How would you react?

You never really know how you'd react if your savings lost value until you actually experience a market downturn.  But you can learn something from other people's experience. ​​ ​

​Click on the image below to view a sample portfolio.​

Let's make sure we're on the same page.  

Some of your investments may be riskier than others. 

  • In 'bad times' (weak economy, falling prices) high-risk investments may lose more value than their low-risk counterparts. 
  • ​In 'good times' (strong economy, rising prices), they are expected to gain more value.

Fixed income investments tend to be less risky than equity, based on historical performances of both over many years. 

  • Fixed income tends to lose less value in 'bad times' than equity. 
  • Moreover, it's been often the case that 'bad times' for equities were not 'bad' for fixed income - investment income from equities declined but fixed income investments continued to make money and even made up some losses. 

Super-conservative investors who invest only in fixed income will not see investment losses but their gains will be small, likely lower than inflation.  

Super-aggressive investors who invest only in equities will make money over time, but may see sudden investment losses in the short term.

Most investors mix fixed income and equities, hence the term 'asset mix'.  The proportions of the mix reflect their risk appetite / tolerance - how much short-term loss they can stomach without panicking and selling (usually at a large loss). ​

​​A good measure of risk appetite / tolerance considers both your investment horizon (when you'll need the money) and, more generally, your attitudes towards money and risk.

Investing cheat sheet

A good asset mix combines high and low risk investments to fit your needs.

how much risk you can tolerate?


Start by filling out a risk-appetite questionnaire online. 

Where can you find a good questionnaire?

Many providers offer risk-appetite questionnaires as part of  the account opening process. You can try a robo-advisor or portfolio index mutual fund provider's risk appetite questionnaire by starting the account opening process - you don't have to finish the process and open the account.

You can also try one these questionnaires online - they're standalone, not directly related to investment accounts:

  • www.calcxml.com/do/inv08?skn=#results
  • www.investright.org/informed-investing/kow-yourself/your-risk-tolerance
  • www.planswell.com
  • www.franklintempleton.ca/download/en-ca/common/htjoklfh
  • www.vanguardcanada.ca/individual/questionnaire.htm

choose your asset mix

​What's an asset mix?