Financial Pathways Update and News
Obviously this pandemic has turned everyone’s life upside down, and life at Financial Pathways has been no different. In addition to figuring out how to work at home while still providing quality service to our clients, we have been especially busy as the pandemic obviously has changed a lot of people’s financial plans. Retirement dates are moving up, jobs situations are changing, it's definitely a time for change. Add to that some new technology initiatives, and we are making the most of all the time saved by not commuting to the office!
A brief note on markets. Markets have done extremely well since the fear fueled sell off in March, once again demonstrating that staying the course and not panicking is often the best course of action. Stocks certainly have not returned to their pre-pandemic highs, but they have recovered sharply. When the crisis first hit, my advice to everyone was calm. I suggested that this was unique – that ultimately, there would be a vaccine, a cure, or the pandemic would pass as past pandemics passed. Therefore, by its very nature, this downturn had an obvious end. Markets have since taken that advice to heart, and appear to be looking past the economic carnage of the present into a better future.
It may very well be that markets have moved too far too fast. While it is true that the pandemic will come to its conclusion (I find recent news regarding vaccine developments heartening) it is also true that a lot of damage is being done to corporate and personal finances. Habits are also changing in ways that may not bode well for a rapid economic recovery. In other words, I think that the road out of this may be longer and slower than investors now seem to hope. I am not predicting future market moves (the last couple months proves how futile that can be), but it would be prudent for investors to be prepared for some disappointments and downturns (I mean…buying opportunities, lol) as we find our way out of this mess we’re in over coming months.
Alex is Back! Long time clients remember that my son Alex worked with me for a couple years through maybe 2017 or so, before moving out to Pennsylvania to work for a financial advisory firm out there. Alex is now back with Financial Pathways, and will be helping Carlos, Luba, and I with many of our technology and administrative needs. Alex has been instrumental in the implementation of our new online data gathering system described below.
New Online data gathering system. If you are going to be forced to work at home, you might as well make the most of it. That’s what we have been doing by implementing a new online system (Precise FP) for all our data gathering, forms, contracts and agreements, and client profiles. Some of you have already been working in new system, and if not yet, you will be soon. We hope that the system will help us keep on top of changing client needs, make periodic reviews more effective, streamline financial planning process and account paperwork, etc.
Zoom Client Meetings. We have found zoom meetings to be extremely effective for financial planning reviews and client meetings. So no need to wait for offices to reopen – reach out to schedule an online meeting now and you can work with us from the comfort of your own home.
Coming down the road. Coming this fall, we expect to implement a new online portal to replace the InvestorView portal from AssetBook. We expect this will provide our investment clients better insights into account performance, better reporting capabilities, etc. We have been less than happy with the AssetBook platform we’ve been using for the past few years, and are actively investigating potential replacements.
Be safe and well, everyone, and please reach out if we can be of service.