Firm Commentary

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.

Q2 / 18 Newsletter

Markets: The U.S. economy continues exhibiting strong economic fundamentals and corporate earnings growth, although it remains to be seen how sustainable such growth is. Despite attractive valuations and earnings growth expectations, the mixed performance of international markets during the second quarter has caused investors to begin questioning the resilience of the synchronized global growth story that has persisted over the last several quarters. We see increasing evidence of a global tug of war between economic and market tailwinds and headwinds, particularly as trade war concerns continue increasing. In this type of environment, we emphasize the importance of appropriately broad diversification and disciplined rebalancing of portfolios. We are maintaining our focus on a long-term investment horizon, taking moderate levels of well diversified risk, and are positioned to take advantage of near-term momentum driven weakness.

Impact Update: Wetherby successfully completed the re-certification process for our status as a Certified B Corporation® (or B Corp) in May 2018, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to upholding and promoting higher social, environmental and governance standards in our business. In June, we released our inaugural Annual Impact Report, which reflects on the achievements of our clients, our team and our community in 2017. You can find a copy of the report below.

Financial Planning: The financial planning section discusses homeowners insurance. From wildfire to flood to hurricane, damage from an extreme weather event seems to be a fixture in the news. While homeowners insurance can mitigate the financial burden of a loss to your home and personal property, many homeowners have discovered the hard way that their homeowners insurance fell short in several key areas. The article reviews five key areas of homeowners insurance: Dwelling Limit, Improvements in Building Code, Water Backup, Flood and Earthquake.

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Q2 / 18 Impact Investing Digest

Wetherby is pleased to share our Impact Investing Digest for the second quarter of 2018. Several articles this quarter highlight the efforts of large corporations to combat climate change by purchasing renewable power and carbon offsets and to reduce waste by phasing out plastic straws and other single-use packaging. In addition, this edition includes links to a Special Report on Sustainable Investing encompassing a range of impact investing-related topics published by Barron’s in June. Please feel free to reach out to your Wetherby team if you have any questions or are interested in learning more.

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2017 Annual Impact Report

We are proud to release our inaugural Annual Impact Report, which reflects on the achievements of our clients, our team and our community in 2017. This report summarizes our clients’ impact investing efforts and enhancements to our impact service offering, our industry affiliations, our corporate social responsibility commitments, our community outreach and more. We welcome your feedback and invite you to share this piece with your networks.

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Q1/18 Impact Investing Digest

Wetherby is pleased to share our Impact Investing Digest for the first quarter of 2018. A number of articles this quarter highlight the performance benefits of diverse executive and fund management teams. In addition, several reports focus on key trends and opportunities in the impact investing and renewable energy industries. Please feel free to reach out to your Wetherby team if you have any questions or are interested in learning more.

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Q1/18 Newsletter

Markets:  2018 began with markets experiencing significant volatility. Whereas in 2017 there were only eight days that the S&P 500 experienced daily moves of +/-1%, the S&P 500 witnessed 23 days of similar volatility in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Headlines have been dominated by threats of trade wars, resurfacing Middle East conflict, and domestic political turmoil, and these uncertainties will likely persist in the near-term. We recognize how far along we are in a late-economic cycle environment and we acknowledge that certain risks will likely continue to contribute to near-term market volatility. But given the solid fundamental backdrop and the recent correction in equity valuations, we are maintaining our thematic portfolio positioning – balancing continued investment in risk assets in search of attractive long-term returns with an increased focus on risk mitigation and diversification.

Impact Update: Aperio Group LLC, one of our passive global equity managers, now offers clients the option to have their proxies voted in accordance with Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) policies. This new option provides clients with the opportunity to exercise their shareholder voice to opine on environmental, social and governance topics. In February, members of the Wetherby New York City team spent the afternoon lending a helping hand at the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a safe, temporary home for the families of critically ill children.

Financial Planning: The financial planning section reviews the changes in 529 Plans resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Prior to the passing of the TCJA, qualifying expenses were limited to higher education or postsecondary expenses. Now up to $10,000 for tuition to K-12 schools is a qualified expense.

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