Q1 Updates from the IEM Team
The IEM Way is our short-hand reference to doing what is right for the client – whether it is in recommendations, communication, continuity or elevating our clients’ experience. Our continual drive to do better took us from the eighth floor to larger, fresh, new office space on the 15 th floor and has inspired other forward-looking developments.
Market Update from our CFA, Danny Schoenecker
After a relatively uneventful and steady climb in 2017, the equity and bond markets experienced more volatility in the first quarter of 2018. As we noted in our early February market commentary, the recent volatility may not be indicative of an abnormal market, but rather a return to a normal market with the accompanying daily seesaws. Price discovery is a fundamental characteristic of any healthy marketplace.

Despite the first ‘correction’ [peak to trough decline of 10%+] in nearly 24 months, the S&P 500 returned approximately -0.75% in Q1. On the fixed income side, the Barclays Aggregate Bond index returned approximately -1.5% in Q1 as a result of rising interest rates, although interest rates have stabilized in recent weeks (Morningstar, Quarterly & Monthly Returns 2018).

On the economic front, the largest tailwinds are strong increases in domestic corporate earnings, at least in part due to stimulative tax reform, as well as improving global growth across many countries. The largest headwinds are the removal of central bank stimulus, relatively high valuations, and possible decreasing international trade as a result of tariffs.

IEM Investments :

The IEM models favor the inclusion of international equities and bonds due to diversification benefits and favorable valuations. This thesis was validated in 2017 and continues to be early in 2018. In the first quarter, Vanguard Emerging Markets was the best performer on the equity side, and Templeton Global Bond was the best performer among the bond funds.

We recently added TIPS, which are US Treasury bonds that are linked to inflation, to the IEM Income portfolio. TIPS have less inflation and interest rate sensitivity than nominal bonds, and thus act as good protectors of purchasing power. We are also considering adding a small allocation of TIPS to the IEM Income and Growth portfolio in the second quarter.

Nonetheless, the tactical portfolio adjustments remain only supplemental to the core long-term strategic allocations, rooted in forward-looking, evidence-based portfolios that emphasize the areas within our locus of control: global asset diversification, tax-efficiency, keeping costs low, and maintaining great financial planning relationships.

Danny Schoenecker CFA, CAIA
Director of Financial Planning and Investments
This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any funds or stocks in particular, nor should it be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell a security. Past performance is not indicative future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 stocks that is generally representative of the performance of larger companies in the U.S. Please note an investor cannot invest directly in an index. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based bond index comprised of government, corporate, mortgage and asset-backed issues, rated investment grade or higher, and having at least one year to maturity. Please note an investor cannot invest directly in an index.​ Investments in emerging markets involve heightened risks due to their smaller size, decreased liquidity and exposure to political turmoil or rapid changes in economic conditions not normally experienced by more developed countries.
Kids in college?
Once your children reach age 18 you may not be able to access their medical information without documented permission. For kids who have a medical emergency while away at college, this can be bad news for both parents and kids. 

Read more about this on our website .
IEM’s Team Approach
Unlike most other wealth management firms, our team members are just that – a team – and not individual competitors. That means that when you consult with IEM, you do so with the complete collection of skills, knowledge, and expertise at IEM. From our founder Ted Smith to three Private Wealth Managers, financial planning team and Certified Financial Planner TM professionals [CFP], Chartered Financial Analyst [CFA], insurance specialist, Registered client services professionals all the way to the network of highly skilled estate planning and tax experts with whom we collaborate, our team-based approach focuses on you – personally and individually.

Ted Smith, in partnership with Cammy Smith, MBA, continues to set the path for the future, bringing different perspectives to veteran and new client relationships through his integration of team members. And his use of video technology allows him to lead meetings from his Naples, FL office when he is there periodically.

Continuity, stability, personalization, and a holistic outlook are just a few of the benefits of The IEM Way.  
Enhancing Your Experience
at IEM
Continuously elevating your experience with IEM requires that we strive for a sincere understanding of how we can exceed your needs and wants. From time-to-time we will reach out to clients to see how we’re doing, and how we can exceed your expectations. If you would like to share your ideas, please email us at iemi@integratedequity.net.
Department of Labor (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule Vacated by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

The much-publicized DOL Conflict of Interest Rule has highlighted the need for the financial services industry to do a better job acting in the best interest of clients, and disclosing conflicts when they arise. While this rule has been vacated (for now), IEM will maintain the processes and procedures we have put in place to ensure a level of care and best interest for all of our client.

It is possible that the DOL will appeal the decision, that certain states will enact their own version of the rule, or that the SEC will propose a uniform standard of care: we believe that a uniform standard of care will be positive for the financial services industry and for you, so we look forward to seeing further developments. The IEM Way means we will strive to go above and beyond to do what is right for each of you, individually.
Cammy Continues as Strategic Advisor to IEM

Since graduation at the top of her MBA class from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and establishing and running her own consulting business out of Miami, FL, Cammy has brought her experience and knowledge home with an IEM engagement, providing strategic direction alongside Ted. Growth, continuous improvement and elevation of IEM both as a place to do business and to work are in her sights. Her previous tenure as a Private Wealth Manager at IEM gives Cammy special passion and insight on defining The IEM Way and ensuring that even with IEM’s growth we remain true to our client-centric roots.

Cammy is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc.
Employee Spotlights:
Ebenezer Mengistu

As the front desk Office Administrator, Ebenezer Mengistu has been the welcoming face at IEM for almost two years. Along with the other exciting “new” things at IEM is a well-deserved promotion for Eb, who is now an Financial Planning & Insurance Associate. You will now find him working with the financial planning team, helping our Private Wealth Managers to analyze and research financial planning matters as well as service the insurance and annuity product needs of our clients.

Fun Facts about Eb:

  • Went to Cottage Grove’s Park High School
  • Captain of Park’s Varsity Soccer team
  • Graduated from U of M with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology
  • Currently studying for his Series 7 General Securities Registered Representative exam
  • Enjoys coaching soccer and spending time with his girlfriend when he isn’t studying or providing exemplary service to IEM clients
  • Loves all sports and listening to live music
Gretchen Fuesz
As Office Coordinator, Gretchen Fuesz is now the warm and welcoming face at IEM! Gretchen joined us in March. She grew up in Eden Prairie and studied chemistry at the University of Iowa. When Gretchen isn’t helping to keep things running smoothly at IEM, she enjoys running, camping, fishing and listening to a wide variety of music.
Congratulations, Eb and welcome, Gretchen!
CRI Securities, LLC, Securities and Investments. Securian Financial Services, Inc., Variable Products and Securities. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc. Members FINRA/SIPC. CRI Securities, LLC is affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc.
Integrated Equity Management, Inc. Is Independently Owned and Operated. 2082191/DOFU 4-2018
Phone: 952-854-5544 | Fax: 952-854-6335 | iem@integratedequity.net | integratedequity.net