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Stay informed and inspired with the very latest banking news and wealth management views from the experts at Cambridge Trust. Plus, check back for intriguing insights from our respected guest contributors in the exclusive Cambridge Trust Thought Series®.

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Recent events, products and service news, plus more

Taking a Deep Dive: How the Oceans Impact Our Life on Earth

Dr. David Gallo | November 2016

The oceans produce 50% of our oxygen, nearly 2 billion people depend directly on the sea for the majority of their protein, and more than 90% of earth’s precipitation is controlled by ocean waters. More than 70% of the surface of our planet is covered by ocean, yet to date less than 8% of the oceans have been explored. In this Thought Series® presentation, Dr. David Gallo highlights why we need to recognize the oceans’ critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. 

Can Animals Think? What Birds Can Tell Us About Animal Intelligence

Dr. Irene Pepperberg | June 2016

The idea of animal cognition has been debated for centuries. Do animals think, or just react? Are they capable of complex thought and behavior that is not just instinctive? Through her work with African Grey parrots, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist, has devoted her entire professional life to investigating these questions.

Dr. Pepperberg’s presentation focuses on her research at The Alex Foundation studying the cognitive and communicative abilities of African Grey parrots compared with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children.

The Social Entrepreneur’s Challenge: Scaling Impact Beyond Organizations

Katie Smith Milway | November 2015

Whether it’s called giving back, paying it forward, or social business, the desire to impact society through social entrepreneurship has never been stronger. Drawing on her extensive background in journalism, nonprofit management and strategy consulting, as well as the heartwarming true story in her book, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, Katie Smith Milway examines how the growth of social entrepreneurship is at risk of creating well-intentioned, but fragmented efforts that dilute the benefits to society. She suggests ways that social entrepreneurs can scale their impact beyond the constraints of their organizations.

Beyond Jeopardy: IBM Watson & Cognitive Computing

Michael Rhodin | May 2015

Four years ago, IBM Watson won on TV’s Jeopardy! and Siri was first introduced on our iPhones. What might have been viewed as a novelty is now a serious business with the opening of IBM Watson’s global headquarters in New York City’s Silicon Alley.

In his presentation, Michael Rhodin, head of the Watson Group at IBM, traces the evolution of the cognitive technology behind Watson, including its commercial applications today and its potential for the future. Through a demonstration of Watson, Mr. Rhodin shows how its analytics are currently being used in healthcare and hospitality.

Once the size of a master bedroom when it played Jeopardy!, today’s Watson is 90 percent smaller, 24 times faster, and a whole lot smarter. Michael Rhodin examines why Watson’s ability to interact in natural language, and continually learn by processing and connecting vast amounts of Big Data, portends a future that is fascinating, far reaching and still very much a work in progress.

The End of Big:
How the Digital Revolution Makes David the New Goliath

Nicco Mele | November 2014

In his book, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath, internet pioneer, Nicco Mele, argues that seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power in business, culture, and politics by putting it in the hands of the masses. This decline in influence of the “big” newspapers, retailers, even political parties, in favor of smaller, more nimble entities can come at a high price sometimes with harmful consequences.

In the latest Thought Series podcast, Nicco Mele examines the seeming paradox that the same technology empowering small organizations is allowing the Apples, Amazons, and Googles to become even bigger, more powerful, and less accountable.

Newton's Football:
The Science Behind America's Game

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez | April 2014

Materials scientist and co-author of "Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game," Dr. Ainissa Ramirez argues that the game isn't just a clash of bodies, it's a clash of ideas where incremental changes can have unforeseen or counterintuitive consequences.

In the latest Thought Series podcast, she highlights the important role played by the behavioral sciences in the innovation game. She will examine if our risk-averse nature is a barrier to change and its effect on society's choices. She will take a look at how the practical understanding of chaos theory can have a meaningful impact on our daily lives.

Democracy and the Modern Dictator: Adapting Authoritarianism to a Globalized World

Will Dobson | October 2013

An award-winning editor and journalist, Will Dobson is the author of "The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy." In this critically-acclaimed work, Mr. Dobson argues that today's dictators and authoritarians are far more sophisticated than ever before. They understand that in an interconnected world of technology and social media, brutal forms of intimidation are better replaced with subtle forms of coercion.

In this podcast, Mr. Dobson contrasts the success of these modern authoritarians' efforts to project a kinder, gentler image versus the regimes that still cling to the more traditional murder and mayhem approach to maintaining power.

What Makes a City Walkable & Why It Matters

Jeff Speck | May 2013

Jeff Speck is a city planner, architectural designer, and the author of the book "Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time." A former director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts and a leading proponent of New Urbanism, Mr. Speck currently leads a design practice at Speck & Associates in Washington, D.C.

In this podcast, Mr. Speck focuses on what he believes is the key factor that makes cities healthier, more sustainable, and helps them to thrive: walkability.

Doing Business in China: Emerging Success or Endless Culture Clash?

John Kuhns | October 2012

John D. Kuhns, an American financier and industrialist, was one of the first Western businessmen active in China after the economic reforms of the late 1970's. Mr. Kuhn's presentation focuses on what it's like to do business in the "real" China, not the China we usually hear about from academics, State Department officials, trade mission representatives, currency experts, and other "talking heads" who concentrate on policy issues in Beijing and Shanghai.

John Kuhns talks about the business and cultural challenges of dealing directly with Chinese bureaucrats, managers, and workers whose methods and aspirations are often at odds with the China we recognize as an emerging economic super power.

Walking the Tightrope: Responsible Marketing in a Connected World

Ann Fudge | April 2012

Ann M. Fudge, recognized as one of America’s most influential and innovative corporate executives, examines the varying attitudes about privacy between different generations and the fine line between sharing and over-sharing information.

We have gone from a world of mass marketing to micromarketing; from broadcasting to narrowcasting. What are the implications? What does it mean for consumers and the companies that are trying to reach us?

Who Owns Your Body? Bioethics and the Privatization of Medical Research

Harriet Washington | November 2011

Harriet A. Washington, award-winning author and medical ethicist examines the legal, ethical, and social issues which result from the growing practice of awarding gene patents to private life sciences companies.

Taken from her new book, "Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself – And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future," Ms. Washington questions some of the basic tenets behind restrictive patents and increased privatization.

Water Security in a Changing World: Motivations, Myths, and Challenges

Dr. John Briscoe | May 2011

The late Dr. Briscoe, the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Health at Harvard University, examined how water security affects the trade-offs developing countries make among economic, cultural, and environmental objectives.

Our Digitized World: The Impact of Social Media On Defining You

John Henry Clipppinger | November 2010

John Henry Clippinger, Co-Director of The Law Lab at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, delivers an entertaining look at how we form relationships and define identity in a networked world.

The Evolution of an Accidental Entrepreneur: Obstacles, Lessons, and Victories of a Documentary Filmmaker

Mary Mazzio | May 2010

Mary Mazzio, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, Olympian, and former law firm partner, tells entertaining and inspiring stories about entrepreneurial spirit, social change, and the importance of never giving up.

The On-Demand Customer

How Consumption Patterns are Changing and Why It Matters

Millennials, a generation focused on experiences rather than physical goods, are coming of age, earning more, and their buying choices are reshaping the consumer sector. Investment Officers, Ryan Hanna and Tanya Stavreva, CFA, analyze the consequences of this shift in behavior for the consumer products industry.
Read more

Mobile Check Deposit

Deposit your checks any time, anywhere.

Mobile Banking lets you securely and conveniently deposit checks right from your mobile device. Our downloadable apps for your smartphone or tablet give you the flexibility to bank with the touch of a finger – and no trip to the bank.
Learn more

Week in Review

Resident Economist, Maureen Kelliher analyzes last week’s economic news.

Each week, Investment Officer and resident economist, Maureen Kelliher comments on investment trends and economic news which impact the financial markets. Sign up and enter your email to receive "Week in Review" updates in your inbox.
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BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES: Balancing Technology and the Human Touch

Laura Costello, Digital Banking Operations Manager

Great customer service today is more than making sure the phones and email are operational each morning. Yet how do you strike a balance between what has always worked in customer service – the personal touch from a trained banking professional – and all the new technologies that can make lives easier and more convenient? Here are a few practices:

  1. Offer great banking technology and personally support it. Because people are looking for faster, more convenient ways of doing things, services like mobile banking and mobile check deposit are welcome improvements. You can be in a grocery store and transfer funds on your phone while standing in line. But if you run into a problem and can’t reach anyone, the technology isn’t that helpful. That’s why Cambridge Trust offers personal assistance for all of our services. If customers run into issues or just have a question, we’re here and ready to help.
  2. Constantly look for new technology, but always test it first. Banking technology is always evolving, and of course we have to keep up with the times. That’s why it’s important to keep plugging and keep searching for ways to make customers’ lives easier. But we’d be selling customers short if we introduced something that has great potential but isn’t yet effective. That’s why the Customer Resource Center is constantly testing our products and systems. If they are not customer-ready, we keep improving and testing until they are. Our customers expect a smooth, seamless experience with every new system or product from the first time they use it.
  3. Use technology to protect customers at every turn, but pair it with great service so we’re never blocking them. Fraud analysis is critical today, and our fraud analysis system does a great job looking at patterns that indicate fraud. When a transaction comes up that isn’t within their pattern, it’s flagged and sometimes blocked. Customers can always call or email us to let us know of any unusual account activity they know is coming up. Whether it’s travel or an unusually large purchase, notes can be added to their account. The customer won’t have to worry about their transactions being approved once the notes have been added.
  4. If a problem ever arises with our technology, we listen and fix it fast. When eBilling was first introduced at Cambridge Trust, we got a call from a customer who was having a problem with an eBill. So we pulled a team together right away and all agreed – the feature could work better than it was. We worked together to solve the problem. The lesson is that our customers’ experiences and suggestions get our full attention.

People want the speed and convenience of technology in a bank, but they also want a trained professional to help whenever they’re needed. At Cambridge Trust, we’re continually adding the latest technologies to make our products and services accessible to customers in a variety of ways – online, from your phone, or in person. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing our customers with personal service and expert advice. And that’s a balance we’ll continue to strike every day to ensure our customer service remains a uniquely appealing feature of banking with Cambridge Trust.

Need to contact our Customer Resource Center? Call us at 617-876-5500 or email customerresourcecenter@cambridgetrust.com.

 

 

 

MAN VS. MACHINE: Comparing Financial Advisors and Robo-Advisors

David Walker, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager

There’s a new buzzword in financial advising: robo-advisors. These online investing services provide automated algorithm-based portfolio management for a low fee. Though the concept of using low-cost index funds has been around for decades, robo-advisors have recently started gaining popularity as their automated offerings grow in sophistication. Today, both new and established investment firms offer tools for asset allocation aimed at achieving long-term investment goals.

It’s the next generation of robots in a world where tollbooths, movie rentals, and grocery store checkouts have been revolutionized by automated technology. But successfully managing your wealth carries serious long-term consequences – much more so than, say, buying a loaf of bread. So the age-old question of man versus machine remains: When is a robo-advisor sufficient? And when is a professional financial advisor the better choice?

The advantages of a robo-advisors

  • Low fees: Robo-advisors offer automated asset allocation using algorithms based on a client’s age and investment goals as well as historical risks and returns for stocks, bonds, and other asset classes. With little to no personalized service, they can offer their services for a relatively low fee. Robo-advisor portfolios are typically structured using mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that mirror the broad stock and bond indices. This presents an appealing alternative for young investors in particular, for whom the financial picture is less complex and costs are an important consideration.
  • Low account minimums: Most robo-advisors require relatively low minimum account balances - usually around $5,000. Some even require no minimums at all. This makes them an attractive choice for investors who are just beginning to accumulate their wealth.
  • Ease of management: Robo-advisors appeal to some for their hands-off, set-it-and-forget-it quality. Asset allocation is automated using client inputs on age, risk tolerances, and investment objectives, making them ideal for individuals with little time to dedicate towards investing, little knowledge of investment strategy, and more straightforward financial situations — such as those saving for the down payment on their first home.

The advantages of a financial advisor

  • The human element: The most obvious difference between a robo-advisor and financial advisor is human interaction. Your financial advisor can be a single point of contact for managing your wealth as well as a resource in areas like financial planning and estate planning, or financing for business or personal needs. A financial advisor can also serve as a sounding board for addressing financial decisions that don’t have a clear-cut answer, such as how to fund college tuition or whether or not to downsize a home.
  • Comprehensive strategy: This becomes particularly important with the passage of time. As an individual’s financial complexity grows, a one-size-fits-all approach of a robo-advisor is no longer practical. Your financial advisor can take into account all the unique factors of your individual situation. Goals like saving for a grandchild’s education, paying off your mortgage, filing for Social Security, managing stock options, drawing up an estate plan, and charitable giving are all important factors an advisor will consider to keep your long-term financial plan attuned to changes in the economy and your life.
  • Knowledge and expertise: When you work with a financial advisor, you benefit from the expertise of a larger team, and can draw on the knowledge of specialists in the economy, asset allocation, investments, and tax planning. A team of experts can be a valuable resource in times of volatile markets and economic uncertainty.

As robo-advisors prove, man isn’t always at odds with machines. However, for investors with more complex financial situations, an experienced and knowledgeable financial advisor offers the most comprehensive solution. After all, robo-advisors are not really advisors — they’re software-driven, computerized investment programs. For more comprehensive, customized advice a traditional financial advisor continues to be the best choice. There’s simply nothing like the human touch.

Interested in working with David and our Wealth Management team? Please contact one of our Wealth Management Client Advisors.

In Massachusetts:
Erin Cooper at 617-503-5285
Edward Fitzgerald at 617-441-1484
William Yates at 617-503-4041

In New Hampshire:
Susan Martore-Baker at 603-369-5101

 

 

Securities and other investment products are:

Wealth Management Disclosure

 

 

How to Manage a Low-Cost Stock Holding

David Walker, Senior Vice President & Portfolio Manager

A low-cost stock holding is a stock that was bought at a very low price — usually many decades ago — and today is valued at a much higher price. The result is an extraordinary profit. Sounds great, right? But on further inspection, a low-cost stock holding can present a few challenges as well. 

Conventional investing wisdom tells us that one key to mitigating market risk is maintaining a well-diversified portfolio — that is, a strategic mix of stocks and bonds that span different industries and includes exposure to both domestic and international markets. A concentration of value in one stock (as can occur with a low-cost stock holding) can upset portfolio diversification and in turn, increase exposure to risk. It’s akin to putting your proverbial eggs in one basket.

How can you mitigate the potential risk from a low-cost holding? At Cambridge Trust Wealth Management, it comes down to three steps.

  1. Take a comprehensive look at your financial picture, including assets, taxes, and investing goals.
    The first step of managing a low-cost stock holding is to understand its size in relation to your total assets; this will help determine if your portfolio requires rebalancing. Next, consider any tax implications. Low-cost stock holdings are synonymous with a big profit, and the bigger your profit, the more you can lose to capital gains taxes. Finally, it’s critical to consider your investing goals and constraints. These include your risk tolerance, time horizon, and income needs as well as any unusual or large upcoming expenses.
  2. Evaluate the holding itself.
    While a low-cost holding might be performing well at the moment, that doesn’t mean it always will. An investment manager can conduct an analysis of the company to determine how it might perform in the future. Is the company well-established? What is the track record of the company’s management? Is the company diversified both geographically and by lines of business? How competitive is its industry? Do new technological trends threaten obsolescence? Another important consideration is the stock’s valuation in relation to its long-term earning prospects. All of these factors help determine how quickly to sell, how much to sell, or if it’s even right to sell at all.
  3. Using the information from Steps 1 and 2, decide how to best mitigate risk.
    Holders of low-cost stock have a number of strategies available to them. They can make an outright sale that is timed to minimize the tax impact. They can use the stock to make a charitable gift, thereby avoiding capital gains taxes while gaining a charitable tax deduction. Another strategy for low-cost holdings is to adjust other stocks in a portfolio so as to lessen concentration in a single industry. Under certain circumstances, it may be prudent to take minimal action with a low-cost holding. This may be the case when a low-cost holding is a well-established business, with sound financial characteristics, that is highly diversified and the stock trades at a reasonable valuation. This latter course of action is particularly appropriate for dividend-paying stocks where income may be an important consideration. 

Low-cost stock holdings can come about for a variety of reasons. Frequently, low-cost securities are inherited from a parent or grandparent. Sometimes, low-cost holdings arise from a business venture. Plain good fortune can also play a role. Often, what started out as a small flyer in a portfolio can grow in value over time. However you find yourself with a low-cost stock holding, it’s important to evaluate the holding on its own merits and in relation to your overall financial circumstances. A Cambridge Trust investment officer can help you weigh all the personal and financial factors to determine the most favorable course of action for you.

Interested in working with David and our Wealth Management team? Please contact one of our Wealth Management Client Advisors.

In Massachusetts:
Erin Cooper at 617-503-5285
Edward Fitzgerald at 617-441-1484
William Yates at 617-503-4041

In New Hampshire:
Susan Martore-Baker at 603-369-5101

 

 

Securities and other investment products are:

Wealth Management Disclosure

 

 

DOWNSIZE OR UPSIZE With a Home Equity Line of Credit

Cambridge Trust Company

For many people on the path to buying a new home, securing a mortgage is the first logical step. But if you’re already a homeowner with existing equity, a first mortgage might be a step too far. 

Equity is the difference between the amount owed to your mortgage company and the value of your home. And if you have equity, chances are you also have more options available to you for your next home purchase than just a mortgage. For example, you might consider a Home Equity Loan, which allows you to leverage the value of your property in order to secure a lump sum advance, which will be paid back with fixed interest every month. Perhaps even more practical for current homeowners is a Home Equity Line of Credit. A Home Equity Line of Credit is like a flexible home equity loan that provides borrowers with a reserve of funds to draw on as needed. You only pay variable interest on the amount you use, as you use it. 

Typically, Home Equity Lines of Credit are used to pay for renovations, home repairs, vacations, education, and business investments, or to consolidate debt. But for homeowners looking to upsize or downsize, a Home Equity Line of Credit can be just the right-size solution. Consider the following examples.

If you’re looking to upsize: Maybe you’re a young couple who purchased your home about five years ago. Property values have gone up, and now you have some real equity in it. You love your home and the interest rate you have on it. But the house is just too small for your growing family. A Home Equity Line of Credit can give you the funds you need to make your home work for you: expand the kitchen, add a nursery, finish the basement, get the pool you’ve always wanted. You only pay interest on the money you use. And because now you don’t have to buy a new home, you save on closing costs, mortgage fees, realtor commissions, and the expense of moving, too. Most importantly, you get to grow as a family in the home you love. 

If you’re looking to downsize: Perhaps your kids have grown up and moved out, leaving you with more house than you need. You want to downsize to a luxury condo by the beach, but you’ll need to sell your home for top dollar to make it happen. A Home Equity Line of Credit can give you the money you need to buy the dream condo now and renovate your current home to sell for top dollar later. For example, if you take out a home equity line for $600,000, you can buy the condo in cash for $400,000, then use the remaining $200,000 to fix up your house. When you sell your newly-renovated home for maximum price, you can pay off your loan and pocket a profit. Best of all, you’ll own your new condo free and clear – all without having to pay the closing costs and interest rates of a new mortgage.

Whether you’re looking to downsize or upsize, a Home Equity Line of Credit might be the right size for you. Of course, one size never fits all. If you have questions about how Cambridge Trust can help make your next move the right move, please contact Sal Sagarese in our Harvard Square branch at
617-441-1406 or via email at sal.sagarese@cambridgetrust.com.

 

NMLS# 759511. Cambridge Trust Company's NMLS Unique Identifier #697495.

 

 

 

 

RESPONSIBLE INVESTING: Impactful Growth

Kathryn Hersey, Vice President & Investment Officer

Today, many consumers make purchase decisions that align with their values. They choose to buy products and services from companies whose approach to business is compatible with their own. However, conscientious financial choices are not limited to consumer behavior. People are increasingly incorporating their values into their investment decisions. This is often referred to as Sustainable and Responsible Investing, or SRI. SRI investors view corporations as important entities in driving change. Businesses that dynamically adapt to environmental and social concerns are preferred to less responsive organizations.

SRI’s roots began by applying negative screens to remove so-called “sin stocks” (i.e. tobacco, alcohol, weapons, and gambling) from investors’ portfolios. The investment process has evolved into a more nuanced approach of identifying companies that are attractive from both an investment return and societal impact perspective. For a contemporary SRI investor, both objectives can and must be satisfied. Moreover, research shows that investing in this manner does not negatively impact performance, and can produce competitive returns when compared to a performance benchmark such as the S&P 500.

Cambridge Trust formally established an SRI investment strategy in 2014.Unlike many SRI firms, we handle the research and investing process entirely in-house. Measuring sustainability and responsibility is challenging: these areas can be subjective, and industries and companies have different sustainability issues based on their operations, products, or locations. SRI at Cambridge Trust involves applying an analytical framework that overlays environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors onto a traditional investment research process. ESG analysis considers themes such as effectively using and preserving resources, employee diversity and benefits, economic accountability and transparency and community engagement. Some aspects can be measured and quantified, while others are broader and more open to interpretation.

With this rigorous, analytical approach, we seek to find undervalued, high-quality companies that yield competitive financial results and align with a sustainable and responsible world view. The concept of good business and doing good are no longer mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the philosophy underlying our SRI strategy is that the companies that prepare for the future today will be the ones that grow and thrive in the years to come.

If you are interested in learning more about our SRI strategy, please contact one of our Wealth Management Client Advisors.

In Massachusetts, contact:
Erin Cooper at 617-503-5285
Edward Fitzgerald at 617-441-1484
William Yates at 617-503-4041

In New Hampshire, contact:
Susan Martore-Baker at 603-369-5101

 

 

Securities and other investment products are:

Wealth Management Disclosure

 

 

BORROWING EXPERTISE: Getting the Most From Your Business Lender

Gene Kalaw, Assistant Vice President & Business Development Officer

How much is a $50,000 business loan worth? That depends on where it’s coming from. And in today’s economy, small businesses have an abundance of options. Banks offer a range of lending products, from working lines of credit to business loans. Crowdsourcing websites provide funding via financial backers around the globe. Angel investors offer startup capital in exchange for ownership equity. Grants provide non-repayable funds for nonprofits. And there’s even that trusty institution, the Bank of Mom and Dad. Yet for all the lending options there are, there are zero guarantees of long-term success.

The fact of the matter is that not all loans are created equal. And at a time when more small businesses fail than flourish, that distinction is critical. So how can a small business not just get on the path to success — but also stay the course? Startup capital is only the beginning of the journey. Working with a seasoned business lender can help you navigate the market and direct your business towards success.

What should your business lender bring to the table? It’s about more than just dollars; it’s about business sense:

  1. A business lender should know your individual business. Before a lender starts talking numbers, they should ask about your business. How is it performing? How many employees do you have? Who are your associates? What are your current challenges as well as your future goals? This information will equip your lender with the insight they need to make the best financing recommendations, whether it’s bringing your business practices and priorities into alignment or patching up holes in your business plan. They will keep you one step ahead with proactive financing solutions — even ones you never considered before. We call this process “KYC,” or “Know Your Customer.” And at Cambridge Trust, it’s central to how we handle every client with premium, high-touch service.
  2. A business lender should know your industry. The more familiar your lender is with your industry, the better they can prepare you for what lies ahead. The challenges. The opportunities. The pitfalls. They’ve been there, done that, and can offer you the best advice as to what works, what doesn’t, and what to watch out for. At Cambridge Trust you’ll have access to a team of lenders who specialize in a variety of industries, including engineering services and business services, among others.
  3. A business lender should know your community. Every community is unique, complete with its own culture, demographics, and heritage. You might not realize it, but these factors have a tremendous effect on a small business’s success. With intimate knowledge of the community, your local lender can make sure these variables work in your favor. Lenders also maintain a close network of trusted business partners within the community and can connect you to the right one when the need arises.
  4. A business lender should know your language. Business owners are faced with an overwhelming number of financing options. A good lender will explain what they are, interpret what they would mean for your business, and provide a few recommendations based on your unique circumstances. At Cambridge Trust, it’s how we inform and empower our clients to make the soundest financial decisions possible.
  5. A business lender should know more than just lending. They should make their clients’ lives easier. By offering comprehensive lending and banking services under one roof, some lenders can simplify your business’s financial activities with a single point of contact. These services may include payment processing services, payroll, cash management, commercial mortgages, wealth management, business development, and more. This also gives your lender the benefit of seeing your business’s bigger financial picture to allow them to make more personalized recommendations and offer more attuned advice.

We know running your business isn’t just your job; it’s your life. Therefore, it’s crucial to partner with a bank as committed to the details as you are – a peer who provides intangibles beyond a simple loan. To learn more about how the business banking team at Cambridge Trust can lend expertise to your small business, contact Dina Scianna, Vice President, Business Development Group and Community Lending Manager, at 617-441-1430 or dina.scianna@cambridgetrust.com.

 

 

 

 

PRESERVING YOUR WEALTH: Financial Planning for a Lasting Legacy

Alice Flanagan, CTFA, CFP®, Vice President and Trust Officer

Your wealth is more than just money. It’s your legacy. It’s what you’ve worked so hard for your entire life, and it’s what will provide for your loved ones when you’ve gone. Perhaps that’s why so many of our clients are no longer looking simply to increase their wealth but, more importantly, to preserve it for the people and the causes they care about. They want to be able to provide for their spouses. They want to be able to buy their children their first homes and establish college funds for their grandchildren. They want to be able to donate to their favorite charity. And sometimes, they even opt to leave it to man’s best friend.
 
The trust officers and financial planners at Cambridge Trust have heard it all. One thing that we never hear: “I want to leave it all to taxes.” Yet without strategic financial planning, that’s exactly what can happen. The estate that high-net-worth individuals and their families spend a lifetime or even generations accumulating can be significantly reduced in a matter of moments. Of course, some of this loss is inevitable; no one is exempt from certain costs, like taxes. But there are some strategies that help ensure that more of their hard-earned money is preserved for their designated beneficiaries.
 
Be prudent in your investments. As you approach the end of your career, it may be tempting to make a last-minute play for aggressive growth to maximize your investment account. In volatile times this can put your principal at risk.  On the other hand, getting out of the market completely exposes you to purchasing power risk given that you are likely to live for many years beyond retirement. You certainly don’t want to outlive your money.  A prudent approach to capital preservation while maintaining purchasing power is necessary to balance these objectives. This can be achieved using appropriate asset allocation and diversification strategies.
 
Limit your exposure to taxes. Estate taxes. Income taxes. Gift taxes. While some taxes are unavoidable, there may be certain opportunities in your financial situation that you can take advantage of — such as tax deductions — to limit your exposure to taxes you’d otherwise have to pay.
 
Contribute generously to your retirement accounts. Even if you do not plan on retiring for another few years, there’s still plenty of time to grow your retirement accounts. Continue to contribute as much as you possibly can to your 401(k), your IRA, or other employer plans. You’ll grow the nest egg you have to live off once you retire. And because these contributions are tax deductible, you’ll also reduce the amount of income that would otherwise be subject to tax withholding.
 

Consider gifting during life. There’s a common misconception that you must wait to distribute your wealth until after you’re deceased. But this is not necessarily the case. Gifting during one’s lifetime offers two major benefits. On the one hand, you’re gradually letting go of the assets you no longer need, leaving you with less wealth to be taxed once you die. And on the other hand, you get to help out your heirs more immediately, while you’re still alive and able to witness the joy it brings. It’s a win-win. But before you start gifting your estate away, it’s important to meet with a financial planner who can tell you exactly how much of it is expendable and how much of it you will need for retirement. They can also advise you on how much you can gift each year and throughout your lifetime before you start incurring gift taxes. 

 

 

Securities and other investment products are:

Wealth Management Disclosure

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A LENDER: Avoiding the Risks of a Third-Rate Rate

Sal Sagarese, Vice President & Mortgage Specialist

When people start looking for a mortgage, they’re typically looking for two things: competitive rates and low fees. While these are good starting points, they shouldn’t be your only points. After all, mortgage products are a commodity. There’s little difference between one mortgage and another. So what else should a homebuyer consider to narrow the playing field? I advise my customers to look beyond low rates and set their sights on finding a reputable, honest lender.

Although mortgage products are typically roughly identical, mortgage lenders themselves can vary quite a bit. Some are local banks with a solid reputation. Others are large national chains that have exploded in the past couple years. Not all are created equal. And if you choose 1-800-LOANS to save an eighth of a percentage point, it could end up costing you in the end. For example, if your lender does not move fast enough to approve your loan within the contingency period, you could forfeit your earnest money deposit — typically 1-3% of the purchase price. Meanwhile, you’re also losing valuable time. If you aren’t granted an extension to finalize the deal, you could ultimately lose your dream home to another buyer. That’s an awful lot to risk for an eighth of a percentage point. But in mortgages as in all things, you get what you pay for.

When choosing a mortgage lender, ask yourself these seven questions:
1. Is your lender local?
Local lenders have local experience, so they can also offer recommendations for the top real estate agents, appraisers, real estate attorneys, and inspectors in your area to help ensure your transaction will go smoothly. They are also able to offer more personalized, high-touch service. They know your name, they know your face, and they know you’re more than a transaction.

2. Is your lender stable?
You want to work with a lender who has been in business for many years, who has plenty of money to lend, and who has a reputation in the community for ethical practices. At Cambridge Trust, if we sell you a loan, we’re going to stand behind it. That peace of mind is worth a lot.

3. Is your lender honest?
In the wake of the financial crisis, today’s borrowers are more mindful than ever to find a lender who will keep their best interest at heart. So I have no incentive to sell you something that isn’t right for you. I’m not going to oversell you. I’m not going to play you. I’m going to help you do what’s right for you, even if it means referring you to another bank.

4. Is your lender responsive?
The homebuying process is a confusing and stressful one, so you’ll want to work with a lender who answers your questions promptly and thoroughly. I treat every customer like they’re my only customer. The faster I can get them the answers they need, the faster this tedious process is over for them.

5. Is your lender a good listener?
A good lender doesn’t just lend you money; they lend you advice. Steer clear of product pushers, and look for a lender who listens to your situation and proactively asks the right questions to ensure that the mortgage product you’re getting is the best one for you. Sometimes, customers think they need a 30-year fixed when a 15-year adjustable rate mortgage makes more financial sense.

6. Is your lender understanding?
Now more than ever, lenders have to ask for a lot of “stuff.” They have to ask for deposits. They have to ask for forms. They have to ask for copies of this. They have to ask for copies of that. A good lender acknowledges that you have a lot more important things to worry about than sending in your W2s, and they’ll have no problem sending you polite reminders to help keep the ball rolling.

7. Is your lender pleasant?
It sounds like a silly question, but you will be spending a lot of time with your lender. Make sure you enjoy their company to make the experience as painless as possible.

 

NMLS# 759511. Cambridge Trust Company's NMLS Unique Identifier #697495.

 

 

 

 

Fall 2016 TrustLetter

  • The On-Demand Consumer: How Consumption Patterns are Changing and Why It Matters
    by Tanya Stavreva, CFA and Ryan Hanna
  • Choosing A Trustee: Don’t Be Sold On the Very First One
    by Judith V. Goodnow

Spring/Summer 2016 TrustLetter

  • The Challenge of Low Interest Rates
    by David E. Walker, CFA
  • Digital Asset Planning
    by Erin J. Cooper and Kaitlyn Gilpin

Winter 2016 TrustLetter

  • The Importance of Corporate Governance
    by Aimee Forsythe, CFA
  • Planning for Noncitizens: An Overview
    by Michael P. Panebianco

Fall 2015 TrustLetter

  • What is Quality Investing?
    by Brian J. Sokolowski, CFA
  • A Quality of Life Plan
    by Laura C. McGregor

 

 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Cambridge Fire – Cambridge Community Banks Join Together

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Announces Quarterly Dividend

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company Appoints Michael F. Carotenuto as New Chief Financial Officer

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp CEO, Denis K. Sheahan, and CFO, Albert R. Rietheimer, to Present at 2016 East Coast Financial Services Conference

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Announces Third Quarter Results

Monday, October 17, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company’s President and CEO Denis Sheahan Awarded Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award by Old Colony Council, Boy Scouts of America

Monday, October 03, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company Partners with National Cybersecurity Alliance for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Monday, September 12, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company Makes Strategic Hires for New Asset Based Lending Practice

Friday, September 09, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp CEO, Denis K. Sheahan, to Present at FIG Partners Annual CEO Forum

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Announces Quarterly Dividend

Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company Announces 2017 Retirements of Senior-level Staff

Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Cambridge Trust Company Names Pilar Pueyo as New Senior Vice President, Human Resources Director

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Reports Second Quarter Earnings

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Announces Quarterly Dividend

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Cambridge Bancorp Announces Three New Members to Board of Directors

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