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How to survive a bear market?

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Over the last year, I have referred to these markets many times as being predatory. They lure even the most experienced investor into feeling a false sense of comfort. Then, just when you least expect it, they snap you back, quickly and ferociously. Market pullbacks like we are currently experiencing are not a new phenomena by any stretch, in fact we normally would experience something like this once every 3-4 years. But it’s been a while since we have experienced this type of market so I thought it would be worthwhile sharing how I “survive” these types of markets and hopefully you can take something useful from my routines for yourself.

The Market Doesn’t Know Your Name

First of all, it’s important to note that what you’re experiencing isn’t personal. The market doesn’t care if you have made smart moves or silly moves in the past. It treats everyone as equals and so it’s important not to take anything to heart. Everyone feels like a genius when the markets are going higher and an idiot when markets are dropping.

Treat Your Body Right

It is easy to fall out of your routines when things are not going well in the markets, or in the world in general. It’s important to stick to the things that make you happy and make you feel good on a daily basis. Remember to keep up your exercise, get outside and enjoy the sunshine and try to eat healthy. A healthy body means a healthy mind which leads to a clearer head and making better decisions.

Take Time for Yourself and Your Family

We live in an extremely connected world. It would be easy to spend all day looking at headlines, ignoring the people that matter most to you and not living in the moments that matter. For me, it’s about spending time with my daughter, Jayelle. I try and leave the office every day at 5 PM so I can go pick her up from daycare and then spend the next couple of hours with her, enjoying a family dinner, playing with toys and especially taking her to the park where she could break a World Guinness Record for the amount of time she spends on the swings! This is my time with her and I try to leave my phone in a drawer so it’s not a distraction. After she goes to bed I often pick my laptop back up, but that time before she goes to bed is our personal time. I also like to shut my brain off and watch some tv for about 30-60 minutes as well. It’s important to take the mental breaks we need.

Shut Out the Noise!

Speaking of the headlines… I cannot stress this enough. One of the things that great investors do is they shut out the noise and the opinions of other people, especially the media. The reality is bad news sells more ads than good news. In the book, “The Psychology of Money” the author discusses a study which shows that people are more likely to listen to someone who is speaking negatively vs. positively. We are hardwired to believe that someone speaking negatively must know what they are talking about more than someone who is speaking positively. Of course when we think about it we know this is nonsense, but the reality is it can be difficult to fight our own human nature. This is why investing is so difficult in the first place! Do your best to cut out the noise… you’ll feel a lot less stress if you do.

Working Harder Doesn’t Mean Working Smarter

When things aren’t going the way we want to, it’s a natural reaction to think that we need to make changes. We need to do more, we need to work harder! Doing more offers the illusion of control and in tough markets, we all search for more control over our lives. The problem in investing is doing more often leads to worse results. It’s important to remember that doing nothing is also doing something. We need to stick to our process and discipline because deviating could meant he difference in looking for a quick recovery.

Bear markets are never fun. They happen somewhat regularly but they are always painful. In these times it’s more important than ever that we keep our heads and stick to our discipline. This too shall pass.

- Grant White, CIM®, CFP®

Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with iA Private Wealth 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 iA Private Wealth Inc. and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Private Wealth.

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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