This week’s comment is from Bernadette Rollinson, Client Services Administrator at Southwood Financial Planning.

As I put fingers to the keyboard, we are now on day 70 something of the “corona lockdown” and I have to say, as a person who is normally smiling and cheerful, my lips do not seem to want to lift too much higher than horizontal today.  It feels like they have been hooked on a Kalk Bay fisherman’s lure weighing them down –  when will lockdown be over!!

After much pondering, muttering to myself and almost drooling (lack of beer can do this to one!) I have come to realise, I could be faring a lot worse.  In actual fact, I am probably leagues better off than some during this period……some who have no one.

The word Team comes to mind, like a lightbulb so bright that Edison would be proud!  The word brings a sense of comfort and relief, and it manages to break up the engulfing gloominess. I suddenly realise that in my daily life both private and professionally, I belong to a Team, and it’s with this revelation, that I feel confident to know that this too shall pass.

I explain….


We are a small office comprising of four – 3 Certified Financial Planners and me – and as a Team during this period, we have successfully managed to keep the “virtual” open sign on our door.

With hair sticking up, pimples showing from lack of makeup, presence of underwear questionable, office meetings have taken place every day from the dining room table via Zoom and / or whatsapp video call. Through this medium we have managed to hold our normal office meetings to discuss workloads, strategies, client reviews etc.  Through our own specially formulated Team work method, we have made the best recipe to continue to provide the high quality and efficient service we tirelessly strive to achieve.

During these unprecedented times, we believe investors require a level-headed and empathetic Team to be able to be there for them. To assist and advise them to stick to their financial needs and objectives, when in actuality all they really want to do is stick their life savings under the mattress. As a Team we strive to be there, have reached out and have been able to service clients, both with advice and virtual review meetings, at the same time processing paperwork.  As a Team, we have been able to function in each of our own expert capacities.

“As akin to financial markets….”It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin

The home front

We are 5 persons up at home…a set of aging parents, a set of children in their twenties, 21 and 24, and me. The difference in personalities and temperaments between the age groups really provides for an eruption mount Vesuvius would be jealous of.  I have a handsome half, but unfortunately as an expat, he is literally stuck on some mine site in deepest darkest Africa. I hope that by the time we manage to actually see each other in human form again, we remember each other – its been a while!

So, as the man of the house is not home, this leaves me as being the Head of the House, a title that comes with its own problems.
I am used to leaving the home madness behind from Monday to Friday, spending the day at the office and only returning home in the evening.  So spending a full day at home brings a whole new perspective about daily family life!!!

The word Team has come to the fold nearly every one of these 70 something days!

My dad has had three heart attacks during lock down. As a Team we have needed to stick together to overcome this traumatic event with doctor, hospital visits, recovery etc.
Additionally my husband has suffered and has been through very traumatic events during this period, and again, as a family, we have had to be a Team and stick together to get through it.
In both cases my family stood together and my colleagues were there to support me through thick and thin.

So, I go away with saying, ensure your affairs are up to date, hang in there, you have a Team behind you to support you everything you do!

Trust – those who provide support and guidance in times of need
Empathy – shared and given during difficult times
Alliance – what is formed when united together
Motivated – what is felt when you have overcome the hurdles life has thrown