How to be Happy in Hard Times

It seems that there are patterns in the behaviour of people coping well and those who seem to be unravelling during these challenging times


Those who are thriving seem to have a way of focussing on the things they can control - their thoughts, attitudes and personal behaviour. They have a degree of self-awareness that allows them to sort and filter through their own self-talk.

These "happy copers" also know how to soothe themselves. Whether it is baking, walking in the sunshine, hugging their dog, jigsaw puzzles or writing poetry, the people who seem to be thriving now have developed a toolbox of comfort tools that they use to look after themselves.

Another quality that is correlated with happiness is the ability to discern where risks really are because one of the biggest risks we are seeing right now is stress on the nervous system. Listening to sensationalized headlines and overheated online news reports that lack regulation contributes to an inflated sense of fear. Get your news from credible news sources (BBC, The Economist, Reuters) not internet providers (like Yahoo, Google and MSNBC). They use your opening/clicking behaviour to ramp up news in the areas of your interests (i.e. fears) creating a perception that problems are really bigger and more important than they actually are.

Learning and expanding your tools of emotional self-regulation will pay off in spades now and in the future. The management of emotion is highly correlated with successful investor behaviour.

And it feels better too!

What is Really Going on in the Markets Right Now?

The first quarter of 2020 has officially come to an end and two themes have overtaken everything else: health and the markets.

With daily updates on global health provided by medical professionals, we will focus this update on the stock markets. Here are the facts: the S&P/TSX Canadian stock market index is down 21.59% and the S&P 500 US market index is down by 20% as of March 31, 2020 (in Canadian dollar terms). The volatility we saw in March was unprecedented. The drops were steep, pronounced and came with headlines that were just as sensational and frightening. We also saw that the volatility was not all one directional. Although there were days where losses were steep, we also saw periods of rapid gains such as the week ending March 27, when the one week return for the TSX was a positive 7.1%. This is important to keep in mind. Read more

Upcoming Workshops

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Instead of leaving this section blank and making us all sad, we would like to offer you the opportunity to let us know the classes you want to take when things get back on track. What is the title of the class you would run to attend the minute you throw off your mask and before you head to the nearest restaurant? Or is there a way we can support you now? Would you like an online Q & A, or a webinar hosted by Kamal and Tracy on a particular topic? We are open to hearing how we can support you. Simply email and let us know.

Integrated Guide to Benefits

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CBC News has put together an online tool for sorting through the various government benefits and assistance available for Canadians. It is a concise interactive tool to determine your eligibility and the relevant application process.

TEDx and the Story Behind This Photo by Tracy Theemes

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The journey to the TEDx stage was not an easy one. Two years ago, I tried out and was turned down. This was a devastating failure for me and brutal on my self-esteem. It left me questioning my purpose and led me into a spiral of self-questioning and doubt. It was a major turning point in my life.

Then a year ago, I was approached by a TEDx organizer who had seen me speak about dating and the inequality between men and women. They asked if I might be interested in applying to talk about that topic. Read more

And finally...

We are as always, available to look at your current investment and financial planning strategies, answer your questions and help you map out a plan for achieving your financial goals. Just give us a call if you need a second opinion or guidance for how to take your next step. As always, we are here to help!

Tracy Theemes and Kamal

Sophia Financial Group of Raymond James
3762 W 10th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.

If you have any questions or would like further information about our workshops contact:
604 569 2891

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