10 Minutes With T&T - How Are T&T Clients Responding To The Crisis?
by Richard Taylor on May 8, 2020
We are trying something new this week. We are often asked "what are your other clients doing right now?", so we though we'd record us discussing just that.
We hope you enjoy:
Martha Kern: 00:01 Hello and thank you for joining us today. I'm Martha Kern, director of financial planning at Taylor & Taylor. And joining me are Richard Taylor, CEO and Thomas Quinn, President. Today we're going to talk about how our clients are responding to COVID-19 and the related market volatility. To kick it off, let me ask Richard the first question, are T&T clients changing their investments in response to what's happening in the markets or are they staying put?
Richard Taylor: 00:30 They are staying put. Which is good because they've had some of them had up to five years of me banging on about how important it is to stay put in times like these. Look, when things really kicked off, we were fielding a lot of, well actually we weren't fielding calls while we were reaching out to people to check in on them and people were asking us, what should we be doing? What are your other clients doing? What's everyone else doing? And that was more, I think just for us to reaffirm what we've always said, which is you can't time these things. We don't know when the bottom is going to be. We don't know what's coming. We built our investment plans or your investment plan with this in mind. When we built this, when we put this together, when we agreed this, we knew times like this were coming, we knew to expect this. And they're built into our assumptions and our projections and we just have to ride it out as, unsatisfying, as deeply unsatisfying as that is, that really is the way to manage this. And they know that and they knew that and some of them just wanted to hear us say it again, and that's absolutely fine. And I've been generally, I've been extremely pleased with the response from our clients in this, which has been one of real level headedness an optimism in a certain way.
Martha Kern: 01:57 Tom, are you finding the same thing when you talk to clients?
Thomas Quinn: 02:01 Yeah. Really similar pattern actually. Which maybe didn't throw me at the start, but I was certainly maybe expecting more challenging calls and reminders of why we're doing this, and why we're staying put, because that's sounds like the easiest piece of advice is to not do anything and stay where you are and stay the course. But I didn't have to go into greater depth and explain why because I think as Rick says, and actually I spoke to a client this week, he said you guys have pretty much been talking about it for, for a while now. And they can see what's going on with the world and in the market and why the market's falling, which I think probably helps. They can see sort of a cause and effect that Coronavirus has come and markets, everyone is shut down. And as a result markets have fallen and therefore they can see what's happening. So I think that's helped with our clients who are understanding what's going on. And yeah, no real difficult calls and no one's particularly panicking, which is nice.
Martha Kern: 03:11 And the follow-up for you, Richard, are you seeing clients that see this as an opportunity that are wanting to invest cash into the market right now?
Richard Taylor: 03:21 Yes and no. I don't think anyone because of the health implications of this, because of the huge and disastrous and deeply troubling health aspects of this, I don't think no one's talking to me in terms of opportunities. Having said that we have had money become available during this time pending transfers that finally went through, and a few other things, and what I am finding is that people are much more willing and excited to invest than I thought. And that doesn't mean that they think that this year is going to be a bed of roses and it's up from here. It's not that it's just that they are conscious that the market is fallen, they are conscious that without trying to turn to the bottom is it's potentially a good time to invest, and are happy and comfortable and willing to do so. Which is about as close as I think you can get in this situation to people being optimistic about investing.
Martha Kern: 04:25 Let me take what you said about optimism and ask another question. So, Tom, we'll start with you on this one. How are your clients feeling about the future? Do you generally see that they're optimistic or pessimistic?
Thomas Quinn: 04:37 Well, we actually asked this in our pre-meeting questionnaire. Broadly speaking, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? And I think almost all, but one has come back with optimism and that's just been followed up on the calls and we've got a few clients that work in the gas sector and yes, that industry is being hard hit at the moment, not with the supply. You know, with the oversupply because of the lack of consumption due to Coronavirus, but also Saudi and Russia oil spat, driving the price down, but even so long-term, everyone's taking that long-term view. And yes, it's bad at the moment, but everyone's confident that we'll get through it. And that's sort of been the overall theme of from when I've been speaking to clients over the last three or four weeks. Is that the same for yourself, Richard?
Richard Taylor: 05:33 You know, this is actually, I think about this, this morning. This is actually something that I love about our clients and I don't know if it's peculiar to them or unique. I don't know if it'd be the same if you did this to people in the UK, but our clients are experts, you know, they are people who have, you know, they've got gumption, right? They've got route in their life, they've set sail, and they've sat down in a new world and a new environment and made a life for themselves, right? They have got gumption. And I think that comes across in that questionnaire that we send out before every meeting. And I think that's one of the wonderful things about our client base. Would it be the same if we're in the UK? I don't know. Perhaps. but you know, I'm going to give a shout out to our clients being awesome.
Martha Kern: 06:24 Well, we talked about how clients are feeling about everything. But I'm wondering about how you guys are feeling. So Tom, we'll start with you on this one. What is one reason that you're optimistic right now?
Thomas Quinn: 06:38 Because we've done this all before. Humans, we've all gone through recessions, global strategies, global pandemics. This has all been done before and we've always, always got through it. It's human nature. We're seeing cross border collaborations on antivirals and vaccines. That's all encouraging. We're seeing global central banks trying to suspend us in a quasi pre COVID States economically by pumping money into the system. Everyone's doing as much as they can to keep people employed and keep dinners on the table for everyone globally. Yes, there's going to be some more [inaudible] times to come, especially when these emerging markets feel the effects and don't have the infrastructure or the or the deep pockets, the developed world does. So that will be challenging. But I'm confident that as humans, we'll all get through this because we've done it all before.
Martha Kern: 07:39 Richard, why are you optimistic?
Richard Taylor: 07:41 Because I know some good will come of this. I don't know what yet. Most obvious one is. I think more people end up working from home more often, less commuting, more time spent with family, better healthy work, life balance and a whole, a whole industry [inaudible]. Things will spring up around that, on the face of it, you might say that's bad for real estate downtown, but it will spawn a whole host of new enterprises and ideas and industries. And I think that will be good for everyone, for the world, for the way we operate and the way we work. And there'll be many, many other things. I don't mean to sound crass. I know it's awful. I know people are suffering and I don't mean to minimize in anyway, but because human beings are ingenious we will overcome this and some good will come of it. On a personal note, I also got to spend more time with my son. And saw his first steps, and he said his first word while we were here, which was, I would have probably missed it otherwise. So I was pretty awesome.
Martha Kern: 08:45 Fantastic. To wrap us up, I'll share what I'm feeling as well. I'm optimistic because this time has caused us to pay attention to what's important in our lives. Family's important. Health is important. Teachers and healthcare professionals are important. We're looking around and seeing where value truly lies and what skills and characteristics our society really depends on and benefits from. I think this shows who really keeps this country running at the end of the day. And honestly, it's not so bad to be stuck at home and get extra time with the people and pets that you care about most. So that's pretty much it for us today. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you to all of our clients. Please tune in next time to see us cover another topic. Thank you and have a great day.
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