With Canada and many other countries practicing physical distancing or participating in complete lockdowns because of the COVID-19 virus, thoughts are turning to what the world may look like after the restrictions have been lifted.
Many people are expressing a desire for life to return to how it was before the arrival of this public health emergency. However, it is likely that some aspects of our lives will have been irrevocably changed because of COVID-19.
Warren Buffett has a classic rule when it comes to market volatility:
“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”.
Investor anxiety normally tends to rise in step with market volatility because most people are concerned about trying to pick the best time to buy or sell. For instance, making investment decisions would be infinitely easier if there was complete certainty about when markets were headed for a bear market or a correction.
The recent market turmoil triggered by the COVID-19 virus (and its possible impact on economic activity) brings to mind some observations by legendary investor Warren Buffett. During his years of investing, he has famously stated that in the short-run (days, weeks, and months) the investment markets are a voting machine. People buy and sell investments based on price momentum, or their emotions regarding how comfortable they are with the price direction over a few days or weeks.
Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for a financial strategy. The following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:
Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.
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