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Good Thursday morning, the first day of Spring if you can believe it! And yes, we’re talking about dinner tables. They’ve taken on a different character and quality over the past few weeks haven’t they? One week ago, our family got word that our kids would be out of school, effective immediately and we’re settling into a new rhythm and reality in our home. Subsequent days brought an incredible flood of new information regarding the global spread and implications of COVID-19 and guidance from our federal and local leadership as to how we should respond. We’d venture to say that none of us have seen something change day-to-day life on a global scale so quickly. In the midst of unprecedented change, the dinner table has been a sacred place for our family—a place for remembering what’s good and important, for asking questions, expressing doubts, and getting clarity on our next steps. A place where we can be real with all of it and somehow have a deep-seated assurance that we’ll get through this together.

The Tschetter Group team has been around the figurative dinner table too. When we remember what’s good and important at that table, it’s clients and friends of the firm. And our questions about and clarity on our next steps is focused on how we can best serve you and the broader community during this time of immense change and challenge. On that front, we wanted to share a few updates and commitments:

  • We are here.  On Monday, we made the decision to move to a remote work setup for the team. Thankfully, we are set up well from a technology standpoint to do this and maintain smooth functioning of the planning and investment management activities we do day to day on clients’ behalf. Please continue to reach out to us as you normally would if there’s anything you need. While we will miss seeing clients and friends in our office for now, we are ready and able to use our conference call and video conferencing capabilities for meetings.
  • We are proactively managing client portfolios. We realize it’s painful to watch the recent declines and dramatic daily gyrations in the market. We’ve guided investors through a number of turbulent markets over the years and have the benefit of experience and perspective to know that it’s best to ride out these temporary periods with a sound and disciplined investment strategy. We believe doing so will continue to produce the attractive long-term gains we’re after to meet our clients’ financial goals. We realize this doesn’t necessarily make it easy to endure a market like this, but maintaining that long-term perspective can bring some comfort. And as we mentioned in our last letter, fear in markets tends to produce opportunity and we’re actively pursuing newly uncovered bargains.
  • We are optimistic. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, our optimism isn’t the “head in the sand” type. We are fully aware of the difficulty this pandemic brings to our global economies, markets, and daily life. Our hearts deeply ache for those who are experiencing illness, job loss, financial hardship, or any number of challenges from this. And yet, our hope and confidence in a brighter future remains. We realize it may sound like foolishness in times like these, but let us say with conviction that it’s not. It’s actually what gets us all through.

On this last point, we want to thank many of you for reaching out with kind words, pictures from your happy places (see above), and well wishes for our team. We said in a recent letter that history has shown love to be the antidote to fear and a dear client called and told us she hadn’t been able to get that thought out of her head since she read it. Neither can we. What’s powerful is that when we choose love, it tends to produce more of it (and if fear, unfortunately, more of that too). Thanks for showing this to be true, it encourages us to fan the flames of kindness and care we see emerging in the midst of current difficulty.
We feel as though we are around the dinner table with our clients. Hard questions and doubts are also welcome at this table. We’re in this together and here to help clarify next steps in their financial life, whether investments or planning.  Our long-term optimism is firmly intact as we envision the future for them and their investments.

So if you or someone you know are struggling to find healthy perspective and direction in this market environment and we can help; please let us know. You or they will be welcome at the table too.

Throughout my entire career, I’ve been researching investments and managing portfolios, which is a passion, but the real joy for me is connecting that expertise and experience with clients through lifelong relationships. In other words, it’s the “why” and the “who” that turn my crank, not the “what.” Life is most fulfilling when I spend my time and energy in a way that is aligned with what and whom I love. I’m grateful to have that alignment in my work.