Coronacrash Advisor Insights: Procyon Partners’ Phil Fiore & 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?
Through our Investment Sub-Committee, we as a firm have been very active in what we are doing and telling our clients. We were able to take advantage of the recent lows and rebalance our portfolios to target which has proven to be a fortuitous decision thus far. In addition, we are thinking through the opportune time to consider an overweight position to equities (but haven’t pulled that trigger yet) but are in active dialogue as to when and why and even if we should do that. We believe our clients deserve and expect us to be talking some actions during this time. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to about what they are being told by their advisors who by and large are telling them to stay put and “ride” it out. I guess that’s an approach, but we want to be able to take advantage of what the markets are giving us and position our clients accordingly. Our firm through its Investment Sub-Committee has created the Special Opportunity Fund I which was created as a concentrated stock portfolio to take advantage of the opportunities in certain sectors in the market that we believe to be significantly undervalued. So NO — we are not riding out the storm, but rather are continually looking for opportunities for our clients.
- 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?
Our technology stack is very extensive and we built our stack from day one with the idea that we can ALL work remotely if needed. The good news is those various purchases have proven to live up to their hype, as our TOTAL remote operations have gone off without a hitch! I would say the two pieces of technology in particular that have been very helpful are Zoom and Glocom; the first one which I’m sure everyone is using some version of is Zoom. We’ve used this software to not only stay connected with our team and our clients which is extremely important, but also to produce videos as part of our informational resource called Procyon Perspectives. Without having the ability to all get to a studio to produce a video as a timely resource for our clients, Zoom has done the trick to get information out through video to our clients in a timely manner. Now, is it studio quality? No, there are internet and audio issues that we need to deal with, but in our view, getting the information out is much more important than how perfect we all look and sound, and our clients are agreeing as they are thoroughly enjoying what we are putting out there. Another piece of software that has proven to be great is Glocom which allows our team to be in an environment where they can see incoming calls coming in, who’s on the phone, who’s away from their desks, and in addition has a chat feature among the team. This is important because we DO NOT want calls going to voicemail so this system prevents that from happening because everyone knows what everyone is up to. So when a call comes in we can be very proactive as to how we are handling that incoming call.
- 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 think that most financial advisors think the job of being an advisor is planning, asset allocation, and investment management and I’m not suggesting that that isn’t very important. But we at Procyon have always believed that our job is to holistically serve our clients. For instance, if clients are dealing with aging parents, we are helping them figure out the various paths of care for them and how should we be titling the assets should we move in one direction versus another. Or as we are dealing with the next generation of wealth, teaching them the concept of being a steward of wealth and what responsibilities surround that ideal. In the crisis that we are going through today, of course we need to talk about the markets and opportunities within them but what are we doing to help them “deal” with their new temporary reality. If they have kids at home, we are sharing with them various sites that can help entertain their kids. If they are elderly clients, sending them info on services around them that provide grocery delivery services, pharmaceutical services, etc. The general theme is, what can we do to make our clients life easier? Again, our firm has always acted like this, but its times like this that is maybe appreciated more than in “ordinary” times. My hope is that as we all get through this (and we will), and our clients will look back and say we were really there for them and their family, and helped them get through a very trying time!