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Shake your portfolio of summer doldrums

The major North American stock markets are continuing to show very fewsigns of life as the summer season quickly comes to an end.

The major North American stock markets are continuing to show very few signs of life as the summer season quickly comes to an end. The markets are still well off their high points for the year, which were reached back in the spring. However, with September just around the corner and many returning from their summer holidays, will these markets finally show positive signs of life? Should the change in the calendar from August to September be a call to action for investors to re-evaluate portfolios?

In my opinion, the summer months are notoriously slow for the broader markets. The volume at the major exchanges tends to be lower as many traders take their holidays. However, like many industries, I feel the investment world comes back to life again in September as the kids are back in school and people are back full time at their jobs. It almost seems to me like the day after Labour Day is a new year. Individuals begin to think about their finances and investments (rather than figuring out how to spend as they do in the summer) as many look towards the end of the year for tax purposes and the RRSP season.

Therefore, I believe September is a great time to go over your portfolio to make sure everything is still in sync with your investment objectives. After the volatility investors have just gone through, I think everyone should consider reviewing their portfolios for possible adjustments. The major North American stock markets have declined substantially from their spring highs, thus there may be some buying opportunities for those that have the cash to take advantage of it. Investors should have a game plan if this market falls further. Individuals should speak to their advisors to see what their strategy is for navigating through these turbulent times. If changes are necessary, now may be a good time to make them with many good investments on sale.

I believe the summer coming to a close should be a call to action for most investors. You don’t necessarily have to make changes to your portfolio but at least look over things and re-evaluate your strategy. I feel that if you are an investor that tries to follow the momentum each day in the stock market, you will always feel like you are one or two steps behind. In my opinion, to be a successful investor, one has to have a discipline and that discipline needs to be followed through good times and bad times. Those that change their way of doing things are often the ones that lose faith in the markets and never have any positives to speak of.

So as we head into September, which historically has been one of the poorer performing months of the year, my advice is to go over your portfolio strategy, stay with your game plan (if you don’t have an investment strategy you should see someone to create one) and be patient. I believe the market rewards patient investors over time.

If you have any questions regarding the above article or are looking for an investment advisor to help you with your portfolio, please visit my website at www.investmentadvisorgta.com. I will be glad to speak with you.

Allan Small is a Senior Investment Advisor with DWM Securities Inc., a DundeeWealth Inc. Company. This is not an official publication of DWM Securities Inc. The views expressed are those of the author alone and are not necessarily those of DWM Securities Inc.

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