Wow, we’ve been pummeled with bad news the last few months. I won’t revisit all the gory details — y’all know them just as well as I do, but it does seem another leading indicator rears its ugly head on a daily basis, giving us more reasons for shared misery. The latest body blow (as I write this in early November) is the news about consumer confidence dragging. In fact, a University of Michigan/Reuters index report suggests “this holiday spending season will be the bleakest since 1980.”
With all that bad news hitting us, I found it refreshing to read a New York Times op-ed piece last month written by the world’s richest man, Warren Buffet.
In a column titled, “Buy American. I Am.” Buffett says now is the time to get in the game. “Why? A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors.”
Buffet goes on to write: “To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation’s many sound companies, make no sense.” It’s not only a good time to jump into the market, according to Buffet and others, but also a great time to reconnect with your clients. According to John Burke of Starboard Asset Management, Inc., this is a great time to meet with your clients and go over their financial plan and reassure them that markets have cycles and that it’s a matter of riding this market back up with your clients.
“The key to managing money is managing risk,” says the Stuart, Fla.-based Burke. “And the risk has been wrung out of this market according to our research.”
With that in mind, Burke says it’s a great opportunity for both you and your clients. By making a very close evaluation of your clients’ plans, you can see if there are any holes or if their goals have changed, and develop a new plan that will work for them in today’s changing market.
Take advantage of the opportunity.