Three investing blunders to avoid

Vulnerable in the season of volatility

The fall season of volatility is here again. This year, however, stock markets may be susceptible to even more gyrations than usual, given the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on economic growth, the U.S. presidential election cycle, and the massive injections of monetary and fiscal stimulus to help keep economies afloat. Most recently, we saw stock markets sell off on Oct. 2 on the news that U.S. President Donald Trump had tested positive for Covid-19 and had been admitted to hospital for treatment. But any sustained correlation between market activity and the political cycle is tenuous at best, and is typically very short-lived. So it proved to be, as markets rebounded sharply on the following Monday.

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Retirement planning during the pandemic

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.

Safety last

Why the urgent need for “safety” can lead investors astray

These days, we’re reading a lot about the “flight to safety” in markets and investments. It’s understandable, of course, as the COVID-19 virus pandemic spreads fear and panic through global financial markets as a nasty side effect. But is that flight to safety the right thing to do right now?

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Outsmarting the COVID-19 financial panic

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.
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How to overcome the market fear factor

Stock market rout not the time for wholesale portfolio changes

The rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus (also known as the coronavirus), has hit global markets hard over the past few weeks as investors worry about the impact of the spreading contagion on global trade and corporate earnings. Stock market indexes have plunged well into correction territory (down more than 10% from recent highs), crude oil has dropped to levels last seen in 2017, global growth appears to be slowing, and with a possible recession looming, central banks are cutting interest rate cuts.

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Investing: How to deal with market risk

Can you really “live with the risk”?

In this day and age of “robo-advisors” and passive index investing, many investors seem to have forgotten the single immutable truth that equity markets are inherently risky. That’s simply because the share prices of stocks traded on markets are influenced mostly by expectations of future earnings growth. Many factors can come to bear on these expectations apart from a company’s competitive position, financial strength, and industry outlook. These include shorter-term geopolitical events (not as important) and longer-term economic and monetary policies (more important). Put it all together and it adds up to market-wide trends, oscillations, and fluctuations, which are often characterized by a wide amplitude from top to bottom. This is what’s broadly called “risk.” And it’s what most investors have trouble dealing with. READ MORE

Avoid Market Excitement Syndrome!

Stock markets are setting records daily. Ignore it!

“The market will fluctuate.” That old bit of market wisdom is ascribed to Gilded Age financier J.P. Morgan, and is as true today as it was a hundred years ago. The primal emotions of fear and greed are ultimately at the bottom of all market movement, and they take turns confounding market watchers, analysts, and investors. Trouble is, no one ever knows when there will be a market top (or bottom). READ MORE

Brexit? Trump? The Dow? Climbing the wall of worry

The market will fluctuate – get used to it!

Stock markets seem to be reaching record highs every day. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index is the top-performing market in the world so far this year. Yet endless storm clouds seem to be gathering permanently on the horizon: Brexit; the U.S. election; negative interest rates in many developed countries; and on and on. Should you pay attention? Yes, most definitely. But should you start selling off your assets looking for the (probably mythical) “safe haven”? No. Here’s why. READ MORE

Should you borrow to invest?

The lure of low rates can lead to a risk trap

With interest rates so low, and stock markets hovering around all-time highs, many investors are looking to borrow for investment purposes, especially since the interest on an investment loan is tax deductible. While this might look attractive on the surface, borrowing to invest can be a perilous experience – one that you undertake at your own risk. READ MORE

Stocks at record highs: time to buy?

How to avoid the market timing trap

In a post-Brexit bounce over the past few weeks, the major North American stock markets have touched record highs. That blindsided many small investors who had bought in to the end-of-the-world style of media hype right after the Brexit vote and jumped out of their equity holdings. Of course, they pretty much missed the almost immediate rally, which recovered the losses and sent markets surging to new highs. So is now the time to buy stocks again? Actually, that’s the wrong question to ask. READ MORE

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