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The world’s economies and stock markets have been rocked by the spread of COVID-19. Investors’ fears prompted a major sell-off in February and March, plunging stocks well below their 2019 closing marks. Nevertheless, 2020 started off in a positive way. Following a strong 2019, stocks were slow to move forward as investors cashed in some of their 2019 gains. But by mid-January, each of the benchmark indexes were safely ahead of their 2019 closing marks. However, concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak in China quelled investor optimism. By the end of January, only the small caps of the Nasdaq remained ahead of their prior year’s pace, as each of the remaining indexes listed here fell into the red.

February started off as January ended, with investors more inclined to sell rather than buy equities. However, word of China’s plans to cut tariffs on some U.S. imports sent stocks higher during the second week of the month. The Nasdaq was more than 6% over its 2019 year-end value while both the S&P 500 and the Dow also pushed ahead. But by the third week of February, the impact of the virus was becoming evident with news of a widespread outbreak in South Korea. Selling accelerated the following week as outbreaks were reported in Iran and Italy. As more cases were reported in the United States, investors feared that containment of the virus was not likely and rushed to cash in stocks. By the end of February, each of the indexes lost significant value led by the Dow, which fell more than 10% for the month.

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What SEC’s COVID-19 Filing Relief Means:

Up to 45-day ADV filing extension: This extension is applicable if your Form ADV is due between March 13 and June 30, 2020. For more specifics on how to claim this extension, click here.

• New ADV Form (CRS) still due by June 30: As we introduced last summer, the new Form CRS Relationship Summary is coming into effect as of June 30, 2020. The SEC has ruled that they are not changing this date. It must be filed by June 30 with the SEC and by the following month provide documentation confirming delivery to clients.

For additional information on this topic, including links to the two risk alerts the SEC has recently issued for more guidance, click here.

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Key considerations and best practices for working from home

With the spread of COVID-19 and stay-at-home mandates, business continuity plans and their limits are being tested for advisors nationwide. Now more than ever, it is critical to consider proper systems that accommodate this extended state of emergency.

Here are four key areas that should be addressed within your business continuity plan:

1. Communication – Be proactive in keeping your clients aware of your business availability and any changes to normal hours or operations. Let them know how you are available to support their needs, whether through video conferencing or the best ways to reach your team for their immediate needs. If physical mail will not be accessible to your team, provide alternative methods for securing sending information, such as mailing checks directly to applicable custodians.

2. Regulatory Considerations – With staff working from home for an extended period, what are you doing from a supervision and archiving standpoint? Consider all critical processes that may need to take place remotely, from Form ADV renewal filings and the new Form CRS, to billing, portfolio rebalancing and client meetings. Your firm will need a solution to ensure that employees are continuing to complete necessary compliance tasks as well as proper archiving of client communications. From cell phone calls to texting, there may be many new methods of communication to consider how you will capture for review and archiving.

3. Technology – At the core of enabling remote work, there are a number of technology solutions to consider to enable your team to continue with essential business activity, including:

  • Video conferencing
  • Internal communications
  • Compliance software for supervision
  • Password management
  • Phone systems

4. Cyber Security – As we have shared in past newsletter issues, cyber security has been an increasing focus during compliance exams in recent years—a trend we can only anticipate to increase exponentially with today’s remote workforces. Here are a few key reminders to share with your staff that all standard compliance procedures are still in effect while working from home:

  • Work on secure (non-public) wifi connections.
  • Use proper business email domains for all business communications.
  • Avoid printing confidential materials, and follow proper measures for secure discarding when necessary.
  • Do not store any sensitive information on non-company devices without the proper security protections.
  • Some remote tech platforms are not appropriate for confidential material, such as non-secure video conferencing to discuss detailed client data and accounts.
  • Be cautious of targeted email phishing or fraudulent wire requests that may come through without company firewall protection.

As your team learns to adapt and navigate this new virtual reality, take action and document any updates to your policies and procedures necessary to fulfill these demands. For additional ideas or recommendations in any of these areas, feel free to reach out to us at Beacon HQ to let us know how we can be of help.

Sources: RIA in a Box, ThinkAdvisor

beacon news

New Client-Approved Pieces:

Coronavirus: Devastating Retirement Dreams for Americans

Vantage 2.0 Risk Management Timeline Summary (As of 3/31/20)

In the News:

“The No. 1 reason that clients fire their advisors is when advisors don’t reply within two to four hours to calls or emails,” said Dan Baccarini, managing director at Beacon Capital Management in Dayton, Ohio. “Once you go over four hours, about one-third of clients won’t be happy with you.”

Investor’s Business Daily: “To Boost Their Service, Advisors Take Small Steps with Big Results”

Be sure to visit Beacon’s News & Press page for the latest credibility pieces to share with your clients and prospects, and follow Beacon on LinkedIn for the latest updates as they happen.


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For Advisor Use Only, Not to Be Used With Clients

The GIPS Compliant Presentations for our Vantage portfolios can be obtained by clicking on the link below.  If you would like the Compliant Presentations to be emailed directly via PDF file or if you would like to receive a copy of Beacon’s Composite Descriptions; please respond to this email or contact Beacon at 937-439-9093.

BCM 2018 Compliant Presentations

Beacon Capital Management, Inc. is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Additional information about Beacon Capital Management is also available on the SEC’s website at under CRD number 120641. Beacon Capital Management only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, notice filed, or excluded or exempted from registration or notice filing requirements.

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Beacon Capital Management

7777 Washington Village Drive, Suite 280, Dayton, OH 45459

P: 866.439.9093 | F: 937.424.4825