Our Operational Response to COVID-19 March 18, 2020
Being Prepared and Proactive is the Petersen Hastings Way
We began thinking about COVID-19 a few weeks ago when there was talk about the novel virus and what it might mean to have a national outbreak. Our investment committee and trading department was prepared to rebalance accounts as the markets respond to the news. During the last recession, these tactics proved very valuable to our clients. As the situation developed, we have tried to keep clients informed about what we are doing, reminding them to stay calm and not make a decision that would permanently reduce their probability of positive outcomes.
Protecting Our Clients & Our Team
We have a Disaster Recovery Plan (mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for all Registered Investment Advisors) that we have tested and practiced over the years. Although they were tests, these “fire drills” have been a proving ground for our continuity of advice and portfolio management in a time of crisis. We have the ability to work remotely, and we are equipped and ready to provide our usual high level of service, even if we are no longer able to meet with clients in person at our office. We have document sharing capabilities through our portal, video conferencing, email, and the telephone to continue communications.
Actions We Are Taking
We want to prudently support the suppression of this virus by limiting our exposure with our clients and each other. With that in mind, we will not be accepting client meetings in our office or traveling to meet clients at another location for the next three weeks. After that, we will evaluate our team’s ability and the governing authority’s recommendations and requirements about reopening the office and traveling to meet clients. You can reach us using our listed phone numbers, and our system will provide access to the people you need to speak to. You can also locate individual staff email addresses on our website. We encourage you not to send private information over email. If you do not have access to your client portal via our online system, please contact our client services team soon to get set up.
The Federal Government is taking unprecedented action along with the Federal Reserve to mitigate the anticipated shock to our system caused essentially by the government instructing businesses to close, and people to stay home. This type of “caused recession” has never happened before. Similarly, the financial crisis of 2007-2009 and oil embargo of 1973-1974 were also unforeseen.
Our firm has developed tailored investment strategies designed to achieve each individual’s specific goals. We have stress tested plans to instill confidence, even though the market is down. The strategies we use to invest have proven to be effective in previous market declines and global crises. We strongly believe they will work this time too.
We are committed to helping you through this crisis and will do the best we possibly can. We may not have all the answers, but we are committed to communicating honestly and transparently, while providing our best advice. We have been through tough times before and we will go through tough times again. Thank you for your confidence in us. We will get through this together!