What 2017 turned out to be

  • The US stock market gained 17% in Canadian Dollar terms. The technology sector, driven in part by the FAANG Stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) is the big contributor to the performance. Today, it comprises 23.8% of the S & P 500, the third highest weight of any sector after Tech in 1999-2000 and Energy in 1980-1981;
  • While growth stocks have had a great performance, value stocks have lagged the indices by quite a wide margin;
  • The US Dollar Index posted its worst year since 2003, down 10%;

About Alternative Investments and Private Equity

We have received several questions from our clients regarding the attractiveness of many alternative investments and private equity funds. Usually the sales pitch for those types of products revolves around the apparently lower volatility that they offer with similar return prospects or the higher and steady income stream they can offer compared to the measly one offered by traditional fixed income instruments. Are these claims legitimate or have the salesmen purposely left out some of the less apparent risks inherent in these kinds of investments?

The benefit of saving early

US markets seem to continue to climb a wall of worry driven by events around a President who is more interested in being in the news with his less than diplomatic tweeting than anything else. Sometimes, we wonder whether he is not the king of “fake news” himself… Thank God the US Constitution is written so that a single branch of government alone cannot change the country’s direction.

Change is good! About Indexing… Volatility…

We are sorry to report that the financial markets seem to disagree with the media assessment of President Trump’s popularity. Notwithstanding the fact that it is difficult to develop a liking for the US President, as investment managers we should not forget the main drivers of the capitalist system from his message and their effects on financial markets.

Brexit, Trump, What’s next?

2016 was a year when we saw plenty of action in the financial markets, be it stocks, bonds, currencies, you name it. But above all, 2016 will be remembered for the US presidential election and Brexit.

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