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
Chris Wheaton & Gretchen Hollstein Named as 2021 Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors
We are thrilled to share that Litman Gregory Senior Advisors Chris Wheaton and Gretchen Hollstein have been named to the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors List for 2021.
Cryptocurrency Speculation: A Case of FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)
Cryptocurrencies were back in the headlines throughout 2020 and into 2021, and some investors have found themselves wondering whether this type of investment deserves a role in portfolio construction. Our Research Team addresses the question, “Where do cryptocurrencies fit in?” and describes our approach to analyzing this type of investment.
Bitcoin’s Investment Merit
Litman Gregory's Research Team offers an update on this alternative investment option, encouraging investors to be cautious about buying cryptocurrencies. The team reviews the three broad elements in how we assess this investment: the underlying fundamentals and risks, Bitcoin’s price performance profile, and the behavioral aspects of owning bitcoin.