• Stephen Hanley

Q1 2019 Market Update & Vision Recap

Wow! What a run the market has been on recently. As of today (4/26/19), the Wilshire 5000 has increased +17.17% for the year, completing a rebound from the 4th quarter declines and pushing accounts back to all-time highs. Normally I spend our quarterly updates explaining the bigger picture items that are driving markets such as interest rates, corporate profits, GDP, unemployment, among others. However, with markets doing so well and accounts at solid levels, we thought it might be nice to have a change of pace and give a quick vision update. For those who desire a little more technical market update, make sure you have read our 2019 Annual Letter. It has a good overview of recent happenings and this years outlook. We are also looking very closely at the China trade concerns that currently dominate headlines and will release some thoughts in coming months as we get more clarity. We hope you enjoy this vision recap.

When I transitioned into Evergreen Wealth in 2015; Jeff, Mike and myself all held a shared vision for creating a high-level boutique management firm. For clients, this meant delivering on every resource you would get from a much larger company but with a higher level of excellence. Over the past 30 years, we have seen the investment world change greatly. Perhaps the most notable change has been access to information. With the touch of a button, I can access all of the same information as the mega-sized Wall Street Firms. With that same ease I can access thousands of top-level analysts. Data is transparent and accessible in an instant. No longer does an advantage hold for size or economies of scale around the information. The advantage has now become the filter of information. In an age when information is plentiful, the value of a good filter for decision-making is high. Evergreen Wealth embraced this idea and aimed to create a firm that allowed our time to be spent benefiting clients, free from conflicts of interest, free from inefficient meetings, free from Wall Street groupthink and free to do what is in your best interest. We believe that the manager should have the time to actually….manage. Not spending excessive time marketing or flying around the country giving presentations that promote self-interest. Rather, we aim to actually listen to each earnings call, read each report, analyze each company and try our best to make great long-term decisions. We were crazy enough to think we would create a culture that embraced good work at a fair wage among an industry focused on bigger is better. We believe you can balance work and lifestyle so we can honor our team and families without compromise. In a nutshell, we believe that small is and will continue to be the new big.

In our pursuit of excellence, we have delivered an outstanding track record, planning and staff. We re-structured and built out a new Registered Investment Advisor Firm to embrace a full fiduciary alignment with a client (the highest structure in the industry). We now maintain 2 offices (Perrysburg, OH, and Williamston, MI). We maintain multiple in house managers, have built strategic alignments with legal and accounting firms as well as working hand in hand with Certified Financial Planners and Retirement Income Specialist. We have grown our communications, metrics, data, reviews, internal processes, compliance and overall value we offer. The assets we oversee have grown from $18 million to over $84 million in 4 years. This has all happened without compromise to our family time or time spent servicing each and every account. Rather, our services in aggregate have improved for each account with more touches, more oversight, and more analysis each year. While we believe we have room to continue growing, growth has never been the objective. We only grow if our core principal of excellence and client focus is not in jeopardy. If I can no longer spend the majority of my time researching and communicating then we know a change would need to be made. If advisors can no longer meet face to face as needed with clients then a change is needed. Thus far we have not seen this happen. However, we are constantly making sure to monitor and validate that the efficient growth we see enhances our ability to service rather than distract. We continue to be crazy enough to believe that small is and will continue to be the new big!

THANK YOU for being part of this journey and success with us! THANK YOU for allowing us to help steward you assets! We are honored to work with each and every client and remain steadfast to our vision for offering excellence in all that we do.

Below is an excerpt from author, Seth Godin and one of many readings that inspires us to continue this vision for excellence. We hope you enjoy and perhaps get a little inspired in your own life!

Small means the founder makes a far greater percentage of the customer interactions. Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them, quickly.

Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs.

Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.

Small means that you can answer email from your customers.

Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others, while you keep the power because you invent the remarkable and tell stories to people who want to hear them.

A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart small companies are happy to hire them.

A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.

A small venture fund doesn’t have to fund big bad ideas in order to get capital doing work. They can make small investments in tiny companies with good (big) ideas.

A small church has a minister with the time to visit you in the hospital when you’re sick.

Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big.

Don’t wait. Get small. Think big.

Index results such as the Wilshire 5000, Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index, and S&P 500 do not reflect management fees and expenses and you cannot typically invest in an index.

Data reported comes from YCharts

Evergreen Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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