What was the biggest lesson you learned during the pandemic?

By Allan Janssen | October 4, 2021 | Last updated on October 4, 2021
2 min read
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This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Advisor’s Edge magazine. Subscribe to the print edition, read the digital edition or read the articles online.

What was the biggest lesson you learned during the pandemic?

Tina Tehranchian

Tina Tehranchian Senior wealth advisor, Assante Capital Management Ltd., Richmond Hill, Ont.

I learned my staff can work very well remotely. The chat function in Microsoft Teams is the equivalent of my staff just coming by my office and asking a question. I can type in a quick answer, even if I’m in the middle of something else.

We also use a project management app called Trello, a kind of to-do list. Everybody sees what the other people are doing, and I can rearrange the order of priority for everyone’s tasks without having to send an email or call them.

Our productivity has actually been better than in the office because there aren’t as many interruptions, and I think our quality of life has improved. We’ve figured out processes that enable us to work and collaborate remotely, so I think that will have a lasting effect.

Dalyce Seitz

Dalyce Seitz Portfolio manager, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd., Calgary

I started my career right at the beginning of 2008, so I learned pretty quickly about how emotions come into play. We think we know the risk tolerance of our clients. We can ask and we can send them questionnaires, but it really only comes out when the rough market arrives. So, we must have ongoing conversations with clients to prepare them for the next big threat and help them understand why it’s important to stick to the investment mandate.

Advisors aren’t immune to emotional swings either. In times of crisis, it’s important to have a positive, team-based approach to investment management. We rely on a team of people who come to the table every morning to talk it through.

David LePoidevin

David LePoidevin Portfolio manager, director, wealth management, senior vice-president, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, LePoidevin Group, Vancouver

The most important lesson was one we already knew: don’t fight the Fed. When things look dire but rates are 0% and they’re flooding the system with money, that money has to go somewhere. There are really three possibilities: one is cash, one is bonds, and one is owning something — like equity, real estate or stocks. I’ve had a couple of clients who are worried about the pandemic’s fourth wave, saying they want to get out of the markets. What do you find appealing about cash? Or you want to park your money in a 10-year Government of Canada bond at 1.23%?

Experienced advisors know we go through economic cycles. The time to buy is at maximum pessimism.

Allan Janssen headshot

Allan Janssen

Allan has been a journalist for nearly 40 years, writing for daily newspapers, consumer magazines and trade publications both in Canada and abroad. He has been with Newcom’s financial team since 2020. Email him at allan@newcom.ca.