Virtually Normal | IFA 88 | May 2020

Soundbites, cliches and metaphors, a dialogue more reminiscent of a former wartime era has been tripping off the tongues of our news presenters and newspaper columnists over the last three weeks : keep calm and carry on, we are all in this together, and even Her Majesty added a Vera Lynn-esq ‘we will meet again’ in her steadfast and regal way; all we need is ‘dig for victory’ to complete the set. Here at IFA Magazine we too have had to adjust and make changes while we hold our breath along with everyone else to see the infection curve diminish and the grim daily totals decline.

The impact on the nation’s economy and the fallout at a global level will be bad, let’s not sugarcoat it, it may take generations before we find our way back to where we were pre-Covid 19, if in fact we ever do. The level and extent of the Treasury’s fiscal interventionism is unprecedented. Even if we ignore for a moment that this is a government whose a priori intent was for small government and big business, and that their intervention was necessary, the question remains as to whether it has gone far enough to save the SMEs and start-ups, the entrepreneurs and sole traders. In our next issue we will be joining up with our sister magazine GB Investments to look specifically at the impact on this part of the sector. As I write this the news coverage has switched from China to the US economy and the total collapse of the price of oil. What will the world be like for financial institutions and financial planners once all of this is over? For once I’m going to admit that I really don’t know. What I do know with absolute certainty is that although it may be bleak out there at the moment the fundamental resilience of human nature is remarkable and the need for professional financial planning will be greater than ever before.

In this month’s edition we recognise and reflect the speed with which creativity and flexibility has emerged in the rapid rollout and adoption of the technology needed for us to shift to work in our new ‘virtually normal’ homes. We invited Faith Liversedge to talk to us about how best to adapt and think differently about the way we live, work and communicate and in her regular feature Michelle Hoskin reminds us to be confident and hold our nerve in these difficult times. Tracey Underwood looks at the importance of the role of the administrator within the financial planning firms and Tony Catt explores how the lack of face to face engagement may impact on relationships between advisers and clients. Even if you were reluctant to engage with social media or with IFA platforms before this, Phil Calvert suggests that now may be the time to join in so you can share ideas and expertise on how best to support clients. Continuing our mini-series on investing in a healthier society Ben Constable-Maxwell brings us a look at how companies are addressing world healthcare needs and highlights investment in businesses which boost equality and learning opportunities. With the war analogies up front and central Richard Harvey, in his inimitable style, evokes Dad’s Army to look at the positives for us.

Society, communities and individuals will emerge from this with a totally different perspective on what and who is important to each of us and collectively as a nation, whether that be recognising key workers for their superhuman efforts or remembering to thank your check out assistant at the supermarket or the delivery driver occasionally. That has to be a silver lining or maybe even a rainbow at the end of all this.

You know we love to hear from you, so get in touch with your stories of how you are coping. We have had lots of readers ask us to swap office addresses to home addresses so if you would like us to update your record just let us know.

Stay Safe – Stay at Home
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