The goal of financial planning is to build enough assets, by the time you retire, that the income earned from investments (including pensions etc.) will provide you with your desired lifestyle, without the need to get out of bed and go to work.
Simple, right? All other discussions relate to the strategies you can use to build your wealth to the point of Financial Independence or beyond. For true wealth, think about acquiring capital or assets beyond supporting your standard of living.
As some provinces head into a second COVID-19 lockdown, some people are asking the question: Why bother investing for the long term? For many, especially Millennials, the task of building financial wealth and security looks increasingly hopeless. Even the most prudent small business owners were caught short during the lock down in the spring and many are now facing the prospect of permanently closing their companies.
Many commentators are expecting increased inflation in the coming months as Central Banks globally have ramped up their money creation efforts in response to the increased market volatility last March. There are different types of inflation, but most people have experienced price inflation, whereby excess demand is met by rising prices. The next round of anticipated inflation could be different than what most people are familiar with.
Money has long been the number one stressor for many Canadians, and there's no doubt that COVID has magnified this reality. It has upended jobs, security, health and financial stability for people across the country. Millions of Canadians are struggling to cover their bills. In March of 2020, 49% of Canadians were just $200 from financial insolvency1.
When their investment savings plummeted in the 2001 stock market crash, Adam and Sonya were concerned, but not panicked. Retirement was a long way out, so they had plenty of time to recover. The couple decided to try their hand at 'timing the market' (buying and selling stocks based on expected market fluctuations) to recover their losses. "We thought that if we stayed on top things and could chart when the market would go up and down, we could make our money back," says Adam.
With the December market correction in both the US, Canada and elsewhere slowly receding into the past, it is a good time to review what exactly happened and how clients have reacted to the recent events.
To put December into context, it was the most severe correction late in the year since the early 1930's. The market valuations improved dramatically as a result of the correction with Price\Earnings (P\E) multiplies falling by 5 points, which is the most in about 25 years and has happened only about 5 times in history.
If your way of assessing the state of the world is only through stories gleaned from the regular media, then you are likely missing out on all the marvelous and wondrous advancements of human society over the previous years and decades.
With news reports during the final months of 2018 focusing on market volatility and US budget problems, it has become very easy for investors to focus their attention mostly on short term and transitory issues.