We are currently in a time of global uncertainty; we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant drop in the investment market that hasn’t been experienced for years.
So, what does this mean for us as a business?
In short, business as usual. When we say business as usual, this is of course whilst working within the new temporary normal guidelines. The main difference is that we are not having client appointments in the office, they are being done over the phone and via Zoom. Thankfully we can work from home and are already set up to do so when necessary. In fact, Dallas is currently working from home due to self-isolating after his return from overseas.
Our focus is on doing our part to slow the spread of this virus, and we will continue to follow all changes to guidelines as they come out. There will no doubt be some changes made to how we work, and we expect to have to close the office at some stage. However, most importantly, our goal remains the same; help our clients reach their financial goals.
Kylie has been busy keeping in touch with our clients and providing the reassurance and assistance that some need. She has phone calls to the business diverted to her mobile, enabling her to remain available via our office number and in contact with our clients even when she is out of the office.
Michael and Dallas have been answering client’s questions as they come up, but these have been few and far between. It may be a surprise to hear that, based on the volatility in investment markets at the moment. Our advice is always based on having a plan in place for these conditions before they occur, and we make sure this is communicated to our clients as part of every progress meeting.
For our clients who are retired
Michael and Dallas have been making recommendations to those drawing an income from their pensions to draw 100% from the cash allocation (if applicable) of their account to allow time for the market to recover.
They are also looking at the legislation changes with minimum pension income requirements, and updating clients if this is something that they can take advantage of.
Kylie is also about to start updating Centrelink details for clients whose balances have dropped over the past month, and who are now eligible for increased Age Pension, and also for clients who may actually now be eligible to apply for Age Pension. This ties back into the above income changes, as many clients will be able to draw a reduced amount from their retirement savings.
For our clients who are still working
For most clients, the main focus is just on sticking to the plan. Many are already making significant super contributions on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis, and as long as they continue to do so, they will be buying assets for their retirement at a significant discount.
For some people, their income may be affected over the coming couple of months, and our focus will be on minimising the impact of this over the short and long term.
Written by Dallas Davison.
Dallas Davison, Michael Hogue and Ali Hogue.