Most of our clients are old enough and/or have been with us long enough to have experienced at least one previous crisis, the most recent until now being the financial collapse of 2008.
During those difficult times we were able to bring our clients together in group settings, to remind everyone of the process they went through when they became our client.
That process was and is BetaVest, our financial planning simulation tool that uses a sample case study incorporating historical data. BetaVest performs a “sequence of return” risk assessment for each of our clients. It is designed to help answer the question, “Are the withdrawals from my account sustainable for the duration of my lifetime?”
Conceptually, what BetaVest software is doing is performing a stress test on the account inflows and outflows using history back to 1926, which means, the great depression is in there, so is World War II, the OPEC energy crisis of ’73 – ’74, the crash of 1987, and on the up side, so is the tech bubble.
We don’t know what a future that includes COVID-19 will hold nor what impact it will have on the way we live, but we do know the many versions of historical chaos that have previously impacted investment results.
Back in 2008, those group meetings were reassuring, reminding us that we’re all in this together. And they reminded our clients of our process, reminded them that we worked at the simulation until the probabilities of their financial success were high.
Those meetings did not provide answers about the resolution of the financial crisis but those group sessions provided a calming influence and a reminder of the work we did to provide a high statistical probability of chaos not being catastrophic to our client’s retirement.
And in keeping with the belief that One Financial clients are family, at the end of each presentation, when the audience was asked if there were any questions, the first question was often “Jack, how are you doing?”
I was humbled and honored then to be serving our clients who placed their trust in One Financial Services and our process driven approach to helping investors, and I continue to feel that way today.
Back in the 2008 financial crisis there were a few who we could not convince to maintain their portfolio allocation and who demanded a sell to “stop the bleeding”. Our clients who showed faith in our process and who maintained their portfolios through the downturn participated in the longest recovery in modern history beginning March 9, 2009.
This downturn, this 2020 version of chaos has been thrust upon us in a way we could not have imagined, preventing us from reconvening those group sessions that were so informative, comforting, and reminders of the process that made you part of One Financial Services in the first place.
Although we are now unable to come together face to face, we are reaching out through personal calls and will continue to do so to each of our clients with the same message; “You participated in a process which tested if your withdrawals from your accounts are sustainable throughout your retirement years. We worked at it until the probabilities were high.”
And as each call ends, I’m reminded of the relationship that exists between us by the same question…. “Jack, how are you doing?”
These are stressful times, but each day, during each meaningful discussion with a client about the impact this crisis is having on them and their families, that conversation is a privilege.