The old adage ‘hindsight is 20/20 vision’ could not be more appropriate than when applied to the year 2020. The massive impact of COVID-19 on every aspect of society, and of course the global markets, has left us reeling and wondering how we could possibly have foreseen what was about to happen.

Well, although we now learn that there may have been some who warned of this type of pandemic sweeping across the globe, the average man in the street certainly could not have known. All we can do now is what we always need to do when faced with any major setback – try to maximise what we can learn from it and find ways to turn it around in the days to come.

Hindsight is looking at how 2020 has affected us so far – and how we may have been better prepared – and foresight is to look positively towards 2021 and do what we need to, to ensure that next time – we are!

2020 hindsight

So, talking purely from a financial planning point of view, what can we take out of the COVID-19 disaster?
There’s another old adage that says ’the rich get rich and the poor get poorer.’ This will ring very true as we look back at 2020. Let’s not take anything away from some of the great individuals, companies and organisations though that have very generously contributed cash, interest free loans and vital equipment to assist those who have been in dire need of help.

The reality however is that many people with money have gotten a lot richer by being able to invest in a crashed market when stocks were at their lowest. Some in fact have already made millions.

From the point of view of the ordinary many in the street, one has to think, “had I just been better prepared with the 3 to 6 month savings cushion my Financial Advisor wanted to set up for me – and the income protector he advised – I too may have been in a position to ride the storm and even make that investment in bargain basement stocks!”

So, better preparation, cash fluidity, solid insurances – all part of a well-constructed financial plan, that’s the 20/20 vision we could have taken into 2020 to make it a far less painful experience than it has in fact been.

2021 foresight

You’ve probably heard it before, but looking ahead is the best advice we can give you. Don’t see only what you are facing right now, but look to ways to change it and move on. To do so includes heeding yet another old adage – ‘Adapt or die!’ Adaptability will be the key to the every businessman’s survival though this 2020 turmoil.

You may need to look to new technologies, new ways to do business, like for example have more people working from home, less employees and more outsourcing, changing products or services, learning to sell products successfully online – the list goes on and on – and they are all essentially about being adaptable.

Diversify and trust

It was heartening to note in research conducted in the CFA Institution Trust report, that South African’s have a high level of trust in local financial institutions. This is important because you need to trust your Financial Advisor to make important decisions about how you can diversify your assets and investments.

Having all your eggs in one basket can never be good, and would have seen you potentially in far more trouble during this pandemic than if your financial plan had been more versatile and balanced.

We at Hereford Group have been giving this kind of advice to individuals, SMMEs and the corporate world for over 25 years, and have earned their trust by understanding that they are all unique and all have bespoke financial requirements.

Look before you leap

An astute Financial Advisor can advise you now of the many ways you may be able to tackle what may seem like an impossible situation. Don’t leap into the abyss in despair until all your options have been explored. It often just takes an outside perspective from and expert in the financial field to find a way for you to move forward.’

Contact us for free advice and consultation – and let’s use the remainder of 2020 to look with 20/20 vision to 2021 – and beyond.

Stay positive and stay safe!

Stay Safe. For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health’s website at www.sacoronavirus.co.za