Covid-19 and your financial planning
A key principle we’re adopting under the present circumstances is one of thoughtful response, as distinct from emotive reaction.
We may not be able to control what happens in the broader world, but what we can do is determine our response and plan ahead on the basis of those things we know we can rely on. As such, this edition includes comment on practical steps that can be taken to make sure that you are in the best position possible with regard to your own financial planning as we move forward.
We will highlight many of the concrete actions that we can help you to take, including those that we sometimes put off, as well as considering some of the softer steps that may be relevant for some families – for example, the highly topical issue of mental health.
Office-based meetings and working with you today
As many of you have experienced already, we have the technology and skills to reach out to your living rooms, studies or wherever you may be. We’re using video conferencing to provide relevant, comprehensive planning advice – including full reviews and cashflow planning – just as we would have done with a face-to-face meeting.
With fluctuating news flows, second wave risk and uncertainty around susceptibility to infection risk, we have concluded that, for the foreseeable future, effective online engagement should be the new normal.
We are seeing increasing advantages on both sides; easier meeting scheduling, reduced travel time, replacing longer meetings with shorter, focused sessions, and the digital completion of paperwork. Whilst this is a change for everyone, it is as important as ever in the current environment (if not more so) to review your financial affairs against your strategic long-term plans.
We are considering a partial return to our offices in Weybridge and Clerkenwell from September at the earliest. If we can eliminate risk and engage as fully as before, that’s the route we will take. Taking the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint alongside releasing transport capacity for essential workers are also significant factors.
Global trends and investment
The pandemic is having a dramatic impact on financial markets, with many forecasts suggesting that the global economy will endure a serious recession, the length and depth of which remain uncertain.
We will continue to comment on this on a regular basis via our i-Wire updates, along with regular dialogue with your HFMC Wealth advisory team. You may also enjoy our extended thought piece on evolving global issues from Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics at the University of Kent and a contributor Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, as well as various national journals and newspapers.
Easy to find online resources
We have significantly upgraded our website, which has an increasing amount of helpful information for you, ranging from Covid-19 related technical bulletins through to guides on the pension Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance.
Developing our new client portal, HFMC Connect
This major project is being tested, with a lot of help from clients (thank you!).
HFMC Connect will ultimately serve as your ‘go-to’ place for key documentation including wills, ‘in case of emergency’ information, overviews of your assets, investments, insurances and if you wish, even summarising bank account data and spending patterns.
Our initial simple focus will be on HFMC Connect holding quarterly valuations for those of our clients using our Quadrant Asset Management Service on the Pershing platform, making them easily accessible electronically and replacing the quarterly paper packs previously being sent out.
The service is accessed via the HFMC Connect mobile app with a simple PIN login available on both iPhone and Android. We will work with you throughout the forthcoming year to help you optimise the use of HFMC Connect as an easy and convenient way to access to your key financial information.
Thank you for continuing to work with us – we never take this for granted.