COVID-19 is making people take a hard look at their investment strategies, estate planning, insurance and their real estate. Market volatility has given rise to “experts” who are coming out of the woodwork with spam emails and ads that offer assistance with stocks or investment opportunities in hard assets like gold coins. Bad decisions are made in hard times, so it’s the perfect time to create an ad hoc personal advisory board for finances. People who are looking at the overall assets of your business and family. Businesses have Advisory Boards who take a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of sales and revenue, receivables, expenses, debt and cash management to ensure the financial health of the organization. Who is doing the same thing for you to ensure a strong “Return on Life” (ROL).
The Power of ROL vs. ROI
Return on Life addresses the heart of what a person wants to achieve in their lifetime, whether that’s to retire by 50, create a non-profit to give back, ensure the family’s financial stability for the next generation or just to secure a carefree retirement. Finances should ladder up to those personal fulfillment goals and lay the foundation for the next phase of life’s journey, whatever that might be.
One of the biggest challenges for people seeking guidance is knowing who to talk to about what because many financial advisors are very siloed into their areas of expertise. Just like siloes can be dangerous for a business, they also create pitfalls for personal financial planning. Firms like Miracle Mile Advisors have Family Office capabilities to bring a one-stop-shop option for clients looking to maximize their assets and align their financial goals with their personal goals. This means that experts in investment, real estate, taxes, insurance, trusts/wills, philanthropy and personal budget allocations come together to discuss each client’s objectives and determine an overall strategy and timeline to reach these goals. The areas of focus during the current crisis should be:
- Investment Analysis – While it seems obvious, the pandemic has left many paralyzed or worse, desperate to take action. A steady hand is needed to navigate these unsafe waters, re-assess risk profiles and perhaps plan a new endgame.
- Taxes – Virus relief has created new COVID-19 tax relief strategies that could impact every financial decision you make. Where can you take a loss to cover a gain? Every asset bears scrutiny.
- Insurance – From life insurance to key man insurance, people should take this time to do an insurance assessment. Life Insurance has suddenly become very expensive, so maybe the policies need to stay in place for now, but do you think you’ll up coverage down the road? We are learning in real-time what makes us sleep better.
- Social Good – We are seeing many clients step-up their contributions to charities and non-profits that support the local community and healthcare workers on the frontline. We see this as an investment in the ROL that contributes to social health now and will pay dividends in one’s legacy.
- Estate Planning – No one wants to think about dying during a health emergency, but it is more important now than ever to get your house in order. People who have spent their lives building their wealth and their families want to ensure the next generation is taken care of and no assets are left in doubt. It’s an appropriate time to take stock of living trusts, wills, business continuity and the overhead of properties.
Sleeping Better at Night
Fear of the unknown can be immobilizing, but the right personal advisory team, combined with transparent data, can provide the visibility and expertise to navigate the future no matter how stormy the waters. In fact, today’s tech-savvy wealth management firms can set up clients with a personalized mobile app that can track all their assets in real-time and connect them with their financial planner at the touch of the button. This small step brings comfort when people feel overwhelmed by the many things they cannot control right now.
Technology has changed the way that financial advisors work by integrating the latest machine learning and predictive technology to determine the optimal ways to manage their portfolio. However, none of the data means anything without the right team to interpret and tailor it to a client’s life goals.
Besides a medical practitioner, there are few professional relationships in this world that are as intimate and personal as a financial advisor. It’s a relationship built on trust, open lines of communication and expertise regarding your life.