Issues

Magazine Cover for June 2022
June 2022

This year is beginning to look like GroundHog Day. Every week, there is something to worry about, and it is often the same worry as the prior week, only in a new cover.

April was the worst month for stocks in many years. Bonds, supposed to be a safe harbour in rough markets, have done nothing but lose money for a while now. Even inflation-linked bond ETFs are down this year, even though inflation is one of the main worries for investors.

The only people happy are savers. GIC rates are moving up, but their rates are still not one might call at a ‘livable’ rate.

What to do? Well, we would just hang in there. All these troubles will pass, one day. At some point, this section of your MoneySaver will be filled with comments about how well investors are doing. Trust us. We can’t tell you when, but we promise the market mood is going to improve, and the first part of 2022 will be one of those times when investors look back and say, ‘I wish I had invested back in the Spring of ‘22.

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Peter Hodson, CFA

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Magazine Cover for May 2022
May 2022

Well, between Covid outbreaks and new variants, higher interest rates, higher inflation and other issues, 2022 did not start out well. Now, to make things worse, we have a horrible war to deal with. Our thoughts go out to all thoseimpacted by this completely unnecessary aggression. But we will have to leave the political debate to others; we have to focus on the impacts to North America.

First, inflation may rise much more than expected. Russian supplies of just about everything have been curtailed. Ukraine supplies are also of course impacted. The best approach is to assume everything is about to rise in price, except perhaps your stocks for a while. We would encourage investors to have some materials and energy exposure and gold in your portfolios. Amounts need to be personal, but some ‘insurance’ against inflation is likely a good thing right now.

Two, interest rates are going higher. This should cool the housing market a bit, and finally give ‘savers’ a break from 0.75% GIC rates. We don’t know how high rates will go, and the magnitude of any change will largely depend on inflation rates. Right now, governments are worried, and rates could also go higher than expected.

The fall out of all this? Well, we are going to see a lot of ‘recession’ talk. When rates rise and costs go up, demand falters. An economic contraction could be relatively quick, as well, as uncertainty is the only certainty these days.

But don’t panic. There have been 48 recessions in the last 100 years. They are part of the cycle. They are of course not good for workers who could be laid off, or over-leveraged real estate investors. But, for diversified investors, they are not so bad. Recessions get a lot of press, but if you own quality companies and have a diversified portfolio, you’ll survive.

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Peter Hodson, CFA

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Magazine Cover for March 2022
March 2022

A little known fact in the investment world (and perhaps deliberately hidden by thevery much male-dominated industry) is that women are better investors than men.

This is not an opinion; it is a fact. Dozens of academic studies have proven this. For example Fidelity late last year indicated that its accounts owned by women outperformed the
men by 0.4 percentage points. That may not sound like a whole lot, but over time, and with compounding, it can mean the difference between a retirement spent traveling the world or
on the beach, or one at home watching Netlfix.

Some reasons: Women don’t have the need to ‘prove’ something, so can admit their mistakes more easily. Other reasons: women trade less, and don’t suffer from the overconfidence that
dooms so many men investors. In my years as a portfolio manager I am seen overconfident male managers insist that ‘they are right, and the market is wrong’. This kind of thinking can
wreck returns, and I have seen it ruin a career or two, as well.

So, for the men out there, maybe let your wife be more involved with your investments. For couples, this is always a good idea anyway, so each knows what is going on and there are
no surprises.

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Peter Hodson, CFA

Featuring: Barbara Stewart, Brian Chang, Rita Silvan, John De Goey, Warren Mackenzie, Brian Quinlan, Richard...

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Magazine Cover for February 2022
February 2022

With more depressing Covid news, travel suspended, winter hitting us hard, and the stock market (especially my beloved small caps) gyrating wildly, it is much easier to be depressed these days. Generally, I am a very optimistic person. But I now have four kids whose education has been interrupted for years. I am seeing businesses fold and workers and investors abandon hope of any return to ‘normalcy’. I am seeing vaxxers fight with their former friends, the anti-vaxxers. I want to just curl up and watch Netflix all winter.

But, of course, that’s the wrong thing to do. In life, and in investing, we have to look ahead. Covid—though it seems so now—will not be with us forever, at least not in its current state.
Small caps look horrible, but that means opportunity. Consumers WANT to spend money, and this will help the economy whenever it fully opens up in Canada. Kids are adaptable, and
will find a way to get through this mess.

When things are bad, of course they look bad. But don’t let ‘appearances’ dictate your future. The future may or may not be great, but it is going to be different, regardless. Look
for opportunities in life and in markets, rather than looking at ‘today’s’ problems.

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Peter Hodson

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Magazine Cover for January 2022
January 2022

The investment industry is just....so strange.

But first, Happy New Year!

As the New Year turned over, the investment dealers in Canada and advisors have to dealwith a new regulatory requirement, known as the “Know-Your-Product” rule.

Seriously, we can’t make this up. Only now do advisors need to understand their products.

In 2022, for the first time ever, advisors are now ‘required’ to perform due diligence on the products they sell, and to ensure those products are appropriate for you, the investor.
Investment Dealers need to perform due diligence on products, and if a security has complex or unique features making it difficult to fully understand, the Dealer may conclude that the
security should not be made available to a certain class or subset of retail clients.

Examples of difficult securities could be: leveraged and inverse ETFs, principal protected notes, asset backed securities, and derivative instruments.

Yep, you are reading that right. Only now, in 2022, do investment advisors actually need to know what it is they are selling.

Now, we could fill this page with comments about the bureaucracy and red-tape that is involved in the investment world, but that would just be boring.

Rather, we will again remind Money Savers, make sure YOU fully understand what you are buying. Review what it is you now own, because your advisor, until now, wasn’t even required to understand what they were pitching to you. In other words, this same statement applies, even with this regulatory change: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR MONEY MORE THAN YOU, and at the end of the day make sure YOU are the one that knows what you are doing.

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Peter Hodson, CFA, Editor

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