The Investment Scientist

When Tragedy Strikes

Posted on: January 3, 2015

Hospital-patient-in-bed-jpgA few weeks ago, I got a call from a client of mine. She told me with great sadness in her voice that her husband just passed away unexpectedly.

Without much thought to my schedule, I told her I would visit her on Friday, a mere three days away. During the next two days, I moved my appointments around to clear up a whole day, and then I booked a round trip ticket and a rental car.

On Friday, I set out early on the trip and got to her place by noon. When I met her, I saw a middle-aged woman in deep grief and distress. I couldn’t help but give her a big hug, and she wept on my shoulder for a while.

Next, I sat down and began to go over a pile of paperwork that I had asked her to gather before my arrival. There were many financial decisions to be made, like social security survivor benefits, her husband’s pension, life insurance, health insurance, mortgage, taxes, etc. There were many forms to be completed so that she could begin to receive the benefits she was entitled to. How hard could those be? Extremely hard when one has just lost a loved one. I methodically helped her take care of them all.

Four hours later, it was time to go home. She gave me a big hug and said, “Michael, why did you come all the way to help me? You could have just guided me over the phone. Even my closest friends haven’t come to see me.”

I said to her, “I’ve been through the loss of a loved one as well. I know how hard it is to be alone and helpless. In my case, there were people who stop what they were doing to help me. They were like my angels. Today, let me be your angel.”

On the flight home, I pondered my words and deeds. I felt proud about what I did. This is WHY I got into this business in the first place; to enable my clients to live a great life doing what they do best and enjoy the most in good times, and when tragedy strikes, to be there to support them emotionally and to ensure that they continue to make smart financial decisions.

If you want to find out how I can help you, schedule a Discovery review with me. If you are not ready, you can still get my white paper for free: The Informed Investor: 5 Key Concepts for Financial Success.

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


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