Q&A  

Help clients with the personal

Help clients with the personal

How has the crisis and lockdown disrupted you and your company?

My office is at home anyway, so that has made life easier during this.

The issues with the stock market falls are always very unpleasant when they happen and because they have been linked with health fears, it has been a really unsettling time for people. 

I have been helping my clients get set up from home for online food shopping deliveries; likewise, with prescription deliveries.

I have also been helping clients set up things like iPads over the phone, so that they can speak to family members – all those kinds of personal things. 

I am worried about my clients who are vulnerable, lonely, old or are poorly.

It has been those personal elements that I have been dealing with, as much as financial things. 

Will there be a lasting impact to the way we work?

I think people who have avoided technology in the past are more likely to embrace it now.

And people will hopefully have their priorities more grounded and realise the importance of health, family and of having quality-time. 

Hopefully, people will now know their neighbours a lot better, in communities, which I think is really important.

Local businesses and shops are thriving in many ways, as people appreciate the value of a good local butchers or greengrocers and how they have really been coming through for people. I hope that continues.

Can you compare this crisis to anything else?

I think we have seen times like these, market-wise. The dotcom bubble from 2000 was brutal, but it was quite isolated in a sense.

I had also only been advising then for a few years at that point, so what happened then was a new sensation.

I was not fully prepared and it was quite scary, but I was part of a big company, so I had more experienced advisers around me who could guide me.

With the banking crisis in 2008, it was about a lack of trust in the world at that time. You almost felt that people would never trust big institutions and banks again after that. 

With this current crisis, although markets have been terrible, everything that has been happening makes perfect sense to people.

The drops have been based on very genuine concerns. People understand why this is happening because of the very real threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

What conversations have you been having with your clients?

Conversations have totally depended on the client.

Clients who are experienced have not been overly concerned, because they have seen and experienced market drops before.

But with clients who are less experienced and who have only been invested a few years, it does not matter how many times you discuss volatility, loss or capacity for loss. Until they actually experience a market loss, it is difficult.