How Did Financial Professionals Navigate the Pandemic?

August 25, 2020

The effect of the coronavirus has been widely felt and will continue to make an impact on the future of the world for years to come. Financial professionals (private equity professionals, investment bankers, and asset managers) felt the impact both personally and professionally throughout the first half of 2020. Many financial professionals were adjusting to a work from home environment and seeing the devastating impacts of the shutdown potentially impact their professional career.

The 3 C’s

At BDF, we strive to provide our clients with clarity, confidence, and control (3 C’s) to help our clients enjoy a full life. During the period of February – June of 2020, these “3 C’s” were of the utmost importance for our financial professional clients. We certainly have a long path ahead of us as we battle a global pandemic, but below are some early observations of how the 3 C’s allowed financial professional clients to focus on the most important aspects of their life.

Clarity – When facing a global pandemic that the world has not seen for a century, clarity is elusive. Our financial professional clients were searching for this as many started to worry about job security as the impact started to ripple their way through financial markets and the M&A world ground to a halt. Bringing our clients back to our foundational plan allowed for clarity in a murky world. The plan was vital to construct in good times and critical to reference during uncertain times. Understanding the impacts of a good, medium, and bad outcome created a sense of calm in a rocky world.

Confidence – The plan that was built to provide clarity was a great way to show that a successful outcome was on the other side of uncertain times. Understanding that future goals could be achieved was vital in instilling confidence. Regardless of our clients’ stage of life, we were able to help create the scenario that would allow them to have confidence that their financial future was intact, and the plan would remain the foundation going forward.

Control – It is normal to want to seize control when facing adversity. During the height of the market downturn, many financial professionals wanted to take control. This often bubbled to the surface through trying to time the market. Timing the market is quite difficult, if not impossible, but certainly even harder during a volatile and changing world. The best outcomes occurred when clients stuck to the investment strategy that was agreed to and stayed the course to try to avoid reacting emotionally.

The hardest work of being a long-term investor is when the market and world throws uncertainty – the fastest drop in market history is one of those times. Couple that alongside working from home and potentially worrying about your future career and it was an unnerving situation. We learned alongside our financial professional clients that using the tools and discipline to maintain clarity, confidence, and control can be the vaccine to making the wrong decisions at the wrong time.

Matt Kocanda is a Wealth Manager at BDF and a member of the Investment Committee. The investment committee develops BDF’s overall investment strategy. Matt focuses on advising Financial Service Professionals through their complex needs – including cash flow, tax, or estate planning. Matt received an undergraduate degree in Finance from Indiana University.