By Susan Brandeis
The moment I realized things were about to change was on March 12, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 transitioned from an epidemic to a pandemic.
And have things changed. Our entire way of life and how we operate on a daily basis has been turned upside down and inside out. For many people, they have been able to adapt to the new reality, but for many more, the sudden, drastic change to how we function is causing stress.
I am not an advisor, but I support the work of 20 financial advisors. Some have been in the business for 30 years and some less than a year. Ever since I started my career in financial services, right before the “great recession,” I noticed four common traits among the advisors who have been around the longest. All of them remain calm under pressure, are compassionate, stay the course, and know the importance of self-care.
It’s easy to get caught up in the headlines, but it is essential to pay attention to the facts. Keep your cool and stay calm in front of clients. Be proactive by reaching out to clients before they call you in a panic.
Put Yourself In Your Client’s Shoes
Now is the time to show your clients that you are more than just a numbers person. You are human and are also feeling the impacts of social distancing and market turmoil. Check-in with clients and let them know they are not alone in this.
Reach out and ask them questions; how are you doing? How is your family? What concerns do you have? Listen and be compassionate, knowing this impacts every aspect of their life, from job to family to health.
Don’t Change The Game Plan
Remind clients this is part of the plan; the markets go up, and the markets go down. You are in the drivers’ seat to stay on track, reassure them this is part of the route. When the market drops, expect to get calls from clients requesting changes to their portfolio.
Understand it is human nature to feel anxious when the market fluctuates. This is a great opportunity to work with clients to identify and implement financial planning opportunities.
Take Care Of Yourself
When flying, you’re told that in an emergency, you should put on your oxygen mask before helping others. Because if you pass out putting someone else’s mask on, you are not able to help yourself or anyone else.
During uncertain times we often forget this, it’s easy to pay attention to everyone but yourself. It is important to take care of yourself, physically and mentally. Make self-care a priority by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and connecting with loved ones.
Now more than ever, the future is uncertain for us all. As financial advisors, we must be there for our clients and help protect their assets and future. Things will undoubtedly continue to change in the coming months, remember to stay calm, be compassionate, and stay on the course.
About the author:
Susan Brandeis, CFP ® is Chief Financial Planning Officer at Pure Financial Advisors, a fee-only RIA, in San Diego. Susan graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Services. Susan serves as the President of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) NexGen of San Diego and as the Organization Director on the FPA NexGen National Executive Committee. Susan is passionate about ensuring the next generation of financial planners have the resources they need to excel in this career and continue to develop their skills.
FPA NexGen, a community of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), aims to provide support and collaboration for those professionals new to the financial planning profession. With more than 2,500 like-minded young professionals, members of FPA NexGen are ready to share their experiences and further the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about our engaged community and join the conversation on Twitter.
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