investment planning

Key Ideas for Wealth Building Success

January 2023

From listening to the media and online commentators, we have identified two key observations that can impact your efforts to build assets and wealth over time.

The first is the way many individual investors place one-way bets on their market investments. As long as the investment is making money, all is good. But the minute the investment sinks for a couple of days or goes negative (relative to their starting capital), they quickly sell.

Generating Investment Returns

During our ongoing weekly discussions with clients, we occasionally get questions from individuals about their approach to investing – particularly in terms of fees and value.

The questions are usually focused on the cost of accessing investment advice, or the cost of buying specific investment vehicles such as mutual funds, ETFs etc. With the rise of fintech, trading platforms for smartphones and so on, we also hear questions about the technology related to buying, selling, and monitoring investments.

Cycle of Market Emotions

Getting emotional about investments can easily lead to poor decisions as investors fall prey to negative thoughts and fears. The chart below helps to illustrate the emotional aspects of investing.

The human brain constantly searches for trends or patterns in things, trying to make sense out of even random events and data. This essential life skill is not very helpful when it comes to investing.

The Fed "Put" Revisited

When investment markets officially hit "bear market" territory in June 2022 - while Central Banks in North America and elsewhere were continuing to raise interest rates - questions began swirling about whether the US Federal Reserve (Fed) would once again rescue the markets by exercising the famous Greenspan "put"!

Portfolio Diversification

Looking back over the past few years, one thing is certain - we can never be absolutely sure what the financial markets will do at any given time. We can study charts and graphs, both historical and forecasted, we can consult with economic experts, business leaders, and government officials, we can look at inflation and interest rates, and still we cannot predict the markets with absolute certainty.

Putting It In Perspective

The investment markets have been very "volatile" since the start of 2022. Volatile is just financial industry jargon that means markets move up and down. For retail investors, the biggest concern is when markets move down. Retail investors love when markets go up and usually cringe or flinch when they go down.

The Changing Business Cycle

Business, investing and life in general follow predictable ebbs and flows. The Business Cycle is no exception. This is the cycle whereby the economy goes through strong growth periods, weaker growth periods and everything in between. Governments and the Central Banks try to manage this cycle and prevent any enduring excesses from building up, while guiding the economy along a sustainable path of growth.

When Interest Rates Rise

One way to curb rising inflation is to increase interest rates, and that is what the Bank of Canada (BoC) is expected to do incrementally - over the next year. As interest rates begin to tick upward, it is an ideal time to look at your financial position, including your debt and savings strategies.

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