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.
We’re Celebrating 30 Years!
As a company dedicated to serving our clients and community, we are proud to be celebrating our 30th year of business.
Looking back, we are grateful for the strong foundation Steve laid down and Sheryl Bernier helped carry out. When Gary Hanson and Neil Jordheim joined, business development started to really take off. These four, along with Denise Lies, set the tone for how Heartland Trust Company was going to succeed. Their dedication to building trustworthy relationships, being transparent about business practices, and providing excellent service is a model that lives on. It’s a great way to go about life. Not only do we want our clients to sleep well at night, we want to sleep well at night knowing that we are doing business and life in an honest, genuine manner.
Today, Heartland Trust has 22 employees who have a combined 425 years of experience in the financial industry. Over the years, some faces have changed and more bodies have been needed, but many things have stayed the same.
What Can Heartland Trust Company Do for You?
Here at Heartland Trust Company, we are proud of the great reputation we have built in the community over the last 30 years. We know that if we do business the right way, we will be here for a long time. Our mission statement says it all: “We provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of those we serve.”
Our reputation is everything, and that is why we choose to adopt the fiduciary standard. This means we apply the industry’s highest financial, ethical, and legal standards to the services we provide for our clients. We always act in our client’s best interest, and we would not do it any other way. We do things our own way, and we do it to benefit our clients. And even though trust is our middle name, we do much more than that.
We started out as a trust company and we continue to provide these high levels of financial and ethical care that these special accounts require. We can serve as trustee, co-trustee, or agent for the trustee (usually for an individual named as trustee who would like assistance with responsibilities such as recordkeeping, asset management, and tax preparation). Types of trusts we administer include:
Revocable Living Trusts
Special Needs Trusts
Do I Need a Trust?
Oftentimes when I am meeting with clients, we spend a significant amount of time focusing on fully understanding their personal and financial lives. This allows us to make sure that we can holistically address all of their needs, goals, and dreams for the future.
During this process, we discuss in-depth the best ways we can customize a plan to make it all happen.
Two of the most common questions I hear from clients are: 1) What is the difference between a trust and a will, and 2) Why it is important to document my wishes to best care for my family?
Simply defined, a will determines how your assets will be fully distributed after you die; a trust is a legacy to your heirs. Your trust details how your assets will be held and managed for the benefit of your heirs at your direction.
There are many different kinds of trust, each having its own focus and determined impact and benefit.