MARKET COMMENTARY

Helping You Navigate These Times

03.23.2020

As I did last Friday, I wanted to reach out to make sure everyone is safe and well, and also to update you on how we are handling the health crisis and the market volatility at Fiduciary Trust. 

This week we enacted a target of 100% of our staff working from home, and with just a few exceptions in some of our locations, were able to achieve that target. It is certainly amazing how quickly my colleagues were able to make the transition to working remotely. They are sharing best practices with each other on working from home, and one of the great things for me is we get to see all these wonderful family pets in the background.  As the proud owner of three dogs (I am a soft touch!) it truly makes us all feel closer as a firm.

Your team can be reached at their regular phone numbers and emails. They are meeting with clients virtually and are able to do their jobs without interruption.

A few updates to note:

  • Deposits and Payments. To ensure any payments and deposits are not disrupted, we have transitioned from processing payments and deposits made by paper checks to processing transactions electronically via ACH transfer. Please find more information here.  
  • Online Access. Our online client site was redesigned and relaunched earlier this year, making it easy to manage your finances anytime and from any device. We have seen a 20% increase in clients who have enrolled in online access over the past two weeks. If you haven't already, please log on to the site at online.fiduciarytrust.com. You can view your transactions, balances and positions, as well as download important documents including statements and tax documents.
  • Increased Outreach. We have also asked our teams to increase their outreach effort to you. In the event you have any trouble reaching them, we have an excellent client care team set up remotely who can handle just about any need you have. They can be reached at (877) 203-4748, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 8:00 pm ET.
  • Tax Team Update. Hats off to our tax department who was halfway through tax season when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Craig Richards, Fiduciary Trust veteran of 35 years and Head of Tax Services, and his team delivered 100% of 1099s to clients and provided information for more than half of our trust returns as of this past Monday. Also, this morning, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that the tax deadline will be moved from April 15 to July 15 to give taxpayers more time to file tax returns and pay taxes without interest and penalties. As always, our tax team is available to answer your questions at (877) 384-1111.

With the continued market volatility, we have been having many conversations with clients over the past several weeks about how to avoid needing to sell while markets are down and the flip side, whether to put cash to work when valuations appear depressed. Our Financial Planning team, along with your Relationship Manager, can help answer these questions so you can weather the market turmoil today and make future decisions as financial conditions stabilize. I encourage you to have these conversations with us if you haven't already and invite you to read more about the actions you can take from our Head of Financial Planning, Bryan Kirk.

Speaking of market volatility, we have been sharing our best thinking and we are continually working to update you. Chief Investment Officer Ron Sanchez and his team are actively monitoring markets, carefully evaluating potential long-term implications for investors and adjusting portfolio allocations accordingly. View our latest investment insights here.

I would also like to invite you to our live Webinar on March 31: Gaining Control when Markets Are in Crisis. Our investment leadership team along with Head of Financial Planning, Bryan Kirk, will share their insights and answer your questions live. A replay will be available after the event.

Lastly, during these unprecedented times, being accessible and helping one another is how we will all get through this. We at Fiduciary Trust want to do our part to "flatten the curve'' and help where we can. It is our civic and patriotic duty. As an essential business under our state charter, we will remain open for business as usual and have been in touch with state and local authorities to help in any way we can. 

I hope you and your family remain safe and healthy as this situation evolves, and please reach out to your team or me with any questions at all. 


Thank you,
John M. Dowd
Chief Investment Officer

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