My advice to my clients

advice to my clients

Feb 13, 2023

When my clients ask me what I think about recent developments, I remind them that nothing has changed. I tell them that the same investment principles that I have reminded them of for years still apply. These are some that readily come to mind.

The first one is to know your financial institution. Do all the research that you need and ask all the questions that you have about the institution. Find out how strong they are, and don’t be afraid to ask to see “the books” (i.e. their financial information) if they are not publicly owned. Find out all you can about the principals and the management team of the company.

The second point is with regards to selecting investments. It is important to take a very disciplined approach when it comes to deciding on the right investments. If you are interested in buying bonds, you would assess these in the same way you would a financial institution. Look at the strength of the company issuing the bonds, the track record of how they paid their debts in the past and the outlook for the company and the industry that they fall in. 

Finding a standalone investment is not the only decision. Using a portfolio approach is always advised. What do I mean by that? It is important not to have all your eggs in one basket. Do not have too much of your investments in just one specific bond, for example. When considering new investments look at your entire portfolio and ensure that you are not too heavily invested in one particular industry or sector.

Look at pricing; is the bond price high or low and also check to see how the market is doing in general. If bond prices are generally low, there may be opportunities to get a good quality bond at a relatively lower price. However, at other times when bond prices are high, it may be more difficult to get a “deal”, i.e., a good quality investment at a relatively low price.

I try to keep my clients calm. In my experience, which spans several years, I have seen investors panic and lose a lot of money. I always remind them to be calm and objective when making decisions. If you stick to the principles outlined, it can help to prevent you from making panicked decisions. Stick to your investment principles and let them guide you in making decisions. 

Lisa Minto is the Assistant Vice-President, Personal Financial Planning at Sterling Asset Management. Sterling provides financial advice and instruments in U.S. dollars and other hard currencies to the corporate, individual and institutional investor. Visit our website at

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