Covid-19 struck unexpectedly with a health crisis and an economic shock. Every day, we hear about people losing jobs and companies losing business revenue, so worries about one’s financial situation are only natural. GoConnect decided to talk with one of our Partners, Argentum Wealth Management, to find out how they and their clients have dealt with the situation.
Surprisingly, Argentum Managing Directors Martin Zotta and Lloyd Danon greeted us with confidence: the last 12 months have been exceptional for the financial markets, and their clients have seen excellent returns as a result of taking their advice.
These Tokyo-based business owners spoke further on ways to deal with your finances effectively—in any crisis.
How Did Covid Affect Your Business and Clients?
During the lockdown, people were at home—they had a bit more time on their hands. Many of our clients took this opportunity to put their houses, both literally and figuratively, in order. We have been reviewing portfolios from clients and advising them on utilizing their money to align with their goals and risk profiles. Because of Covid, we have also noticed a significant increase in interest in life insurance and estate planning in general. The pandemic was a wake-up call for many people in this regard.
Adjusting to remote work for our team during the initial lockdown phase was relatively smooth. We were already used to doing virtual meetings due to the nature of our work, as many clients now reside outside Japan. Our team did a fantastic job of adjusting to the new normal, and we were able to pull through together.
In terms of the financial markets, during the beginning of the Covid outbreak in March 2020, almost every single asset class dropped simultaneously. Leveraging our experience dealing with earlier market drawdowns, we advised our clients to buy into the markets while the prices were low. Luckily, many of them followed our advice and, within the last 12 months, have seen substantial gains in their portfolios. Such unique market circumstances don’t happen very often, and you have to take advantage of them when they do.
Don’t Wait for a Crisis
Why is it essential to have a solid financial plan during Covid-19? Don’t wait for a crisis to hit; you should have your finances in order at all times. If your finances are structured properly, you will have a substantial emergency fund to get through any crisis without liquidating your investment at the worst possible time or adding additional stress to your life.
The point of having a well-structured and managed portfolio is built-in protection. As market risk increases, we can de-risk the portfolio. If market risk decreases, we can increase the risk and potential gains in a portfolio. A well-structured portfolio also needs to match your lifestyle, age, and life stage.
An Objective View
It is often difficult for someone to make objective decisions when it’s their own money at risk. Especially during volatile periods, it is easy to focus on the negatives and let emotions carry you towards bad financial decisions.
It can be helpful to have an objective, non-judgmental, and experienced pair of eyes to help with decisions, so having an advisor in your corner can be a huge plus.
Blessing in Disguise
We are no stranger to volatile markets. We established Argentum Wealth Management just before the Lehman Shock, and at the time, our client base was 80 percent investment bankers. Needless to say, our business was heavily affected. The advice we give to clients is based on more than 20 years of experience navigating volatile markets, corrections, recessions, and bull markets. We have successfully managed our clients’ wealth through turbulent times, protected it in the downturns and maximized it in the good times. Our experiences have allowed us to continue to grow and expand our services and the business.
We always try to be dynamic and take advantage of the situation in front of us. We know what it feels like to be affected by a crisis and the emotions that a crisis can bring up. But nothing lasts forever. If you can keep a positive mindset, keep pushing, and look for opportunities, you will come out stronger than before. It’s up to you to turn a terrible situation into something positive.
Is Your Company Licensed?
We are locally licensed with the Japanese Financial Services Agency. We are also a member of the Japan Investment Advisers Association. The FSA strongly recommends that you only receive financial advice and services from a locally licensed and regulated firm. You should always check that the company you are talking to or working with is properly registered and licensed in Japan.
What Does a Typical Argentum Client Look Like?
Our clients are generally foreign professionals or business owners living in Japan who need financial advice tailored to their needs. They are people for whom Japanese domestic solutions may not be the right fit and are looking for international, portable, and secure solutions.
Although many clients are on higher incomes, we also offer a wide range of solutions, even for those just starting. You can start by investing just a few hundred dollars a month or make an initial investment of just a few million yen.
GoConnect Helps You Get a Financial Health Check
If you’re inspired to organize your finances better or get a second opinion on your current arrangements, why don’t you reach out to Argentum Wealth?
GoConnect users can receive a free 30-to-60-minute financial review with them. Of course, everything will be conducted online either through Zoom or Skype and is kept confidential!
Let Argentum Wealth help you put the pieces of the puzzle together to get a clearer picture of your circumstances to help you make more informed decisions about your financial future and understand more about what options are available to you.