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Good advice in Volatile Times

You may be reading the news about the pandemic, increasing prices of goods and services (inflation), rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine and the lockdown in China. Our team at Trilogy Financial Solutions has experienced previous economic cycles of volatility and for us it is important to provide regular communication with our clients during these times. Over the next few months, we will be publishing some relevant material relating to investment principles, concepts, and the potential outlook on our website. In this update, we cover the importance of staying in the market, for example, not exiting to a more conservative fund after the market has dropped. Market Days You Don’t Want To Miss

  • The stock market can be a wild ride at times.

  • Swings of 10% in value during short but volatile periods can happen and are generally in response to headline, global events such as the Covid-19 pandemic recovery, and the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising interest rates.

  • Trying to time the market, i.e., getting out and then back in, is an impossible task and you may end up missing out on the few days with the biggest positive changes.

Here’s what Fidelity, a global fund manager found when they crunched the numbers on what would happen to a hypothetical $10,000 investment into the S&P 500 index fund (USA) from 1980 to 2018 if you missed the best 5, 10, 30 or 50 days.

The above chart tracks a 38-year period, or roughly 10,000 days of share investing. This illustrates that if you think you can time the market, you’re betting that you can get in and out without missing the best five of those 10,000 days — which could happen at any time. Key points

  • Missing the five best days when you’re otherwise fully invested drops your overall return by 35% and the results only get worse the more “good” market days you miss.

  • Missing the best 10 days will more than halve your long-term returns.

  • Once you miss out on the 50 best-performing days, you have completely missed the upside.

Our views In our view the key things for investors to bear in mind are as follows:

  • During volatile times, it’s not prudent to cash in or convert growth investments to conservative investments as you will be converting paper losses to actual losses.

  • When shares fall, they are cheaper and offer higher long-term return prospects. So, the key is to look for opportunities to buy investments at cheaper prices.

  • It's impossible to time the bottom but one way to do it is to average in over time.

  • Shares and other related assets bottom at the point of maximum bearishness, i.e., just when you feel most negative towards them.

  • The best way to react in a downturn is to stick to an appropriate medium to long-term investment strategy, which should have already been in place and that is commensurate with your goals and priorities.

  • For regular savers (e.g. KiwiSaver investors), remember dollar cost averaging. Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy wherein you invest a set amount of money at regular intervals, which allows you to reduce the overall cost of your investments, as you “smooth” your purchase price over time and ensure that you are not investing all your money at once at a high price point.

  • This reflects an old adage:

‘Time in the market is far better than trying to time the market’

Finally, the best recommendation we can give you during times of uncertainty is to seek professional financial advice – please contact us if you require any advice or information, before making changes to your financial affairs.

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