Coronacrash Advisor Insights: Strongbox Wealth’s Chuck Cooper & Tony Sirianni, cont.
- Things are down, but somebody must be making money. Where do you see opportunity in the market? Are you recommending any investments right now to clients, or suggesting they exit certain investments or sectors? Do you have any sense of where to invest post crisis? Or are you riding out the storm?
With portfolios deployed now during this heightened period of volatility, we fundamentally believe that owning quality matters and being bold about making decisions to remain in abidance with that base tenet does too. Just before and upon the COVID-19 onset, we tactically reduced small cap, energy, and financial stock exposure in favor of overweighting technology, health care, communication services, and certain industrials. As a result, we feel clients’ equity component is positioned on higher ground by having added to sectors with structural tailwinds while reducing those with headwinds. We feel being overweight those equity sectors enhances the portfolio to participate well on the back side of the health crisis because these industries greatly benefit from the unique force multiplier effect of innovation in driving long-term earnings growth. We feel an innovation paradigm shift is ahead of us as companies will seek out means to create both redundancies in supply chains and fully enable the virtual workforce.
Though tempting it is to feel “different this time”, we otherwise expect to keep our stock/bond strategic model allocations intact with dual focus on owning solid low debt balance sheets in the equity space and high credit quality fixed income.
- What’s been the most useful piece of technology or advice that you could suggest to other advisors who are trying to cope in these circumstances, particularly some technology or business practice that you have discovered or rediscovered during this crisis that you will use in your business going forward?
What’s been most useful during this volatile time is our model management technology. Whether through our TAMP and its inherent capacity to rebalance portfolios or the custodian’s model trading platform, it is inconceivable that without these resources we could have efficiently executed the vast number of portfolio adjustments made over the last few months. We’re thankful to use Black Diamond and Money Guide Pro as two of our primary technology vendors. Through Money Guide Pro, we’ve been able to reconstitute client long term retirement income and goal plans while providing reassurance in a way that extracts the loud noise of market fluctuations. The planning process simply brings forth a discussion on human circumstance as it interrelates with a client’s money, financial goals, and income needs.
With Black Diamond, we exist at a client’s fingertips on the desktop, via mobile app, or iPad/tablet. For many tech savvy clients using the full functionality of Black Diamond’s integration, the ability to check their entire real-time balance sheet through the data aggregation is quite important. Incidentally, that often creates a positive feedback loop for a deeper planning discussion, as the Money Guide Pro’s “Probability of Success” view is there beside portfolio performance and allocation reporting. With the health of our financial assets being top of mind along with literal physical health these days, clients are thirsty for concise technology enabled straightforward reporting versus waiting on a 20 page detailed monthly statement.
- I’ve got a feeling that we are getting to know each other a little better these days. Whether we hear kids and dogs in the background of a conference call, or see some interesting choices in clothing and grooming on Zoom, we are “getting real” with each other in an out of the corporate world type of way. I’m seeing the best advisors create truly holistic experiences for their nervous clients, and helping folks in ways above and beyond what a “traditional” financial advisor would normally do. What’s happening in your world during this crazy time that you will take with you into the post corona world that will help you grow your business and deepen your client relationships?
I’ve always felt this is an intimate business; one where we are privileged to know and be entrusted by our clients in ways that few, if any, beyond their immediate family may ever know. Post-coronavirus, I will remember most the countless times that clients have genuinely been concerned about our families and full of gratitude for what we are doing on behalf of their families during this upheaval. When I hear clients say they are regularly thinking of us, without worry of their portfolios because “it’s in good hands”, and praying for our well-being, I contend that is nothing short of priceless affirmation to our calling as financial advisors. Providing our long-term clients with a sense of calm and comfort during this storm has been a profound personal reward.
Strongbox Wealth is a member of the Dynasty Network.