Covington Investment Advisors, Inc. Blog

News, Tips, Commentary, etc.

Hannah Patton Awarded CTFA Professional Certification

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...
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IPO Mania, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

One part of the financial industry that has eaten up a disproportionate amount of headlines in the last few years are IPOs and private equity. Seemingly every week a new, fast growing company makes its debut on the public markets with some having eye-popping share price movements in the market. It’s important to be aware of these companies and the private equity industry as a whole because they do have a ripple effect across the business landscape.                                   A term that may be heard in tandem with IPOs or venture capital is “Unicorn”. A Unicorn is a private company that is valued at over $1 Billion. A common theme amongst most of these high flying “Unicorns” is that they are fueled by debt and low interest rates. Interest rates are near their historical lows with the ten year government bond yielding sub 2%. Historically, interest rates tend to mean...
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Charles Schwab Cuts Commissions to Zero!

Who doesn’t love FREE? Let’s face it, we all love a good bargain or free item. “Discount Chuck” is looking out for individual investors again, slashing online equity and ETF trading commissions from $4.95 to ZERO, making it even more affordable to invest. Schwab will continue to charge a commission for trading of foreign stocks, fixed-income investments, transaction-fee mutual funds, options, and large block trades that require special handling. Since 2006, Charles Schwab has been disrupting the brokerage industry by periodically reducing their trading commissions. Revenue will be derived from Schwab’s other business lines like its US Bank (Schwab Bank) and from net interest income. Charles Schwab continues to be a leading provider of financial services with more than $3.72 trillion in client assets as of August 31, 2019. Covington has utilized Charles Schwab as our Custodian of client assets since our inception. We continue to choose Schwab because they...
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Trick or Treat? Don’t be tricked by these new emerging threats

    In the spirit of Cyber Security Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight two growing trends and share some tips to help you stay safe when using your cell phone and home phone. Beware of a new variation of phishing called SMiShing and the other tactics which spoof local phone numbers to entice you to answer the call.      SMiShing uses SMS (for “short message service”) to commit fraud by texting your phone. Text messages are very popular and usually opened and responded to immediately making it a successful practice used by fraudsters. SMiShing attempts are also popping up on messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The text message may include a link to click on or a message urging you to respond quickly similar to the way phishing e-mails are handled. The fraudster’s goal is to steal your money by getting your personal information.  ...
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A Compliance Note on Conflicts of Interest

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) identified a trend in their examinations that investment advisory firms were not adequately disclosing that a conflict of interest existed. In general, the investment advisors may have had compensation related incentives to place clients in the higher-cost mutual fund share classes when lower-cost share classes of the same fund were available. Investment advisors have a fiduciary duty to place your interests ahead of theirs and disclose conflicts of interest. In an effort to correct the situation, the SEC launched the “Mutual Fund Share Class Initiative” which allowed investment advisory firms to voluntarily report a violation of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 resulting in 79 firms returning $125 million to harmed investors. The SEC is dedicated to protecting main street investors, but investors must also take steps to protect themselves. I think it’s safe to assume that we are very resourceful when...
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Covington Investment Advisors, Inc.
301 E. Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: 724-238-0151
Fax: 724-238-0148
Email: covington@covingtoninvestment.com