F&M Bank Welcomes Commercial Lender Ben Thompson to its Growing Team

F&M Bank’s leadership team welcomes Ben Thompson to his new role as a Commercial Relationship Manager. Mr. Thompson joins F&M Bank most recently from National Bank and brings with him 6 years of retail and commercial banking experience.

Ben commented, “I’m excited to join this well-established banking team. I look forward to making new connections and growing relationships to provide our clients a best-in-class community banking experience.”

In this role, Ben will build client relationships, supporting small and large Virginia-based businesses. F&M Bank’s President Senior Vice President and Market Leader, Katherine Preston commented, “We are thrilled to have Ben join the commercial team. He brings a wealth of client experience and finance knowledge to this position and will be integral to our strategic goals moving forward.”

Ben earned a bachelor’s degree from Radford University. He enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and fishing and is passionate about assisting in a client’s success. Ben will support the bank’s market service area and be based at the Crossroads bank branch in Harrisonburg, VA.

Contact Ben at the “Get in Touch” form directly below!

Best of Virginia 2022

F&M Bank has been grateful to play a part in the growth of Virginia’s economy and remains committed to being a locally owned and publicly traded community bank right here where we all live, work and play.

In May 2022, Virginia Living Magazine announced results for its “Best of Virginia” annual list following a readers’ survey conducted earlier in the year. Our teammates are beyond humbled to be recognized among the top three Best Banking Services in the Shenandoah Valley region.  Thank you, readers, neighbors and friends, for your vote. We appreciate it!

Follow us out on the OTC Market Index: #FMBM. Look for @fmbankva on social media channels for the latest news, events and community updates!

Six Keys to More Successful Investing

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful, and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic principles that may help you invest more successfully.

Long-term compounding can help your nest egg grow

It’s the “rolling snowball” effect. Put simply, compounding pays you earnings on your reinvested earnings. The longer you leave your money at work for you, the more exciting the numbers get. For example, imagine an investment of $10,000 at an annual rate of return of 8 percent. In 20 years, assuming no withdrawals, your $10,000 investment would grow to $46,610. In 25 years, it would grow to $68,485, a 47 percent gain over the 20-year figure. After 30 years, your account would total $100,627. (Of course, this is a hypothetical example that does not reflect the performance of any specific investment.)

This simple example also assumes that no taxes are paid along the way, so all money stays invested. That would be the case in a tax-deferred individual retirement account or qualified retirement plan. The compounded earnings of deferred tax dollars are the main reason experts recommend fully funding all tax-advantaged retirement accounts and plans available to you.

While you should review your portfolio on a regular basis, the point is that money left alone in an investment offers the potential of a significant return over time. With time on your side, you don’t have to go for investment “home runs” to be successful.

 

Endure short-term pain for long-term gain

Riding out market volatility sounds simple, doesn’t it? But what if you’ve invested $10,000 in the stock market and the price of the stock drops like a stone one day? On paper, you’ve lost a bundle, offsetting the value of compounding you’re trying to achieve. It’s tough to stand pat.

There’s no denying it — the financial marketplace can be volatile. Still, it’s important to remember two things. First, the longer you stay with a diversified portfolio of investments, the more likely you are to reduce your risk and improve your opportunities for gain. Though past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, the long-term direction of the stock market has historically been up. Take your time horizon into account when establishing your investment game plan. For assets you’ll use soon, you may not have the time to wait out the market and should consider investments designed to protect your principal. Conversely, think long-term for goals that are many years away.

Second, during any given period of market or economic turmoil, some asset categories and some individual investments historically have been less volatile than others. Bond price swings, for example, have generally been less dramatic than stock prices. Though diversification alone cannot guarantee a profit or ensure against the possibility of loss, you can minimize your risk somewhat by diversifying your holdings among various classes of assets, as well as different types of assets within each class.

 

Spread your wealth through asset allocation

Asset allocation is the process by which you spread your dollars over several categories of investments, usually referred to as asset classes. The three most common asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash or cash alternatives such as money market funds. You’ll also see the term “asset classes” used to refer to subcategories, such as aggressive growth stocks, long-term growth stocks, international stocks, government bonds (U.S., state, and local), high-quality corporate bonds, low-quality corporate bonds, and tax-free municipal bonds. A basic asset allocation would likely include at least stocks, bonds (or mutual funds of stocks and bonds), and cash or cash alternatives.

There are two main reasons why asset allocation is important. First, the mix of asset classes you own is a large factor — some say the biggest factor by far — in determining your overall investment portfolio performance. In other words, the basic decision about how to divide your money between stocks, bonds, and cash can be more important than your subsequent choice of specific investments.

Second, by dividing your investment dollars among asset classes that do not respond to the same market forces in the same way at the same time, you can help minimize the effects of market volatility while maximizing your chances of return in the long term. Ideally, if your investments in one class are performing poorly, assets in another class may be doing better. Any gains in the latter can help offset the losses in the former and help minimize their overall impact on your portfolio.

 

Consider your time horizon in your investment choices

In choosing an asset allocation, you’ll need to consider how quickly you might need to convert an investment into cash without loss of principal (your initial investment). Generally speaking, the sooner you’ll need your money, the wiser it is to keep it in investments whose prices remain relatively stable. You want to avoid a situation, for example, where you need to use money quickly that is tied up in an investment whose price is currently down.

Therefore, your investment choices should take into account how soon you’re planning to use your money. If you’ll need the money within the next one to three years, you may want to consider keeping it in a money market fund or other cash alternative whose aim is to protect your initial investment. Your rate of return may be lower than that possible with more volatile investments such as stocks, but you’ll breathe easier knowing that the principal you invested is relatively safe and quickly available, without concern over market conditions on a given day. Conversely, if you have a long time horizon — for example, if you’re investing for a retirement that’s many years away — you may be able to invest a greater percentage of your assets in something that might have more dramatic price changes but that might also have greater potential for long-term growth.

Note: Before investing in a mutual fund, consider its investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses, all of which are outlined in the prospectus, available from the fund. Consider the information carefully before investing. Remember that an investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate or any other government agency. Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund.

 

Dollar cost averaging: investing consistently and often

Dollar cost averaging is a method of accumulating shares of an investment by purchasing a fixed dollar amount at regularly scheduled intervals over an extended time. When the price is high, your fixed-dollar investment buys less; when prices are low, the same dollar investment will buy more shares. A regular, fixed-dollar investment should result in a lower average price per share than you would get buying a fixed number of shares at each investment interval. A workplace savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan that deducts the same amount from each paycheck and invests it through the plan, is one of the most well-known examples of dollar cost averaging in action.

Remember that, just as with any investment strategy, dollar cost averaging can’t guarantee you a profit or protect you against a loss if the market is declining. To maximize the potential effects of dollar cost averaging, you should also assess your ability to keep investing even when the market is down.

An alternative to dollar cost averaging would be trying to “time the market,” to predict how the price of the shares will fluctuate in the months ahead so you can make your full investment at the absolute lowest point. However, market timing is generally unprofitable guesswork. The discipline of regular investing is a much more manageable strategy, and it has the added benefit of automating the process.

 

Buy and hold, don’t buy and forget

Unless you plan to rely on luck, your portfolio’s long-term success will depend on periodically reviewing it. Maybe economic conditions have changed the prospects for a particular investment or an entire asset class. Also, your circumstances change over time, and your asset allocation will need to reflect those changes. For example, as you get closer to retirement, you might decide to increase your allocation to less volatile investments, or those that can provide a steady stream of income.

Another reason for periodic portfolio review: your various investments will likely appreciate at different rates, which will alter your asset allocation without any action on your part. For example, if you initially decided on an 80 percent to 20 percent mix of stock investments to bond investments, you might find that after several years the total value of your portfolio has become divided 88 percent to 12 percent (conversely, if stocks haven’t done well, you might have a 70-30 ratio of stocks to bonds in this hypothetical example). You need to review your portfolio periodically to see if you need to return to your original allocation.

To rebalance your portfolio, you would buy more of the asset class that’s lower than desired, possibly using some of the proceeds of the asset class that is now larger than you intended. Or you could retain your existing allocation but shift future investments into an asset class that you want to build up over time. But if you don’t review your holdings periodically, you won’t know whether a change is needed. Many people choose a specific date each year to do an annual review.

 

Contact us today for an assessment.

 

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc.

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

 

NOT FDIC-INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK. MAY GO DOWN IN VALUE.

 

F&M Bank welcomes Erica Deluhery to Commercial Banking Team

F&M Bank’s leadership team welcomes Erica Deluhery to her new role as Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager. Mrs. Deluhery joins F&M Bank most recently from Frontier Community Bank and brings with her 4 years of community banking experience.

Erica commented, “I’m excited to contribute my experience and expertise to a talented banking team. I look forward to making new connections and growing relationships to provide our clients a ‘best-in-class’ community banking experience.”

In this role, Mrs. Deluhery will build client relationships, supporting small and large Virginia-based businesses. F&M Bank’s Senior Vice President and Valley Market Executive, Katherine Preston, commented, “We are thrilled Erica has joined the F&M Bank family as we continue to grow and achieve our strategic business goals. She brings a wealth of experience to this position and will be integral to our team’s progress moving forward.”

Erica earned a Bachelor of Science in History from Liberty University and is currently entering her final year of Virginia Bankers’ School of Bank Management held in Charlottesville, Virginia. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, and reading a good book. Erica is an active member of the Waynesboro Rotary Club. She will support the bank’s market service area and be based at the Myers Corner bank branch in Staunton, VA.

Contact Erica at the “Get in Touch” form directly below!

Eleven Things to Keep in Mind in a Crazy Market

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It’s useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.

 

  1. Have a game plan

game plan

Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help prevent emotion from dictating your decisions. For example, you might take a core-and-satellite approach, combining the use of buy-and-hold principles for the bulk of your portfolio with tactical investing based on a shorter-term market outlook. You also can use diversification to try to offset the risks of certain holdings with those of others. Diversification may not ensure a profit or protect against a loss, but it can help you understand and balance your risk in advance. And if you’re an active investor, a trading discipline can help you stick to a long-term strategy. For example, you might determine in advance that you will take profits when a security or index rises by a certain percentage, and buy when it has fallen by a set percentage.

 

  1. Know what you own and why you own it

When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether your reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing. Understanding how a specific holding fits in your portfolio also can help you consider whether a lower price might actually represent a buying opportunity.

And if you don’t understand why a security is in your portfolio, find out. That knowledge can be particularly important when the market goes south, especially if you’re considering replacing your current holding with another investment.

 

  1. Remember that everything is relative

Most of the variance in the returns of different portfolios can generally be attributed to their asset allocations. If you’ve got a well-diversified portfolio that includes multiple asset classes, it could be useful to compare its overall performance to relevant benchmarks. If you find that your investments are performing in line with those benchmarks, that realization might help you feel better about your overall strategy.

Even a diversified portfolio is no guarantee that you won’t suffer losses, of course. But diversification means that just because the S&P 500 might have dropped 10% or 20% doesn’t necessarily mean your overall portfolio is down by the same amount.

 

  1. Tell yourself that this too shall pass

The financial markets are historically cyclical. Even if you wish you had sold at what turned out to be a market peak, or regret having sat out a buying opportunity, you may well get another chance at some point. Even if you’re considering changes, a volatile market can be an inopportune time to turn your portfolio inside out. A well-thought-out asset allocation is still the basis of good investment planning.

 

  1. Be willing to learn from your mistakes

Anyone can look good during bull markets; smart investors are produced by the inevitable rough patches. Even the best investors aren’t right all the time. If an earlier choice now seems rash, sometimes the best strategy is to take a tax loss, learn from the experience, and apply the lesson to future decisions. Expert help can prepare you and your portfolio to both weather and take advantage of the market’s ups and downs. There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.

 

  1. Consider playing defense

 

During volatile periods in the stock market, many investors re-examine their allocation to such defensive sectors as consumer staples or utilities (though like all stocks, those sectors involve their own risks and are not necessarily immune from overall market movements). Dividends also can help cushion the impact of price swings.

 

  1. Stay on course by continuing to save

 

Even if the value of your holdings fluctuates, regularly adding to an account designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, your bottom-line number might not be quite so discouraging.

If you’re using dollar-cost averaging — investing a specific amount regularly regardless of fluctuating price levels — you may be getting a bargain by buying when prices are down. However, dollar-cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or protect against a loss. Also consider your ability to continue purchases through market slumps; systematic investing doesn’t work if you stop when prices are down. Finally, remember that the return and principal value of your investments will fluctuate with changes in market conditions, and shares may be worth more or less than their original cost when you sell them.

 

  1. Use cash to help manage your mindset

 

Cash can be the financial equivalent of taking deep breaths to relax. It can enhance your ability to make thoughtful decisions instead of impulsive ones. If you’ve established an appropriate asset allocation, you should have resources on hand to prevent having to sell stocks to meet ordinary expenses or, if you’ve used leverage, a margin call. Having a cash cushion coupled with a disciplined investing strategy can change your perspective on market volatility. Knowing that you’re positioned to take advantage of a downturn by picking up bargains may increase your ability to be patient.

 

  1. Remember your road map

Solid asset allocation is the basis of sound investing. One of the reasons a diversified portfolio is so important is that strong performance of some investments may help offset poor performance by others. Even with an appropriate asset allocation, some parts of a portfolio may struggle at any given time. Timing the market can be challenging under the best of circumstances; wildly volatile markets can magnify the impact of making a wrong decision just as the market is about to move in an unexpected direction, either up or down. Make sure your asset allocation is appropriate before making drastic changes.

 

  1. Look in the rear-view mirror

If you’re investing long term, sometimes it helps to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. If your portfolio is down this year, it can be easy to forget any progress you may already have made over the years. Though past performance is no guarantee of future returns, of course, the stock market’s long-term direction has historically been up. With stocks, it’s important to remember that having an investing strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it. Even if you’re able to avoid losses by being out of the market, will you know when to get back in? If patience has helped you build a nest egg, it just might be useful now, too.

 

  1. Take it easy

 

If you feel you need to make changes in your portfolio, there are ways to do so short of a total makeover. You could test the waters by redirecting a small percentage of one asset class to another. You could put any new money into investments you feel are well-positioned for the future, but leave the rest as is. You could set a stop-loss order to prevent an investment from falling below a certain level, or have an informal threshold below which you will not allow an investment to fall before selling. Even if you need or want to adjust your portfolio during a period of turmoil, those changes can — and probably should — happen in gradual steps. Taking gradual steps is one way to spread your risk over time, as well as over a variety of asset classes.

 

Schedule a free portfolio review with our advisors.

 

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc.

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

 

NOT FDIC-INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK. MAY GO DOWN IN VALUE.

 

Meet Our Advisors: Kate Bray

Kate Bray joined our team in the first quarter of 2021 and quickly became a client favorite. She is currently an Investment Relationship Specialist working closely with Matt Robinson.  Her positive energy and eagerness to assist clients helped her obtain all her securities licensing within one year of joining our team.  We recently sat down with Kate to reflect on her first year with F&M and learn more about what makes her shine.

 

What makes Kate, Kate?  

I grew up here in Harrisonburg and graduated from Turner Ashby (04).  I graduated from George Mason (08) and lived outside of DC for a few years after college working as an executive assistant at a large consulting firm.  At 25 I decided to move back to town to purchase and run Cinnamon Bear Bakery & Deli, a small local restaurant and did that for 6 years.   After that, I worked for two years as a paralegal and have now landed in my true destined field of financial services.   I have a husband, Greg, and an energetic, sweet, and wonderful 6-year-old son, Luke.  In my spare time, I love to go to local restaurants & wineries, watch Bravo, go to OrangeTheory, play roller derby, and take my son around to his miscellaneous activities.  I like food, wine, tv, and laughing, and I find it very difficult to take anything in life too seriously.

Where are you from?

Harrisonburg, VA

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

Positive thinking and adaptability to work with different personalities and understand where people are coming from to accomplish collective goals.

How do you start your day?

Coffee

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?

I am proud of accomplishing all my securities licensing within a year of coming to F&M Financial Services.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I love the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo.

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?

I love to cater parties.

What’s the top destination on your must-visit list?

Fiji

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Telepathy

Share the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you.

  • Don’t apologize when an apology is not needed or apologize for someone else’s mistake. Take accountability to correct any mistakes you’ve made.
  • Manifest Destiny.

What activities do you participate in over the weekend?

  • Roller Derby
  • Exercise / Kickboxing
  • Get together with friends at fun local places

List three items on your bucket list

  • Visit every continent
  • See a bioluminescent bay
  • Attend Food & Wine classic in Aspen

If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would it be?

Divination

 

 

Kate Bray is a Registered Representative, Infinex Investments, Inc.

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

NOT FDIC-INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK. MAY GO DOWN IN VALUE.