The Lowry Letter®

The Lowry Letter® - 9/9/2021

Our hiatus last week was partly due to our visit to Seattle, WA, where we formally welcomed August Michael to the Lowry family and enjoyed time with his parents, Chris & Erin. It was a real blessing to be able to spend the time with them and the littlest Lowry.

The Lowry Letter® - 8/26/2021

Please mark Sept 14th as the date of our next webinar, this time with Guggenheim Investments. They will provide a market update and be available to answer questions as well. They are one our preferred fixed income managers, and we look forward to the event.

Many of you use our account access app, Investor360, to review your portfolios and to link outside investment accounts. As with many apps, security is a major focus and two-factor authentication will soon be implemented. Please keep an eye out for an email that will provide additional information about the implementation and timing of the change.

We know that linking outside accounts has not been smooth for some of you since the change in the provider that manages the aggregation tool. We appreciate your patience with the process and welcome any questions or feedback that you have as improvements continue.

The Lowry Letter® - 8/19/2021

The Covid-19 situation continues to be tragic. We are not medical professionals, infectious disease experts, or epidemiologists, but every conversation we have had with experts in those areas strengthens the case for vaccines as the single best way to reduce the risk of the worst outcomes.

Increased vaccination is also the surest path to economic stability.

We have a few interesting items this week, including a new “Ask the Joes® (and Cale).”

The Lowry Letter® - 8/12/2021

First, our congratulations to Bea on the birth of her granddaughter several weeks ago! She visited the office for the first time yesterday and we were happy to meet her.

This summer, the Joes have visited several National Parks, including Badlands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, & Glacier. During the most recent visit, to Wyoming & Montana, the impact of Covid-19 on a “fully open” economy was evident.

The appetite for travel is extremely high, with many restaurants and other stores telling us they had never seen higher demand. At the same time, their capacity to meet the demand remains limited. Many businesses had posted signs seeking additional employees, some with hiring bonuses of hundreds of dollars. When checking bags at the Kalispell airport, there was one agent handling 3 flights worth of baggage. She explained that Covid-related issues had 6 employees unavailable for work.

In addition to the current strain on hospitals and front-line workers, Covid continues to reduce economic capacity. We hope there is more motivation for increased vaccinations as the data shows much better outcomes when breakthrough cases occur (and which remain a very small percentage of new cases).

For a review of a turbulent July, the month-end market recap is available here and Brad McMillan’s market thoughts video is here.

The Lowry Letter® - 7/29/2021

The Lowry Letter will take a break next week before the school year begins in our county. It has been a short summer!

The Lowry Letter® - 7/22/2021

We can only speak anecdotally about what we have learned about our own community, but the surge in COVID cases is real. Hospital resources are being stretched in many places and unvaccinated persons make up the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths. There are a number of reasons why some cannot receive the COVID vaccination, and each individual must make their own informed choice. But the data shows that taking the vaccine is a safe and effective means of preventing serious illness and we hope participation rates improve.

We encourage everyone to follow the same risk-managed approach we apply to investments to other areas of our lives. 

The Lowry Letter® - 7/15/2021

We are grateful to have been spared the worst of Elsa (though the bad Frozen jokes were harder to avoid). Now is a great time to get prepared for the next storm. We speak a little more on that below.

Onto our normal programming

The Lowry Letter® - 7/7/2021

The arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa (hours away as we write this) is a reminder of the importance of planning. By the time an emergency arrives, it is usually too late to do the small and simple things that make all the difference. Emergency preparedness, like financial planning, is a process. If you haven’t yet, we recommend starting by answering some simple questions:

  • What will I do if the electricity goes off? What is my alternate light source?
  • What is my evacuation plan – WHERE and WHEN will I go?
  • Do I have a way to stay informed?
  • Do I need assistance in preparing my home or with evacuation?
  • Do I have any special medical conditions/medications to consider?

There are many things to consider, but this is a good beginning.

In the event of power loss or other storm-related issues, our responses to your requests may be slower than normal. If you can’t reach us and your need is urgent, please call our friends at Commonwealth at 800-251-0080and ask for the Service Center. Even if we cannot reach the office, we are able to check messages and email remotely.

Onto our normal programming:

The Lowry Letter® - 7/1/2021

It is hard to believe that we are halfway through 2021. In many ways, this year has been better than we might have imagined

The Covid vaccines are a tremendous success story, with the daily death rate numbers telling a very compelling story. Countries like Singapore are considering policies to “live with Covid,” treating it like other diseases, such as flu and chickenpox. This is viable now because of the efficacy of vaccines in reducing both the rate and severity of Covid cases, allowing medical resources to remain within acceptable levels.

The Lowry Letter® - 6/24/2021

First, a reminder that we will be having an off-site team meeting on June 28-29. Our office will be closed for meetings but we will be checking messages and emails at regular intervals. There may be a slight delay in processing requests and we wanted to provide plenty of notice. You can text our office number as well if you need to get in touch.

We hold periodic team meetings to make sure we meet one of our strategic directives- continuous improvement. We welcome feedback of all kinds and enjoy the opportunities for growth.