The past month has seen developments many of us never imagined when 2020 began: a brutal bear mar- ket, shutdowns of countries like Italy and Spain, self
quarantining and social distancing across the U.S.
As we went to press in mid-March, Treasury Secretary
Steve Mnuchin was speaking about direct relief payments to
Americans. He also said the
government can purchase up to
$1 trillion of commercial paper
to stabilize the markets.
“We are looking at sending
checks to Americans imme-
diately … [as] many compa-
nies have now shut down,
whether it is bars or restau-
rants,” Mnuchin explained.
“Americans need cash now.
And the president wants to get
[them] cash now. And I mean
now in the next two weeks.”
More details on these developments are highlighted in this
month’s Washington Watch. Melanie Waddell reports on the
Trump Administration’s multi-pronged approach to the coro-
navirus, including a proposed stimulus package.
As for advisors, “This is a very unique circumstance, [since
there’s] a convergence of a number of issues at once,” said RIA
in a Box President GJ King during a recent webinar about how
advisor firms can adjust to COVID- 19 and its consequences.
(See RIA Lessons & Leaders.)
In the current market conditions, of course, there is no clear
playbook to guarantee the success of your business. However,
it does give you and your clients a chance to revisit topics like
portfolio management, risk tolerance, etc.
In this issue’s cover story written by Ginger Szala, “Portfolio
Directions for Uncertain Times,” about a dozen portfolio experts
and advisors weigh in on what trends they see as most significant
to advisors today. Michael Kitces, the Nerd’s Eye View blogger and
head of planning strategy at Buckingham Wealth Partners, points
to direct indexing as “the most notable emerging investing trend.”
Plus, Kitces explains, “The trend is especially notable when
advisors then begin to adapt the index ‘funds’ they use via
direct indexing, such as adapting them for factor investing or
to construct ESG portfolios.”
Speaking of Kitces, he recently joined Buckingham after 17
years at Pinnacle Advisory Group. We look at what the Nerd’s
Another important industry
VIP with a new gig is columnist
Mark Tibergien, CEO of BNY
Mellon’s Pershing Advisor
Services. He’s retiring on June
1, as we explain in RIA Lessons
In this month’s prescient
Formulas for Success col-
umn, Tibergien writes: “I am
intrigued by how people act in good times and bad. Does an
individual rise to an occasion or run for cover? Do they flaunt
their successes or do they minimize the glory of their accom-
plishments? Do they insist on being part of every decision
when things get tough, or do they empower and enable those
around them to use their judgement and insight to produce
These questions certainly are worth asking of our industry
leaders and others, especially at times like these. “We discover
what people are made of when they encounter challenges,
uncertainty or loss,” adds Tibergien.
I hope we all can rise to the occasion in our professional and
personal lives and that we can keep our heads clear and our
health intact during this crisis.
“As Mark Tibergien asks: How
do people act in good times and
bad? ‘Does an individual rise to
an occasion or run for cover? Do
they insist on being part of every
decision … , or do they empower
and enable those around them …
to produce better outcomes?’”
By Janet Levaux