A new strain of the COVID-19 virus has rattled investors but knee-jerk reactions can be costly.
The announcement of a new strain of the COVID-19 virus has not only introduced us to yet another letter of the Greek alphabet, it's also fueled a wave of fresh concerns.
It's understandable, for example, that holidaymakers may put plans for global travel on pause until we know if Omicron is going to mean tighter border controls.
The arrival of the Omicron variant has also driven a round of sharemarket sell-offs.
It saw the ASX 200 Index drop from 7,407 in late November to 7,225 by 3 December 2021 - a 2.4% fall.
It's a sign investors are spooked by the latest COVID variant.
And big news often brings knee-jerk reactions.
For investors, these on-the-fly responses can be expensive.
Bailing out of investment markets on the back of short-term news means paying additional brokerage costs.
It can also set you up for capitals gains tax if the shares are sold for a profit.
Sharemarkets have an uncanny habit of bouncing back over time.
So, pulling money out of quality shares when the latest news undermines investor confidence, can see you miss out on future market upswings.
And you're likely to pay a lot more just to buy back into the same shares or exchange traded funds further down the track.
The thing is, news travels at exceptional speed in the digital age. By the time you and I have read about something, it's almost certainly been factored into asset markets.
The bottom line is that the pandemic will bring bursts of good news, and just as inevitably, developments that are cause for concern. But if your goals, circumstances and appetite for risk haven't changed, there's likely no need to adjust your portfolio.Paul Clitheroe
So selling up doesn't mean you'll beat a downswing. Rather, you'll be part of it.
I have no idea how the pandemic will play out.
I suspect no one really does beyond the likelihood that life will eventually return to something approaching normal.
What I am certain of, is what I want from my investments. And my portfolio reflects this.
My financial goals haven't changed through the pandemic, so why start selling off assets on the basis of short-term news?
The bottom line is that the pandemic will bring bursts of good news, and just as inevitably, developments that are cause for concern.
But if your goals, circumstances and appetite for risk haven't changed, there's likely no need to adjust your portfolio.
Doing so could just put you a step back from achieving your financial goals.