At the Maupin Financial Advisors office in Redlands they are reassuring their clients during this time of financial insecurity with the motto: “I am a long-term investor in a short-term world.”
There are fewer visits to the office but more phone calls. To support his staff, owner David Maupin has given up his own salary and also buys frozen yogurt for his employees every afternoon to support the local business, Hogi Yogi.
According to Maupin, America is the greatest country in the world and, “We have to trust that the American economy is as strong an economy as it was a month ago. And when it does return to normal, it will return with a boom.”
Lessons from the Great Depression era are focal points at the office. Esther Erickson Mertens was a registrar at the University of Redlands for 40 years and until her death Maupin had her as a client for 20 years.
During this time, Mertens allowed him to keep her 1932-1934 tax returns. The lessons they can teach us today are many.
One example is that the University of Redlands chose to reduce pay by 15 percent instead of furlough or fire their employees. Mertens’ salary for a whole year was $1,620.30, which was taxed at a mere 4 percent marginal rate. One of the most impressive things shown on her tax returns is Mertens’ generosity. Even through hardships, she donated up to 16 percent of her income each year to the university and First Baptist Church.
“It shows such a total community commitment”, said Maupin, and a support of U of R’s philosophy at the time. “What I have learned over the years dealing with people and their money is, the happiest and most content people are the most generous people,” he said with a smile.
Maupin mentions the Redlands Chamber of Commerce as a great resource for local businesses during this time. They share information about available government programs and what businesses are supposed to be doing during this pandemic.
The steady voice that Maupin excels at using to calm his clients suffering through these pandemic times doesn’t come from chance. In October 1987, Maupin was 50 feet underwater scuba diving in Laguna Beach, enjoying life. Afterward, on his drive back to Redlands, he heard on the radio about a stock broker in Florida that had been shot and killed by his client and he learned that night that the market had crashed and fallen by 25 percent in one day.
“My beautiful lesson from that was that I was not in my office, I had no lost phone calls, I had no angry clients and I had no control over the market forces. I might have thought I should have at the time and stress out, but I wasn’t stressed at all. I missed all the drama and the next day the market was up again.”
Another foundational event that taught Maupin to be calm in difficult times happened 20 years later. He was backpacking for a month when he met another hiker and asked the guy how the market was doing, “Oh, you didn’t hear? It crashed. And I turned white and I clenched and I said, I forgot my lesson.”
But then he remembered, “There’s nothing I can do about it anyhow. Quit worrying about it. It doesn’t matter. The market recovers.”
Even while staying calm, Maupin feels the responsibility of his clients’ future entrusted to him and every day he leaves the office exhausted.
“Every day I have to walk somebody off the ledge who wants to sell and that’s exactly the wrong time to do that. So I give people hope that truly God is in control. That is my promise … and somehow that permeates my voice, the tone of my voice and a hope for the future.”
Maupin listens to his clients repeat to him these days the words he has spoken so often, as long as their goals haven’t changed.
“You are a long-term investor in a short-term world.” He has no doubt that everything will work out.