Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic upended most American’s lives over the past year, says Denis Walsh, the president and CEO of Money Concepts International, a global financial network with more than 600 U.S. financial advisors. For many, the pandemic has not only threatened their health, but it has also impeded their financial goals and even their livelihoods during 2020 and pushed much of our economy into recession as we enter 2021.
But there’s good news as well, Walsh maintains. According to a new survey from Credit Karma, more than half of Americans are optimistic about their finances in 2021, and two-thirds plan to achieve a financial milestone they’d previously delayed.
“Many people are excited about putting 2020 behind them and are focused on financial planning for next year,” says Colleen McCreary, chief people officer at Credit Karma.
At the top of the list is the desire to start an emergency savings fund, cited by one-third of the study’s respondents. Some 30 percent of respondents were forced to draw on savings during the pandemic and are keenly aware of the lifeline those funds represented. Another third is putting away money for a vacation, badly needed after many months of restricted travel. Just over 25 percent are preparing to buy a car, many after leaving big cities for the suburbs to escape COVID risks and to gain the ability to work remotely.
Interestingly, more than one-third said the pandemic has also produced savings in categories such as travel, entertainment, professional services and grooming/career clothing, and 84 percent plan to stick to these lower spending levels post-pandemic as well.
A Silver Lining: New Financial Habits?
About 43 percent of Americans picked up at least one positive financial habit as a result of COVID-19, and 94 percent intend to continue these habits in 2021. The most popular among these include creating a budget, reduced spending, actively saving, tracking credit scores more closely and learning more about investing.
“Investing is scary for a lot of people,” notes Walsh. “But there is no better time than the present to learn to invest well.”
At Money Concepts Capital Corp, the company’s field of 600 qualified advisors work with clients to determine their ideal investment and financial goals. Advisors examine the time horizon, tolerance for risk and any investment restrictions each client may have and use these findings to recommend and implement a specific strategy to help achieve their short and longer-term goals. In all, Money Concepts supports nearly 20,000 clients with individual goals. Incoming accounts may launch with an investment of $10,000 to $1 million or more.
Wealth Management as a Career?
Wealth management is also an increasingly interesting option for those who have come through the pandemic with a greater interest in a financial services career. Especially for those who are interested in a role with a company that feels like an extended family, readers can learn more by visiting www.moneyconcepts.com.
“2021 is a time for renewed focus on financial wellness,” Walsh said. “Now is the time to develop better financial habits and to continue that positive trend during 2021 and in the seasons to come.”