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Charleston Wealth Management Advisors

Charleston Wealth Management Blog

On April 12th, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster renewed the state of emergency currently in place, extending it for another 15 days. The new executive order will continue the state of emergency amidst the COVID-19 outbreak until at least April 27, and maintains previous orders made by McMaster. While we are considered an “essential” business under the Governor’s orders, The Coastal Financial Planning Group continues to have most of our employees working remotely.

Rest assured that regardless of where our employees sit, they remain well equipped to perform their essential functions, and our firm remains open for business and prepared to address any needs or concerns you might have. All of our remote systems are secure and encrypted for your protection. Importantly, there is no change to our ability to:

  • Update your financial plan

  • Facilitate any trades including rebalancing

  • Invest new money or raise cash as needed

  • Process any new account paperwork or other important documents

  • Talk with you via phone, email, or virtually and answer any questions you have during this difficult time

While many of us are working remotely, we are still able to receive and process mail. We are also available via our email addresses, as well as by phone at (843) 735-5065.

We realize this is an unusual and trying time and our entire firm remains committed to helping you get through it. We hope to return to more traditional office arrangements as soon as the law allows but are grateful that our ongoing preparation and planning have placed us in a position to continue providing uninterrupted service despite these extraordinary circumstances.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are here for you.

We hope you and your families remain healthy and safe, and look forward to seeing you again in person as soon as possible.


Rick Durkee, LUTCF®

President, Founder and Chief Investment Advisor

Coastal Financial Planning Group


Updated: Apr 13

Aside from politics and the upcoming presidential election, the big news item over the past six weeks has been the emergence of the Coronavirus and its impact on the globe. Another important factor to consider is what financial implications it may have on investments, the market, and your retirement plan. From our research and perspective although there are short term negative reactions to epidemics, ultimately, the health of the global economy and magnitude of monetary & fiscal stimulus dictate the direction of equity markets. In fact, in five prior instances, pandemics were a huge buy signal, dating back to 1997’s Avian Flu.

That said, while returns have been typically excellent coming out of pandemics, 2020 may be “different” because stocks were already rallying into the WHO (World Health Organization) identification.

Source: Bespoke, FS Investments

Is this time different?

  • Wuhan was a central rail hub during Chinese New Year festivities.

  • SARS represented a similar drag on the Chinese economy.

  • Goldman Sachs forecasts a 0.4% drag on US GDP for a quarter and the Street is forecasting a 1.5% hit to Chinese GDP this quarter.

  • It is too early to tell; however, the path appears similar to SARS and MERS

Sources: Matthews, Bloomberg, Bianco Research

In summary, will the Coronavirus have a major impact on your retirement planning?

Although there are short term negative reactions to epidemics, ultimately, the health of the global economy and magnitude of monetary & fiscal stimulus dictate the direction of equity markets.

Markets have shown a tendency to overestimate the impact on GDP and global growth. Historically, markets and economies have recovered a quarter after the pandemic’s growth rate slows.

In 2003, the Chinese economy only accounted for 4% of world GDP and the US economy was 7.5x larger than China. Today China is 16% of global GDP and the US economy is only 1.5x larger.

China’s economy was on steadier ground in 2003 – unlike today.

Markets may be more vulnerable to selling pressure this time around. If you would like to discuss the possible implications of the Coronavirus on your retirement planning please don't hesitate to call us, (843) 735-5065


A recent study performed by the investment research firm, Openfolio, found that the wealthiest 1 percent of American investors had higher returns, or less of a loss, than the rest of investors, year over year. Of course, we all know that wealthier people make more money than those with less money, given the same rate of return. (Five percent of $1 million is a lot more than 5 percent of $100,000.) That's to be expected, but it has been found that the return is not even the same, not even close really, according to Openfolio.

The analysis performed by Openfolio has shown historically about a 7 percent difference between the two groups of investors each year, in favor of the wealthy. Now, the market isn't simply handing out better returns to the wealthy because they put more money in.

The difference in their returns is due to the investment behavior of the wealthy, a behavior that all investors would be wise to replicate.

So, what is it that they are doing differently? The main difference is that ever-important investment strategy: diversification. You see, if a portfolio is focused on very few stocks or sectors, any movement in those few stocks or sectors can lead to dangerous volatility. The rich, however, are much less likely to put their money into single stocks like Apple or General Electric; they tend to be much more diversified in many different stocks in a variety of sectors.

Openfolio broke it down into specifics. The bottom 5 percent of investors have positioned the vast majority (over 70 percent) of their portfolios into single stocks, creating a very volatile portfolio, with volatility within the portfolio of over 33.23 percent. The rich guys, on the other hand, have much less volatility just 14.9 percent (less than half) because they have less of their holdings focused on single stocks. Essentially, they are heavily diversified, have less volatility, giving them a higher probability of success. The report further suggests that wealthier investors tend to take on less risk, while other investors are chasing returns resulting in more risk. Of course, some of these riskier bets pay off. However, over time, the data overwhelmingly says that this type of strategy does not work.

As an advisor, I believe a strategy focused on managing volatility and downside risk is the key to long-term investment success.

An annual study of investors conducted by DALBAR, the nation's leading financial market research firm, found one of the primary reasons why small investors fail is due to their investment process, or lack thereof. The DALBAR study also found that most small investors make investment decisions based on their emotions, perceptions, or instincts about the market. We find that it is this lack of process that often leads individual investors to fall into the all-familiar cycle of buying high, and selling low.

Having a diversified portfolio, backed by strategies that use facts and logic to help manage downside risk, take advantage of gains and minimize losses, that might not earn you the lifestyle of the rich and the famous, but can give you the consistency that makes a successful investment strategy.

This content created by Rick Durkee in conjunction with Fusion Capital Management.


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Coastal Financial Planning Group

78 Ashley Point Drive Suite 201 
Charleston, SC 29407

(843) 735-5065


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Investment advisory services are offered through Fusion Capital Management, an SEC registered investment advisor. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. SEC registration is not an endorsement of the firm by the commission and does not mean that the advisor has attained a specific level of skill or ability. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. 


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