Tax reform and Fed rate hikes not helping floundering greenback

The U.S. dollar has started off 2018 where it left off last year — on the decline — and if forecasts for the currency to soften further prove correct, that could make the Canadian dollar’s recent ascent to 80 cents U.S. seem rather insignificant by the end of the year.On Tuesday, the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) fell below 92 for the first time in more than three months, after dropping approximat [...]

09 January 2018

Top energy and mining picks to consider amid strong global growth

If you’re looking for an easy way to measure the health of the global economy, look no further than the fact that 75 per cent of OECD countries posted accelerating GDP growth in the third quarter. At the same time, no OECD country is experiencing a recession.That’s the second consecutive quarter this feat has been achieved, and the absence of a recession is something that hasn’t occurred sin [...]

09 January 2018

For investors, 2017 was the year everything went right, and that's enough to make anyone paranoid

Portfolio managers are a paranoid lot. When times are good, we worry about when it’s going to end. When times are bad, we worry that it’s never going to end.”Don Cranston, the C in CGOV Asset Management, told me this years ago. He could’ve been referencing 2017, which for me, was a year of discomfort. It just felt too good.After years of markets over-reacting to political and s [...]

21 December 2017

'I'm flesh and blood and I'm here to help you': Hunter Harrison's transformation model

After taking the reins as chief executive officer of Canadian National Railway Co. in 2003, E. Hunter Harrison — the legendary railroad leader who died last weekend due to severe complications from an illness — was determined to make sure his employees understood the high standards he expected of them.So he held a series of what were known as “Hunter Camps” — intimate three-day [...]

21 December 2017

Why this energy fund manager isn't being cautious

It’s been a bumpy year for oil prices. After dipping to nearly US$42 per barrel in June, crude is now hovering near US$60, and is poised to end 2017 up about five per cent. Unfortunately, the Canadian energy sector has failed to keep pace, as the S&P/TSX Composite Energy Index has fallen more than 10 per cent, and many stocks are still down 40 to 50 per cent.There is no shortage of [...]

11 December 2017

Five reasons why 2017 has been such a blockbuster year for investors

For many investors, it has been a very good year. Of course, we will soon start to see a plethora of market ‘predictions’ for 2018, and we have promised our editor we will come up with one as well. But, before one can even try to predict the future, one needs to look at the past. With the help of Brandon Osten and his team at Venator Capital, as succinctly outlined in his recent Inve [...]

11 December 2017

How Mitzi Perdue Recommends Passing Your Business to the Next Generation

About 70 percent of family businesses never make it past the first generation. Mitzi Perdue is uniquely familiar with the challenges of passing on a family business. Perdue was born into the family that created Sheraton Hotels and then married into the family behind Perdue Chicken. Because of this expertise, Perdue recently wrote a book specifically about family business ownership, called [...]

23 November 2017

With $18.8B deal, Brookfield doubles down on the mall

Brookfield Property Partners L.P.’s $18.8-billion bid for the portion U.S. mall operator GGP Inc. that it doesn’t already own is underscoring the firm’s belief that brick-and-mortar retail isn’t dead — it may just need to broaden its horizons.Toronto-based Brookfield, the real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., already owns 34 per cent of GGP. It confirmed Monday t [...]

17 November 2017

The myth of the hot IPO: Why investors need to be wary of initial public offerings

Investment lore tells us that “there’s gold in them there hills,” when it comes to initial public offerings of stocks. Surely everyone has heard stories of those fortunate enough to “get in on the ground floor” of a McDonalds, Apple or Dollarama and the countless number of times those stocks have multiplied since then. Faced with tales of eye-popping returns like these, it’s [...]

17 November 2017

Let's get this straight: Trade deficits aren't bad

Some folks still believe the world is flat. Others are convinced the Rothschilds and the U.S. Federal Reserve somehow sank the Titanic. The President of the United States once believed his predecessor wasn’t American.Especially in this era of fake news and a plethora of channels on which to spread it, a myth can endure for ages, no matter how bad, or how firmly debunked, or how simply [...]

15 November 2017

Five numbers that show just how strong big tech is right now

Everyone knows how dominant Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are in the stock market. They top the list of the world’s largest companies, the first time all five have belonged to the same industry. They’re up an average of 46 per cent in 2017, three times the S&P 500’s. Were they a market by themselves, their US$3.3 trillion combined worth would make it the sixth-b [...]

15 November 2017

'You have to grow all the time' and accept help: Self-made entrepreneur

Coming to America from Cuba as a young child, Nely Galán discovered the importance of sacrifice and setting goals to move ahead. “You have to grow all the time,” Galán said. “You can’t be stuck thinking you know everything. Or what was successful 10 years ago is going to be successful going forward.” A New York Times bestselling author and the first female president of Tele [...]

06 November 2017

Strong September boosts returns, but outlook remains clouded for investors

Investors set to receive their third-quarter statements have the month of September to thank for helping to boost their year-to-date returns.The S&P TSX was running flat until the beginning of September, but a 10 per cent rally in oil stocks over the past 30 days helped turn the S&P TSX positive with a modest 3.5 per cent gain for the year on a total return basis.Canadian bonds as represen [...]

04 October 2017

Is it time for a stock market correction?

If you’re keeping track of the ongoing rally for the S&P 500, you’ll know that the index has gone 318 days without a correction of five per cent or more. That makes this the longest such run since 1960.While that may make some investors nervous considering the S&P 500 continues to hit fresh all-time highs, there is at least one good reason why a sharp pullback or lengthy retreat doesn [...]

04 October 2017

Canadian business faces more serious threat in Trump’s tax plan than just cuts

A proposal that would allow U.S. companies to immediately write off capital investments, part of a sweeping tax-reform plan announced by the White House last week, could put Canadian companies at a further disadvantage to their southern counterparts, tax experts say.White House officials laid out their plans to overhaul the U.S. tax system in a nine-page document Sept. 27.The document includes a p [...]

03 October 2017

Checking in with the doomsayers, as markets hit record highs

So, we are rapidly coming up to October, one of the months investors fear the most. Not only that, but this year, on Oct. 19, we mark the 30th anniversary of the worst market crash (by points at least) in history. Now, September, on average, is the worst month for stocks, but October has a larger share of big drops. Suffice to say, no investor goes into the month blissfully anticipating giant gain [...]

02 October 2017

The Canadian housing market is in good shape, and so are the banks, analysts say

Despite rising interest rates and various policy measures implemented to slow pricing growth, the Canadian housing market is not on track for a sharp decline. It nonetheless bears watching, as the domestic mortgage market is a big factor for the Canadian banks.This business accounts for anywhere from 30 per cent to 60 per cent of their total lending portfolios, with CIBC and Royal Bank having the [...]

27 September 2017

Oil is on fire today — prices haven't been this high in two years

NEW YORK — Oil prices hit a more than two-year high on Monday after major producers said the global market was on its way towards rebalancing, while Turkey threatened to cut oil flows from Iraq’s Kurdistan region toward its ports.The November Brent crude futures contract was up US$1.51, or 2.5 per cent, at US$58.37 a barrel by 11:33 a.m. EDT, its highest since July, 2015.U.S. West Texas Interm [...]

26 September 2017