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Investor Education Blog

Pandemic Legacy: How Have Investors Been Affected

How the COVID-19 pandemic alters the path of history remains to be seen. Like a retiree looking back over their life, it’s only in hindsight that they can fully process the impact of euphoric highs and devastating lows. The great events of history are similar; they shape people and societies.

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Is the 60-40 strategy dead and buried?

The 60-40 portfolio strategy is a touchstone for the industry, and shorthand for the tried and trusted method of protecting capital from wild market swings. There are endless variations on this theme, largely dependant on client risk tolerance and time horizon, but the navigational starting point of a “balanced” 60% stocks and 40% bonds mix has endured.Yet, when it comes to the financial markets, investors absorb daily blow-by-blow accounts of price drops, stock bubbles, and geopolitical-induced volatility. This can influence decisions and emotions, and lead to panic selling – and often panic buying – that harms your portfolio.

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Navigating Emotional Real Estate Decisions

Our House, the gentle Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young classic - written, incidentally, by Graham Nash - strikes an emotional beat familiar to many homeowners or wannabe homeowners. The song describes an everyday scene yet it’s beloved by millions because, as the cliché goes, home is where the heart is. It’s also why decisions around selling or buying real estate, usually the biggest asset a person will own, go far beyond a financial transaction. Yet, when it comes to the financial markets, investors absorb daily blow-by-blow accounts of price drops, stock bubbles, and geopolitical-induced volatility. This can influence decisions and emotions, and lead to panic selling – and often panic buying – that harms your portfolio.

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Volatility and Staying Invested

Imagine you’re on a long-haul flight and the pilot informs you of every hint of turbulence. It would drive every passenger crazy. Thankfully, instead, most of us watch a movie, grab some uncomfortable sleep, and wait until the plane’s wheels hit tarmac. Ignorance is bliss. Yet, when it comes to the financial markets, investors absorb daily blow-by-blow accounts of price drops, stock bubbles, and geopolitical-induced volatility. This can influence decisions and emotions, and lead to panic selling – and often panic buying – that harms your portfolio.

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Do you really need to work longer?

Slaving over a hot computer, putting in extra hours over the weekend… many pre-retirees are driven by a fear of the future. What if I don’t have enough money saved? What if I outlive my investments? Maybe I’ll just tap away for another two years to ensure my family are secure.

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Beyond Coldplay: how emerging markets enhance your investment palette

There’s a reason the likes of Coldplay and U2 sell millions of albums - people know what they’re getting. Whether it’s The Edge’s chiming guitar or Chris Martin’s lovelorn warbling, familiarity is comforting. Less widely known, and arguably more interesting bands, like Sparks for example, who switch up genres, often endure more sporadic profits.

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Inflation … what does it mean?

Gordon Gekko hasn’t done the investment industry’s reputation any favours. Michael Douglas’ unscrupulous movie character quickly became shorthand for all that is wrong with Wall Street and financial markets with his infamous ‘greed is good’ speech. But you don’t have to look too far away from the big screen to see real-life examples of people whose actions have perpetuated the link between the wealth industry, untrustworthy characters and get-rich-quick trades.

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Six investment myths busted

Gordon Gekko hasn’t done the investment industry’s reputation any favours. Michael Douglas’ unscrupulous movie character quickly became shorthand for all that is wrong with Wall Street and financial markets with his infamous ‘greed is good’ speech. But you don’t have to look too far away from the big screen to see real-life examples of people whose actions have perpetuated the link between the wealth industry, untrustworthy characters and get-rich-quick trades.

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Wealth transfer: Preparing the next generation

Intergenerational wealth, on our TV screens at least, conjures images of Succession’s Logan Roy dismissing one of his weasel kids with a sneer and expletive. Roy, the fearsome patriarch, who built his business from nothing, watches in disgust as the heirs to his throne – who do no work of any note - connive and backstab in an effort to win the keys to more money and power.

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Why Financial Planning Has A Reputation Problem

Maya Angelou, it turns out, was not just a poet and philosopher for the ages. The literary legend was also a savvy client who fired more than one financial advisor she deemed guilty of either talking down to her or ignoring her socially responsibly investment requests1. She may not, as she admitted, have understood the markets but she certainly understood her value. 

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Why Sitting Out Of Risky Markets Is A Bigger Risk Than You May Realize

Behavioural psychologists often talk about “loss aversion” or “negativity bias”. Both phrases essentially mean that people experience loss more intensely than gains. In other words, for every dollar you lose, you need to get back two to offset the emotional pain. Everyone talks about the fear of missing out, but the fear of losing is just as real.

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An Alternative View

For years, you’ve dined on meat and potatoes; sturdy fare that’s given you the strength and endurance you’ve needed. Now, however, while the prime cuts of meat still deliver, the

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Ukraine Invasion: Where do Investors Stand?

Vladimir Putin is not the first Russian dictator to send chills down the spine. A trawl through the quotes of his predecessors reveals often terrifying ideological one-liners, including Lenin’s prescient, “Sometimes, history needs a push.”

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Take it to the Tax: Tips and Strategies

There is nothing certain in life except death...but at least when it comes to filing your yearly CRA return, investors can claim a modicum of control.

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Taming, Not Timing, the Markets

During long periods when markets remain calm, many retail investors are lulled by the slow and steady upward movement in the value of their portfolios. These are the times when the adage, “time in the market, not market timing, determines performance”, that seems to ring true. However, when volatility rises, often these same investors turn away from “buy-and-hold” and become interested in market timing.

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The Differences & Benefits of Working with an Independent Portfolio Manager vs Financial Advisor

Most Canadians will have weighed up the advantages of using an advisor at some point in their lives. But with more and more options open to the DIY investor, the question of whether to use a professional is one many people don’t fully understand. 

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Understanding Volatility

If you’ve ever paddled a canoe on a calm lake only to get caught in a sudden squall of rough waves, then you’ve experienced volatility. When it comes to investing, volatility occurs when a “storm” develops rapidly and sends prices shooting up or down in a dramatic fashion.

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How to Choose the Right Benchmark When Measuring Performance

The question on every investor’s mind is: How am I doing? We all want to know how our investments are performing. There may also be a competitive desire to “beat the market”. The way to answer the question is with benchmarks.

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Risk/Return Trade-Off: True or False?

One enduring belief in investing is the trade-off between risk and reward. Yet, empirical studies show that taking excessive market risk either has no, or actually, a negative correlation to total investment return. There is even a name for this phenomenon: “the low volatility anomaly.”

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