I don't need to tell anyone of you that these are difficult times that we are in. The global economy is essentially taking a pause, stock markets in North America entered a bear market and a bull market all in the same month and people are being forced to stay at home in order to curb the spread of this virus. I have written in these articles about how the reasons for the stock market crashes are always different but the human behavior behind investing follows a similar pattern. This is very true, but something is different about the events we are currently living through at least in for my lifetime.
We have never experienced the mass shut down of businesses and services like are experiencing today. We have never been forced to work from home or stay away from our family members like we are being forced to today. The situation we are in resembles more of war time reaction than it does financial crisis and with that comes new challenges which we are all facing together but separately.
One of the benefits of the work that I do, and we do at Endeavour Wealth Management is that we get the opportunity to speak with a lot of people and hear stories on how they are handling things. I thought I would share some of those stories here in hopes that it can act as a guide for any of you who might be feeling a bit lost right now.
One thing we often recommend is having a cash buffer in place for times like these which can help you to navigate the market volatility without impacting your long-term portfolio growth. The number of years we set aside depends on the individual situation but having this set aside can help to ensure that assets which have gone down are given the opportunity to recover.
Recently, I also got a call from a client who had saved up a reasonable amount of money in their own bank accounts and asked whether or not it made sense to reduce their current investment draw on a monthly basis and use some of the savings they have accumulated. Although it wasn't necessary to do so, by reducing what they are taking from their investments their portfolio will recover that much faster and get back to positive.
I have also spoken with many other clients who are looking at their current isolation as an opportunity to re-evaluate their spending patterns as well. Interesting enough, all this time to think has given them perspective on what's important to them going forward.
With all of the gym's being closed and even indoor walking areas being shut down, many people are feeling cooped up and as we know exercise can offer some of the biggest relief from stress. Many clients, and I'll throw myself in this as well, have started to use a variety of different apps to help them to stay fit while their regular workouts have been disrupted. One of the more popular apps I have heard people using is from Peloton. The same company that has the commercials about the exercise bike and cycle classes also has an app that includes a variety of different workouts, stretching and yoga classes. You can filter the workouts by the type of equipment you have at home (no equipment is fine also), how long you want to work out for and your level of fitness. They are also offering a 90 day free trial right now and you don't even need to enter a credit card. My wife Sam and I have been doing these workouts daily and it's certainly helping with the grumpiness in our co-working space.
We have talked a lot about how much stress people are facing right now. I don't think that its any secret that the next consequence we will see come from this will be the effect this all has on people's mental health. From the conversations I have had there are a variety of client who have taken to different hobbies and things that make them happy to help alleviate the stress and maybe just escape the reality we are all in for a little while.
Some people are taking this time to do things they had never tried before. I have clients who have recently decided to take up wood working as an example. They always wanted to and now they have the time to do so. YouTube is a great resource for instructions as well. I also have had clients who have committed to watching Disney movies on Disney+ which they haven't seen since they were kids.
Some of you might know that my brother Craig and his wife Kathryn recently had their first child. During the early morning wake ups Craig is taking the time to introduce my new niece to 'The Wonderful World of Disney' with the same movies we grew up with. Other clients of mine have also started a 'Gratitude Jar'. They felt that with everything going on it's important to remember all of the things we have to be grateful for. The goal of the jar is that on Thursday evenings their family will gather around the dinner table and share one thing they are grateful for, write it down and put it in the jar. Come New Year's Eve, they will empty the jar and remind themselves of all the great things happening in their lives in 2020. The Gratitude Jar may not be for everyone, but I think it is really important that we remember to smile with each other and connect with our loved ones, especially our elderly relatives who are most at risk right now. My 94-year-old Grandma even has an iPad so family members can facetime with her.
In my lifetime we have never faced globally a common challenge like we face today. I have always felt that challenges like Covid-19 help us to become better as it forces us to work together and when we do people are capable of great things. I see this time as being no different.
Businesses Making a Difference: Speaking of coming together here are some amazing businesses who are answering the call in our community.
Bold – Bold has been working with companies to get their online stores up and running asap so that they can whether the storm of closed physical locations. They helped Trans Canada Brewing to get their online store up in just 2 days! Amazing stuff!
King's Head Pub – In an effort to help out the community and also keep their staff working, the King's Head is now doing grocery delivery for people in need. Such a creative idea and clearly shows their passion for our community.
Cushman and Wakefield | Stevenson – With their 'Act of MainteNICE' crew are delivering basically whatever people need from food to cleaning supplies and hygiene products. Their crew is making a huge difference.
There are so many people answering the call right now, too many to mention. I will keep listing some that I come across here as I think they deserve our recognition. Please let me know if there are businesses that you know of who also deserve a shout out.
- Grant White, CIM, CFP
Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Securities. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.
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