The Allegiant team has been in touch with you often over the past few weeks, but I’d like to touch base on behalf of everyone at the office to talk about things that we are doing on your behalf and things that you may want to consider. Many of you that we have spoken with feel confident that you are in a good position to move forward and it is great to hear that. Others have been nervous or said that you were “fine.” We all know what “fine” can stand for though! While it is not a comfortable feeling, it is totally normal to feel this way during times of uncertainty, like we are currently in.
Please remember that the Allegiant team remains fully available to connect with you virtually, via phone, email or online meeting portals – whatever method works best for you. Staying connected to your trusted advisors and talking with us is probably one of the best things that you can do right now. Let me detail a few strategies that you can use, as well as other ways that we are working on your behalf.
What You Can Do
- Focus on your long-term plan. We have spent time talking through your individual plans over the time you have been working with us. Volatility in the markets is a part of that plan but most importantly investors’ response to that volatility is what determines success. Stick to your plan, tune out the noise that wants you to deviate from that plan, and exhibit lots of patience - this is how long-term investors get rewarded over time.
- Remember why you have an emergency savings fund. These funds are set aside for times just like now. It is one of the primary reasons that you can make it through volatile times and can allow you to feel confident during duress.
- Limit your in-person interaction with others during the current environment. It is going to take everyone to slow the progression of COVID-19. Make sure that you take the proper precautions and stay informed through legitimate sources. Flatten the curve!
- Continue to interact with family and friends through alternate avenues. FaceTime video, Google Hangout or even Zoom calls are a great way to keep in touch with everyone while adhering to social distancing. This technology is all around us and something that we should embrace to continue some sense of normalcy in this abnormal time.
- Do not hoard products that you do not need. Grocery stores are continuing to receive shipments and taking measures to protect inventories. Think of your neighbors when shopping and make sure that everyone has what they need during this time. (Here is a toilet paper calculator that some of you might enjoy.)
- Support local businesses during this time. Restaurants might be closed for dining in, but they are working hard to continue to provide take-out or delivery to you. These businesses are a huge part of our community and many times the location of great memories with friends. Continue to support them, when you can. We want them to be there when we all get through this.
- Take care of your family’s health, and your own. Our daily, normal routines have been hijacked to some extent and it’s extremely important to continue to find ways to exercise, eat healthy and relax.
What Allegiant is Doing For You
- We are monitoring the markets, economy, and most importantly your portfolios during this time. The trust and faith that you have in us is not taken lightly and rest assured that we are working in your best interests. You will continue to see updates from our Investment Research team as well as your Wealth Advisor.
- Over the past decade Tax-loss harvesting is something that we haven’t been able to do much of due to markets mostly going up. This strategy is something that we are starting to employ in individual portfolios and will help you to offset gains realized in your portfolios in future years. It is an investment best-practice and the prudent thing to do during market declines. We can discuss your personal situation further during future calls to explain the details for each of you.
- Assessing Roth Conversions for your IRA accounts is something that is on our radar. This isn’t something that is a fit for everyone, but it might come up in future conversations if we see possibilities for you.
- Revisiting college funding strategies is important during times like this. Most of you have taken the proper precautions inside of your college savings plans regarding allocation. It may be a great time to consider increasing contributions depending on your time horizon. This will come up during our future conversations.
- We are monitoring the mortgage market currently for clients who maintain mortgages. While interest rates have gone down, mortgage rates have not decreased in lockstep. Talking through your current debt situation is important and we will address it.
We are in this together, and will get through this together. Take things one day at a time, have faith in humanity and scientific progress, and be sure to remain calm as we all try to exercise patience and kindness. This is our community, let’s contribute to it any way we can. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us with questions or concerns so that we can make sure to address them.
Carl A. Watkins CFP®, CDFA™, AIF®
Principal, Director of Financial Planning