Hello, I’m Charles Pyke with Stewardship Financial Advisors, LLC.
The purpose of this message is to give our clients a “state of the union” address pertaining to your advisory firm.
We are so thankful for the many clients who have sent words of encouragement as we strive to use our best efforts in exercising our fiduciary duties owed to our clients during these uncertain times.
Thankfully, SFA is financially sound, all our team members are in good health, and to our knowledge we do not have any clients who have contracted the virus. We have not been in a position to have to reduce staffing or any level of service or operations to our clients. We pray God will continue to have His hand on us as we strive to fulfill our mission statement: Helping people be good stewards of all that has been entrusted to them.
How have we been conducting business?
Our financial advisory firm has always had in place a Disaster Recovery Plan, and when the pandemic hit, we adopted a separate pandemic response plan. These contingency plans are designed for circumstances where we are not able to be physically on site to assist our clients, but desire the client service level to continue. This pandemic put our contingency plan to the test. The good news is that our plan has worked extremely well and to our knowledge service to our clients has not been adversely affected.
From March 25th to April 30th about 1/3 of our team continued to come into the office to operate and 2/3 operated remotely. Because of available technology we have had and continue to have full access to all client data.
Effective May 1, 2020 we resumed business in the office as usual. The team is now all coming into the office and taking face-to-face appointments as dictated by our client’s comfort level. To keep all participants safe, we have adopted the CDC guidelines on conducting face to face meetings. If you have an upcoming meeting, please review the guidelines linked to this email prior to attending.
Staying in contact with our clients:
When all of this started, we realized that it was very important we stay in close contact with our clients and communicate with our clients on how we were managing their portfolios and addressing their financial concerns. We have been extremely busy working with clients throughout this entire event. Our calendars have been full of client meetings, in fact from January to April we’ve conducted 286 client meetings! From January to May 1st, we have sent 24 separate emails to each of our advisory clients updating them on our perspective on the market, economy, their accounts and our firm.
Our Education Classes:
We believe education empowers people to make better decisions, and one of the ways we provide education is through our live classes. March 5 was the last live event we held, and on March 16, in light of the pandemic, I made the call to cancel all in-person live events through June 2020. Fortunately, we replaced many of those live events with webinars. Our team produced webinars on the SECURE Act, estate planning, how you respond in volatile markets and a stock market update.
Our next in-person live event is planned for July 2020.
Financial Health of Your Advisory Firm and PPP Loan Participation:
As an additional step in contingency planning, to counter the anticipated impact and downturn in the economy from the uncertainties of the Covid-19 situation, and in order for our business to continue to meet the needs of our clients, the owners of SFA who are Shane, Patrick, Matt and Charles all committed to work during this period of uncertainty on a volunteer unpaid basis to serve our clients should that become necessary. We didn’t know if it would become necessary, but we are committed to serving our clients. Fortunately serving voluntarily has not yet been necessary.
SFA subsequently chose to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program. This program, part of the CARES Act, provides funding to eligible small businesses. SFA is a Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”), and RIAs would typically disclose a PPP loan on Item 18 of the ADV Part 2A if the loan constitutes a “material fact” pertinent to the advisory relationship. In most cases, if PPP loans are used for the intended purposes of covering payroll expenses for persons performing advisory functions, the loan would be considered a material fact relating to the advisory relationship. SFA’s participation while necessary in light of the economic uncertainly were not required to continue service to clients because all the owners of SFA committed to maintain the customary level of service to clients on a volunteer basis. In addition, services to our clients continue to be uninterrupted. As such while we do not deem our participation in the PPP loan as a material fact requiring disclosure on the ADV we did want to keep you informed. We have linked a summary of our participation in the PPP loan program for your review.
We hope with this information you feel fully informed. Should you have questions please call us directly.
As we have been throughout this crisis, we continue to be here for you and your loved ones. We are striving to maintain a sense of normalcy for our clients’ experience, and want you to rest assured that we are operating at full capacity. First and foremost, stay safe and healthy, and please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns.
Take care,
Charles B. Pyke
Financial Advisor