Clearly, our nation is taking unprecedented steps to mitigate the spread of COVID19. This is having an impact on market sentiment. Markets have always been discounting mechanisms, and frankly, they’re doing just that today. The question remains, is the market re-pricing risk in a disproportionate way? Only time will reveal that answer.
Today, I wanted to announce a few things in light of the President’s declaration of a state of emergency on Friday.
First – Keystone Financial Group has a written, and thorough disaster response and recovery plan of action. Among other things, this covers events of weather, terrorism, cyber attacks, and we have amended the plan now to include the possibility of quarantine. Should the need arise for me or any of my staff to be quarantined, we have written procedures in place and a strategy to provide for the continuation of service and communication. Any of us can work from wherever we have a wifi signal. Platforms exist on securely encrypted sites that aren’t required to be native to our device. Phones can be forwarded, and service continued. Should the situation ever deteriorate to the point where no one is available on a given day between our Trussville and Homewood offices, backup provisions are in place at the home office levels.
Second – I will be hosting conference calls until further notice at 3:30pm Central Daylight Time, each afternoon. To join any of these calls, please dial 1 (866) 848-2216, and input conference code 2259386332 when prompted to do so. The call is toll free. This is our effort to remain in contact with everyone through all channels available to us, at all times. We’re constantly surrounding ourselves with the most current information available, from dispassionate sources, including the economists, analysts, and fund managers that we’ve followed for years. We’re assessing
that information, assimilating it, and trying to deliver it to you in a timely manner, through a variety of means, so that you may have facts, and sources of facts, with which to counterbalance the sensationalism of the media.
Third – I and my staff have been tested for COVID19 due to a 2nd generation contact with someone who has tested positive for the disease. We have received negative results on our tests. However, to respect the guidance being provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC, and World Health Organization, we will immediately begin to limit the number of in person meetings that we schedule. Out of an abundance of caution, we will suspend meetings with those considered to be in high risk categories by the agencies listed above. We will try to limit in person meetings to situations where the observation of a wet signature may be required for example, or other similar situations. We live in a world of Docusign electronic signature now, email, video conferencing and other advancements of technology, that enable us to remain functional, while respecting the mandates of social distancing.
Lastly – Please open every email that you receive from us over the coming weeks. We are working long hours to contact as many people as we can by telephone, but logistically, this is impossible to accomplish over a short period of time. Through such means as email, video and audio conferencing, we’re able to communicate with many people at once, and impart up to date information that you need to have. Never hesitate to call with your questions, concerns and needs of clarity.
Clients and friends – remember that from the outset, the intent has always been to achieve a quantifiable objective, through a strategy built upon the unique input that you provided to us. It was never about being in the market on the up days, or being out on the down days. This is about achieving goals, over time, with a disciplined approach to the implementation of your plan. At times like these, you must have as much conviction toward that goal as you do when things aren’t so volatile. In turn, I must have the skin of a rhinoceros, and remain your dispassionate advisor, as we remain committed to the trust, confidence, and task with which you’ve charged us.
This situation emerged quickly. It wasn’t something that we could have seen taking shape in economic or market data. No one knows where the point of inflection might be, where markets again reprice risk, and assess the degree by which assumptions may be disproportionate. Personally, I believe that we’re closer to that day today than we were yesterday. I can tell you that we’ll get through this, and we’ll do so together.