In my attempt to share some financial planning thoughts relevant to the COVID 19 health crisis in a timely manner, I want to be mindful of my limitations in understanding the science behind COVID 19, more so as this relates to the investment markets. It seems trivial to discuss the outlook for capital markets at a time when an increasing number of people around the world are coping with the coronavirus pandemic in their own lives. But just as it was during the hours and days that immediately followed the events of 911, we must be mindful of our long-term financial security. For some perspective on investing in extremely volatile times, I have attached below my favorite marketing piece on difficult investment issues that were associated within the markets every year since the Great Depression.
Every day, equity prices reflect not only what we experience in our daily lives, on our TVs or computer screens, but also the collective view of investors about what is to come. It is impossible to predict when stock markets will start their recovery. We know from experience the bottom will only be evident in retrospect. But at some point, regardless of the flow of bad news, asset prices will stop falling and move higher, possibly sharply. Again this is a health crisis, and if you feel lost, confused, and are extremely worried about what this is doing to your families financial goals, focus on these 3 things, and I suggest with the help of a well qualified financial planner:
1. Build a solid financial picture of where you are at right now: create clarity. 2. Develop a written plan with short and long-term goals: get financially organised. 3. Make small adjustments in the short term to stay on track to achieving goals long-term: review your financial plan and adjust if needed.
Below are some of my thoughts and updates on the markets from last week, and before I summarize, I want to quote Howard Mark's ending thought in his recent memo (do yourself a favor and sign up for his memo's as they are best IMO in making sense of this crisis). And more than likely these market summaries below will be irrelevant by the time Monday morning comes along. " The world will be back to normal someday, although today it seems unlikely to end up unchanged. What matters most - in terms of both health and finances - is how we do in the intern. Keep safe!" What were the significant developments this week? • Canadian and U.S. markets remained volatile, fluctuating between strong moves up and heavy moves down throughout the week and demonstrating that investors are still not confident in how this crisis will play out. • The federal government’s commitment to fiscal support for Canadians reached $176 billion, after it announced a plan to subsidize 75% of wages for workers of eligible businesses. • Oil prices sank even lower to begin the week before rebounding. U.S. President Donald Trump held a “prolonged” call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where the two agreed to further discussions between energy officials in the two countries. • The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpassed one million and continued to grow exponentially, with many countries keeping social distancing and lock down measures in force.
How does this affect my investments? As recent market swings have demonstrated, it’s impossible to time short-term movements to avoid losses and capture gains. This is why we built your portfolio as a long-term plan. Attempts to capitalize on events such as these with short-term planning can lead to you missing out on the consistent long-term growth that forms the basis of successful financial plans.
I know that it can be difficult to avoid the daily chatter surrounding the market’s hourly reaction to events, which is why I am sending you this weekly recap. It is a way to both help you block out the daily noise and speculation, while providing you clarity on recent developments. Yet remember that you and I did not build a weekly portfolio. The items above are major news stories today, but when the world emerges from this event, they are likely to serve as footnotes to a portfolio that has demonstrated its strength over the long run.
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Through these self-directed online JA Programs, you can gain the skills that will help you succeed in school, life and your career. JA offers learning opportunities in three key areas – financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship for kids, young adults, and even parents.