As our team looked back at 2019, the Partners of Blue Summit noticed a theme that fit right into our mission: Sustainable Growth. The stock market set records and many equity indexes saw tremendous growth although we’re not saying that growth rate is sustainable, nor should we hope for it. Read on and you will see what we mean by sustainable growth.
From a purely investment perspective, 2019 was a great one. For most, although unfortunately not all, the US economy is doing very well. We participated in this growth while also taking the opportunity to diversify for when a bear market inevitably returns. We have continued to actively manage investments in all accounts and through a rigorous review process we have updated investments for the present and future where appropriate. We have increased our use of real estate which generally has less volatility than the stock market as well as fixed income investments. While all our investments have a social benefit aspect to them, some of these fixed income investments are 100% focused on social impact in sectors including: affordable housing, environmental sustainability, microfinance, renewable energy, education, and sustainable agriculture. If you would like to hear more about any of our options, please let us know at any time.
Looking forward to this new year, we see some big global decisions down the road. Fortunately, we are at least approaching them on solid economic footing. The stock market tends to favor predictability and a key driver of uncertainty is the 2020 election, including the Democratic primary. We are still a long way off from coalescing around one candidate to take on Trump, and this could present a headwind to market growth.
The overall economy with a current state of record low unemployment, accommodative interest rates, and corporate profit growth has been a driver of stock prices. The threat of inflation and subsequent federal reserve interest rate hikes could finally end this bull run, but as of now, we do not see above-target inflation.
Sustainable and Responsible Investment recap
Our roots in Sustainable and Responsible Investments go back 25 years, and deepened further in 2019. We continue to work closely as donors to As You Sow, including having their CEO Andy Behar speak at our 25th Anniversary/Holiday Party. In 2019, they presented 93 various shareholder resolutions covering topics such as climate change, pesticides/antibiotics, labor issues, gender & diversity, ocean plastics, CEO pay and journalism ethics. We’ve increased the usage of social investments like Calvert Impact Capital Notes that provide loans to small businesses and community organizations, enriching the lives of many. We are perpetually scanning the horizon for new investments that allow your investments to create positive global impact.
Again, it was a year of growth here as Blue Summit onboarded two additional Partners. Allen Trim and Robert Seid had been long time employees and familiar faces for years. We did this to enhance the sustainability of our business and to ensure you have trusted advisors that know your particular situation, goals, and needs for decades to come.
Allen also has some exciting family news to share as his grows. His wife Rachel is expecting their first child this upcoming July, a baby boy.
Blue Summit Corporate growth
As mentioned at the Holiday Party, our firm eclipsed an important internal figure in that we now manage more than $110m in assets. Therefore, we’ve shifted to regulation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission instead of the individual states where we operate. To prepare for this, we put policies and procedures in place like increased cyber security per SEC requirements. We also received an award from WealthManagement.com recognizing Blue Summit as one of the fastest growing advisors in the country, you can read more about that here.