During these times of uncertainty, protecting the health and safety of our employees, clients, and community is paramount. While navigating a rapidly evolving situation, I want to assure you that we remain attentive to your needs and are committed to providing uninterrupted service to the best of our abilities.
We have a carefully crafted business continuity plan in full effect, leveraging operational systems and technology platforms that position us to meet the challenges of a changing environment. In doing so, we are implementing the following precautionary measures, effective immediately:
Our offices: While our physical offices will be closed, our employees will be working remotely and remain responsive to your needs. We encourage you to communicate with your service teams as you normally do via phone and email.
Meetings and business travel: At this point in time, we intend to keep all existing meeting appointments with our clients by holding virtual meetings through our secure teleconferencing and phone systems. In light of Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania’s recent shutdown of all non-essential businesses in the state, and our desire to be a good corporate citizen, we are suspending business travel and in-person meetings until deemed safe.
Protecting yourself and others: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuously updating their website regarding the collective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Tips for understanding how the virus spreads, preventing illness, and keeping communities safe can all be found on the CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov.
We currently believe the effects on the economy from the Coronavirus will be short-term. However, it is likely we will have a recession, defined as a minimum of two consecutive quarters of negative GDP (economic output) growth. Historically, stocks begin to increase in value after a recession has started but before it ends. History also shows that stocks will recover from this decline and go on to higher highs. That recovery is unpredictable and can happen in a very short period of time. Big daily up moves frequently follow big daily down moves.
These are some of the reasons that we urge patience and steadfastness during periods such as this. With our broadly diversified global stock portfolios, volatility (the ups and downs in the market), is the primary risk investors are compensated for by higher long-term returns. Selling after prices have declined and not being invested during the subsequent recovery leads to permanent losses in wealth. I urge you to talk to your financial advisor and review your financial plan if you have any concerns.
Please know that your best interests are at the heart of every decision we make, and we will notify you of any updates as they arise and address any questions or concerns you may have. Above all, please take all necessary precautions to care for yourself and your loved ones during this unusual time. We’re all in this together.