Author :
Patrick Carroll

Obsidian Market Update 6/5/20

Obsidian Market Update

Good morning,

This week we want to introduce you to another valued member of the Obsidian team, Pam Flick. We know you’ll find her fun and adventurous personality as delightful as we do.

Before we get to that, though, a quick update on the Payroll Protection Program. On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Payroll Protection Program reform bill from the House, which is now cleared for signature by the President. This bill gives business owners more flexibility and time to use money and still get it forgiven. The legislation, called the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act, lengthens the time to use the emergency loan from eight weeks to 24 weeks. It introduces more flexibility by changing the ratio from 75% to be spent on payroll and 25% on other costs to 60% on payroll and 40% on other costs. We hope this new legislation helps small businesses weather the pandemic.

On to Pam!

What is your position with Obsidian and how did you get there?

I’ve been working with Pat for 23 years. I started in marketing, working one day a week, for the first several years. When we moved to our current location around 15 years ago, I stayed part time but started adding more financial work. I had gotten my MBA and wanted to do more on that side of things. Over time, I ramped up to working several days a week and then went full time in 2010. I’m the longest-tenured employee with the firm.

My title now is senior financial planning analyst, so I do financial planning and client reviews with my team.

It’s a small company, so I get to do a lot of things, from writing letters to making service calls. It’s great to keep things different every day because then I never get bored.

What is the best part of your job?

My favorite thing in the whole world are the clients. I’ve known a lot of them for almost 25 years and we’re real friends, we go out to dinner and talk on the phone. That’s why we all do what we do, we love our clients. We’ve had clients for a long time, it’s like a family.

I love that we do client events, like picnics and theater events, so that we have an opportunity to thank our clients for their business. We get to socialize and chat with them and learn a lot about them, in addition to helping them meet their goals through their financial plans.

Tell us about your life outside of work.

I have two grown children, 28 and 26 years old. They’re out on their own, working in their field doing great. I’ve been teaching Sunday school for 25 years, love that. I spend a lot of time on church activities.  My church family is important to me, so I try to stay involved.

I’m really into hiking and have taken some amazing trips. I got to do a National Geographic hiking trip in the Czech Republic. We started in Austria and then hiked for eight days to Prague. More recently, I took a road trip with my best friend. We did a three-day hike in Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, and we went to Arches National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Sedona. That was a lot of fun. My Yellowstone and Grand Tetons trip got canceled this year, so I’ll go next year. The year after that, maybe Costa Rica or Alaska!

I do a lot of local hikes on the weekends to stay active, and I’m lucky to live in Frederick, which is such a walkable city with nice parks, and driving distance to some good hiking.

I love to read, and I couldn’t pick a favorite genre. I like fiction, and I like to relax when I’m reading. I also enjoy volunteering for a variety of organizations.

How has COVID-19 affected your work/life balance and your activities?

I didn’t see my parents for a few months because they’re 80 and didn’t want to chance exposing them. And I haven’t seen my family or my children as much, so that’s been harder.

As far as work goes, we’ve all been able to adjust to working remotely. I was working remotely three days a week anyway. We’ve done a great job at meeting with clients and continued to see just as many as before COVID, thanks to our use of technology, which I think is awesome. Our clients have been great about embracing zoom and phone reviews. We’ve been able to keep them safe by not having them come into the office.

As far as outside of work, I’ve had the time to spend walking and reading because I haven’t been socializing as much. I miss going out to dinner with my friends, and I’m looking forward to being able to do that safely again.

We’ve been doing zoom Sunday school and YouTube church. We’re just doing a shortened class because the kids can’t pay attention as long as they do in the classroom. It’s wonderful to be able to connect with my community in this way.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Securities offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.

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