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  • Hello Pat. I am a retiree and client of SIWM, and in fact decided to get out of the market in December in anticipation of a further decline, which may be significant this year and beyond. I moved about 50% of my portfolios into cash to protect and preserve my retirement savings, leaving the other 50% in stocks to reduce my equities risk exposure. While I appreciate that historically short-term declines come along unpredictably, and that short market fluctuations will have little effect on long-term gains (over decades), what we’re seeing in markets now is far from the norm. The declines and market fluctuations may be much longer term, and may in fact be a permanent feature of the global markets. The fluctuations and declines in the day-to-day market values are unprecedented. I understand that the performance of markets in 2018 was the worst in 10 years, the one-month performance of the Dow Jones in December 2018 was the worst since the depression in 1931, and the start to 2019 for markets has been the worst in 20 years. The TSX performance over the last year has been similarly bad. This volatility and wild fluctuations have been driven in large part by much fear and instability created by slowing global growth and Trump politics, combined with algorithms and flash trading. As a retiree I do not have the luxury of being able to weather such volatility and wild fluctuations leading to a potentially long bear market, so I have decided to keep half of my portfolios in fixed income to mitigate turning paper losses into real ones while preserving capital to safeguard my financial resources for my future retirement years. The three-part Successful Investor approach certainly generates the highest long-term returns, but for older people like me the horizon is shorter term. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on my comments.

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