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3 Ways to Advise Clients Through Economic Volatility

As the market fluctuates with little predictability, it’s imperative to stay in front of our life-health clients’ concerns now more than ever.
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3 ways to advise clients through economic volatility

Your life insurance clients are probably feeling anxious right now, and they're not alone. In fact, 72% of Americans are nervous they'll be personally impacted by a recession in the next year, according to a recent MDRT study.

As the market fluctuates with little predictability, it's imperative to stay in front of our clients' concerns now more than ever. Follow these three tips to ensure their life goals are on track:

1) Create perspective. One of the best things we can do for our clients, in good times and bad, is create perspective. When the market is good, remind them not to get too excited—there's often a bear market around the corner. When the market is bad, remind them that too will pass. 

And if a client calls, panicked that the market has dropped, take a step back and share what it means in terms of their personal situation. Perhaps the market has dropped 20%, but if they have a diverse enough portfolio, it may have only dropped by 10%. Constantly creating perspective can help clients know what to expect long-term. Remember too, that the markets being “down" is not always bad. Reframing it as the markets going “on sale" can help positively shift clients' mindsets. Moreover, if it aligns with their life goals, this is an excellent time to buy.

2) Keep the bigger picture in mind. Over half of Americans want their adviser to help them navigate the impact of coronavirus by discussing and adjusting their short- and long-term financial goals, according to the MDRT study.

I recently had a client who was planning to retire in five years but, due to the economic impact of COVID-19, was offered a large buyout at work. She wasn't planning on taking it, but once we discussed her options, accepting the buyout turned out to be a better way to hit her long-term goals in much less time.

3) Be there. One of the worst things we can do in times of economic uncertainty is not to reach out. Call your clients regularly to ask how they are and what they're worried about. In times of crisis, there's a lot of information floating around. It's your job to address it and—if it's false—set the record straight. If it's true, share how it affects your client.

As many as 39% of Americans said dependence on their adviser will increase in a time of a recession, according to MDRT. Though the months ahead are uncertain, one thing is sure: our clients need us now, more than ever. Stay on their radar with regular check-ins, help them navigate the noise and establish proper perspective.

Barbara Pietrangelo is a 22-year MDRT member who specializes in comprehensive financial planning. Pietrangelo offers financial planning and investment advisory services through Pruco Securities, LLC (Pruco) (Member SIPC), under the marketing name Prudential Financial Planning Services (PFPS), pursuant to separate client agreement. Offering insurance and securities products and services as a registered representative of Pruco, and an agent of issuing insurance companies.

This article was originally posted in the August 2020 issue of Independent Agent magazine

Thursday, August 27, 2020