The last month has been close to the wildest ride of my professional life.
I have to rank it right up there with my experience of working with my clients and the world in the days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I don’t say that lightly. It dawned on me one morning as I spoke with a client about her accounts, mostly listening to her talk about her fears — not about her assets, but about what was happening with COVID19, what might happen with the family and work, potential illness and friends, and how would their lives be affected. Her call to us was prompted by their trauma response to what was happening around her and to her. Much like folks’ reactions to their experiences after 9/11.
Now, it is not that our clients are not worried about their money and investments, because they are.
We are probably in a recession, and we cannot tell you how long it will last or how quickly we will recover. Nor are we medical experts that can tell you how long the virus will stick around. But we can walk you through the fundamentals of your personal investments. We can be here for you, when you need us to do just that. We can discuss your short and long term needs and review your asset allocation to make sure that it is still right for your needs. And we can talk you down, if you are in a panic. Because that will happen some days.
Each day right now brings something new and different in this strange world. Johann and I are working from home but have full capacity to do our jobs. That has always been in our emergency planning guide. My five furry coworkers keep me company every day and make sure I am grounded. It’s a little difficult to remember to get up once in a while for a reality check: there is more than a computer and keyboard in my life! I find that it helps if I make sure to get out of my pj’s by 8:30 AM, to have some normalcy to my personal world.
What are you doing to take care of yourselves? To take care of others? Now is the time that we look out for our neighbors even more than we did before! If I know one thing, it’s that our clients care: I think they care a lot more than the average, and have been looking out for each other long before it was fashionable.
I would like to pass along a message that a client sent me, written by a friend of hers. I found it to be a message of hope and she has allowed us to share it with you.
From Mary Costello, PhD., “What matters now is being courageous and breathing deeply. What matters now is touching others and sharing love even if virtually. What matters now is staying sane and washing hands. What matters now is looking East to new beginnings, living in 2020 clarity, and searching for hope. What matters now is distancing from chaos, being vulnerable, and dancing with the wind. What matters now to all who read this is remembering that we are all on this side. It’s only kindness that makes sense anymore.”
I hope you have found something helpful in this not so much investment advice message today. I wanted to just touch base with you and let you know that I hear you and understand the trauma you might be feeling right now. But this too shall pass. And until it does, we are here, and we will be here — to listen, to react if necessary, and always to do our very important job.
May you and your family and friends be safe and well.