By Reid Mathews
We had an amazing webinar on December 17th, 2020 (LISTEN HERE). It was titled 2020 Recap – 2021 Predictions. We wish everyone a wonderful and blessed 2021. With this first newsletter of the new year, we want to start off with what we saw last year and what we may see in 2021.
COVID-19. The first time I heard about this virus was in mid-January. I heard there was a virus in China. That was it. The next thing I knew, we were hearing about it more and more and that it might be very serious. Then they started tracking the virus, and it reached the USA in Washington state. It began worrying me some. My wife and I were watching an NBA basketball game in March, and they cancelled it halfway through the game when one of the players in the NBA tested positive. That was when I really got concerned. Since then, we have seen numerous changes. The virus spread like wildfire, businesses shut down, people were staying home and not going out at all, and the stock market took a massive dive plummeting 35%.
Thereafter, the sun kept coming up, and life continued to move on. Masks were required, and technology powered on keeping many people in the loop. Praise God for technology because we were still able to communicate with family members via FaceTime and Zoom. How did Berry Financial clients perform during these times, and what do we think may happen in 2021?
Our clients averaged between ZERO and 14% this year for their returns. How did the majority of our clients not lose any money during the 35% drop we saw in the Spring? We use an asset class called a Fixed Index Annuity. It is a fascinating financial tool that gives you upside when the market performs well but gives you a guarantee you can’t lose when the market drops like a rock. When you think about the stock market as a whole, most industry sectors did absolutely TERRIBLE. Retail, travel, airline, energy, oil, commercial real estate, and restaurants have been crushed, with many businesses NEVER coming back. The technology sector performed TREMENDOUSLY, but due to so few industry’s doing well, a lot of the indexes that we track are still negative on the year causing some of the index annuities to post 0% returns. One of our favorite sayings to describe the Fixed Index Annuity is “Zero is the HERO when markets go down.”
The other services Berry Financial provides gave thousands of people peace of mind with their money as well. Due to COVID, many people moved into nursing homes and became so sick they needed home health care. Our Long Term Care planning excelled and will help people stay in their homes to receive the care they deserve. For people that lost their lives, the life insurance planning we do helped provide for their families with a lump sum of Tax Free money. Our managed accounts with Alphastar Capital Management helped protect against the downside and also gave upside potential. Our Medicare supplement offerings helped pay for testing and procedures that people needed to stay safe during COVID-19. The CPAs and Elder Law Attorneys to whom we refer our clients helped people take advantage of historically low tax rates and get their affairs in order to avoid a long probate process.
We believe that we have access to the best financial strategies you can possibly implement. We are a leading firm in the United States, and we will continue to study, learn and improve so we can better serve you. The year 2021 will bring many opportunities to solidify your financial plans, and it would be our honor and privilege to be on your team to put the plans in place that you can count on, no matter what the markets and economy bring.
At Berry Financial as we saw many changes in 2020, we continued to pray without ceasing knowing that we serve a God who is Sovereign, taken surprise by none of our circumstances, and ALWAYS working ALL things together for the good of those who love Him! We want to thank each and every one of you for your trust, confidence, and friendship. Please know that you are prayed for daily. We pray for your health, your finances, your family, and your relationship with the Lord. We are looking forward to 2021 believing that God will protect us, sustain us, and bless us beyond anything we could ask or imagine. We wish you a Happy New Year! Please know we are thinking about you, and we are here for you. God bless.