Briana Brownell says you don’t need to jump to cash out your investments

Don’t rush to change your investment portfolio says Briana Brownell, the Founder and CEO of Pure Strategy Inc. With a looming recession hanging over retirement funds, Brownell says she can understand the panic, that’s why, she says you should take a moment before making a sudden decision.

If you want to make a change 

Brownell says there are two things to consider if you want to change your portfolio: your time horizon and your personal views on the elements in your portfolio. Brownell says to answer the first question you need to ask yourself when you want to use that money. She says most people use those investments for their retirement. “If you’re really looking at a longer time horizon then you probably want to stick with investing,” she suggests.

To answer the second question, Brownell says you need to ask yourself if you still believe in the businesses you’ve invested in. “Now that we’re looking into a new normal due to COVID-19, do you still believe that the companies you’ve invested in will be successful in regard to the next 10 or 20 years?” she asks.

Should we run to invest in Zoom or Netflix?

Brownell cautions against jumping on the first bandwagon. She says the current investment environment accelerates trends that were already there, like remote work. “Looking at it in that long-term way is much better than trying to jump on things in a short-term play,” Brownell adds these decisions come back to those first two questions. She points out short-term investments are a viable way to make, or lose, money. She would call that trading instead of investing.

Are there any specific industries we should start watching?

Brownell says the tech sector will likely lead the charge on current trends, saying that’s a good place to start. She notes societal and cultural changes are often undervalued in investment portfolios. She suggests looking at politics, regulatory bodies and the environment. “All of these things are changing the way that our society and our culture functions,” she says. Brownell says a proactive investor looks for signs that point to the way the world may change.

Protect yourself from scams 

Brownell says protecting yourself comes down to being vigilant in terms of who you are providing with your personal information. “When people are afraid, it makes it much worse,” she explains, saying it’s easy to play on emotions during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Brownell says it’s important not to pass on any personal details or money unless you can confirm the identity of that person. She says not to arbitrarily give away things like banking account information or social insurance numbers.

You can start investing now 

“It all comes back to what your goals are for your investments,” she says. Brownell says you need to start building out a portfolio the serves you. It’s also important to understand the risk associated with some types of investments. “If you’re going to be aggressive with your risk, you need to realize some years, some months, you’re going to have losses,” Brownell explains. She says you need to understand your own risk tolerance. “Not everyone is an aggressive investor, and not everyone should be,” she adds.

Investing in a potential recession 

Brownell says there are traditional areas that will do well in a recession, but, she adds, every recession is different. She says things like gold have done well in the past, but Brownell says gold has gone up in tandem with the stock market. “If you’re looking at something in the long-term, I think looking at trends that you will believe in the next 10 or 20 years is important now,” she says.

You need to believe in your portfolio

Brownell says if you still believe in all the elements making up your portfolio, you should find ways to contribute, even during difficult times. “People are skittish about the stock market,” Brownell says. She adds that if you miss contributing during tough times, you could miss out on gains down the line. “I think everyone should think about what their goals are,” she says.

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