April 1, 2020
One of the hardest aspects of this crisis is this social distancing required between you, me, friends, neighbors, colleagues, even our families!
Our son came home from Italy and is quarantining near Belton, Texas and we couldn’t go to see him, even from a distance. We haven’t seen him in almost a year and now he is less than 2 hours away, but we could not visit him. That was tough and frustrating both, but we know we will be together next week when his isolation time has completed.
In difficult times, America’s greatest strength has come from pulling together – to generate the ingenuity, resilience and tenacity that solves problems and creates opportunities.
We’ll overcome this crisis, too, I have no doubt. From six feet apart, if necessary.
But we have to stay connected…even as we socially isolate. That’s why you’ll be hearing regularly from me and my team while this volatility lasts--by phone, email, more emails and phone calls… it’s critical we stay in touch.
One thing I want you to remember as you watch the markets, the news and you receive your not so good March statement: You have the strength and the fortitude to survive this market storm. Remember, those of you that did not sell in the 2008-2009 Great Recession recovered much quicker than those who sold and took a paper loss and realized it into a real loss.
Because this is a market storm…a temporary event you and I have long prepared for by making smart, responsible decisions about allocating assets and diversifying holdings. We based your portfolio on Nobel prize-winning investment strategies that have protected investors for the last 60+ years, and they are protecting you now.
Given the strength of the economy before the health crisis, some experts believe a recovery could be fairly fast and strong. No one knows, of course, and I am monitoring the markets and your investments with extreme diligence to keep us well-positioned for positive days ahead.
Because prosperous days will come again. They always do. This time is no different.
Let me leave you with a story that illustrates how I view market downturns. You may have heard this before, but it perfectly explains my mission in managing your portfolio:
Years ago a farmer, whose fields stretched along the eastern seaboard, was looking for hired hands. It wasn't easy to find help. People were reluctant to work on the Atlantic coast. They dreaded the regular raging storms that wreaked havoc on buildings and crops.
Interviewing applicants for the job, the farmer received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached him. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the desperate farmer hired him.
The little man worked well around the farm, keeping himself busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer was satisfied with his new hire. Then, late one night, the Atlantic wind began howling in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man, yelling, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No, sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged, the farmer was tempted to fire the old man on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens in their coops, the doors barred, the shutters tightly secured. Everything was tied down; nothing would blow away. The farmer returned to his bed, and the sound of the storm wind lulled him to sleep.
I like to think that I’m the hired hand who keeps you safe while the wind blows. I hope you think so, too, and if there is anything more I can do to “lull you to sleep,” please let me know.
Stay in touch. Stay well!
Your friend and advisor,
Brien L. Smith, CFP®
P.S. Here are all the ways to contact me and the team. Keep these handy!
Office: (979) 694-9100
My Mobile: (979) 255-0952
Director of Financial Planning Sarah Buenger:
Client Service Rep: Michael Maerz: Michael@TraditionsWealthAdvisors.com