April 16, 2013

Advisors Cope With Boston Bombing’s Aftermath

While sensitive to the horrific event, they continued to go about their business

Medical workers aided injured people at the finish line. (Photo: AP) Medical workers aided injured people at the finish line. (Photo: AP)

If ever there was a teachable moment with behavioral finance and emotional investing, Monday’s horrific events at the Boston Marathon might have been it.

While Debra Brede was sensitive to the events unfolding just miles from her office, she also realized she still had a job to do.

“I just had to remove my emotions from the situation,” said Brede, founder of D.K. Brede Investment Management Co., a Commonwealth Financial-affiliated rep whose office is in the Boston suburb of Needham. “I didn’t have any clients directly affected, thankfully, but I have a number that are doctors. They rushed to the hospitals to see what they could do.”

Mark Singer was taking a rare afternoon off to golf with friends when their quiet play was interrupted.

“All four of our phones went off almost at the same time, and they kept going off with everyone wanting to know where we were,” said Singer, president of Safe Harbor Retirement Planning in nearby Lynn, Mass. “I have a lot of friends and colleagues that are runners so I was worried, but so far they all seem to be okay.”

Brede was going about her daily business, which ironically involves looking for events that will cause a temporary dip in the markets, when the first of two bombs exploded just past the four-hour mark of the legendary road race. The attack has left three dead, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 100 wounded as law enforcement authorities continue to search for motives and suspects.

“I was entering in orders and not realizing what was happening,” Brede said. “I certainly wasn’t looking to gain from something like this, and I didn’t think it would rebound like it did today, but it did, and we realized a return.”

“We’ve been dollar-cost averaging our clients in for quite some time,” added Singer. “We almost over-communicate with our clients, so when something like this happens, they don’t react to investing in an emotional way. We’ve prepared them to expect the unexpected.” 

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