IN MY LIFE, AS IN THE LIVES OF MOST OTHER PEOPLE, I HAVE NEVER FOUND IT AS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING OR WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.Tony van niekerk
Before COVID-19 I thought that investments were reasonably unpredictable and that economic models of the past are not sufficient to steer us through uncertainties towards a comfortable retirement. As a privileged media owner I am receiving numerous opinions, analysis, research papers and more on the economic effects, the health issues, the effects on the insurance industry.
None of these provide any comfort. Not comfort in knowing how we are going to beat this. Not comfort in knowing what is going to happen with business. Not comfort in knowing if we will even survive this event. Even the experts are taking it one day at a time. It is therefore clear that we should not be looking for comfort at this stage.
My conclusion – we should not be looking for answers to the question: what will the outcome of this be?
When it comes to investments, the only thing that makes logical sense is to do what has always worked. Stay the course, batten down the hatches and ride it out.
When it comes to retirement planning it might be a good thing to re-evaluate the retirement strategies of those clients that are in retirement already and those close to retirement.
For business owners it will obviously differ from business to business and the industry you operate in or rely on for business. Again, there is no answer. However, for all of us it will be a serious rethink of everything we do, why we do it, how we do it and how it is affected by what is happening.
There is one area where we are all
in the same boat, the humanitarian area. In a time of all this uncertainty, the one constant is that we are all humans and we should all be focusing on being human. We should focus on the ethical and the moral. This is not business as usual and we should not act “as usual”. Although business decisions should always be ethical and in compliance with regulations, now is a time to reach deeper into our humanitarian side.
The insurance is very familiar with reaching there, with “ex gracia” decisions regularly being made. However, even our industry will be pulled into unknown and very uncomfortable waters when it comes to employees, creditors, debtors, claims and much more.
How we are going to manage this and where it is going to lead us, no one can predict. One thing is clear though – this is not business as usual. Nobody and nothing will be the same as it was up until COVID-19.