Market corrections take time to resolve. After a tough month of October, global stock markets had a relief bounce in early November before more U.S.-China trade tensions, fear of slowing global economic growth, declining oil prices, Brexit and so on caused them to retreat again. Markets are now in the process of testing their respective October lows. This type of price development (i.e. initial market decline, followed by an oversold bounce, then a retest of the bottom) is quite normal and is exhibiting characteristics representative of past market corrections.
Beyond this short-term market volatility, we believe the larger fundamental picture remains intact for major global economies. The data and indicators we monitor show that the risk of a global recession is relatively low in 2019. However, the market is not the economy and we can experience a market correction due to excessive optimism and higher valuation without a recession. As long-term investors, we must acknowledge that short-term market volatility is inevitable and is part of investing. During these times, we must not allow our emotions to derail our long-term plan, and conversely, having a cash reserve can allow us to capture opportunities.
At this point, the big question is whether the retest of the October lows will hold and if we can muster a rally into year-end. There are several potential positive catalysts to monitor. The first can occur this weekend at the G20 Summit starting on November 30th in Buenos Aires, Argentina. President Trump and President Xi are meeting to discuss trade talks and if the U.S. and China can come to a more collaborative tone, such as agreeing on a framework or date for further negotiations and holding off on further tariff increases, that would be a positive catalyst for the markets. The second catalyst could come from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Their next FOMC meeting is on December 19th , where the probability of a U.S. rate hike is about 80%, but this has been mostly priced in. What’s more important is their tone and projection for future rate hikes. A more dovish tone and accommodative stance on future increases would be viewed positively by the markets. In fact, we have already seen a hint of that this week when Fed Chair Jerome Powell took a dovish stance in his speech at the Economic Club of New York.
Lastly and close to home, a rebound in oil prices from extreme oversold territory would bode well for Canada and other oil-centric economies. The OPEC nations and Russia are expected to meet on December 6th and have hinted at cutting oil production by about 1.4 million barrels per day to address the current oversupply issue. If enacted, it could be a positive catalyst for the markets. Let’s see if Santa will pay us an early visit this year and give markets a year-end rally.
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From an investment perspective, asset allocation deals with the way in which your securities are allocated within broad categories.
It may not just be about equities or bonds. For example, some people may have restricted their investments to include only real estate. They may own rental properties in the U.S., with the hope that the value of the underlying property will rise in price and cover any operating costs to provide a real return over time that can be realized and used during future years for personal purposes.
During the commodity super-cycle that peaked during the first decade of the new millennium, some investors may have focused their purchases on commodities-based investments, with the hope that this tactic would result in a positive return or “outperformance” over time.
With both of these asset classes (and others), the turbulence of the marketplace in recent times has sent a strong message about the need for appropriate asset allocation.
What is Asset Allocation?
Asset allocation is the manner in which your investments are proportioned within each investment category, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities, cash and other asset classes.
Generally, the goal of asset allocation is to help you plan to meet your financial goals by adjusting and rebalancing your allocations based on a variety of factors, including such things as your age, current financial position, risk tolerance or size of estate. The risk associated with your portfolio should reduce over time as the portfolio reaches its end point.
Determining Your Asset Allocation
The process of defining an appropriate asset allocation will depend on a number of important factors. A general first step should be identifying realistic financial goals and time horizons. These may include education expenses for your children, the purchase of a house, vacation or car expenses, your retirement goals, and others. You will need to understand the timing and the amount of money needed to achieve these goals, as well as your ability to generate the required resources.
Once you have determined your goals, prioritize them according to a time frame. Short-term goals should have less risky investments and longer-term goals can have more risky investments.
Discussing these objectives is important, especially when it comes to your overall wealth management plan. The process may result in the abandonment of some of your current “wants” as being out of reach at the moment and may require you to rethink your priorities.
Changing Your Mix
Once you have your basic investment plan in place, you should try to adhere to it. Be disciplined to ensure that you don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t be afraid to stick to a plan that has been well-thought out for your circumstances.
However, you should also consider reviewing your asset allocation each year. With the passage of time comes change in the time horizon for each of your investment goals. Longer-term goals now become intermediate or shorter-term goals. As well, different events in your life may also trigger the need for change in your allocation mix, such as marriage, the birth of a child, an inheritance or the death of a spouse.
Seek Expert Advice
Worth repeating: Investors should seek advice about any aspect of the investment process, but particularly about asset allocation. Don’t be afraid to discuss the merits of different asset classes or securities in meeting your own personal investment objectives.
The ticker symbol has been synonymous with North American stock markets over time. But have you ever wondered where the term “ticker symbol” comes from?
The origin of the ticker symbol dates back to the end of the 1800s when Thomas Edison developed one of the first means of digital electronic communication — the stock ticker — a machine which broadcast the price of stocks over telegraph lines. It consisted of a long paper strip that ran through the machine which printed company names and their associated stock transaction price and volume information.
The word “ticker” was derived from the tapping noise the machine made while printing. At the time, it was difficult to list the entire name of a company, so an abbreviated form called a “ticker symbol” was used.
In the 1960s, the paper ticker tape and stock ticker become obsolete. At this time, the rise in the use of new technology such as television and computers replaced the ticker tape to transmit financial information.
Today, letter-only ticker symbols have been standardized across North American markets. When a security is listed on public markets, a company has the opportunity of choosing their ticker symbol. There are generally few rules that limit its ticker symbol name, as long as the main part of the symbol is four letters or less, is unique, does not closely resemble another symbol and is not rude in nature.
Some of the more unique ticker symbols include: LUV — a low-cost U.S. airline, headquartered in Love Field, USA; FUN — a U.S. amusement park operator; YUM — a global operator of fastfood restaurant chains; and TAP — a U.S. beer-producer.
I am careful to contemplate that at Halloween, the notion of trick or treat may be going through your minds as you read this article. If you have been watching the news lately and especially the performance of our Prime Minister and his government, his carbon tax strategy truly is a “Trick” (it is not a tax on carbon, it is a price on pollution) and his “Treat” is to take your money, then give it back to you as a rebate.
We have a government that is oblivious to what matters most to the average Canadian. They believe the three main concerns to all Canadians are:
- Carbon Tax
- Gender neutrality
- Aboriginal rights
These are valid concerns and issues that need to be explored and addressed respectfully but I feel the three top concerns for Canadians are:
- The Economy
A recent study by the Fraser Institute in Ontario, that government sector employees earn 10.6% more than private sector employees for similar work. They retire 1.8 years before private sector employees, take 5 more personal days off work a year, 5 times less likely to be laid off, and 7 times more likely to have guaranteed pensions for life.
My question to you is this, if public sector employees made less, and more importantly, had no guaranteed pensions, do you think that they who drive policy would not push for better taxation policies that allows capital formation for retirement? Of course they would, but as we say in the private equity world, senior bureaucrats have “no skin in the game or investor alignment” so they will continue to increase taxes to guarantee government revenues for their gold-plated pensions. Case in point, the government just released its 2017 / 2018 fall annual financial report that states it increased revenue by a whopping $20 billion over targets thanks largely to half of that money coming from additional revenues through income tax.
TriView Capital, an Exempt Market Dealer registered in Western Canada and Ontario, will be conducting education seminars across Western Canada starting November 8th in Vancouver, November 13th in Victoria and November 14th & 15th in Calgary. They will show you two investment strategies that help support more than a million private sector jobs (economy), new drugs and patents to help reduce costs and improve patient lives (healthcare), and use federal and provincial tax deductions / credits to maximize your tax savings this season (taxes). Seating is limited. Please go to www.triviewcapital.com/events/ to register for these upcoming education seminars that will reinforce the idea that “it’s not how much you make but how much you keep”.
President & CEO, Tri View Capital Ltd.
Disclaimer: This communication is for information purposes only and is not, and under no circumstances to be construed as an invitation to make an investment in any securities, nor does it constitute a public offering to sell securities or any other products described herein.
“Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.” ― Anonymous
Global stock markets are in the midst of a pullback and corrections never feel good. In the short-term, investor sentiment can swing wildly, causing volatility in the markets. Psychology is an important part of investing and we can often be our own worst enemy in making sub-optimal decisions in times of volatility. This is due to the natural wiring in our brains, where fear triggers a flight instinct. Our brains also have a tendency to project recent trends into the future (recency bias), which collectively, can cause crowd sentiment to hit extremes. For long-term investors, empirical data and experience have shown that times of pessimism often present opportunities.
The current market pullback was triggered over fears of a prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China (tariffs), rising bond yields (tighter financial conditions), faster U.S. interest rate hikes (hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve) and so on. These factors can lead to slower global economic growth over time. As sentiment soured, selling in highly crowded trades, such as the FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google) stocks added fuel to the fire.
As of writing, North American markets are off 8-10% from their summer peaks and international developed markets (ex-Canada & U.S.) are off about 18% from their peaks. Markets are attempting to put together a short-term bounce, but the bounce has been weak thus far. This leads us to think that this pullback could go lower for longer. Some markets (such as S&P500, TSX, Japan) are trading at or near first support levels now, but if those supports are violated, markets could go lower from current levels.
The reason why your portfolios hold different asset classes is to provide negative correlation and it is during these times of stress that bonds and gold shine and the cash reserve provides dry powder to capture opportunities.
Longer term, stock valuation is mainly driven by corporate earnings and dividends. The earnings season is underway, and thus far, we are seeing strong corporate earnings (second best quarter in a decade). Companies in both the S&P 500 andTSX Composite are showing positive revenue growth (top line) and earnings growth (bottom line). Furthermore, corporate stock buyback programs are set to restart this quarter and are expected to provide support for the markets. Overall, economic data and indicators, such as consumer spending and business investments, suggest that this is still a healthy market pullback in the context of a late-cycle, bull market. We expect to see rotation into value and defensive sectors like health care and consumer staples as the cycle continues. The key to sound investing is to remain focused on the long-term horizon as short-term market volatility is inevitable and is part of investing.
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I had the pleasure of attending the Business Transitions Forum last year. It was an incredibly valuable day for me as a business executive and entrepreneur. I can highly recommend the event.
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The Business Transitions Forum is a multi-city conference held in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax. It is for business owners that wish to learn how to plan for the most monumental decision in your company’s lifecycle – the eventual transition of your business. Learn from experts and connect with peer groups who will offer valuable insights to help with your transition strategy. Whether you want to grow, sell or buy, the Business Transitions Forum will give you the tools to enhance the value of your business.
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Questions? Reach out to the BTF team at email@example.com.