Comfort level with investments key during volatile markets

OTTAWA - Few investors have escaped the carnage on the stock markets this year as the bears have taken over the Toronto exchange.

See Full Article

But for those closing in on retirement and those already there, the downturn may be even more frightening as the value in Canadian investment portfolios invested in stocks have taken a beating.

Pace Sturdevant, a retiree in Ottawa, says "it's been depressing."

"They've lost so much value that's basically the only thing to do is sit tight and wait," he said of his portfolio of stocks.

Sturdevant, 67, is keeping a close watch for any dividend cuts by companies in his portfolio of mostly dividend-paying stocks.

"It hasn't happened so far," he said.

The S&P/TSX composite is down about 20 per cent from his highs of last year, putting it in bear market territory.

Sturdevant knows he hopefully has another couple of decades of retirement to pay for, so he has time on his side.

That doesn't make the losses any easier to take, however.

"I sold one stock that was a strong sell and I bought some stocks that have tanked," he said.

The turmoil on the markets has amounted to a painful lesson for those close to retirement about the importance of balancing risk in their portfolios.

Peter Bowen, vice-president of tax and retirement research and solutions at Fidelity Investments, says investors need to start by asking themselves why they're investing.

"If it's for a house, that gives you a different answer than if it's for retirement, and if it's for a car, well yet again - a different answer," he said. "The investment time horizon is one of those key inputs to the strategy, in addition to the individual's goals and their tolerance for risk."

Bowen says bear markets can serve as a litmus test for investors and their risk tolerance.

"If they aren't sleeping at night because of their concerns about their portfolio, maybe they've overstated that risk tolerance," he said.

Generally, the closer you are to spending your investments, the more conservative your portfolio should be.

Brent Vandermeer, portfolio manager at HollisWealth, says that while most of his clients have balanced portfolios, they span the spectrum from 100 per cent in fixed income to a handful fully invested in stocks.

"My job is to manage the money that they give me within the parameters of what they are comfortable with," he said. "If it is the right thing for the client and we've really talked and walked through it, that's what I think my role is."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • LCBO workers delivering overwhelming strike vote

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Liquor Control Board of Ontario staff have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike as their union continues to bargain for a new collective agreement. Voting by members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union was held Monday and Tuesday. Source
  • Swedish museum celebrates corporate failure

    Economic CTV News
    From Harley Davidson-branded perfume to a lasagna produced by toothpaste maker Colgate, the corporate world is awash with ideas that fail to connect with consumers, and one museum curator hopes to inspire people with them. Source
  • Metro profit beats estimates despite lower produce, meat, dairy prices

    Economic CBC News
    The chief executive of Metro Inc. says prices for produce, meat and dairy were lower in its most recent quarter, but the grocer still increased its profits and beat analyst estimates. Food prices were about two per cent lower than a year ago during the 12-week period ended March 11, CEO Eric La Fleche told a conference call with financial analysts Tuesday. Source
  • Uber looks towards electric aircraft for next ride-hailing project

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - Uber is taking to the skies with its next project - "flying cars" - even as all eyes are on its problems on the ground. On Tuesday, the embattled ride-hailing company announced plans for an on-demand network of electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. Source
  • Billy Bee and Doyon honey sold in Canada to be made in Canada, too

    Economic CBC News
    The company that owns the Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands says it will start using only Canadian honey for both products in Canada this year. McCormick & Co. says Billy Bee and Doyon products containing all-Canadian honey will start appearing on store shelves in June, while the Billy Bee organic variety will arrive before the end of the year. Source
  • Trump plans to slash U.S. corporate tax rate to 15%

    Economic CBC News
    President Donald Trump plans to stick with his campaign pledge to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent, but the dramatic cut raises a problematic question for the White House: How can the president deliver the "massive" tax cut he promised without also blowing a massive hole in the budget? Source
  • Reducing debt among Barrick Gold's priorities: president

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Barrick Gold says it will focus on maximizing its free cash flow, reducing debt and maintaining investment discipline in the year ahead. Company president Kelvin Dushnisky told Barrick's annual meeting Tuesday that the gold mining giant will also work on transforming its business to better use technology. Source
  • Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands shifts to all-Canadian honey in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The company that owns the Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands says it will start using only Canadian honey for both products in Canada this year. McCormick & Co. says Billy Bee and Doyon products containing all-Canadian honey will start appearing on store shelves in June, while the Billy Bee organic variety will arrive before the end of the year. Source
  • Wells Fargo board re-elected as management faces protests

    Economic CBC News
    Wells Fargo & Co.'s annual meeting turned raucous when it was repeatedly interrupted by angry shareholders on Tuesday as the bank's chairman and chief executive tried to calm nerves ahead of a vote that could oust the majority of its board. Source
  • Wells Fargo shareholders disrupt meeting as fate of board members awaited

    Economic CBC News
    Wells Fargo & Co.'s annual meeting turned raucous when it was repeatedly interrupted by angry shareholders on Tuesday as the bank's chairman and chief executive tried to calm nerves ahead of a vote that could oust the majority of its board. Source