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Preparing for the Morning After

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Maybe you’ve heard of the 1973 song “There’s Got to be a Morning After,” by Maureen McGovern. As an insurance or financial services professional, the title should speak to you.

The coronavirus pandemic is similar to a hurricane. We are all sheltering at home or another place of safety, watching the TV news. Like a hurricane, “This too shall pass.”

Homeowners emerge after the winds have died down. They see downed tree limbs in the yard. They look for their outdoor furniture in their neighbor’s yard. They see missing shingles on the roof. They need to take action.

(Related: Keep Calm and Carry On (With Your Practice)

Your client should emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic in similar fashion. You need a plan moving forward.

1. Importance of Diversification

Some clients might have little money with you, but plenty in the stock market elsewhere. They might be like the house next door that sustained extreme damage. There’s a reason they should have a portfolio that’s allocated between stocks, bonds and cash. If you hold the proper licenses, you can help.

2. Protected Products

Insurance comes to mind. Annuities and whole life insurance usually build cash value slowly but surely through earned interest. This might be part of the diversification strategy. It can also be part of the retirement income strategy.

3. Paying Down Debt

Put credit card debt at the top of the list. If the stock market declines, “paper profits” can instantly vanish. Funny how that revolving charge card balance only goes up, assuming you use your cards regularly and only make minimum payments. Remind clients one of the easiest ways to (effectively) make 17% annually is to stop paying 17% annually to your charge card company on your outstanding balance.

4. Buy Stocks Now

Many of the world’s richest people got there through real estate. In your community, you’ve heard stories of the guy who bought when foreclosures were all around or the woman who bought a beach house after a big storm. Back to the stock market. Lots of good companies have taken a beating. They are on sale at reduced prices.

5. Cash Reserve

Your retired client draws down their retirement assets to fund their lifestyle. That’s why those assets are there. Sometimes it’s not a good time to be selling stocks. They need to put some cash aside (hopefully in good times) so they can leave their investments alone in difficult times.

You’ve kept in touch with your client through the storm. Maybe their other advisors did, maybe not. You want to take the initiative, be a good neighbor and help them move those fallen tree limbs when the hurricane has passed.

— Read What Can Insurance Agents Do During Stock Market Declines?on ThinkAdvisor.

Bryce SandersBryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.