To all our valued clients, colleagues, and resources,
We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and we have decided to temporarily close our physical office and work remotely effective immediately.
This was a difficult decision, but our top priority right now is keeping our team and clients safe, and our greatest fear is that someone on our team becomes ill and then passes the illness onto our clients and other team members. Given that we share a building (and lobby) with a Park Nicollet medical clinic, we thought this risk was too great to be ignored. Rest assured, however, that we have robust contingency plans in place and will still be able to process business at full capacity.
We want this transition to be as smooth and transparent as possible, so we would like to take this opportunity to let you know our operational plans moving forward:
- We will continue to hold our business hours, which are Mondays through Fridays, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Our office phones will be answered as usual, so please continue to reach us as usual at our main business line or direct-dial numbers.
- All client accounts will continue to be serviced as normal. Thanks to technology, there’s nothing we can’t do from home.
- Effective immediately, we are moving to virtual or telephone meetings. We have screen sharing software available and would also be happy to send copies of any meeting documents via email or overnight UPS in advance of meetings.
- We will have all mail held at the post office and we will collect it multiple times a week. Please note, however, that there may be a day or two delay with anything that’s mailed to us. We will defer to electronic document transmittal where possible, but if you need to send us hard copy documents please let us know that they are incoming so that we know to keep our eyes open for them. We will be sure to confirm with you when documents are received.
We know that these are worrying times and we wanted to share a recent Star Tribune article which we believe lays out a good overview of the current economic situation. Star Tribune subscribers can find the article here, and we would be happy to provide the article to non-subscribers as well, just let us know.
Also, our advisory clients have likely seen trade confirmations come through over the last week, and we wanted to let you know what actions we’re taking.
- First – Many of our accounts were rebalanced last week. Rebalancing occurs when our clients’ actual investment allocations get too far out of line with our investment models. When this happens, we sell well performing asset classes and use the money to invest in assets that aren’t performing as well. This disciplined and methodical process helps us take emotion out of our investment decisions and forces us to buy low and sell high in accordance with your long-term investment goals.
- Second – We made an additional change to our bond allocations on March 13th. We use bonds to help “bubble wrap” our portfolios during times of market volatility, and we are happy to report that the bond funds in our strategies have been performing this job admirably. Over the past few years, we have taken several steps to further strengthen the stability of our bonds, and last week we decided to upgrade the stability one step further to defend against the possibility of further weakening credit markets.
We believe that volatile times like these make it even more important to have an informed, impartial ear in your corner. As such, if any of your loved ones or colleagues are concerned and don’t have someone to turn to, we would be happy to field any questions they may have. Please feel free to put them into contact with us and we will do our utmost to help them.
Finally, this is a historic time we’re living through, but living in this “historic” time is much less glamorous than it sounds. We’d like to extend a special “thank you” for those of you who have sent messages of positivity and affirmation in our team and our strategies over the last few weeks. Everyone at Sterling is a member of this team because of our shared passion for service and bettering the lives of others, and hearing that our work is paying off always brightens our days. In this, we are reminded that no matter what is going on in the world, and in the markets, human kindness and compassion are invaluable.
We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and will let you know when we are once again able to open our physical office. In the meantime, be well, stay safe, and be kind to one another.
We’re all in this together, and that Sterling will be here to help.
Sincerely, Steve, Megan, Luke, Amelia, Melanie, Davis, and Cameran
A diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market. Rebalancing may be a taxable event. Before you take any specific action be sure to consult with your tax professional. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.
The views stated in this piece 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 with 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.
Investors cannot invest directly in indexes. The performance of any index is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not take into account the effects of inflation and the fees and expenses associated with investing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The S&P 500 is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.