Financial Planning During COVID-19

We are now entering another month of social distancing and 65+ special hours for grocery shopping. Some businesses are shuttering, more birthdays are being celebrated with drive-by parades, and face masks are becoming mandatory accessories. The ripple effect is a struggling economy sending shockwaves through our financial markets. 

The Fed has cut interest rates and created a slew of credit and lending programs to save the economy. The CARES Act was passed to provide economic assistance for American workers, families, small businesses and local governments, and helps industries to preserve jobs. 

The market volatility has taken a huge bite out of most investment portfolios, but may also offer rare estate planning opportunities.

  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from retirement plan accounts are waived for 2020.
  • Contribution to IRAs for 2019 can be made until July 15, 2020.
  • Charitable deduction limits are increased to 100% of Adjusted Gross Income for cash gifts to charities.

There are even more changes that could be meaningful for families who have experienced death in the family or who want to take advantage of low-interest rates and asset values to create new opportunities for gift planning.

Now is the time to connect with us at The Stewardship Foundation. No matter your net worth, the time is NOW to seek advice of a financial planning professional to help you navigate COVID-19 fallout and today’s volatile markets to your advantage.
Don’t delay; call us today. (614) 800-7985.

Financial Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

A poem by Shel Silverstein

As I write this newsletter to share with our partners, friends and loyal clients, the worldwide number of confirmed Coronavirus cases has just passed 1,000,000. The financial impact of the virus  on the financial health of many Americans has been troubling. As the “curve” of the virus stubbornly inches upward, the average investor can’t help but think back to hearing the first news out of China and wonder if he “shoulda” liquidated his entire investment portfolio that day, then “shoulda” run to Costco to buy out the entire inventory of Charmin jumbo packs. We know one thing, he “woulda” been better off if he’d ignored the ugly coronavirus bear market.

Investors young and old are facing two challenges: 

  1. Don’t panic. It’s scary to watch your financial future disappear and it’s tempting to bail out. Don’t.
  2. Be sure you have a balanced portfolio that can tolerate future wild stock market rides.

The U.S. and worldwide economic situation was healthy before the coronavirus outbreak. Recovery should eventually be swift. Expecting a full restoration to pre-COVID-19 markets is only a Shoulda, be we can pray for one little “did.”

Do You Really Know St. Patrick?

Ah, you say in your best Irish accent, “the lad is the patron saint of Ireland who drove those slimy snakes off the Cliffs of Blarney into the Irish Sea while wearing a shamrock on his Irish flat cap.”

St. Patrick, bishop

Uh no. Actually, born Maewyn Succat to Roman British parents, he was captured by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and forced to work as a shepherd in Ireland. At 22, he converted to Christianity and escaped back to Britain. He was captured again by the French where he learned to become a cleric and missionary for, of all places, Ireland. Choosing the name Patricius, he had a vision that caused him to return to Ireland and eventually become their patron saint and bishop.

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

However, the journey from shepherd slave to Christian Bishop was not easy. He was often forced to leave to preach and live on small offshore islands where over time he gained enough followers to ensure his safety back on the mainland. He eventually converted the sons of Kings and witnessed the building of over 300 churches.

Ah yes, the snakes. There are early written records of a legend similar to the Biblical account in Exodus where Moses and Aaron face off with the Pharaoh’s sorcerers, staffs in hand. The staffs turn into snakes, and Aaron’s snake-staff consumes the Pharaoh’s snake staff to win the day. However, Patrick lived in the 5th century and the absence of snakes in Ireland has be recorded from as early as the 3rd century.

So what about the shamrock? It’s not impossible that St. Patrick actually used the 3-leaved Shamrock to introduce his converts to the concept of the Trinity. The Irish already had triple deities and held the number three with high regard, so Patrick’s use of the shamrock may have helped him win favor with the Irish.

All this said, in 1737, “The Wearing of the Green” was being played at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, a full century before the huge influx of Irish immigrants to New England after the great famine in mid-19th century Eire. St. Patrick’s Day was indeed destined to become an American tradition. We wouldn’t want it any other way.