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How to invest during a pandemic, according to a Concordia grad

Adrian Chomenko finds success through persistence, organization and confidence during turbulent times
October 19, 2020
By Damon van der Linde, BA 08

Adrian Chomenko says his ability to organize and maintain professional relationships was forged during his time studying at Concordia.

As the world faces economic uncertainty in the wake of a global pandemic, award-winning financial advisor Adrian Chomenko, BA 86, says the best thing investors can do is relax, stay the course and not try to predict the future.

“Be careful of the four most dangerous words in investing — this time is different,” he says, quoting Sir John Templeton’s famous financial maxim.

“Bear markets are as common as dirt. We’ve lived through them before and all you’ve got to do is sit through it,” says Chomenko. “Over a lifetime, not only does the average investor under-perform the market, but somehow the average investor is under-performing their own portfolio.”

As an advisor, Chomenko has been recognized specifically for his skills in long-term investing. In 2018, he won the Investia Financial Services Club Select Award for providing his clients with the highest portfolio performance in the province of Quebec for the last decade.

However, Chomenko is adamant with his clients that his strategy does not include speculating on the latest investment trends such as cannabis and bitcoin.

“My strategy is plain vanilla: simple diversification and regular rebalancing,” he says.

‘More than just grades’

Clipping fromThe Link, Tuesday March 5, 1985

Chomenko says his ability to organize and maintain professional relationships was forged during his time studying at Concordia. Although he says academics never came easy to him, his parents encouraged him to become involved with associations.

Following their advice, Chomenko became active in a number of Concordia organizations, including an executive position on the Concordia Ukrainian Students’ Union and serving on the board of directors for what’s now called the Arts and Science Federation of Associations.

“These organizations really shaped me and I’m grateful for coming out of university with much more than just grades,” he says. “These are experiences that I’ve carried with me in my life as a financial advisor, as a father and as a son.

“I learned how to make decisions, how to make mistakes and how to adapt along the way, while working alongside people with different perspectives than my own.”

Chomenko says the key to building his investment business has been following his own guiding principles based on what he calls the “rules of basic finance” that are not swayed by market turbulence.

“When I meet with a client for the first time, I present my principles and practices. What I do in investment management isn’t rocket science and I haven’t reinvented anything,” he says. “What makes me different isn’t that I’m better than the person next door, but it’s the founding investing principles I believe in that truly help my clients achieve their goals.

“I have lost clients over the years because they haven’t been able to handle the principles but this is what I follow, and it comes from the bottom of my heart.”


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