We want to report in on how this stay-in-place episode has impacted our work and our lives. Communicating with you has always meant much more than just an investment focus. Being connected to you is its own priority. And it always helps to improve our advice, our planning, and our investing.
For all of us at Tealwood, there are some common threads for each of us in our stay-in-place experience.
- We miss the regular contacts with you and with each other.
- Our business continuity plans have worked well and have allowed us to stay up and running without a hitch.
- Stay-in-place has occasioned reflection on how we work. This has had multiple affects from how meetings happen, to project management, to time management and prioritization, to building consensus— all while being remote. Thinking through our approach has allowed us to work on the business while working in the business.
Absence makes the will grow stronger. This falls into the “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” category. We have a passion for what we do and we see that with renewed certainty through this disruption. Working through adjustments has increased our focus and delivered clarity. We have a mission and we will not be deterred.
As we settle into new routines, I have a whole new kind of confirmation that client engagement is what lights my Investment Advisor fire. While taking the proper safety precautions, our time with family has increased meaningfully. I am more of a binge reader than a binge watcher, and this is going well for me, at a two book per week pace. I am fighting sports withdrawal, and feel like there has been a cardboard invasion that requires hours of battle per week and I do not feel like I am winning. Teri and I are going to letter in Facetime. The golf course has opened, and I am filled with start of season hope (syndrome?).
A very thoughtful friend left me a voicemail around week two of stay-in-place. He said that seclusion is hard on extroverts and that he hoped that I was coping. Thanks for your kind inquiry, I am finding that I can thrive-in-place.
My shelter-in-place experience has been bittersweet as I am able to look out my window and see the Minneapolis skyline as well as our building, the Canadian Pacific Plaza. “So close, yet so far” sure rings true for me. As we all do our best to adapt to our new normal, I have good news to report. With a few minor technical exceptions, the mechanics of working from home have gone well and I find myself highly productive. My 1-year-old black lab, Sparky, loves my prolonged company (just as long as it doesn’t interfere with his nap time).
Immense gratitude has been top of mind these last few weeks. Many are experiencing hard times and I am humbled to be able to continue serving our clients. I am grateful for our team and their commitment to making sure the transition to work from home was seamless. I hope everyone is finding ways to stay positive, healthy, and productive, and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Working from home during the quarantine has been quite the experience. Video-conference meetings with office mates are focused and productive. Client calls are particularly intentional in the current climate of pandemic and recession. Working from home means establishing new routines and finding creative ways of balancing office time with home time. Moxie the wonder dog is loving her increased levels of company and is adjusting well to her daily afternoon walks to the park near our home.
I enjoy getting out as a break from working at home. It has been great to have time between meetings and desk time to attend to small home projects and get some exercise.
Our family has adapted well with a few minor hiccups. Our two boys; Sully (11) and Hank (8), have a new teacher, Ellie. She somehow manages to clean the house, keep them on task and gets a run in every morning – a multitasking wizard and invaluable mom. My roles have expanded to making breakfast and lunch and conducting gym class a couple of times a day. I now work from our dining room table which works surprising well but is a little less inspiring when working by myself. The things we have enjoyed as a family like more walks, a lot of tennis, trying to get take-out once a week might need to fit into our new normal once we are back in place. We are looking forward to a great summer.
Working from home has been quite an adjustment as I have always gone into an office. We are fortunate to have room for separate work spaces for my wife, daughter (a Senior at the University of Iowa), and myself. Thank goodness for technology. It is amazing how many Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, etc. calls/meetings I have been on. In addition to my work at Tealwood, I remain very active on my college Alumni board, the Minneapolis Rotary board, and on the steering committee for the Twin Cities Exit Planning Institute.
A daily bright spot and adding some comic relief is our new 8-month-old puppy who gives us looks like, why do I go on so many walks? You’re still here? Please go back to work! We all look forward to that day, too!
March is Maple syrup season, so I stayed-in-place in my sugar shack and made 70 gallons. A productive result, but usually the shack is a hopping place, so another very different experience.
Working remotely has been a change as well, of course, and has held some surprises. The biggest has come from living for two months without the twice daily agitation of commuting. Beyond found time, my days now begin and end with peace and calm. This ease of transition colors the entire day with a hue of Relaxed. That said, nothing can take the place of in-person, which is sorely missed professionally and personally; especially with the grand-kids, whose first language is hugs and snuggles.
Regardless of situation, it seems the ever-present undercurrent of heightened concern for family, friends, and fellow citizens exacts its toll. I join you in looking forward to more health-safe times ahead. Be well.
I am immensely proud of our team—how we’ve worked together during this unprecedented time. Our relationship with you is paramount, and our ability to serve you has continued without interruption.
While working from home has had its challenges, I feel a sense of gratitude for my family’s health and the time that my wife, Catherine, and I have had to with our three young children, Jack (3), Sienna (3), and Liam (1). We spend our days juggling our work responsibilities and keeping our kids busy with projects and outdoor activities. They have also enjoyed “helping” us work by sitting in on a video conference call or two!
During this very unique and disruptive time, I have elected to stay-in-place at the office. Although it has proven to be somewhat lonely, I feel my productivity level is better served here than I would it would be at home. My wife, Wendy, agrees that this arrangement is equally in favor of her
productivity as well. Nevertheless, I have encountered some fairly significant challenges including, expiration dates on the yogurt, no almonds, and the fact that the Tealwood kitchen is now running dangerously low on French roast coffee.
Other than that, the drive in the morning is easy and parking is a breeze. Besides, someone needs to be here to receive all of Charlie’s Amazon deliveries! Stay safe.
I am spending my COVID quarantine with my wife in a one-bedroom apartment in the North Loop. We both have our full set up of laptops and monitors on our kitchen island all day. To stay sane, we go for multiple walks a day and have a strict schedule of morning and afternoon workouts. Keeping a routine has made the weekdays fly by and seem pretty easy, actually. The weekends we must be more creative with our time, so I have been learning the piano and practicing my putting and chipping in the living room.
Also, we both love to cook, so we like to find new recipes that we normally wouldn’t have time for before COVID. All in all, we have been just trying to use this unique time productively and bring something positive out of it!
Preparedness is a quality of Tealwood I value greatly. Due to an ongoing culture of innovation, flexibility, and forward thinking, the transition from office to home was seamless.
My family is fortunate enough to have the ability to continue our careers, while simultaneously caring for our four kids, Sophia (8), Oliver (3), Elin (2) and Isla (8m). I am positive our dogs, Cooper and Kaisa, are torn between the quieter days of school and daycare, and getting served secret table scraps from certain co-conspirators. Distance learning is going a lot smoother than expected and I have a new, extended appreciation for our wonderful teachers.
We’ve been able to make our new routines work and I am grateful every day for our family, friends, and neighbors on the front lines and in research labs doing everything they can to keep us safe.
While I have been able to transition smoothly to working from home, this new setting has me missing the client connection aspect of my job immensely. Highlights of my day that have since been reduced include, greeting our guests when they come in for a meeting and getting family, travel, and general life updates from clients when they call in. I also really miss the camaraderie of my fellow coworkers, bus mates during my commute (an hour each way), and daily visits with friends.
However hard the separation may be, there are still advantages to working from home. For instance, I cannot complain about my new commute time or the added quality time I get to spend with my husband, Pat. I am thankful for our health and hope to see everyone soon. Take care and stay healthy.
A Week in the [Remote] Life of Tealwood
There is a rhythm and a schedule to our week and it has gone on as planned during stay-in-place.
Monday mornings we start with an all-hands-on-deck huddle via video conference to take time to connect, review work in progress, set priorities for the week ahead and plan collaboration.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings are reserved for our Investment Committee to monitor the progress of our holdings in each portfolio. We also have a disciplined, on-going due diligence process for reviewing new ideas, which involves a significant time commitment both in and out of this meeting.
Wednesdays our leadership team meets. We organize our work into teams focused on Investing, Finance, Client Care and Planning, Compliance, Operations, Business Development, and Communications. The leaders of these business units make up our leadership team. We have an explicit goal of being a great place to work, so creating the culture and programs to fulfill that goal is an ongoing priority for the leadership. We are intent on great collaboration in building our great business.
Three Fridays each month we hold a Strategy and Success Factors session that focuses on strategy and big picture context beyond portfolio detail. We examine attribution in our portfolios, study themes and trends, and often invite other investment experts to come share their thinking. (Thank you to the many fellow professionals that have generously shared so much.)
On the fourth Friday of the month we discuss a book we have read or a podcast we have listened to—alternating between investment and planning topics, and success factor topics. This is one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to supporting a learning culture. Year-to-date we have read The Man Who Solved the Market, by Gregory Zuckerman, Atomic Habits, by James Clear, and Range by David Epstein. Podcasts we have enjoyed and discussed include, Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan, Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy, and Finding Mastery with Dr. Michael Gervais.
Some firms may prefer the water cooler, but the Keurig coffee pot is our gathering point of choice to share ideas, talk about our families, and share the simple joys of collectively working together. Our strong Tealwood culture and the wonderful connections we have with our clients have made it both difficult to be away, yet easy to adapt.
The way we work may look different, but our passion and commitment to client and partner connections, delivering exceptional client service, and living out our fiduciary duty remain top priorities. We cannot stress enough how thankful we are to have the relationships we do. We hope you are all staying positive, safe, and healthy, and we eagerly look forward to when we can shake hands again.