The coronavirus pandemic has changed so many of our routines. For instance, each summer I take a short trip to the Chicago area to meet up with the Broker-Dealers of the Year winners.
Last summer, I arrived in the Windy City only to discover that I didn’t have the right pair of shoes. I went over to a nearby mall to shop. There were busloads of young visiting teens from China, probably several hundred.
I was so overwhelmed by their presence that I thanked a few of them for visiting the U.S. and for shopping (aka supporting our economy). I also took a picture or two of the crowd, while some of the kids giggled.
One year later, most of us are working from home due to COVID-19, few of us go to malls for leisurely shopping or browsing, and the relationship between the U.S. and China is in tatters.
Still, the crisis has a silver lining or two, as some of the BD leaders pointed out. For instance, our two-hour virtual conversation (held on Aug. 4) was extremely focused, as everyone concentrated on packing in as much information and as many insights as possible into the shorter time frame. We usually have a four- or five-hour meeting when we get together in person.
Several times during the terrific dialogue, I asked the BD executives if we needed a break. The answer was always a firm “no,” and so the discussion just kept rolling along.
And this seems to be the exact approach that advisors and firms have had to the pandemic, treating it as a time to test and improve virtual “business as usual” routines and also developing plenty of new processes and procedures as needed.