advisory team, presented on life insurance and long-term care.

Watch the video below by clicking the image or following the link and learn the “when and when not to” rules on buying life and long-term care insurance policies.

Videos to all of our previous sessions are now available to watch on our website. Check out our Insights page to view the presentations or click the following link: https://mortoncapital.com/insights/