Hello! We hope you’ve all been enjoying the beautiful weather this week and have taken the opportunity to spend some time outside. It seems that spring is finally springing.
This week, we want to talk about the recent volatility in tech stocks and why it’s important to consider a diversified portfolio. Then we have an interview to share with you from our beloved Patti Copley, who is officially retiring on April 2, 2021, after 13 years with Obsidian.
Over the past several days, we have seen tech stocks–which did great all of 2020–drop precipitously. Tesla, for instance, dropped $250 billion (although as of Tuesday, it was back up 18%). This knocked the Nasdaq down 11% on Monday. The change could be partly due to the rising bond yields discussed in the last couple of weeks. These make assets like the U.S. Treasuries look more appealing, triggering an outflow from the tech companies. The tech stocks’ performance this week further emphasizes the consideration for a diversified portfolio.
Speaking of stocks appreciating, sometimes people will gift or remove appreciated stocks from their estate. They do this to reduce the size of their estate for tax purposes or charitable reasons. One extreme example is Zoom Founder Eric Yuan, who recently transferred 18 million of his shares worth more than $6 billion according to a regulatory filing. Where he transferred and precisely how this fit into his regular estate planning practices is unclear. It demonstrates that everyone should plan to ensure they achieve their goals for their estate. Call us if you have questions about how to prepare your estate.
Now, let’s catch up with the fabulous Patti Copley retiring from her role as Director of First Impressions in early April.
What reflections would you like to share on your time with Obsidian?
I started working with Patrick before he opened Obsidian. He and his then-business partners were looking for a part-time person to come on as the Director of First Impressions. About six months after I started, Patrick opened Obsidian, and I gladly went along and kept the same title. Over time, my hours lengthened, and in 2012 they needed a full-time person, so I took the opportunity.
It was a stable, useful position. I felt I contributed to the staff as a full-time person–greeting clients, answering the phones, doing clerical tasks. When I wasn’t there, other people had to pick that up, and they had their own work to do. Going full-time benefited everyone–myself, Patrick, and the team. It was the right decision.
What has been your favorite part of the job?
Our clients, without hesitation. Patrick cultivated an atmosphere that attracts clients through his personality, how he presents himself, our location, atmosphere, and the people he hires. The clients love our Team. His long-term planning has made all the difference. He frequently participates in educational opportunities to learn how to improve his business. It shows that he strives to be the best for his clients and staff. As a result, he has cultivated a fantastic group. The people are why I’ve loved this job so much and stayed with it.
What have you learned about yourself from working at Obsidian?
As much as we have spectacular clients, everyone is human. And on occasion, there would be people not having a good day or who had a hard life, so they weren’t always the most agreeable. I can only think of three in all my years with the company, and all were quite a while ago. Two I won over, and everything was great, and I became friends with them. The third, I wasn’t as successful. I learned that the challenging times make you appreciate the good times and value how kind and caring most clients are. I knew that even when people are having a tough time, I can make a positive impact. Of course, there isn’t a single client with Obsidian who isn’t a great person to work with.
What’s next for you?
I have so many hobbies and am looking forward to socializing after the pandemic. We’re moving to a community in Delaware. It has a clubhouse, pool, and many opportunities to be around other people. I’m looking forward to it. We grew up in Delaware and have a lot of friends in the area. My older sister lost her husband last fall and told us she’s going to be living with us there. We can customize the house the way we want it to be accessible to my son in a wheelchair.
One of my big hobbies is making chocolate-covered strawberries. I’m looking forward to spending more time on that and baking. Once, I made chocolate-covered strawberries for the people who work at the radio station across the hall from the Obsidian office. They liked them so much that they gave me a standing ovation and asked me to be interviewed live on the air! I wasn’t sure about that, but I did it, and they said I did well and gave me another standing ovation on my way back out. Those are the only two standing ovations I’ve ever gotten.
I’m very grateful for my time with Patrick and his wife Julie, who was instrumental in helping him start Obsidian. They’ve been very good to me, and I will miss working with them, the team, and the clients. I know we’ll all keep in touch.