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Optivest Updates

(As reported in the North Dallas Gazette on May 8, 2013)
By: Mark Van Mourick

When selling a business, owners time their exits for many reasons: health, retirement planning, availability or lack of family successors, competition, technology change and many more. Yet overwhelmingly the question most often asked of financial advisors by entrepreneurial companies is “what’s my business worth?”

Mark Van Mourick, CEO and president of Optivest, Inc., provides five tips to help enhance the value of a business: 

US & World Economy –

Animal spirits are back! With Europe in a mild but stable recession, China on an upswing, US housing starts and prices rising (Case Shiller Index up 8.1% over the last 12 months ending in January – best since 2006), and the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both making new all-time highs, consumers and businesses alike are feeling better. Consider these new economic levels:  the stock market at new highs from 2007, S&P 500 quarterly earnings at new highs, US household net-worth at a new high ($69 trillion vs. $67 trillion), and household debt service to income ratios at a 30 year low (J.P. Morgan).

US & World Economy –

The world breathed a sigh of relief after the recent Fiscal Cliff vote and all of us are happy to remove that phrase from our vocabulary. The US economy is in good shape to absorb the changes to the taxes and likely debt ceiling outcome (more on that below) and according to most economists, should grow at 1.5 – 2.2% in 2013. In other words, more of the same slow growth we have experienced for the past couple of years. Regardless, a serious cloud has been lifted and businesses can now plan with greater confidence. In addition, China’s economy and US housing starts are building strength and will help the economy this year. While there is always something to worry about, the scope of our problems have become smaller over the last few years.

US & World Economy –

While the US economy continues to slowly grow, all eyes are on the election and the 2013 “fiscal cliff”. Job growth has stalled and productivity per employee has little room to grow. We seem to be treading water with Europe’s recession pulling us down and a slightly faster growing Asia pulling us up.  Corporate cash holdings are at high levels as businesses continue to be cautious. The wait is almost over.

US & World Economy –

Weak second quarter job growth and earnings have dominated recent headlines. After a healthy 226,000 per month average job growth in the first quarter of 2012, a measly 80,000 jobs per month were added in the second quarter of 2012 – stalling the decline in the unemployment rate (currently 8.2%). Corporate earnings growth is also slowing. Combined with the start of a recession in Europe, this resulted in a strengthening dollar and weak commodities. The price of oil dropped, despite the continued rumbling from Iran. Add the continuing drama from Greece and Spain and you end up with heightened volatility in the financial markets and lack of confidence from investors.

US & World Economy –

What a difference a few months can make! Last year’s fears of double-dip recessions and Greek tragedies have given way to large job growths (636,000 job gains in the first quarter), improved investor confidence, and the best first quarter for the S&P 500 in 14 years (up 12.6%). The question is will this growthcontinue or peter out like it did after the spring gains in 2011 and 2010? With a large Band-Aid on Europe, a 7.5% soft landing in China and continued modest growth in the US (2 – 2.5% GDP), we expect the economy and financial markets to churn mostly sideways through the Fall, and not experience the 16-18% mid-year drops of the previous two years.

Pairing Elite Investment Research With Personalized “Family Office” Services For OC’s Wealthiest Families

By: Betsy Sanz
Newport Mesa Magazine

Unless you manage $1 billion pension plan or you are simply a gabillionaire, chances are you don’t have a multi million-dollar research team at your disposal to tell you where to put your money and when to do it. Even your broker likely uses research based solely around the products he or she represents, as opposed to what is available worldwide. Independent research by the brightest minds with the widest visibility to world markets comes at a hefty cost. The reality is that the “little guy” (with investable cash of less than a hundred million or so) is priced out of the advantages of independent investment research.

The clients at Optivest, Inc. are now an exception to that rule…

The New Roundtable:

Planning a business sale is no mean feat, something the members of the Orange County Exit Planning Roundtable (OCX) know all too well. These highly skilled Roundtable members specialize in helping to facilitate the sale of some of the OC’s most valuable companies.

The Orange County Exit Planning Roundtable is a “top of their field” group of professionals with complimentary disciplines, who specialize in working with owners of privately held, middle market companies who intend to exit their companies in the next few years…  (READ MORE)

(As reported in South County Magazine in March 2012)

By: Betsy Sanz

When Mark Van Mourick was a senior vice president at Smith Barney, he was responsible for the financial futures of no less than 1,200 investors and their families. Yikes.

Mark is smart and hardworking (eight years after graduating from USC he reached the rank of SVP at Smith Barney and was their leading retail stock broker in Orange County), but ultimately he lived life by his conscience – and he knew he wasn’t serving his clientele the way they needed to be served. Hard earned wealth, a family’s peace and comfort, the opportunity to impact the world through giving; these are no small things. Mark had worked into a position to manage critical life investments for many families, and he began to believe that they warranted more than a phone call every once in a while and a monthly check for more or less than average.

US & World Economy –

2011 was a wild year for the economy and financial markets. Optimism and continued growth early in the year gave way to fear and double-dip fears in the fall, only to end the year back where we started. (The S&P 500 Index was up 0.003% but the average US Stock fund lost about 3%). The rest of the world did not fair as well: Latin America -22.2%; Europe -15.2%; China -20.2%; India -39.1%. Remarkably, despite continued negative headlines, no country is currently in an announced recession. In fact, worldwide growth appears to have picked up in the forth quarter, especially in the US where auto and retail had their biggest gains in years. The S&P 500 will report not only record earnings, but earnings 15-20% higher than their 2007 peak.