It’s been a crazy couple of months for everyone with so many challenges to overcome for people and businesses. I thought it might be good to share some of our experiences at bdb financial and what we’ve been up to under lockdown.
Thanks to some great organisational work from Andrew and Oli early on we were able to get the whole team up and running from home quickly when the decision was made to leave the office.
Forward planning and other meetings have inevitably moved into the digital world, however from our experience with working with clients internationally we already had a process for this so the wholesale transition to this was quite smooth. Whilst there is no substitute for face to face conversations we have had some brilliant client meetings reviewing portfolio performance, cashflow forecasting and financial planning.
The current situation has changed some families’ circumstances, risk capacity and plans need to be adjusted accordingly. This just reinforces the need for good planning and we are ready and able to help with it. It might be difficult to think about the next ten to twenty years right now but we would urge you not to hesitate when Catherine gets in touch to schedule that remote meeting or to call if you have one of those big questions you need help with answering.
Video calls are an unavoidable part of the working day and I’m sure you too will now be familiar with some of the challenges these present. Not least the sharing of broadband with the other members of the household! If there are any worries about getting the technology working for a meeting, let us know; a call ahead of time can easily get everything ‘tuned up’ so that when the time comes we can focus on the important stuff.
For those who are interested, we have used several different software packages for meetings depending upon the nature of the requirements, Slack for internal messaging and calls, Zoom for our Monday night quiz and Thursday afternoon webinar and our existing Gotomeeting setup for FPMs. Each has its pros and cons, it's about using the right tool for each job.
Our work on rolling out the client portal has served us extremely well as we can share securely online those documents which would traditionally be sent in the post. This has accelerated the realisation of our vision for this service as we strengthen security of your data and reduce environmental impact. The Portal is here to stay, so if you are one of the few who are yet to get setup, give Fred here a call.
Staying in touch
Our Monday night quiz brilliantly hosted by Catherine has been a great way to see our clients and friends for a bit of informal fun once a week. It's not too late to join us in marveling at how low I can score on the Celebrity round. Let us know you'd like to join here.
The well publicised fall in investment markets prompted a desire to communicate quickly and effectively with our clients from our home offices. Andrew and I hosted a well attended live discussion on markets and from that our weekly Thursday Webinar was born. We’ve since moved on to discussing other investment topics; we intend to continue with it and look forward to covering other topics on the theme of evidence based investing, life planning and financial planning. If you are interested you can join us through this link using the password "Evidence" and catch up here.
We are immensely proud of the way in which our team has stepped up to the challenge of working from home given the strain placed on all of us right now. Keeping up the spirits of others has been a collective effort and it has brought the team closer together despite being physically apart. We have scheduled morning catch ups and coffee breaks every day to substitute those watercooler moments and its been great to share our baby photos, lockdown experiences, cooking, gardening and art projects and exercise accountability (even if that is just a trundle to the fridge).
So What's Next?
It's not perfect and we are all missing each other and our loved ones. However for bdb we are not anticipating a simple return to the way everything was being done before. We are already thinking about what we are learning from the experience and I am confident that an even stronger and better bdb will emerge.
One trend we are already seeing gain momentum is people starting to reassess their priorities. A lot of this is about time; whether that’s spending less of it commuting to the office, more time with loved ones, family and friends, the importance of health and wellbeing. As you know this lies at the heart of what bdb is all about, that money is not the important thing it just enables us to do interesting and important things. This is not something that the majority of financial advisors can help with and we are therefore expecting greater demand for our service once people can ‘come up for air’. Therefore if you have family, friends or colleagues who would benefit from all we do then do please encourage them to get in touch sooner rather than later so we can ensure they get our best attention.
We watch the situation and guidance closely and continue to assess what is right for our clients and our team with respect to a return to our beautiful office. For now we continue with our planning work on the digital platforms and look forward to seeing you there soon. We hope you all are coping well (personally and professionally) and are healthy and happy. We are ready and able to help with those planning conversations when you are.