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During market downturns the most frequent info that is shared by investment houses is statistics that show how markets usually recover very well after a market crash. They then encourage you to leave your investment untouched, and just ride the wave.

Even though there might be truth to this, I have a slight problem with this advice, especially the advice to leave your investment untouched. The advice is basically to throw any common sense out the window.

I want to ask a few common-sense questions that should also guide us when thinking about investments:

  1. Do you think that there will be market volatility for the next 6 – 12 months?
    Hopefully you answered a big fat YES. Therefore, if you are a cautious investor it would be wise to align your portfolio in such a way. As the world economy starts to recover you can take on some additional risk in your portfolio. By following this approach, you will protect your capital, as we believe that the potential downside is much more than the potential upside.
  2. Which sectors will be severely negatively impacted worldwide?
    These are sectors like the tourism industry, property markets, most retailers, oil sectors and manufacturing sectors just to name a few. Do you still want exposure to these sectors?
  3. Which sectors will benefit?
    The technology sector, healthcare sector, online sellers are some of the sectors that has benefited and will continue to benefit from this pandemic. Make sure you get enough exposure to these markets
  4. Which country will recover the fastest?

Definitely not South Africa. Warren Buffet says; “Never bet against America”, and who am I to disagree. They are the world’s largest economy, there economy was pumping before this pandemic, and will recover easier than other countries. South Africa on the other hand is looking down the barrel of a gun.

Do you still want to leave your investment portfolio unchanged?
I definitely do not advocate to reinvent the wheel, but to start using your common sense to make a few subtle changes with the above in mind.

Heinrich Coomans | CA(SA) | CFP ® is a director at Affluence Group and specialises in Investments, Personal and Business Insurance. For any questions please contact him at heinrich@afgroup.co.za