For the foreseeable future we are unable to offer face to face meetings.
However, this does not mean that we are closed for business, indeed we remain as busy as ever.
As much of our business is reliant on post and paper processes we are working hard to try and automate these processes as much as possible, however we are aware that this is not possible in all cases.
Therefore we are able to offer both new and existing clients, communications via web based meetings, telephone, post and email. We are receiving post daily and therefore minimising any potential delays as much as possible.
We are issuing regular updates to our clients by email wherever possible, or by post where we do not hold an email address. These updates can also be viewed on our website and our Facebook page.
We hope to be able to return to normal working practices in the not too distant future, in the meantime we hope your are able to remain safe and well.
With the latest announcement from the Government about the roadmap to get life back normal, it seems clear that it may be some weeks, if not months, before we are able to return to our usual working practices.
With this in mind, at LawlerDavis, we need to think about how we can best look after you in the meantime, and continue to provide you with the personal and professional planning services which lie at the centre of our ethos.
Paramount to any new procedures we bring in is the safety of our staff and, of course, of you. With this in mind we will continue to work from our homes until such a time as the Government announces that office workers can safely return to their workplaces. This clearly impacts on the way we deal with clients, as we would normally meet with many of you on a face to face basis to review or discuss your investments and ongoing planning needs.
There are various situations where we come into contact with you and we would like to firstly outline our review process.
Where we would usually contact you to make an appointment for a face to face meeting, instead we will contact you with a choice of the following options:
Secondly we would like to address those clients who are currently taking an income or regular withdrawals from their portfolio.
At the current time many of us may have seen our spending requirements reduce as we are not using our cars as much or spending money on holidays or entertainment. During the current crisis where we have seen a drop in investment values it may be worth reviewing your income requirements. If you are able to reduce your level of withdrawals, or even put them on hold for a while, then we would recommend that you do so as the more money you can leave invested, the more you will benefit from a market recovery. Obviously this is a very personal decision and we are certainly not suggesting everyone must do this, however it is an available option if you are able to do so. Please do contact your adviser if you’d like to explore this option further.
Alternatively, you may have built up a surplus cash reserve and wish this money to work harder for you. As previously mentioned in our email updates, now could be seen as a great time to invest in order to take advantage of the lower fund prices. Again, if you would like to explore this option further then please do get in touch.
We are currently working on implementing our “Client Portal” so we can provide you with access to electronically signed documents and ensure our business is future proofed – whatever that future may look like! In the meantime although it’s not quite “Business as Usual” we are still available to speak to new clients to discuss their needs. Many of you have kindly referred clients to us in the past and we believe that now, more than ever, there is a need for good financial planning. Please therefore do continue to pass our details onto friends and family who may benefit from our services.
As always the team are here to help and support you in any way we can, our offer of a chat for those who may be feeling isolated, or collection of groceries or prescriptions for local client who may be self-isolating, remains.
Please all do stay safe and we hope to see you soon.
With very best wishes
Sarah Lawler and Colin Davis and all the team at LawlerDavis Independent Financial Planners Ltd.
All of us here at LawlerDavis are hoping you and your families are keeping safe and well. Lockdown continues but we are pleased that we are still busy and working from home but I think all of us would like to get back to the office.
It has been a while since our last update and we are pleased to see that the investment markets seem to have settled down and the FTSE has continued to show a slow but steady growth. Indeed yesterday the FTSE 100 broke through the magical 6000 point in what is seen as a significant milestone for recovery. Although we are not out of the woods yet this gives us confidence that the growth will continue and we will recoup the value of investments fairly quickly as things continue to improve. Many of our clients have used the current situation as an investment opportunity and added further funds to their portfolios whilst the markets are low in order to take full advantage of any market recovery. If you would like to discuss this then please do get in touch.
During our time in lockdown we have continued to speak to many of the investment fund managers who look after your money to hear their views and to find out what they are doing to capitalise on the current market conditions. The equity fund managers all seem to be moving their stocks to those that will benefit most when the markets return to form, and stocks such as ‘’futures’’, which are protected from any further drops but on the other side gain from market growth.
On the other assets, the fixed interest managers who look after the Government Gilt funds and Corporate Bond funds have made some changes to again try to retain the value but also gain from the improving stability. It is these changes which are helping to keep the investments moving in the right direction.
The general feeling we have gained from all of the managers we have spoken to is the positivity that they are expecting a fairly quick return of growth when it happens. Although we are in unprecedented times even talking to some retailers people are still buying and for many, business has been very good. It is these companies where the investment funds are focussing.
Whilst writing we would like to reiterate our past comments that if any of our clients are feeling isolated and are in need of hearing a friendly voice they are more than welcome to pick up the telephone to us, and any local clients within the Eastbourne, Bexhill or Battle areas who are unable to go out and are struggling to get supplies or medication are also welcome to ask us to help. We hope we will be able to meet again face to face in the real world in the not too distant future, but in the meantime please stay safe and, if you can, stay home.
With very best wishes
Colin Davis, Sarah Lawler and all the team at LawlerDavis
In these uncertain times we wanted to make contact with you to give you an update of what has been happening at LawlerDavis over the past week, together with our view of the market.
We are pleased that a number of clients have made use of our offer of a friendly telephone call or other assistance, and we appreciate the thanks received from many other clients for the offer of help.
Working from home hasn’t been without its teething problems. Our telephone system failed to tell us if any messages had been left, we believe we have now contacted everyone but if you are still waiting for a call please do contact us again. We are investigating a robust video conferencing system so that we can offer “face to face” meetings in the future. At this stage we obviously don’t know how long we may be in this situation for and so we are making progress in ensuring our vision of “personal, professional planning” is not compromised.
Some of our team are also juggling work with home schooling children, and we are sure many of you are also working out how to overcome these challenges as well! We would also like to personally thank those of our clients who are in the front line in keeping our county moving – the “key workers” – Thank you.
So onto the subject which is probably at the forefront of clients minds as far as the service we provide. The downturn in the markets. Since our last email update our position has not changed. Since the outbreak of COVID19 we have experienced fairly big drops in our portfolios which, although not ideal, is certainly not catastrophic.
Of course this is going to raise concerns with all of our clients, however our advice remains not to crystallise this loss by selling. Although we do not know how long the current crisis may go on for, we are as confident as we can be that once a recovery starts the portfolios will come back to a better position than when they started. At close of business on Friday the FTSE100 had recovered some of its previous losses, showing how quickly the markets can move in the current situation.
Please rest assured that we are keeping a very close eye on the situation and will be in touch if we feel any changes should be made, but for now our best advice is to hold tight and wait for the dust to settle before making any knee jerk reactions.
I hope this helps alleviate some of your worries during this unusual time.
Finally we wanted to let you know about an update with Property Funds. As a results of the market turbulence caused by the concerns regarding the economic impact of Covid-19, property funds are struggling to accurately value their assets. The guidance from regulators is that in such circumstances, managers of property funds should take action to protect the interests of investors and defer payments out of the fund. In a nutshell this means that the property funds held within your portfolio have all been suspended from trading until such a time as the markets settle down. This means nothing can be bought or sold within the funds. This really is not a cause for concern and we expect that, as soon as valuers are able to access properties again, the suspension will be lifted. However we did just want to make you aware of the situation in case you had read about it in the press.
In the meantime please do keep safe and practice social distancing wherever possible. As always we are available if you have any questions.
With very best wishes
Sarah Lawler and Colin Davis
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