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Weekly Insights, 2020 Election: Sweet Gridlock?

At this point it would appear, based on the odds and the views of political “experts”, that Joe Biden will be the winner. The Senate will remain under Republican control and the House will be under Democratic control, albeit less so than before. So here are our thoughts
on the market/economic implications with the HUGE caveat that the outcomes are not final and there are likely a few curve balls ahead.

November 2020 Investor Strategy: Pandemic, Polls, & Positioning

The relationship between politics and finance is closely intertwined. Every four years, we have a major convergence
when Americans head to the polls and investors try to figure out what it means for their portfolios. Canadians have a
vested interest as Canada’s economy and a large portion of diversified portfolio’s are directly exposed to the U.S.

Weekly Insights: Earnings Dance

The 2020 earnings season, much like so many aspects of 2020, is like no other. Q1 results, released in April, were partially impacted by the pandemic but it was guidance that took the real hit. The majority of companies simply stopped providing forward guidance with the legitimate excuse being “nobody knows how this progresses”.

Weekly Insights: Active vs Passive

Currently, we would suggest investors tilt more towards
active. Even the very efficient S&P 500 is now riskier
than normal given a handful of names carry such a
large weight in the index. Recent trends may continue
but at some point they will reverse. And given the
weightings, that will not be pleasant for some of the
market-cap-weighted indices.

Weekly Insights: Recession Like No Other

Clearly those that can spend are spending, on durables and not services given that services spending often requires more interaction with people. The problem is that while a large portion of the economy is doing OK, a big portion is not, leading to what is being deemed a K-shaped recovery. For now, government stimulus is attempting to hold up the lower part of the “K” until a vaccine is developed, or people feel safe to become more “economically” active again. The longer this persists, the greater the risk that the lower part of the “K” drags down the upper part. If this occurs, the pandemic was just the exogenous shock that pushes us into a more traditional recession.

October 2020 Investor Strategy: Loveless Recovery

If in March of this year you were asked to predict where equity markets would land at the end of the third quarter, your
answer would likely have fallen off the charts. We’re nine months into the new decade, and despite the continued
economic uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, equity markets still managed to post a second quarter of
consecutive gains in 3Q20 on the back of 2Q20’s strength. Most other asset classes continued to recover as well, in large
part attributable to optimistic re-opening efforts, sustained monetary easing from the world’s central banks, and
aggressive fiscal stimulus measures which have helped buoy economic activity.

Weekly Insights: Canada’s Changing Energy Sector

Canada’s energy sector has gone through a rather painful evolution over the past few years. High oil prices, oh so many years ago, unleashed a long-term global supply response during the past decade including large long-term projects and the acceleration of the U.S. shale revolution.

Weekly Insights: IPO Renaissance

It was hard not to notice the excitement surrounding initial public offerings (IPOs) last week as we saw SNOW in September. In fact, IPOs are having a banner year with businesses rushing to raise capital and provide liquidity for early-stage investors given the ample appetite for speculation and new stocks. The pandemic has changed the world, and investors are looking for the leaders of tomorrow.