A message from the President of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel

A new phase in our pandemic journey

Our valued clients,

Always arriving too soon, the end of summer has brought with it the usual stunning colours and changing landscapes, along with the annual transition to cooler weather. The season’s final days have also brought with them an end to one phase of our “new normal” and the beginning of what appears to be a new phase in our ongoing and uncharted COVID-19 journey.

The last several months have unquestionably brought monumental change. They began with the arrival of the coronavirus continued through the implementation of lockdowns and physical distancing measures to combat the spread of the virus that turned our world upside down, and eventually led to the gradual re-opening of the economy and social interactions through the summer.

During the glorious days of August, one might have been forgiven for beginning to imagine an end to our current situation. But fall’s chill air has reminded us that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint, and we still have some challenges ahead of us.

Reasons for optimism, tempered with well-founded caution

The summer months brought us many reasons to hope: economic growth began to return with the end of lockdowns, job growth increased, and consumer spending regained its pre-COVID-19 levels. Markets rebounded from their record-fast falls in a historically short time, surprising many who had anticipated a deep and prolonged bear market. Government fiscal and central bank policies seemed to deliver enough fuel to the economy to prevent the situation from becoming more dire. Many of us even took our first steps towards a vacation away from home, venturing to cottages and visiting with nearby family and friends.

But as summer has faded, concern has crept back into the picture, tempering hopes of a quick end to the pandemic. While we have enjoyed a strong bounce in economic activity and jobs, we are far from fully restored, and we have seen the momentum of the recovery falter recently. Infection rates have begun to creep back up, even in countries that seemed to have beaten back the coronavirus. After its summer surge, markets have given back some of their extraordinary gains, and company outlooks have been trimmed back to better reflect the more moderate expectations for a quick recovery, an effective vaccine and more government fiscal stimulus. The U.S. presidential election is also looming on the horizon, suggesting more volatility ahead.

This more cautious outlook is prudent, and should not undercut earlier optimism, only temper it. Things are measurably better than in the first few months of the pandemic, and we know much more about the virus now than then. The acceptance of the need to change our behaviours to remain safe and to protect others is largely embedded. And our increasing ability to pinpoint trouble spots and flare-ups will hopefully help us avoid another full-scale lockdown.

New normal, new approaches

At RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, we have been guided in our office re-openings by an appropriate abundance of caution to ensure the health and well-being of our employees and our valued clients, and – and that is, and will always be, our top priority. We are also continuing to assess and re-assess how to best continue to deliver the advice, service and support you require, and to do so in a way that is most convenient and accessible for you.

To that end, over the summer we launched the new RBC Wealth Management Online portal, while broadening your choices as to how you wish to access this secure service: desktop, laptop and mobile device. If you haven’t already done so, please speak with your Investment Counsellor to get set up and underway at your earliest convenience. And, we have also introduced eSign, a digital signature solution that enables you to sign key account documents electronically.

As we all spend more time these days in the digital world, we remain vigilant against cyber fraud and online scams. Earlier this summer we introduced two new enhancements to help ensure you are protected when communicating with your Investment Counsellor and their team. First, Secure Two-Way Messaging is a safe way to send and receive messages containing confidential information and documents such as account statements and tax slips. Second, RBC Secure Email is designed to protect your sensitive correspondence and related documents while in transit online to you or any of your trusted external advisors whom you have authorized us to communicate with, such as your lawyer and/or accountant.

But some things will never change

While so much has changed over the last several months, some things remain deeply embedded and forever part of our “DNA” at RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. This includes delivering best-in-class advice and wealth management services; our long-term, value-driven portfolio management approach; and, providing you industry-leading investment products and solutions. Moreover, our commitment to you also remains unchanged: to strive to help you achieve the things that matter most to you in your life, a commitment that remains both an honour and a privilege to deliver upon each and every day.

Please stay in touch – we are always available and ready to assist you and your family. We would also be pleased to speak with anyone you know – friends, family members, colleagues – who may have concerns about their financial future during these troubled times.

As always, I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

Warm regards,

signature of Vijay Parmar

Vijay Parmar, CPA, CA
RBC PH&N Investment Counsel