2018 Annual Report
President & CEO's Message
"In 2018, the prevailing economic indicators were in flux. All critical measurements suggested that inflation, employment, housing, spending and consumer confidence levels presented a mixed message with regard to real growth. Unemployment was low at 3.9 percent and real wages increased nearly 3 percent. Offsetting that was a like increase of nearly 3 percent in the cost of goods and services (CPI). Consumer spending, which makes up roughly 65 percent of the US economy, was sharply up, while household savings were sharply down. Headwinds appeared in the form of tight inventory, higher interest rates and higher home prices, which led to a gradual cooling of the housing market. And while homeowners enjoyed watching their equity increase, others saw their homeownership dream hit the doldrums. So how does Meriwest navigate through unpredictable conditions like these to create a safe harbor for your finances today and in future? Like we always have, with a steady hand on the wheel and a clear view of the horizon.
The dream of home ownership is becoming increasingly challenging here in Silicon Valley. To help counter the challenges for prospective first-time buyers, Meriwest partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco to provide grants in our community that enable families to enter the housing market. We have also sponsored grants to Habitat for Humanity for over 15 years to build affordable housing. This past year, the grant we sponsored helped eleven first-time home-buyers realize their dreams of home ownership in the Fremont market.
Personal savings, and its steady growth, is an important pillar of financial health, both for now and in the future. To encourage savings, Meriwest created a number of attractive products that provided a guaranteed return at extremely competitive rates as the markets waned. Now, as you look out onto your investment horizon, our financial professionals at Meriwest Wealth Advisors are ready to provide expert guidance through personalized financial planning to ensure smooth sailing toward your desired destination.
Whatever your goal, we hope you consider Meriwest first to chart the course for a successful journey. Whether you’re purchasing a car, transacting on a large commercial real estate property, setting your sights on homeownership or just plain looking forward to doing nothing, we can help get you there
Julie Kirsch, President/CEO
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