Investing: When There’s Too Much Media Noise

2018-05-31

Most investors know that markets can be volatile – it’s part of a natural cycle and in many ways, it’s necessary. The occasional market drop normally results in healthy price corrections, great buying opportunities, and should not cause investor fear or panic. That said, outside influences can make it difficult to stay calm and “turn a deaf ear”. When the media presents fear instead of facts, it creates an unrealistic view of the markets and clouds the truth. When emotions are removed from the markets, it’s clear that things are far more stable than headlines convey.

For around twenty years, markets are actually the least volatile they’ve been1. In spite of this fact, it’s been reported that investor fear is increasing2, thanks largely to news reports that paint an alarming picture. There are incessant headlines about volatility, risk and how the market is in for “a rough ride”. The news often refers back to the financial crisis of 2008, comparing today’s conditions to the situation leading up to that crisis. This portrayal isn’t accurate or even fair. Looking at the markets through a factual, expert lens, one can see there’s much to feel good about. Corporate profits, interest rates, valuations, and sentiment – at home and abroad – are all contributing to a stable market3. So it’s quite important to not be swayed by too much media noise.

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The Negative Effects of Multitasking

2018-05-10

It’s a phrase that often appears on a job seeker’s resume: ‘excellent multitasker’. As so many of us list it among our professional skills, the ability to multitask is thought to be an asset. But what if tackling several tasks at once not only makes us less effective, it actually has a negative effect on cognitive function? New research has indicated that this may be true.

Business owners, professionals and parents are just a few examples of people who are wired to “do it all” – and often, this means doing it all at once. The modern world has created an expectation that adults be available by mobile phone, email or text message at any given moment. An article in The Guardian notes that in previous decades, it was normal to be unreachable at times throughout the day – sometimes, you were away from your home or office and would have to reply to messages later. Now, professionals may answer their phones mid-meeting to tell the caller they’re “in a meeting” – essentially asking forgiveness for not being immediately available. This is something that would have been unheard of in a professional setting decades ago. As the article notes, technology and the subsequent work culture “has created an implicit expectation that you should be able to reach someone when it is convenient for you, regardless of whether it is convenient for them.”1

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Health and Wealth: Why Employee Financial Wellness Should Matter to Business Owners

2018-04-12

It takes a lot of different elements to create a successful business, but there is one constant across all industries: the importance of human talent. Employees say a lot about a business and have plenty of influence on the success or failure of projects. Knowing this, many companies have instituted programs to support the physical and mental health of their staff. It’s an excellent concept that can have a positive impact on the lives of employees, subsequently creating a stronger team at work.

While this attention to wellness is becoming commonplace, one element still seems to be neglected is the financial wellness of employees. A recent study of 2400 Canadians indicated that 45% of employees felt like they had a low level of financial well-being. Of that 45%, nearly half felt that financial stress distracted them at work.1 Furthermore, an overwhelming 93% of Canadians felt that financial stress could affect work and productivity. This is arguably true, as 70% of disability costs are associated with mental health issues and related illnesses.2

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The Marijuana Industry

2018-04-10

The marijuana industry had a stellar year of growth in 2017, so much so in fact that it might now be causing investors to have irrational expectations with regards to its potential to keep delivering stellar returns for the next twelve months. Although this sector could very well continue to experience phenomenal upside in 2018, it is important to keep in mind that this is a new industry whose growth expectations are based on a multitude on uncertainties. Below are some facts to make sense of this still green opportunity.

(all sources have been quoted with hyperlinks for further reading)

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