“Keep Invested” – Raymond James CEO Says You Ought to Not Flee The Market Regardless of Covid Fears

Paul Reilly, CEO of Raymond James, told CNBC on Friday that long-term investors shouldn’t be afraid of the equity markets despite the surge in coronavirus cases and other risk factors that weighed on Wall Street in October.

“The important message is to stay invested,” said Reilly at Power Lunch. “If you are afraid of some segments, that’s fine. You can adjust to the uncertainty during this time.”

Reilly’s comments came on another bearish day for stocks as US indices posted their worst weekly losses since March. That was in the early days of financial markets when they had to grapple with the risks of the global Covid-19 outbreak.

In addition to the increasing coronavirus cases in the US and Europe, investors also had to grapple with the presidential elections next Tuesday and the almost dizzying back-and-forth negotiations in Washington over an economic stimulus package in October. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted monthly losses.

Reilly said investors need to remember that, despite the myriad of short-term risks, owning stocks is “a long-term game.” “Elections take place every four years and the world seems to be surviving them, doesn’t it?” said Reilly, who became CEO of the financial services firm in 2010. Before that he was also CEO of the auditing firm KPMG.

With the coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic consequences challenging investors, Reilly said it was sensible to shift portfolio composition by moving sensitive sectors like airlines to more attractive opportunities like consumer staples.

“Certainly we don’t know what will happen to Covid in the next six months. Long-term, I think we all feel comfortable that the virus will at least be able to live with it and, in some cases, defeat it.” Ways, “he said.” But in the short term, when you are uncertain, make some adjustments through that uncertainty, but in the long run don’t run away from the markets.

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