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Hany Malek
B.B.A, F. Pl.

Wealth Management Advisor, Professionals' Financial - Private Management

At the crossroads

The current pandemic is unprecedented. Many people around the world are affected, be it in terms of their health or their personal or business finances. Its repercussions are diverse, but it’s certain that they are felt in all areas of human activity.

In this article, I would like to focus on the financial impact that the crisis may have on those who are about to retire or have already retired. I would also like to offer you some tips to lessen the impact of the current situation on this important stage of your life.

Aspects to consider…

First, focus on what you can control

It’s very important to update your financial situation, considering the decline that we have experienced (and that we may still experience). As a bonus, this will enable you to update your financial plan and your decumulation plan.

The most important thing to focus on is the sequence of withdrawals and returns, which must be validated or implemented.

Scenarios to consider

Here are three scenarios, each with the same average annualized returns and the same total return. They differ, however, as to when the positive or negative returns are registered relative to the withdrawals.


How the sequence of returns can impact your retirement savings.

Scenario 1

When the return is positive during the first years of withdrawals, the value of the portfolio holds up well, considering the amounts withdrawn.

Scenario 2

Conversely, when the portfolio posts negative returns during its first two years, the money is depleted by year 27.

Scenario 3

Portfolio with stable returns.


We can conclude from this that a good financial plan takes crises into account. Otherwise, it’s not a financial plan, just a mix of different investments.


Cash is king

Depending on your risk tolerance, a good financial plan provides liquidity in certain investment accounts to cover your cost of living for the current year, or even beyond.

If you don’t have the necessary cash or if the size of your temporary losses is too big, consider these alternatives:

  • You could return to work, if only to allow your portfolio to recover. You could work full time or part time, according to your preferences or needs.
  • You could also temporarily lower your cost of living, if possible, to give your investments more time to recover.

Last aspect: emotions

It’s essential to stay in control. Investing isn’t just about money and numbers, it’s above all about emotions.

You’ve worked hard throughout your life to prepare a retirement that suits you. It’s especially important to have a solid financial plan so that you won’t worry too much in times of crisis. Sometimes not doing anything is the smartest thing to do.

In conclusion

I would like to end on an optimistic note, even though the crisis we’re experiencing is raising its share of questions and concerns.

Don’t forget that the turbulence on the financial markets is the result of political choices that were made to protect the population. Once the crisis has passed – and it will pass – the economy will recover and the markets will rebound, which will ease investor concerns. Then, all you’ll have to do is enjoy a well-deserved retirement!

If you have any questions about your investment portfolio, feel free to contact your advisor. We’re working hard to protect your assets during this difficult time. You can count on us.


Hany Malek, B.A.A., Fin. Pl.
Wealth Management Advisor

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information, and it may be incomplete. The opinions expressed are based upon our analysis and interpretation of this information and are not to be construed as a recommendation. For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your wealth management advisor or your tax specialist, accountant or legal advisor.


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