TCI Updates on COVID-19

John Stephens, MD, MBA, CFA, CFP®

Mar 19, 2020

We would like to share some important updates about how we are protecting our clients, partners and employees as we face the evolving challenge COVID-19 presents to communities and businesses across the country. Because we are committed to putting clients first and communicating transparently with you, we have absolute confidence we will successfully work through this challenge together. We will continue to keep you updated as new information and guidelines are available.  


Starting Friday, March 20th at 5:00 P.M. (PDT) TCI will transition to a firmwide work-from-home approach to daily work. Out of an abundance of caution and out of respect for the amplified messages about the need for “social distancing”, our firm will no longer meet with clients in person at our office. We have invested in technology over the years to make this transition possible while continuing to provide our usual high level of service. 


You will continue to reach out to your Advisor or Associate by phone or email as you normally would. All currently scheduled meetings will be by phone or video from now on. If you need to schedule a call with your Advisor, you can continue to call the same TCI number and a client coordinator will help you. 


One of the most difficult challenges in a bear market is disentangling our very real emotions about what’s happening in the world from our investments.  We have been so proud of our clients for overwhelmingly taking that approach this past month and focusing on what they can control. In the moment, every crisis is anxiety-producing and seems “different” from anything that has happened in the past – yet losses are only temporary unless we react.  History shows markets recover, without fail. 

It’s also helpful to remember we are all long-term stock investors. Those of us with shorter time horizons have ample fixed income to cover spending during the down markets, allowing the stock portion of our portfolio to recover. Diversification between stocks and bonds, but also between different stock asset classes, allows us to take advantage of the inevitable opportunities that present themselves in crises.

The markets are remarkably resilient, and recovery can occur quickly and unpredictably.  The years before and during World War II provide an interesting example of this.  The S&P 500 was down 35% in 1937, a loss similar to what we experienced in 2008.  The index was back up 38% in 1938, but then began a three-year slide from 1939 to 1941 as the War began.  The years of 1941-1945 were the darkest days of our parents’ and grandparent’s lives (and for a select few of you, your lives), and yet over that five year period as the War raged on, the S&P 500 gained 17% per year on average.  Another example:  September 11, 2001 was for many perhaps the scariest moment in our lives, and yet a balanced portfolio marched on to the tune of over 11% annualized for the subsequent five-year period.  

The conclusion we can draw from these historic times of crisis is this:  Markets are our stake in capitalism. Companies will adjust and find a way to prosper regardless of the headwinds.  Both of those time periods saw the world around us enter a new era and we were right to be scared and anxious. But we are a very resilient species. Just as our new (and temporarily crisis-driven) world will find its way past this, so will markets.


Dave Goetsch was the Executive Producer of The Big Bang Theory and he has been very open about his “transformation” into a long-term investor. He shared this piece recently:


As always, and especially during uncertain times, we want to be fully engaged and available to answer any and all of your questions. The advisory team supporting you is well equipped to provide phone communications and virtual meetings that allow us to deliver the level of service you’ve come to expect from us. As a 100-year-firm, we have been here before and will face new challenges in the future but remain committed to evolving to always be able to deliver a superior experience to you. We thank you for the trust you have placed in us, and we hope you and your family remain healthy and safe.

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