The fastest market correction in history, that started in the last week of February and bottomed in late March, led to the fastest bounce back over a five-week period, since about 1987 1. However, at the time of this writing, most of the major market indexes are still below their February 2020 peaks levels.
Over the past several weeks, provinces across Canada have relaxed social distancing rules and begun the process of "re-opening" for business. Looking back over the past three months, while there have been many moments of stress and anxiety, there have also been moments to be thankful. What is there to be thankful about?
One of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett, acquired his wealth by following a very simple rule during times of market volatility: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
With mass media websites trumpeting headlines like "Oil collapse and global stampede out of stocks trample loonie” (Financial Post) and "Dow drops more than 2,000 points amid oil price war, coronavirus fears” (New York Post) it is easy to forget that the world has been in similar situations before.
If you were going to recommend a treatment plan for a loved one suffering with alcoholism, would you prescribe more alcohol as the best course of action to help them to recover or otherwise improve? Now put this question aside for the moment.
Let us look at the personal situation of the average Canadian these days and make some observations about what their circumstances look like as they go about their daily activities in life, work, & family. Then we will tie these real-life situations together with the riddle.
Clients often call when markets are looking a bit shaky, or newspaper articles are predicting the next market correction, recession, bubble, etc.
The challenge with reacting to such events or news is that the external circumstances rarely have anything to do with your specific situation and plan. Your mission, should you choose to embrace it, is to build assets through savings and investment returns so that you reach your targeted savings value needed to support your lifestyle and cash flow needs in retirement.
Most people want to be wealthy, or at least financially independent. The sad truth is that very few people are financially independent when they reach retirement. The rest are dependent to some extent on others or government benefits for their daily money needs.
Far too many people today live a lifestyle that is under a mountain of consumer debt. In many cases, that debt follows them into retirement. There are simple strategies to achieve financial independence; however, they may not necessarily be easy to follow.
If you are concerned about your future finances, you are certainly not alone as noted in a global survey of 19,000 adult in over 19 countries (including Canada).
Nearly 68% (or two thirds) of the 1000 Canadians interviewed in the survey conducted by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) said they still had concerns about their personal finances. For those in mid-life, anxiety caused by an unknown financial future is greater with a reported 79% worried, which shows it is not wise to procrastinate in your early life.