Greetings from self-isolation!
Like many of you, the Sterling team has been adjusting to the new normal of social distancing and working from home. Things are admittedly different. We desperately miss having face to face interaction with our clients and we can’t wait for the days where we can once again have clients stop by to chat or fill their bellies with coffee, diet coke, or chocolate. The good news, though, is that all of our contingency plans have worked as intended and we are operating at 100% capacity. Business is being processed as usual and our virtual meeting system has been receiving excellent feedback.
Steve, Megan, and Luke are as present as ever, fielding calls from Plymouth, Long Lake, and Crystal. Since the golf courses will be closed for the foreseeable future, Steve will likely be even more present than usual as we start to get into the spring time! Mel’s kitchen table has begun moonlighting as a document preparation station as she diligently works on client servicing in Hanover. Amelia’s spare bedroom in St Paul has become a virtual trading floor as she feverishly (a metaphorical fever, thankfully), manages our clients’ portfolios, and Davis’s study in Blaine has stepped up admirably as a place to process business and take client phone calls (so long as his two Great Danes aren’t howling). Below is an image of our weekly Monday staff meeting, taking place in all corners of the 7-county metro area.
In all seriousness, though, right now it seems like the only thing that’s remaining constant is how quickly everything is changing. With that being said, our goal is to be a source of consistency and a calming presence in your lives. Our plan over the coming weeks is to provide you with updated messages at least weekly, providing our thoughts on the economy, important updates, ways for you to stay sane and not become tired of the loved ones you are self-isolating with, etc. We have entered a period where we’re experiencing not only a global pandemic, but a global “info-demic.” As such, we want to help you cut through the noise and get to what you need to know so that you can spend your time doing more important things like caring for yourselves and your loved ones.
One of the biggest changes to come recently was the IRS’s decision to move the 2019 tax filing deadline to July 15th. Numerous states (including Minnesota) have since followed suit. It has also been confirmed that the tax payment deadline and the 2019 IRA contribution deadline have been extended to July 15th as well and that there will be no interest or penalties due on tax payments that are deferred until the new deadline. For more information, the IRS has laid out an FAQ page which can be viewed at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-and-payment-deadlines-questions-and-answers.
In addition, in the early hours of March 25th, Congress passed what promises to be a major economic stimulus bill. As of the time of this writing, the contents of this bill remain largely unclear. You can rest assured, however, that we will be sending further communication on the contents of the bill once we know more about the mechanics of how it will work.
As the financial situation continues to change, it’s likely that many of you have seen trade confirmations come through. These confirmations are likely the result of our continued rebalancing process or recent tax loss harvesting. Tax loss harvesting is a process where we sell a security that has experienced a loss so that we can lock in or “harvest” that loss and, in turn, use it to offset gains or income in the future. The funds from the sale are then used to purchase a similar product so that the overall asset allocation of the account is maintained.
We want to wrap up this message by reiterating how thankful we are for your continued trust and confidence. What we are currently experiencing is something that none of us have experienced in our lifetimes. What’s happened over the last few weeks has brought out the best in people as we all work together to figure out how to get through this. We greatly appreciate all the thoughtful and kind feedback from each of you, and we wish you and your loved ones the best. Remember, we are always just a phone call away and we welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that you or your friends and family have.
Be kind, be well, and be safe,
Steve, Megan, Luke, and the Sterling Team
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice. Asset allocation is an investment strategy that will not guarantee a profit or protect you from loss.