Coronavirus is having a significant impact on share markets around the world. Here are the most common questions our clients are asking us.

Stock market changes - your questions answered

We are here to help you. If you would like to speak to one of our advisers about your personal situation, please complete the online enquiry form and one of our team members will be in touch. If you already have an existing QInvest adviser on Ongoing Service, and would like assistance, please get in touch with your adviser directly.

Q: How much money have I lost in my investments?

A: The Australian share market, along with the rest of the world, is having a bumpy ride at the moment. Understandably, this volatility worries some of our clients. Particularly clients who are getting closer to retirement. However you haven’t actually lost anything unless you sell your investments. If you do, that’s called “crystallising a loss”.

How does that work?

As an example, on Friday, 13 March 2020 the Australian share market initially dropped, then finished the day higher. If you bought shares at the start of the day, then sold them at lunchtime, you may have lost money (crystallised a loss). If you held the shares all day and sold them at the end, you may have made a profit. If you simply bought them and held onto them, you haven’t lost (or made) anything, you continue to hold those shares or units.

market volatilty

Q: I am worried about my investments? What should I do?

A: For some people the answer may be nothing. You may want to consider your likely living expenses and whether you would like to delay larger expenditure now and keep your money invested until the market recovers. Your decisions will be dependent on your future plans and personal circumstances. A Financial Adviser can assist you in understanding the impacts of your decisions and help to reassure you.

Q: Will I lose anything if I move all my money into cash?

A: If you sell your investments when the value has decreased, you lock in that loss. See our answer to Question one on what that means.

Q: What can you do to protect my money, while the stock market is crashing?

A: There are a lot of things that cause share market volatility. Everyone’s circumstances are different, however, before taking quick action with long-term investments and crystallising point-in-time returns, remember to consider the bigger picture. An adviser can help you understand the impact of the volatility on your plans and can talk through options for how you may be able to manage this.

If you are concerned and would like personalised advice, please get in touch with us and we can assess what is best for you.

Q: I recently made changes to my investments after receiving your advice. Is this advice still right for me? What should I do?

A: Your adviser has devised your investment strategies with you based on your financial goals, risk assessment and financial position when your advice was prepared.

It’s important to ensure you continue to review your position and are on track to achieve your goals. This is important if your circumstances have changed since your last review or if you would like reassurance that your plans are still on track.

Q: I was planning on retiring soon. Do I need to delay my retirement because of what is happening with the markets?

A: We know some clients are feeling very stressed about the current share market volatility, particularly clients in retirement or close to retirement.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. The timing of your retirement will depend on your retirement goals, projections and cashflow requirements in retirement. Some people already drawing down some of their super (such as those using a transition to retirement strategy) may want to make adjustments to their lifestyle now to reduce amounts being drawdown.

If you’re unsure about what you personally should do, personal financial advice might help guide you on which strategies are best for you.

Q: I am in retirement, what should I do about my money?

A: When you’re in retirement rather than the working phase of your life, access to your savings is essential. Ideally you want to be able to draw your income without locking in losses on your entire nest egg.

When the markets are volatile and down, you may like to consider whether you can afford to minimise any amounts you withdraw from your investments such as super. For some people, that may mean delaying a lump sum withdrawal for a large expenditure such as buying a new car or paying off a mortgage. This may allow more time for the market to recover and minimise any investment losses.

If you’re unsure about what you personally should do, personal financial advice might help guide you on which strategies are best for you.

COVID-19 impacts on your retirement

Q: What were the government stimulus announcements made recently? How do I know if I qualify?

A: We have written a summary of the announcements with regards to the superannuation minimum drawdown requirements, changes to deeming rates and early access to super.

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

Q: How do I reduce my drawdown amount for my pension account?

A: The process for changing your drawdown amount varies depending on who your Pension or Income account is invested with.

Most pension accounts allow you to modify your drawdown amount through your online account.

If you have an existing QInvest adviser on Ongoing Service, please contact your adviser directly. Your adviser can help you assess what is appropriate for you and advise on the process to modify your drawdown amount.

Q: I have a TTR (Transition to Retirement) account. Should I continue to take my annual pension payment?

A: Everyone’s circumstances are different.

Minimum drawdown requirements still apply. However, the Government is helping people to minimise the impact of the volatility by temporarily reducing minimum drawdown requirements. Find out more.

What is best for you may depend on your likely cashflow requirements. If you would like help assessing your needs, please see our Budget Planner calculator to get started. An adviser can help you work through what is most suitable for your needs.

Q: How do I access the $10,000 early access to super?

The government has announced that individuals affected by the Coronavirus can apply to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and up to a further $10,000 in 2020-21 (conditions apply).

A: You cannot apply for these payments yet, however from Monday 20 April you will be able to apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website. After the ATO processes your application, they will issue you with a determination confirming your eligibility. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund.

Find out more

Q: I am currently withdrawing money from my pension account and re-contributing to my accumulation account. Should I continue to do this?

A: A financial adviser would need to consider your individual circumstances to see what is best for you under the current climate.

Q: Given all the uncertainty now should I wait until things have settled to get financial advice?

A: Now is a good time to assess your needs and consider whether financial advice can help guide you. A financial adviser will look at your full financial picture and based on your needs recommend strategies that will help you achieve what’s important to you.


If you would like to speak to one of our advisers about your personal situation, please complete the online enquiry form and one of our team members will be in touch. If you already have an existing QInvest adviser on Ongoing Service, and would like assistance, please get in touch with your adviser directly.