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Making sense of a confusing investment market

The article was prepared by, who are running a FREE investor event from 14-16 November. Tap into the minds of 20+ industry experts as they share their expertise, uncover emerging trends, and dive-deep into a range of innovative investment opportunities.

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Key points

  • The fast pace of interest rate rises is causing investment challenges. 
  • InvestmentMarkets is hosting a FREE investor webinar from 14-16 November.  
  • Hear from 22 industry experts, plus an economic update by Russel Chessler, Head of Investments and Capital Markets at VanEck. 
Register now

When navigating confusion is the name of the game, successful investors aren’t just focused on riding out a challenging period, they’re also looking for opportunities amid the chaos.

The key to turning challenge into opportunity is a positive long-term mind-set combined with a disciplined investment process.

Rarely have these pillars of investment success been more relevant.

What’s going on?

The strange and contradictory moves we’re witnessing across various asset classes can be explained with four words: sharply higher interest rates. After a decade of interest rates sitting at 5,000-year lows (according to Bank of America), we’ve witnessed the fastest increase back to historical average interest rates in history.

It’s this fast pace of interest rate rises which is at the heart of current investment challenges. When central bankers change such a fundamental financial input so quickly, they’re shaking the very core of the financial system. And when investors are confused, some react by looking to financial theory and history for guidance, but most watch market movements for a steer as to what’s happening. Whilst this makes sense to an extent, it’s also at the heart of the current challenge.

There’s a behavioural bias called recency bias which drives investors to overemphasize recent experiences and information when estimating what’s coming next. During chaotic periods of realignment like this, confused investors are often making investment decisions based upon confusing and contradictory market signals. It’s a case of the blind leading the blind driven by recency bias in all its glory.

The key point for investors to be aware of at this juncture is that higher rates are here to stay. Rather than this being an abnormal situation as it may feel, it’s a return or a normalising to roughly the long-term average.

Markets will adapt

Once you accept that what’s happening right now is an abnormal response to a normalisation process, it’s easier to see how this is likely to play out. Over time, markets will adapt to higher interest rates as they always do. As that adaptation process plays out, the contradictions across various asset classes are likely to dissipate.

For example, if inflation remains higher for longer as interest rates and the oil price suggest is likely, at some point gold investors will need to price higher inflation into the gold market (which is bullish for gold).

The significant divergence between residential and commercial property prices is also unsustainable when underlying land values are trending in the same direction. And equity markets will eventually adapt to interest rates being higher for longer without acting like the world is ending.

Strategies to help ride out this confusing period

Who knows how long this adaptation process will take, but the beauty of investing for the long term is that you can view confusing periods like this as opportunities rather than challenges. 

With opportunity in mind, here are a few strategies which may help navigate these challenging markets… 

  • Dollar cost averaging. By investing more into your portfolio at regular intervals, you can take a lot of the stress out of investing. Dollar cost averaging is a simple strategy which allows investors to benefit from the long term upward trend in equities without worrying about all the short term uncertainty. Many successful investors have used this strategy to great effect through periods of confusion like this. 
  • Stop checking your stock prices on a daily basis. Checking share price movements too often is a self-sabotaging addiction which helps transform investing into a form of gambling rather than the long-term discipline it is. If you check your portfolio multiple times a day, it could be time to break this habit in the name of transforming yourself into a truly long term investor. 
  • Read a quality book on investing such as The Psychology of Money which delves into the psychology of investment success. By focusing on how other successful investors have generated their wealth, you’ll get better at thinking long term and viewing periods of market volatility as opportunities. 

This article was prepared, who are running a FREE investor webinar from 14-16 November. At this investor webinar, you'll have the exclusive opportunity to learn from 21 industry experts on a number of investment opportunities plus hear a quarterly economic update and Q+A from the Head of Investments and Capital Markets at VanEck, Russel Chesler. The speakers will be sharing their expertise, uncovering emerging trends, and talking about innovative investment strategies. Don't miss this unparalleled seminar to gain valuable insights, expand your network, and propel your financial success to new heights.

Register now

National Seniors Australia disclaimer: This content includes sponsored advertising which helps fund our important advocacy work. Please note that the information provided and opinions expressed in this advertising material are solely those of the advertiser. We encourage you to carefully evaluate and consider any advertised offering before making a purchase. Any transactions or interactions between you and the advertiser are solely between you and the advertiser.

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