The super duper, ultimate don’t panic, we’re here for you during covid-19 email

My investment guy called me up back in April, which was shocking because he’s never called me.

But unless you were living in a cave and you only invest in pieces of silver and ammo, everyone’s investments took a major hit this year.

My account has taken a bunch of hits in the past, but I was surprised when my investment guy actually called. I didn’t know if he was desperate, afraid or both.

But when I called him back, he told me exactly what I expected…

He told me not to panic about the market, and that he was working to find opportunities to invest in. He sounded a little rattled and probably rightfully so because he told me 2 of his clients completely backed out and pulled out all of their money. He told me they actually did lose money, but in my opinion they should’ve stayed in.

My investment guy also briefly mentioned that his firm was doing new email marketing, which I did notice and to be nice, their email marketing kinda needs work.

I’m not going to even paraphrase their email but it was paragraphs long. The main point of the email was even though the markets have been volitile lately, you shouldn’t be afraid. It raises several points:

  • It explains how bear markets have worked since WWII
  • The email references Warren Buffet, because why not?
  • It tries to explain the psychology of panic, even from the days of our ancestors
  • It references a psychology study from 70’s regarding confirmation bias
  • It references all the other recessions in the 20th century including the Great Depression
  • It talks about leveraging other assets like real estate, commodities, collectibles, etc.

This email tries to accomplish a lot, but it doesn’t do anything. It pretty much did two things wrong.

It gave way too much information all at one time. There was no human-interest, and no use of emotion. It was just a bunch of hard facts about history, psychology and finance all rolled into one email. I felt like I was reading a college paper. And although facts are great and all, people make emotional decisions, and that includes decisions about their money.

The other thing this email did wrong was this email could’ve been split up into several interesting emails with different stories and lessons from history. But instead they just crammed a bunch of bullet points all over the place and pressed send.

I will give the marketer a break. They wrote one of those “letters from the CEO” emails and having written those articles before myself, they tend to be all over the place and full of fluff. So I genuinely feel bad for their marketing manager.

Aside from the email, I did watch an interesting Warren Buffet video from one of his Berkshire Hathaway meetings. In the meeting, he talked about how his dad not only lost his job at the bank he worked at during the Great Depression, he lost all the money in the bank because none of that money was insured.

And he basically said, times were extremely tough back then but they endured and there were better times in the years that followed.

Now you just think about that. Can you imagine today if people went to their banks and their money wasn’t there?

Anyways, I think that’s a better story my investment firm could’ve shared in their emails.

Anyways, the big takeaway is stay focused on telling just one story at a time.

Like Steve Martin said in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “The next time you tell a story… Have a point!”

Also fun fact: I’ve seen Warren Buffett’s house in Omaha, because I have family that live there. It’s a nice big $600K house, but it’s not as big as Lebron’s mansion. You definitely wouldn’t think one of the richest men in the US lives there.

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