John Schlifske is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Northwestern Mutual

As our country continues to navigate and respond to the coronavirus, it’s a time of questions – what will happen next, how life will change in the coming days and weeks, what this all means for the economy, and more.

But through these unknowns, and despite a flurry of short-term predictions about the markets, I continue to have a very optimistic long-term view – buoyed by the strength of Northwestern Mutual to stand strong regardless of what comes our way. And we have generations of experience on our side.

So what gives me that confidence? In more than 160 years, we have navigated recessions, a depression, natural disasters, wars and even a pandemic flu. We’ve stood strong through it all. This is what we plan for. During my 33 years here, I’ve watched how Northwestern Mutual prepares for this kind of event in advance — building capital, increasing liquidity, managing conservatively, balancing risks, and avoiding problems.

Financially, we are the strongest company in our industry. We maintain the highest possible ratings awarded to any insurer from every major rating agency and have a stable outlook. We also ended last year with record surplus – a further sign of deep financial strength.

We also regularly stress-test our business against a range of scenarios – including far worse conditions than we face today – and those tests show we are not only prepared to weather an extreme event but remain financially strong – during, through, and after these kind of events.

I could not be more confident about the future both for Northwestern Mutual and for the United States. The economy has proven resilient time and time again – and with generations of experience as our guide, we remain confident that Northwestern Mutual and our clients will thrive through any economic season.

Our version of financial planning, which includes both insurance and investments, helps clients both protect what they have and grow wealth to achieve financial security – especially through these uncertain times. And the guarantees we offer through our insurance products will continue to remain a stable part of our clients’ financial plans. Simply put – no matter what happens in the stock market, our clients will see the cash value of their permanent life insurance continue to increase.

Northwestern Mutual is strong, prepared, and ready for whatever comes our way. Your financial security is our top priority, and we are here to help you through whatever the coming weeks and months may bring. We are fully open for business and ready to serve you.

As social distancing measures expand in the coming days, we understand that may mean changes in your day-to-day life and could put pressure on your budget. Our financial professionals are here for you and our experts are monitoring the situation closely. Northwestern Mutual and our advisors and representatives stand by now to provide advice and guidance to our clients now.

We stand with you as we all navigate whatever lies ahead – with optimism and a long-term view.

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