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.
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"!
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.
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.
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.
There will likely be many impacts on the global economy resulting from the Russia-Ukraine War. The biggest casualty will most likely be the end of the "business as usual" mindset that most Canadians have lived by since at least 1980, if not since the end of World War Two.
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.
The RRSP deadline for 2021 deposits is fast approaching on March 1st. Some of the basics of the benefits of RRSPs are worth repeating, especially for Millennials and other younger, or beginner investors.
The goal of building investment assets is to someday (retire) be able to sustain your desired lifestyle without having to work to earn an income. This is often referred to as passive income where the assets generate the monthly income needed to maintain your standard of living.
A year ago, Faye and David decided to get smart around saving money. "We both love the idea of retirement," says Faye. "But we could never seem to close the gap between what we earn and what it costs to run our life to increase our savings." As the couple approached their fifties, they decided to find innovative ways to save. "One of the ways we could do that was to spend less on the things we needed," says David. "We love a challenge, so we decided that we wouldn't make any major purchases for a year without comparison shopping or a money-saving coupon."