Economic Perspective Q2 2017

by Steve Fahrer, Partner

An important milestone occurred in the second quarter. No, it wasn’t that the S&P500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average made new highs during the quarter. Nor was it that the stock market went 12 months without a 5% correction. If you were thinking the milestone was the Federal Reserve raising the Federal Fund Rate to 1.25%, the highest it has been since 2008, you would unfortunately be wrong again.

No, the big milestone was that in March and April, U.S. monthly renewable energy production exceeded power provided by nuclear energy plants for the first time since July 1984 according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This is a big milestone.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that spikes in hydropower, wind and solar, coupled with a dip in nuclear production led to the change during those two months. Hydropower also reached its highest production in six years due to record precipitation and snowpack in California. For the year, nuclear will likely out-produce renewable energy, but this promising trend seems to only be growing.

Next stop will be when renewable energy surpasses coal, despite the President’s hostility toward climate action. Pulling
out of the Paris Accords cannot stop the rising use of renewable energy. The heartland of America is producing massive
amounts of wind-driven power and exporting electricity around the country, even though their Governors often do not
believe in global warming. Renewable energy makes good economic sense. It is unstoppable.

Speaking of coal, it has also come to light that the number of coal mining jobs lost in West Virginia and Appalachia is only
a small fraction of the number of jobs created nationally by the Affordable Care Act. There is no telling the economic
displacement if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Fortunately Obamacare also provides healthcare benefits for coal
workers suffering from long years working underground in the mines. The balance of 2017 will probably indicate whether
the U.S. keeps some delivery system for affordable healthcare or not.

As it turns out, healthcare represents 17% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Big cuts in Obamacare threaten millions
of Americans’ health and economic wellbeing. This is not to say that we don’t overspend on healthcare. A single-payer
system may be more fiscally responsible, but repeal is not the answer without a better replacement. Severely cutting healthcare benefits will not lead to 3% growth in GDP.

2017 Q1 Asset Class Returns

The second quarter was positive for the stock market despite the third increase in the last nine months to the Federal Reserve’s Overnight rate to 1.25%. Fears of even higher rates slowed the rise in the S&P500 to 3.09% in the second quarter from 6.07% in the previous quarter. Yet, as short-term interest rates rose, longer rates such as the 10- year Treasury bond, a bellwether, have not risen in tandem, indicating that the bond market thinks the economy is so-so. On the other hand, the stock market proclaims, “We are the only game in town!” For a change, the U.S. stock markets
did not dominate. International stocks as measured by the MSCI EAFE returned 6.38% and the emerging markets in
aggregate also outperformed the S&P500.

2017 Q1 Sector Returns

The economy remains in a 2% growth mode and the goal of 3% growth proclaimed by the President is out of the question for now. We continue to see a slow growth economy ahead, growing closer to a rate of 2% annually than 3%. If the promises of the Trump Agenda for lower personal and corporate taxes as well as tax breaks for U.S. companies holding dollars overseas don’t pan out, we may see some turbulence in the financial markets. A slow growing economy with inflation under 2% does not call for higher interest rates. Even though the economy looks to be approaching full employment, wage increases are tepid. It is doubtful the Fed will raise rates much higher unless the economy picks up steam. If interest rates rise slowly or not at all, the stock market should trudge higher. Enjoy your summer while you can.

Veris Wealth Partners Named “Best for NYC”

Firm Is Recognized For Making A Positive Impact On The Community

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2016 – Veris Wealth Partners, one of the nation’s leading independent wealth advisors for sustainable and impact investors, announced today it has been honored by the City of New York for having a positive impact on the communities of the City.

“Best for NYC” was developed by the New York Economic Development Corp. in partnership with the nonprofit B Lab. The award recognizes local businesses in all five boroughs that provide quality jobs, strengthen communities, and preserve the environment.

The list of Finalists and Honorees published by B Lab can be found here.

“This honor reflects the commitment of the entire Veris team in supporting enlightened business practices that create a more sustainable world locally and globally,” said Veris Partner Lori Choi. “Veris is very pleased to have been recognized as an Honoree by the City of New York in this first-ever Best for NYC campaign.”

Veris has been honored by B Corp in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as being in the top 10% of all B Corps. B Corp status is a voluntary designation conferred on companies that meet B Lab’s standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. View Veris’ B Corp rating here.

About Veris Wealth Partners
Veris Wealth Partners, LLC is a partner-owned, independent wealth management firm that specializes in impact and sustainable investing. Veris believes that superior investment performance and positive impact are complementary parts of a holistic investment strategy. Veris is based in San Francisco with offices in New York City, Portsmouth, and Boulder. For information, call 415.815.0580, or visit www.veriswp.com.

Media Contact
Greg Berardi, Blue Marlin Partners
(415) 239-7826, greg@bluemarlinpartners.com

Veris Wealth Partners Receives Top GIIRS Rating

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 16, 2013 – Veris Wealth Partners, one of the nation’s leading independent wealth advisors for sustainable and impact investors, today announced that it received a 5-star GIIRS rating for its commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Veris also announced it has been recertified as a B Corp with a score that ranks the firm in the top 10% of B Corp firms globally. Companies that are certified B Corps must meet rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. View Veris’ B Corp rating here.

“Social and environmental responsibility have always been core values that motivate the team at Veris Wealth Partners,” said CEO Patricia Farrar-Rivas.  “Our high GIIRS rating and B Corp recertification reflect our commitment to business principles that are positively redefining the capital markets and operating practices of companies around the world.”

Veris is an independent, partner-owned wealth management company that is one of the thought leaders in impact and sustainable investing. Veris’ 15 professionals offer strategic advice and perspective to impact investors and provide comprehensive wealth management. Veris serves individual and institutional investors interested in financial performance as much as positive social and environmental change.

GIIRS is a ratings and analytics platform for impact investing that provides comparable and verified social and environmental performance data on high impact companies and funds. GIIRS ratings range from one star to five stars

B Corp status is also a voluntary designation conferred on companies that meet B Lab’s standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. There are almost 700 Certified B Corps in 24 countries and 60 industries.  Veris was first certified as a B Corp in 2011 and exceeded its initial B Corp score in its recent recertification.

 

About Veris Wealth Partners
Veris Wealth Partners, LLC is an independent, partner-owned wealth management firm that aligns investors’ wealth with their financial and social objectives. Veris believes that superior investment performance and positive impact are complementary parts of a holistic investment strategy. Veris is based in San Francisco with offices in New York City and New Hampshire. For information, call 415.815.0580, or visit www.veriswp.com.

 

Media Contact
Greg Berardi, Blue Marlin Partners
415.239.7826, greg@bluemarlinpartners.com

Veris Named “Best for the World” By B Corp

Veris Named “Best for the World” By B Corp
Veris Is the Only Wealth Manager to Earn This Distinction

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2013 – Veris Wealth Partners, LLC, one of the nation’s leading independent wealth advisers for sustainable and impact investors, announced today it was named to B Corp’s list of companies voted “Best for the World.”

Veris, which serves individual investors and foundations, was selected because the firm ranks among the top 10% of B Corps in the world. B Corp status is a voluntary designation conferred on companies that meet B Lab’s standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. There are currently 728 certified B Corps in 26 countries across 60 industries.

“This honor from B Corp reflects the alignment of our investment philosophy with our day-to-day operations,” said CEO Patricia Farrar-Rivas. “Veris is proud to be the only wealth adviser to earn the distinction of ‘Best For The World’ by B Corp.”

In January, Veris received a five-star GIIRS rating for its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. GIIRS is a ratings and analytics platform for impact investing that provides comparable and verified social and environmental performance data on high-impact companies and funds. GIIRS ratings range from one star to five stars.

 “Veris believes in leading by example,” Farrar-Rivas said. “The recognition from B Corp and our five-star rating from GIIRS demonstrate our commitment to changing the world each day through intentional action and investing for positive social and environmental impact.”

 View Veris’ B Corp rating here.

 

About Veris Wealth Partners
Veris Wealth Partners, LLC is an independent, partner-owned wealth management firm that aligns investors’ wealth with their financial and social objectives. Veris believes that superior investment performance and positive impact are complementary parts of a holistic investment strategy. Veris is based in San Francisco with offices in New York City and New Hampshire. For information, call 415.815.0580, or visit www.veriswp.com.

 

Media Contact
Greg Berardi, Blue Marlin Partners
415.239.7826, greg@bluemarlinpartners.com

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