Business as (un)Usual

May 13th, 2020 post featured image

“We’re going to have to rethink many ways of how organizations are going to be able to function in the future.”[1] – The Honorable Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

It goes without saying that by now, we are all intimately aware of the enormous strain this global pandemic has put on our day to day lives. Like most people around the world, Canadians are struggling to cope with the stress of juggling numerous roles – teacher, caregiver, full-time employee – on top of varying degrees of financial instability and health concerns.

While COVID-19 – and the ripple effects it is having on our world – is not normal, the recent economic downturn is considered a part of the natural cycle of the markets. Markets go up and down in the short-term, sometimes drastically, but in the long-term, markets go up. Drops usually occur quickly while increases are more slow, and last for a much longer period.

Significant drops like the one we experienced in March are characterized by large, single day movements. That includes single day increases which can happen with no warning. Even amid all this uncertainty, the markets went up close to 9% each on two separate days in March.

While it may be nerve-wracking to watch the news or look at our accounts and see them down, now is not the time to panic. After 11 years of an up market, we were due for a drop. The most important thing to understand is that selling or moving assets to cash now would crystalize losses; if no sale is made, any loss is only theoretical. Selling in March – and missing the two, single day increases of about 9% each – equates to over 18% forgone in increases. The best strategy for most is to ride it out and wait for the markets to recover – which they will.

In these volatile and uncertain times, you deserve to have access to sound advice from knowledgeable advisors. To meet your needs, many financial advisors are implementing changes in the way they conduct business. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see going forward at Intent Planning:

Flexible meetings

To facilitate physical distancing, the advisors at Intent are more than happy to offer video or phone meetings in lieu of meeting face-to-face. The goal here is to adapt to meet the evolving needs of clients, pandemic, or no. We believe it is reasonable to carry these adaptations forward to a time when we are no longer in crisis and while we don’t believe in-person meetings should be replaced, we do see the value of offering more meeting options to our clients.

Electronic options

In recent years, we have seen several of our processes shift to online. Where only paper copies of applications used to be available, we now have electronic versions that can be printed or emailed to clients. Physical distancing mandates have revealed how necessary it is to expedite this shift and update paperwork processes and thankfully, many insurance carriers and financial service providers are doing just that. Wherever possible, we are taking advantage of new electronic application and signature options to eliminate the need to complete paperwork in person.

Temporary exceptions and relaxed requirements

From group renewals to life insurance underwriting, exceptions and relaxed requirements are temporarily being offered by carriers, like Canada Life, on a case by case basis. If you are concerned about your affairs – premiums, renewals, or whether you have enough insurance – let us know and we will do everything we can to ensure your needs are continuing to be met.

Here at Intent, we are in your corner and ready to help deliver peace of mind, however we can. For questions or concerns about your financial situation, connect with us.

Be kind to yourself and remember: the goal should not be to return to normal… instead it should be to improve, across all industries, so to make life better for all Canadians.

[1] 52:51, This Week with Canada Life conference call