The saying, health is wealth, has taken on a new meaning as the coronavirus health crisis has caused a financial crisis that is being felt all around the world. As a result, many Americans are counting their blessings along with their dollars and cents.
Over the past few weeks, the Dow and FTSE have seen their biggest one-day decline since 1987. And as financial analysts go back and forth about whether or not America is on the brink of another recession, millions of people are trying to figure out how they will make it with what they have as layoffs, furloughs, and salary cuts persist in the workforce.
In response to the new normal, Deborah T. Owens, founder of The Corporate Alley Cat has created the Remote and Ready webinar series with experts in various areas. Remote and Ready webinars give you actionable tools that you can use immediately. The sessions were created to build community, drive honest conversations, and create genuine connections.
In the first part of the series, Smart Money Moves in Uncertain Times, Owens was joined by Deborah Owens, no relation, affectionately known as America’s wealth coach, author, and CEO of WealthyU. During the webinar, the experts spoke about ways to have a healthy relationship with money, saving, investing, and ways to get through this national moment of financial uncertainty.
One of the first things that WealthyU’s Owens shared was to breathe. “Our most fundamental and basic need is security. So that’s exactly how we need to be thinking right now. It’s OK for you to feel anxious and have some fear around what is happening because your basic needs are being threatened right now.”
In addition to breathing, she advised people to prepare and not panic. “Focus on basic essentials. “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves,” said Owens.
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With a number of people being forced to pivot professionally, WealthyU’s Owens encouraged people to be nimble. “If you get an inkling that things are about to change for you economically. And even if you don’t, you need to be out here looking for other opportunities.” During your search, Owens recommends paying attention to companies that have expansion models. Companies like CVS, Amazon, and other tech companies are actively hiring contrary to the crisis. Right now is an opportune time for professionals to tap into their transferrable skills and rely on their networks to gauge opportunities.
“Relationships are key. Think about the network that you already have. Your relationships will be one of the things that help you get through the next few months,” said Owens.
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And for those who are fortunate to still have a steady income, WealthyU’s Owens recommends creating savings that can account for at least three months of expenses. She also encourages people to have cash on hand.
“Cash gives you flexibility—and the lack of it makes you make the decisions that, are from a desperate point of view versus what really is a value at the time.”
For those seeking to maintain healthy credit scores, Owens shared that keeping credit usage down and paying minimum balances can be helpful so that you can also have access to cash.
“I think some other opportunities around this is there going to be some loan forgiveness and forbearance and credits going to be a lot freer. That’s why companies in 2008 did so well because they could borrow at zero interest rates. If I were strategically thinking about what we’re about to go through, I would be thinking about what are some higher interest debt that I might in this environment be able to transfer some from zero debt, and then that too, right will impact your credit score,” Owens added.
And when it comes to the stock market, Owens advises people to have a sense of what your real risk tolerance is.
By having a wealth mindset, Owens believes that people can see problems as opportunities, which requires being able to think around the current disruption.
To learn more about the ongoing series and join the conversations, visit the Remote and Ready landing page.