Cannon Financial Institute

Be Prepared

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Do you know how to correction proof your practice? What do I mean? Think of this analogy. You’re on a jet airliner which encounters major turbulence. It can be scary, but it’s not something to fear. Pilots train for this, and the wings on airliners are designed to flex upwards by as much as twenty-five feet in severe turbulence. [1]

How about your practice? If the market encounters turbulence, or even a correction, do you and your team know what to do? Have you incorporated flexibility into your toolkit? Just like pilots train for turbulence, you can train yourself and your team on how to deal with clients and thrive in the event of a market correction. Why is this important?

According to the Journal of Financial Therapy, as many as 93% of advisors suffered from PTSD like symptoms in the wake of the last market crash. [2] This happened because of two factors. First, the relentless negative conversations with clients who had sustained losses, and second, the severe stress brought on advisers by the loss of client relationships, AUM, and personal losses in their income and assets.

In the previous seven months, Cannon professionals have held many intensive, detailed conversations with advisors who successfully weathered the last major storm. Based on this, along with the experience of our own professionals, all of whom come from the industry, Cannon Financial Institute has created a new program for Financial Advisers and their teams: Correction Proof Your Practice.

This new program offers a roadmap and a toolkit to prepare advisors to deal effectively with any coming correction. But this isn’t about survival. This is about how to thrive in a new environment and grow your practice.  

 That’s why we have built the program around the following mnemonic of GROWTH which will focus you and your team on maintaining and enhancing client confidence in a difficult period. 

Goals

Reality

Options

Way Forward

Track

Hold the hands of your clients

How will your clients react in a downturn? You can get a sense of this by simply asking a client how they define a significant loss of money in the stock market. 10%? 20%? 30%? Have you prepped your clients on what has happened in previous downturns?

When a correction occurs, you need to call your clients before they call you. This seems obvious, but few of us want to deliver unhappy news to people.

Prepare for this call or this type of conversation by using the GROWTH mnemonic.

Apply appropriate interpersonal skills, empathy, active listening, meaningful questioning so your clients will have confidence that you are watching over their money. Clients are far more concerned about what is happening to their money than what is happening in the market.

Analyze your practice for vulnerabilities before a correction occurs. Depending on the age and risk profile of your clients, now is the time to adjust client portfolios to reflect the best thinking given current realities. If you have a lot of clients at an 80% equity allocation, you may want to review why and when you and your different clients made this decision.

While this seems counter-intuitive, you can grow your practice by prospecting in a downturn because most other advisers are cowering under their desks.

Protect yourself and your practice by applying effective stress management techniques. This is easy to say but hard to do. Techniques such as frequent deep breathing aren’t difficult to do.  Making yourself do them is difficult.  

Since the last market correction was ten years ago, you are ten years closer to retiring. Have you prepared yourself and your portfolio for a downturn? You need to have peace of mind when communicating with clients.

You might think you know all this. If you are a senior Financial Advisor, you’ve been through this before, yet many of year team members only know a bull market. They have never met its evil counterpart.

In the heat of the moment, everyone including you need to act, not react. Think of this way, there is a reason athletic teams practice and orchestras rehearse. Now is the time for you and your team to rehearse how you are going to act in a downturn.

 

To learn more about this topic, register for our Correction Proof Your Practice Course

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Contributing Writer: Subject Matter Expert Charles McCain

 

Resources:

[1] https://www.wired.com/2010/03/boeing-787-passes-incredible-wing-flex-test/

[2] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/93-of-financial-advisers-had-ptsd-after-2008-2013-05-09

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