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The impact of COVID-19 is changing our lives in many ways, and we recognize that you have questions about your investments. As an essential service, we want to assure you that even in these uncertain times we’re here for you.
We remain open for business and committed to providing you with the expert advice and guidance you’ve come to expect from Cowan. We’re all in this together, and we are working to help protect you and your future. We want to share with you answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from our Wealth Management clients since the pandemic began.
The markets have crashed, are my investments in trouble?
Although the value of your portfolio has likely decreased significantly in the short-term, a properly diversified investment portfolio should regain its value as markets eventually rebound over the mid- to long-term.
Ask your financial advisor to provide a more detailed analysis of your portfolio and current position.
Have the markets hit bottom?
We do expect volatility to continue during this period of uncertainty, and the bottom will not become evident until a sustained rally has occurred.
Will the markets ever come back? If so, when?
Although every crisis feels unique, historically, the markets have always rebounded to reach new levels. Although we do not know exactly when they will fully recover, we expect that over the mid to long-term, markets will once again rebound to, and surpass, pre- COVID-19 levels.
How do the current market conditions affect my retirement plans?
Depending on the specifics of your situation, you could be totally fine at one end of the spectrum or facing more serious challenges at the other end. Most people are somewhere in between.
Ask your financial advisor to provide an updated personalized plan to help illustrate the impact to your personal situation.
I may need to make withdrawals from my investments. Which account(s) should I withdraw from?
Unplanned or increased withdrawals should be made from the most liquid, least volatile and most tax-efficient accounts.
Discuss your needs with your financial advisor as soon as possible so they can help determine the best approach for you.
If I’m already taking regular withdrawals from my portfolio, should I reduce the withdrawals if possible?
Yes, if you can reduce the level of withdrawals during the downturn, that will help protect the long-term value of your portfolio.
Consult your financial advisor to help determine what options you have and what the impact could be in your specific situation.
Should I move my investments to cash until the markets get back to normal to prevent further declines?
Avoid making rash decisions about your long-term investment objectives based on short-term market conditions. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, most people should not be moving to cash. A move to cash will crystalize what would otherwise have been a paper loss.
Consult your financial advisor before making any quick decisions that you might later regret.
Should I be making changes to my portfolio?
If you have a well-diversified, risk-adjusted portfolio that is specifically designed to meet your unique investment objectives, the only potential change would be to rebalance to your target asset allocations. Depending on your actual portfolio, this may happen automatically.
Ask your financial advisor if changes are necessary to stay on track with your long-term plans.
Should I be investing into the markets under the current circumstances?
Ideally, you should be making consistent, regular contributions into your portfolio through good and bad markets. If you have extra money available today to invest for mid to long-term objectives, then today’s depressed market values do present a buying opportunity. Note: there is still downside risk.
Consult your financial advisor to discuss the current opportunity relative to your personal objectives.
Mutual Funds and Segregated Funds provided by the Fund Companies are offered through Worldsource Financial Management Inc. Other Products and Services are offered through Cowan Insurance Group Ltd.