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Reacting to short-term market events by making dramatic portfolio changes makes it difficult to stay on course to achieve your investment goals.

While many investors feel they have to do something during a market downturn, history shows that the disciplined, patient investor will often be the one rewarded when markets return to their upward path. As the chart below shows, major declines have generally been followed by major recoveries.

Calendar return (%) Return in following year (%) Annualized return for next 5 years (%)
(Oil embargo)
-25.0 +18.5 +22.3
(Double-digit inflation)
-10.2 +5.5 +13.7
(Gulf war)
-14.8 +12.0 +10.8
(Tech wreck)
-12.4 +26.7 +18.3
(Financial crisis)
-33.0 +35.1 +11.9
(Eurozone debt crisis)
-8.7 +7.2 +8.3

Based on returns of the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index.

1. Reacting to a market decline by selling an investment guarantees a loss that otherwise only existed on paper.

2. Being out of the market can prevent you from participating in any gains when the market bounces back.

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Last updated on September 26, 2022

This has been provided by RBC Global Asset Management Inc. (RBC GAM) and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax, investment, financial or other advice and such information should not be relied upon for providing such advice. RBC GAM takes reasonable steps to provide up-to-date, accurate and reliable information, and believes the information to be so when provided. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable but RBC GAM and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any loss or damage suffered. RBC GAM reserves the right at any time and without notice to change, amend or cease publication of the information.