Many financial professionals are trying to figure out ways to communicate with consumers about bad news and uncertainty right now.
Woodmen Financial Services Inc. — the broker-dealer arm of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society — and the Russo Law Group P.C., and elder law firm, have put out examples of turmoil communications this week.
Here’s a look at how those organizations are reaching out.
Woodmen of the World is an Omaha, Nebraska-based fraternal benefit society that has been protecting members against misfortune since 1890.
Tim Buderus, the broker-dealer’s president, has put a heartfelt letter to members in the annual report cover letter for the society’s variable annuities.
Buderus notes in the letter that the stock market looked much better at the end of 2019 than at the end of 2018.
“Overall, 2019 was a solid year for the market,” Buderus writes. “Recession fears and an unsolved U.S.-China trade war were a cloud for much of last year, but economic data remained sound and globally stocks stayed strong.”
Now, the world faces some headwinds, Buderus acknowledges.
“There are some things you can control and others you cannot,” Buderus writes. “One thing you can control is working with your financial representative to create a portfolio that matches your time horizon, risk tolerance, risk capacity, and your own personal financial goals.
“If you are sensitive to stock market declines, consider reallocating your portfolio to make sure it also includes enough holdings that produce regular income. A balanced strategy with both growth and income will typically have less volatility and lower downside potential.
“With a long-term focus, your WoodmenLife variable annuity should remain a solid part of your investment plan for retirement. Account values change daily, but portfolios built with prudent asset allocation and diversification have a much better chance to withstand the ups and downs of the market.”
Russo Law Group
Russo Law Group has an office in Garden City, New York.
New York state already has more than 200 confirmed cases of infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19 pneumonia.
The law firm has sent out an email addressed to, “Dear Clients and Friends.”
Vincent Russo, the firm’s managing partner, assures clients and others in the email that the firm is monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak developments and government recommendations closely.
The firm is taking the precautions recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Russo writes.
Russo says those steps include washing hands, disinfecting all conference rooms after each appointment, and making hand sanitizer available for client and staff use.
“We are encouraging all visitors to apply generous amounts upon entering our office space,” Russo writes.
The firm is giving clients three service options: in-person office meetings, teleconference meetings, or meetings in the client’s or potential client’s home.
“We typically charge for travel time, but we are waiving this charge as a courtesy to our clients,” Russo writes.
— Read What Can Insurance Agents Do During Stock Market Declines?, on ThinkAdvisor.