Viral Miscues

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Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Intellectually, I’m confident the virus will be contained, the economic stimulus (when it’s passed) will reinvigorate the economy and this crisis will pass. The market will eventually recover.

Emotionally, I’m terrified.

I’m worried about the sinking value of our collective portfolios, but my real concerns are more primal: Will I or anyone in my family catch the virus? If we do, will we need to be hospitalized? If so, will there be a hospital bed available for us? Or a respirator if we need one? Or adequate staffing of health care workers to look after us?

And what about our friends and loved ones? Their health is at risk. Will they continue to be employed? Will their money run out? What if it does?

The list goes on.

I’m the same as you and your clients. But are your communications with your clients helping?

Here’s why I’m worried.

How you communicate

Most communications I see are via e-mail. Why is that the default?

Written communications, of necessity, take a “one size fits all” approach. Your clients have diverse issues. They are different ages with different portfolios. Some are pre-retirement. Others are retired.

Some understand their portfolio was constructed to weather a down market. Others aren’t aware their bonds will provide liquidity until their stocks (hopefully) recover.