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On behalf of the entire team at PFG, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying well during these trying times. I have a new appreciation for good weather on the weekends so I can enjoy the company of my family and a few friends safely outdoors. I hope you’ve been able to as well!

 Recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time on the topic of Risk as we’re all navigating through a period of time when many different types of risk are at the forefront of our daily lives.  Not only are we concerned about the inherent risks that we’re taking with our investment portfolios, but, more importantly, many of us are concerned about the health and safety of our families and loved ones. Many have had their lives turned completely upside down, whether it’s the sudden loss of a family member or friend, the loss of a job and/or sudden reduction in the household income, or the difficulties many are now facing having to balance their family duties with their new work-from-home situation. 

It reminds me, yet again, of an old football coach of mine that would suddenly start yelling and blowing his whistle in the middle of a drill during practice, “Sudden Change!!!  Sudden Change!!!  Defense, get on the field!!!” The offensive players would sprint off the field and the defensive team would scramble to find their helmets and get into position as quickly as possible. Even the assistant coaches were unaware when this would happen so they would need to adjust and react just like the players. Essentially, this was how our coach would purposefully put us in difficult situations during practice to create an intense level of adversity. It forced us to become accustomed to dealing with abrupt change so when we faced similar situations in a game, we would be better prepared to manage the change without panicking.

This was effective training, for sure, but as hard as we worked to be prepared for whatever was thrown at us, there were still many surprises and unexpected situations that we would face throughout the season that we weren’t able to practice or rehearse. Even though we weren’t able to practice each and every specific situation that we faced, we still gained enough experience dealing with the emotions of those types of surprise situations. Ultimately, we were better able to react and adjust because we were accustomed to the stress and the pressure and the emotions of those “Sudden Change!” situations.

There have been several of these “Sudden Change!” moments over the last 5-6 months and the pressure, stress and emotions that we’re facing and dealing with can feel overwhelming at times. And, while none of us have experienced anything precisely like this pandemic in our lifetimes, we’ve all experienced hardships and loss and the stress of living with uncertainty. That’s not to downplay the pandemic and all of the connected side-effects that we’re experiencing, and will likely continue to experience in the coming months. Not at all. But, in order to deal with this “Sudden Change!” we have to draw on our experiences and our “training.”

We’re here to help you through this. If you found yourself overwhelmingly stressed while the markets plummeted in March, now is a much better time to reassess your investment balance and make sure you’re allocated properly for your personal situation and risk tolerances.

Aside from all of the uncertainties we face and the seemingly endless list of things to worry about, I hope you can still find time to relax with family and friends and perhaps get away for a few days this summer…maintaining proper safety and health precautions, of course!

Todd M. Wike, CFP®
Managing Partner, Potomac Financial Group
2019 RJFS Chairman’s Council Member*


The information contained in this material does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Todd Wike and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the services or opinions of the various podcasts or applications discussed in this material. Chairman’s Council Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually.