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Advisors: Tips on Packing an “Emergency Kit” for Bear Market Communication

  • By Laura Garfield
  • |
  • April 17, 2018

What were you saying to clients on Feb 5th? (Besides, “Oh s***!”) On the day the Dow took the biggest plunge in history, talking to every client would’ve been nearly impossible.

But Tim Wyman, CFP®, the managing partner at Center for Financial Planning, talked to hundreds.


He’s not a speed talker with his client list on speed dial. He used video. Not a video shot the day of the drop. Some 20 months earlier we helped build Tim’s team what we call an “Emergency Kit.”

The idea came from my days at CBS News in New York. When things were relatively quiet in the world, I was assigned to update Obits: The Pope, Lindsay Lohan (I’m dating myself) and pretty much anyone in the public eye. At CBS, we were preparing for the inevitable … so we were ready to roll when it happened.

So were you ready on Feb 5th? Tim’s team turned to their tucked-away video series and in minutes had this message to clients on the website, YouTube, and the company’s three social accounts:

On Facebook, Tim’s personal and reassuring video message reached more than 800 people, with more on Twitter, and LinkedIn. But Tim’s video wasn’t the only thing in the kit.

A few days later, they followed up with a second video pulled from their stockpile. This one was a historical message about market performance from firm partner Melissa Joy, CFP®. She reminds clients that they have a plan that includes contingencies for all types of markets.

The Center’s series was called “Ready Together” and it was ready to go when they needed to communicate with clients. You might ask, “Did it work?” The only way to know is to record metrics (a step in the strategy process that we’re always reminding clients to do!)

From the metrics, The Center’s Ready Together videos did just what they were intended to do. They gave the partners a way to reassure clients in a personal way. What convinced Tim the video he pulled out of his back pocket worked was the feedback he got from clients:

“The videos provided some assurance that we were not only aware of what was going on in the financial markets, but that we have been through this before. The videos provided an extra level of comfort that frankly even a well written email cannot duplicate.”

— Tim Wyman, CFP®, JD, Center for Financial Planning

Ready to plan your Emergency Kit? Don’t wait for another Feb. 5th to convince you. Start now to put your plan in motion. Need help to get going? Click here to schedule a call.

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Author Bio

Because Idea Decanter specializes in working with financial advisors, we know the ins and outs of compliance as well as we know our own kids (all can be vexing). Together we help you create video you can use by telling visual stories and working with you to create a plan for getting those stories viewed. Not by someone in Malaysia or an Internet bot, but by the right eyes. For you that’s probably your current or future clients. We know if you had enough hours in the year, you’d be talking to each and every one of them face-to-face. Until someone more science-y than us figures that out, we vote for video. Powered by the brand journalism approach of co-founder Laura Garfield and the commercial photography experience of Sharon Gottula, Idea Decanter tackles your story in a unique way. We call it authentic. Not in the handcrafted, bespoke sort of Pacific Northwest way. Authentic as in we’re coaxing your story out of you. So the videos we help you create aren’t sort of like you would say it. They are exactly how you would say it. Because when you shine through, you can make a personal connection with video. And that’s what it’s all about.