There is an ancient Chinese curse you may well of heard, ‘may you live in interesting times’.
I’ll wager that not a single one of us has lived through more interesting times as these.
Not since 1918-20 and the ill-named Spanish Flu pandemic have we had a global health crisis to rival this one and not since the Great Depression in the 1930’s have we seen a shut down of major industries on this scale.
The impact on the world at large and the global economy will be seismic in scale and I am sure we will still feel the effects many years into the future.
In our own small world of financial planning and advice most of us have had to quickly adopt new ways of working.
In general we are lucky; fintech advances over the last few years had already enabled a more joined up world with far more being done online than even just a couple of years ago.
Once processes and systems are online it really matters not where your office is, as long as you have a good and secure internet connection that is.
We should count ourselves lucky.
We can largely carry on our businesses and keep working and serving our clients and earning when many cannot.
Meetings can still be carried out on Zoom, documents delivered by secure client portals and applications done online with providers - well, some providers at least.
Some providers and advice firms have been caught with their trousers down, many that failed to adapt and adopt new technologies and online functionality are struggling.
Their ‘old school’ paper-based processes are now coming back to haunt them and they are racing to find way around it when in truth they should have changed long ago.
It is not just the old life offices either; some of the platforms are a long way behind the curve as well.
We should all focus on what we can learn from this crisis
I think our world, as well as the wider world, will be very different after this is over.
We can be better, stronger and more efficient businesses, change the way we work, the way we interact with clients and the service we deliver to them.
Things will not return to normal, it will be a new normal.
I hope you all you and your families all come through this. Stay safe and stay well.