Insights

Are Emerging Markets Signaling Contagion?

by Tom Brown on Aug 20, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Emerging markets stocks have declined significantly thus far in 2018, after a solid rally last year that led to the asset class’s best return since 2009. After reaching highs in late January, the space has slumped nearly 20%, stoking fears of further downside and potential contagion. The sharp pullback has caused many investors to question their commitment to emerging markets. Should they be worried, or is this pullback to be expected, given the historical volatility of the asset class?

Have Domestic Equities been De-FAANG’d?

by Tom Brown on Aug 13, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Oh how the mighty have fallen…or have they? FAANG, an acronym that represents five of the most popularly traded Information Technology stocks, including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (whose parent company is Alphabet), generally sets the tone of the domestic equity markets. Looking at attribution for large cap growth managers, over and underweights to these stocks in many cases have influenced the returns of their investment portfolios relative to their peers and benchmarks.

July Monthly Recap

by Tom Brown on Aug 6, 2018

Investments, Finance, Weekly Market Commentary

Domestic equity markets posted strong returns in the month of July, with most of the price appreciation coming in the first two weeks of trading. During the month, markets reached highs not seen since the end of January on news of strong economic data. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9%, the second lowest rate in the last 48 years, and second-quarter US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.1%, the highest rate in almost four years.

Domestic Fixed Income: Where to Now?

by Tom Brown on Jul 30, 2018

Finance, Investments

Beginning in the second half of 2010, asset managers and economists began forecasting the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) first postfinancial crisis rate hikes, and higher rates across the curve by the middle of 2011. It would be more than five years before the Fed’s first actual rate hike at the end of 2015, but for most of that period, the belief that higher rates were just around the corner convinced most asset managers to position their portfolios with shorter average maturities to minimize potential losses the higher rates would inflict.

The IMF’s Updated World Economic Outlook: A Stark Change in Sentiment

by Tom Brown on Jul 24, 2018

Finance, Investments, Weekly Market Commentary

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued an updated World Economic Outlook, keeping its global forecast unchanged since April. It continued with an optimistic prediction that the world economy will grow 3.9% through 2019, but warns that expansion will be less synchronized, with risks tilted to the downside. 1 The IMF believes that near-term momentum in the US will continue, but is less optimistic about the eurozone, Japan, Latin America, and the U.K.

Brexit - Nothing's Ever Easy

by Tom Brown on Jul 16, 2018

Investments, Weekly Market Commentary, Geo-Politics

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s unenviable task of negotiating the British exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) has been dogged by challenges at every turn. However, the events of the past week may prove to be insurmountable for the beleaguered Prime Minister and ultimately lead to her downfall. In spite of the turbulence confronting her government, markets appear to be slightly optimistic about how the Brexit talks are developing.

Protecting Your Personal Data

by Tom Brown on Jul 16, 2018

Privacy

In light of recent security breaches at Facebook and Yahoo, it’s vital that we do a better job ensuring that our personal data remains hidden from criminals and hackers. In fact, Facebook and Yahoo were just two of the over 1,500 data breaches that occurred in 2017. During those data breaches, more than 14 million credit card numbers were exposed along with more than 150 million social security numbers. Credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft, with over 133 thousand reports filed in 2017 alone.

First Time Investing for 20-Somethings

by Tom Brown on Jul 9, 2018

Investments, Savings

For many early 20-somethings that are freshly graduated and are now facing credit card and loan bills, the last thing on their mind is investments. Your new job can just about cover rent and groceries but the limitless pocket money of your youth is now a distant memory. Granted, saving for retirement may be a far fetched idea with the mountain of immediate payments piling up; however this does not mean that young Canadians should ditch investing entirely!

Student Debt

by Tom Brown on Jun 18, 2018

College

As college tuition continues to rise to unprecedented levels, student loan debt continues to rise as well. Between 1980 and 2016, tuition at public universities jumped 344 percent, while private universities saw tuition rise 241 percent.