Volatility is a given in the investment world, and in the past few months investors have been exposed to several events that sparked short-term volatility. There were irregularities around corporate finances, sovereign events such as the ANC elective conference, and concerns around rising inflation in the US.

What can investors do in light of this volatility, and what should they bear in mind when it comes to managing their portfolios?

Volatility is part of the process

Higher inflation is a function of a healthy global economy and indicates global economic growth. As it stands, we are experiencing globally synchronised growth for the first time in four years — since the first quarter of 2014. Volatility provides professional investors with opportunities to access markets at lower prices. Market corrections, usually defined as a fall of up to 10% in a stock or index, can return expectations to normal levels.

On the global front the growth story is expected to remain intact

We anticipate that growth in earnings could decelerate, and that this is more likely than a market earnings collapse. We also believe that US bonds could remain under pressure, and therefore prefer the wealth-creation properties of equities above those of fixed-income assets.

Thorough research and selective buying offer protection

Stocks already reaching lofty price-earnings multiples are likely to feel the pressure. Less-favoured stocks offering better margins of safety are likely to prove more resilient. In times of volatility, irrational selling is expected, which can be exploited and used as an opportunity to buy selected counters at lower prices.

Staying focused on the long term remains the key to successful investing

Long-term data shows that short-term bouts of volatility do not influence the performance of wealth-creating products. Short-term volatility is the playground of day traders and rarely raises the eyebrows of long-term  investors. But it is one thing to say this, and more difficult for investors to stick to their intentions when volatility materialises.

In recent times, we have certainly had our share of volatility —  Brexit, Trump, Nenegate and Steinhoff — to name a few. That is why the ability to withstand volatility is integral to the investment process at PSG.

The importance of constructing robust portfolios

PSG monitors products and underlying managers, while providing advice and managing portfolios to best protect its investors. Diversification between different managers and investment styles is a cornerstone of its investments, and the benefit is highlighted by a stringent selection process. Assets and shares are selected in a way that if some underperform, others outperform — ensuring less risk of volatility in the short term and underperformance in the long term.

PSG’s investors rarely need to worry about short-term volatility because its products are built to withstand this and provide consistent, above-benchmark returns over time.

When investment objectives are delivered on, in line with the funds’ benchmarks, despite bouts of volatility, advisers can better manage investor behaviour, and are better positioned to help clients build long-term wealth.

Volatility is a given

Volatility is a feature of the investment environment. Managing volatility — using it as an opportunity where appropriate and continuing to focus on the long term — allows PSG to provide clients with solutions that can withstand short-term turmoil.

When a proven investment philosophy is coupled with robust financial planning and advice, investors are far better positioned to reach their investment goals and achieve successful investment outcomes.

This winning philosophy remains integral to the way PSG manages its clients’ money.

Adriaan Pask is chief investment officer at PSG Wealth.

This article was paid for by PSG Wealth.