Uncertainty is the enemy of financial markets and the investors that rely on them. But it is not just uncertainty that gives investors the jitters. According to Chuck Cumello of Essex Financial Services, this year politics seems to be influencing investors more than he has personally seen in 30 years of portfolio management.
Instead of a calm sense of security emanating from Washington DC, the political vitriol and divisive language coming from the country’s capital has clients’ emotional life veering from “fear” and “greed” and back again. The almost constant tension and political volatility is adding a task or two to the job description of financial advisors, Cumello states.
When clients want to act on their visceral reactions to the distressing play-by-plays and unceasing drama of White House intrigues, financial managers are forced to rush in and remind them that despite their gut reaction to the latest headlines, the world is neither about to end nor on the verge of the greatest economic opportunity in history. They must play the part of counselor, or even therapist, to calm them down. As Cumello put it:
“Trying to help clients stick to the agreed-upon long-term plan to help them achieve their financial and life goals can be challenging under “normal” circumstances. One would be hard pressed to use the word ‘normal’ in our current political climate.”
Cumello, who is the CEO and president of Essex Financial, says that these trying times can be an opportunity for advisors to solidify their relationships with their clients. As Cumello put it in his thoughtful and thought-provoking article:
“The best advisors always use times of stress or instability to cement their relationships with their clients. They never shy away from difficult or challenging conversations; they embrace them and use these events as opportunities. An opportunity to reinforce and clearly prove the critical role they play in their clients’ lives. An opportunity to review their client’s financial plan and to fully engage their clients on their agreed-upon commitments to achieve the goals set forth by that client and their family. Every advisor’s ultimate goal is to be seen as indispensable to their clients. Times like this give the best advisors the opportunity to retain a client, and their family, for life.”