Ep 20: Peeling Back The Curtain

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On this week’s episode, we check in with John and Nick on how things are going personally with their families, communities and clients.


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PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


Speaker 1: Hey, everybody. Welcome into this edition of Retirement Planning Redefined with the team from PFG Private Wealth. Got John and Nick here with me as always, financial advisors. Guys, what’s going on? Nick, how are you, my friend?


Nick: Oh, doing pretty good. Just been just like everybody else, working remote, working from home, kind of biding my time through this process.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Yep. John, yourself?


John: Yeah, pretty much the same. Like Nick, working from home and just keeping myself occupied with some things to do around the house.


Speaker 1: Yeah. I saw somebody, a lot of times people say, well, we’re all on the same boat together. And I thought, I don’t think that’s quite accurate. And so, I saw something that was cool. It said, we’re all in the same thunderstorm together, but we might be rowing different boats. And I thought, that’s probably a little more accurate. We’re all in the same massive storm here and everybody’s got different little nuances. The different states are doing different things, different people are dealing with economic issues, issues different than others, health issues, personal issues, stress issues, whatever. So it all falls into a same storm category. I thought that was kind of a cool way of putting that.


Nick: Yeah, I think the personal experience that people are having, like what you said, is pretty drastically different from not only region to region and state to state, but family to family.


Speaker 1: Yeah, true.


Nick: Dependent upon what occupations are and/or just … there’s so many different factors that it’s going to be interesting to see what movies come out down the road and the different forms of media and when we can actually look back and just kind of-


Speaker 1: Oh, yeah. That’ll be really interesting. Yeah, for sure. Well, we’re going to go easy today, actually. We’re just going to keep it in this vein. We’ve been spending so much time talking, doing multiple series parts on different things. We thought we would just scale it back a little bit this week and just have a conversation about just life and just peel the layers back, if you will. So we kicked it off a little bit with personally you guys are doing okay. How’s the families? Everybody okay there?


John: My end, yeah, everyone’s good. We got to just remind some people listening, I got a one year old named Aria and a four year old named Olivia and my wife Jenny. So yeah, we’ve just been quarantining here and trying to keep them busy, and they’re definitely keeping us busy. Nick knows, I threw out my back a couple of weeks ago. I think I was just chasing around the kids and then doing way too many home projects now that I’m stuck at the house half the time, so.


Nick: I definitely, I haven’t thrown out my back and I also have not had to chase around a one year old and a four year old. But I’ve been able to, a couple times, spend some time with immediate family, parents, brother, sister-in-law, nieces. And my brother and sister-in-law, they’re still working. My sister-in-law is a nurse and my brother has a business that’s considered essential. And so, my nieces are nine and 10. And so, my parents, they haven’t been working because of everything. And so, they’ve been able to take care of the nieces that’s extra time with them. I got to see the experience of what it’s like for them to attend school remotely and some things like that. So it’s been a little bit different perspective.


Speaker 1: Are you zooming in and being a guest teacher for a day? Uncle Nick going to teach them about whatever?


Nick: No, definitely not. I quiz them on some things here and there, but some of this common core stuff and some other things, it’s pretty, pretty wild. So I’m there for moral support.


Speaker 1: John, you got to give us the skinny. Can he substitute teach?


John: Definitely not.


Nick: Only due to patience.


Speaker 1: You got the math down, right, but the patience level maybe is a little different?


Nick: I could present and not allow any questions.


Speaker 1: There you go. There you go. Community-wise, how’s things in your specific area? We pulled the curtain back before here on the show. Clearly, you obviously were social distancing. We’re all remote in our houses doing the podcast, but even prior to that, we were already doing that because I’m actually in another state when we do these shows. Of course, you guys are there together at the office or whatever the case might be. But how’s the community near you? How’s things going there?


John: Yeah, so pretty good. Nick and I are both involved with a nonprofit group called the 13 Ugly Men. And one thing that we did as our membership here, we did Feeding Tampa Bay. So we donated a hundred thousand meals to those in need during this time that you need to eat and don’t have the funds to go ahead and do that. So that was pretty cool, because we did a match donation and then we coupled it with a Facebook Live event where we had a DJ playing and then people were tuning in. Maybe they were bored at home and needed something to do during happy hour and they locked in and have a little bit of music to listen to. So it was interesting to see, using the Facebook platform to engage in our guests that usually attend our events and using that platform also to raise dollars. And again, Nick and I are both in that group together. And then, Nick’s also involved with Casa so he can jump on that because I know they did some type of thing, Nick, so.


Nick: Yeah, so Casa’s a domestic violence organization in Pinellas County in St. Pete and I’ve been on the board there for, it’s got to be over, around close to 10 years now at this point. And may have mentioned it in a previous podcast, but when this whole thing was starting, I had been following the news in pretty significant detail and my main venue to gather news is Twitter. And on Twitter, I had seen a post by the founder of the company Slack, which is a tech-based company that’s actually stood out over this period of time. I know they’ve gotten a bigger footprint during this period of time, but…


Nick: So the founder of Slack, they had gone public last year, and he and his fiancé had created a foundation and they had decided to donate a million dollars total to four different sectors of nonprofits. And I had come across it and they did a matching program. It was a five-to-one matching program. So essentially, if a local organization that fit into their four tiers, and one of the tiers was domestic violence, if that organization was able to essentially secure donations and then forward the proof of donation to their foundation, they were going to match at five to one. And, pretty amazingly, we were able to rally both the board and local donors to raise, we raised $25,000 locally and the founder of Slack matched it with $125,000. And so, we were able to raise $150,000 in less than 24 hours.


Speaker 1: Wow.


Nick: Which was pretty awesome.


Speaker 1: Yeah.


Nick: So, it was pretty cool.


Speaker 1: No, both of those are amazing. That’s awesome, guys. Kudos for that. That’s really, that’s great. And I imagine that, obviously, those things are very well received. We’re seeing a lot of that stuff happening all over the place, but that’s really awesome. You guys are continuing to do that right there in the backyard, so to speak. And with your own clients, obviously, right there in your backyard, again so to speak kind of thing, how’s things going with that? We briefly talked about some of that a couple of weeks ago. Still going okay with the working remote? Are people adjusting to that a little bit better? How’s that going?


John: So yeah, I think people are. Nick and I have actually been doing, before all this happened, we started doing more remote meetings. And I think clients are finding that it’s actually a pretty efficient way to meet and it actually maybe helps us meet with them more often, where they’re not having to drive and coordinate schedules and it’s just a little bit easier. So I think one of the things we’ll see coming out of this is that we’ll probably, even when this is over, probably start doing more remote meetings with the screen shares. And then once we get back into the office, we’ll probably do more video stuff. But I think things are going to change and go more in that direction based on people just becoming familiar with the platforms and being comfortable with it.


Speaker 1: Yeah, it’s one of the things that we’ve seen a lot as well. I interview a lot of people all across the country and some, especially for the client base being retirees, pre-retirees, a lot more folks have embraced it I think than initially thought, which I kind of thought that’d be the case. I mean, just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re not tech savvy. But I know that there’s points where some folks feel a little uncomfortable still and it is different, I suppose, being on a platform like Twitter or Facebook, for example, versus being on a Zoom call with a camera coming in and catching you in the living room. But again, you’re scheduling these things and you’ve got time. There’s secure ways to do document portals for transferring delicate information. And that stuff’s been out there, in the cloud anyway, for a while. So I am generally seeing across the country that more folks are embracing it than I think maybe some skeptics originally feared.


Nick: Yeah, I would definitely agree with that. It’s pretty typical. Oftentimes, whether it’s new technology or adaptation to what’s going on is oftentimes spurred by what’s happening around us. And so, the platforms have been around for a while and the reality is that they’re pretty easy to use once you get through it for the first time or so. And really, the communication with clients initially was getting everybody to hold the line. And one of the things that we’ve been seeing maybe for the past week, week and a half, maybe two weeks, and we had a conversation with a client today, is the disconnect between the market and what’s happening around us still being in … Florida is just opening up now, but a lot of other states are still locked down and things like that, is that the market’s responded and pulled back from its lows for the last month plus now.


Nick: And people, from what we’ve seen, they haven’t really caught on yet that the market has responded pretty positively and we’ve bounced off the lows pretty significantly. So, that’s one of the things that we’re going to be working on from a messaging standpoint moving forward is, obviously, we don’t know what’s going to happen over the next six to 12 months.


Speaker 1: Right, right.


Nick: From the standpoint of finances and the market and where things are, it’s not nearly, I think what a lot of people … the feedback that we’ve gotten from people is, when we’ve explained how much they’re down from the beginning of the year, has been like, “Oh, that’s it?” Which is always good to hear. But it’s been an interesting thing, because John and I are so knee deep in it day to day that it’s just a good example of the importance of communication, helping people realize where we really stand from the standpoint of how the market works and their overall plan.


Speaker 1: No, that’s a good point because a lot of people initially, obviously, do the ostrich thing, right? It’s going down as bad as it was in March. And you don’t want to open your statements, you don’t want to look. My brother, he’s 62, he was in that. I kept talking to him through things. And finally, matter of fact to that point, Nick, that you just made about a week ago, he finally looked and he goes, “Yeah, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.” And I said, “Well, April,” I said, “Technically April, it kind of got lost on the shuffle of all this, but April was one of the best Aprils the market’s ever had. It’s 28%.” Now granted, from the bottom, not from the top.


Speaker 1: But still, you got to find those silver linings, you’ve got to find those little victories where we can get them. And like you said, there could still be plenty of volatility ahead. Who knows? But doing the ostrich thing usually doesn’t do you any good either. Because I kept telling him, he’s like, “Well, I don’t want to look. I can’t handle it.” And I said, “Well, okay, but let’s go on the bad foot. If it was bad news, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can start to address it. If you just keep ignoring it, it’s like a cavity. It’s going to get worse.” I was like, “And then you end up being pleasantly surprised anyway.” So you have to look at it through the right perspective, the right lens.


Nick: For sure.


Speaker 1: Yeah.


John: For sure.


Speaker 1: Well, you mentioned Florida reopening. So how’s that going with the phase one thing? You guys have been on that this week, at the time we’re taping this?


John: So, yeah, yeah. It’s been this week. So far for me, I haven’t done anything different. I’m still in quarantine mode.


Speaker 1: Right.


John: So, I think one of the biggest differences is certain stores I’ve been to are now requiring face masks. So now when I go in there, you just see everyone with a mask on, where maybe two or three weeks ago that wasn’t the case. I don’t know what Nick’s been doing different, but I think we’re in the same boat.


Nick: Yeah. Not too much different on my side. I will say, because I do live in downtown, in downtown St. Pete here, it’s been interesting to … Each day I’ve either been going for a bike ride or a walk or something to get outside. And they started putting tables out. There’s a lot of sidewalk dining here, so they started putting the tables out because the restaurant capacity is 25% inside, and then they have outside seating.


John: Oh, interesting.


Nick: So starting to see some people sitting at tables and more people walking around. The beaches opened up on Monday. And the park that I go through, it’s called Vinoy Park here, the last month or so, every single day at the park has been, people did a pretty good job of distancing, but pretty packed. You could just tell people needing to be outside. And starting Monday, the park was empty, which is kind of shocking. So I don’t know if everybody that was going to the park automatically went to the beach. So it’s going to be interesting to see how things continue to progress.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Interesting in the state difference too. Obviously, you guys are in Florida, I’m in North Carolina. Your restaurants are doing outside dining and limited seating. We are in our phase one, but that’s not allowed. There’s still absolutely nothing inside restaurants at all. It’s still take out only. Which, it’s a strange point, we went to pick up some stuff for Taco Tuesday and my wife wanted, she said, “Let’s do Taco Tuesday.” And there was 25 people standing outside waiting to get their order. It’s like, you might as well just let them in or let a portion of them in, because there’s still that many people, there were in a pretty small window in a strip center trying to wait by this one door. So yeah, it’s interesting how the different areas are doing all the different things.


Speaker 1: So we’ll hope for continued improvement and all those good components that come with it. And I think what we’re going to do, we’ll wrap this up. I just wanted to touch base with you guys and just see how things are going. So I’m glad we just had a little bit of an informal chat, not necessarily the X’s and O’s this week. But I was going to ask you a question, just a fun little hypothetical I’ve been asking all this week. What’s something you’re looking forward to? If things get back to normal, what’s something you would enjoy seeing or doing once again? John?


John: So I’m looking forward to not doing swim lessons in my pool and bringing them back to a school, because I’ve been YouTubing how to teach a one year old and a four year old how to swim and I’m not a very good teacher. So that’s something that I look forward to.


Speaker 1: Okay. Nick, what about you? What’s something you look forward to?


Nick: For me, I just really look forward to sitting with some friends, watching sports, and perhaps eating something that tastes very good and drinking something that tastes very good.


Speaker 1: There you go.


Nick: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about.


Speaker 1: All right. There you go. I imagine neither one of you are in a boat alone for that one. There’s probably a fair number of those. Real quick, I was going to ask one more thing before we go. How’s your school systems looking? Ours have said that schools, as of now, plan to reopen in mid-August, which would be obviously for the next school year. I imagined since you guys sound like you’re ahead of us, they’re probably having those chats too?


John: I think the school, the current year is definitely not going to be … Nick, if you know, just jump in. I believe the current year is not going to be going at all.


Speaker 1: Right.


John: The plan is to start back up, which is mid to late August down here.


Speaker 1: Sounds like the same thing. Yeah. Okay.


Nick: Yeah, yeah. I think around the same idea.


Speaker 1: All right, well there you go. So-


John: And I’m sure all the parents are looking forward to that happening.


Speaker 1: I think that was one interesting side effect to all this. People are like, wow, the whole teaching home thing, it’s a lot harder than people think it is, so.


Nick: Yeah, I’m thinking that the teacher unions are getting their talking points ready to roll for a few months from now and working on a bump in pay, for sure.


Speaker 1: Exactly, exactly. Well, all right guys. Well, thanks for your time this week. I appreciate it, as always. I hope you guys continue to stay safe and stay sane. And folks, if you need some help, you’ve got some questions. Well, first thing, definitely subscribe to the show. We’d certainly appreciate it. And you can do so by going to Retirement Planning Redefined, you just search that out. Retirement Planning Redefined on Apple, Google, Spotify in the little search box for podcast. Wherever you get your podcasting apps, just type that in and you can find it and subscribe to it that way. Or you could go to their website, which is PFG Private Wealth.com that’s PFG Private Wealth.com.


Speaker 1: If you’re already subscribed or a client, then that’s great. We certainly appreciate you tuning into these. And if not, give them a call if you’ve got some questions or concerns, (813) 286-7776. That’s (813) 286-7776. But definitely hit that subscribe button and we’ll see you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick, financial advisors at PFG Private Wealth.