Facts, Assumptions, and Fear: The Coronavirus Virus and Risk

A Message from Managing Partner Daxs Stadjuhar

As we wrapped up our I-Forums this week, the conversation turned more and more to COVID-19. 

When I was a strategic planner in the Army, we used to have a saying, “Facts are facts, and assumptions are facts for planning purposes.”  I am not going to propose how COVID-19 is going to play out; however, if you and your clients are going to assume a certain scenario (good or bad), then you will need to use those assumptions as facts for planning what you do with your investments.  I only make these comments because they may help you articulate to your clients how you are going to be making decisions in this volatile market.

I assume you are getting the same emails as I am from every money manager on the planet with their historical perspective on SARS and MERS.  While these comments can be helpful, I do suggest a slightly different strategy at this point which I will outline below.

  1. Please consider calling all of your clients and engaging them to get their feeling on the risk in their portfolio.  It never hurts to provide historical context and if needed, change their investment allocation due to their appetite for risk.   Please call all of your COI’s and offer your help to their clients as well.  I have a feeling we will all be working weekends the next couple months.  Remember that your CPA friends are working weekends this time of year, drop by (bring donuts) and ask them which clients you can help.  You will help them make their meetings shorter and they have too many tax returns to prepare to talk about stock portfolios with their clients. 
  2. Start switching your conversation to tactics on how clients can take appropriate action to protect themselves and their family.  I hope COVID-19 doesn’t spread like everyone else, but the fact is we as a population are going to have a part in this and there are some common sense things we can do. Below are three great resources to help people approach this logically and appropriately. 

I know these are difficult times to lead your clients.  If you need anything, reach out to us.  Our leadership team at the Network will be assessing how this is going to impact our business as well and how we deal with the impact to our team and their families.  

Take care and stay safe.