Covington Investment Advisors, Inc. Blog

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The Con Artists are Back: Part II

  The Con Artists Are Back: Part II IT’S NOT PARANOIA IF THEY REALLY ARE OUT TO GET YOU!                   I had the pleasure of attending a Cyber Security Conference recently and the opportunity to hobnob with my fellow wizards.  Not surprisingly, several panel discussion members pointed out that about 33%, one third, of all successful attacks on computer systems from single users to large networks are the result of successful social engineering.  This runs the gamut from fraudulent phone calls looking for data or scaring you into sending prepaid cards somewhere, to phishing (pronounced fishing) email attempts which look for usable personal information or a means to enter your computer in order to do future damage, to masquerading as someone who has authority to move money and demanding funds be moved.  The latter group is causing some concern.                  The original Nigerian Prince scam was the brain child of...
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The Con Artists Are Back

  The Con Artists Are Back.   It is that time of year again taxes are done and we look forward to summer.  Also at this time of year some industrious weasels begin to call people in the hope of convincing them that they are the real IRS and that they need to send money, somewhere, right now, in order to prevent arrest, property seizure and a whole host of other nasty stuff.  In addition to these industrious crooks are the ones claiming to be able to see viruses on your computer and they can fix it but you need to give them your credit card number and access to your computer.  Or that some other bill is due and your water/electricity/cable will be shut off or car repossessed; the list goes on.    DO NOT DO IT!   The tax man and most utilities will send you a letter stating...
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Charles Schwab Investment Outlook Highlights

 Charles Schwab Investment Outlook 2016 Columbus, Ohio: February 11th, 2016 Patrick Wallace and Cindy Jones had the opportunity to attend the annual Charles Schwab Investment Outlook held each year in Columbus, Ohio. This one day conference brings together experts in their respective fields to give their insights on the markets, economy, politics, and investment strategies. This year we were excited to see Chief Political Strategist for Horizon Investments, Greg Valliere and Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Liz Ann Sonders in addition to several new speakers. Below are some highlights from each session:   The 2016 Presidential Race and Beyond Greg Valliere from Horizon Investments The chances of a recession are fairly slim due to a strong labor market and a strong consumer. We are starting to see signs of wages growing coupled with lower oil prices which is beneficial to the consumer. Regarding the Election: Greg does...
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Patrick Wallace Speaks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Hot Topics in Finance

Once or twice a year, Patrick Wallace is invited by Dr. Robert Camp, Dean of the Business College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, to speak to the Seminar in Finance students at IUP as part of their “Hot Topics in Finance” speaker program. This is an initiative of the Finance and Legal Studies Department that brings professionals working in the finance industry into the classroom to speak to students throughout the year. Covington Investment Advisors is proud to support the local community and provide students with an overview of several topics relating to finance so that they can use the tools they learn in their future careers.   Please click on the link below to read an article written in response to Patrick Wallace’s last presentation at IUP early this month. http://www.iup.edu/news-item.aspx?id=215466  
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Charles Schwab IMPACT Conference 2015

Covington had the pleasure of attending the Charles Schwab Impact Conference held in Boston, MA this year. This marks the 25th year of the conference with around 1,800 advisors from all over the country in attendance. Each year Schwab strives to provide best in class speakers from various backgrounds who offer their unique perspectives on their field of expertise. This year’s keynote speakers ranged from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford Motor Company. In addition to the in-depth educational sessions we attended, highlights of the general sessions were the following: Bernie Clark – Executive Vice President of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and head of Schwab Advisor Services: Over the past 10 years, the Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) industry has grown from $1.6 trillion to $4 trillion. There are over 14,000 RIA firms today. RIA’s employ over 32,000 people. There’s $23 trillion in untapped opportunities for Advisors....
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Opening Night at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra

Opening Night at the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra     Covington Investment Advisors, Inc. sponsored the opening night of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s forty-seventh season on Saturday, October 24, 2015.  Patrick Wallace, President of Covington, is pictured above with Kim Dickert-Wallace on his left and Covington’s Cindy Jones and Daniel Messmer.  The Ligonier Investment firm and the Wallace’s are pleased to support the arts and cultural heritage that makes Westmoreland County a special place.     The WSO’s season opening concert featured violin virtuoso, Yevgeny Kutik, performing Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major.  Mr. Kutik emigrated from Minsk, Belarus to the United States at the age of five.  He has studied the violin since arriving in America and has performed with the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.  Mr. Kutik has also recorded and released a number of CD’s including “Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures.”  ...
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Fort Ligonier Days

    Fort Ligonier Days       One sure sign of autumn in the Laurel Highlands is the Fort Ligonier Days Festival.  Occurring on the 2nd full weekend in October this 3-day event commemorates the battle of Fort Ligonier on October 12, 1758 which was a key engagement of the French and  Indian War.  This year’s festival is scheduled for October 9, 10 and 11 and marks the 56th year of the event. Attractions during all of the three days include craft vendors, food booths, merchant sidewalk sales, Kids Korner at the Ligonier Valley YMCA, musical entertainment and, of course, special events at the Fort. There is something for everyone and every interest. Craft and Food booths open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 9 and the official opening ceremony will be at noon on the Diamond.  Saturday’s highlight is the parade on Main Street at 11:00 a.m. which includes...
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Identity Theft 101

 IDENTITY THEFT 101 “But he that filches from me my good name/Robs me of that which not enriches him/And makes me poor indeed.” -Shakespeare, Othello, act iii. Sc. 3.                                            What is Identity Theft? Identity Theft and Identity Fraud are defined as terms used “to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain” (www.justice.gov, 2015). Identity Theft can be something as little as unauthorized persons taking funds out of your bank account or in worst cases taking over your identity altogether and running up debts, committing crimes, etc. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average number of Americans who fall victim to identity fraud is 11.5 million annually and the average financial loss is $5,000. Before Congress created the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, identity...
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Why Not Return to Glass-Steagall?

  Why Not Return to Glass-Steagall?               Paul Volcker and the Volcker Alliance, a think tank headed by the former Federal Reserve Bank chairman to restore trust and effectiveness in government (www.volckeralliance.org, 2015), recently released a research report titled “Reshaping the Financial Regulatory System” that creates a framework for more regulatory reform of the financial watchdogs.  It might work, it might not.  But it begs the question, why not scrap all of the attempts to rebuild the protections afforded by the Glass-Steagall Act and just reinstate that law without all of the convoluted machinations of Congress?  Financial downfalls can happen without the help of banks.  There was the very deep depression of 1920-21 that was more the result of the end of the First World War.  Raging inflation was as much to blame for the Carter Era Malaise as much as government policy and not as much banking mischief.  However one...
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Some Thoughts on Computer Security

  Some Thoughts on Computer Security By: Daniel P. Messmer       I taught evening computer courses for adults for several years.  In the introductory courses I would always ask these future technicians what the most valuable part of the computer was.  The answers would range through the various hardware parts but rarely would someone get the answer right away: THE DATA.  The information stored on a computer cannot be purchased in a store or ordered online.  Well, not legally anyway. And this data is far more valuable than the sum of the electronic parts of a computer.  In this time of weekly news stories of data breaches and computer hacks we should take a look at the safety of this important and valuable part of our computers.   There are the obvious items: a good antivirus program and a good antispyware program.  These two items can often be handled...
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The Need for an Independent Fed

  The Need for an Independent Federal Reserve Bank (Or a Perfect Federal Reserve Bank Cannot Be Taylor Made)   Patrick R. Wallace Daniel P. Messmer   If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.                                       -Milton Friedman   A Call to Regulate the FED             There are two current and different calls for regulation of the Federal Reserve Bank.  One is that more oversight is required from Congress.  Senator Rand Paul is leading this charge.  Unfortunately for Senator Paul, the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Federal Reserve among other entities is independent.  So while having to answer with audits to show no wrong doing, fiscal responsibility, etc. the board of the FED will act as it sees fit to best handle the economy.  Another movement is out there that the FED should be made to...
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Welcome and Happy New Year!

  Welcome and Happy New Year!       As part of an ongoing effort to provide best-in-class service, we are pleased to reveal our new website. Our new website, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, is more agile, interactive, and is more reflective of Covington and our core values.       One of our main goals we wanted to achieve when designing the new site was to help our clients and potential clients get to know us better and get a feel for who we are as a company, the services we provide, and offer insights to our philosophy through our new Blog.       In the coming months, our goal is to build out the Blog to provide insight and helpful information.       Stay tuned…  
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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