Hi friend! This blog post showcases a company that is taking cloud computing by storm. Once a sleepy giant, it recently made a bold move that caught everybody by surprise.
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World’s Fastest Hosting
The Sleepy Giant Awakens
To Hedge or Not to Hedge
Another S&P 500 Winner
S&P/TSX Rollercoaster Ride
Canadian Stocks Eh!
Timing the Seasons
Bring on the Garbage
Buffett’s Wide Moat Theory
Three Valuation Measures
EUR/USD & Other Pairs
Earnings Down Stocks Up
Smart Beta Strategies
70-30 the New Normal
Digital Advertising Rising
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According to Sara Salinas, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty bought US$3-million worth of the company’s stock, per an SEC disclosure filed 5 November 2018 and a company statement.
Talk about investing money!
The stock purchases came just one week after IBM announced a US$34-billion proposed acquisition of open-source software distributor Red Hat.
Roughly US$1-million of the shares were bought on the open market – the first time Rometty has bought stock on the open market, according to IBM.
Rometty now holds more than 314,000 shares of the company’s stock, worth more than US$36-million at IBM’s opening price 5 November 2018.
KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Arvind Ramnani wrote in a note, “The Red Hat deal propels IBM as a leading cloud provider and significantly improves its competitive positioning relative to Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.”
According to Fred Imbert, January 23, 2019, the tech giant IBM reported better-than-expected earnings for the previous quarter, sending its shares up more than eight percent.
For the record, I own IBM stock, as at this writing.
Current trends in both mortgage rates and prices suggest there’s no need to rush into the market.
(Info via Rob Carrick, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 23 January 2019)
Hedging doesn’t have a large impact on returns over 10 or more years.
Hedging can have a big impact on shorter-term returns.
(Info via Rob Carrick, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 23 January 2019)
iShares Core S&P U.S. Total Market Index ETF TSE:
This ETF tracks the entire U.S. market, including large, medium, and small large cap stocks.
It comes in two flavours: a hedged vergion (XUH) and the unhedged version (XUU).
It invests in four ETFs, the largest of which are the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF and the iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF.
Almost all of your money is working for you, given the MER is a very low 0.07.
As to distributions, payments are made quarterly.
In sum, returns will reflect whatever is happening in equity markets south of the border, given this is an all-stock ETF.
This fund should be considered a core long-term holding offering continuting exposure to the U.S. market.
(Info via Gordon Pape, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 29 January 2019)
2017 was a great year for equity investors, but was immediately followed by the worst year since the 2008 financial crisis.
The worst December since 1930 caused many to trim back their equity positions, including the pros.
Fast forward to today, and here we are with one of the best starts to a year in more than three decades.
Moral to the story… hang in there my friend.
Investing money requires patience.
Otherwise you will become a patient.
(Info via Martin Pelletier, as reported in the National Post, 29 January 2019)
Canadian stocks rebounded nicely in January with the biggest monthly advance in nearly a decade (since May, 2009), shrugging off the losses from an ugly December sell-off – this on the back of assurances from Canadian and U.S. central banks that they would be patient with interest rate hikes.
Even though we are just one month into the New Year, Canada is close to the top of the rankings of developed market equity performance, second only to Austria.
For the first time in nearly two years, the S&P/TSX Composite Index is beating the S&P 500 on a trailing 12-month basis.
In 25 days since bottoming out, Canadian stocks have racked up enough gains to take the S&P/TSX Composite Index back to where it was in mid-October.
Canadian cyclical and defensive stocks alike advanced in January.
So did the Canadian dollar, which climbed to lead the Group of 10 countries.
Canadian corporate bonds historically move in the opposite direction of stocks, but they also saw price gains, as the iShares Canadian Corporate Bond ETF (XCB) rose.
Ditto for gold, which tends to thrive amid heightened fear and volatility; it too put in a solid month.
(Info via Tim Shufelt, as reported in the Globe and Mail, 1 February 2019)
You’ve heard it before: “Sell in May and go away. Dump your stocks before the usual summer market decline, and then buy them back on the cheap in the fall.”
Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at New York City-based CFRA, supports this notion.
He says that, if you look at average returns by months since 1945, the S&P 500 Index has performed better from October to May than it has from June through September.
Another good reason to consider investing money at this time.
The summer sag isn’t that large, but Stovall says there are ways you can profit from seasonal trends.
Rotate Your Sectors:
Defensive stocks are companies that produce things people buy consistently, whether the economy is doing well or poorly, such as consumer staples (cleansers, food, and other household items) and health care (drugs and medical supplies).
Cyclical stocks, such as airlines, appliance makers, and automakers, fall and rise with the economy.
Defensive stocks tend to outperform through the summer.
Cyclical stocks surge during the winter, when markets are more active.
ETFs to the Rescue:
State Street sells ETFs based on the S&P 500 and its sector sub-indexes.
The theory goes that, as summer approaches, buy the XLP fund, which tracks consumer stapes, and the XLV fund, which tracks health-care stocks.
When the fall arrives, shift to ETFs that track more cyclical sectors – XLI (industrials), XLB (materials), XLY (consumer discretionary), and XLK (technology).
Hold those funds through the winter, and then sell them in May.
Stovall says that, on average, his seasonal rotation strategy has outperformed the S&P 500 by six percentage points a year.
It also generates less volatile returns than an all-in-one S&P 500 ETF.
(Info via Report on Business, The Globe and Mail, June 2017)
I’d say that’s good advice on investing money.
Since the 1930s, down-years in the S&P 500 have been followed by up-years 74 percent of the time, with a median gain of 15 percent.
Sounds like now is a good time to be investing money.
Most analysts don’t see the same level of overvaluation in markets outside the U.S.
The lower valuations on international stocks may not provide immunity against downturns.
In a crisis, stocks around the world tend to move in tandem – but they do suggest that eventual losses are likely to be lower outside of the U.S., if valuations ever do revert to historical norms.
Expensive markets can get even more expensive, and vice versa.
It’s only over periods of a decade or more that valuation bites.
We are late in the business cycle, but not at its end.
Volatility is normal at a time like this, but it’s still possible to make money, if you stick to bigger, more solid companies in the largest, most heavily- traded markets.
Investors should focus on defensive, high-quality, large-cap names.
(Info via Ian McGugan, as reported in The Globe and Mail, January 31, 2019)
After enduring its worst December since 1931, the S&P 500 enjoyed its best January since 1987,
A combination of cheapness and interest rates may explain the sudden turnaround.
Even the MSCI World Index shifted gears and soared, as investors around the world had a change of heart.
(Info via Ian McGugan, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 2 February 2019)
The U.S. has now added jobs for 100 straight months, the longest such period on record.
(Info via Christopher Rugaber, as reported in The Globe and Mail 2 February 2019)
It could just be a good time for investing money.
Microsoft (MSFT) is a company that can impose its will on customers.
It is well positioned to raise prices for its products or services.
It is therefore be reasonable to assume that it can outperform during times when the investment community is uncertain about economic cycle direction.
Microsoft is an attractive investment, given that many forecasters are warning of a slowing economy ahead.
A company such as Microsoft enjoys pricing power, because it has strong demand from its customers, or because it faces weak competition.
If times get tough, and sales fall, those attributes should buffer its results,
Conversely, if the company remains robust, such companies are just as attractive.
If climbing raw materials costs or rising wages start eating into their profit margins, businesses with pricing power can maintain their bottom lines simply by upping their prices to customers.
(Info via Ian McGugan, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 23 January 2019)
Warren Buffett favours companies that are simple businesses and hard for competitors to challenge.
They’re analogous to giant castles with side moats around them.
The idea here is that such firms can foil the competition, and earn high returns on capital for many years to come.
The notion is that such companies are more popular with investors.
One ETF that follows this precept is the U.S.-based VanEck Vectors Morningstar Moat ETF (MOAT).
It charges an annual fee of 0.48 percent.
(Info via Norman Rothery, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 21 January 2019)
MOAT and MSFT represent good opportunities for investing money.
Price-to-Earnings Ratio or Earnings Multiple:
This is one of the most widely used yardsticks used by investors to evaluate whether a stock is over-priced or undervalued.
It is supposed to reflect how much investors are willing to pay for one dollar of a company’s earnings.
A higher ratio signifies that investors are wiling to pay a higher price for the stock, because they believe that future performance will be strong, and bring profits to them.
A lower ratio either means investors are getting a bigger bang for their buck in the form of an undervalue stock, or they just aren’t as confident in the company’s future.
Ratio of Stock Price to Book Value:
This represents the value of the assets that would remain if a company ceased operation.
A lower value might signal that the stock is a bargain; however, it could also mean there’s something fundamentally wrong with the company.
It can take the place of a P/E ratio when a company has a positive book value, but negative earnings.
But, it isn’t all that useful for valuing tech or other companies with a lot of intangible assets.
This measures the money a company has generated after capital spending and expenses.
A lower ratio is attractive for value investors, especially if the value is improving over time.
This means the company is growing.
(Info via John Reese, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 17 January 2019)
Waste Connections (WCN-TSX/also WCN):
This is North America’s third-largest waste services company.
It is an attractive defensive play, given garbage always needs to be collected, regardless of the state of the general economy.
Because it is a contract-based business, the company has great earnings visibility.
This entity resulted from U.S.-based Waste Connections buying Canada’s Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. in a reverse takeover bid in 2016.
It is a free-cash-flow machine, which has the ability to internally finance tuck-in acquisitions.
Because of its strong management team, which has succeeded in carrying out its strategies, its dividend-paying shares trade at a premium to those of peers such as U.S.-based Republic Services Inc. and Waste Management Inc.
(Info via Shirley Won, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 23 January 2019)
AUD/USD (The ‘Aussie’):
The AUD/USD pair, also called the “Aussie,” tells the trader how many US dollars (the quote currency) are needed to purchase one Australian dollar (the base currency).
Together with the Canadian dollar and the New Zealand dollar, the AUD is a commodity currency – that is a currency whose country’s exports are largely comprised of raw materials (agriculture, oil, precious metals, etc.).
Australia is a big exporter to China; as such, its currency and economy react to any changes in the economy of that country.
Because of its greater exposure to Asian economies, the prevailing view is that the Australian dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies.
The Aussie correlates with gold and the Shanghai stock exchange.
The AUD/USD pair often rises and falls in tandem with the price of gold.
In financial circles, gold is viewed as a safe haven against inflation; it is one of the most traded commodities.
As commodities now account for most of its total exports, Australia’s dependency on commodity (farm and mineral) exports has seen the Australian dollar rally during global expansion periods, and fall when mineral prices slumped.
The Aussie dollar AUD/USD has long been haunted by the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China – this due to the fact that much of Australia’s iron ore production ends up in China’s construction and infrastructure industries.
That situation, as well as the on-going trade fight over recent months, resulted in the Aussie being the worst-performing G10 currency of 2018.
Similarly, worries about a slowing global economy, which central bankers and market participants alike have been warning about for months, has also been reflected in the antipodean currency (antipodean referring to Australia or New Zealand).
The EUR/USD (or Euro Dollar) currency pair belongs to the ‘Majors’ group, the most important pairs in the world, which also includes the following currency pairs: AUD/USD, GBP/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, and USD/JPY.
It is popular because it joins two main economies: the American and European.
It is a widely traded currency pair, the Euro being the base currency and the US Dollar the counter currency.
The EUR/USD pair consists of more than half of all the trading volume worldwide in the forex market; accordingly, it is virtually impossible for a gap to appear, let alone a consequent breakaway gap in the opposite direction.
Usually, it is very quiet during the Asian session, given economic data that affects the fundamentals of those currencies is released in either the European or U.S. session.
Once traders in Europe get to work, action picks up, as they begin filling customer orders, and start jockeying for positions.
At noon, activity slows, as traders break for lunch.
It then picks back up once again, as the U.S. comes online.
We can expect quiet markets just ahead of the number, if there is important U.S. data.
U.S. economic news has the ability to either reinforce an existing trend, or reverse it, depending on by how much it either beat or missed expectations with the EUR/USD news.
By 5:00 GMT, liquidity leaves the market once again, as European traders close out positions, and head for home.
The pair is also referred to as ‘The Cable,’ denoting the first transatlantic cable that was crossing the Atlantic Ocean in order to connect Great Britain with the U.S.
This term originated in the mid-19th century, making the GBP/USD pair one of the oldest currency pairs in the world.
It is popular because it represents two strong economies: British and the U.S.
With the GBP/USD pair, which is widely traded, the pound is the base currency, and the U.S. Dollar is the counter currency.
The Brexit referendum saw the majority of the British voting to abandon the European Union; accordingly, the GBP/USD pair has seen some turbulence in the forex market, due to the perceived risks of leaving the single market.
The Japanese Yen is normally used in carry trades, given its low interest rate; that’s why it is one of the most traded currencies in the world.
With respect to USD/JPY (or US Dollar Japanese Yen) pair, the U.S. Dollar is the base currency, and the Japanese Yen is the counter currency.
The pair represents the U.S. and Japanese economies.
Trading the USD/JPY currency pair is also known as trading the ‘ninja’ or the ‘gopher,’ although this last name is more frequently used when referring to the GBP/JPY currency pair.
The USD/JPY pair usually has a positive correlation with the following two pairs: USD/CAD and USD/CHF.
This is due to the fact that both currency pairs also use the U.S. Dollar as the base currency.
The value of the USD/JPY pair tends to be affected when the two main central banks of each country, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed), face serious interest rate differentials.
The pair reflects how many Swiss Francs will purchase one U.S. dollar.
Both currencies are considered safe-havens; however, after the SNB lifted the peg with its currency with the EUR back in January, 2015, the CHF has partially lost its attractiveness in turmoil times, with speculative interest now more inclined to buy the JPY or Gold.
With sentiment in risk-off mode, the American dollar tends to weaken more than any other safe-haven asset.
The NZD/USD pair is often referred to as ‘The Kiwi,’ as the bird is the national symbol of New Zealand.
The pair indicates how many American dollars will purchase a New Zealand dollar.
Seen as a minor currency, its relevance is related to the strong commercial ties the country enjoys with Australia.
The USD/CAD pair indicates how many Canadian dollars (the quote currency) will purchase one U.S. dollar (the base currency).
This currency pair is also referred to as the ‘Loonie,’ a nickname ‘coined’ from the loon, a bird which appears on one side of Canada’s gold-coloured, one dollar coin.
The Importance of Oil for the Loonie
The USD/CAD is one of the three so-called ‘commodity pairs,’ together with AUD/USD and NZD/USD.
These three pairs are highly correlated to commodity (especially oil) fluctuations.
Canada is considered to be a resource-based economy, given it is a large producer and supplier of oil.
The U.S. is the leading export market for Canada, making its currency particularly sensitive to U.S. consumption data and economical health.
Gonçalo Moreira explains the correlations that exist between oil, the USD and the CAD: “If Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of oil, and oil is such a big part of the US economy, rising oil prices tend to have a negative effect on the USD and a positive effect on the CAD. Here you have two nice correlations.”
Then he continues his analysis: “If you are willing to find a pair which is really sensitive to oil prices, then pick the CAD/JPY. Canada and Japan are at the extreme ends of production and consumption of oil. While Canada benefits from higher oil prices, Japan’s economy can suffer, because it imports nearly all of the oil it consumes. This is another interesting correlation to follow.”
Assets That Influence USD/CAD the Most
Commodities: As already mentioned, oil is number one, but gold and natural gas are also to be taken into account.
Currencies: JPY and EUR. Other important group of influent pairs includes: AUD/USD, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, NZD/USD, and USD/CHF.
Bonds: CSB (Canada Savings Bonds), CPB (Canada Premium Bond).
Indices: S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index (the headline index for the Canadian equity market), S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index (benchmarks for related derivative products of Canadian economic sectors), and S&P/TSX Global Gold Index (index of global gold securities).
The Canadian dollar is highly sensitive to relative yields – the Government of Canada two-year bond yield minus the two-year U.S. Treasury yield.
The price of oil still influences the loonie’s value but, over the past five years, according to correlation analysis, yields have had a larger impact.
That said, the currency has strengthened on the back of higher oil prices.
Higher domestic bond yields relative to U.S. yields have supported the Canadian dollar’s value.
Right now, the market is pricing in two rate hikes by the Bank of Canada this year, which would be loonie-favourable.
(Info via Scott Barlow, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 30 January 2019)
Since 1989, there have been 15 years in which earnings forecasts have been revised down, but stocks have gone up.
(Info via Ian McGugan, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 26 January 2019)
Perhaps another good reason to be investing money now.
Such strategies incorporate mathematical factors to try to generate above-market returns.
When the Fed raises rates, it’s focused on short-term rates.
If you’re in cash-type instruments or money markets, that’s good because you’re getting a higher rate.
Longer-term bonds are more impacted by inflation expectations, and that’s more muted today.
(Info via Marie Chandoha, CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management)
This site offers the most current and updated news that affects a trading session.
This site is a good starting point for beginners.
This site is part of FXCM, a forex broker site.
This site is part of iFOREX.
The real annual yield on Government of Canada bonds (net of inflation) topped four percent thirty years ago.
But, it has plummeted to less than one percent in recent years.
And, real yields will probably stay low for many years to come, thanks to the indirect effects of an aging population.
Even if yields do start to climb, it may not help much, since rising yields on long-term bonds produce capital losses, not gains.
In sum, it is hard to envision long-term bonds doing well, given where they are today.
A Monte Carlo simulation suggests that, whether the markets do well or not, 70-30 will be the asset mix of choice in the future.
It entails inputting all known information about the behaviour of capital markets into a computer, and running a couple of thousand simulations to see what patterns unfold.
Anyone who was previously comfortable with a 60-40 mix should now seriously consider switching to a 70-30 mix.
(info via Frederick Vettese, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 28 January 2019)
Switching the mix represents a great opportunity for investing money the new way.
According to most industry analysts, growing consumer spending, broad-based global economic strength, and the continued transition from in-store to online commerce will keep digital advertising on a growth trajectory.
Advertisers from consumer goods giants and mom- and pop-businesses still see Facebook and Google as essential tools for reaching customers.
Facebook’s Instagram is doing particularly well.
Amazon got into digital advertising much later than Facebook and Google, but has been growing rapidly in the last two years.
It is luring marketing dollars away from more traditional media formats, as well as online comparison-shopping services that fell by the wayside in recent years.
It is anticipated that Twitter will keep growing revenue at a steady pace, as it harnesses the selling of video ads, and advertisers embrace it as an acceptable means of diversifying some of their spend.
(Info via Gerrit De Vynck, as reported in the Vancouver sun, 29 January 2019)
On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Facebook reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in more than six years, but handily beat Wall Street’s profit estimates, calming investor concerns that rising costs would stymie growth.
(Info via Katie Paul and Paresh Dave, as reported in The Globe and Mail, 1 February 2019)
“If I don’t make any mistakes, I’m probably not taking enough risks.” Angela Strange, Partner at top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
“Regret for what you have done can be tempered by time; regret for what you’ve not done is inconsolable.” Angela Strange, Partner at top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
“The aim is to make money, not to be right.” Ned Davis
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
“To me, success means to have a goal, plan the steps to achieve the goal, implement the plan, and finally achieve the goal.”
“Success means to achieve a goal I have set for myself.”
“Success means to produce high quality work before the deadline.”
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
The dictionary describes success as the following: “Attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame.”
”When it rains, look for rainbows, when it’s dark, look for stars.” Oscar Wilde
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About Peter R. Bain
Peter R. Bain
I am a speaker, trader, writer, aviator, car nut, Harley enthusiast but, above all else, I am here for you at TradingSmarts, which I founded some 15 years ago.
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