People keep asking me, “What is it like working as a wealth advisor during a severe recession and pandemic while also parenting two kids in remote school?” Usually, I start the answer by listing what I am grateful for – a house with enough room, kids who can handle remote learning (most days), effective technology, our health… but then I drop the honest truth on them: It feels like completing a marathon every day, but without the actual benefit of physical exercise!
As an advisor, the most significant impact of COVID–19 on my work is that I miss being able to meet with clients in person, especially when addressing their concerns about the markets, economy, and the pandemic. But I have been grateful for connections through Zoom and the view into homes that allows me to meet other family members and pets, and learn more about their lives. It’s also given clients a window into my life, where my kids may walk into the room as if nothing important is going on or drop into view for an introduction and a wave. In that way, 2020 has also given me more time with my family (even if we are all on screens!) as we find ways to work together, stay healthy and active, and connect with friends.
All the while, volatility has been everywhere – in the economy, financial markets, our communities – and it has affected all of us in varying ways. I feel fortunate to be in a role where I can help guide clients through planning scenarios and decisions that create positive impact, and I know that wouldn’t have been possible without the steady work of the entire team at Litman Gregory: Our research analysts have been true professionals, remaining objective and levelheaded in the face of extreme uncertainty; our advisors demonstrate care and confidence as they lead clients to address current needs while keeping an eye on the future; our client service and operations teams have been hard at work covering all the bases, making sure we deliver services uninterrupted; and our leadership and business continuity teams stay focused on supporting our people, recognizing they are the essential link in serving our clients.
When I look at the sea of faces in our all-company Zoom meetings, I know many are also handling the challenges of “parenting in a pandemic”. But there is a collective commitment within our firm to support each other, and keep everything moving forward safely for our work and families.
With this perspective as my backdrop, it was an honor to learn that Working Mother and SHOOK Research recognized me again in their “Top Wealth Advisor Moms” list for 2020. The acknowledgment is a direct reflection of the full team at Litman Gregory and the support we have of great families at home. In a year so full of difficulties, I actually feel lucky: It’s a time to celebrate my two favorite jobs – advisor and mom.
– Gretchen Hollstein, CFP®, Senior Wealth Advisor, Principal, Proud Mom
Replay: Year-End Planning Webinar
Litman Gregory Senior Advisors Chris Wheaton and Gretchen Hollstein host this client webinar to cover some timely tax and estate planning considerations, and also share ideas for optimizing charitable gifts as we enter the year-end season.
The Market Reacts to the Election
This year’s election results arrived later than usual, but the U.S. stock market had its best post-election day since 1952. With some election uncertainty remaining, COVID-19 cases on the rise, and an economic recovery slowing, this has led to some confusion about the market reaction and what lies ahead. As always, we emphasize the importance of having a healthy level of respect for the unpredictable nature of the markets over the short term.
A “Wealth Advisor Mom” Reflects on Advising & Parenting in a Pandemic
In a year when the demands on parents and advisors have both increased in intensity, we are pleased to announce that Gretchen Hollstein, CFP® was recognized again as one of the Top Wealth Advisor Moms for 2020 by Working Mother. Gretchen reflects on the challenge of parenting kids in remote learning while working as a wealth advisor, and her gratitude for being able to continue serving clients during this volatile time.