In the last article we defined investing as buying an ownership stake in companies who are profitable today and whose profits are expected to rise over time. Trading is any other form of managing your money which may or may not take into account corporate profits as part of the decision-making process.
Warren Buffett had a classic rule when it comes to market volatility:
"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful".
It is not uncommon for an individual or organization, such as a charity or community tennis club, to consult a financial planner or investment advisor regarding investment returns that can be generated on some spare cash that is not needed in the immediate future.
Canadians, like many nationalities, have a home bias when it comes to investing. Most Canadians are heavily invested in Canadian entities, and the majority of their investments (RRSPs, real estate, mutual funds businesses) are tied to Canada’s future economic growth.
Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of how much financial support to provide their children attending post-secondary programs. The costs today are much greater than what the parents paid for similar schooling some thirty or more years ago.
During a recent client call, the topics discussed included how the media influence people's investment behaviors. This client woke up one day with an "epiphany" thinking that a market correction was just around the corner. They did admit after a discussion that they had been reading something to that effect in the newspapers during the weekend.
Many clients in their 50’s and 60’s are increasingly worried about the finances of their aging parents. This is especially true in an era of unprecedented low interest rates. They often ask: "How do I talk to them about their care and their finances?"
As equity markets in Canada and the U.S. make new highs on an almost daily basis, as of late June and early July, many investors have expressed increasing anxiety about a possible "correction".
There is a legend about a successful financial advisor in Warren Buffett’s stomping grounds of Omaha, Nebraska. It is reported that this advisor has learned the art of communicating the basics of wealth building with the local farmers. The advisor, who we will call Fred Smith, greets clients in his office with a window behind his desk that overlooks fields of blowing wheat and corn.
One Saturday, famed investment manager Peter Lynch was working at the office when he decided to answer the phone. The caller was a holder of his mutual fund who was calling to cash in the investment. Peter explained how he was excited about the growth prospects for the economy and his fund and asked him why. As Peter tells the story the caller said: "Because I am breaking even!"