"The toilet paper had armed guards."
"We celebrated birthdays and graduations over Zoom."
"Our children and our pets were our officemates."
One day, we'll look back on these strange days and tell stories about the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
But right now, we're getting through it. One day at a time.
How are you doing? What stories can you share with me about your life right now? Hit "reply" and tell me. I'd love to hear about them.
In difficult times, it's easy to think we are alone. Especially when our loved ones and support system are far away or reduced to virtual connections.
We are all learning how to adjust to a new world and stay grounded when headlines are blaring, people are losing lives and livelihoods, and our very health and well-being are under threat.
I'm working on being grateful for my blessings in this life.
I'm grateful for my wife and my daughters.
I'm grateful for my health and my home.
I'm grateful for my friends and extended family across the country and the globe. We're in this together!
I'm grateful for the opportunity that allows me to help people get through times like these.
I'm grateful for you.
What are you grateful for?
Like WWII and 9/11, we're living through days that will define future generations and change the very fabric of our society.
I don't envy the policymakers making grim trade-offs between life, death, and the economy. How long do we socially distance? What about the 20 million+ who have lost jobs? Or the businesses that have been forced to close?
I hope with all my heart that each one of them has a financial plan and someone they can go to for advice. But my head knows better. I know that many Americans can't survive a couple of months without and income and very few have a trusted financial adviser that is actually helping them get through these challenging times. (1)
What trade-offs are we willing to make to protect those at greatest risk from the disease? We can't put a dollar figure on human life. But we can put a dollar figure on the human cost of jobs lost and businesses closed.
The next few weeks are going to be tough for all of us. And I want you to know that I'm here for you.
While there is a movement to reopen our economy, layoffs and furloughs are still happening and I'm helping affected clients create a game plan to get through the next few months. If this happens to you or someone you love, please let me know immediately so I can help you determine if you're eligible for special assistance.
I, and the team behind me, are also working on action plans for multiple economic scenarios. I'll continue to reach out to you if I think updates to your current strategies should be made.
How do we make good decisions with so much uncertainty and mixed information?
We make a choice:
We can choose to crumble under the weight of fear and uncertainty…
We can choose to simply hunker down and endure…
We can choose to grow, flourish, and come out stronger on the other side. We can be grateful for our blessings and focus on what's within our control: our mindset, our behavior, and the actions we take.
I am fundamentally optimistic about humankind's ability to weather this crisis and use it to grow.
I'm optimistic about how our society will adapt and change due to this crisis. Some of the greatest changes and innovations in history grew out of frightening, pessimistic times.
I'm optimistic about the competence and courage of our nurses and doctors fighting the disease on the front lines.
I'm optimistic about the innovators staying up late in labs, workshops, factories, and offices around the world to create vaccines, treatments, and tools to beat the virus.
I'm optimistic about the new inventions and technologies that will grow out of necessity.
I don't know what challenges the world will throw at us in the coming days and weeks. I do know that I am grateful to be surrounded by smart, motivated people who motivate me to do better.
How can you show up for the people around you? How can you be your best self in these times? How can I help you do it? Hit "reply" and let me know.
"Never bet against America; nothing can stop this nation"
--Warren Buffet, VIRTUAL shareholder meeting, May 4 2020