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Huntington Private Bank wealth strategist on how to minimize COVID-19 impact on retirement planning

Jill Garvey of Huntington Private Wealth, joined The Final Round to discuss how she's advising her clients as they plan for retirement amid the market uncertainty due to coronavirus and how she is maximizing returns.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: All right, welcome back to "The Final Round" here on Yahoo Finance. Myles Udland with you in New York. Time now for our retirement segment brought to you by Fidelity Investments. We are wrapping up the third quarter, heading towards the end of what's been a very eventful year in financial markets. What do you need to know about your finances? How should you be thinking about planning heading into next year?

We're joined now for more on that by Jill Garvey. She is at Huntington Private Wealth. Jill, thanks so much for joining the program once again. So let's just start with how you were thinking about the environment right now. We wrap up the third quarter. What have conversations with your clients been like in the last couple of months?

JILL GARVEY: Good afternoon, Myles. The conversations have been centered around, am I on track? We need to revisit that conversation with our clients because of all the volatility in the markets. But not just that, the pandemic has caused everyone-- I work with a lot of multi-generational families-- whether you're in your 20s or your 80s, to think about your mortality differently.

So estate planning has been a big conversation as well, helping those who are younger get their estate plans in place, and then helping families who wish to transition wealth or haven't updated their plans in a long time, making sure they get that wrapped up and on track as well.

MYLES UDLAND: And then I guess as a-- as a general point thinking through some of these, you know, conversations, did people ultimately end up handling this volatility we saw in the-- the second-- really the first and second quarters handling it the right way? And what I mean is, did people not panic? And are they looking back now and saying, oh, OK, I'm actually not in a terrible situation because I didn't bail out of everything at the lows in March when it was a very scary time? And-- and now they can look back and say, yeah, you know what, I've-- I've enjoyed some of the gains the market has given me in the last few months.

JILL GARVEY: I think it's totally normal to panic, and a lot of people panicked. However, we focus on the integration of planning and investments, so we've done a really great job of working with our clients to make sure that they understand that we're projecting conservative rates of return and that we factored in recessions and other volatile periods of time.

So we didn't have a lot of clients who pulled out and went to cash. In fact, we have a lot of clients who are coming asking to be put into equities more. And we're recommending that, because as you know, with yields so low, we need to look at that total return and make sure that's what they're getting.

MYLES UDLAND: And so when you think about both of those components, I guess I'll start with, you know, what kind of returns are you talking about now with clients are reasonable to expect? And-- and when you think about higher allocations or increasing allocations to-- to equities, what are some areas that you like?

JILL GARVEY: Just as an example for returns, if we're looking at a maximum growth portfolio, we give very reasonably conservative-- now, this is for planning purposes only. This is not what a client would experience if they had an investment portfolio with us. But we're in the high 7% returns net of fees. And then we're also talking to our clients about we're going to go where the capital is.

So just recently, as an example, we've made some changes to our portfolio. We've increased our allocation to international developed and international emerging. However, the core of our portfolio still remains US large cap domestic. And of course, any day it seems-- every day it seems like we're rotating differently, especially this month, from growth to value. So we're staying very broadly diversified, and that's served our clients very well.

MYLES UDLAND: And of course, today another one of those days. As we're speaking, the NASDAQ continues rallying, with tech stocks leading the way once again. And then finally, we had a client-- or we had a, you know, kind of someone in the wealth space on the show a couple of days ago, and we were asking him about his conversations. He said, all anyone wants to talk about is politics with me. Really, no one wanted to talk about investments. Are you finding that your clients are now kind of looking that way with-- with just five weeks to go till the election?

JILL GARVEY: Yes, we are talking about politics a lot, but I always preface that with, I am just speaking about facts, and I'm not giving an opinion one way or another. So yes, you can tell that individuals are concerned about what's going on with the election, and I think that's helping to drive some of this market volatility.

So we feel that the election will most likely be contested. We feel that there will continue to be volatility up to and even after the election. But after that, we feel that the economy will continue to do well, the markets will do well, and we really like equities long term.

MYLES UDLAND: All right, Jill Garvey with Huntington Private Wealth. Jill, thanks so much for joining the show. Always great to get your thoughts.

JILL GARVEY: Thank you for having me.