Downturns, COVID-19 & your money

With all the headlines and confusion, we want to make sure you’re headed in the right direction - this list of news will be updated daily, to help you stay informed and prepared

Andrew Willis 13 March, 2020 | 12:30AM

Artistic chart of returns

The airwaves are saturated with coronavirus and recession coverage right now. Buy, sell, hold, don’t panic, panic, get supplies, buy toilet paper. What should you do? Only time will tell what the best moves were and when, but one thing that we strongly encourage at Morningstar is that you use time to your advantage. That means first avoiding ‘un-doing’ the power of time in your portfolio by panicking.

Quality investments have seen dramatic drops in value in the past, and they’ve recovered. And depending on your retirement goals, that may mean that the red you see today could be a flashing buy sign for certain stocks in the long game. You won’t know when markets hit the bottom, and you won’t know when a bump is a bull trap.

Go with what you know. The rules you set for yourself and the power of compounding and diversification remain constants amidst the chaos. Pair this with reliable sources of information and you’ll find less of a reason to panic about your portfolio when it comes to this pandemic – and be able to save your energy to focus on what matters most: the health of you and your family, friends and neighbours. 

To help you do this, we have curated a list of the content you need. You will find information on what you need to do for YOU, how to play your investments (and your money), and what you can expect from the markets. This list is updated daily with timely and relevant content. 

Here's what you need to know:


For you:

Busting biases in volatile times
A behavioural checklist for investors facing turbulent markets

Sell in May, Go Away
A strategy that leads to pay day? Not really.

The hardest decision in investing
When and how should you get back into equity markets after panic selling?

Getting retirement ready in turbulent times
It’s time for pre-retirees to start taking concrete steps

How to lose money
Even though it feels like you are reducing risk by pulling out of the market, the long-term effects could hurt your overall returns

9 sources of emergency cash, ranked from best to worst
Credit cards are the easiest, but worst option – here’s eight others to try before you swipe

Buckets can help you stay organized during volatility
For near- and long-term goals and at any stage of life, buckets help you keep your eyes on the prize

How have young investors reacted to COVID-19?
The pandemic-lead economic downturn has spooked already cautious millennial investors – but anecdotal evidence suggests that many are sticking to their investment objectives and goals

Terminology of a downturn
What to understand about downmarket jargon like volatility, bear market, and recession

Why you can't time the market
Why it's important to stay invested to capture critical months for your portfolio, with Morningstar's Director of Investment Research, Ian Tam

It's hard to make money as a bear
The better approach: Survive as a bear, profit as a bull

It's an exciting time to be an investor
With prices we haven't seen for years, Morningstar's Dan Kemp says that long-term investors should be keen

Urgency now is need for calm
From an investment standpoint, now is the time for calm minds and a disciplined and methodical approach which includes having a plan and sticking to it

When FOMO is warranted
The long-term pain of missing a major day of investment returns won’t be felt until years later – the only way to ensure you catch it is to stay invested

The opportunities in a recession
The rough road to recession ultimately leads to shiny new opportunities for those who hold on to their nerve – and quality stocks

Stocks or ETFs?
Want to get in on the action? Start here.

How much risk can you handle?
What kind of returns can you expect from different asset classes? Ian Tam, Morningstar Canada's Director of Investment Research explains

COVID-19 and your taxes: Deadlines extended

Outstanding federal 2019 tax now due Aug. 31, and other changes to know

The importance of staying invested in volatile times

Don't flee the market in a panic, but rather embrace the turmoil as an investment opportunity--you'll be better off in the long run. 

Where to go for income in a low-yield world
If you're on the hunt for yield, be sure to mind the downside

Stay calm!
Ignore the noise, stay the course – this is a successful path to financial independence

3 things to do right now
With COVID-19 comes an crucial need to ensure you're making the right moves: Ian Tam, Director of Investment Research at Morningstar Canada

How advisors can help clients right now
Each day’s news around COVID-19 market volatility can lead to financial anxiety for you and your clients - here's how to navigate it

Emotional investing: What it costs, and what to do about it
It gets expensive when investors sell during downturns, research shows

Risk, not volatility, is the real enemy
Grant us investors the wisdom to know the difference

4 ways to turn a down market to your advantage
Christine Benz offers some practical things that investors can do in this market uncertainty

The all-weather portfolio
How to improve your own financial outcomes by focusing on what matters


For the markets:

Will COVID-19 send us back to lockdown?
The first-ever virtual Morningstar Executive Forum finds that while our current situation is unprecedented, there are still opportunities, as long as investors know their risks and stay rational

Residential real estate: a reckoning or just a softening?
For the time being, the residential real estate market is holding up, but there are challenges ahead

Coronavirus vaccine progress accelerates
Diagnostic testing, treatment, and a coronavirus vaccine could allow near-normal distancing and nonessential business recovery by mid-2021

Canadian real estate remains resilient
Realosophy's John Pasalis says sales are steady but there are warning signs with rentals

The stock market is not the economy
What’s more, the two are drifting even further apart

Epic oil crash sets up brutal downturn for energy sector
But recovery is inevitable, and stocks look very cheap – our top Canadian energy pick Enbridge will see its dividends safe for a decade

Is this time different?
The regularity of market crashes is a reminder that patience is key to investing in equity markets

This time’s recovery will take longer
BMO’s James Thai argues that as the market slowly recovers it’s critical to separate winners from losers

Almost nobody knew
The bear market that arrived in silence

After China, where next?
Post-pandemic shuffling of supply chains out of China will reshape global manufacturing map and create investing opportunities – and risks

When stars align
With every bear market comes opportunity

How have ETFs fared during this bear market?
Ben Johnson explains what happened with value and growth, and discounts and premiums

Such a narrow stock market!
A few companies feast, while many beg

Miners make hay while gold shines
Gold producers had been cutting costs and production until the coronavirus hit, which might give these consistent performers a head start

Did the Morningstar Star ratings work in this downturn?

In a word, yes. Equity funds (and managers) that have historically outperformed their peers have continued to do so in this current downturn

What's next for Canadian oil?
After a US$1bn strategic government investment in the pipelines, are Canadian energy companies better positioned for the volatility ahead?

U.S. coronavirus update: shutdown relaxes in H2, pipeline advances
We forecast a 2.9% drop in U.S. 2020 GDP; our base case includes a second-quarter shutdown but effective treatment in the second half

Flash depression with V-shaped recovery

CIBC’s Patrick O’Toole argues that the correction in the corporate bond market offers lots of buying opportunities

Now's the time to buy
The current market conditions are creating tremendous dislocations between share prices and intrinsic values, says Sionna’s Marian Hoffmann

Is this 2008 all over again?
Morningstar's Eric Jacobson explains why 2020 is indeed different

Will Canadian house prices fall?
Are we in store for a correction, or at least some price stability, as the lockdowns cool bidding wars? John Pasalis explains

Corporate Debt: Zombieland 2
Could the coronavirus be the detonator for a debt-fuelled economic collapse?

How to avoid dividend cuts

Now is not the time to be chasing yield at all costs

What next for REITs?
At this point in the market downturn, no sector is immune, but some offer a better resistance potential, and REITs could be one

Emergency interest rate cuts—Will they work? Do they matter?
Q & A: Taking pressing questions and getting our in-house investment professionals to answer them in a jargon-free manner

A better way to value stocks right now?
Price-to-earnings ratios are probably a bit too unpredictable at the moment - this measure of worth may be more reliable

Why are China’s markets doing so well?
In developed economies: the question on the street is “when will the market blowout end?” In China: the question is “when will the bull market start?”

COVID-19: Change in Bay Street sentiment

How have stock analysts changed their outlooks because of the virus?

What's going on with Canadian oil right now?
What happens with you get a supply - and demand - shock, and what to expect, explains Nicolas Piquard at Horizons ETFs 

Was there any escape?

Little indeed: When the going got tough, diversification did not get going.

A look at past drawdowns
Over the long term, the value of investments have gone up, with many peaks and valleys along the way - can you stomach the valleys?

U.S. Fed offers support amid COVID-19
With rates cut to zero, investors should be seriously watching and considering bank stocks as this plays out

Was this market correction inevitable?
Morningstar's director of equity research Johannes Faul on the stock market collapse and what coronavirus means for the global economy

Can circuit breakers stop panic selling?
Within the context of properly functioning of markets, circuit breakers can help with price discovery that could establish where the bottom is – but they also increase anxiety

Were the rate cuts a reality check?
Why Fiera Capital's Candice Bangsund is still favouring stocks in her asset allocation

Will Coronavirus trigger a global recession?
Morningstar healthcare analyst Karen Anderson looks at the likely impact of COVID19 on the global economy - and says the long-term affects may not be as bad as expected

What the oil crash means for markets
The near-term outlook for energy companies is bleak and likely to affect our valuations

Coronavirus, the Fed, and the steady 2020 that wasn't
Regardless of the ultimate effect of the coronavirus on the economy, lower rates today will be a negative for bank profits

The Coronavirus Column
Global governments have no choice but to risk a recession

The impact of coronavirus for investors
And what we're doing with our portfolios: Morningstar Investment Management


For your investments:

Time for a portfolio rebalance? 
What to consider when allocating assets in uncertain times, with Vanguard's Scott Johnston

The investments for the times
Take a look back at past downturns to see how each asset type fared when the going got tough with Morningstar's Director of Investment Research, Ian Tam, CFA

Stocks that help us carry on
An accelerated rise of the machines will rely on these automation names post-pandemic

Morningstar Quantitative Ratings in the sell-off
Holding true even in the worst of times, the gold-rated funds outperformed those that rated neutral or negative

Income manager made a tactical shift
How Mackenzie’s Steve Locke followed risk discipline over fear

2 attractive drugmakers with secure dividends
Necessity means dividends are very secure for drugmakers

Low carbon, high performance
Avoiding oil with low-carbon screens can help you avoid today's energy sector volatility and secure sustainable growth

Canada’s dividend aristocrats fall from grace
For now… Could their moves to cut payouts be a sign of strength?

Gold shares or bullion as portfolio diversifiers?
The answer depends upon the size of the investment

Lockdown lifts videogaming stocks
Videogaming industry is emerging as a winner as people turn to recreational activities during pandemic lockdown

Time for accountability at Tim Hortons
Pandemic will make it harder for parent company to ignore worker rights proposal this time around

What the pandemic means for Berkshire Hathaway
Analyst Gregg Warren shares his thoughts on its valuation and more

Top social distancing stocks
These companies are perfectly positioned to benefit as social distancing and lockdowns force businesses to adopt remote working solutions

Netflix is nice, but...
What happens when the lockdown ends?

The tech fund that barely fell
How Fidelity Global Innovators stayed afloat, and the resilience of exciting names

Is it time to keep your distance from Zoom?
The teleconferencing platform has had a surge in users, but the freemium model is not without risks—some more embarrassing than others.

Deals on dividend stars
Yields are looking very nice relative to today's prices - here are a few tips to help with your stock picks from Morningstar's Director of Investment Research, Ian Tam

How have liquid alts performed in this downturn?
Surprisingly well. For Q1, the Scotia Alternative Mutual Fund Index Equal-Weighted shows a negative return of 8.69%, while the S&P TSX Composite lost 20.89% for the same period

Stocks to benefit from stockpiling
These stocks are well positioned for the pandemic windfall as social distancing and long lockdowns trigger panic buying for the uncertain future

Volatility is here to stay
BMO’s base case acknowledges that COVID-19 will devastate global economic growth for the second quarter, and this slowdown might well extend into the third quarter

Tech sector now decently undervalued
We examine how this sector handled the market turmoil and what to expect

Allocating in uncertain times
Steadyhand shares some tips on portfolio management amidst the volatility

Don't root for the home team too much
Over-investing in Canada can be a 'double-whammy' when it comes to risk, among other reasons to diversify geographically, explains Morningstar's Ian Tam

It pays to stay the course
The longer you ‘average’ out your investment period, the less likely it is that you will experience trailing losses

The liquidity crunch in Canadian Bond ETFs
On the corporate bond side, what we see presently are primarily sellers, not a lot of buyers, and people are not getting the prices they normally would

Big Oil on big discount
What they're doing to stay afloat, and why now might be an opportune time to tap in their stocks

Should you trade ETF premiums & discounts?
Why the disparities are features of bond ETFs, not a bug

What are top performing dividend funds holding?
Here's a look at the stocks the best performing dividend income funds within Morningstar’s database are holding

Which companies won’t cut dividends?
Here’s what to look for in companies that can keep things going

Buying opportunities in multiple sectors as market weighs short-term impact
The markets' chills offer a chance to stock up on these quality companies

The return of the value investor
Brandes’ Luis Sauerbronn is excited because now, good companies are available at attractive prices, and says “Everything is on sale!”

FAANG stocks, defanged?
All save one of the company slipped below fair value estimates. Is it time to buy?

Airline stocks fall from coronavirus
But they will soar again, and investors will want to get aboard for continued growth beyond the current short-term tailwinds

Buying amid coronavirus
Are there opportunities to be had in restaurants and U.S. auto manufacturers?

What to do with Canadian banks?
The yields look good, but the risks are real, and it could get worse before it gets better

Focus on dividends, avoid cyclicals
Matco’s Anil Tahiliani hangs in with portfolio selections despite severe market correction

Virus brings rare entry for tech stocks
Wild weeks on Wall Street have opened some tempting opportunities

How to slow down the slide
Sticking to the plan is a good rule of thumb, but the wild gyrations of the past few weeks have a way of unraveling the best of plans. If your nerves can’t take it, here are a few things you can do to ease the pain

Weathering COVID-19 restaurant closures
As countries restrict dine-in service in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, we believe the restaurant sector's pullback offers several investment opportunities

5 cheap wide-moat Canadian stocks
These stocks have fallen below our fair value estimates – and have a sustainable competitive advantage relative to their peers

Funds that outperformed in 2008
Seven equity funds that protected on the downside during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and recovered faster than the index

How Canadian funds are holding up
In the past month, the worst performing categories are all equity focused while most of the top performing categories are fixed income focused

Small caps in slowdowns
Invesco global small cap manager Virginia Au shares where she's focused right now

The virus and income
It's safe to say that rates are going to lower, for longer while we wait to see how the coronavirus evolves: Beutel Goodman's Sue McNamara

10 cheap moat-y Canadian stocks
These stocks have fallen below our fair value estimates – and have a sustainable competitive advantage relative to their peers

Buy the dip with these 10 cheap Canadian stocks
It’s best not to sell when facing volatility and market corrections - However, if you have some cash to deploy, here are some 'cheap' stocks in our coverage universe to consider

Connected devices can curb diseases
Why this innovation will make an impact in 2020: Sustainalytics

Coronavirus-hit casino stocks on sale
China’s Macau shutdown is a great short term gateway to long term growth

What’s going on with gold?
Why today’s demand could become tomorrow’s supply

Utilities to protect from virus volatility
These three companies are a source of stability in uncertain times

Health-care stocks: No fear of contagion
The coronavirus outbreak isn’t likely to have a long-term financial impact, and we aren’t changing our fair value estimates for these stocks

Travel stocks fall as coronavirus spreads
And create attractive buying opportunities for long term investors

About Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  Andrew Willis is Content Editor for Morningstar.ca