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A global strategy chief shares 3 ways investors can navigate increased stock-market volatility in the coming months

A global strategy chief shares 3 ways investors can navigate increased stock-market volatility in the coming months

trader Gregory Rowe
NYSE trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day.


  • Willem Sels, HSBC Private Banking global chief market strategist, expects volatility to pick up in the next few months due to the US election and a renewed uptick of COVID-19 cases. 
  • In a Tuesday email he shared three strategies for how investors can manage the stock market volatility ahead. 
  • One of his strategies is to avoid the lure of low-quality stocks just because they’re cheap.  Instead, Sels said to seek out companies with strong balance sheets and long-term growth potential.

The upcoming US election and an uptick in cases of COVID-19 are leading to increased volatility and causing some investors to step back. Willem Sels, HSBC Private Banking global chief market strategist, expects volatility to pick up in the next few months, but said investors should remain in the market. In a Tuesday email he shared three strategies for investors to manage what’s ahead. 

1. Focus on quality assets

“What the September correction has shown is that, when valuations are high, it is unwise to go into lower quality assets just because they are cheaper,” Sels said. Investors should seek out companies with strong balance sheets as COVID-19 will continue to weigh on cash flows for longer than expected. For long-term growth, Sels is watching companies related to climate change, health technology, 5G, and the online economy.

2. Look for areas with promising growth

Sels also said he’s looking for areas with “promising growth” in the short and long term. “The US economic outlook currently looks better than in Europe, and data in China and Korea is more positive than in other EM countries,” he added.

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Santa Rosa firm helps wildfire victims navigate battles with insurance companies

Santa Rosa firm helps wildfire victims navigate battles with insurance companies

Three years since the Tubbs fire, there have been some notable improvements for homeowners who are wrangling with their insurance carriers in the aftermath of a wildfire loss.

The state Legislature enacted some reforms, such as boosting rental living expenses from a maximum of two years to three years after a disaster while a homeowner waits for their home to be rebuilt. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that required carriers to provide initial payments of at least 25% of their personal property that was destroyed without having the homeowner detail their entire inventory.

Yet there is still no solution for the most vexing problem of all: How to ensure that homeowners have sufficient coverage to rebuild their house and that they actually receive that amount?

In California, the onus is on the homeowner to ensure they have the right coverage amount to rebuild — a figure that only a local contractor would likely know. And most residents don’t reach out to a builder when pricing or updating their coverage.

That was proven after the 2017 wildfires when a survey by the consumer group United Policyholders found about two-thirds of those fire victims were underinsured — with some in pricey Fountaingrove facing a shortfall of more than $1 million. That number likely hasn’t changed much, said Amy Bach, executive director of the San Francisco-based consumer group. It is a cold reality that will soon be discovered by hundreds of homeowners in the wake of the Glass fire, which destroyed or damaged about 800 single-family homes.

“At this point, I’m convinced that insurers don’t want to solve the problem,” Bach said.

As the problem lingers, a Santa Rosa firm is attempting to help homeowners protect themselves. BW Builder Inc. assists homeowners in the aftermath of a fire by preparing detailed

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