Covington Investment Advisors, Inc. Blog
News, Tips, Commentary, etc.
Attached is our latest observations on the markets and the economy. I trust you will find the information insightful. 2019-Economic-and-Investment-Update.pdf
The Charles Schwab Corporation and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation announced yesterday that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $26 billion. The combination brings together two leading firms with proud and similar histories of making investing more accessible to all. Please see below some important highlights of the press release. Click here to see the full press release. This transaction creates strategic benefits for the combined organization and will further improve the investing and trading experience to both Schwab and TD Ameritrade clients. It allows Schwab to continue to add further scale on top of its organic growth, helping to drive sustainable, profitable growth and long-term value creation. Clients of both firms should benefit from the broader and deeper array of services. The resulting combined firm is expected to serve 24 million client accounts with more than...
Recently Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, said he sees the economy as being “in a good place”. So, what’s good about the economy? The Bull Market Powers On! October Jobs report came in at 128,000 new jobs created vs 85,000 expected according to a Bloomberg survey. GDP rose 1.9% in the 3rd Quarter compared to 2% in the 2nd quarter, stronger than expected with economists forecasting 1.6%. Consumer sentiment has remained strong with the unemployment rate at a half a century low of 3.6% and wages now growing at a 3% inflation rate. Consumer spending while moderating to a 2.9% annual rate in the 3rd quarter off from a 4.6% rate in the 2nd quarter still compares favorably to last year’s 3rd quarter rate of 2.5%. The US housing sector has improved with lower interest rates and according to the US Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban...
I am pleased to announce that Hannah Patton, Client Services Administrator at Covington Investment Advisors, was recently awarded the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) certification from the American Bankers Association (ABA). The CTFA certification is awarded to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of wealth management and trust. To qualify for the CTFA certification, individuals must have certain levels of experience and education in the trust profession, pass an exam, and agree to abide by a code of ethics. The CTFA exam covers many areas, including fiduciary and trust activities, financial planning, tax law and planning, investment management and ethics. In addition to the CTFA designation, Hannah has also received Certificate in Trusts for her completion of the ABA Trust Schools in the Foundational, Intermediate, and Advanced levels over the past three years. This expansion of Hannah’s knowledge base will be a great asset to Covington and our...
The Dow posted its largest decline of 2019 Wednesday as the bond market signaled a warning of a potential pending recession. With weak economic data coming out of China and Germany, the second and fourth largest economies, respectively, there are worries that we are in the midst of a broad global economic slowdown. As stated in the Wall Street Journal, the good news is that unlike the 1990’s with the Tech boom or the mid 2000’s with a housing boom, the US is not confronted with severe excesses to unwind. As such, any downturn might be mild. When market volatility picks up, it is reasonable for investors to get antsy about their investments and lose confidence in the market. We believe volatility provides a perfect opportunity to calibrate our investment philosophy and not get sucked into media headlines or brash reactions. Although we identify where we are in economic and...
It’s official, Nick is out of the living room! Construction is over at Covington! If you have visited our office in the past year you may have noticed a few out of the ordinary things; our Research Analyst, Nick Allen, working in the living room, loud noises, ladders, construction workers, etc. Well, this was all a part of our expansion, adding more office space upstairs to keep up with the growing needs of our company. I am happy to announce the addition at Covington has now been completed. I would like to take you on a virtual tour of our new office space, starting with the outside of the building. New view from the front of the building New view of the back of the building Next, we will go inside and upstairs to the new office space. First, you will see Alma's newly renovated office. Alma Johnson is Covington's...
We all know how music impacts us individually. It comforts us, inspires us and connects us to one another. But music is so much more; there is something about its impact on us physically, emotionally and mentally. In fact, it helps to develop the left side of the brain which fosters creativity that drives our innovativeness that allows us to solve problems. In essence it is a facilitator for the betterment of the human experience. Recognizing the diminishing arts programs in our schools and the many societal challenges that we face we have felt compelled to do something about that and so we have been underwriting music and art programs in our community through our business and family foundations. Additionally, each year we sponsor the Independent Music Teacher Award facilitated through the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. This year at the Carmina Burana concert we announced the 2019 honoree as Jacqueline...
The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season. On Saturday April 27, 2019, Covington Investment Advisors will be the presenting sponsor for the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra (WSO) Concert, titled Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”. Orff’s epic Carmina Burana is one of the most recognizable and popular works in the classical repertoire. I hope to see you there this Saturday night. The performance starts at 7:30 PM. More information can be found on the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra's website: https://www.westmorelandsymphony.org/.
Covington Investment Advisors is continuing to expand in order to best serve the needs of our clients. Our office expansion efforts are underway and are nearing completion in the next few months. The expansion will provide us with more office space upstairs. You can see some pictures of the progress below. With our expanding space and client base, you may see some new faces at Covington soon. We would like to now introduce our newest hire, Nick Allen, an upcoming graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Nick will be joining us as a Research Analyst and has been interning at Covington since May.
There is a lot of noise in the markets in recent days. It is important to understand and stick to sound investment fundamentals under such circumstances. The market is currently adjusting to slowing earnings going into 2019, slowing global GDP growth, higher inflation and higher interest rates. You have probably heard me say: “What earnings do, the market does”. Moving from an earnings growth rate of 26.32% in 2018 to what is expected to be a 7% earnings growth rate in 2019 is a big change. We still have positive economic growth but we also have new policies that need to be absorbed into the economy. Additionally, all bull market cycles are killed by the Fed raising rates. The longest economic expansion in US history is coming to an end thanks to the Fed. When the Fed stops talking about raising rates the market will settle down. Today’s activities in...
Covington recently presented their observations on the market and economy at our annual shooting event held at Pike Run Country Club. Please find our presentation commentary below. Economic Update Looking at the business cycle framework, global expansion remains solid but many major economies have progressed toward more advanced stages of the business cycle where growth is moderating, credit tightens, and earnings start to come under pressure. Emerging markets face headwinds from China's industrial slowdown, looming trade uncertainties, and global monetary tightening. Europe has experienced the most significant slowdown among developed regions. 2017 was the first year since 2007 in which all major economies have growing/expansionary economies as measured by GDP growth. The trend is expected to be the same for 2018 with the exception of Argentina which is on pace to decline -2.83%. Note that Argentina has 40% interest rates, is highly dependent on commodities, plagued with corruption, and in...
I am pleased to announce that we have hired Mr. Nick Allen to work as an intern this summer. He will be assigned a number of projects for the company including various analyses, research projects and technology studies. Nick is a finance major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and is on track to graduate in December of this year. His courses of study include finance, investment, economics and management. Nick also serves as the Sector Leader of the Consumer Staples Section of the Student Managed Investment Portfolio organization at the college. This student organization is quite successful as it currently has $1.7 million in assets under management and has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last five quarters. In addition to his financial studies and experiences, Nick has worked in the computer labs for the IUP Libraries. In this capacity he assists library employees and patrons with computer hardware...
Fifteen years ago today Covington Investment Advisors was incorporated. The success we have had with and for our clients has allowed us to grow, hire more talent, continually enhance our technology, purchase our building, contribute to our communities’ societal needs, and expand our overall processes to customize your financial plans providing best in class investment management services and results. I do not hesitate to say we have formulated the best in class advisory firm as we are not a broker-dealer, nor are we affiliated with one. As an independent advisor, we have an open architectural structure to find the best financial solutions for you. We cut out all the unnecessary middlemen and their fees and we refuse any form of commissions. We are an advisory fee-based only firm. We do not sell products; we provide customized financial plans structured and managed on a separate account basis driven to address your...
On April 28, 2018, Covington Investment Advisors sponsored the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra (WSO) Concert titled “Fauré Requiem”. At Covington, not only do we strive to meet our clients’ financial goals, we also focus on making a difference in our community. Fostering creativity in our schools is the key to continued growth and success for children and Covington is passionate about helping our children. Recognizing the diminishing arts programs in our schools and the many societal challenges that we face, we have felt compelled to do something about that. And so, we have been underwriting music and art programs in our community through our business and family foundations, some of which are facilitated through the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. This year Covington Investment Advisors, Inc., through the WSO, has established an award to recognize the private music teachers in our community to give long overlooked recognition for their impact on our children...
Volatility is Back The past couple days have tested investors’ appetite for risk with a spike in market volatility which we haven’t seen since June 2016. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of market downside volatility, has spiked gaining 28.51% on Friday, February 2nd and 115.60% on Monday February 5th. Making the headlines are what’s on the other side of volatility; VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX ETN (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX ETF (SVXY), trading strategies that bet on rising but calm markets. Both trading strategies lost more than 80% of their value as volatility surged. These headlines create an opportunity for us to once again highlight the differences between these shorter-term trading products versus what Covington does, which is to invest long-term in proven enterprises. Our strategy has created attractive returns for our clients by owning good companies over long periods of time. A...
Covington Investment Advisors, Inc. is pleased to announce that Sarah E. Rovedatti has joined our firm as Chief Compliance Officer. Sarah has over nine years’ experience working in the financial services industry holding various positions in client service and compliance. She is a graduate of Lycoming College with a B.A. in Business Administration and earned her MBA at Villanova University. Sarah will be responsible for maintaining, developing and monitoring the firm’s compliance program, ensuring that all activities of the firm meet regulatory requirements. She will also be acting as a liaison with legal and regulatory bodies on compliance-related issues.
Covington recently presented their observations on the market and economy at our annual shooting event held at Pike Run Country Club. Please find our presentation commentary below. The economy’s recent performance is real and is supported by sound economic fundamentals. GDP growth is shifting from Obama’s anemic growth rate of 1.8% to 3+% in the last two quarters. This growth rate of 3+% back to back quarters has not happened for over ten years. While GDP for 2016 will come in around 2.2% this year, 2018 is looking good as well with a projected growth rate of 2.6%. Global GDP is at 3.6%. The economy is continuing to expand and by definition a recession is declared when we experience three negative quarters of GDP so this bull market cycle continues. The roll back of regulations by President Trump has business confidence soaring. Companies are spending again on capital...
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation is key to providing a Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force in Western Pennsylvania to curb the source of drugs supplying the Opioid Epidemic. As an ongoing effort to have our congressional representative apply for a Federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation for Westmoreland County, I recently met with the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Soo. C. Song, Retired Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and Chair of the Institute of Politics, Mark A. Nordenberg, and Director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Janice L. Pringle. If we are to have any impact on the overdose death rate in our area we must stop the supply of illicit drugs. Attorney Song assured me that the application for a multi county “HIDTA” designation for our area is clearly justified and continues to be developed. I told her there is...