How Financial Advisers Stay Calm When Markets Aren’t
BY: VERONICA DAGHER & ANNA PRIOR
February 12, 2016 3:12 pm ET
Financial advisers need to maintain a calm and steady demeanor with clients even when markets are crazy. Here, some advisers share their strategies for keeping cool and releasing stress—even as Friday brought a welcome respite in the form of rising stock prices and the prospect of a long holiday weekend.
“I don’t worry [about the volatile markets] but I worry about some of my clients who get worked up,” said Mike Prendergast, a director at Altfest Personal Wealth Management in New York. “I empathize with their stress,” he said, and that can translate into feeling more pressure himself.
To stay calm, Mr. Prendergast meditates once or twice a day, usually at home. He tends to meditate more during times of stress, he said.
Financial planner Stacy Francis said a popular stress-fighting and team-bonding activity at her firm is a group exercise session every over week with a personal trainer. It is especially welcome amid the market tumult.
“Markets like these inevitability create stressful situations and we need to be in tiptop form emotionally and mentally to be 100% present and supportive of our clients,” said Ms. Francis, president of Francis Financial Inc. in New York. Her team of 11 people work out for about 25 minutes doing a combination of aerobics and weight lifting
Douglas Boneparth, partner at Life & Wealth Planning LLC in New York, said one of the people he turns to for support is his father, who is also a certified financial planner. While the father and son don’t work together, Mr. Boneparth knows his father, age 67, is just a phone call away.
“He’s a well-disciplined, veteran certified financial planner” and can give historical perspective from what he’s seen in his career, said the 31-year-old. Some recent advice from his father: “Stay focused.”
Adviser Eric Freckman relaxes after a turbulent day in the markets by spending time with his three children, ages two, four and seven, who he says give him “perspective.”
“They don’t know anything about the dollar being up or oil being down. They just want to play with Daddy,” says the financial planner and owner of Guillaume & Freckman Inc. in Palatine, Ill.