I’m sure none of us would have forecast this emotional and financial roller-coaster when dawn broke on January 1st, writes Sheena Doherty.
Now, as the year draws to a close, we continue to weather the storm of a pandemic and to deal with volatile markets triggered by Brexit and the US presidential election.
However, there has been good news – the UK was the first country to test and approve a vaccine and this is now being rolled out – hurrah!
Despite the challenges, there have also been positive developments for my business and we are set to emerge from 2020 with well-established revised working methods and robust business model.
Along with the rest of the UK, we faced the enormity of having to leave our Halifax offices in March and our team started working from home, with new technology.
As somebody who was, at best, a bad texter in March, my ability to use technology has soared, along with my confidence!
Technology has delivered many advantages including:
*The ability to interact with seven or eight clients a day – rather than three or four in person.
*Regular online updates, offers of help and “virtual” Covid hugs.
*A sustained and highly-effective social media campaign, to help reach out to clients.
*Well received webinars, videos and blogs.
On another highly positive note, Julie, Beth, Camilla and Sophie have all adapted and grown in their roles over the year and evolved into a team that has genuinely embraced significant changes. We are now delivering even better client interactions – truly amazing in these unprecedented times.”Looking back, March and April were particularly challenging, with the first priority to ensure that my family and professional team were safe.
One of the most positive achievements was to connect with people remotely and our client retention was phenomenal. We have also grown the business, attracting and retaining new clients throughout the year.
Understandably, people were very worried about their investments and these did see a dip during the second quarter of 2020.
Encouragingly, for most clients, the dip was not as great as in 2018 and, on average, funds did not go down by more than 5% during the year. Markets remain volatile however, particularly with news of the mutating virus and ongoing second wave.
“As we carry out end-of-calendar-year reviews, most clients are virtually back or are into positive territory. This just demonstrates the strength of our enduring message that “it’s the time you’re in the market that counts” – rather than “being in and out of the market” when it comes to pensions and long-term investments.
If 2020, has taught me one thing it’s you suddenly appreciate the simple things in life and the people that you love the most.”
Looking ahead, I obviously hope that the vaccine roll-out will eventually restore life to “normal” and that Brexit will not impact the economy adversely.
I have incredibly high hopes for an upbeat and prosperous New Year and hope to add a new member to the team later in 2021,
Excitingly, I am in the process of developing two brand-new advice areas and I’m very much looking forward to launching these early in the New Year.
We have also continued, as a team and individually, to support the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust.
For more details about this fabulous local charity see: Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust
Finally, I hope you have lots of amazing things to look forward in 2021. We all need to just stay safe and look after one another.
The lights are on at the end of the tunnel and hopefully will get brighter.