Despite the hardships many faced, from difficult times come powerful lessons, and this pandemic was no different. Some of the thing we learned were practical, while others were more abstract; but all of the lessons were valuable.
Here are the four things that really stuck with me, which we believe would be valuable for every Family and Enterprise to keep in mind as we launch into a time when adaptation and innovation will be at the forefront of our world in nearly every facet of our lives.
Lesson #1 – The Importance of Cash (Why Cash continues to be King) – Safety & Opportunity
Let’s start with something you would of course expect to hear from your Trusted Advisory Team – the concept of keeping readily-available cash on hand once again demonstrated its immense value.
We made sure our income-drawing clients had cash set aside so their regular income streams could weather a downturn in the markets to allow the values to recover, while also ensuring our asset-accumulating clients were able to re-deploy available cash into undervalued investments when opportunities presented themselves.
Lesson #2 – The Value of being Kind under Stress – Using Technology to Give Back
Under the immense stress many people felt during the global pandemic, it is understandable we saw tensions rise, both in the political world, and in our homes, workplaces, and relationships.
But while political issues boiled over and separation rates rose, we also saw kindness in ways that made our hearts swell, including front line workers being celebrated for their unwavering dedication to keeping us healthy, and neighbours looking after one another.
We also spent a lot of time with helping our clients find new and better ways to look after their own communities through charitable donations to those in need – one such way was the use of online Donor-Advised Funds, which allow contributions to be made instantly and tax-efficiently through capital gains in your portfolio.
Lesson #3 – Don’t let Emotions overrule Strategic Planning
While we may all believe ourselves to be rational people, under times of stress, we often react with our gut instinct instead of our rational thought. This is likely based on our ancestors’ survival response, but when it comes to investing and business decisions, acting on emotion only – the “flight” response – is the wrong path to take.
On top of helping build your family’s wealth, our job as Advisors is to acknowledge – but largely eliminate – the emotion behind the choices, by ensuring we educate, advise, and facilitate the difficult conversations around money and wealth, so that you have the confidence to make informed decisions that positively impact not just you, but generations to come. We help you stay on the right path!
Lesson #4 – Communication – and Community – is everything
Despite lockdown and the rise of Zoom, we found ways to re-connect with those we cared about. It almost seemed like the more we were forced into our “safe bubbles”, the more we reached out to one another in ways we’d forgotten about, such as sending letters to family and friends, saying hello to neighbours across the street, and spending more quality time with our loved ones each day.
Our team strove to stay in touch throughout the pandemic, whether sending our email newsletters or ensuring we kept up our ongoing annual meetings – virtually this time. We worked hard to stay connected and reach out to each of you during what we know wasn’t always an easy year.
We wish you and your families a fantastic year ahead, and we are looking forward to seeing you again – in person – as soon as we can.