Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Mark-to-Market Isn’t Giving You the Complete Picture

When you buy a share of a company, you are effectively paying for the assets and the future earnings of the company. It sounds like a long-term commitment. Since markets are open 7-8 hours a day, five days a week; there is a value assigned to it every second during the open market. That price reflects at that moment what the buyers and sellers want to transact (pay and sell) based on news, their own liquidity, situation and, most importantly, their mood. Generally, the investors (mainly professional money managers) that participate have done some homework to assess the value, however speculators also play a role. This makes the price at any given time somewhat random.

Bonds are different animal. The upside is limited to the principal and interest. The value is influenced by credit worthiness of the borrower, and also interest rate expectations. Obviously there are opinions on both factors but generally more stable. Government bonds, for example trade very close to the principal as credit risk is very low. If interest rates are expected to rise, a bond that has locked in at previous rates would be worth less, all else being equal. The players in the markets are generally more sophisticated as traders are not attracted to the rather muted price actions.

We probably should include houses. Unlike a company where you buy or sell a faction/share, you generally buy/sell/own an entire house. It is generally not a liquid investment as it takes time to sell. Fair market value is generally based on recent transactions of similar houses; actual price also depends on the conditions of the house, negotiation skills of the buying and selling agents. Unlike stocks, the value doesn’t change second-by-second. Even if it does, there is no way to gauge it. As a result, investors typically think their house is a stable investment. In reality, a seller would have to take a very large discount if s/he wants to sell in very tight timeline (like they do in the stock markets) as there are more interested buyers for shares of a company than a particular house at any given second.

The benefit of having stock markets open frequently is liquidity. The disadvantage is perceived volatility. While over longer term, stocks trend upward with the economies; they could be volatile short-term as mood is more important than earnings. As an investor, what should we do? We should be reminded that the market value of our portfolio at any given time is only some indication of what it is worth in the long term. It could be too good or too bad as a result, we should not be overly excited or concerned.

“Mark-to-market” valuations capture a one-dimensional view of an asset’s value, and only at a precise moment in time. A “mark-to-market” assessment doesn’t account for the future value of long-term assets, or qualitative factors like the condition of a house. As a result, this measure is providing a fleeting, distorted view of an asset’s true worth

Disclosures
This document is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal, legal, accounting, tax or investment advice, or construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any entity or security discussed. Every effort has been made to ensure that the material contained in this document is accurate at the time of publication. Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document. All charts and illustrations in this document are for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended to predict or project investment results. Individuals should seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding any particular investment. Investors should consult their professional prior to implementing any changes to their investment strategies.
Assante Private Portfolios is available through Assante Capital Management Ltd. (a member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) and Assante Financial Management Ltd., (a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada) both wholly-owned subsidiaries of CI Financial Corp. (“CI”). The principal business of CI is the management, marketing, distribution and administration of mutual funds, segregated funds, and other fee-earning investment products for Canadian investors through its wholly-owned subsidiary CI GAM. If you invest in CI products, CI will, through its ownership of subsidiaries, earn ongoing asset management fees in accordance with applicable prospectus or other offering documents.
Any reference to Assante Private Portfolios performance above refers to a model portfolio with a standard geographic asset allocation and blend of investment styles including alpha. Assumptions for the model portfolio include performance of the model portfolio is based on net returns and is representative of the Class/Series E shares of the underlying Assante Private Pools, or Series A classes in the case of underlying CI Funds. The portfolios are rebalanced monthly (actual client portfolios are rebalanced when the asset allocation exceeds the thresholds identified in the prospectus). No tax implications are triggered on rebalancing. The returns of the model portfolios are not indicative of returns for clients.
Certain names, words, titles, phrases, logos, icons, graphics, or designs in this document may constitute trade names, registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of CI Investments Inc., its subsidiaries, or affiliates, used with permission. All other marks are the property of their respective owners and are used with permission.
CI GAM | Multi-Asset Management is a division of CI Global Asset Management.
Not to be reproduced or copied without the prior consent of CI Global Asset Management.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest