Get a fix on your true level of risk tolerance
Until very recently, things had been looking up in the U.S. The Labor Department reported that the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% in June, as millions of Americans began returning to work. That helped lift investor sentiment on hopes that the economy would start to recover. But a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. over the past couple of weeks could derail that. This past week, over 77,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S. in a single day.
Robyn Thompson is featured in BNN’s “The Open” with host John Erlichman, discussing how retirement planning is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and what retirees (and those ready to retire) can do to protect their nest-egg and secure their income streams into the future.
Robyn Thompson is featured in CTV’s “Your Morning” with Anne-Marie Mediwake, discussing how to handle your investments and personal finances in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic scare.
With stock markets now into bear market territory, a global recession looming, and mob-mentality behavior prevailing in both supermarkets and stock markets, Robyn has some timely advice for investors on how to stay calm, weather the market turmoil, and even profit from new opportunities.
Differentiating from robots and algorithms
In this era of robo-advisors and artificial intelligence, it’s easy to believe that the expert, professional flesh-and-blood financial advisor has gone the way of the horse and buggy. It’s even easier to believe if you buy into the aggressive marketing by online portfolio management services that implies a human financial advisor basically sits back, collects fees, and buys a new luxury car every year. Of course, this grossly misrepresents what real advisors (as opposed to algorithms) actually do for their clients. So here’s a quick refresher on what to expect from a “real” financial advisor. READ MORE
Some annual housekeeping to keep allocations on track
Concerns about the health of the global economy, the effects of the U.S.-China trade and tariff dispute, rising interest rates, and the flattening yield curve combined to make the stock market slump of the fourth quarter one of the worst in a long time. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 11% in the quarter, as a 38% drop in the price of crude oil weighed on energy producers. The index ended the year with an annual loss of 11.6%. Similarly, New York’s blue-chip S&P 500 Composite Index plunged 14% in the fourth quarter for an overall 6.2% loss in the year. So is it time to sell stocks and re-set your portfolio with a heavier weighting to cash? READ MORE
Avoid falling into the unintended investment-risk trap
Looking at your annual bottom-line performance is, of course, key. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Conducting an annual investment review over and above the pure performance number tells you not only how your portfolio has performed – and whether it has outperformed your benchmark – but whether it’s time to make changes to your holdings. For example, some of your investments might have performed exceptionally well over the past year – U.S. equities, for example – and may have distorted your equity asset weighting well beyond your target level as a result. To properly review your portfolio, look first at four key areas. READ MORE
Robyn Thompson is featured on CTV’s “Your Morning” show. She chats with host Anne-Marie Mediwake about the November U.S. presidential election, and whether Canadians should take this as an opportunity to reevaluate their portfolios.
Why geographic diversification still matters
Given all the volatility that’s been occurring in world markets after the Brexit vote, I’ve been asked whether it would be better to stick to Canadian stocks? After all, Canada is economically and politically stable, and so it would seem to be logical to invest in equities in a “safe” place. But that’s actually something of a fallacy. READ MORE
The danger of under-diversifying your portfolio
How can you tell if your portfolio is properly diversified? A prospective client asked me to review an investment portfolio of several hundred thousand dollars consisting of two big holdings: iShares Canadian Growth Index ETF and the Fidelity True North Fund Series A. Both are good performers in themselves. But she wondered whether her investments were diversified enough. Here’s what I discovered. READ MORE
How to get a fix on portfolio holdings before it’s too late!
Do-it-yourself investors who have a number of different investment accounts could be courting financial trouble. Unless you have a complete picture of how all your assets are allocated, your investment picture could be a lot riskier than you thought. Here’s how to find out. READ MORE