Have you been reading the headlines, viewing your investment portfolio, and assuming the worst is yet to come? Welcome to your painful crash course on what market risk really looks like—and more importantly, how it feels. Most investors say they’re ok living with periodic market risk, as long as it helps them achieve better returns over the long run. We accept (in theory) that tolerating the interim damage done to our own investment portfolios will help us meet our long-term financial goals. But that’s investment risk in theory. Since it’s been a long time since we’ve encountered an extended bear market climate, you may have forgotten or never known the reality of it. It may not have clicked then, when significant market declines happen, it is usually due to despairingly bad news … amplified by headlines screaming how things are only going to get worse from here. The reality is, when we’re in the middle of a storm of stuff, our behavioural biases make it very difficult to believe we’ll ever see better days.
There is no denying that this year – 2022 – has been a roller coaster for investors. With the geopolitical climate impacting markets, interest rates rising, unexpected high inflation and a possible recession looming… there is a lot to navigate. It’s mid-2022 and a perfect time to revisit what’s happened so far and how best to cope with the intimidating financial markets. Let’s start with the big action items that have impacted the markets in 2022…
Stock and bond markets plummeting in tandem, the war in the Ukraine, rises in interest rates, threats of a looming recession … You’re probably already well aware of the volume of news wearing us down. As I wrote to my clients, “the financial press has gone on a feeding frenzy in response, serving up heaping helpings of negativity upon negativity.” On many fronts, times are indeed disheartening, and we’re as worn out as you are by the weight of the world. That said, there are already way too many outlets cramming worst-case scenarios down our throats and crushing investment resolve. To offset a bitter pill overdose, following are a few more nutritious news sources to reinforce why we remain confident that capital markets will continue to prevail over time, and that long-term investors should just stick to their plan.
There’s been a lot of talk about recessions lately: Whether one is near, far, or perhaps already here. Whether we can or should try to avoid it. What it even means to be in a recession, and how it’s related to current market turmoil. To put market and recessionary concerns in perspective, it might help to describe six ways a recession resembles a bad mood. There are some intriguing similarities!
This time of year, I find that one of the most common questions my clients pose is what they should do with their tax refunds. With so many tempting options like finally taking that long-awaited vacation or taking on some home renovations that are long overdue, it may be difficult to stick to focusing on your long-term financial goals. So, given the push/pull of the economy and your well-deserved desire to enjoy the tax refund windfall today, how can you achieve some balance? And what’s the best way to use your tax refund to keep you on-track for the future? A few tips from the Globe and Mail’s article echo some of the advice you may have read here at Lowrie Financial’s blog in “What to Do with Excess Cash?”. These tax refund tips might be helpful to assist you in achieving that balance:
Chasing Investment Performance Results in Far More Losers than Winners Would you like to improve your investment game? Counterintuitively, you don’t necessarily need to master more fancy moves; it may be a more powerful play to simply reduce your biggest investment mistakes. It’s those false moves that usually cost you the most gained ground.
Most of us are asking important questions about this geopolitical crisis. By no means do our financial concerns detract from the greater, human toll. That said, if I can help you remain resolute as the world justifiably severs Russia’s access to capital markets and the global economy, perhaps we can both do our part to restore justice in Ukraine. So, let’s talk about geopolitics and investing during wartime. Here are my key takeaways:
Most investors understand or perhaps accept the fact that they are not able to time stock markets (sell out before they go down or buy in before they advance). The simple rationale is that stock markets are forward looking by anticipating or “pricing in” future expectations. While the screaming negative headlines may capture attention, stock markets are looking out to what may happen well into the future. It is easy to understand why we might be scared about the recent headline inflation numbers and concerned about rising interest. It is very important to keep this in context, which is what we will address today.
As we are revisiting and updating this piece in early February 2022, we are starting to see some volatility in bond and stock markets. Not surprising given the strong equity returns over the past 18 months and the fact that most central banks have stated publicly that they will be raising interest rates to tackle inflation. Before we get into any specifics about what one should or shouldn’t’ do during a bear market, I think it is very important to define exactly what sort of investor you are. Remember, our investment advice is aimed at helping you successfully complete your long-term, multi-generational financial journey. So, if you are a long-term, patient, multi-generational investor then read on so you can get some tips on how you can weather any market storm while you persevere and wait for the inevitable recovery. If you are a short-term trader, then you probably won’t find these pointers helpful. So, let's look back at my thoughts from April 2018…
Yet another year of your careful financial planning process has been disrupted by the pandemic – or has it?
These uncertain times have impacted our work, life, mental health, and financial security. However, if you have been reading my blog posts this year (and even further back), you will likely know the key to weather market storms: setting goals, making plans, and maintaining a focus on ongoing financial planning, without jumping off course as a result of ever-volatile markets (and world events).
Let’s look back at some of the most popular blogs of 2021 featuring this independent financial advisor’s musings…