Quarter 3 | October 1, 2020
3rd Quarter Newsletter
How a Fresh Start Can Happen Before the New Year
By Lance Gunkel, CFP®, CFA, Managing Director
This August, my boys joined other kids across the country in returning to school. This year is not like prior first days of school: parents, students, teachers, and administrators are returning from a long hiatus and attempting to make the learning environment safe and productive.
I have taken this time to reflect back on my experiences of returning to school. As a young student, I relished the new beginning and fresh start. I enjoyed shopping with my parents for all the back-to-school accoutrements, including a new backpack, a huge pack of crayons (the bigger the better), folders splashed with photos of my favorite sports teams, and packages of mechanical pencils. Shopping for clothes was much less fun, as my parents’ bargain-hunting tendencies were always at odds with my desire to wear the “cool” brands of clothes that would allow me to fit in.
My boys need a fresh start and a return to normalcy—or, at least, a “new normal.” Regardless of what happened last school year, they now have the opportunity to begin again, make new friends, learn new skills, and develop as individuals.
This is a perfect chance for all of us to get a fresh start. Even if we’re not in school ourselves, and even if we’re still experiencing the challenges of COVID-19, we should give ourselves the opportunity to make personal resolutions. 
I’m not yet set on my list of fall resolutions, but flexibility is good! For now, I’m going to take a justice and political philosophy course and work on writing stories as a means of stress relief.
Do you want to join me in starting anew? There’s no need to wait for a “magical” date, such as January 1 or when we have the COVID-19 vaccine available. We can start any time we choose! Let me know what you choose to begin, and we can hold one another accountable. Feel free to email me at LGunkel@onlyworkforyou.com with your resolution(s) and we can have a conversation. 
It Happened Again
By Adam Steen, Director of Business Development
It happened again, just like it always does. My wife, Kasey, my young boys, Ryker and Maverick, and I, were visiting with a new friend while exploring a farm in Lucas, Iowa. The conversation was pleasant, and we engaged in the usual small talk, but then our new friend asked me the dreaded question that others have often asked.
It’s not an offensive question, it’s not divisive, but it’s a question that is not simple to answer.
“Adam, what do you do for a living?” they usually say.
“Ahh… well,” I say, “I am Director of Business Development for Syverson Strege in West Des Moines. We’re a Financial Planning and Investment Management firm.”
Sure enough, often here is the next question. Almost. Every. Single. Time.
“What is Business Development?” they ask, quizzingly.
I always, ALWAYS, jokingly ask back, “How much time do you have?”
My answer gets a laugh, maybe a courtesy laugh, but I’m cool with that!
Then, I give them my honest response.
“Business Development, to me, is a systematic approach to building and growing a business by first looking at what we need to improve internally, improving that, and second, showcasing our services to those we can help,” I say.
Seems fairly simple, right? I go further to state, “I also believe that Business Development is a holistic and comprehensive approach to achieving a company vision by identifying, and then connecting the gifts and talents of employees, centers of influence, and the community. Business Development creates long-term relationships, and it creates them because without relationships, the world would be a very lonely and isolated place. Without relationships, commerce wouldn’t stand a chance.”
At this point, the person I’m talking to has either completely checked out, or they completely understand what I’m talking about.
If they completely understand me, they almost always say something like this, “Yes, it’s scary seeing how divided people have become. It’s hard for me to even have conversations. If it’s not a political disagreement, it’s those darn phones. I can’t seem to get them to look up for one second, let alone have a thoughtful conversation.”
And therein lies my heart. “You are right,” I say, “and that is why I’m doing everything I can to convince people that we, as a society, have been created for amazing things. We’ve been born with gifts, talents, interests, hobbies, and DREAMS! And if we just take time to think about who we truly are and what we truly can become, our communities, our state, our country, and our world would change on a dime.”

They ask, “What kind of change?”
I respond, “The kind of change that only occurs when we stop seeing people through our phones and start to recognize that all people are made in the same image. We are all made to love. We are all made for genuine relationship. But most importantly, we were made to come together and collectively achieve a greater vision and purpose that we can’t achieve on our own.”
Inevitably, this conversation usually leads to a deeper conversation about the person’s past, their present, and their future, and it is one of my favorite conversations to have with someone.
Yes, it happened again, and I hope it happens over and over, every single day.
We are made for relationship.
Who are you? Who will you become? How can YOU change the world?
Don’t Save the Date…But Do Save the Date!
This year, in the interest of our clients’ and employees’ health and safety, we are forgoing our traditional client appreciation event that we usually have in the fall. So…you won’t need to save the date for an in-person event.
But do save the date on Tuesday, October 6 at 3:00 PM. That’s the date and time we will email you a link to watch a special video message made exclusively for you, our clients. You can watch it then or you can watch it later at your leisure.
In the place of the in-person Client Appreciation Event, our team decided to live out our values by using those funds to support three worthy local charities. These charities were selected by you, our Giving Club member clients, who participated in the selection process for our March Giving Club that was postponed.
As we reflect on this weird and crazy year, it is a good time to be thankful for the blessings we have, and to share those blessings with those in need.
Although we don’t feel it is safe to gather together in person this year, we want you to know how very much we appreciate you. And how glad we are that you have adapted to the ever-changing circumstances of 2020. We are truly grateful for your team effort and glad we are in this together.
Look for the email on Tuesday, October 6 at 3:00 PM!
Upcoming Event
The Election and Beyond: Is Your Portfolio Prepared?
Tuesday, October 13
3:00 PM
You are invited to an exclusive live broadcast, offering perspectives on current top-of-mind issues for investors, as well as implications for their portfolios.
This free webinar will feature Dr. Apollo Lupescu, vice president of Dimensional Fund Advisors, and Syverson Strege’s Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel. Dr. Lupescu is an experienced investment professional from Dimensional Fund Advisors, a premier global investment firm managing over $500 billion in assets for institutional investors and clients of select financial advisors.
Hear unique insights on:
  • the disconnect between the market and the economy;
  • the impact of the election on the market;
  • views on investing in the big, dominant tech stocks;
  • government stimulus spending, inflation and debt outlook;
  • the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus crisis;
  • market downturn mitigation strategies;
  • bond investing during historical low interest rates;
  • small cap and value stocks performance.
A Q&A will follow the presentation.
Please note that Syverson Strege employees will be off on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving. Employees will resume work on Monday, November 30. 
Coronavirus - Update
In case you have missed Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel’s bi-weekly coronavirus market updates, click on the blog page here and scroll down to read each update.
Quarterly Market Update Videos
Syverson Strege’s quarterly market updates help you be “in the know” about the market’s behavior and performance. Our investment professionals are dedicated to reviewing and understanding the market to develop and maintain an investment strategy that fits your needs.

The 3rd Quarter Market Update will be released on social media and in News & Views in early October. 
This Story Needs to Be Heard
Imagine you were given 30 minutes to share the most important information about your life. What would you say? What details of your life would you want people to know? Ultimately, that’s your life message.
Introducing…This Story Needs to Be Heard podcasts!
The goal of the This Story Needs to Be Heard podcasts will be to highlight stories of unsung heroes who are living a life of impact within Central Iowa and the surrounding area.
We feel the podcasts will capture the most important moments of our guests’ lives so that future generations can know their values, purpose, and the “why” of their legacy…their life message. Managing Director Lance Gunkel and Director of Business Development Adam Steen will serve as hosts of the podcasts.
Perhaps these podcasts will inspire you to think about your life message. The best messages live long after the life of the author and storyteller. Our past experiences shape who we are as individuals and our experiences teach us, guide us, and lay the foundation for future generations. Far too often, these critical life experiences are not captured in written form, on audio, or on video. Perhaps This Story Needs to Be Heard will inspire you to record your life story!
Click here to visit the webpage with the first podcast. Look for the This Story Needs to Be Heard icon (Finance Moment podcasts are also located on this webpage.)
Syverson Strege
4125 Westown Parkway, Suite 104
West Des Moines, IA 50266