NEWS FROM 1st QTR 2020
"Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration.” Victor Hugo

“Times of stress and difficulty are seasons of opportunity when the seeds of progress are sown.” Thomas Woodlock
In This Issue
  • Letter from Bryan: Home Sweet Home
  • What the "CARES" Act Means for You
  • Bryan's Message to Our Community
  • Reminder: We're Working from Home
  • Listen to a Replay of Our Virtual Town Hall
  • Best of Harford 2019
  • Steps We're Taking Now
  • What Our Strategists Are Doing
  • A To-Do List While You're Home
  • June HCC Courses
  • We Welcome 3 New Teammates
  • Remembering Sandra
  • TKG Updates
Letter from Bryan
Home Sweet Home
A few years back, on a peaceful Sunday afternoon when one of our advisors was catching up on a bit of work at the office, a neighbor called on his cell phone. “If you're not home right now, you might want to come home," the neighbor said. "The house next to yours is on fire.”
 
Our advisor rushed back to find his street filled with fire engines and his next door neighbor's house engulfed in flames. The now homeless family was sitting on the lawn watching all their possessions burn. Any relief that he felt when he verified that his house was not endangered was offset by his sorrow for the bereft family of four. He tells me he has never forgotten the look in the eyes of the teenage daughter when he asked how she was doing. She could barely speak. She didn’t have to. Her eyes said it all.
 
I think back on that story as I sit in my house, looking out over my farm and the donkeys staring back at me. I love my house, yet I somehow feel aggrieved--a feeling I am sure is shared by many-- that we have been ordered to “stay at home” to help mitigate the spread of the now COVID-19 virus. Like most of you, The Kelly Group team is working from home and it appears that we’ll be doing so for some time to come. Because this situation has been forced on us, there is a feeling of being confined or trapped, that no matter how big our house we’re prisoners in a makeshift cell.
 
But that teenage girl at that moment would have given anything to have been “trapped” inside a comfortable house that she probably had taken for granted until that moment.
 
While our houses aren't burning down, these are still very difficult times for all of us. If we do not own a business that has suffered, or we have not been laid off or had our hours reduced, we know these people. They are friends, neighbors, and even family members. And none of us have escaped the financial ravages of COVID-19, and the complete upending of our lifestyles.
 
And we ask ourselves, how can we emotionally survive much more of this? The answer is in plain view.
 
The answer is our home. Our home is not our prison; it is our salvation.
 
We miss it when we are abroad and cannot return. After a tiring day at work or performing chores, we cannot get back soon enough. Whenever we are not at home, we yearn to be there. If we ever lose it as in a fire, we are devastated. And today, we should value it as a source of order, serenity, dependability.
 
What is it about our home that is such a vital part of us, and that offers itself as an oasis in troubled times? It is not the brick and mortar on the outside, but the flesh and blood on the inside. Home is where our family gathers. It is where you feel welcome. The four walls also provide a sense of order and control. It is our anchor to what can be a hectic life. Where better to find yourself during a time of confusion and uncertainty?
 
As a CFP® professional, I tend to see a home as a metaphor for a well-structured financial plan. As you go through volatile times, and run into unexpected challenges, as circumstances change, it is invaluable to be able to return to your financial plan from which to seek answers and comfort.
 
Without a financial plan, you may find yourself lost, liable to make faulty decisions. That is why The Kelly Group places such a high priority on developing and maintaining our clients' financial plans.
 
If your financial plan is your financial anchor, your home is your emotional anchor. Looking back on that teenage girl and her family, I am assured by our advisor that they eventually ended back on their feet, finding another home in short order, financed with insurance money. I am glad to hear that. But the story of the fire and how easy it is to lose what we have should make us appreciate that staying at home may be more of an opportunity than a problem.
 
Consider this a fortuitous opportunity to spend more time with family, take more charge of your life, and reflect on your many blessings. And we can prepare for the day when we have overwhelmed the virus and are free to roam about, secure in the knowledge that the safety of our home will be waiting for us when we once again need to use it as refuge from whatever new storm may come our way.
Best Regards,
Bryan E. Kelly, CFP®
What the "CARES" Act Means for You
As you no doubt have heard by now, on March 28, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act designed to provide financial assistance to individuals and businesses through the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 virus. This Act is estimated to cost $2 trillion.
 
Among the provisions likely to affect the most individuals are: rebates to taxpayers, the suspension of Required Minimum Distributions, and liberalized student loan provisions. For a discussion of the benefits for individuals under the CARES Act, Read More.
 
Key benefits for small businesses under the CARES Act include generous SBA loan provisions, an employee retention credit, and deferral of payroll tax payments. For a discussion of the benefits for small businesses under the CARES Act, Read More.
Bryan's Message to Our Community
On March 25, the Aegis ran a column from Bryan addressed to the Harford community. We reprint it here.

Dear Neighbors, Friends, and Fellow Citizens of Harford County:
 
Allow me to offer reassuring words during difficult times. I am blessed to be in dual stewardship positions that offer a bird’s eye view of the battles being waged against the coronavirus in both the medical and financial fields. As the current Chairman of the Board of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Systems, and as managing partner of The Kelly Group--a Bel Air-based, community-oriented wealth management firm--I am confident that our future is bright on both fronts. Read More.
Reminder: We're Working from Home
As a reminder, under the current circumstances created by COVID-19, we have implemented the following temporary changes:
  •  Client meetings by telephone/screen share. Until further notice we will schedule all meetings to be held remotely. For those clients with computers and access to Internet, we will be able to share graphics and run through our financial planning software and other programs just as we do in person. Otherwise, we can simply talk by phone.
  • Limited in-office staff. Our Team members will work, and communicate with clients, from home. Our cloud-based platform and phone system allows us to safely access our database and to forward phone calls from our office to our home. We will continue to be reachable by our office phone—410-893-0560—and our usual email addresses.
  • Electronic paperwork. Our current technology allows us to process most paperwork—including obtaining signatures—electronically. Paperwork that cannot be done electronically and is not urgent can be processed by snail mail.

As you know, this is a fluid situation. We will continue to communicate with you about any new developments. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, or just want to talk, we are here for you and will continue to be here for you.

Be Healthy and Safe. And continue to remember, together we will get to the other side of this!
Virtual Town Hall
If you did not have an opportunity to hear The Kelly Group's virtual Town Hall on March 26, or would like to hear it again, you can access a replay by going to our website. And let us know what topics you would like to cover in future Town Halls and--after things get back to normal--in live client events.
Best of Harford 2019
We are honored and humbled to be named once again as Harford’s Best Financial Advisor for 2019. Thank you for your votes and, most of all, for your continued trust and confidence! Recognition like this continues to inspire us to serve to the very best of our ability as a fiduciary for our clients and a steward for our community.
Steps We Are Taking Now
We are looking out for you--our client--every day. And in doing so we are keeping in mind the current investment environment. Some of the steps we are taking include:

  • We continue to rebalance. For our recent communication regarding the benefits of rebalancing, Read More.
  • We are monitoring how and where we take distributions from, for example bond funds versus equity funds.
  • We are consulting with and monitoring our stock and bond strategists.
  • We even continue building our team. We recently hired three very talented new people who have already proven to be a great fit for our firm.
  • We have been strengthening and securing our own technological and business infrastructure on an ongoing basis.
  • We are and will be: Communicating, communicating, communicating.
  • We will remain fully accessible. Our tremendously talented team will is available to you.

And after we are through this crisis, and once again the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we can again eat out at our favorite restaurants, we will review your plan and begin to help prepare you for the next crisis—including advising you on whether you should replenish your cash reserves, if necessary—because you can be sure there will be a next crisis.
What Our Strategists Are Doing
The Kelly Group’s Investment Committee engages in a due diligence process to hire appropriate strategists—managers of mutual funds for the most part—and monitor them on an ongoing basis to assure that they continue to meet our guidelines. These strategists are the professionals acting as stewards of your investment dollars. While we are enduring this crisis, keep the following in mind about these investment professionals:
  • We hire our strategists to make the tactical decisions, on a stock by stock, bond by bond basis.
  • An army of brilliant investors and analysts are working for you right now making tactical decisions based on minute by minute information. In other words, focused, experienced investment professionals are making the sell/buy decisions for you.
  • They are deciding which sectors and businesses they expect to be winners and losers in the years ahead.
  • If the past is any guide, they are finding tons of opportunities right now. As Warren Buffett has said, “Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold.”
  • They are spending time on the phones speaking with management of companies they own or are thinking of buying. In fact, from what we’ve heard, they’re spending more time than ever in actual conversations between themselves and corporate executives because they’re not spending much time traveling.
  • By the way, our strategists consider themselves fiduciaries of your money, and they invest their own money in their funds right alongside yours.
A To Do List While You're Home
While we remain confined to our homes by the governor and thanks to COVID-19, this may be a good time to get some long-delayed projects done. We’ll leave the choice of home repair and maintenance chores up to you and your significant other. But we have a few financial planning related undertakings you may want to consider to help bridge the gap between now and when life returns to normal.
  • Review the latest version of your financial plan and any notes. Have all recommendations been implemented? If not, start working on the open items. Ask yourself, has anything changed in your circumstances that affect that plan. If so, jot them down and give us a call to discuss.
  • Take your temperature. We don’t mean the thing you measure with a thermometer. We refer instead to your coping with the current extreme investment volatility. Are you feverish to a point of delirium, or are you calm and cool, sitting at 98.6? While this may not be the time to make a major change to your investment allocation—particularly if your own circumstances haven’t changed—if you have been quite uncomfortable, we can discuss whether the current allocation is appropriate for your risk tolerance. On the other hand, if you’ve been eager to take advantage of the panic and acquire more stocks at bargain prices, we may want to examine if you could use a more aggressive investment allocation.
  • Read a prospectus. No, we are not trying to increase your suffering. But now might be a time to grab out of recycling one of those many pieces of investment literature you receive but always ignore and see what it can teach you. We wish they were more reader friendly with less legalese and fewer pages. Nevertheless, they can inform. And if there is anything you read that just doesn’t make any sense to you, give us a call and we will help you through it.
  • Review your homeowners’ policy. Do you know what it covers? What are your deductibles? Are your collectibles and jewelry adequately covered? This may be a good time to go around your house taking pictures of your valuables for your records.
  • Pick up that copy of your Family Love Letter to address estate planning and legacy issues. There is a lot to cover, and we encourage families to take it a piece at a time. But we realize that there is a tendency to procrastinate about these kinds of matters. So this might be a good time to address what you have been putting off. If you do not have a copy, please contact us and we can send you one. (And look for Charlie’s Legacy Planning course to be offered this fall.)
June HCC Courses
Harford Community College has closed its campus at least through May 16. Accordingly, scheduled Spring Semester classes that were to be taught by Jodi Davis and Charlie Wolpoff in March and April have been tentatively rescheduled for June. Jodi is now scheduled to teach two Savvy Social Security courses: Planning Strategies for Women (June 3) and Planning Strategies for Couples (June 10). Charlie is scheduled to teach Medicare Planning for Baby Boomers (June 17). All three classes begin at 6:30 pm. We are also in the process of scheduling courses for the fall. Of course, with the unpredictability of the current situation, stay in touch with The Kelly Group and HCC for updates. For more details about the June courses and registration, click Here . You can also contact Charlie Wolpoff at 410-893-0560, or cwolpoff@kellygrouponline.com, or go online to www.harford.edu/register.
We Welcome 3 New Teammates
The Kelly Group has a tradition of being both able and eager to hire in the face of a major financial dislocation. We did so in the Global Recession, and we have done so again during the COVID-19 crisis. We recently hired financial planner Amanda Eimers, Operations Director Rhonda Piunti, and Administrative Associate Rachael Leiss. Already after their brief time with us, we an see that they are all a great fit for our client-first culture.
Amanda has worked in the financial services industry since she graduated in 2016 from Marywood University in Pennsylvania. She is in the process of earning her Certified Financial Planner designation and her Master’s Degree in Financial Planning.
Rhonda comes to us with a strong compliance, operations, and financial services background. She is a graduate of Towson University.
Rachael, who will work as our graphics designer is majoring in Business and Marketing at Harford Community College. She is applying her marketing abilities for The Kelly Group.
Remembering Sandra
It was with great sadness that The Kelly Group learned in February of the passing of a valued former employee and dear friend of the firm, Sandra Reardon. Sandra, age 80, was an employee of The Kelly Group for 14 years, from 2001-15, and remained a cherished member of The Kelly Group family even after her retirement. From the day she joined the Kelly Group, Sandra took our client-first culture to heart, quickly becoming a tremendous asset for our firm. Unfailingly reliable and diligent, she was always an enthusiastic and inspiring presence. We will miss her.
TKG Updates
TKG Holds 11th Economic Forum
On January 16, The Kelly Group held its 11 th annual Economic Forum at Maryland Golf and Country Club. With an attendance of more than 230, including clients and guests, the event was once again highlighted—as it has been for all 11 years—by keynote speaker Anirban Basu. Basu, one of this region’s most recognizable economists, again delivered an insightful and entertaining review of the local, national, and global economies and significant economic trends. Partners Bryan Kelly and Chad Arrington also shared their perspectives on The Kelly Group’s culture of service to clients and community.
Bryan Speaks on Family Love Letter
On March 3, The Kelly Group and McComas Funeral Home were invited to Lorien Bel Air to present The Family Love Letter to their guests. Bryan Kelly and Howard McComas partnered to discuss how the Family Love Letter process is designed to provide families with guidance, clarity and peace of mind in the event of a loved one’s incapacity or death.
Check Out Our Facebook Page!
The Kelly Group Facebook page is a great way to keep up with our many Kelly Group Happenings as well as events and causes we support and promote. You can see our page by following the link below, or simply type "The Kelly Group" into the Facebook search bar and look for our leaf logo.
We Want to Hear From You
Let us know what topics you would like us to discuss in our newsletter. Send your suggestions to cwolpoff@kellygrouponline.com.  

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisor, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. The Kelly Group and Cambridge are not affiliated. Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not assure profit or protect against loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk. Depending on the types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk. Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including total loss of principal. "Medicare Premiums" article, used with permission, was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2019.
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