Notes from the Bridge

Through our constant effort to be informative and transparent, we welcome you to read our weekly market commentary. Please let us know if you have any questions on the subjects as we are always happy to discuss. Our goal is to guide you through the market noise and provide financial solutions tailored to your goals.

May 3rd 2019

As we turned the page to May, I have already been asked “when do we sell in May and go away?”. A phrase that is believed to have originated in London. Referring to the custom of aristocrats and bankers who would leave the city for their country estates, returning mid-September for the last leg of the British Triple Crown horse race.

April 25th 2019

The current market environment reminds me of one of my favourite Spaghetti Westerns, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. A tale of a man with no name (also known as Joe or Blondie), Tuco, and Angel Eyes on a quest to find buried gold.

April 12th 2019

For the investor, the ultimate mission is getting to where you need to be. This week there was a considerable flow of news to assist in seeing through the clouds.

April 5th 2019

A few weeks ago, our Provincial Government announced tax credits targeting LNG. It didn’t take long for that decision to pay-off. This week Chevron Canada and Woodside Energy announced an application to nearly double their Kitimat LNG development.

March 29th 2019

A lot of attention is being paid to very short-term treasury yields and their inversion to 10-year bond yields, and rightfully so. But is the very front of the yield curve impersonating “Chicken Little”?

March 22nd 2019

This week, investors sifted through the Canadian government’s release of a pre-election budget, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s statement reflecting a softer economic picture, and German Sovereign Bonds trading into negative yield territory.

March 15th 2019

Multiple Brexit votes, China unveiling a proposal for more open foreign investment laws, and a modest slowing of U.S. factory production all impacted the global markets this week.

March 8th 2019

Global cross-currents suggest volatility will remain a common theme. It is through these periods of volatility and caution that a disciplined approach is particularly prudent.

March 1st 2019

The Canadian and US economies have not escaped the plateauing of the global economy, but they are not falling off a cliff.

February 22nd 2019

Considering the strength of the markets we have seen since Boxing Day; the remainder of the year could be return constrained. But just because the Dow Jones or S&P 500 Indices may struggle from here, it does not mean that investors will have to.

February 15th 2019

In the global economy today, the worry about where we are in the current economic cycle is very real, however, increasing fragmentation and populist policies are becoming a major concern.

February 8th 2019

From the State of The Union address to reported slower global GDP growth to strong Canadian employment data, there was quite a bit of news this week.

February 1st 2019

As we head into Oscar season and if January were a movie, it’s title would have to be The Subtraction of Fear. A lot has happened over the past few months, but in the face of adversity the Oscar goes to Patience.

January 25th 2019

Did the markets take a sabbatical from reality? To some extent, yes. There continues to be a lot of noise, and while reality can be very subjective, a sense of normality seems to have returned.

January 18th 2019

By any account, December was an exceptionally frustrating month to be an investor. What a difference a few weeks can make.

January 11th 2019

The first two weeks of the new year remind me of a Duran Duran song from the mid 1980’s, The Reflex.

January 4th 2019

Happy New Year! As we turn the page on two very anomalous years for the markets, I expect that a return to fundamentals will be the dominant theme for 2019.

December 21st 2018

Plenty of market fireworks again this week, and this certainly has not been the way a trader would want to end the year. However, the capital markets are setting up for an extraordinary period to be an investor.

December 14th 2018

Global central banks continue to orchestrate an orderly unwinding of nearly a decade of quantitative easing policies, and uncertainty surrounding trade policy continues to influence market sentiment. So, after a week hiatus due to family travel, there is no shortage of events to discuss.

November 30th 2018

North American capital markets are searching for clarity. The three catalysts we need to get that are improved structural competitiveness in Canada, the U.S. Federal Reserve moving towards a more dovish tone, and a President Trump / Chairman Xi trade ceasefire.

November 23rd 2018

Storm clouds and silver linings. With sentiment around the globe clearly reaching negative heights for traders, the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. There is a real opportunity to be taken advantage of, and own some of the best companies in the world that are being tossed aside.

November 16th 2018

While many try to figure out the exact moment an index will bottom (or peak), or when the yield curve may invert (or steepen), we believe it is more important to identify the conditions that offer a guide to when those unknowns might be approaching.

November 9th 2018

 

Since 1962, financial markets have experienced a correction entering every one of the 14 mid-term elections. More importantly though, the twelve-month period after each of those mid-term elections, the markets were higher.

November 2nd 2018

October felt like a Halloween trick all month, but this is also not the first correction we have seen this year. Now it is time to pick up some of the November treats, although some may not be as obvious as you think.

October 26th 2018

There are plenty of factors stoking what we would call a good old fashioned global growth scare.

October 19th 2018

In what has been another tumultuous week for the capital markets,
corporate earnings remain robust and the global economy continues to
expand.

October 12th 2018

In a week where the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a 6% decline over a two-day period, one can either be gripped by fear or seize upon an opportunity. Corrections, while normal and healthy, don’t feel great and can cause emotional stress, they can also serve as the best time to be an investor.

October 5th 2018

NAFTA renewal, LNG Canada approval, strong North American economic data and rising bond yields had considerable impact on the capital markets this week. If you are able shut out the day to day noise, considerable opportunities are moving to the foreground.

September 28th 2018

 

Many different headlines grabbed our attention this week. From Canadian GDP and NAFTA negotiations, U.S. Purchasing Managers Index data, to the Italian Government announcing much higher than expected deficit spending all having an impact.

September 21st 2018

 

Surging market interest rates continued this week. Strong economic growth and rising core inflation are signs that central banks will keep hiking interest rates.

September 14th 2018

A lot of ‘same old / same old’ this week when it came to economic and political headlines, so we remain in this goldilocks frame of mind. That is a good thing, however we are also beginning to see signs that this might be about to change.

 

September 7th 2018

As trade tensions continue to overhang the markets this week, be they Brexit, NAFTA, or tariffs on Chinese exports, I am reminded of Warren Buffett’s famous saying. “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”.

August 31st 2018

This week we saw a continuation of positive economic growth in both Canada and the United States as both posted strong GDP data, but also some negatives with respect to trade.

August 24th 2018

The U.S. Federal Reserve, and to a lesser extent the Bank of Canada, look to continue their rate hiking cycle, but the search for the so-called neutral rate may increasingly raise uncertainty as well.

August 17th 2018

Global macro and political headlines continued to dominate capital markets this week, ranging from Turkish currency concerns to Chinese internet companies and the United States escalating trade tariffs.

August 10th 2018

Global equity markets witnessed a milestone last week as Apple crested the one Trillion Dollar valuation mark.

July 27th 2018

With nearly one-third of the S&P 500 companies reporting earnings this week, along with further mixed global trade comments out of the United States it is clear to me that two paradigms remain.

July 20th 2018

As we enter the dog days of summer, economic and market optimism remain healthy as companies begin to report continued growth.

June 29th 2018

As we approach the mid-way point of the year, I am reminded of Nate Silver’s book “The Signal and The Noise”. Both need to be paid attention to, but recognizing their differences will be paramount for capturing both the opportunities being created as well as avoiding potential headwinds.

June 22nd 2018

With little economic data to speak of this week, global markets were buffeted by yet another salvo from President Trump on his manufactured trade war with China.

June 15th 2018

News from the global central banks and trade tariffs were front and center this week, driving yet another choppy, but positive, trading week for global equities.

June 8th 2018

Markets have displayed greater stability this week as political tensions eased in both Italy and Spain, along with positive economic data here in North America.

June 1st 2018

A few things that caught my eye this week, were the geopolitical flare up in Spain and Italy, U.S. trade tariffs and Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report out of Silicon Valley.

 

May 24th 2018

Geopolitical headlines are once again in the driver’s seat. With global equity markets surrendering gains made earlier in the week, amid President Trump announcing that the planned summit with North Korea has been sidelined and a renewed call for trade tariffs.

May 18th 2018

Markets continue to slowly work themselves higher as we have essentially recovered from the correction earlier this year. 

May 11th 2018

Markets in general have started to work themselves higher as we move into the later stages of earnings season. But, as we now move into the seasonally weaker summer period, there is a lot to be excited about given the current trend of economic data.

May 4th 2018

Another up and down week of going sideways. Companies continued to report good earnings growth, the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged, and trade war talk between the U.S. and China gets you a flat yet volatile market.

April 27th 2018

In a week that was filled with corporate and economic data, the biggest event must be the historic news this morning that the Korean War is officially over, and the two countries are now pursuing peace. While it is still uncertain what will unfold on the Korean peninsula, peace is always better than tension.

April 20th 2018

Aside from the Energy sector picking itself up off the floor this week, it was a relatively nondescript week of sideways market activity. I would expect that to all change next week, as nearly one-quarter of the S&P 500 market capitalization will report earnings.

April 6th 2018

Despite a bumpy week of headlines, the markets held their own. While volatility was elevated, trading volume was slightly below average, and the markets resisted a further decline.

March 29th 2018

As we close out a holiday shortened week, North American markets remain in a corrective state and will post their first negative quarterly return since mid-2015.

March 23rd 2018

This week, we were reminded that the market does not like uncertainty. This reminder that was triggered by the Facebook scandal regarding the handling of personal data, and the surprise tariff announcement regarding trade with China.

March 16th 2018

The dust is beginning to settle as markets work through the recent correction, and stability within our markets continues to grow.

March 9th 2018

This week, we continue to see some stability within our markets, as they work through this corrective process. We also saw a plethora of economic data which gives me confidence in their future positive direction.

March 2nd 2018

As the saying goes, “March comes in like a lion”. Markets continue to adjust after nearly 2 years of extraordinary calm as inflation and rising interest rate concerns return. Though, at the end of the day, markets take their direction from earnings and those are growing.

February 23rd 2018

After a turbulent start, February looks to be coming to a close on more stable ground. However, as markets adjust to rising interest rates and inflationary pressures, a return to normal i.e. higher volatility should also be expected as we move forward.
 

February 16th 2018

How quickly things can change in just a matter of days. Last week capital markets saw their worst performance since 2008, this week the opposite, seeing their best performance since 2011. While caution is still warranted, the wheat is separating from the chaff, presenting tremendous opportunity for both dividend income and capital growth investors alike.

February 9th 2018

Plain vanilla corrections, while healthy, never feel plain vanilla while they are happening. Markets had gotten ahead of themselves, and the agnostic, indiscriminate selling that is taking place, defines the technical correction we are currently experiencing.

 February 2nd 2018

With Treasury Bond yields continuing to rise, we are seeing caution enter
global markets. This change in sentiment is something that investors should
welcome rather than fear.

January 26th 2018

This week was topsy-turvy, with equities in the United States at new highs, equities in Canada at one point turning slightly negative year-to-date, bond yields moving sharply higher and the US Dollar moving decidedly lower.

 

January 19th 2018

As expected, the Bank of Canada increased its key overnight interest rate this week. The balancing act Governor Poloz now faces is trying to gradually normalize interest rates amid strong economic growth and growing employment, without triggering a slowdown as household debt remains at record levels.

January 12th 2018

Happy New Year!!


As we embark on the new year, investors have reason for both optimism and
caution. With the anticipation that 2018 could be a pivotal year for global
equity markets, how we navigate both will be critical.

December 15th 2017

This week marks my final Notes from the Bridge for the year. Rather than commenting on what The President, Central Bankers or Economists had to say and how we as investors may take advantage, I thought I would wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. And suggest some seasonal treats to take in throughout our province.

December 1st 2017

As we enter the final month of the year, there is that Prometheus moment where we look both backward and forward in time. Reviewing not only the positives and negatives of the current year, but also what we expect for the next.

 

November 24th 2017

When I sat down to write my commentary this week, I thought back to a question I was recently asked, “is it important to you, how and what the companies you own do to make money”?  This week’s commentary will, in broad terms, begin a conversation to help answer that question.

November 17th 2017

 

Last week I mentioned that world events could introduce what I called ‘Stroke of the Pen Risk’ to investors. Yesterday we saw an excellent example of that, in Norway’s announcement that their Sovereign Wealth Fund is proposing to sell their investments in fossil fuels.

November 10th 2017

October brought more treats than tricks for investors, as North American markets continued to welcome healthy earnings growth. However, world events this week may introduce what I would call ‘Stroke of the Pen Risk’ to investors vocabulary. 


November 3rd 2017

The Canadian economic growth rate has slowed recently, relative to the strong start we had to the year, however, the labour market continues to strengthen. Although growth indicators have ticked lower, employers are still adding to their workforce as well as increasing their wages.