How Can We Conquer Fear and Uncertainty During Challenging Times?


In the wake of the current health epidemic and market decline, it feels to many like fear and panic are the only reactions available to us.   We are being told to exercise “social isolation”, we are watching the swings in the market while the News Cycle is adding to the anxiety by 24 hour exploitation of the market volatility.

I’ve engaged in many conversations over the past week, and I keep arriving at the same conclusion.  What would happen if we tried to look at these situations from a different lens?  Difficult, yes, but not impossible.

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.”


As a Financial Advisor, I am charged with bringing prudent solutions to my clients in order to help them reach their long term goals.  Part of this responsibility includes supportive coaching during difficult times while remaining empathetic, and helping them navigate through the ups and downs of the market with their focus on the goal.  This isn’t always easy, but it is necessary.  Beyond the emotional support, in difficult times, it is my responsibility to assist clients in taking advantage of the opportunities that open up during a down market.  Opportunities that aren’t clear to most folks, and that sometimes seem counter-intuitive.

How Can Market Volatility Provide Creative Opportunities?

The following are some examples of the opportunities available in the current environment:

  1. Low Interest Rates provide opportunity to refinance mortgages, resulting in net monthly savings
  2. Depressed values in a bear market allow for investors to “buy low” with excess cash they have been holding on the sidelines
  3. Gifting depressed assets today provides a significant estate planning opportunity to transfer assets and allow the recovery/growth to occur outside of your estate.
  4. Converting IRAs to Roth IRA with reduced tax impact and significant long term benefits

From a human perspective, the current crisis has me reflecting on the incredible divisiveness that exists in our communities today.  Gone are the days where people could “respectfully disagree” on practically anything.  Unfortunately, we have moved further away from one another, and adopted almost a “me versus them” approach to issues.   I began to think about how crises were handled in the past, how people dismissed their differences in order to come together for “the greater good”.  Have we dug our heels in so deep that this is no longer possible?  I would argue that this is exactly the time to rediscover our compassion, our empathy and our humanity.

How Can a Health Crisis Heal the Divide in Our Communities?

  1. Recognize that a Virus does not discriminate.  We are all susceptible.
  2. We can stop looking for someone to blame, and instead focus our energy on how to stop the spread.
  3. We can develop a tremendous appreciation for the Medical community who put themselves at risk to help others.
  4. We can take advantage of the “isolation”, spending time with our loved ones.
  5. We can learn from this pandemic that our strength is much greater together than separate.
  6. We can develop and continue better habits to maintain our health, like washing our hands, etc.
  7. We can demonstrate compassion and empathy for those suffering by finding ways to help, even in the smallest ways.

“Health does not always come from medicine. Most of the time it comes from peace of mind, peace in the heart, peace in the soul. It comes from laughter and love.”


I don’t share my thoughts with the expectation that everyone shares these beliefs or will take this perspective.  I do, however, think it is more important than ever to share messages of hope, of encouragement, and of inspiration to those who need more than warnings and bad news.  We have a choice everyday on what we will do.  If more of us choose creativity and compassion, the good has a chance at outweighing the bad.

Each of us is blessed with certain gifts that we bring to the world each day to make a difference and to contribute to the greater good.  No skill is better than another, just different.  I derive joy each day from bringing my best self to my clients, my friends, and my family, knowing that somehow, I’m helping, even in just a small way.   If we all take this approach, we can begin to overcome the “Virus” infecting us.


Fortress Wealth Planning is registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with Hightower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and Hightower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.