Overreaction leads to market turmoil
Over the last several weeks investors saw a 10% correction in the Canadian stock market, and a 9% correction in the U.S. Someone with a $100,000 portfolio invested in index funds could have just lost $10,000. Ouch. 😐 Is this market sell off justified or is it simply an overreaction to some recent bad economic news? First, let’s review what those news are.
- The Canadian dollar has dropped to a 5 year low
- Germany’s economy is weaker than expected
- The rest of Europe is still in a mess of unemployment and stagnation
- Last week the Athens Stock Exchange in Greece tumbled more than 6% in one trading day.
- ISIS is causing havoc in the Middle East
- Ebola fears
I currently own shares in the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.) It’s one of the largest companies in the country and has been around for over 180 years. Over the last month the price of this stock fell 8%. Instead of asking where the stock will go from here, we should instead be asking does all the recent bad news justify an 8% drop in value for one of the largest banks in Canada? My answer is absolutely not. 😛 It’s important to remember that when we buy a stock we are literally owning a part of that company. This means we, as stakeholders in Scotiabank, are still entitled to split the $6.5 billion profit that the company makes every year, regardless of how the price of BNS shares performs in the short term.
A lower loonie will likely spur economic growth and will not hurt Scotiabank’s profitability. Europe’s stalled economy is nothing new and Canadian banks don’t lend that much to Europeans anyway. The media has succeeded in sensationalizing the threat of Ebola in the U.S. Yes it’s a terrible disease, and there’s an outbreak in Africa. But Ebola will not hinder businesses in the U.S. and Canada from continuing to rake in profits. Literally more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola – both a terrible fate. 🙁
For the intrinsic value of Scotiabank to actually fall by 8% substantial circumstances would need to be met, such as major accounting fraud or a 10% national unemployment rate, that would legitimately jeopardize the company’s ability to make money. The recent news is relatively trivial so an 8% correction of BNS shares seems like an overreaction. Imagine selling our stocks now only to see the markets rebound next month and regain all its losses. 😐
Emotions can destroy wealth
There are many things in this world that we can’t control such as terrorism, diseases, government spending, and general ignorance. But it’s never a terrorist attack, a bankrupt nation overseas, or an economic deflation that has ever financially ruined lives in North America. But what can destroy people’s investments, ironically, is their own temperament and emotions, which are things that people do have control over. Investors who sell their stocks in the middle of a correction are prone to panic. They become afraid, even though their fear isn’t based on any fact or reason. This is why it’s important to understand what we’re invested in at all times. 🙂 If we understand that when we buy a stock, we are actually buying a business, then we wont become susceptible to fear and panic when the stock price fluctuates in the short term.
Random Useless Fact:
Hahaha it is funny 🙂
Good article dude!
You missed one important point for this recent correction – lower oil price.
Energy is one of the main income sources for Canada. Lower oil price, for sure, hurts Canadian economy.
But, it is a short term issue.
Lower oil price means more money in consumer pocket, so, people start to spend more money in buying car, travel more, buy unwanted things and rent storage to store all those useless items 😀 .
Sorry, but correction had nothing to do with “the correction”. It had everything to do with the normal gyrations of a healthy market, for which Canada appears to be. Markets ebb & flow as investors tend to move in herds… Someone pulled the trigger on an overly optimistic stock which causes someone to think hum, maybe I should protect my gains, and then someone else, etc… this is how herds move… it only takes 1 to start the ball rolling when things have been going overly well for so long… Lower oil… ha, have they got you fooled… No, wait, it was Ebola… no wait ISIS, no wait, Lenovo needed to shore up some cash for BB… The “Y” doesn’t really matter it’s the when and for how long that matters much more. for the market of the last 2 years, sell high (July) buy lower (mid last week), for the Canadian markets anyways. – Cheers.
Okay, bad English… Oil had nothing to do with the correction… Damn I need to re-read these things BEFORE I hit post LOL – Cheers.
Yeah, I should have added falling oil price to my list of recent bad news. The interesting thing is weaker oil prices mean a lower Canadian dollar which is good for exports, 🙂 but overall lower oil prices will still hurt the country’s economy on a net level. A big worry for public sector workers is that a substantial amount of government revenue comes from oil and gas royalties, especially in Alberta. Thankfully oil is denominated in U.S. dollars and the USD is currently looking pretty strong compared to other currencies.
The herb mentality is scary, but it can be a powerful force. It’s like lightly packed snow on a mountain side. The single catalyst that starts the ball rolling isn’t important. We don’t know which snow flake will be the cause of the avalanche. But we know that the avalanche is inevitable because too much stress has built up over time 🙂
When other cry you should buy! I have been adding quite a bit of index funds to my portfolio lately, and ready to add some more if it drops further.
Averaging down is the way to go Pauline 🙂 I plan to buy more stocks every time the markets drop by 10%, as long as I have the money.
The entire market could very well be overvalued. We only know from a relative standpoint the stock market has dropped in recent weeks, but we don’t know if the market was priced too high in the first place. Looking at historical data it does seem stocks have seen more attractive valuations in the past so you’re probably right 🙂
Great point about the recent weakness have been witnessing. By and large it does not change the day to day operations of a great business such as a BNS. In fact, in its long history how much crap did BNS witness? Famine, world wars, pandemics, etc. A great business will continue to be a great business through thick and thin. I added to my BNS in October and my TD as well. Thanks for sharing.
Both BNS and TD are solid businesses. 🙂 Interestingly from a P/E/ ratio perspective they are not that expensive compared to historical valuations.