We all know the Pandemic is temporary, but we don’t know how long temporary might be. We also know there will be economic repercussions that could range from mild to severe. Again, we don’t know how long or how deep.
On a more positive note, there may be some existing medications that could be used to slow the growth of the virus or actually stop the virus in its tracks. These meds could be the temporary fix America needs until there is an approved vaccine that will protect us from the virus.
Until we have more facts-based solutions, the markets will continue to be a roller-coaster reflecting the news of the day. One can only hope Americans will pull together to defeat the virus and politicians do not attempt to politicize the virus for personal gain. I believe the public will have a very long memory in regard to politicians, companies, and countries that try to benefit from the virus.
Financial health is second to physical health when hundreds of millions of Americans evaluate their current financial well-being. They have experienced an unprecedented decline in the value of their 401ks, IRAs, and personal accounts. They are afraid of the unknown. This is particularly true for people who planned to retire in 2020.
There is a bottom-line. We know it started in China. We know it is a global problem. We know how it spreads. We may even know how to kill it after proper testing. What we don’t know is how long it will take, how many people will be infected, the evolving mortality rates, and the economic consequences. A lot of unknowns produce the uncertainty that drives recent stock market volatility.
People see doctors when they have physical concerns. They see financial advisors when they have financial concerns. Advisors are in a unique position to help their clients cope with the current market volatility.
The best advisors in America have consistent game plans that they use to help their clients make the right decisions for the right reasons. They are already working on game plans for clients once the main impact of the virus is behind us. And, the most aggressive advisors plan to win new clients that may not have been available to them just a few short weeks ago.
Know Your Client
No one knows the financial needs of people like the financial advisors who serve them. The advisors’ number one priority is the achievement of their clients’ goals. They also know their clients’ concerns and tolerances for risk.
This is extraordinarily valuable knowledge because advisors are in the unique position of being able to mentor their clients through the tough times. The mentoring may vary based on the needs of individual clients.
Whereas many investors make financial decisions based on emotion, financial advisors help them adhere to a rational decision-making process that is based on discipline and objectivity.
Left alone, many investors buy when they are comfortable because the securities markets are producing positive returns. The same investor will sell when they are uncomfortable and the markets are producing negative returns.
Rational disciplined investors do just the opposite.
The best financial advisors are ramping up their communications to stay in touch with their clients. Daily emails are not too often. Sure, advisory clients are being inundated with information – some of it real and some fake.
However, they still need information from their financial advisors. That’s because their advisors know their financial needs better than anyone else. And the knowledge covers their clients’ goals, concerns, requirements, and tolerance for risk.
One of an investors biggest fears is not being able to reach their financial advisors during periods of extreme market volatility.
They want to reach-out and talk to the professionals who influence or control their financial decisions. They are like the proverbial deer in the headlights when they can’t reach their advisors. All of their fears are magnified when they can’t reach the professionals who help them make investment decisions.
The best financial advisors provide easy access during normal business hours and beyond. In fact, some advisors publish their cell phone numbers so clients can reach them evenings and weekends.
It stands to reason, that millions of Americans are at home on their computers seeking information and service providers. Sure, they want to monitor the virus in their communities and what the government is doing to protect them. Assuming they are healthy, and most are, their greatest concerns might be financial.
We hope very soon there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, and it won’t be an oncoming train. They will be thinking about their relationships with their current advisors. Did they measure up during the crisis? Should they continue to manage their own money? Should they change advisors?
They will find information and advisors on the Internet.