Good Afternoon Legacy Wealth Alliance Family,
I hope this finds all of you doing excellent and continuing to stay COVID free. The first quarter of 2021 has come and gone. A year ago, the global pandemic was shutting down businesses across America. The S&P 500 lost -34% by March 2020. The fastest Bull to Bear market in history. As they say, “time heals all wounds”. The stock market improved from these short-term deficits and once again was trading at all-time highs by the end of the year. It baffles me how much uncertainty has occurred in many areas (healthcare, political, etc.) simultaneously and yet the market was so robust after the March 2020 declines. In my experience in this industry, it typically only took uncertainty in one of these areas to cause the market to capitulate. Course, the almost $3 trillion-dollar COVID stimulus that came out of Washington, certainly helped. While the strong market momentum we saw in the last half of 2020 has slowed, the stock indexes are showing positive results thus far into 2021. Along with the continued almost 2 trillion dollar “COVID 2” stimulus that occurred last month and another $2 trillion Infrastructure Bill that is expected later this year.
Our theme this year is “Dynamic Change Implemented”. Much of 2020 required patience and a “wait and see” approach to discover the outcomes from the chaos. The markets and business in general are more positive than they were. In Arizona, schools have re-opened, along with restaurants, and my favorite, the gyms. The environment is improving, much to the distributions of the vaccines, yet this same environment is far from “normal”. Due to liability, much of the financial industry is still on “work from home” protocols causing longer delays in hold times and service standards. Some industries have succeeded in these new work environments and others continue to use COVID as an excuse not to perform. What is true, is “normal” may never be back to where it was. The same thing for us at Legacy Wealth Alliance. While we prefer face to face in office meetings, there are differing levels of “safe” among our clients. Some prefer no masks, some come to the office masked up, and some are uncomfortable being in any environment other than their own homes. As a small firm we are quicker to change, utilizing video conferencing and whatever method works best for you.
At times, it is the “change” itself that forces creativity and innovation and new ways of doing business. Despite having clients in multiple states, we never utilized video conferencing and because of COVID, have found a new way to deliver our work and stay connected effectively. Our use of electronic documents and signatures has also improved our service levels and turn-around times. In transparency, unlikely we would have these additional ways to serve you, without being thrust into a situation to adapt and innovate. As you know, it is important to us to find new ways we can increase our value to you, your wealth, and enhance our relationship together. These changes have been needed and there is still more we are working on rolling out. There are also areas when changes are implemented, that leads to opportunities that were totally unexpected.
Our practice has always been in Arizona. Working in this transient state, where not many are from, many clients graciously prefer to maintain their relationship with us when they move to other states. We are now licensed to do business in 20 states across the country. Unexpectedly with video conferencing, clients are now introducing us to family, friends, and business associates living in other states. The confines of a geographic office location are going away. If we are not licensed in the remaining states, we can become licensed to help those families and businesses with their wealth and futures. All positive outcomes for growing our firm. Had these implemented changes not been required by COVID, these opportunities to help others inter-state, would not have happened.
As you know, we are big proponents of planning. Beyond financial planning, every decade we create a 10-year business plan. One thing about either plan, is while it helps sharper your focus and direction, it rarely turns out identical to how we have built it to occur. Sometimes, goals are achieved sooner than we expected. At times it takes longer or requires additional resources. Like your own financial plans, there are things like COVID that even if we spent the entire year of 2019 planning for possible outcomes, we would have been unsuccessful in anticipating. There are challenges or situations that happen unexpectedly. The unexpected changes, for a planner, bring the most angst, emotional distress, and in my world sleepless nights that begin at 2:30 AM. While difficult, “time heals all wounds” and once you can get past the emotion and upset it causes, which is easier said than done, you know the change itself will make you stronger, better, lead you to new opportunities, and one day look upon that moment with gratitude. It also confirms in our case, the reality of our business theme, “Dynamic Change Implemented”.
In that light, and after six years together working and growing Legacy Wealth Alliance, Pattie has decided to resign and move on to another opportunity. This “change” was not anticipated. Pattie has been what my wife Amy refers to, as my “work spouse”. I pride myself on creating a corporate culture where you are valued as a human being and not only a human doing. The same intimacy we share with you; knowing your goals, how you think, your family dynamics, etc., we share internally as a team beyond “business only”. Other than my wife, who I will celebrate 29 years of her not kicking me to the curb next month, Pattie has been the operational person of my profession for the last six years. She knew what I needed, at time before I did. When I got busy, she would silently put my lunch on my desk, to remind me it was time to eat. When I threw my suit jacket on the chair, she draped it on the back of the seat. Not to mention all the paperwork and processing she has done for you. She cared! And caring, is not something that can be taught or managed in business. You either have it, or you do not. She wore many hats, worked long hours, and believed in what we do and delivered to you. It is a lot like when my daughter’s left to go to college. While you know intuitively this decision is best for them, a piece of you is missing. While I never make commitments of how long our tenure may last together with our team, I have a belief to do whatever I can to make them the best at their role and be there to listen or provide support when personal challenges arise. To know Pattie, is to know her faith in God is important. She feels that God is leading her to a different path. And to her credit, she is listening. We are happy for her and sad for us at the same time. Bittersweet. I know she has enjoyed working with all of you over the years and the relationships she has developed. If she had more time, working to get everything done for us plus her daughter is being induced tomorrow as she awaits the arrival of her first grandchild, she would have called to tell you goodbye and shared how special you were to her. I was fortunate to be able to play on her team for six years. She made us better as a business and me better as an employer. She leaves us with a lot of memories, and we wish her all the success and happiness in her pursuits. We are diligently searching for her replacement and will communicate that to you upon discovery. I ask for your patience with us, as we work with a “woman down”. Please join me in wishing her well. Like with my daughters, it is time to let her go and watch her grow even further. Knowing that a piece of us goes with her. She will make us proud! Once you join our Legacy Wealth Alliance Family, whether as a client or part of our team, and regardless of your future affiliations, you will always be part of us. Thank you for all you did and gave Pattie. We will miss you!
Pursuing Wealth, Wisdom, and Well Being Together,
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