We are still dealing with a volatile stock market and health crisis, and everyone, understandably, is feeling anxious and panicked. Even though we’re in an uncertain time, here are some of my tips for what to do based on some of the messages I’ve been getting recently.
First off, if you’re currently investing and feel like your job is fairly stable, then don’t do anything differently than what you’re currently doing. Continue to make your regular contributions to your investments to practice dollar-cost averaging and ride out this wave because the stock market will recover. And if you have some extra money laying around and feel comfortable doing so, you can even increase your investment contributions. If you want to try your hand at investing in individual stocks or ETFs, this is a good time to buy, however, it is still risky and you need to understand what you’re doing and the risk you’re taking on. The stock market will most likely continue to plummet, so as long as you plan on buying and holding for the long-term, you will eventually see positive returns in the future. Just make sure you’re only dedicating a small percentage of your portfolio to this type of investing.
Secondly, if you don’t feel safe at your job and there is the risk of being laid off or having your hours cut, this is the time to focus on your emergency fund. Cut back on other expenses so you can dedicate more funds to your emergency fund, and if necessary either pause or reduce your investment contributions if you don’t think you have enough cash saved up in the event that you lose your job.
Thirdly, if you want to take this time in self-isolation to increase your financial literacy, then read books and blogs, listen to other podcasts, and if you are interested, sign up to my Investing Foundations for Canadians online course.