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January 7, 2019 19 on '19

Wealth management: Spinnaker's Rand 'cautious' of financial market headwinds

Photo / Courtesy of Spinnaker Trust Amanda Rand, president of Spinnaker Trust

As Amanda Rand embarks on her second year as president of Portland-based wealth management firm Spinnaker Trust, she sees headwinds that could put a damper on financial markets.

“We're 10 years into the bull market that started after the Great Recession. That's a long time,” she says. “We're certainly more cautious going into 2019.”

Specifically, she says that after returning to more volatility last year, markets are closely following anything said about trade issues.

She also notes that a strengthening dollar is “not great” for multinational corporations, and that rising interest rates are challenging for businesses but are offset by the fact that companies are doing well from an earnings standpoint.

As for Spinnaker Trust, she says that 2018 was a great year in terms of new business, and is hopeful that 2019 will bring more of the same. Though most of the firm's clients are in southern Maine, they extend up the coast to Bar Harbor — and nationwide, though always with a tie to Maine.

“We like to joke that we're right here at world headquarters on Free Street,” she says. “More and more clients value that.”

She says there are no immediate plans to add to the current roster of 32 employees, adding: “If we continue to grow in terms of the client base as much as in 2018, we might have to do a little more, but for now it's just strategic.”

Staying ahead of the curve on technology will also remain a priority after Spinnaker went through a major platform conversion in 2017. It now offers clients the option of using the Spinnaker Connect mobile application.

Looking at the broader political picture in Maine, Rand and her colleagues will be watching for any new tax policies that may affect Spinnaker's client base of high net-worth individuals, as well as what Gov. Janet Mills's focus on alternative energy portends for Maine's economy. “We have the natural resources here to be a significant player in that,” she says.

Rand adds that Maine stands to benefit from the revised U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, especially if the latter allows the United States to export more dairy products.

Editor's note: This interview was conducted in December, at a time when the world markets were especially volatile.

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