Bill Coffee: Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Bill Coffee: Coffee Talk – 2nd Quarter 2019

Bill Coffee, Chief Executive Officer

Our founder, Bill Nefsy, was a rancher in Miles City. In 1953, Bill needed an operating loan for his growing operation and was turned away by the two banks in town with the explanation – “We don’t do Ag loans.” While Bill was visiting about how out of touch these banks were with the community they were supposed to be serving, he learned of the potential opportunity to purchase controlling interest in the Miles City Bank. He seized the opportunity, took a chance and began what would become Stockman Bank.

From the start, he created a true community bank, carefully built to serve the needs of hard-working Montanans of every walk of life. Bill never viewed himself as a banker, but as an entrepreneur and consumer of financial services.

What is an entrepreneur?

The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. That describes Bill Nefsy very well, along with thousands of Montana entrepreneurs who operate their own businesses today.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Montana is home to over 120,000 small businesses that employ more than 65% of our private workforce! It’s clear that entrepreneurship and small business is truly the backbone of our state.

At Stockman, we too are Montana owned and operated. Additionally, unlike many of our competitors, Stockman is solely focused on Montana and only Montana. That gives us a unique expertise in providing financial services to local businesses. After all, we know first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing business owners in Montana.

Coffee Talk: Bicycle Shop Small Business

No matter what type of business, large or small, our business banking specialists can help identify the best financial solutions for the full lifecycle of a business. From business deposit accounts and financing for start-ups, expansion, acquisition, and consolidation, to solutions that help better manage cash flow and operate more conveniently and efficiently, we have Montana business covered. Our business online and mobile services provide access when needed, 24/7, to monitor, manage and move money using ACH, wire and bill pay services.

Coffee Talk: Cows and Kids

Whether you are running a service business, creating a Montana-made product, managing an Ag operation, flipping houses or working on a new side hustle, thank you for all you do helping our economy and communities grow and prosper. Stockman Bank was born from the same entrepreneurial spirit. As a Montana bank focused only on Montana, we are a committed partner in helping our state’s entrepreneurs reach the highest levels of success.

Coffee Talk: Farmer and pivot

Check out our blog next week to meet a young entrepreneur from Missoula. She is an inspiration and we are proud to be a part of her story.

Coffee Talk: Adel

Have a great summer!


Happy young homeowner holding keys

Celebrating National Homeownership Month

Marni Pauley Tristin Meidinger

Written by Marni Pauley (left) and Tristin Meidinger (right), Real Estate Loan Officers from Miles City

June is National Homeownership month. Here at Stockman we celebrate the benefits that owning a home have for individuals, neighborhoods and communities across Montana. First time home buyers have a number of opportunities with assistance and educational programs made available through local, state, and federal programs. Saving to buy your first home may come with hurdles that seem difficult to overcome. Without the help of experts, it can be a bit daunting to get started. Working with our team of Real Estate Loan Officers, new home buyers will have the peace of mind that they are in very capable hands throughout the buying process.

In 1997, Montana became the first state to pass a bill creating a first-time homebuyer savings account program. Since that time, there have been numerous programs developed to help the newest generation of homebuyers pursue the American Dream of homeownership!

Homeownership: Couple working with real estate agent

We’d like to share a little bit of information about some of these programs aimed at helping you become a homeowner:

First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account

A person can establish a first-time home buyer savings account to assist with the cost of purchasing their first single-family home in Montana. Up to $3,000 of contributions per individual (Up to $6,000 for those married, filing jointly) may be excluded for tax purposes each year, up to 10 years. The interest and other income earned on the account are not taxable if the funds are used to pay eligible expenses.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Down payment
  • Closing costs
  • Points
  • Realtor’s fees
  • Appraisal costs
  • Home inspections
  • Loan origination fees

The important thing to note about these accounts is that the funds must be used to pay for eligible expenses within 10 years of opening the account.

Matched Savings Account Programs (IDA)

A matched savings account program, also referred to as Individual Development Account, is an asset building tool designed to enable individuals to save money for things such as buying a home, paying for post-secondary education or training, and starting or expanding a small business.

In Montana, we are very fortunate to have access to matched savings accounts through programs such as Savings for Tomorrow (available to residents within select counties) and Home$tart. If you are interested in learning more, visit with one of our Stockman Bank lenders about what types of programs are available in your area.

NeighborWorks Montana

The mission of NeighborWorks Montana is to create opportunities for individuals to live in affordable homes in strong communities. NeighborWorks Montana offers several programs to assist qualified borrowers with the down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a single family home. Contact one of our Stockman Bank lenders to find out more about qualifying for one of these programs.

Montana Housing

Montana Housing is passionate about collaborating with their partners to make sure Montana’s families and communities have attainable, affordable, accessible and sustainable homes. They offer several programs to homebuyers that include affordable loan programs, down payment assistance programs, and homebuyer education counseling.

Homeownership: Happy young homeowner holding keys

In addition to the programs listed above, it’s important to mention that there are also several loan programs available to homebuyers that offer low down payment options. We recommend visiting with a Stockman Bank lender about the various loan programs available in your area. Homeownership continues to be a cornerstone of wealth for many to invest in their future and achieve the American Dream.

Bank Disclosures

Many Hats: Kerry Neils

The Many Hats of Kerry Neils

The Many Hats of Stockman

Kerry Neils

Kerry Neils, VP Senior Portfolio Manager Stockman Wealth Management

Meet Kerry Neils. You may know Kerry from our annual Stockman Calendar. His stunning Montana photos always appear at least a few times within its pages! It may surprise you to know that Kerry is actually a Vice President, Portfolio Manager for our Wealth Management team in Helena. In conversation with Kerry we learned that whether he is analyzing market prices or showing us Montana through his camera lens, his creativity knows no limits.

Q: How long have you been taking pictures?

I have been taking pictures since I was in middle school. My love for bird hunting and being outdoors coupled well with wildlife photography. By 20, I was busy with work and other aspects of my life so I stopped taking photos. 35 years later my wife, Laurie, bought me a digital camera and I fell in love with photography all over again!

Q: How long have you been a Wealth advisor?

It doesn’t seem possible, but I have been working professionally in the investment world for 32 years! I don’t know where the time went.

Q: What you do professionally is a very left-brained career but taking photos is very right-brained.  Is there any overlap between these two passions?

Kerry NeilsI guess the common denominator is that I started both photography and investment analysis, in an amateurish way, when I was still a child.  My dad had subscribed to Barron’s Magazine for many years and he kept all the old issues.  Barron’s published tables of each week’s high, low, close and volume for most US stocks.  With graph paper, pencil and ruler I would plot the high, low, close and volume for every week over the past four or five year’s worth of data. I kept all the charts up to date with each new week’s data as it became available.

In addition, I believe that a bit of deliberate analysis of a scene or a landscape, or of the ambient light, makes a better photograph than just “winging it”.  So both investment management and photography involve art as well as science.

Q: What is your most memorable photo excursion and why?

That’s a tough one! There have been many great trips to Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountain Front, Jewel Basin, Flathead Valley, the Cabinet Mountains, and so many others. It’s a long list with great memories.

Kerry Neils - Various Photos

Lost Lake

I’d rather talk about an exceptional, little-known area of Montana that I have visited many times. Grab a map and draw a triangle from Great Falls to Fort Benton to Lewistown and back to Great Falls. Contained within that triangle are a multitude of geological features on the landscape that are entirely unique.  Lost Lake, for instance, is a basin carved into the earth when an ice dam broke. Today, it has left a remnant horseshoe shaped “dry falls” of Shonkinite rock that stands higher and broader than Niagara Falls.

Kerry Neils - Lost Lake

Square Butte

Another place that comes to mind is Square Butte, which is north of Stanford. It is made from hard, igneous rock that formed when magma forced its way upward through the existing bedrock. The dark Shonkinite on its flanks makes it look like something out of a Tolkien novel.

Kerry Neils - Square Butte

Arrow Creek Breaks

One of my favorite places is the Arrow Creek Breaks. Arrow Creek currently flows in an old river channel 500 feet deep in some places, and is as much as two miles wide from rim to rim. Today, just a very small stream, it meanders along the bottom of this old ice-age river channel. You can also find huge, perfectly round spheres of hard, dark sandstone coming to light as the softer, lighter colored sandstone erodes away. They are called “concretions” and can be found all over the world ranging from pea to grape size. In Arrow Creek, however, the sandstones tend to be around eight feet in diameter! Ancient fossils of trilobite and ammonites have also been found in the sandstones of central Montana.

Kerry Neils - Arrow Creek

There you have it. Kerry Neils, portfolio manager on weekdays and photographer over the weekend. He truly wears many hats! Be sure to stop by any of our branches at the end of the year to pick up our 2020 calendar. I’m sure you will see a photo or two taken by Kerry.

Wealth Management Disclosures