Once you have familiarized yourself with the characteristics of each product available to you along with the proportion that they should have within your portfolio, you can start building your portfolio.
In the case of equities, do not expect to implement every aspect of your strategy in one day. Some securities are more attractive when purchased at a certain price, and you may have to wait for a specific moment before making an offer. For that reason, we have developed tools to allow you to build your portfolio progressively.
Watchlists: These lists allow you to add up to 10 securities of interest per list – whether they are stocks, exchange-traded funds, options or mutual funds – and monitor their value over time.
Alerts: This tool allows you to identify securities you wish to purchase or sell, and receive an alert when the price is right. You can therefore place an order to purchase or sell a position at the best price to you.
Virtual portfolios: If you are not quite ready to place orders yet, start by testing the portfolio you have in mind before implementing its strategy. With the virtual portfolio tool, you can specify the quantity you would buy for each security, as well as its purchase price. You will then have a global view of your portfolio and be able to evaluate if your stock selection is well balanced and in line with your investor profile.
Beware of market-timing strategies!
What is important is not when you go to market, but the time you spend in it. It is best to start investing as soon as possible to allow your investment to grow over time. While it can sound wise to wait for a certain price to purchase your securities, it can also be dangerous to try to guess the exact time when the markets will play in your favour.
Similarly, it can be tempting to liquidate certain positions when markets are down and forecasts are grim but doing so, you risk missing out on the best days… when markets suddenly turn and start edging up!
To illustrate this, take a look at the following graph.
As you can see, historically, the best days have often followed the worst. By that reasoning, it is practically impossible to avoid the bad days while reaping the benefits of the good ones. Staying the course with a sound investment strategy and an adequate asset mix is therefore the best decision you can make. It will help you avoid missing out on highly profitable days, and it’s in fact what the majority of pension plan managers and top investors do… just ask Warren Buffett!