Financial Expert Roy Matlock, Jr. Says ‘Stay Calm and Creative’ and for Small Businesses to Become ‘Digitally Agile’


On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Roy Matlock, Jr. to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, Matlock gave advice for everyone to stay calm and get creative with their job situations. Later, he said people must not let fear get in their way during this crisis and advised those without an emergency fund to take a look at creating a budget. Matlock also gave advice to small businesses urging them to become more digitally agile and modify their business model temporarily.

Leahy: We are now joined by good friend Roy Matlock, Jr. An expert on finances and how to manage your money. Welcome, Roy.

Matlock: Hey, thank you. Good morning.

Leahy: You’ve been doing this since 1983. You’ve seen these kinds of crises before. This is one of a kind. What’s your advice for our listeners on how to manage their money in this crisis?

Matlock: Whether we believe it or not, we’ve been dealt the corona hand it is not going to happen or it is going to happen. But the bottom line is that its what we’ve got dealt with. Everybody starts with there health and their family. I would say take care of that. I don’t know what’s going on that.

Then we get back down to finances and our job. We’ve said this over and over again that you get an emergency fund of three to six months. You don’t know when the black swan is going to happen and well its happened.

So what you do now? I always tell people it’s time to be calm while everyone else is fearing.  I’ve also said just soak it in and accept where you are at. This is what’s going on. If you have a small business then we’ll need to make some decisions on that and how you need to run your business.

But soak it in and don’t get aggressive and crawl in a hole. Thank God and be calm and be creative. Say OK, what should I do now that this has happened? Back in 1987 I first got into the business and the stock market crashed and people said, ah, it’s never going to come back.

And that was 10 times over. It happened in 2001 on September 11th. The market will come back. And we just have to hang in there and be calm. That’s the most important thing starting out.

Leahy: Be calm and be creative. That’s good advice. Roy, everybody has been told for years and years and years to have an emergency fund. Now here they need it.  If you have it that’s one thing. What about those people who don’t have it? Now that’s kind of a jam to be in.  What would you advise those people?

Matlock: Here’s the scenario. I think we’re going to get some government bailout and stuff like that. Half of America has less than $1,000 in savings. I think a lot of times what you’ll find is that they have people. I’ve already had people hit me up and stuff like that.

And I don’t mind helping people. I think the government is going to do some of that. You’ve got to look back and say to your self, what country are we in? We got dealt this and you’ve got to prepare for it. What you do now is you go back to your budget and look at what your survival mode. I would look at that. I’ve got some budget forms for people.

Again this goes back to being calm. So you say here it is. This is what I’ve got to do. The other thing I would suggest especially if you are a small business owner is to look at your bottom line. If you need to pull the trigger and shut the doors for a while.

I was going up and down Charlotte last night reading that a lot of restaurants have done that. Always have a long term plan. Have a survival mode for small businesses. You’re going to have to become digitally agile right now and learn how to do things you didn’t know how to do and change your business model for a little while.

I wish I had a great answer for money that you don’t have. But one of the things that you’re going to have to do is look at it. There are jobs out there too in driving and delivering. Maybe look at all the things that are going to benefit as a result of this. People are going to be staying home so what is it they are going to want?

Leahy: Exactly.

Matlock: I would think that way. But again, it goes back to being calm and creative.

Leahy: Calm and creative. I think that’s quite right. You said a couple of things very interesting for a small business owner. I’ve been thinking the same thing here right? Being digitally agile. People aren’t going to be gathering in events, but they are going to be using the internet more right?

Matlock: Absolutely. I tell you what I did, I very much believe in email and podcasts and I think on Zoom.  Zoom is an online meeting webinar type system. I sent an email out to my client base. I said, “Look guys here’s the thing. Going forward it’s going to be different.”

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to your finances is when you start worrying is you got to get calm. And to get calm you need to communicate with someone like myself. That’s what I do. How to use Zoom and how to do digital meetings.

I was talking to somebody that read that and I set one of those free accounts up and put my kids on there, and we had a normal conversation. I would look at things like that and this thing will pass.

One of the things you don’t want to do is get worried and sell your money at a loss. That’s what happens when the stock market goes down people can’t wait to get rid of it. When it’s on sale they don’t want to buy.

Right now, what I would do? You’ve got three options on your money if you have a 401-K. Option one is you lock in your losses and sell. And the good news is you’ll be buying and continue to do that. I think right now just don’t overreact.

And in many cases the people who are overacting and are the ones not getting harmed that much. If you’ve got your three to six-month emergency fund you’re not getting harmed yet. Yeah, the market is down. The people who are really in trouble are the ones who don’t have it. They are the ones that need to be really creative.

Leahy: Being really creative. You said something very important. Right now, people out there and some people listening to us. Good advice for people with small businesses or have that emergency fund.

The people who are really hit right now are people who don’t have the emergency fund. Maybe they have 1,000 bucks. They need cash and need to be making money. They can’t do it as a waiter, but they could do it as a delivery driver I guess?

Matlock: Sure. I remember back in the early 80s I had gotten myself in a mess. I mean I had car payments, credit card debt and stuff like that and I had everything you have before you know about your finances. Credit card debt and stuff like that. And I said to myself if I ever get out of this mess I’ll never go back again.

I think right now there are some people sitting there thinking I’ve got a bad position right now. First off I’m going to have a plan to never go back here again. I’ve got 50 podcasts on things like this that are about your personal finances and if you go to you can listen to those.

There are budget sheets. All of the things you’re going to need to cut back. I’m going to get hit. Everybody is going to get hit, so we’re going to back off. I’ve talked to different businesses and said what are you doing? And they said well we’re shortening our hours to keep everybody working.

Or we are going to shut down, so we can pay the rent and stay open or come back open. Or we are going to work every other day. I know one jewelry store she’s working on Saturday and shutting the rest of it down. Everybody that’s out there has got to hang in there. Lets what I tell them.

Again, make a list of 20 things you can do to earn some cash. There is still stuff out there. I tell my kids this. Its what you gotta do. You can’t always depend on Dad. You’ve got to do the same thing.

Leahy: Exactly. Roy Matlock on the web. Will you come back next week and give us some more practical advice? Visit Roy Matlock, Jr. on the web at

Matlock: Absolutely. Very good. I love listening to you guys.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.








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