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Investments and Finances During and After COVID-19

Almost everyone is concerned about their investments and financial future during this uncertain time. We want to share some advice and information from our  Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management/Wealth Advisor, Quin Broadbent, CFP® AIF®

How have your clients generally been reacting/responding to the recent market volatility related to the COVID-19 outbreak? What groups have been the most concerned? Have people been making a lot of changes to their portfolios, or have most people been staying the course on their investment strategies despite the downturn?

This has been a historical event that has sent shockwaves through our community, country, and world.  It is unique in the sense that not only have the markets moved down, but at the same time, our clients are worried about their health and the health of the ones they love.  While we have had many clients that are concerned with the market and the downward trend of stocks, it has been very evident that the majority of our clients are seasoned in experiencing financial ups and downs.  Our unique strategy, focusing on Large-Cap stocks and buying blue-chip companies with long-term histories of raising dividends, continues to lessen volatility and make a steadier path for our clients.

The group that is most concerned about the recent market downturn are those who are close to retirement.  This is a tough time for individuals in that age group, as they worry about the security of retiring and what is their next plan.  Our team works with these individuals to determine the right path going forward, and our expectation is that these strong companies will excel after this period of time ends.

We have continued to hold a large portion of our portfolio and we have had very few clients making quick decisions to sell.

What general advice are you giving to people who are worried about their investments and their financial security right now?

We are continuing to tell our clients that we have confidence in the types of companies that we own. And, while this virus is impacting all businesses, we know that long term, the companies that we buy should be industry leaders for the future.  This virus has started to create a new normal and we are fortunate to have companies in the clients’ portfolios that should succeed in this new environment as well.

What is the best wisdom you can share on how to stay sane and sensible during uncertain financial times, and how to keep those around you from losing their heads, as well?

Treat this situation as an opportunity.  Yes, this situation is stressful because of financial uncertainty, but it is just as stressful when the virus impacts individuals we know and love.  We are taking this time to have real conversations with our clients.  It has made us realize how appreciative we are to be working  with our clients, as they are concerned about our wellbeing, as well (a lot of our conversations are personal rather than business).  The uncertainty is there, but there is also certainty in the sense that we are surrounded by loved ones, we are spending time doing things that we otherwise wouldn’t, and we should all realize that everyone is going through this same thing.  I am proud of our team and proud of our clients, as this time has shown us both that this is bigger than a client-firm relationship, it is a long-term friendship!

These are uncharted waters for our economy in many ways, but are there any examples from past experience that you are drawing on as we look to navigate these challenges?

It is hard to compare this time to other times in the economy, as we have not seen a shutdown of this capacity in any of our lifetimes.  These are unprecedented times and to try to compare to other market events is hard as the uncertainty in the market is based on the uncertainty of this virus and how long it lingers.

Are there any specific aspects of the CARES Act, or any other government response so far, that you think will be particularly helpful for your clients and others dealing with the financial ramifications of COVID-19 in the Bluegrass? What should people be considering/doing right now to try to gain full advantage from those opportunities in the weeks ahead?

I know that many of our clients have been extremely pleased with the CARES Act, and it will benefit small businesses in a very large way. Kentucky Bank has helped over 550 Small Business customers in our communities, with $60 million of Paycheck Protection Plan Loans (PPP).

Is there anything else you think people should keep in mind related to the current financial situation?

Positivity is the cure.  With so many opinions and so much noise, try to focus on what is most important to you, your family, your friends, and your health.  Use this time to reconnect and stop focusing on the negatives, but instead focus on the positives.

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