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Association Reserves New eBook & online tool help HOAs safely tap their Reserve Fund in times of financial shortfall

Association Reserves New eBook & online tool help HOAs safely tap their Reserve Fund in times of financial shortfall

To survive temporary disruptions to cash flow, planned communities may want to consider their Reserve Fund as a resource.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the Coronavirus pandemic drives unemployment to a record high, Association-governed communities are bracing for higher than normal delinquency rates among their homeowners. Volunteer Boards across the country are all asking the same question: “Can we use our Reserve Account to cover an Operating Fund shortfall?” This includes Boards of Condominiums (Condos), Common Interest Developments (CIDs), Cooperatives (Co-ops), Community Associations (CAs), Homeowner Associations (HOAs), Property Owner Associations (POAs), Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), Townhome Associations (Townhouses), and Vacation Ownership Resorts (VORs).  Robert Nordlund, PE, RS, and Founder/CEO of Association Reserves, Inc. advises that relying on Reserves to help manage a temporary cash flow disruption must be done with great care. His eBook & online tool help Boards facing operating fund shortfalls make wise decisions about Reserves.

Boards across the U.S. are all asking the same question: “Can we use our Reserve Account to cover an Operating Fund shortfall?”

Reserves to the Rescue? eBook

Nordlund outlines four steps to take before an association-governed community even considers tapping into Reserves to fund operations:

  1. Assemble Financial Information (i.e., Bank Balances, Delinquencies)

  2. Review/Adjust the Operating Budget

  3. Maximize Communications & Collections

  4. Confer with legal counsel regarding Governing Document or state-level restrictions

If the Board elects to tap Reserves, that decision will come under intense scrutiny. It will be vitally important that a proper process of decision-making be both followed and documented.

uPlanIt- online Reserve Funding tool

uPlanIt gives Boards a way to forecast various “what-if” scenarios related to their most recent Reserve Study, such as:

  • What if we re-prioritized our Reserve expenses?

  • What if we temporarily reduced Reserve contributions?

  • What if we borrowed money from Reserves?

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A Go-Anywhere Fund That Can Handle Any Market

A Go-Anywhere Fund That Can Handle Any Market

Suzanne Hutchins.

Photograph by Kate Peters

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For many investors, not losing money is just as important as making more. The

BNY Mellon Global Real Return

fund excels at both.

The fund (ticker: DRRIX), managed by London-based Suzanne Hutchins, 53, aims to generate positive long-term, or “absolute,” returns, regardless of how the market has performed. “The objective…is to generate an absolute return of Libor or cash plus 4% over the longer term, and to help preserve capital on the downside,” she explains.

Libor, the London interbank offered rate, has been near zero since the 2008 crash, except for a small spike in 2018 and 2019—which means the $3 billion fund’s 4.2% annualized return in the past decade is close to its goal. It also beats 94% of its peers, many of which also seek absolute returns, in


Multialternative fund category. Throw in a 0.91% expense ratio—low for its hedge-fund-like category—and its appeal is apparent.

The U.S. version of the fund launched in 2010 after the 2008-09 bear market ended, though the British version of the strategy—largely identical except for its U.K. currency exposure—dates back to 2004. That strategy produced an impressive 4.8% return in 2008 when the MSCI All Country World Index of stocks fell 42% and the

S&P 500

index dived 37%. The U.S. fund has only had one down calendar year, a minuscule 0.01% decline in 2011.

One advantage of Hutchins’ strategy is its flexibility. The fund can invest worldwide in stocks, bonds, commodities, and precious metals without weighting constraints. It can also hedge, typically buying put options—financial contracts that give holders the right to sell securities at a predetermined price—in indexes such as the S&P 500 or the Euro Stoxx 50 to limit the downside. “We live in an ever-evolving investment environment, and you

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Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc (SC): Hedge Fund Sentiment Unchanged

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc (SC): Hedge Fund Sentiment Unchanged

We know that hedge funds generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over the long run, which is why imitating the picks that they are collectively bullish on can be a profitable strategy for retail investors. With billions of dollars in assets, professional investors have to conduct complex analyses, spend many resources and use tools that are not always available for the general crowd. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have occasional colossal losses; they do. However, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on hedge fund activity. With this in mind, let’s examine the smart money sentiment towards Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc (NYSE:SC) and determine whether hedge funds skillfully traded this stock.

Hedge fund interest in Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc (NYSE:SC) shares was flat at the end of last quarter. This is usually a negative indicator. Our calculations also showed that SC isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). At the end of this article we will also compare SC to other stocks including Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG), Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (NYSE:ACH), and Store Capital Corporation (NYSE:STOR) to get a better sense of its popularity. Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

To most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be worthless, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, Our experts hone in on the elite of this group, approximately 850 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors orchestrate the majority of the smart money’s total asset base, and by watching their highest performing picks, Insider Monkey has figured out a few investment strategies

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Schafer: Venture capitalists willing to fund insurance startups who try to crawl over ‘wall’

Schafer: Venture capitalists willing to fund insurance startups who try to crawl over ‘wall’

When health care firms that haven’t been around very long announce new venture-capital financing, it’s hard to miss the big numbers.

This year, $225 million went into an East Coast health insurance firm called Oscar and an additional half a billion dollars of equity was just raised by Bright Health of Minneapolis.

These firms are very much still startups, and you can hear a little Silicon Valley-style language in how they talk about themselves.

Oscar claims to make health insurance simpler and easier to understand, yet it describes itself as “the first direct-to-consumer health insurer, pairing member engagement with our own full-stack technology.”

Well, that does sound better than having half-stack technology.

But the bigger point is how it’s at least a little surprising that upstarts can raise so much capital to jump into an industry with so many barriers to entry.

Health care is highly regulated, both nationally and state-by-state, and relies on a hopelessly complex payment system the incumbents have all mastered.

Scale matters, too, including the benefits of operating with a brand people respect when the stakes — health care and what it costs — are so high.

Yet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Miller said it’s a much different world in venture finance than it was 10 years ago.

And the first half of the year “produced the largest two-quarter investment period ever for venture-backed health care companies,” according to Silicon Valley Bank.

To illustrate his point, Miller talked about the 2013 zombie apocalypse film “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt, where the Israelis somehow anticipated the zombies would come and built a wall to keep them out.

The problem of relying on a wall, though, is once the wall is scaled or breached the zombies run wild.

The health care system seems similarly walled off,

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Super-Strong Bull Market Eludes Most Fund Investors

Super-Strong Bull Market Eludes Most Fund Investors

Aside from the truly awful consequences of the coronavirus in terms of lives lost and the disruptions to our lives, there has been a big toll on those who use funds to try to create a path to their financial well-being. But, fortunately, for those investors who did not panic and stuck with their portfolios, the financial course appears to have begun the process of righting itself. While this almost always is what happens following chaos and uncertainty, the process may be a slow one before life, in all respects, begins to return to a more normal track.

For investors, two important trends summarize how the investment environment has changed as explained below.

The Virus Appears to Have Changed the Trajectory of Stocks and Bonds

You may be surprised to realize that, in spite of the fact that we currently are in a super-strong, recovering bull market after a deep COVID-19-induced bear market, all is not nearly close to being back to normal. Yes, the S&P 500 and, especially, the NASDAQ indices, are now up for the year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down just a few percent in spite of the pandemic. But does this mean that the negative impact of coronavirus on your funds has been largely overcome? For typical fund investors, not by a longshot.

Most investors probably hold a diversified group of different funds drawn from different fund categories. Look at the following category averages for different types of funds, followed by the performances of two “benchmark” type of index funds, one for international stocks and the other for bonds. Note that the COVID-19-induced bear market began on Feb. 20. So, if you held on to your positions from that date right up to now, let’s see how you have done compared to how you

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