All branches are drive-thru only and operating from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We also offer assistance through scheduled branch appointments.

Jason Andrew Offers Investing Strategies to Weather COVID‐19

The last several months have been unlike any our community has ever experienced as we’ve responded collectively and individually to the COVID‐19 pandemic. It is understandable for many people to feel overwhelmed about what to do with their savings and investments. I sat down for a Zoom chat with Jason Andrew, a financial advisor with (OFS) Financial Services to learn more about what he’s been doing to help clients and community members with their questions, concerns and decisions.

Question:

What are the most common questions you’ve been asked in the last few months?

Answer:

A lot of clients, colleagues and friends are asking what I think the market is going to do and how long the recession we’re in now is going to last. First, I remind them that no one has a crystal ball. It is always important to look at the entire history of the market and to remember all the big ups and downs we’ve been through before. Having a plan and a strategy for weathering a downturn is the most important thing.

Question:

You’ve got a great analogy for what’s taken place over the past few months and the strategy you’ve used to help your clients. Can you share that with our readers?

Answer:

What happened to the market in late February when the COVID‐19 hit and stock prices began to drop is akin to the sport of skydiving. Some people jumped out of the plane without a parachute (a plan) and they did not fare well. Others jumped with a parachute (a plan), and they were able to slow their fall.

When those with the parachute hit the ground, or the bottom of the market, they were in a better place than those without a plan or parachute. Those with a parachute were able to pack it up and create a new plan that included the parachute (the original plan) because if you’ve ever tried running with an unpacked parachute, you know it slows you down.

I always create plans for my clients that allowed them to accelerate faster and take advantage of market opportunities. For many, it paid off. They were not only able to regain their losses but, in many cases, they were able to end up in a better position than they were in February when the pandemic started.

Question:

What are some economic factors and individual should take into consideration when looking at their future plans?

Answer:

When you’re thinking about your future, it is important to remember things like inflation, health care costs, lifestyle expectations and your lifespan.

As inflation compounds over the years, it can have a profound impact on the purchasing power of your fixed retirement savings. In addition, while Medicare is there to help you after the age of 65, you will most likely need supplemental insurance coverage to ensure you receive quality healthcare. Plus, with people living longer than ever before (life expectancy has risen by 25 years in the past century), you will most likely require more money in savings to get you through those additional years.

Realistic lifestyle expectations also play a vital role in retirement planning. You should have a good understanding of what you hope to do and how you plan to live when you retire so you can plan accordingly with your finances. You may find it difficult to maintain the lifestyle you enjoy now on a fixed income, so it is important to set realistic priorities and expectations before you retire.

Question:

We hear you’re a youth baseball coach. Can you share some things you’ve learned from your team this year?

Answer:

It has definitely been an interesting year to coach youth sports. My baseball team had just started practicing when the pandemic hit. We didn’t meet during most of March and all of April and May. When Thurston County was cleared for Phase 2, we started meeting in small groups and worked on fundamentals. Now that we’re in Phase 3, they can play games. Organizing our first tournament took a lot of work because we made sure all the players and parents were following the safety guidelines, but it was worth it.

I have learned so much from this incredible group of kids. They have been resilient, patient and courageous, all while remaining passionate about becoming better at their sport. I think I’m compelled to share all of this because it transfers well to the advice I offer my clients. Investing is similar to baseball. You’ve got to take it one day at a time and remember it’s a long season. It’s about making smart decisions and being dedicated to looking for opportunities in growth and improvement. My team is a huge inspiration for both my work on the field and in the office.

OFS Financial Services works with individuals, families and small businesses to make smart investments for the future. If you are interested in exploring their services, contact Jason at jason.andrew@ofsinvest.com, call their office at 360‐596‐9788.