Keep your emotions in check when investing

 

RRSP season is here and there will be a lot of attention on investing in the next month. We wanted to take this opportunity to point you to an investor study by BMO that created some buzz in the media a couple of months ago.

 

The study revealed that almost half (47%) of British Columbians say that emotion plays a role when they make investment decisions. This figure was 6% higher than the national average of 41%.

 

Additionally, 63% of British Columbians say they have made an investment decision solely on impulse, and 45% say they are not confident investors.

 

This is worrisome news from an investor protection point of view.

 

In our investor education materials and presentations to the public, we often warn people about the dangers of making an impulsive investment decision. Fraudsters often use pressure tactics to try to force you into making a quick decision. If a fraudster is successful, it usually results in a person losing some, or all, of their money.

 

We also know that fraudsters work hard to chip away at an individual’s confidence. They often attempt to confuse investors with vague or complex investment strategies. If scam artists are questioned, they will do their best to act as if they know more than you do, and make you feel like you do not know what you are talking about.

 

So how do you combat these tactics?

 

The first step is awareness – know the fraud warning signs. You will find them on the Investor Protection section of our website.

 

Next, you should have a financial plan in place. If you do not have a plan, you should seek out a registered financial advisor to help you create one. Staying on top of your portfolio and planning will help you become more confident about your investments.

 

Finally, working with an advisor will help you take the emotion out of investing. An advisor can help you draw up a long- and short-term plan to help you meet your financial goals and needs.