Collier Edition

A Letter to my Tribe: Planning for the Invisible Enemy

Provided by Nina Azwoir

A Letter to my TribeI can feel my fingers pitter patter away on an enormous keyboard, yet my gaze often pivots to a view outside my unwelcome sliding glass doors. I find myself looking out to a stunning backyard. A pool with water like Caribbean turquoise seas, surrounded by Mango trees ripe with fruit. If it were any other year, sitting in this room in April would bring a sense of calm and peace. But this one isn’t the same. The freedom and serenity I’ve been granted in the past has been stunted by an invisible cage. I have been incarcerated in my own home. A sentence that feels like a lifetime, but has in fact been only four weeks! Like little children we are told to behave, “it will be over before we know it.”

I spend my life and my love planning for the people I care about most.

No really, that is what I do as Financial Advisor and Investment Planner. But did I plan for this?

The gains in the market have lasted for 15 straight months, and now the thrill of the ride has been swept from under our feet. I have started to go through my own catharsis with the stages of grief.

The denial was the most fun, I have to admit. Like adolescents, we all started this arduous journey with disbelief and a laissez-faire attitude. I might have even been a tad rebellious. Of course, being of Middle-Eastern descent didn’t help; I had always stood strong against the control taken from myself and my sisters as we grew up. I wasn’t going to let this disease stop me. We rolled our eyes at the first people who wore masks. We insisted that this would be over in a week, and many even compared this pandemic to a flu. We were brazen…until we started to witness local businesses close before our eyes. An invisible enemy laser-focused on taking our health and our livelihoods.

I sit here past that and several other stages now as I gaze past the “Invisible wall” meant to harbor us.

My perception has blossomed. I am still blessed enough to be here so I have to ask myself and my clients; do you remember all those times when we spoke about planning? About creating a strategy that can hold up in all environments? Yes, that one.

Do you remember when we spoke about emergency cash flow? This is the time we planned for, even though we didn’t realize it at the time.

What about that complex term, risk management? Yes, that was the life insurance we put in place for your loved ones in case of a devastating event. We didn’t know if you would ever need it, but as your Advisor I didn’t want you to enter unknown territory without protection. We have a plan.

Some simply called it the Bucket system. You know that age old process of directing different assets into different silos? If you don’t, please contact me and I will be happy to share this with you.

Most have sat with me tirelessly as we created sophisticated scenarios that showed what may happen if they passed away unexpectedly.

Then the scenario we planned for, but didn’t expect so soon: what if the market drops? It showed us we need other more secure options in place to save them from days like ones we have seen as of late.

We have strategies in place to protect your life savings from risk. This is your triumph at a time like this.

We did purposeful planning and things as simple as beneficiary check-ups so that we were always sure to have all bases covered. Remember the attorney we sat with to make sure your will and health care directives were in order?

These are the times we did all of these things for. The power of having a plan elevates you from the pandemonium of a pandemic.

And so my tribe, we are for the most part accepting of what may come. It’s usually the last stage in the cycle of grief.

We don’t know how long this will last and we don’t know if it will rear its ugly head once more with a vengeance. But here is what we do know: you have a solid Investment Plan in place and you will always have my guidance. I hope this keeps you feeling more secure and less lonely behind our invisible walls, because if you look close enough, you will see that I am always here with you.

Securities, insurance products, financial planning, and investment management services offered through Wintrust Investments, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), founded in 1931. Trust and asset management services offered by The Chicago Trust Company, N.A. and Great Lakes Advisors, LLC, respectively. Investment products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are:


The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and are not necessarily the same as those of Wintrust Investments or its research department. Wintrust Investments did not assist in the preparation of this report and makes no guarantees as to its accuracy or the reliability of the sources used for its preparation.

Nina Azwori, Financial Advisor


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