September 5

Africa, Land of Opportunity

  Friends, I remember growing up thinking Africa would forever be plagued with poverty. Although unfortunate, the prospect of economic growth had never even crossed my mind. Some 30 years later the continent has experienced some healthy growth. It seems that Africa has begun to understand its challenges and although gradually, it is making progress..

August 29

The Good, The Bad, The Answer

  Good day, Although the S&P 500 reached an important milestone of 2000 this week, we see both risks and opportunities ahead.   The Bad Geopolitical tensions continue to create economic uncertainty for Europe and any ripple effects could be felt in other parts of the world. US equities as a whole, while not overly.

August 22

The Bounce

  Good day, The North American market sell off we witnessed two weeks ago driven by geopolitical tensions has on average reversed itself this week. On Thursday the S&P 500 closed in record territory just 10 points shy of 2000 and the Dow not far off, just 0.6% away from its recent record. While US.

August 11

The Drop

Good day, In recent commentaries I mentioned I was surprised by how little geopolitical risks had impacted markets but over the last two weeks, it seems these issues have finally caught up to the markets. Although North American indices are up roughly 1% today, looking at my screens the S&P 500 is down 3.94% from.

July 25

Chugging Along

Good day, The S&P500 hit another record this week on good corporate earnings and improved jobless claims with a 7.6% year to date advance as of Thursday. According to Bloomberg, 77% of S&P500 companies that have reported earnings so far have beaten estimates. Although no official numbers have been released for second quarter GDP growth,.

July 18

Skip Lunch

Good day, One of the most inflationary commodities today is food. While US inflation hovers around the 2% range, food prices continue to rise at a much more rapid rate. According to the Labour Department food accounts for 13% of spending in the United States. As the world spends more on basic staples, less is.

July 4

You’re Guilty

Good day, One aspect of Behavioural Finance deals with irrational behaviour of individual investors.  As human beings, we have psychological biases which inhibit impartial judgement when it comes to dealing with money.  Most often this counterproductive behaviour happens subconsciously but ultimately impacts the outcome of our financial wellbeing. While there are many examples of psychological.

June 13

Tax Strategy #2 – Enhance Deductions via the IPP

Good day, In my May 9th commentary I listed a number of advanced tax planning ideas which are generally overlooked by retail investors.  In an effort to continue with the tax theme I thought I’d comment on the merits of the IPP (Individual Pension Plan). The IPP is an initiative which was introduced by the.

June 6

Where’s the Bubble?

Good day, When analyzing asset classes it’s important to recognize that the trend isn’t always your friend.  While opportunities to make money exist in every economy, opportunities to lose money are perhaps more abundant. Through our research we’ve narrowed down a few bubble prone asset classes and found Greek & Spanish bonds as well as.

May 30

US Recession Ahead?

Good day,   The US Commerce Department released its GDP figures this week showing negative growth for the last quarter.  The report showed a 1% annualized decline, worse than most economists had expected.  A recession is defined as two negative quarters of GDP growth but will we see economic contraction during the current quarter? Some.

May 26

Tax Deduct Medical Expenses

Good day, As mentioned in my last commentary, over the upcoming weeks I will include writings on advanced tax strategies seldom applied by most Canadians.  This week I thought I would provide a brief description of the PHSP (Private Health Services Plan). The Canada Revenue Agency approved plan allows businesses to convert all health, medical.

May 9

Canadians Lack Tax Advice

Good day, The retail investor is inundated with information from economists, reporters and the investment advisory community.  Headlines and talk shows aim to predict the future as eager listeners seek clues in order to protect and grow investment dollars.  I suppose to some extent I too am guilty of contributing to this phenomenon given my.

May 2

I Believe in You (just a bit)

Good day,   North American markets climbed this week despite increasing tensions in the Ukraine.  For the time being investors have learned how to digest headlines and perhaps they are better equipped to understand risk.  The world has experienced many troubling events during the last decade but investors have learned that even under tremendous political.

April 26

Markets Slip

Good day, A tougher week for North American markets with the Dow sliding 0.53% for the week, the S&P 500 0.45% and the TSX 0.27%.  While we had some strong earnings reports this from tech players including Apple, many of the tech names which have seen some of the largest gains during this bull cycle.

April 11

US Oil Independence

  In 2011 US President Obama made a speech discussing the country’s goal to becoming less reliant on importing oil from abroad.  According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), since the speech, Texas and North Dakota have doubled crude output and Texas now pumps more oil than Iran.   Many European and West African crude.

April 4

Will The TSX Rally Last?

Good Day, As you know I’ve favoured US stocks over Canadian for over 4 years now. I’ve stated in recent commentaries that the TSX should catch up at some point but the timing is somewhat uncertain. The TSX Total Return index (including dividends) has shown strong returns of approximately 13% in 2013 but this doesn’t.

March 28

Canadian Interest Rate Uncertain

  Good day, Last Wednesday, US Fed chair Janet Yellen stated the Fed Fund Rate would likely increase about six months after the bond buying program would end.  This would bring potential rate hikes in the US as early as spring of 2015. In the past interest rate hikes in the US have been closely.

March 14

Stock Markets Shrinking

Good Day, According to the World Federation of Exchanges, at the end of 2013 only 5,008 stocks traded on American exchanges which represents a decline of 44% from the high in 1997 when 8,884 stocks were trading on American exchanges. That’s right, about half as many stocks are available for purchase today on US exchanges.

March 7

Happy Birthday Bull

Good day,   This week marked the 5 year anniversary for the S&P500 bull market.  While global markets have some catching up to do, the S&P500 (the largest market in the world) is trading at an all-time high.  So when will the party end?   Despite the record high, I believe US markets will continue.

February 21

Chugging Along

  Friends,   The contraction of global markets in January has reversed.  For the month of February most North American & European markets have seen significant returns:   TSX: 3.76% S&P500: 3.21% DJIA: 2.77% FTSE100(London): 5.11% DAX (Germany): 3.24% CAC40 (Paris):4.53%   The Federal Reserve in the US is holding steady to its plans to.

February 11

The Start of 2014

Good Day, January was an eventful month. The currencies of multiple emerging market countries around the world experienced aggressive declines given the Fed’s decision to slow its bond buying program. I’ve received questions from readers about the relationship between global currencies and Fed tapering so here’s a brief explanation. The suffering US economy of 2008.

January 31

Goin’ to Europe

Good day, I mentioned earlier this month that we have been and continue to add European exposure to our portfolios. There are many reasons we favour this space but here are just a few. Stocks in Europe are cheap, in fact about half the price of US stocks from a price to earnings point of.

January 15

2014 Market Outlook

Good Day, I reviewed The Finish Line archives this morning and in the January commentaries of the last three years, I stated that the US market would outperform Canada’s. The total return including dividends of the TSX for the three year period is 10.56% while the S&P 500’s three year return is 55.97%. In addition.

January 15

Will the Housing Market Crash?

Good Day, Perhaps you’ve watched the news and heard about the Deutsche Bank study released this week stating that Canadian real estate is overpriced by 60%. In addition many economists agree that Canadian homes are extremely overvalued and the market is poised for a significant correction. On the other hand, real estate companies tell us.

January 15

Buffet Still the Best

  Good day, A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been the best performing stock since 1976. The report went on to say that Buffett’s success has come from the use of leverage coupled with purchasing high quality companies when discounted by the general market..

January 15

Does the Market Mirror the Economy?

Good day, While the stock market continues its relentless climb I dug a little deeper to see how the underlying economy is fairing. According to Bloomberg, a U.S. report showed this week that consumers spent money at the fastest pace in three months this last October.  This will likely continue into the holiday season which.

October 18

Where Do We Stand?

Good day, Over the last couple of weeks the debt ceiling story has monopolized headlines and investors have ignored economic data and company reports. As the anxiety over the debt ceiling has subsided, the market has returned to its ongoing gradual climb. There are four main factors which I believe are contributing to the rally..

October 11

Be Thankful

Good day friends, While I’m thankful today that American politicians seem to have come to their senses, it’s very easy these days to lose sight of the simple things that truly make us happy. Even the smallest holiday has become a commercial activity with all kinds of goodies that apparently should make one happy. Luckily,.

October 4

2013 – the new 1954

Good Morning, Bespoke Investment Group, the American investment and research firm along with Bloomberg, have been tracking and comparing the trading patterns of 1954 and 2013. The companies found that day-to-day price moves for the S&P 500 are almost identical. In 1954, the S&P500 recovered all of its losses from the great depression but this.

September 30

The Rise and Fall of a Canadian Global Player

Good Day, In 1984, two engineering students came up with an idea which led to a mobile communication giant, shaping the multi-billion dollar smart phone business we know today. Mike Lazaridis of the University of Waterloo & Douglas Fregin at the University of Windsor founded Research In Motion Ltd., which in its early days provided.

September 5

Africa, Land of Opportunity

  Friends, I remember growing up thinking Africa would forever be plagued with poverty. Although unfortunate, the prospect of economic growth had never even crossed my mind. Some 30 years later the continent has experienced some healthy growth. It seems that Africa has begun to understand its challenges and although gradually, it is making progress..

August 29

The Good, The Bad, The Answer

  Good day, Although the S&P 500 reached an important milestone of 2000 this week, we see both risks and opportunities ahead.   The Bad Geopolitical tensions continue to create economic uncertainty for Europe and any ripple effects could be felt in other parts of the world. US equities as a whole, while not overly.

August 22

The Bounce

  Good day, The North American market sell off we witnessed two weeks ago driven by geopolitical tensions has on average reversed itself this week. On Thursday the S&P 500 closed in record territory just 10 points shy of 2000 and the Dow not far off, just 0.6% away from its recent record. While US.

August 11

The Drop

Good day, In recent commentaries I mentioned I was surprised by how little geopolitical risks had impacted markets but over the last two weeks, it seems these issues have finally caught up to the markets. Although North American indices are up roughly 1% today, looking at my screens the S&P 500 is down 3.94% from.

July 25

Chugging Along

Good day, The S&P500 hit another record this week on good corporate earnings and improved jobless claims with a 7.6% year to date advance as of Thursday. According to Bloomberg, 77% of S&P500 companies that have reported earnings so far have beaten estimates. Although no official numbers have been released for second quarter GDP growth,.

July 18

Skip Lunch

Good day, One of the most inflationary commodities today is food. While US inflation hovers around the 2% range, food prices continue to rise at a much more rapid rate. According to the Labour Department food accounts for 13% of spending in the United States. As the world spends more on basic staples, less is.

July 4

You’re Guilty

Good day, One aspect of Behavioural Finance deals with irrational behaviour of individual investors.  As human beings, we have psychological biases which inhibit impartial judgement when it comes to dealing with money.  Most often this counterproductive behaviour happens subconsciously but ultimately impacts the outcome of our financial wellbeing. While there are many examples of psychological.

June 13

Tax Strategy #2 – Enhance Deductions via the IPP

Good day, In my May 9th commentary I listed a number of advanced tax planning ideas which are generally overlooked by retail investors.  In an effort to continue with the tax theme I thought I’d comment on the merits of the IPP (Individual Pension Plan). The IPP is an initiative which was introduced by the.

June 6

Where’s the Bubble?

Good day, When analyzing asset classes it’s important to recognize that the trend isn’t always your friend.  While opportunities to make money exist in every economy, opportunities to lose money are perhaps more abundant. Through our research we’ve narrowed down a few bubble prone asset classes and found Greek & Spanish bonds as well as.

May 30

US Recession Ahead?

Good day,   The US Commerce Department released its GDP figures this week showing negative growth for the last quarter.  The report showed a 1% annualized decline, worse than most economists had expected.  A recession is defined as two negative quarters of GDP growth but will we see economic contraction during the current quarter? Some.

May 26

Tax Deduct Medical Expenses

Good day, As mentioned in my last commentary, over the upcoming weeks I will include writings on advanced tax strategies seldom applied by most Canadians.  This week I thought I would provide a brief description of the PHSP (Private Health Services Plan). The Canada Revenue Agency approved plan allows businesses to convert all health, medical.

May 9

Canadians Lack Tax Advice

Good day, The retail investor is inundated with information from economists, reporters and the investment advisory community.  Headlines and talk shows aim to predict the future as eager listeners seek clues in order to protect and grow investment dollars.  I suppose to some extent I too am guilty of contributing to this phenomenon given my.

May 2

I Believe in You (just a bit)

Good day,   North American markets climbed this week despite increasing tensions in the Ukraine.  For the time being investors have learned how to digest headlines and perhaps they are better equipped to understand risk.  The world has experienced many troubling events during the last decade but investors have learned that even under tremendous political.

April 26

Markets Slip

Good day, A tougher week for North American markets with the Dow sliding 0.53% for the week, the S&P 500 0.45% and the TSX 0.27%.  While we had some strong earnings reports this from tech players including Apple, many of the tech names which have seen some of the largest gains during this bull cycle.

April 11

US Oil Independence

  In 2011 US President Obama made a speech discussing the country’s goal to becoming less reliant on importing oil from abroad.  According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), since the speech, Texas and North Dakota have doubled crude output and Texas now pumps more oil than Iran.   Many European and West African crude.

April 4

Will The TSX Rally Last?

Good Day, As you know I’ve favoured US stocks over Canadian for over 4 years now. I’ve stated in recent commentaries that the TSX should catch up at some point but the timing is somewhat uncertain. The TSX Total Return index (including dividends) has shown strong returns of approximately 13% in 2013 but this doesn’t.

March 28

Canadian Interest Rate Uncertain

  Good day, Last Wednesday, US Fed chair Janet Yellen stated the Fed Fund Rate would likely increase about six months after the bond buying program would end.  This would bring potential rate hikes in the US as early as spring of 2015. In the past interest rate hikes in the US have been closely.

March 14

Stock Markets Shrinking

Good Day, According to the World Federation of Exchanges, at the end of 2013 only 5,008 stocks traded on American exchanges which represents a decline of 44% from the high in 1997 when 8,884 stocks were trading on American exchanges. That’s right, about half as many stocks are available for purchase today on US exchanges.

March 7

Happy Birthday Bull

Good day,   This week marked the 5 year anniversary for the S&P500 bull market.  While global markets have some catching up to do, the S&P500 (the largest market in the world) is trading at an all-time high.  So when will the party end?   Despite the record high, I believe US markets will continue.

February 21

Chugging Along

  Friends,   The contraction of global markets in January has reversed.  For the month of February most North American & European markets have seen significant returns:   TSX: 3.76% S&P500: 3.21% DJIA: 2.77% FTSE100(London): 5.11% DAX (Germany): 3.24% CAC40 (Paris):4.53%   The Federal Reserve in the US is holding steady to its plans to.

February 11

The Start of 2014

Good Day, January was an eventful month. The currencies of multiple emerging market countries around the world experienced aggressive declines given the Fed’s decision to slow its bond buying program. I’ve received questions from readers about the relationship between global currencies and Fed tapering so here’s a brief explanation. The suffering US economy of 2008.

January 31

Goin’ to Europe

Good day, I mentioned earlier this month that we have been and continue to add European exposure to our portfolios. There are many reasons we favour this space but here are just a few. Stocks in Europe are cheap, in fact about half the price of US stocks from a price to earnings point of.

January 15

2014 Market Outlook

Good Day, I reviewed The Finish Line archives this morning and in the January commentaries of the last three years, I stated that the US market would outperform Canada’s. The total return including dividends of the TSX for the three year period is 10.56% while the S&P 500’s three year return is 55.97%. In addition.

January 15

Will the Housing Market Crash?

Good Day, Perhaps you’ve watched the news and heard about the Deutsche Bank study released this week stating that Canadian real estate is overpriced by 60%. In addition many economists agree that Canadian homes are extremely overvalued and the market is poised for a significant correction. On the other hand, real estate companies tell us.

January 15

Buffet Still the Best

  Good day, A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been the best performing stock since 1976. The report went on to say that Buffett’s success has come from the use of leverage coupled with purchasing high quality companies when discounted by the general market..

January 15

Does the Market Mirror the Economy?

Good day, While the stock market continues its relentless climb I dug a little deeper to see how the underlying economy is fairing. According to Bloomberg, a U.S. report showed this week that consumers spent money at the fastest pace in three months this last October.  This will likely continue into the holiday season which.

October 18

Where Do We Stand?

Good day, Over the last couple of weeks the debt ceiling story has monopolized headlines and investors have ignored economic data and company reports. As the anxiety over the debt ceiling has subsided, the market has returned to its ongoing gradual climb. There are four main factors which I believe are contributing to the rally..

October 11

Be Thankful

Good day friends, While I’m thankful today that American politicians seem to have come to their senses, it’s very easy these days to lose sight of the simple things that truly make us happy. Even the smallest holiday has become a commercial activity with all kinds of goodies that apparently should make one happy. Luckily,.

October 4

2013 – the new 1954

Good Morning, Bespoke Investment Group, the American investment and research firm along with Bloomberg, have been tracking and comparing the trading patterns of 1954 and 2013. The companies found that day-to-day price moves for the S&P 500 are almost identical. In 1954, the S&P500 recovered all of its losses from the great depression but this.

September 30

The Rise and Fall of a Canadian Global Player

Good Day, In 1984, two engineering students came up with an idea which led to a mobile communication giant, shaping the multi-billion dollar smart phone business we know today. Mike Lazaridis of the University of Waterloo & Douglas Fregin at the University of Windsor founded Research In Motion Ltd., which in its early days provided.