The faces and spaces of work during Covid

May 19, 2020

It goes without saying that the last couple of months have been a time of great uncertainty. At times, it has seemed overwhelming. So many things that we take for granted have been taken away from us. On top of that, in the span of three weeks, equity markets around the world plummeted by 35%. Clients are fearful about the well being of their nest-eggs, which have been rising steadily since the last financial crisis in 2008.

A good bear market?

I remember joining T.E. Wealth a year prior to that crisis. I had my first lunch with my colleague, Rob Broad. I’ll never forget him saying that the markets needed ”a good bear market.” This shocked me a little…..a portfolio manager asking for a bear market?

The market got what it needed about eight months later. He knew then that the market had gotten away from itself and was due to pull back. Rob is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager who’s been with T.E. Wealth for over 20 years. I knew I would like him from that first day that we had lunch together. Not only on a personal level, but on a professional one too. The way he builds portfolios, listens to his clients and always puts them first aligns strongly with my own values. I’ve learned a lot from Rob over the past 13 years, and still do.

Surviving uncertainty

Over the past five weeks, Rob and I have been on the phone together a lot and the conversations and temperament we’ve been experiencing with clients is similar to the mood back in 2008. There’s a need for concern, but not panic.

Portfolios are built to handle times like this. Stay calm and know that there are times when things don’t work out short term, but will in the long term if you stick with your plan. While life is uncertain at the moment, we should all feel very fortunate to have someone like Rob on our side as both an advisor and a colleague. His years of experience, knowledge and client-first attitude are a welcome certainty in these uncertain times. Be grateful for whoever the Rob is in your life.

Commercial real estate

Once we come out of this lockdown, how will companies view – and handle – employees working from home? With more of us becoming comfortable working from home and realizing the benefits, such as less commute time and travel costs (not to mention, working in my track pants!), how desirable will it be to go back to the office?

It seems that after every recession, vacancy rates rise and lease rates go down, but this time the decrease in demand may last quite a bit longer. It may also mean that I get a bigger office with a sofa, my own bar and a desk drawer full of cigarettes to cope with the need to physical distance myself from my co-workers (can you tell we’re on the last season of Mad Men in our house?).

Terry Willis, Vice President & Financial Consultant
T.E. Wealth