We Don’t Just Talk About the Market – Communicating with Clients During Volatile Times

May 5, 2023

A Q&A Brian Bucell, CFP®, managing partner of Crestview Capital Management

In this series, we explore the ways Dynamic-affiliate advisors communicate with their clients during these uncertain times. Now, more than ever, is the time to not only reassure your clients, but also to stay out in front of them. The importance of thoughtful, frequent communication—even when you’re not discussing investments—is key to strengthening advisor-client relationships.

In this Q&A, Brian Bucell, CFP®, managing partner of Crestview Capital Management, Agoura Hills, Calif., offers his insights.

Key Takeaways from Brian:

  • Stick to the plan—it’s the most important piece of the client’s financial puzzle.
  • Don’t panic.
  • Pull up historical data.
  • Look at market volatility as an opportunity to take advantage of both the upside and downside moves.
  • A planning-driven (not an investment-driven) approach can go a long way in helping prepare clients for a bear market.

Dynamic: What would you say is the most important “Do” and the most important “Don’t” when talking to clients about market volatility?

Brian Bucell: The “Do” would be to always going back to the plan. The plan is the client’s individual road map, and this is what guides them through the bumpy times and keeps them on track. Think of it this way…

If you were cruising down the highway and then all of a sudden hit traffic, do you get off the freeway and take side streets just to save two minutes? No, you navigate through and eventually make it out of the jam.

The “Don’t” would be to panic. Emotions run very high during market volatility and making emotional decisions can cause disasters to clients’ individual plans.

D: What are some of the primary ways you’re alleviating uncertainty and fears among your clients during this time?

BB: During times of market turmoil, we always focus on the client’s plan. I know I sound like a broken record, but the plan is the most important piece of the client’s financial puzzle. Coaching them through this time is extremally important and revisiting the plan and their asset allocation. We will also pull up historical data that will show them what they could be facing and what happens following that event.

D: What types of strategies are you providing clients to better cope with or take advantage of market volatility?

BB: We look at market volatility as an opportunity to take advantage of both the upside and downside moves. We do this by finding high quality companies that may be mispriced during these times of market stress. If we feel that things have gotten a bit too hot in the market, we may take a near-term hedge. We will use products such as index ETFs that take a negative position on the market; we also use market neutral strategies and managed futures. We will overlay this with high quality bonds and cash like vehicles.

D: Has financial planning taken on a greater role in your practice during this time of market volatility?

BB: Absolutely. We are a planning first firm. We always construct a financial plan for our clients then create the investment vehicle around that plan. As stated earlier, the plan is the roadmap, and the investments are the vehicle that will drive the client’s goals.

D: How does this bear market provide an opportunity for you and your firm to demonstrate your value to prospective clients?

BB: This bear market has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to grow our firm. As mentioned previously, we are a planning-driven firm, not an investment driven firm. Because of this approach, our clients were well prepared for this bear market. Our six-step planning process has provided us with a solid foundation for our clients and prospective clients. We received many referrals because of our planning approach and our process.

Read the Q&A with Jennifer Valdes, CFP®, principal of Financial Designs Wealth

Read the Q&A with Shannon Larson, financial advisor at STF Wealth Management

Brian Bucell, CFP® is a managing partner at Crestview Capital Management. He is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Crestview Capital Management. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors. To view Bucell’s full profile, visit https://www.crestviewcm.com/team.htm.      

 Photo: AdobeStock