I Really Love It When Stock Markets Fall

I was thrilled by how the stock market performed during the first three weeks of November.

It moved down — not up.  It was a fabulous three weeks. That’s right: Unless you’re retired, or close to it, falling markets should be celebrated.

I love falling stock markets!

As you can read in my most recent Globe and Mail article.

Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions.

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19 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    Hi Andrew

    I hit my 10 free articles a month limit on the globe & mail as referenced by somebody else on your site. I now only get the Try it Now Window and an offer for a special introductory trial rate of 99¢ for the first month.

    I had to go all Ninjitsu just to view the page :o(


  2. André says:

    Same thing happenned to me! 🙁

  3. Ken says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I also ran into the paywall issue. Teh Globe and Mail says linking to articles from blogs should not count towards the paywall, but I've found that to be hit or miss.

    Perhaps you can put a direct link to the article in Twitter. I've found links from Twitter tend to work.


  4. mml says:

    Hi Andrew

    Im a great fan of yours.

    May I know what is the annual return for your portfolio?



  5. Cam Brewington says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I took a look at the model indexing portfolio you created on the globe and mail. I noticed all the indexes are vanguard.

    I currently have a portfolio set up with TD E-series funds, just like in your book Millionaire teacher.

    Are the vanguard funds MER's much lower than TD e-series? Should I consider switching?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Excellent articles in the globe!


    • Hi Cam,

      Your funds require no maintenance at all. You can buy them automatically (you can't do that with ETFs) and you can always buy and sell commission free. But, as I mentioned in my book, once your portfolio size grows above $100K (some feel that threshold should be lower) then the move to ETFs will save you money.

      There is a new brokerage in Canada that allows customers to buy any ETF commission free. I can't recall its name, but you can look it up. It's pretty big news, and won the Globe and Mail's best brokerage award for the year. That one could be a game changer.



      • Cam says:

        Thanks for the reply Andrew.



      • andysterdam says:

        Hi Andrew and Cam,

        The new Canadian brokerage is called Virtual Brokers (www.virtualbrokers.com). I'm planning to make the switch to VB once my TD e-series hits $100K or sooner if I feel confident enough with VB. First, I'd like to see them perform for a while longer to see if any glitches emerge. The Globe & Mail survey will certainly go a long way toward promoting it.

  6. ed says:

    Hi Andrew'

    I see in you globe and mail model portfolio you use VEA and VWO. Is there any reaon you use these two instead of using VXU which pretty much covers both?


    • Sylvain says:

      It's just to show you can lower your average MER with separated ETF. Also, you can rebalance if they move in different ways. For a small portfolio like the strategy lab, only 1 transaction could wash the difference because it's about 2.50$/year less in MER (11$ vs 13,50$). Don't forget it's a lab and Andrew did it in an educational way. Depending on the size of your porfolio an how often you plan to add money or rebalance, maybe the VXUS would be a very good option or an index fund with low fees that track the same indexes would be even better to start with. For me, I only have VEA and it's enough. We should never forget that the big companies on top of VTI and VEA are prensent in emergent market so we got a certain expusure already.

    • Hi Ed,

      There's no reason for using VEA and VWO instead of VXU as a combination. It does allow me to specifically rebalance the emerging market if need be, manually, however. But is that better? Not necessarily.



  7. R. Mohan says:


    Hi! I agree that when stock markets fall, that it represents an opportunity to apply the ideas in your book (if you have the extra dough laying around, waiting for that)…but, when the markets fall, and the economy is depressed for some time, chances are lay offs would follow not long behind…

    How could I keep on investing when, like in the US, we got hit (and still being hit) by never ending rounds of lay offs? If one gets laid off, the life's focus switches drastically, to do the needy for survival 1st, and investing would be put in the back burner…

    When times are good, when the markets are doing "great"…might not be the best for people not retiring any time soon…so investing is expensive…so, trying dollar cost averge, and still by even if markets are going up? but if we wait for prices to go a tad down, wouldn't that be trying to time the market?

    The US doesn't have much protection for the employees like in the UK, where lay off notifications have to be given well in advance to the affected parties…(I believe like 1 year in advance)…here in the US, it's like being in school, you get pop quizzes in the form of lay off notices any day…

    All in all, life is not a rosy here in the US for most of all, and since the so well known "financial cliff" dilemma is not yet band-aid patched yet, then perhaps, while one still have a job, then to take advantage of the depressed market? If the "financial cliff" is not patched in time, there might be many more rounds of lay offs coming up in the near future…which would be great for people with extra cash to invest, but horrible for people affected by the lay offs in the US…

    thank you! 🙂

    • R Mohan,

      The best time to invest is when there's blood in the streets. But I don't time the market, I simply rebalance, which allows me to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful without trying to speculate. Nobody said, however, than effective investing is emotionally easy.



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