FILE – A Toronto Stock Exchange ticker is seen at The Exchange Tower in Toronto on Thursday, August 18 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Think before you buy or sell stocks amid COVID-19 market turmoil, B.C. professor urges

The stock market plunged and shot back up within 48 hours

Despite the drop in stock market prices Monday, one B.C. economist is saying this isn’t the time to go all-in.

Andrey Pavlov, a finance professor at Simon Fraser University, said although COVID-19 has had a marked effect on world markets, it won’t last long.

“Clearly, one way or another we’re going to get a handle on that virus,” Pavlov said.

“The world economy was doing quite well before the virus and I expect whatever factors were playing into that will kick in again after.”

Stocks went into a steep slide Monday on Wall Street as a combination of coronavirus fears and a crash in oil prices spread alarm through the market, triggering the first automatic halt in trading in over two decades to let investors catch their breath. The Toronto Stock Exchange posted its biggest one-day loss since 1987, although it surged 400 points in early trading Tuesday.

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected more than 80 people across Canada and killed one care home resident in B.C. Worldwide, there have been more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases, the majority of them in China, where the outbreak began.

VIDEO: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

The drops spurred worries among people invested in the stock market, but Pavlov said the advice remains the same this time around as it does for any market plunge: wait it out.

“You do not sell when the market is down, like right now, [because] markets stand to recover,” Pavlov said.

He said most people invested in the stock market have at least a few years before they will need that money, while people staring down retirement should not be so heavily invested to begin with because they don’t have time to wait out fluctuations.

And it’s not all bad news for the market.

“Bonds have done incredibly well, so a balanced portfolio that is designed to serve you for the longterm… you will experience losses, but they won’t be too bad,” Pavlov said.

“If you hold on to it, things will very likely improve.”

But if people sell in a panic, Pavlov noted, that’s what will do longterm harm to the market worldwide.

But while right now is not a bad time to buy, people relying on a payoff from buying more than they can afford right now could hurt both themselves, and the world’s general financial situation.

“That is the kind of thing that can transform a relatively short term problem into something that can last for years,” Pavlov said, if people take out loans or mortgages counting on low interest rates or an upcoming boom in the stock market.

READ MORE: Stocks slide on Wall Street over coronavirus and oil crash

READ MORE: North American stock markets surge higher in early trading after crash on Monday

– With files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruseconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read