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Financial Wellness

Bob Fuest: Money Management During COVID-19—OFF THE CUFF

This week we go Off the Cuff with financial advisor and wealth manager Bob Fuest to discuss money management.

The first few months of 2020 have brought about an environment that is unpredictable and stressful, both monetarily and mindfully. It has left people undeniably bewildered and uncertain about their money management and investment. That’s why we are so excited about this week’s OFF THE CUFF discussion. Bob Fuest has the passion and the experience to help offer the financial guidance that we all surely need right now. 

Money management is a key to success, especially in this economic climate. Trying to figure out the financial markets and decide where to put your money is more confusing than it has ever been. It’s also fraught with risk. Companies that appeared to be solid investments just a few months ago are declaring bankruptcy today. Bob Fuest helps people to negotiate their way through these perilous times in order to maximize their capital investments. 

Watch the Full Interview on YouTube

Money Management Interview Key Points

In this interview, Bob addresses the following key issues:

  • What should investors look for in the current climate?
  • What should people’s money management and investment strategy be over the foreseeable future?
  • Which investment opportunities will arise as we emerge from lockdown and get close to a vaccine for COVID-19?
  • What are the signs of the types of businesses that will not make it out of the current crisis?
  • Why should people make use of a financial advisor for money management?
  • In light of the virus, is opening up the economy the right thing to do right now?
Bob Fuest analyzing markets
Bob Fuest, Fuest & Klein Wealth Advisors

About Bob Fuest

Bob has a background in psychology, economics, and business. He is particularly qualified to provide the personal, empathetic guidance needed to make sense of the financial world around us. Bob’s passion is to help everyday people develop the skills they need to achieve their financial goals through money management

Bob is the founder and CEO of Fuest & Klein Wealth Advisors. Since 2009, the company has helped individuals and small businesses. They offer financial planning services, as well as alternative investment and money management. According to Bob, the thing that sets the company apart is the overall high level of trust, transparency, and tenacity that they have.

“No matter which hat I’m wearing — advisor, business owner, life partner — I am an unwavering idealist at heart. I have always felt that anything is possible and that most things can be fixed. I believe that, if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish any goal over time, and I truly love helping people achieve those goals.”

Bob Fuest, Financial Advisor

Find Bob Fuest Online

Watch the Full Interview on YouTube

  • Just want to give a quick, you know, introduction into who you are and what you’re about and all that good stuff.
  • Sure, so a little bit about my background, my undergraduate degree was in psychology and my graduate degree was an MBA from Fordham University. I have international economic honors, as well as finance honors. I was an adjunct professor in finance for about six years when I was living in New York while building the business. I love teaching, I love supporting people, but more importantly, I love bringing transparency to what can be completely overwhelming capital markets and structures. And then by doing that, what I’ve found is that my client base really supports me especially even during this time of a pandemic. I’m raising capital because people are either losing their jobs or they’re getting inheritances, or they’re finding new money or they’re, you know, not everybody’s affected the same way in this particular place. So my style and my drive to help educate individuals around the areas of finance and economics and how the world is interconnected, given my background of investment banking, corporate finance and business development really brings a unique suite to what we would call financial adviser or a wealth advisor, or asset class manager. But that’s really my background. I love what I do, I found my passion after years and years of many, many hours in the office. Unfortunately, now I don’t get to see people and that disheartens me but outside of that, I think, you know, I’m loving what I’m doing and the digital world is definitely supporting the interaction that people need.
  • Right. My first question for you, you know, has to do with the markets. A lot of people are trying to figure out the markets and what’s going on and all that good stuff and where they should be putting their money. So in the markets, what should investors be watching for right now?
  • So first off I just wanna back up for a second, you know, Fuest & Klein is advising their clients to please stay calm during these times, right? We are in very stressful times. Not just monetarily, but mindfully. Right? So trying to remain calm will help you with your money and how you interact with your money. So, you know, I hear stories of people overspending, I hear stories of people losing their jobs but they’re being supported by the government. So when looking at your finances, you really should be calling your advisor if they’re not calling you, which is not necessarily a good thing, and having ongoing engaging conversations with them around different opportunities that are arising out of this what some people call miserable time. Right? For instance, there are some asset classes and sectors and industries that are actually benefiting. So for one instance, I’m not gonna go into recommendations because that’s sort of not, I’m not allowed to. But if you look at just the automobile insurance agencies, yes they’re giving discounts. You know, for my family we have Geico ’cause we don’t really drive that much ’cause we, you know, we came from the city. So you know, we like to walk and walk to things versus drive to things. And so we chose Geico for their rates, and they gave 15% back right? But claims are down 50%. So there’s an opportunity where on the other side of this as we get closer and closer to a vaccine, there’s going to be opportunities like that in healthcare, there’s going to be opportunities like that in casinos, you know, so right now big billionaire investors, they’re jumping into high-yield debt. I wouldn’t instruct anyone to do this on their own, they should absolutely use a financial advisor. But people, businesses are going to come out the other side. Now, with that being said, there are gonna be businesses that do not make it out of this financial crisis. And those are the things that we’re advising, you really have to look out for who’s not gonna make it out the other side right?
  • Right.
  • Who’s gonna be stuck and go through bankruptcies? You know, some of the retailers. The retailers, some of them you’ve already heard. Neiman Marcus, now JCPenney, they’re going bankrupt right? Now it’ll depend on the capital markets and the financial markets on whether or not they want to provide them with some sort of solvency post bankruptcy to whether or not they’ll be at all. That’s gonna be up to you know, time will tell, but there’ll be brands like Lululemon right? Brands that have staying power, that are having purchases online, right? Look for the retail industries that have brand-loyal clients that are still buying their product. And the reason why I bought up Lululemon, which is not necessarily a recommendation, but it’s more for a thought process, right? I want our viewers to really think, “why is Bob talking about Lululemon?” Well think about how much more you hear people exercising during this pandemic. They’re exercising so much more and over months, if you’re exercising more clothes were down, right? You’re not spending as much on other items ’cause you’re not going out to eat, and so they’re spending more on items like exercise equipment, exercise clothing, things like that is where we’re advising our clients this is what’s on our list of things to start nibbling at and saying, “hey, you know, we’re not jumping all in “with both feet because we don’t have clear goggles “at the other side.” But there are going to be opportunities and that’s really what we’re looking for. We’re trying to bring some positivity here and creativity. You gotta be creative during this environment. You can’t sit back and do the same old thing. And we hope that a lot of advisors are doing just that.
  • Right. I mean you can hardly buy exercise equipment and if it’s not sold out, or you may not get it for six to eight weeks. What I think people don’t realize is, you know, yeah we’re in, I guess, stay at home orders right now but I don’t really see anybody rushing back to the gym anytime soon until we really have this thing under control, until we have, you know, COVID-19 under control. And companies are just moving to virtual ’cause they’re realizing that they can do it and they can cut costs while doing it. They can cut real estate costs, they can cut jobs by doing it. I know the entire just workforce and all that good stuff is gonna change but to your point about–
  • Well, that’s a great point. So workplace solutions, you know, companies that focus on restructuring the work environment, right? So for instance, in my community, we have a restaurant in the community and it’s dedicated pretty much you can outsiders can come in, but it’s really dedicated to the community and right now they’re undergoing construction because the way you have to serve and the way you have to do things is completely different. So companies that, not just the construction companies, but the consulting companies that are working on restructuring and redesigning office spaces. So even if we go fully virtual, to your point, right, employees will always want to get together outside of virtual right? So what will the workplace look like when, you know, they want to go to work, right? When they want to go into the office, right? And when they want to socialize? How is that going to happen? Are the cubicles going to look the same? Or are they gonna be clear glass right? So that you can see other people.
  • Right.
  • Without actually, you know, walking over into their cubicle. And so I think all, that whole space is really super interesting for us to look at. So yeah, you’re right. It’s right to your point.
  • Right. So I guess this flows right into my next question. To you, is opening up the right thing to do economically and what do you think on that? What’s your thoughts?
  • Well this is a really like hot-button subject. So I’m going to try and toe the line so that I don’t upset anybody.
  • Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah, we don’t want, but just it would be great to get your perspective at least. So I think time will tell, you know, in some cases what’s happening, specifically in China, is where I’m really keeping a very close eye on is that they’re getting, they’re calling them hot pockets, right? So it’s not a massive outbreak, but you got to remember China is a very very different animal than the United States. They’ve got very, very large restrictions. So if you’re in a big building, sometimes they’re only letting 10 people out at a time and then if more people come out, they literally are forcibly putting them back into their homes. And so I’m watching that because with those controls, if it gets bad over there, it just means it’s gonna get really bad over here, right? I’m seeing that about 45% of the population when you go out. So Texas we are open, right? And they just did a poll and about 41% of people are okay with opening and about 50 plus percent are not okay with going back to work and opening up. And for me, I think the one thing we need to do, I think we do need to open up. We do need to understand what’s gonna happen when we do open up. Are people gonna get sick? Absolutely. People are going to get sick. But I think it’s really important that people really need to pay attention to these social distancing guidelines, and the 40% of the people that think it’s okay to open up about I would say about 25% of those people are not paying any attention to mask wearing, social distancing. They don’t believe that this virus is actually here and that’s concerning for me
  • Right.
  • Because it is here, it’s real. I have, you know, friends that are doctors all across the country and, you know, they’re not paranoid, but they’re nervous that when we reopen that it could get really bad. And I look if we take New York as an example, which I think we talked about last time, as an example, you know, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio didn’t close the public schools for about two weeks when they were really urged to by the administration, after you know, we locked down travel to China, and all of that. And during that two weeks, look what happened to New York City and New York State. It only took two weeks. So we don’t know, we’ll know in about a week. What’s happening with Georgia, what’s happening with Texas. But if it starts to get really bad what people don’t understand is there are so many people that are asymptomatic that we really don’t know–
  • Right.
  • How far it is, until about another week from now. Because people are still scared, some people, there’s enough people still scared and nervous. I have a little bit of trepidation, I gotta be honest with you Corey, but you know, you can’t be locked down forever, right? It’s just not reasonable. So I guess my best answer is we’ll see. You know, I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. And that’s going to go for bars and restaurants. Restaurants will be able to survive when they have the square footage to do so. And they’re gonna have to rely on much more takeout and delivery, which, you know, some of the major restaurant operators throughout the United States and some of them abroad have come on television and already said, you know, they’re going to be able to operate at 25% because their delivery and pickup business went up 50%.
  • Right.
  • So now they’re at you know, 75% and the landlords are working with them to justify the rents of operating at 75%. So they’re okay, right? You know and they’re the major chains. So I think that’s gonna happen and I think the landscape is gonna be different. I also see, and I’m sure you hear this from your other commentators, there’s a whole thing that happened out of this that not too many people are talking about. But family dinnertime is back.
  • Right, 100%.
  • And it’s back in a big way, and you know, I really never thought about like me and my wife and my son before my little daughter was born on the 13th of April. You know, we never thought we would be having a family night every night at home.
  • Right.
  • We used to go out all the time. Even when we moved to Texas, when we left New York City, we went out at least two three times a week just to restaurants in the area and my son loved it, and he was well behaved and it was fine. Now he loves having dinner at home and we have dinner, you know with my daughter and I make running joke, you know, my daughter is not gonna have as nice table manners as my son is because she’s not gonna know what to do when we go out to dinner.
  • Right, right.
  • So you know, I think the landscape’s gonna change I don’t but I think over time it’ll get back.
  • Yeah.
  • It’ll come back.
  • 100%.
  • But I just think that is going to take it’s gonna take time.
  • Right. No for sure. Thank you again for joining us. I do want to give you–
  • Thank you.
  • Just a quick quick minute to if people want to find you how they can do that.
  • So as they can see the name is behind me.
  • Yeap.
  • The website is FuestKlein.com, no and, and then you can find us on Facebook, which is just /Fuestklein.
  • Perfect.
  • And our Twitter handle is also FuestKlein. They can find us in any one of those locations, we’ve got news feeds, and ongoing updates continuously.
  • Perfect.
  • And then they can send an email to me at R.Fuest F-U-E-S-T @fuestklein.com. Go on our website and ask to join our email list and that’s fine too.
  • Perfect. Stay tuned for more from 1AND1 and Bob and all that good stuff we’re gonna be doing a lot of good things together. So thank you again and I’m looking forward to our next conversation.
  • You’re welcome, you guys are doing great stuff. So thank you and thank you for having me on today.
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