Steve Rudolph, a financial advisor affiliated with Commonwealth Financial, and his colleagues, along with his clients (of course), didn’t want to see a repeat of 2008 this week.
“With the last crash, I was responding to everyone calling in and didn’t get to reach out to all my clients as much I wanted to,” said the Cleveland-based Rudolph in an interview.
This week, he set up two conference calls with clients, which each attracted about 50 jittery clients.
“Some clients are hoping to hear from us, and we thought that when panic was getting elevated, we could jump on a call like this. It makes more sense than saying the same thing over and over on a one-on-one basis,” said Rudolph, who works with four other FAs as managing director of HW Financial Advisors, an independent RIA affiliated with Howard, Wershbale & Co., CPAs and Consultants, which trades through Commonwealth Financial.
To reach out to clients, Rudolph (left) sent an email a few days ago. “We understand that recent market events are raising questions and concerns for many of you. To help address some of these, we invite you to join us for a conference call discussion hosted by Steve Rudolph,” the email said. “Steve will review recent events, share his thoughts on the implications of the Standard & Poor’s credit downgrade of the U.S., and offer insights on the overall long-term outlook. A question-and-answer session will follow Steve’s commentary.”
Here, then, are Rudolph’s three tips for soothing panicked clients during this market turmoil:
1) Take a Proactive Approach
The number of calls coming in from clients over the past week fell “as people anticipated our group call,” the advisor said. “Clients appreciate this approach.”
Rudolph seems to be proactive in most work he does. “We customize portfolios,” he said, “and for some retirees, we took some risk off the table one or two months ago.
“I was uncomfortable with the highs,” Rudolph explained, “so I paired back some holdings for those sensitive to this. I also add back a bit on the down days to pick up some decent buys. This might look foolish in a day or a week, but over the longer term, we feel good about it.”