Investing in Troubled Times



Due to the precautions being taken by public health and McGill university officials, all classes, workshops, and webinars, have been suspended between March 13th and March 27th. As a result, the four workshops scheduled during this two-week period will be rescheduled as webinars at a future date.

The last three workshops in the series, namely: Housing I, Housing II, and Investment Properties will be converted to webinars and held at the originally-scheduled time.

Given that this situation is very fluid, updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

If you have any questions, make sure to get in touch with me (Alex) in the usual way.

For those that are interested in learning more about Personal Finance in the meantime, note that I will continue to host my usual YouTube Livestreams on Thursdays 3:00-4:00PM EDT. These are not part of the McGill curriculum and DO NOT count for any credit.

While COVID-19 needs to be taken seriously and everyone should follow the guidelines put in place with regards to social distancing, washing your hands, etc, it is also important to keep things in perspective. Some store shelves may be empty right now but the situation should fix itself over the coming days as the panic-buying subsides and people fill up their pantries with…toilet paper…apparently.

Yes, the numbers will get worse before they get better; do expect the number of cases to climb daily for at least the next month or so. Markets will be all over the place in the short- and potentially medium-term. On some days (like Friday, March 13th) some indexes may go up by close to double-digits, while on other days (like today, March 16th) prices will fall. Nobody knows the final outcome of this in terms of how many people will be affected and to what extent various industries will see their profits drop. Whenever there is some positive news, markets climb up; add a bit of negative data, and everything falls back down. This will sort itself out over the next few months to a year… roughly.

Remember: Investing is a long-term game. That’s why most experts recommend to have a time horizon of ideally at least 5 years: To ride out bad times (like the next few weeks) in the markets and broader economy.

I’ve been getting dozens of e-mails from both current and former students over the weekend. I have been responding to everyone as I’m going through the many messages received. If you are worried about your savings, investments, or the breakdown of society as we know it, feel free to get in touch with me. While I’m not a licensed financial advisor and can’t give you financial advice, I can provide you with some resources to put things into perspective. This is not the first time that the markets have crashed substantially, nor will it be the last. Life, and markets, always find a way to move on.