Calm Waters When Investment Seas Are choppy

Ray Snoei, Manulife Financial Planner, talks with Contributor Andrew Wagner-Chazalon about the importance of having someone you can trust watch over your investments when markets hit tough times

Investing can seem fairly simple when times are good: buy great stocks, hold them and watch as they spin off dividends and or increase in value.

But what do you do when the markets hit rough waters, and the stock declines or dividends are reduced?

“Very often, the strategy should stay the same – be patient and have confidence in the investments you own,” says Ray Snoei, an Investment Advisor and Certified Financial Planner with Manulife Securities in Orillia Ontario.

Studies show a good advisor will typically add about three per cent to the growth of a portfolio, and much of that value comes from reminding people of the quality of their investments and avoiding bad decisions to sell for the wrong reasons.

The pressure to buy and sell stocks, funds, or other investments can be intense, particularly for those who watch the financial news too closely. It seems there is always a stock or a sector that is rising faster than the one you’re invested in, or warning signs that your investments are going to drop, making it tempting to jump ship.


Trust Your Financial Planner With Your Investments


On top of that there are scores of people who claim to have an algorithm or a secret system that helps them predict the market, so they know exactly when to buy or sell.

“A series of tiny guesses by experts can actually increase your risk, not reduce it,” Ray says.

Even a long increase in stock value – like the period we had been enjoying until recently – can prompt people to think about selling.

Downturns are inevitable, and it takes a lot of trust to hold tight when they hit. That’s one of the reasons Ray invests a lot of time in meeting with clients early in the relationship.

“I don’t just want people to take my advice; I want them to know what they’re investing in and why,” he says.

He likes to meet with clients’ families and know who their lawyers and accountants are. A lot of the discussion will centre on the clients’ goals and vision for the rest of their lives, as well as questions of estate planning, and even preferred charities.

“The more my clients and I know and understand each other, the easier it is to have trust and remain calm in rough waters.”

To learn more about how Ray Snoei can assist with your financial planning needs – in good times, as well as uncertain times – visit his website at




Andrew Wagner-Chazalon is the managing editor and CEO of Dockside Publishing, and writes about the luxuries to be found in Muskoka and throughout Central Ontario.