I was sitting in a meeting with Sandy Cleasby last week (a lot of you know Sandy since she’s been here for over 25 years). We were talking about the process of sharing information with a new client who we’ve yet to meet with in person and how to provide helpful instructions by utilizing videos and checklists. Sandy turned to me and said, “Can you imagine us even worrying about this six months ago? We have to stay focused on the positives, now more than ever.”
This reminded me of two key elements as advisors in our profession:
- Stay positive precisely when everyone else is at their most negative.
- Always keep learning.
I had clients asking me and encouraging me to take more risk in their portfolios just six months ago. My job at that time was to reply with a reasonable voice of caution and stick to the plan. Three months later when the world was seemingly coming to a halt, my job was to stay positive and stick to the plan. It makes the advisor’s job sound boring, but being the contrarian isn’t always easy. Sometimes advisors want to panic just like any investor. Staying positive when times get tough can be a challenge. However, I find that it is so much easier to do when you surround yourself with positive people. It is just one of the many things that is so great about working with Sandy.
I do think that this crisis is making us better as advisors and as a company. Every bear market is unique, but this one has been truly unusual.
- We are learning how quickly markets can change when a non-financial event occurs.
- We are learning about risk and our clients’ risk tolerance in the face of new risks and a new “not so normal.”
- We are examining new strategies and testing old ones.
- We are looking at new ways to protect retirement income streams in a world of extremely low interest rates.
We are also improving in ways that have nothing to do with financial markets.
- We are examining our technology in a new way and learning how to work together when we are not sitting in the same room.
- We are learning what works and what doesn’t work in a virtual environment.
- We are looking at our technology through new eyes and looking at our employees in new ways.
I believe we are working smarter than ever.
Bottom Line: I want to thank Sandy not just for all that she does, but for reminding me to stay positive and encouraging me to see our improvements during these difficult times.Carroll Financial, In the News