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

BC Ferries reopens limited hot food service between Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert

Release on July 8 says hot food will be served in packaging

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

UPDATE: Masset anti-racism rally postponed

The Yahk’ii event, which means ‘truth’ in Haida, will be rescheduled at a later date

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Registration open for first-annual ‘NextIslandpreneur’ student business competition

Competition offers mentors, iPads, seed money, cash prizes to young entrepreneurs on Haida Gwaii

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read