Thursday, February 18, 2016 



Relieving Money Worries

Have no fear, Michelle's advice is here  

Michelle Macdonald, First West Credit Union, Langley/Handout photo Lisa Free


t’s hard to ignore the financial headlines declaring 2016 to be the worst ever start to a year for the stock market. Plummeting prices have been worrisome for many investors and have left them wondering what they should do when there’s a sharp downturn in the markets.


According to Lisa Free, Investment Advisor at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, there is no need to panic. In fact, for a savvy and calm investor, the recent pull back can present some great opportunities.


Check in with your advisor

“In a market like this, it is critical to be in touch with your financial advisor,” says Free. “It’s a great time to revisit your goals and go over your financial plan to ensure you’re on track and make any necessary adjustments. Your portfolio needs to be well invested and well diversified which will help you weather the ups and downs of the market. During times of volatility some people may find that their risk tolerance isn’t as high as they thought. If this is the case, a re-assessment can be done and changes can be made to lower your overall risk.


“Connecting with your financial advisor can also help provide you with peace of mind,” continues Free. “It’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalized headlines, but what you’re seeing in the news is not necessarily reflective of what’s happening in your portfolio. Some of my clients come in fearing the worst and are surprised to see that their portfolios have actually increased over the past year.”


Don’t panic

When it comes to personal finances, it’s easy for emotions to take over and harder to sit back and think rationally.


“As a financial advisor, it’s my job to worry about the markets and to help my clients make wise decisions by taking the emotion out of investing,” says Free. “To be successful, you need to keep the long-term in mind and realize that downturns such as the one we are currently experiencing are part of normal cyclical market activity. In the grand scheme of things, this will be just a blip on the radar.”


Take advantage of the opportunity

We all know that it’s smart to buy low and sell high, although executing on that principle may not be so easy. According to Free, now is a great time to remind yourself of this principle and be aware that there may be some great buying opportunities.


“Anytime you have a depressed market is a great time to buy,” says Free. “Some companies and funds are undervalued and oversold—talk to your financial advisor and take advantage of those opportunities. Buying them now at bargain prices can provide you with great value in the long term, helping you reach your goals sooner.”


About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 40 insurance offices throughout the province, Envision Financial brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. Visit
for more information.


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