Stay the course and remain calm. That’s the message from the Portfolio Management Association of Canada’s membership on how to best cope with current market volatility and global economic troubles.

The association recently polled its members—approximately 105 investment management firms representing more than $800 billion in assets under management—on the issues and challenges and opportunities they’re facing as an industry  and the key messages they’re sharing with investors during these troubled economic times.

“The key message going to investors is to keep with a long-term plan and not to panic. It’s not a time for quick changes to investment decisions or investment strategies,” said Katie Walmsley, president of PMAC. “There’s a lot of focus on the big picture—Europe, Greece—but when portfolio managers are talking to their clients, it’s about them, it’s about their objectives, it’s about their risk profile.”

As well, there is a silver lining to the recent dark cloud of volatility, said Walmsley. “I think that if there’s a positive thing happening right now, it’s that there’s a lot of dialogue happening. Investors are talking to their investment managers. The ones that are looking for a change are doing a lot of due diligence. They’re asking a lot of questions, doing a lot of research.”

“Having come through the last three, four years of market turmoil, investors are getting a much better sense of their tolerance for risk, and that’s enabled managers to have a discussion about the right structure for [clients],” said Robert Hill, managing director and president of Coleford Investment Management Ltd. and chair of PMAC’s board of directors.

“Having the right mix of investments is key, and ultimately, it’ll drive investment performance over the long run. The worst thing you can do as an investor is turn a temporary loss into a permanent loss. Setting realistic, long-term objectives and sticking to the plan is probably the best advice for anyone.”

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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