Category: Weekly Insights



June 2021 Investor Strategy: Commodity Supercycle – Unlikely

The story for each commodity is rather nuanced and idiosyncratic. Copper is one example of a metal that could be a more durable
bull market, but the rationale behind the popularity of Dr. Copper has nothing to do with lumber prices or the price of tea in China.
No doubt it’s been a good time for commodity exposure and a healthy home country bias, but we’d question characterizing it as a
supercycle to endure for years to come. The critical aspect is that the demand surprise may not be as enduring as some expect and
we expect the supply issues to resolve over the course of the year. We still like commodity exposure given the potent structural
backdrop for real assets, but more in a tactical sense.

Weekly Insights: CAD – Powerful concurrence of factors

Over the past few months, there have been several combining factors that have helped propel the Canadian dollar (CAD)
higher and/or the U.S. dollar (USD) lower, lifting the CAD to 83 cents. This run has made the CAD the top-performing currency among the big 11 currencies so far in 2021, up 5.3% (chart 1). A move like that over five months has turned some heads, notably when investors see their U.S. denominated assets fighting this strong headwind.

Weekly Insights: Imagine

If we developed a strategy that would have performed rather poorly for the past 20+ years, would it interest you? Probably not, who wants to invest in a strategy that would have received a D? Yet if it performed poorly due to falling yields and would benefit from rising yields, it may just be a great diversification strategy for the years ahead. We are not suggesting overweighting poor performing strategies but incorporating some strategies that would benefit or not be hurt by rising yields may prove wise for the decade ahead.

Weekly Insights: Inflation finally

Market opiners, ourselves included, have been commenting about rising inflation for a few quarters now and it’s finally started to show up in the consumer price data. Pretty much every price indicator is showing rising prices. This is evident in year-over-year measurements, which are exacerbated by depressed prices a year ago, and if you just look at price changes over the past few months. Core U.S. CPI is up about 1.4% over the past 3-months—that would be 5% annualized if the pace persisted. Year-over-year producer prices are up (+4.1% ex food & energy), with import prices at +11% at exports at +14%. If you were waiting to ‘see the whites of their eyes’ (for inflation, that is), this may be the time.

MAY 2021 Investor Strategy: Time for real assets?

The ‘Biden Bust’ that Trump warned us about has turned into the ‘Biden Boom’. April 28th marked President Biden’s 100th day in
office. In that time, the S&P 500 is up 8.6%. That mark’s the strongest market performance during a new president’s first 100 days
since JFK in 1961. Higher taxes you say? The markets do not seem to care.

Weekly Insights: Market’s mood and flow

Sometimes we can get a little overboard with our use of market personification. Though abstract and ethereal, the market can be thought of as a projection of human emotion, though it is obviously incapable of human behaviour. Keeping a pulse on the market’s mood is a rather elusive, but important part of understanding market risk or opportunity especially when it is at extreme levels.

Weekly Insights: Bull market year 2 or 12?

The market moves in cycles with the two key phases being a bull market (good times) and a bear market (bad times). Determining at which point a bull market begins or ends is never evident at the key turning points. It sometimes takes many quarters or even years before all are convinced ‘that was the bottom’ or ‘that was the top’. Which brings us to the big question of this Ethos: did a new bull market start in late March of 2020 or are we in the same bull market cycle that started way back in March of 2009?

Weekly Insights: Path to normal

Over the past number of years there has been a deluge of new data sources. Investors no longer have to wait for company earnings or government statistics to get a sense as to what the economy is doing. This higher frequency data can help in providing an  informational edge and generating portfolio insights. Whether or not that edge is still there when it’s become available to your average Joe with a Bloomberg, is another story. Regardless, we do find it useful to help track economic activity, identify trends and pattern and gauge market dislocations.