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Investor behaviours to avoid in RRSP season

(NC) – While it's easier said than done, Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributions should be approached objectively to avoid the pitfalls of emotional investing.

“The markets change daily and monthly – that's the reality of investing,” explains Philip Bensen, head of national sales at Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. “Historically, however, markets have risen over the long run, and investors should be cognizant of the power of investing to fund their life goals. For example, the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the major Canadian stock market indicator, has risen in four of the five years since the 2008 global financial crisis. Investors who were spooked by the market downturn would have missed out on these strong gains.”

Bensen has some advice for investors looking to get the most out of their RRSP contributions this year:

• Don't blindly follow the crowd. Just because one particular asset class is performing strongly now doesn't always mean it's the right choice for you. Consult your advisor before making any decisions.

• Understand perception vs. Reality. While headline-driven markets can experience periods of volatility, over time, equity markets have historically risen. There's a lot to be said for understanding long-term trends and knowing when to see things from a glass-half-full perspective.

• Avoid too much of one thing. Concentrating your investments in just one or two asset classes, even if deemed “safer” (such as bonds) may have a negative impact on your investments. Diversifying your investments across a variety of asset classes and even parts of the world can help capture different opportunities and manage risk.

Emotional investing can get in the way of achieving long-term retirement goals. If you are concerned about what to do or where to invest, it's important to speak with an investment advisor to gain some insight and make informed decisions.

More information is available online at www.franklintempleton.ca.

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