May 2020 In these unprecedented times, having a trusted and knowledgeable financial adviser to walk you through your personal and business goals can be critical to your financial well-being amid the current global pandemic crisis. Your wealth planning, portfolio management and 401(k) is the business of SYM Financial Advisors. For more than half a century, SYM Financial Advisors has been guiding their clients through both bear and bull markets, weathering financial storms, and strategically planning in times of prosperity. A Brief History of SYM Financial Advisors In 1968, SYM Financial Advisors started out in the insurance business. As Rick Harrison, principal and senior financial advisor at SYM Financial Advisors, explained, the company reformatted its business model over the years from a product-oriented to an advice-oriented model. Rick Harrison \u201cWe are a fiduciary with all of our clients,\u201d Harrison explained. \u201cSYM felt that in order to be a and be sitting on the same side of the table as our clients, we needed to have complete transparency and reduce as many potential conflicts as possible. No one pays SYM but our clients, and we have no arrangements with outside mutual funds or insurance products. Today, SYM Financial serves clients in the Indianapolis, Winona Lake, Fort Wayne, Mishawaka, Indiana and Midland, Michigan areas. \u201cStatistically, we\u2019re 60 employees spread across the offices that we manage,\u201d Harrison shared. \u201cWe manage $2.7 billion in client assets per our ADV dated 3\/30\/20.\u201d Are You the Ideal Client for SYM? When asked who the ideal client for SYM Financial Advisors is, Harrison replied, \u201cOther firms will often talk about certain asset size or clients with a certain number of investible dollars. What SYM is looking for are people who are looking for \u2018thought\u2019 partners \u2013clients who are looking to partner with us in terms of meeting their financial objectives. We are not just investing a portfolio. We get to know our clients uncommonly well, and so we look for clients who are seeking advice, willing to follow advice and also have more than just their dollars invested in the relationship. We also want their time. We meet with our clients frequently and want their input as we help them meet their financial goals.\u201d Additionally, SYM Financial Advisors also looks for a level of openness in their clients. \u201cThere is a certain openness that we require from our clients because we want to get into the heart of what their money is for,\u201d Kim Harvey, director of marketing and business development, emphasized. \u201cIf they are able to let us in to all the different aspects of their lives that their finances touch, we can really do some great work on their behalf.\u201d SYM Financial Advisors Advising as a Team of Collective Professionals Harrison has ensured that the entire SYM Financial Advisors\u2019 team is collectively working to provide the best guidance and service for all of their clients with whatever issues and concerns they have throughout the current crisis. Amanda Legler \u201cMy standard line is, \u2018We\u2019re not in the money business\u2014we\u2019re in the people business,\u2019\u201d Harrison stated. \u201cThat becomes especially true in times like this. This is the third \u2018crisis\u2019 that I\u2019ve worked through with clients, and while the circumstances are different, what we are trying to accomplish and what our objectives are have been the same throughout times like these.\u201d Harrison continued, \u201cWe know that times like this are going to happen, though we never know why. Whether it is a pandemic, financial crisis, terrorist attack or whatever, we know that these things occur, and the key is to plan ahead of time, and we have done that. It is our job to remind our clients that we have planned for this and are prepared for it.\u201d Working as a collective team of professionals, SYM Financial Advisors brings in decades of experience to best advise its clients on financial matters ranging from personal portfolio objectives to company-sponsored retirement plans and everything in between. Mariah Sanford \u201cTo me, being fee-only\u2014meaning the clients are the only ones that pay us\u2014and being a fiduciary are two really important aspects of SYM. Another important point that I will mention is that we work in a team environment and we have a really deep bench, so our clients are getting SYM\u2019s best advice regardless if that comes from me or from another adviser in the company.\u201d How Does One Safely Navigate Their Finances Through This Particular Storm? \u201cIt\u2019s not like we are soothsayers with a crystal ball and knew that this was specifically coming,\u201d Harrison said. \u201cBut, we knew that something was coming, and it won\u2019t be the last . There will be others following this one, so the idea is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Now, in the heat of the battle, our job is to remind clients that we\u2019ve planned for this and that they are going to be OK because the knee-jerk reaction of investors is to be doing \u2018something,\u2019 like selling stock or moving portfolios around. The fact of the matter is, we have already done that. We\u2019ve planned for it, and it\u2019s been taken care of.\u201d Harrison and his advisers walk their clients through their immediate cash-flow needs and advise them based off both short-term and long-term objectives. \u201cOne of the things that we talk with our clients early on about is anytime you have a dollar to invest, the most important question you can ask yourself is, \u2018When do I need that dollar back for spending purposes?\u2019\u201d Harrison said. \u201cIf you need that dollar back within the next year, it should probably be sitting in your bank account. It\u2019s not going to earn very much, but it\u2019s not going to lose anything. If you need that dollar back within the next five to six years, it probably ought to be in bonds so it can earn a little bit more . It will be susceptible to a little more risk but not a whole lot. Anything seven years and longer ought to be invested in stocks. Not saying you can\u2019t sell out of it if you want to, but you want to be in a position where you don\u2019t have to sell stock during times like these.\u201d How Has SYM Adapted to the New Normal Without Sacrificing Its High-Touch Service? \u201cThe one nice thing about this business is that if I can get internet access, I am\u2014essentially\u2014sitting at my desk,\u201d Harrison said. \u201cWhat is missing throughout this process is the face-to-face interaction. Most of our client meetings are face-to-face, and we have had to resort to more phone and web meetings as a result of all this. Personally, I miss that part, and it\u2019s a totally different experience when you can sit down and see somebody\u2019s body language and converse about their grandkids and things like that as opposed to just trying to get through an agenda. We\u2019re trying to conduct business as much as normal, and though our method has changed a little bit, the level of service and care has not changed.\u201d Harvey added, \u201cWe recognize that this is the time when we are most needed. Our skills and abilities are going to be critical to how our clients come out on the other side of this, and everybody is cognizant of their roles right now. We are doing a lot more than just reassuring our clients to stay in the market. Our investment team is making trades, as there are always opportunities to take advantage of when you are in a market like this, and we have incredibly intelligent people who are doing that every day. We are busier now than we were at the beginning of the crisis because these \u2018lemons\u2019 have provided a chance to make lemonade.\u201d The Human Factor in the Investment Equation Harrison added that SYM Financial Advisors adds value by having experienced team members who have worked through these types of events before and understand that this is the time to be more proactive, which adds value to the relationships with their clients. Harrison stated, \u201cWe\u2019re a high-touch firm, and we are proactive in reaching out to our clients. Our president said it best, \u2018Sometimes you need a punching bag or a shoulder to cry on, and we\u2019re here to do either or both of those for you.\u2019 I think people appreciate that, and when you know your clients \u2018uncommonly well,\u2019 you know which of your clients are taking this in stride and which ones are really fearful right now, and you put those cards at the top of your list and stay in touch with them frequently.\u201d What Lessons Were Learned From 2008 That May Help Investors Through This Crisis? While 2008 was a result of a fractured financial system and today\u2019s bear market is a direct result of a global pandemic, Harrison said there have been lessons learned from 2008 that have been applied to help cushion the financial impacts of the current market. \u201cThis time around\u2014in terms of the financial system\u2014the banks are much more capitalized today than they were in 2008,\u201d Harrison explained. \u201cThey have been stress-tested, and everything that I've been reading and hearing so far is that the banks are in really good shape. That is important, as the most important thing in the whole financial banking industry is confidence. Confidence is something that is hard to earn. It\u2019s an emotional thing, and there is no formula for it.\u201d Harrison concluded, \u201cI don't know how this is going to play out, as we're in the middle of it. We will have to wait and see, but what is interesting is if you go back and look at all the crises, including the Depression, the oil embargoes and all those high-inflationary environments of the past, we've come out on the other side and we've learned some things. And I think we are stronger as a country because of it.\u201d For more information on SYM Financial Advisors or to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, visit sym.com. Disclosure: The opinions expressed herein are those of SYM Financial Corporation (\u201cSYM\u201d) and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. SYM reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. This is not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security. SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.