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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Apr 2, 2020

In today’s episode, we take a less analytical position on the current situation to focus more on the behavioral side of things. Joining us are two returning guests, Dr. Moira Somers and Dave Goetsch, who share their unique perspectives in a very real and at times refreshingly comical conversation about how people could most beneficially respond to this moment in time. Dave speaks of his personal experience going from panicky investor to getting a feel for the broad concept of index investing, and the idea that learning not to worry about the market on a day to day basis can be applied to life more generally. Dr. Somers provides some psychological background to these different strategies for tolerating stress. She shares her insights about a typical response to crises called amygdala hijack and how two main personality types called ‘the monitor’ and ‘the blunter’ deal with stress. We speak about some more healthy strategies for coping, with banding together and communicating featuring as strong solutions that allow us to clear our heads and problem solve more creatively. The conversation also covers the idea that this moment can be taken as a time to reflect, and even to double down on skills that aren’t necessarily investment-related but which can help ensure financial stability in the future. Toward the end of the episode, we look at how financial advisors could be the most useful to their clients right now and hear a strong argument for a strategy that combines experience-based advice with a more important trait: a high EQ. Tune into today’s episode to find out how you can gain more of a bird's eye view of your version of the current situation.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Amygdala hijack: Moira’s thoughts on psychological responses to COVID-19. [0:03:33.8]
  • Dave’s thoughts on mitigating valid worry using his understanding of markets. [0:05:54.4]
  • Learning not to be emotionally connected to the minutiae of the crisis. [0:13:25.0]
  • Non-investment related skills that can strengthen our financial lives. [0:14:56.1]
  • Adjusting models and using them to gain insights rather than predict the future. [0:17:04.9]
  • Tools Dave has acquired to deal with market fluctuation since 2008. [0:20:40.2]
  • Beating myopic loss aversion by planning your response to situations ahead. [0:24:00.3]
  • Ways of toggling between contrasting feelings about the present and future. [0:29:30.5]
  • Being reflective about one’s current experience rather than reactive. [0:33:07.1]
  • The best predictor of getting through stress: social support. [0:33:59.2]
  • A four-step process to effective decision-making defined by the Heath brothers. [0:37:07.2]
  • Banding together and speaking about our difficulties to find creative solutions. [0:41:04.2]
  • Buffering emotions through shopping and how shoppers are coping now. [0:43:30.2]
  • Changes in workplace customs and industry trajectories sped up by the crisis. [0:44:32.2]
  • The contours of a healthy response to inner and outer turbulence. [0:48:24.2]
  • What financial advisors can do to help their clients right now: listen to them. [0:53:45.2]
  • High EQs and which Big Bang Theory character would be good to talk to now. [0:58:33.2]
  • Where folks who have no financial advisor might turn for help. [1:02:45.2]
  • How spouses in charge of finances could communicate with their partner. [1:04:10.2]
  • Financial advisors as punching bags or mediators between couples. [1:07:09.2]
  • How to deal with communicating realites to kids as a single parent. [1:08:40.2]