Over the last four months businesses around the world have struggled to come to terms with Coronavirus and the impact it is having on our way of life. At this time, we can begin to reflect on recent events and to form an initial assessment about how we have performed during this time and the difficulties that we will face in the future.
I am proud of the way that Atherton York has responded to the challenges that we have faced through the Coronavirus crisis and wanted to outline to you the steps that we have taken to ensure that we delivered you a seamless service and sound advice at this time.
With a distrust of Government, and applying what we thought to be common sense, we took the decision to close down our offices and work from home early and before instructed to do so, meaning we could test our ability to work remotely and to provide ongoing security. This presented a number of challenges to our team, but all of these were overcome and we were very quickly fully operational, in doing so minimising any downtime.
On 28th February, at the escalation of the outbreak, we took the time to write to each and every client to outline three practical steps that they should take in the face of the global pandemic. You can read these steps here The Impact of the Coronavirus on Financial Markets.
We also identified our most exposed and vulnerable clients, namely those taking pension or investment income and the elderly. I personally contacted each and every one of these clients to ask about their health and well-being and to suggest amendments to their finances that would offer them protection and longevity of their finances at this time.
As the crisis grew in severity and depth, we again felt the need to write to all clients on 3rd April 2020. Our message was unequivocal and direct – ‘stay disciplined and stay invested’. Although this was a dark and difficult time, we believed that the interests of most investors was to stay calm and ‘stay in the seat’. You can read our second article The Impact of the Coronavirus on Financial Markets Part 2 here.
On Monday 15th June we returned to the workplace with staff working on a rota basis to minimize risks and contacts. We have completed a Coronavirus return to work risk assessment exercise and a strict social-distancing policy has been implemented. We hope to welcome clients back to our offices in the coming weeks and months and the provision is in place to do so safely.
At this time and always, we believe that investors and retirees, should focus on our four enduring investment principles to ensure good financial outcomes for them and their families. Focus not on markets and headlines, but on things that you can control:
This year will prove to be the year when investment discipline is needed more than ever. The lockdown may be easing and restrictions may becoming looser, but there are further challenging headlines ahead and we must be prepared for these. We see volatile markets ahead in the immediate future.
Every pound saved in costs is a pound earned. We are unable to control markets, but we can control costs. At Atherton York we work tirelessly to find exceptional value financial products so that you can rest assured that your costs are tightly controlled.