Updates Live This Weekend for Online Banking with BlueIQ™

Friday, February 24 at 01:00 PM
Category: Arvest News
Based on your valuable feedback, we’re releasing the following updates this weekend to Online Banking with BlueIQ™. 

- Dashboard
  • Ability to choose which account(s) and transactions show on the Dashboard; you’ll be able to go to Settings and then Accounts and select the “remove from dashboard” button 
  • Online accounts requiring updates will be indicated on the Dashboard; you’ll be able to see details and make updates to your account on the Accounts/e.Statements tab
- Alerts
  • All alerts will be displayed under Settings and then Alerts 
  • Ability to edit, and in some cases disable, automatically generated alerts; you’ll be able to go to Setting and then Alerts to create, change or disable alerts
- Online Accounts – Ability to add multiple login IDs from the same financial institution to see balances and transactions under a single ID 
- Print optimization – Selecting the “print” button for a transaction for payment will always open a new window for easy printing or saving 
- Spinner icon to indicate account or payment information is updating 
- Online Banking with BlueIQ™ will be fully optimized for mobile phone screens

If you have questions or feedback about these updates or any other features of Online Banking with BlueIQ™, please call customer service at (844) 225-8347 or visit your local branch.

We’re continually looking for ways to enhance your online banking experience. We expect to roll out additional updates later in 2017. We’ll let you know on social media and/or within Online Banking with BlueIQ™ when additional updates are live. Thanks for your valuable feedback, so we can optimize your online banking experience. 
Tags: Online Banking with BlueIQ™

Investors Fare Differently in Wake of Interest Rate Hike

Thursday, February 23 at 09:30 AM
Category: Personal Finance

What does the interest rate hike mean for consumers?

Consumers have enjoyed years of record-low interest rates that provided borrowers with low repayment options on everything from cars to homes, but the Federal Reserve’s rate hike in December caused some investors to wonder how the rate increase will affect their financial portfolios.

Additionally, the central bank has indicated more rate hikes could be coming as soon as this year. If these hikes happen, rates would begin to move out of the historically low range they have been in for the past decade.

What does this mean for consumers? How will higher interest rates impact investors and consumers who have become accustomed to a low rate environment?

Consumers who have savings accounts, or who invest in certificates of deposit or money market accounts, will earn more on their cash savings. For people dependent upon investment income from these low-risk options, even a modest increase in the rate of return can make an impact.

“Many older Americans, in particular, draw income from Social Security and from the interest they earn on their retirement savings,” said Clay Nickel, director of investment strategy for Arvest Wealth Management. “As long as inflation stays in check, the possibility of a higher rate environment may be welcome news to these people.

“However, rates are likely to increase more slowly than past interest rate hiking cycles by the Federal Reserve. This means it may still be difficult to achieve longer-term financial goals through bank deposits, many of which still yield less than the inflation rate. Savers may need to look to investing in financial markets to meet longer-run objectives.”

Investors who will likely see the biggest negative effect on their money are those who have longer-dated bond holdings such as 30-year and fixed-rate bonds. Ironically, as rates go higher, the value of existing contracts decreases. While investors may not lose money per se, they will see a decline in the value of their bonds compared to what they could have earned prior to rate adjustments.

“Every portfolio is different and there are several factors to consider,” said Scott Phillips, chief investment officer for Arvest Bank. “In a rising interest rate environment, you want the maturity date of the bond to be short. The longer the maturity term, the more its value will fall.”

Phillips said selling longer-term bonds and reinvesting in shorter-term bonds puts investors in more of an offensive position and can help minimize loss for investors who may be considering selling their bonds. Investors who purchase a bond and hold it until maturity may be able to avoid any depreciation in the bond’s value, depending on where interest rates stand when the bond matures.  

Stocks, meanwhile, traditionally gain value during times of rising interest rates.

“Initially, people are fearful that rising interest rates will result in slower economic activity and that it’s not a good idea to invest in the stock market,” said Christopher Magee, senior trust investment officer for Arvest Bank. “Historically, stocks have reacted quite well after a jump in interest rates, but it’s still important for investors to be selective when purchasing stocks, as some sectors will perform better than others.

“Ultimately, every investor is unique with their own goals, timeframes, portfolio mix and risk profile. The important thing for them to know is that after 10 years in an historically low interest rate environment, the Federal Reserve has announced its belief that we will likely see rates slowly moving upward in the next year, so investors need to get with a trusted financial advisor, review their current plan and see what, if any, adjustments they need to make.” 

Tags: Financial Education, Investing, Press Release, Savings

Join Our Grand Opening Event in Springdale, Ark.

Thursday, February 23 at 07:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
Our customers are the heart of our business, so let us show you some love at our brand new branch on Friday, Feb. 24. We’ll celebrate the grand opening of our new Elm Springs location in Springdale, Ark., with a chocolate-themed party.

The event is Feb. 24, 2 - 4 p.m., with the official ribbon cutting ceremony to happen at 2 p.m. in the front of the new building at 4860 Elm Springs Road. Arvest has partnered with Kyya Chocolate* to create a collaboration bar for this special occasion. The first 250 guests can receive a Kyya chocolate bar. A golden ticket will be placed inside three of the chocolate bars and the winning ticket can be redeemed for one of three $100 Arvest Visa Gift Cards. Chocolate samples and other light appetizers will also be available.  
A key component to making our grand opening even sweeter is having one of our local businesses partner with us for this sweet occasion. Rick Boosey, owner of Kyya Chocolate, will be on site during the grand opening to share chocolate samples and answer any questions about his local business. Kyya Chocolate was conceived while serving at an orphanage in 2012. Kyya’s vision is to directly partner with the cacao farmers, provide the farmer with a better wage and re-invest in their respective communities. It’s about building relationships, and the opportunity to practically love on people through chocolate. Kyya searches for unique cacao that will delight the palette. They love the diversity of flavor in chocolate that most have not experienced. 
The new branch features about 5,400 square feet of public space that offers four full-service teller lanes in the lobby and all Arvest Bank services, including consumer lending, deposit services, commercial and small business lending, mortgage loans, mortgage servicing, Arvest Wealth Management and Private Banking services. The branch also includes four drive-thru lanes and a drive-up ATM to provide services to customers who do not want to leave their vehicles. 
The new branch’s lobby is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The drive-thru is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. 

The “Golden Ticket” chocolate giveaway begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2017 or while supplies last. The Kyya chocolate bars will be given out at 4860 Elm Springs Road, Springdale, Ark., on Feb. 24, 2017 only. Three golden tickets redeemable for a $100 Arvest Visa Gift Card will be placed inside the packaging of 250 Kyya chocolate bars. Anyone 18 and older is eligible to redeem the golden ticket. No purchase necessary. Arvest associates and immediate family are not eligible. Contest is open to the public. 

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Springdale

The Rough Road Ahead

Wednesday, February 22 at 06:45 AM
Category: Business Banking
It wasn’t all that long ago that agriculture was one of the bright spots in the overall U.S. economy. But, with the decline in crop and livestock markets, many producers are searching for ways to cut costs and market their commodities in such a way as to make a profit.  
If the ag economy were compared to a road, we had been traveling on a smooth, straight blacktop highway that was headed slightly downhill and in perfect driving weather. But, now the road is going uphill, with lots of curves and potholes. And, yes, the weather has turned bad, too. While we can wish the circumstances were different, the reality tells us we have a rough road ahead of us.
From a practical standpoint, two keys to successfully navigating a rough road is making sure your truck can handle the load you’re carrying, and that you don’t run out of fuel. First, the truck you’re driving is the equity you have in your farm. This needs to be figured using a realistic balance sheet that compares your assets at current market values with your existing debts.  
The load you’re hauling on your truck are pallets of seed which represent the debt you have with your bank, JD credit, payables due to your suppliers, etc. Depending on the size of the truck, you can haul either a little bit or a lot. Just as a one-ton truck can safely haul more seed than a half-ton truck, so a producer with more equity can handle more debt than one with a lower amount. 
If you’re hauling a small load, then you can accelerate or stop quickly, or swerve to avoid an obstacle without risk of wrecking or damaging the truck. But, in an effort to make a trip count, it is tempting to try to load the truck with more than what it’s designed to handle. The consequences of overloading the truck aren’t as noticeable when the road is good. But, when the road is rough and full of potholes, or uphill and in bad weather, the risk of danger increases significantly for a truck that’s not loaded properly.
In this analogy, your banker is the mechanic who is evaluating your truck’s ability to handle the load. You may be looking to put another pallet of seed on by upgrading your combine, buying a new tractor, purchasing a new farm, etc. But, given the current ag economy, the driving conditions are much more risky, making it vital to make sure the truck is not overloaded.

If your equity represents a farm truck, your working capital is like fuel in the truck. When you’re heading downhill on a straight, smooth road with a tailwind, fuel is less of a concern – even when the truck is loaded to the max. But, when you’re heading uphill and you can’t see around the corner to know if you’re at the crest yet, then you need to watch your fuel closely. You certainly don’t want to run out of gas when you’re transporting a heavy load up a challenging road.  

So, during these times it’s important to preserve working capital, especially in the form of cash. Don’t rush to pay cash for equipment and other things that you could finance. And, if you can’t justify another loan because of the payment, then consider waiting to make the purchase until it does make sense. Also, you could be forced to sell crops or livestock in low markets if you run low on cash, rather than having the flexibility to sell in better markets. So, maintaining a healthy working capital position is key to making it to the top of the mountain, where the road will hopefully get a little easier to travel.

As a final note, all of us in the ag industry will be facing similar driving conditions. Even if you have a properly loaded truck that’s got plenty of fuel, you will still need to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes wide open. We may have a rough road ahead, but it’s one that we’ll have to handle one curve and one pothole at a time.

Joel Maneval is the Agricultural/Commercial Lender at Arvest Bank in Joplin, Mo. He and his wife, Tami, have a small farm with their two sons near Jasper, Mo., where they have beef cows and Boer goats. Joel can be reached at jmaneval@arvest.com

Tags: Agricultural Business, Arvest Biz, Business Banking

Investing in Women Event April 13 in Lawton, Okla.

Tuesday, February 21 at 06:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
Arvest Bank is excited to announce its second meeting of the continually growing Investing in Women lecture series luncheons in 2017! The next meeting is Thursday, April 13 in the auditorium of building 100 on the Great Plains Technology Center campus in Lawton, Okla.!

The keynote speaker will be Carole Maxfield, a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist at Christian Family Counseling Center in Lawton. She’ll be discussing “What Are You Made Of? Leading From My Strengths” noon - 1 p.m. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

A $5 donation to support Christian Family Counseling Center is greatly appreciated but not necessary.

Register online* or contact Michelle Douglas at mdouglas@greatplains.edu or (580) 250-5551. 

For more information, contact Angela Spradlin at aspradlin@arvest.com or (580) 250-4540.

Be sure to watch for more information about the rest of our meetings in 2017!
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.   

Tags: Community Support, Lawton, Oklahoma

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