Coronavirus Lessons to Help Us Better Prepare for the Next Crisis

Hopefully the coronavirus economic disaster is a once-in-a-lifetime type of event. But there will certainly be some other crisis in the future that you need to be prepared for. Let’s talk about some of the lessons learned so far that will help you next time—if you weren’t prepared this time around …


Walter Storholt: Welcome to another edition of Wright Money tips, the podcast that helps you prepare to get to and through retirement with common sense guidance and advice from Isaac Wright, Financial and Dynamics & Associates president, a charter financial consultant. I'm Walter Storholt filling in for John Stillman on today's podcast. Isaac, are you weathering of the coronavirus storm well, so far? I know things are changing on a daily basis at this point, but hope all is well in your world.

Isaac Wright: Yeah, no thanks for asking. It's been good. Our office and thankfully the kind of work we do as consultants, we're able to really do a lot to help people, whether it's over the phone, a virtual meeting, even face to face. And, of course, a lot of that's going to change, and has changed. And I'm hoping it doesn't change long. It would be nice to be able to get back to some normalcy and move out of the Twilight Zone. But I will share, at least, a little bit of something that I thought was humorous in the midst of all that we're dealing with is, for weeks we've always told people to text the word help to our phone number 777-9999. Of course, you can call as well, but we got a text last week that said virus. So, at least people are listening to what we have to say. And, obviously, that was a concern that they had, and we had a good chat, and actually have a follow-up conversation with them coming up.

Isaac Wright: So, just so you know, today as we go through, and I think we're going to talk a lot about not just the coronavirus but, more importantly, where we're at now in the economy. I think, Walter, we're sitting in a place where a lot of people have absorbed a lot of losses or, in conjunction with that, absorbing a lot of anxiety and we can't cry over spilled milk, but we can start drawing a line in the sand and say, "All right, let's create a plan." If you didn't have one to begin with or up to this point, no harm, no foul. We're not here to give you a hard time. This is about how to, hopefully, maybe understand where a financial and retirement professional can assist you going forward.

Walter Storholt: We can't change anything about the fact that we've been, potentially, punched in the mouth here to use just another way of looking at this. But we can change now how we react, how we respond, what the counterpunch looks like to this threat that we're all facing. And so, we want that to be kind of the mission of today's show. And, certainly, Isaac we hope that this is a once in a lifetime type of event. I hope that there isn't another one of these on the horizon or in the future, but there could certainly be some other crisis in the future that we need to be prepared for. It may look different than the way the current virus looks.

Walter Storholt: And so we want to kind of take a look at some of the lessons so far that we've learned from this pandemic, and how it might help us the next time around, so that we can be better prepared and in a better situation. And I bet a lot of people right now, especially with the job losses that we're hearing all about, a lot of people, Isaac, I'm sure wished they had a better emergency fund in place right about now. And so, that's something that we can take proactive measures for the next crisis that comes out.

Isaac Wright: Yeah, I mean I think Warren Buffett says it best, "When the tide goes out, you kind of get to see who was swimming naked." So, you know, you're looking at a scenario currently where a lot of people are, if they're in a place where they have an emergency fund, not only maybe have a little less stress, but also may even have the capability of taking advantage of other people's anxiety and panic.

Isaac Wright: And actually most of the families that we serve, because we've built a financial plan, we've built contingencies, and we built what I call proactive communication we've been reaching out, and having conversations and, relative to that, looking at the ways to be able to take advantage of a highly anxious situation, Black Swan event, if you will, that we're in, and feeling like you have some control. So, now obviously, that means in the first place that you had a sufficient emergency fund. And I want to say this, if you did not have an emergency fund, or had one that you feel like, "Oh boy, maybe it wasn't quite enough," and you didn't have a financial plan in place this is the time to start saying, "I need to reach out, ask for somebody's help and assistance."

Isaac Wright: So, again, as we go through the show today don't hesitate to shoot me a text. You can text the word help. You can, do what this gentleman did here this week, text the word virus. Or call me at 777-9999 that's area code 804. Again, most people you all should know, we're local right here in the Richmond metro area, we're located in Chesterfield County. A lot of people right now, that's probably the number one thing, is to say how do we prevent this from happening again? So, again, we're not here to say I told you so, we're just here to try to provide a game plan of moving forward.

Walter Storholt: You literally can text whatever you want to 804-777-9999. Just putting the word help in there kind of helps it stand out from potential spam or anything like that. But yeah, virus, Richmond, Isaac, whatever you want to put in there text it to that number and we can get in touch. Or call, the old fashioned way, 804-777-9999.

Walter Storholt: I know people need the help Isaac and it's because of the things that we're talking about on today's show. How much is appropriate in an emergency fund? Answering those kinds of questions. And I think something else that people are probably asking themselves right now, Isaac, is, were you invested in such a way that your portfolio has sustained an unmanageable blow? And I'm sure we've got plenty of people that are raising their hands as they listen to the show today.

Isaac Wright: Yeah. And hear me out because this is two very different but unique questions that change the mindset of where you're at. Many people today are saying, "Give us a call if you've lost too much money." Well, here's the main question you need to ask is, yeah, maybe your portfolio is down, so without causing a bunch of drama, do you feel like, based on where you're at today, was this loss that you currently are experiencing is that an unmanageable situation? And that can mean towards your lifestyle, that can mean towards your emotional health.

Isaac Wright: So if you never have gotten to the point where you've asked yourself that question or it's been since roughly 2008 and 9 since we've had that question, now, it's starting to obviously be on the forefront of many people's minds, and that's the question we want to help solve. And, again, create a baseline of, let's say, if this situation continues to unfold negatively, I'm hoping we are going to be moving in a positive direction here in the next several weeks, but we just don't know and we want to make sure you're in a good spot to have somebody that can be with you through a tough time because you're going to appreciate the times that are not so tough.

Isaac Wright: So, again, feel free. I know asking to have you give me a phone call directly, cover that each and every week, but I'm going to say that a little bit more often today because I think that's a big deal right now, 804-777-9999. Again, you can text me at that same phone number, but I think that the question is knowing if you feel that the portfolio you have has taken an unmanageable blow towards any of the goals that you have set. But, and I'll leave it like this, if you do not have a financial plan or a plan, in general, you may not even understand what those goals are and that makes you even more confused a lot of times. So we can help on both fronts.

Isaac Wright: So Walter, it's just trying to make sense of a tough spot that a lot of people are in right now.

Walter Storholt: Yeah, that's a great point, Isaac. And it's worth repeating throughout today's show, if you need any help with your financial plan, some parts of the world they're still moving. And Isaac and his team, and helping people plan for their financial futures and retirement that's still going on, and you can still get assistance and help. 804-777-9999, again, that number to call or text.

Walter Storholt: Also Isaac, as we look at lessons from the coronavirus so far from a financial perspective have you found out that maybe you consume too much news? Maybe to the point where it gives you some anxiety? Isaac, I notice a dramatic difference on days when I stay more glued to my phone, and checking the news, and social media versus days where I'm busier, and don't have as much time to keep up with the news. I actually ended up, at the end of the day, if I even compare a weekend to a work day, and I'm still working Monday through Friday regular hours, I'm more exhausted at the end of the weekend, day off than I am from the workday because I consume so much more news and the stress level's higher.

Isaac Wright: Well, I mean it's such a unique time in our lives that I'm hoping we'll never experience again from what I would call just a healthcare crisis per se. But you're on top of everything as far as having the news in front of you easier than ever before, you're having to stay home, so how do you escape? And I mean that's why, in some respects, if you can get out of the house, if you can spend time on focusing on maybe activities related to your family and/or your work you can take back a little bit of that control. I know I find especially as I'm sitting here talking about this right now is I'm in a better place when it comes to trying to focus on helping other people.

Isaac Wright: So, just keep in mind the anxiety level that you have is something that also, I think, can be somewhat reduced relative to what you're reading on the news if you have somebody to communicate with. So, again, that's what we're here for, Financial Dynamics, and our team has really been assisting quite a few families here through this pandemic, and we're going to continue to do so. But reach out, 804-777-9999.

Walter Storholt: One more question to ask yourself right now, if you're going through this coronavirus situation and thinking about how to financially respond so that you can be better prepared for a future crisis, perhaps, you can start taking better steps right now to put plans in place. Do you find yourself completely unsure how this whole thing impacts your financial plan in the long run? We probably know how it impacted it in the short run because it's just happened to us. What about those long-term plans? We always have to keep that in focus, Isaac.

Isaac Wright: Yeah, Walter, this is in a way just a supplement to the situation that we just talked about as far as how has your portfolio sustained an unmanageable blow? And sometimes people think near term. We, typically, think long-term because most money that we help oversee along with a financial plan, in general, is for the long-term because most people, thank God, don't need all their money in one day. So, we want you to know that if you do not have a financial plan, or you're uncertain about the type of plan that was put together, maybe it's somebody that's not spending the time with you, or maybe you're a do-it-yourself person that realizes, "Hey listen, if something happens to me, maybe, my spouse needs to have somebody to communicate with because Lord knows I'm stressed enough as it is with what's in front of us." That will help really alleviate a lot of concern, especially if you have a long-term plan in place. So, all of these things are manageable.

Isaac Wright: I wanted to share some positive things related to not just the coronavirus but the situation not only we're going to be in today but listen, we're going to have other corrections, we're going to have other things that happen over the next 10, 20, or 30 years, and that's why the long-term plan and relationship matters. So listen, I hope what I've said today makes a lot of sense to all of you listening and if you have any concerns, again, I'm not going to get long winded, just call me. I'm here. I'm available. Leave a message, I'll call you back. Our team is here to help, 804-777-9999. You can also shoot me a text at that same phone number. Either way, we just want to make ourselves available to help in any way we can.

Walter Storholt: Well, thank you so much for tuning into today's podcast. Don't forget if you have any questions, you can call or text the 804-777-9999 to get in touch. We're also online at, that's where you can listen to past episodes of the show and get more information, That's wright with the letter W in front and you can find links and resources, and everything you need in the description, or the show notes of today's episode as well. For Isaac Wright, I'm Walter Storholt. We'll talk to you next time, right back here on the Wright Money Tips podcast.

Announcer: Information is for illustrative purposes only, and does not constitute tax, investment, or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified investment, legal, or tax professional before taking any action.

Announcer: Advisory services offered through JW Cole Advisors Inc, JWCA. Financial Dynamics & Associates Inc, and JWCA are unaffiliated entities.