30 Years: Our Core Culture Has Stayed The Same
Well, HTC has passed another milestone – 30 years.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is still true that two out of three start-up businesses, with employees, will only last two years and about half of the remaining ones will last five years. I guess we can say we made it.
With a milestone like that, we should have a big celebration but due to the Covid situation, we have not really had a chance to celebrate.
After 30 years of history, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same at Heartland Trust Company. Obviously, the Covid-19 virus has caused us to make some very radical changes. We have kiddingly said that in two short months we adopted technology changes that normally would have taken five years to implement. Also, some new words and concepts have crept into our everyday language. For example, the idea of a virtual or Zoom meeting was a rare thought a year ago but in today’s world, it seems to be an almost daily event.
What is a Trust Officer?
To understand who a trust officer is and what they do first requires that you understand what a trust is. Here’s a quick review: A trust is a vehicle used to hold property. A trust can hold the title to anything (like art, vehicles, and even pets!) but the most common assets in a trust are investments, real estate (residential, commercial and farmland), and sometimes partnerships and LLCs.
Trusts are established by someone known as a grantor/trustor who wants to establish control of these assets during their life and after they are deceased. There are various reasons for this control. Sometimes it is due to estate and tax planning but almost always there is an underlying desire to protect the assets for the trust’s beneficiaries, those who will benefit from the trust once the grantor is gone.
Trusts are managed by a trustee, who in turn is a fiduciary. A fiduciary must follow legal and ethical standards that binds the trustee to make decisions in their client’s best interest and provides the highest level of care a client can receive. A trustee’s responsibility is to safeguard the assets of the trust and ensure they are managed according to the terms of the trust document, while following current state and federal laws.
What’s the Deal With Interest Rates?
As I write this, I just got a mortgage for 2.75%, my student loans are about to get refinanced at 1.5%, and my auto loan is 0%. And as a consumer, you might think ultra-low interest rates are the greatest thing since sliced bread. That might be true for consumers, but for investors looking for low-risk and a decent return, not so much. A couple of things to start you off:
- The Federal Reserve controls interest rates. Congress and the executive branch do not. That separation is a good thing.
- The yield on a bond is how much income you’re being paid. If a $100 bond has 3% yield, you get $3 per year.
HTC Team News and Honors
Two new employees have joined our team.
In September, Ethan Linder came aboard as an administrative associate on the personal account side. Ethan is a recent graduate of Concordia College where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and a minor in environmental studies. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the movies, playing hockey, and watching sports.
Meet Steve Halverson
Steve is the founder of Heartland Trust Company. After working in the trust industry for a regional bank for 18 years, he went off on his own and started North Dakota’s first independent trust company. Thirty years later, he is the CEO and chairman of the board. The company has grown from two people to 25, with over $600 million in assets under management. Steve is very active in the community, spending many years with various local service organizations. He is currently a member of the board for the FMWF Chamber, and an International Director for the Sons of Norway.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not at the office, it’s all about family. My wife and I try and spend as much time as we can with the grandkids.
Celebrating 30 Years Part 4
Heartland Trust Company turns 30 this year, and we’ve accumulated a bit of history as we enter our fourth decade. Each quarterly newsletter this year has contained a feature on one of our old locations. This is the final installment.
Understanding Social Security Benefits
Adapted from Broadridge Communication Services
Approximately 68 million people today receive some form of Social Security benefits, including
retirement, disability, survivor, and family benefits. (Source: Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security,
2019). Although most people receiving Social Security are retired, you and your family members may be
eligible for benefits at any age, depending on your circumstances.