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Should I Move My Investments When They’re Down? – Boomer & Echo



Recent stock and bond market turmoil has many investors thinking about making changes to their portfolios. 

Indeed, mutual fund investors may be wondering whether it’s the right time to switch from their expensive financial advisor to a low-cost portfolio of index funds using a robo advisor or online brokerage. DIY investors may be pondering changes to their investment strategy.

On the one hand, the market downturn presents a great opportunity to capitalize on buying investments “on sale” and can potentially take advantage of crystallizing a capital loss in taxable accounts.

On the other hand, you don’t want to panic-sell your existing investments and take a loss. Also, sitting in cash and waiting for the market to rebound could mean buying back in at a higher price. 

So, should you move your investments, make a change, or stay put until the market rebounds?

Take a Breath

To be clear, investors shouldn’t change their investment strategy based on current market conditions. We know that investment risk means there’s a chance your portfolio can lose value in any given day, week, month, or even year. We also know, historically, that markets have twice as many ‘up’ years as they have ‘down’ years.

What we don’t know is in which order or sequence these events will occur. So that means staying the course and staying invested will give investors the best chance at capturing those up days and achieving a favourable outcome (i.e. making money).

Evaluate Your Portfolio

We also know that investors are emotional and prone to market timing, performance chasing, panic selling, and other bad behaviours that are hard-wired into our brains.

The past decade of strong returns has made us overconfident of our capacity for risk and led many investors to chase speculative returns from cryptocurrency, cannabis, disruptive technology, and other exploding fads. It has led us to invest short-term money that may have been better off in the safety of a GIC or high interest savings account. And, it has fooled us into believing that investment fees don’t matter, as long as the performance is strong.

The first thing investors need to do is take a hard look at their existing investments and determine if they still make sense. In other words, do your investments match your risk tolerance, your time horizon, and provide you with proper diversification? Are you paying an advisor to actively beat the market, and, if so, how did their performance stack up?

If you already have a sensibly constructed portfolio of index funds or ETFs, then it’s probably best to just hang on and weather the storm. That’s right – do nothing!

The rest of this article is aimed at investors who may need to make a portfolio change.

Reframe Your Thinking

Many investors find that a market downturn like we’ve recently experienced is an opportune time to change investment strategies. Maybe your advisor’s promise to ‘protect your downside’ didn’t pan out as your portfolio plunged in value. Perhaps your stock picking prowess wasn’t as good as you’d hoped. Or, you finally realize the old adage that nobody cares more about your money than you do.

Whatever the catalyst, you need to know if now is the right time to make a switch. And, if it is, where to move your money and how to invest it going forward.

First of all, forget the notion of selling low and buying high. Changing investment strategies simply means moving your already invested money into either a more risk-appropriate investment or to one with a higher expected return (due to lower fees or broader diversification).

I went through this myself during the last oil price collapse in 2015. At the time I held 20+ Canadian dividend paying stocks, and the handful that were in the energy sector got hammered and lost 30-50% of their value.

When I made the decision to switch to index investing, I had to sell all of my individual holdings, including the ones that were down in value. Most investors have the mindset to want to hold onto their losing investments until they recover. But I had to reframe it and think of my individual stock holdings as one large portfolio ($100,000 at the time). I was moving that $100,000 from 20 ‘riskier’ Canadian individual stocks to a more diversified two-ETF solution that held many thousands of stocks around the globe.

So, you’ll want to think about your portfolio as a whole lump sum instead of a collection of individual parts. You can move that lump sum to another platform, be it a robo advisor or self-directed discount brokerage. All the while you’re going to remain invested – outside of potentially a day or two when you sell your existing holdings and set up your new portfolio.

DIY vs. Robo: Decide on the Platform

Are you a hands-on investor who wants to take control of your investments and slash your fees to the bone?

Great, you’re a prime candidate to switch to a self-directed online brokerage. In the name of simplicity, I’d recommend one of the following three options:

  1. If you bank at one of Canada’s big banks (like TD or RBC) then just open an account at their discount brokerage arm.
  2. If your banking is scattered around at different places, or you bank at a credit union without a discount brokerage arm, consider opening an account at Questrade.
  3. And, if you’re just starting out and have basic investing needs such contributing regularly to an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered account, then consider using Wealthsimple Trade.

But, maybe you find the idea of DIY investing is a bit intimidating. In that case you’ll want to consider a robo advisor.

With a robo advisor, you’ll get a hands-off experience where all you need to do is fund the account and contribute regularly. The robo advisor handles the rest, from setting up a portfolio of index ETFs, to automatically monitoring and rebalancing your investments. They can even automate withdrawals for retirees.

Building Your Portfolio

Investors who’ve chosen the robo advisor path need not worry about this section. When you open an account with a robo advisor like Wealthsimple you’ll answer some basic questions around your risk tolerance, experience, and investing time horizon. Based on those answers, you’ll get placed in a diversified portfolio of stock and bond ETFs.

For those who’ve chosen the DIY investing path, the investment choices are much more difficult. There are so many stocks and ETFs to choose from that it’s enough to confuse even the most knowledgable investors.

To make things simple, you should probably stick with a single asset allocation ETF. These all-in-one solutions hold a pre-determined mix of Canadian, US, international and emerging market stocks, plus Canadian, US, and international bonds. They automatically rebalances this mix when markets move up and down, so you don’t have to worry about tinkering with your portfolio.

Related: The Best ETFs and Model Portfolios for Canadians

You should avoid individual stocks as a general rule unless you simply cannot help scratching your stock picking itch, in which case you should limit individual stocks to a small portion (say 5%) of your portfolio.

The same goes for riskier ETFs that invest in specific sectors like oil & gas, cannabis, or biotech, or ones that trade in commodities and futures. And, please, steer clear of any ETF that has “Triple leveraged Bull/Bear” in the title.

It’s tempting to look at stocks or sectors that have been badly beaten up during the latest market turmoil, but these investments can be highly speculative and risky – they should not be the foundation on which your investment strategy is made.

Final Thoughts

The first half of 2022 was one of the worst six-month periods in history for stock and bond investors. Stocks and bonds have since rebounded, but plenty of economic certainty remains. 

Investors may still be feeling angst about their portfolios. The ones who didn’t panic and stayed the course have likely seen their portfolios recover some losses. Passive index investors know they should accept the ups-and-downs of the market and not abandon their strategy as economic or market conditions change.

But the latest crash also may have also exposed the flaws in our portfolios. Our allocation to stocks may have been too high after years of strong returns. Many more have strayed into speculative investments instead of sticking with core broad-based indexes. New investors might have put short-term money (like for a house down payment) into the market expecting a quick profit. Still, others are paying too high of fees for their managed portfolio of investments.

For those investors, now is as good a time as any to re-evaluate your portfolio and consider changing investment strategies.

Just remember that changing approaches does not mean market timing or selling low and buying high. You’re simply moving your already invested money into a potentially more risk-appropriate, lower cost, and globally diversified investment portfolio with a robo advisor or self-directed online brokerage.

Have you moved your investments or changed strategies in 2022? Let me know in the comments.

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Investment regulator imposed $14M in enforcement penalties in latest fiscal year



TORONTO — Canada’s investment product regulator says it imposed more than $14 million in fines and other financial enforcements in its last fiscal year.

The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) says the total also includes imposed costs and the forced return of ill-gotten profits.

The regulator says it also ordered suspensions and permanent prohibitions in a significant proportion of proceedings against individuals.

Enforcement efforts included a $2 million fine against Fortrade Canada for recommending a high-risk product to unsophisticated retail clients, and a $1.7 million fine and permanent ban on securities-related business against Paul Walker for a range of misconduct including soliciting more than $1.5 million in investments for an outside business activity.

CIRO was created at the start of 2023 through a combination of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

The new self-regulatory organization says it is focused on harmonizing its regulatory approach to create more consistency and timeliness with enforcement action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press



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Conditions on Simandou investment now satisfied



LONDON, July 15, 2024–(BUSINESS WIRE)–All conditions have now been satisfied for Rio Tinto’s investment to develop the Simandou high-grade iron ore deposit in Guinea, including the completion of necessary Guinean and Chinese regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to complete during the week of 15 July 2024.

Along with the recent approval by the Board of Simfer1, this allows Simfer to invest in and fund its share of co-developed rail and port infrastructure being progressed in partnership with Winning Consortium Simandou2 (WCS), Baowu and the Republic of Guinea.

More than 600 kilometres of new multi-use trans-Guinean railway together with port facilities will allow the export of up to 120 million tonnes per year of mined iron ore by Simfer and WCS from their respective Simandou mining concessions in the southeast of the country3. Together, this will be the largest greenfield integrated mine and infrastructure investment in Africa.

Rio Tinto Executive Committee lead for Guinea and Copper Chief Executive Bold Baatar said: “We thank the Government of Guinea, Chinalco, Baowu and WCS for their partnership in reaching this milestone towards developing the world class Simandou project.

“Simandou will deliver a significant new source of high-grade iron ore that will strengthen Rio Tinto’s portfolio for the decarbonisation of the steel industry, along with trans-Guinean rail and port infrastructure that can make a significant contribution to the country’s economic development.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Simfer will acquire a participation in the WCS project companies constructing rail and port infrastructure, commit to perform a portion of the construction works itself and commit to funding its share of the overall co-developed infrastructure cost, in an aggregate amount of approximately $6.5 billion (Rio Tinto share approximately $3.5 billion)4.

Chalco Iron Ore Holdings Ltd (CIOH) has now paid its share of capital expenditures incurred or required by Simfer to progress critical works up to completion. A first payment of approximately $410 million, for expenditures until the end of 2023, was made on 28 June 2024, and a second payment of approximately $575 million, for 2024 expenditures, was made on 11 July 2024. These amounts settle all expenditures incurred up to date.

The co-developed infrastructure capacity and associated cost will be shared equally between Simfer, which will develop, own and operate a 60 million tonne per year5 mine in blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou Project, and WCS, which is developing blocks 1 and 2.

Under the co-development arrangement, Simfer and WCS will deliver separate infrastructure scopes to leverage expertise. Simfer will construct the approximately 70 kilometre Simfer spur rail line and a 60 million tonne per year transhipment vessel (TSV) port, while WCS will construct the dual track approximately 536 kilometre main rail line, the approximately 16 kilometre WCS spur rail line and a 60 million tonne per year barge port.

Once complete, all co-developed infrastructure and rolling stock will be transferred to and operated by the Compagnie du Transguinéen (CTG) joint venture, in which Simfer and WCS each hold a 42.5% equity stake and the Guinean State a 15% equity stake6.

First production from the Simfer mine is expected in 2025, ramping up over 30 months to an annualised capacity of 60 million tonnes per year5 (27 million tonnes Rio Tinto share). The mine will initially deliver a single fines product before transitioning to a dual fines product of blast furnace and direct reduction ready ore.

Simfer’s capital funding requirement for the Simandou project as a whole is estimated to be approximately $11.6 billion, of which Rio Tinto’s share is approximately $6.2 billion, broken down as follows.

US dollars in billions (nominal terms) Simfer


  Rio Tinto
Mine and TSVs, owned and operated by Simfer
Development of an initial 60Mt/a mine at Simandou South (blocks 3 & 4), to be constructed by Simfer $5.1 $2.7
Co-developed infrastructure, owned and operated by CTG once complete
Simfer scope (funded 100% by Simfer during construction)

Rail: a 70 km rail-spur from Simfer mine to the mainline, including rolling stock
Port: construction of a 60Mt/a TSV port

$3.5 $1.9
WCS scope (funded 34% by Simfer during construction)

Port and rail infrastructure including an approximately 552 km trans-Guinean heavy haul rail system, comprised of a 536 km mainline and a 16 km WCS rail spur

$3.0 $1.6
Total capital expenditure (nominal terms) $11.6 $6.27

Rio Tinto’s share of expected capital investment remaining to be spent from 1 January 2024 is to be $5.7 billion. Rio Tinto’s expected funding requirements for 2024 and 2025 are included in its share of capital investment guidance for this period, with project funding expected to extend beyond this timeframe.

Further details on the Simandou project can be found in the 2023 Investor Seminar presentation at

As Chinalco, Baowu, China Rail Construction Corporation and China Harbour Engineering Company are Chinese state-owned entities, and given Chinalco indirectly holds 11.2% of shares in the Rio Tinto Group, they, and WCS, may be considered to be associates of a related party of Rio Tinto for the purpose of the UK Listing Rules. Rio Tinto’s funding commitment pursuant to the infrastructure co-development arrangement (Rio Tinto share $3.5bn) is a smaller related party transaction for the purposes of Listing Rule 11.1.10R and this announcement is, therefore, made in accordance with Listing Rule 11.1.10R(2)(c).

1 Approval has been granted by the Board of Simfer Jersey Limited, a joint venture between the Rio Tinto Group (53%) and Chalco Iron Ore Holdings Ltd (CIOH) (47%), a Chinalco-led joint venture of leading Chinese SOEs (Chinalco (75%), Baowu (20%), China Rail Construction Corporation (2.5%) and China Harbour Engineering Company (2.5%)). Simfer Infraco Guinée S.A.U. will deliver Simfer Jersey’s scope of the co-developed rail and port infrastructure, and is, on the date of this notice, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Simfer Jersey Limited, but will be co-owned by the Guinean State (15%) after closing of the co-development arrangements. Simfer S.A. is the holder of the mining concession covering Simandou Blocks 3 & 4, and is owned by the Guinean State (15%) and Simfer Jersey Limited (85%).
2 WCS is the holder of Simandou North Blocks 1 & 2 (with the Government of Guinea holding a 15% interest in the mining vehicle and WCS holding 85%) and associated infrastructure. WCS was originally held by WCS Holdings, a consortium of Singaporean company, Winning International Group (50%) and Weiqiao Aluminium (part of the China Hongqiao Group) (50%). On 19 June 2024, Baowu Resources completed the acquisition of a 49% share of WCS mine and infrastructure projects with WCS Holdings holding the remaining 51%. In the case of the mine, Baowu also has an option to increase to 51% during operations. After Closing, Simfer will hold 34% of the shares in the WCS infrastructure entities during construction with WCS holding the remaining 66%.
3 WCS holds the mining concession for Blocks 1 and 2, while Simfer S.A. holds the mining concession for blocks 3 and 4. Simfer and WCS will independently develop their mines.
4 A true-up mechanism will apply between Simfer and WCS to equalise most of their costs of constructing the co-developed rail and port infrastructure. The figures shown here are pre-equalisation.
5 The estimated annualised capacity of approximately 60 million dry tonnes per annum iron ore for the Simandou life of mine schedule was previously reported in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange dated 6 December 2023 titled “Simandou iron ore project update“. Rio Tinto confirms that all material assumptions underpinning that production target continue to apply and have not materially changed.
6 Ownership of the rail and port infrastructure will transfer from CTG to the Guinean State after a 35 year Operations Period, with Simfer retaining access rights on a non-discriminatory basis and at least equivalent to all Third Party Users.
7 By the end of 2023, Rio Tinto spent $0.5 billion (Rio Tinto share) to progress critical path works. Rio Tinto’s share of expected capital investment remaining to be spent from 1 January 2024 was $5.7 billion.

This announcement is authorised for release to the market by Andy Hodges, Rio Tinto’s Group Company Secretary.

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Rio Tinto plc
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Category: Simandou



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BlackRock Pulls Ad Featuring Trump Rally Shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks



A screengrab of Thomas Crooks from the BlackRock ad that aired in 2022.

Thomas Matthew Crooks, the 20-year-old who shot at former president Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania, had briefly appeared in a 2022 advertisement for BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest money manager.

The ad, filmed at the Bethel Park High School in Pennsylvania, featured Crooks and several other unpaid students in the background, said the investment giant in a statement. Crooks graduated from the school in 2022.

BlackRock said it has pulled the ad but the video will be available to authorities. The ad, however, is being widely shared by social media users.

“The assassination attempt on former President Trump is abhorrent. We’re thankful former President Trump wasn’t seriously injured, and thinking about all the innocent bystanders and victims of this awful act, especially the person who was killed,” the company added in its statement.

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BlackRock, whose earnings figures are expected today, has faced scrutiny after shooting incidents since some of its index funds own shares in gunmakers.

Trump Assassination Attempt

Trump survived an assassination attempt on Saturday after a gunman opened fire at him at a rally in Pennsylvania ahead of the Presidential elections. The attack left him with a bloodied face as the former president said the bullet pierced his “upper part of right ear”.

Latest and Breaking News on NDTV

A bystander died in the attack while shielding his family and Crooks – a registered Republican – was shot dead by a Secret Service sniper.

Trump, whose Republican candidature will be finalised today, shared a message of unity after the attack and said Americans must not allow “evil to win”. “It was God alone who prevented the unthinkable from happening,” he said on social media.

Biden, too, appealed to the nation to “lower the political temperature” in a rare Oval Office address. “Politics must never be a literal battlefield, God forbid a killing field,” he said.

The US markets are expecting Trump trades to gain momentum after the attack. It has already been pinning hopes for the return of Republicans, especially after Biden’s poor performance in last month’s debate. Those trades are likely to take deeper hold as the attack sparks a wave of sympathy and support for Trump.


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