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“It will be okay”: Help clients stay invested in difficult market conditions

21 April 2020 by National Bank Investments
Drawn rainbow.

To say 2020 has already tested our comfort level is an understatement. With the world social distancing amid COVID-19 and the financial markets in a state of distress so severe it’s giving 2008 a run for its money, advisors everywhere are managing investor anxiety like never before.

It’s only natural that, with all the time people are spending at home and logged onto the internet, they’re watching the news and checking their investment accounts. It’s a disheartening mix. What’s more is that they may also notice that the dollar amount they remembered from only two months ago is now looking very, very different.

How could advisors build a case for investors not to withdraw everything after so much loss? We suggest these key talking points to help encourage clients to not only stay the course but also, most importantly, stay invested.

Start with a statistic: bull markets are roughly five times longer than bear markets

If we compared bull and bear markets since 1956, we can see that bull markets are more likely to last roughly five times longer than bear markets! The average length of a bull markets is 5.8 years, whereas bear markets sit at only 1.29 years. That said, though bear markets may last less than a year and a half, clients risk losing an average of 35% on their investments (see table below). This short-term pain is not negligible. What awaits in about five years though, once markets have recuperated, are average gains of 190%. If we look at the most recent 11-year bull market ending in February 2020, returns on investments went as high as 400.5%!

CIO Office (Data via Refinitiv). As at March 30, 2020. The information and the data supplied, including those supplied by third parties, are considered accurate at the time of their publication and were obtained from sources which we considered reliable. This information and data are supplied as informative content only. No representation or guarantee, explicit or implicit, is made as for the exactness, the quality and the complete character of this information and these data. The opinions expressed are not to be construed as solicitation or offer to buy or sell shares and should not be considered as recommendations on the part of National Bank Investments Inc.

Clients risk missing the best days in the markets by withdrawing their money

Periods of high volatility like the one we’re living right now tend to set records – good and bad – across the board. Among the 10 biggest market upswings in a single day on the TSX in the last 20 years, most of them ironically occurred in both 2008 and 2020 (see table below). Clients who have nervously withdrawn investments risk missing some of the most fruitful gains, a devastating blow to their return opportunity. No one can predict the future performance of the TSX: diversifying portfolios and resisting the temptation of timing the markets are among the most recommended strategies to weather the storm. Remember, even the best strategies become pointless if they’re not stuck to religiously during difficult times.

CIO Office (Data via Refinitiv). As at March 27, 2020. The information and the data supplied, including those supplied by third parties, are considered accurate at the time of their publication and were obtained from sources which we considered reliable. This information and data are supplied as informative content only. No representation or guarantee, explicit or implicit, is made as for the exactness, the quality and the complete character of this information and these data. The opinions expressed are not to be construed as solicitation or offer to buy or sell shares and should not be considered as recommendations on the part of National Bank Investments Inc.

There is still opportunity in recession

The stock market is the only place where things go on sale and buyers run for the door! Sure, when we’re in it, watching your investment amounts ebb and flow is about as comfortable as getting a tooth pulled. And that’s the truth for anyone, really. But just as it may hurt in the moment, the relief felt afterwards is unparalleled. Investors are in a great deal of discomfort not being able to control the uncertainty right now. With your help, you can refocus their attention to a future far beyond impulsive politicians or a volatile global economy. Concentrating on what they can control will contribute to not only improving their peace of mind, but their financial health as well.

 

Legal notes

The information and the data supplied in the present document, including those supplied by third parties, are considered accurate at the time of their printing and were obtained from sources which we considered reliable. We reserve the right to modify them without advance notice. This information and data are supplied as informative content only. No representation or guarantee, explicit or implicit, is made as for the exactness, the quality and the complete character of this information and these data. The opinions expressed are not to be construed as solicitation or offer to buy or sell shares mentioned herein and should not be considered as recommendations.

National Bank Investments is a member of Canada’s Responsible Investment Association and a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment.

©National Bank Investments Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without the prior written authorization of National Bank Investments Inc.

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