Tag: Investing for Life

Market Viewpoints – Spring 2021

By Keith Bonjour, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Keith Bonjour, Portfolio ManagerBoth the stock and bond markets have traded in a more volatile and choppy fashion in the 1st quarter of 2021, with longer term bonds pulling back more than short term bonds on renewed worries over inflation after the additional stimulus measure enacted by Congress. The recent stimulus package, called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides an additional $1.9 trillion of stimulus via stimulus checks, extending unemployment benefits, expanding tax credits, along with aid to state and municipalities as well as other payments. The additional stimulus package on top of the large stimulus provided in 2020, along with the global economy gaining momentum on reopening hopes, has created worries in the market about rising inflation and weighed heavy on bond prices in the first quarter of 2021. The Federal Reserve is continuing their accommodative stance and have indicated they are not concerned about increasing inflation expectations. The Fed has stated they feel the increase in inflation will not last with inflation coming back in line with the Fed’s 2.0% mandate in 2022 and that they still do not foresee any increases in the Fed funds rate until at least 2023.

 
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, expectations have increased for GDP growth in the United States this year. The market is pricing in a strong recovery in the second half of 2021 as more Americans become fully vaccinated and both businesses and consumers begin to open their wallets due to pent up demand. Consumers are expected to increase their spending on travel and entertainment which has helped drive a shift out of some of the best performing sectors (IE: Technology) in 2020 to the worst performing sectors (IE: Energy and Travel/Leisure). The increase in inflation expectations along with government inquiries into big technology companies have also been weighing on technology stock returns this year. We continue to recommend maintaining a well-diversified portfolio to weather the volatility.

 
COVID-19 infections rates have come down in the U.S. and vaccinations have ramped up in a meaningful way. However, the increased travel this spring and states beginning to re-open and lift restrictions has caused a recent uptick in infection rates. We are also seeing a more meaningful uptick in Europe and Latin America so even with the increase in available vaccines, the various strains of the virus still pose a risk to growth assumptions this year. It will be important for the market to continue to show signs of positive earnings growth and for the economy to continue its expected strong recovery without any new lockdown measures imposed in the second half of the year. President Biden is also proposing a new infrastructure package in a two-part proposal, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, which could aid GDP growth if enacted this year. However, it will be important to see what tax hikes are in the proposal to fund the infrastructure package and what effects those tax increases may have on corporate earnings.


We continue to be mindful of risks facing the market in 2021 as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, and stocks and bonds still trade expensive compared to their historical averages. However, central banks and governments continue to provide massive amounts of stimulus that are driving up asset prices. We continue to recommend staying the course with your investment objective and to continue to rebalance your portfolio by selling strengths and buying into weaknesses to adjust to movements in the market over time. We also recommend determining any short-term cash needs that you may be need over the next six months. Creating this cash can help protect against an increase in volatility and short-term moves in the market. We recommend maintaining a more long-term focus on investment goals and objectives, and not reacting to short term up or down movements in the market.

Welcoming Marie R. Tarbox

Marie R. Tarbox joins the IMG Team as Vice President & Trust Officer

Marie Rolling-TarboxMarie joins Northwest Bank as Vice President & Trust Officer after having spent the majority of her legal career in private practice, with the past several decades focused on estate planning. She obtained both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Iowa.

Marie and her husband have two children and two grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with their extended families, gardening, and, in a good year, the opportunity to attend a portion of the NCAA basketball tournaments.

We are excited for the valuable experience Marie will bring to the team and are confident she will continue to provide our clients excellent service.

Contact Marie: 563.388.2631

In the Community – Spring 2021

Our Non-Profit Community Spotlight

The Family Museum Lights a Creative Spark for Lifelong Learning

Family Museum Bettendorf

The Family Museum offers interactive and educational experiences for young children in the areas of art, science, movement, and play. With 44,000 square feet of programming space, the Museum provides hands-on exhibits, drop-in classes, preschool classes, school and community outreach, dance classes, and a variety of programs geared towards children eight and under.

Visitors to the Family Museum’s interactive exhibit gallery discover how food moves from the modern farm to the local store by caring for animals, driving a combine, and moving grain in the Farm exhibit. Guests explore the Mississippi River by adding obstacles and raising or lowering water levels as they watch their boat make its journey down a 28-foot indoor waterplay table resembling an actual stretch of the Mississippi River. Visitors chat with neighbors or wave to the mail carrier in the Town Square exhibit which includes features of everyday life. And our youngest guests make alphabet soup, wash the laundry, and splash around in the virtual pond (without getting wet!) in PlayHouse.

New for 2020 is the two-story Luckey Climber! This artistically stunning structure allows Family Museum guests to climb from the first floor to the second floor while observing photographs of clouds on the platforms on the climb up and aerial photographs on the way down. While intended for young children, all ages are welcome to climb!

The Family Museum and its non-profit foundation depend on community support to serve the children and families in our community. Northwest Bank’s Investment Management Group have provided the Family Museum Foundation with expert advice and endowment support that is both efficient and lucrative. Their advisors and investment options are always supportive and best established to support the Family Museum needs.

To learn more visit https://familymuseum.org/

Upcoming Events from our Nonprofit Partners

Annual HANDS Auxiliary Golf Outing | June 7, 2021 | Crow Valley Golf Club, Davenport, IA
Handicapped Development Center
Save the date for the annual HANDS Auxiliary Golf Outing. This years’ event will take place but will be slightly different to provide a safe environment for all participants. Contact Mary Egger at 563-391-4834 or maryegger@hdcmail.org for more information.


The Arc Charity Golf Outing | June 18, 2021 | Highland Springs Golf Course, Rock Island, IL
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area
Register online at arcqca.org.


The Catalyst Awards & Auction | July 30, 2021 | Schweibert Park, Rock Island, IL
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area
Join the Arc of the QCA in celebration of the people and organizations who have been a light in the lives of people with disabilities and ignited a passion for inclusion at The Arc’s Catalyst Awards. Visit www.arcqca.org for bidding and tickets.


Birds and You | A Putnam Museum Exhibit | Open Now!
Birds and You examines the role we all can play in protecting and preserving the birds we see every day in our backyards and fields. Visitors can expect to see a variety of taxidermy mounts, eggs, and nests while learning about the issues facing birds today. Visit www.putnam.org.

Powers of Attorney

By Marie R. Tarbox, JD, Vice President & Trust Officer

Marie Rolling-TarboxWhen people think about estate planning, they often think of it in terms of having a Will or a Trust, directing disposition of property on their death. There are, however, important estate planning tools that are critical during your lifetime. These tools are powers of attorney. There are generally two types of powers of attorney – the power of attorney for finances and the power of attorney for health care decisions. Today we focus on the power of attorney for finances.

With a power of attorney, you (the principal) name who you want to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. The person you name is known as your agent or your attorney-in-fact. The power of attorney may be limited in nature, perhaps to handle a specific matter, such as a real estate closing, or it may be general, to manage all of your financial affairs. Powers of attorney may become effective on a specified future event, such as incapacity, or they may be effective from the moment of signing, and continue regardless of subsequent incapacity or disability. Powers that continue in effect after incapacity or disability known as durable powers of attorney.

Why is a power of attorney a good idea? Sometimes it is simply the convenience of having someone else act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. More importantly, though, a power of attorney is the document that ensures that you are the person who determines who will act on your behalf if you are incapacitated or disabled, whether temporarily or permanently. If you become incapacitated or disabled and do not have a power of attorney in place, court proceedings will be required before someone can act on your behalf. The person who is appointed to act for you by the court may not be the person you would select, and the powers granted may not be the same as you would grant.

A power of attorney is recommended for anyone who is of legal age. Even if your accumulated assets are smaller, having a power of attorney means that your chosen person will be the person who takes care of your financial matters for you. It also means that things will be managed in a more efficient manner than through a court proceedings.

The need for a power of attorney may only be an accident or an illness away. Accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone regardless of health or wealth. Again, your power of attorney is a critical estate planning tool that affect use of your finances during your lifetime.

Contact Marie: 563.388.2631

Welcome Centennial Tax & Accounting

We are very happy to welcome Centennial Tax & Accounting to Northwest Bank

Centennial Tax & Accounting

Centennial is our former firm, Blair, Westfall & Co., coming together with the expertise of Jeanne Pyle Scott and her team at Pyle, Scott & Associates, as well as Dave Schebler, CPA; Randy Sovey, CPA; Dave Thies and their support team. All combined we are now 18 people strong and will be led by Jeanne Pyle Scott.

Jeanne has been well known to us at Northwest Bank because of her outstanding reputation in her field. She spent much of her career in the private trust company and family office area serving high net worth individuals and families. We think that experience will be a wonderful asset for our clients. 

This new combined Centennial Tax & Accounting team includes six full-time CPAs and over 200 years of experience. They are uniquely positioned to deliver outstanding relationship-first accounting services to the individuals and businesses in the Quad Cities. We love that they have the expertise to confidently serve tax and accounting needs, while maintaining a size small enough to provide personalized attention and direct accessibility. 

Centennial Tax & Accounting have moved into their brand new offices on the 5th floor of our NorthPark Tower. We look forward to the opportunity to tell you more about them, and introduce you Jeanne and the rest of the team!

2021 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The Internal Revenue Service announced retirement plan contribution limits for 2021.

 

Rebecca Bitting, Trust Officer

For the most part the 2021 contribution limits are unchanged from the 2020 limits. The notable changes were the increase in the Roth IRA eligibility threshold.

If you have questions or would like more details, please contact our Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP), Rebecca Bitting

 

Contact Rebecca: 563.388.2575

Elective Deferrals2021
401(k), 403(b), 457(b) PlansLesser of $19,500 or 100% of participant's compensation
Simple IRAsLesser of $13,500 or 100% of participant's compensation
IRA Contribution Limits2021
IRAs (Traditional or Roth)Lesser of $6,000 or 100% of earned income
Additional "Catch Up" Limits2021
401(k), 403(b), 457(b)$6,500
SIMPLE IRAs$3,000
IRAs (Traditional or Roth)$1,000
Roth IRA Compensation Limits - Income Phase Out Range2021
Single$125,000 - $140,000
Married Filing Jointly$198,000 - $208,000
Married Filing Seperately$0 - $10,000

In the Community – Winter 2021

Our Non-Profit Community Spotlight

The Arc of the Quad Cities

The Arc of the Quad Cities

You have invested in yourself. You have funds that will provide you with the essentials to live your best life, and if you’ve done things right even leave something for the next generation, bridging one generation to the next. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on support for their lifetime. The Arc supports and invests in people with disabilities, helping them grow into their full potential and participate in their own communities.

The Arc promotes the equal treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community life. It supports an individual’s interests so as to make available their full productive and creative capacities. The Arc has been serving the Quad Cities Area since 1952 and is proud of its accomplishments in making the Quad Cities a more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to live. The Arc’s vision is that all people’s abilities will be valued and respected by the community so every person has the opportunity to achieve their best life. 

In honor of this vision and of the legacy of The Arc’s upcoming anniversary in 2022, we are proud to announce the establishment of two endowments that will provide a secure and permanent source of funds that strengthens and provides stability for The Arc’s services and supports. 

The Arc has established The Arc Emergency Assistance Fund at The Moline Foundation which will provide assistance to people served by The Arc who need direct financial assistance on an emergency basis. The Arc has also established The Arc of the Quad Cities Iowa Endowment which will support Enhanced Horizons and the Arc of the Quad Cities Iowa Holiday Party.  

The Wilber L. Burress Endowment provides supports The Arc of the Quad Cities Area’s services and supports. The endowment is managed by the Wilber L. Burress Trustees. 

In 2022, The Arc will have reached 70 years of making positive change. We have just over a year to reach our goals to raise to raise $70,000 in all endowments, so that the next generation of people with disabilities can enjoy the dignity of full social acceptance and the opportunity to explore their potential. 

You can use your voice and your investment to uphold the dignity of people with disabilities with your support. Visit The Arc’s website at arcqca.org/help-endow-the-future for more information on how your legacy and investment can uphold the rights of others. Or call 309-429-6067 to learn how you can be a part of a better tomorrow. 

 

Market Viewpoints – Winter 2021

By Keith Bonjour, Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Keith Bonjour, Portfolio ManagerThe stock market continued to move higher, reaching new highs in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the election having a smaller impact on stock market returns than many anticipated. In 2020, markets proved how resilient they could be facing many risk factors throughout the year, but stocks were able to recover quickly after the COVID-19 induced sell-off and end the year on a high note. The S&P 500 was down 34% from mid-February towards the end of March only to end the year up over 16%. The bond market also had a strong year with interest rates and inflation both remaining at low levels. The Federal Reserve has continued to indicate that they will hold rates near zero for the foreseeable future, and that they will continue to keep monetary policy accommodative to help support the economic recovery. Congress recently passed another $900 billion stimulus measure after much political back and forth negotiations. This new package included $600 stimulus checks to every adult and child that qualified along with additional funds for small businesses struggling during the pandemic.  

Looking ahead in 2021, the consensus view is that the stock market will continue to show positive returns with higher volatility along the way. The first half of the year will provide meaningful insights into how much further stimulus the government is willing to provide once Biden takes office. The additional stimulus measures along with a potential infrastructure package will need to be weighed against the increasing virus outbreak and the new virus strains from the UK and South Africa. Hopes are that the vaccine providers are able to ramp up production fast enough so that everyone that chooses to be vaccinated will be able to by the end of the second quarter this year. There have been several vaccines approved already with several more currently in late stage trials. Current projections are for a very strong recovery in GDP and company earnings in the second half of 2021, which has a lot to do with how well stocks have performed recently. The risk case is that if the vaccine distribution falls short or the vaccines do not prove as successful against the new strains of the virus, then this would cause economic growth not to rebound as quickly as projected, potentially weighing on stock prices.  

Expectations are for both growth and inflation to increase this year with both showing stronger gains in the second half of the year. The Federal Reserve has indicated that they are comfortable letting inflation run higher than usual in this part of the economic cycle to help the economy recover. They also expect inflation expectations to come back down to around 2% after the initial surge. The risk case is that growth and inflation both overshoot to the upside, forcing the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner than expected. This is currently a low probability, but does bear watching as we progress further into the year. Stocks and bonds are both trading at historically high levels, which puts pressure on company earnings to meet the elevated bar set for them this year.

We are continuing to be mindful of risks facing the market in 2021 as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, and stocks and bonds trade expensive compared to their historical averages. However, central banks and governments across the globe have provided massive amounts of stimulus that continue to help drive up asset prices. We continue to recommend staying the course with your investment objective and to continue to rebalance your portfolio by selling strengths and buying into weaknesses to adjust to movements in the market over time.  We also recommend determining any short-term cash needs that you may have over the next six months. Creating this cash can help protect against an increase in volatility and short-term moves in the market.  We recommend maintaining a more long-term focus on investment goals and objectives, and not reacting to short term up or down movements in the market.

The Time for Life Insurance is Now

By Patrick Olsen, Special Care Planner, Financial Services Professional | Olsen Financial

Olsen Financial

Patrick OlsenLife changes and priorities have a way of shifting. But one thing stays the same, how important family is and our desire to protect them. That’s why having life insurance is an important financial decision. It means your loved ones could be OK financially if something happened to you.

Ensuring the financial security of the people who matter most to you is an important responsibility. This means protecting the value of what you provide for them on a day-to-day basis. You don’t have to wait for a big life moment to put this important protection in place. The time for life insurance is now. Contact me today and let’s get you the coverage you need.

Contact Olsen Financial: 563.388.2530 | polsen@financialguide.com

In the Community – Fall 2020

Our Non-Profit Community Spotlight

Scott Community College Foundation

Scott Community College Foundation

Since our establishment in 1985, the Scott Community College (SCC) Foundation has worked to provide financial resources to support students and our college community. Each year we utilize the generous gifts we receive from our board members, faculty and staff members, area businesses, and many others to offer scholarships, acquire new instructional equipment, and launch special projects.

In addition to scholarships, we also support students through our Student Assistance Program. The program provides emergency funding to help with unexpected student expenses such as internet access, textbooks, laptops, or even transportation. This fund helps to ensure our students’ success and their degree completion.

We currently support students at several Quad Cities locations including: the Urban Campus, Blong Technology Center, West Davenport Center and Belmont Campus. Each student has a unique story and a unique set of strengths and challenges. Some students begin classes with a clear career goal, others discover their passion through their education. Despite all of the obstacles our students face, they all share a desire to learn, master new skills, become better providers, employees, and members of the community.

We value the strengths of the Northwest Bank Investment Management Group as they make it effortless for us to remain focused on our mission to serve our students and the college, while they help us achieve our financial goals. The team is very responsive to all our needs, quick to act when questions arise, and they make the most complicated reports and long-term planning strategies straightforward for our Investment Committee and Board Members. We greatly value their support and look forward to growing with them.

If you would like to learn more, please visit www.eicc.edu/sccfoundation

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