Welcome to Wetherby Asset Management’s Online Newsletter Library. Our newsletters and commentary offer insight into timely news and events that shape our financial world. Please read important disclosures by clicking here.
Q4/17 Impact Investing Digest
Wetherby is pleased to share our Impact Investing Digest for the fourth quarter of 2017. Several articles this quarter focus on the increasing activism of large asset managers on issues of board diversity, climate change and broad social purpose. In addition, other articles highlight the continued traction of the fossil fuel divestment movement amongst large institutional investors. Please feel free to reach out to your Wetherby team if you have any questions or are interested in learning more.
Markets: Looking forward to 2018, we believe the strengthening of the economy and potential tail winds from tax reform and deregulation could support another year of attractive corporate earnings growth, but with higher valuations and uncertainty around the impact of divergent global monetary policy, we expect higher volatility and increasing challenges in generating attractive risk-adjusted returns for both equities and fixed income. Our portfolio positioning reflects a continuation of the theme of risk diversification and mitigation within and across asset classes.
Impact Investing Update: The Wetherby team participated in a series of service events in our local communities, including helping with Halloween activities at Raphael House of San Francisco; working with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), weeding and planting in the Tenderloin People’s Garden; and organizing the professional and casual clothing closet for youth at Larkin Street Youth Services. In December, we held an in-office service event benefitting Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit organization that provides food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, working to end global hunger in our lifetime.
Financial Planning: The financial planning section discusses considerations for mortgage debt. Interest rates are still near all-time lows, offering opportunities for new home buyers and those who want to refinance an existing mortgage. Mortgage interest is still tax deductible under the recent federal tax code updates with certain restrictions, although you can no longer deduct interest on home equity debt (e.g., HELOC).
Q3/17 Impact Investing Digest
Wetherby is pleased to share our Impact Investing Digest for the third quarter of 2017. Several articles this quarter highlight the ongoing mainstreaming of the impact investing industry with many traditional market participants making strategic commitments to the sector and launching impact-focused investment funds. Please feel free to reach out to your Wetherby team if you have any questions or are interested in learning more.
Markets: The overall environment continues to support the likelihood of market growth in the near term. U.S. and international economic growth is improving, as well as global corporate earnings growth. Our portfolio positioning remains stable, with an increased focus on risk diversification and risk mitigation. We believe many of the near-term risks center around the Fed. Despite the Fed’s clear communications regarding its raising rates and reducing its balance sheet, such change will inevitably cause a repricing in markets, and we would expect an increase in volatility, particularly given the fact that volatility metrics have recently reached all-time lows.
Impact Investing Update: Our client reporting system has a new framework for classifying impact investments. We released our first annual Shareholder Resolution Sponsorship Report. We formalized our Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. We were recognized by the nonprofit B Lab as both Best for the World – for Customers and Best for the World – for Workers in 2017. The Wetherby team participated in a clothing drive for Girls Inc. of Alameda County.
Financial Planning: The financial planning section has two articles regarding your online information and security. “Managing Digital Assets” discusses the estate planning implications of your online information. “Using Two-Factor Authentication to Protect Your Online Identity” explains how using two-factor authentication (2FA) can help protect you from a potentially devastating account breach by inserting an additional layer of protection beyond the password.
2017 Shareholder Resolution Report
Shareholders of publicly traded companies have a powerful opportunity to represent material interests to corporate management. Our firm is proud to work with As You Sow to allow clients with eligible individual stock positions to file resolutions that encourage environmental, social and corporate governance solutions. This report offers an overview of our involvement in the 2017 season; Wetherby clients authorized As You Sow to file and co-file 21 shareholder resolutions with 17 companies focused on issues related to coal, genetically modified organisms, pharmaceutical waste, consumer packaging and nanomaterials in food.