Letters to Our Clients
Quarantine has been used to combat virus outbreaks for centuries. From what I can find, the first use of a quarantine was in 14th century Italy to fight the plague. A few of us have prior experiences of being quarantined. I still remember the police tacking a big yellow sign on our front porch announcing to the world that our house was off limits to all. It said, “Quarantined. Mumps!” The quarantine lasted until my three siblings and myself all experienced the disease. I know how miserable it was for us kids to survive those couple weeks locked up in the house. I can’t tell you how my mother even survived such a lock down. I beg each of you to say a prayer to give a little strength to those parents who currently have young children in the house creating havoc!
I am honored to have the chance to get to know our clients. Their history and stories are humbling and amazing. Some are war heroes or the parents or children of war heroes. Some have put in thousands of miles of travel each year for work, while others have traveled to an incredible number of countries for pleasure. Some have logged thousands of miles on bicycle. Dad, who is also a client by the way, is known to all of you as a crazy motorcyclist who has gone on 10,000 mile competitive motorcycle rides in 11 days. My Grandpa Bishop, who was also a client, was a machinist stationed on a navy boat in the Tokyo Bay during the signing of The Instrument of Surrender that marked the end of World War II. And many of our clients have raised or supported unimaginable numbers of kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
In December of last year, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (a.k.a. the SECURE Act) was passed, and it became effective on January 1st of this year. The enclosed article explains the Act and the major changes taking place, but I wanted to point out the ones that are most likely to affect you.
Over the years Dad has often shared our thoughts on investing with you through our monthly letters. I am hoping to continue that tradition as Dad eases in to handing off some of his responsibilities so he can begin spending more time outside of the office, as my Mom has been gently and regularly encouraging him to do. He will still write a letter here or there, but you will also see letters from me and Libby throughout the year.
A 45 Year History of One Family's Success
I have often said change is the only certainty in the world of investment management. The future unfolds in ways that cannot be accounted for over a lifetime. Long-term goals for saving funds, however, don’t change that often. You may have short-term goals, like saving for a down payment on a home, funding an education, or building a nest egg. Or you may be entering the later years of life, where preservation of capital, income, and legacy planning are your primary investment goals. It is estimated that 10,000 Americans are entering the retirement years each day. Many have the same goal as the Jeffrey Family. They have stayed the course throughout the last 45 years and are positioned to meet their goals for the next 45. I often wonder what my own family would be like if I had not wandered for several years, dragging the family along with me, before settling here in Rock Hill.
Investment results are easily measured on an absolute basis. Because they are so easily measured, academics, financial advisors, asset allocators, consultants, individuals and a host of others have devoted a lifetime to scrutinizing the results of others. They look to analysts, portfolio managers, the various public and private enterprises, and the markets in an attempt to find a person, some identifiable trait, or a methodology that can be replicated to produce superior returns. For many, the search continues, while others have ultimately decided that if this skill exists, it is not worth the effort to find it, and they just buy enough differing investments and hope to be in the right place at the right time.
Kendall J. Anderson, CFA