Monthly Commentaries

Monthly Commentaries / May 18, 2021

May 2021 Commentary

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort” John Ruskin Last month we briefly discussed our concept of “quality investments”: well-managed businesses with reasonable growth outlooks, and the financial strength to be investible for over the intermediate or long term. While not an earthshaking concept, we were surprised by the […]

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Monthly Commentaries / April 2, 2021

April 2021 Commentary

“Quality Is Job One” Ford Motor Co. Campaign (1981-1998) Market pundits have expounded upon at length that, with an anticipated a change in the economic cycle, many investors are considering a rotation out of expensive growth into value stocks to reduce potential overexposure to high-priced volatility and advantage themselves as the pandemic gradually subsides. But […]

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Monthly Commentaries / January 24, 2021

January 2021 Commentary

“Tell the Wolf of Wall Street that the pigeons of San Francisco are going to eat his lunch!” Quote from a San Francisco day trader It has been an interesting beginning to 2021, as millions of amateur traders have taken on the pariah of Wall Street – short sellers – and, for the moment at […]

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Monthly Commentaries / November 30, 2020

The Consensus Value Rotation

This month’s comment begins with another excerpt from Howard Marks, suggesting future market returns will be depressed as a result of low interest rates. While agreeing with Marks in principle, we are also aware that high quality companies have been commanding much higher valuations – a subset of the low interest rate environment. That has […]

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Monthly Commentaries / November 15, 2020

November 2020 Commentary

“…the low interest rates represent the dominant characteristic of the current financial environment, creating the dominant consideration for investors: the lowest prospective returns in history.” Howard Marks, October 2020 Despite this year’s extreme volatility, the past ten years have been an extraordinary time to be an equity investor. Following the last financial crisis, investors have […]

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Monthly Commentaries / October 31, 2020

Small Cap Allocations

In a recent consultant conversation, I wondered why Canadian investors had shied away from small cap strategies over the past half-decade. Three reasons, I was informed: the general move away from public markets led institutional investors to private equity investments over public small caps; performance of small cap strategies relative to large caps; and, the […]

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Monthly Commentaries / August 31, 2020

Specific Market Risk

Listening to the “experts” on the TV or, heaven help us, reading their opinions in the newspaper, one might believe that the current uptrend in the markets is overdone. Or perhaps there might be an economic reversal to the April low. Or, even better yet, that there is a possible retrenchment of market prices to […]

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Monthly Commentaries / July 31, 2020

What’s it worth?

True, there are those who don’t really try to answer that question. For example, some momentum strategies have a valuation overlay, though most do not. And there are times when the relative performance derby causes fundamentally-oriented investors to toss their valuation discipline out the window. “As long as the music is playing,” as one infamous […]

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Monthly Commentaries / May 31, 2020

All things must pass

As many of you know, our key message to clients and allocators is that investing begins, and ends, with people – whether our team, our clients, or the management we engage with on a regular basis that run the companies we invest in. As we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, each of these key groups […]

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Monthly Commentaries / April 30, 2020

The Pandemic Lockdown

The devastating blow of the pandemic lockdown continues to unfold on the global economy, causing a near-stop to travel, migration, and gatherings. For those of us who continue to work while our physical workplaces are closed, to say we’re “working from home” is not quite accurate: we are confined to our homes due to a […]

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Monthly Commentaries / February 29, 2020

Goodhart’s Law

Our February comment was released following a difficult final ten days of the month – not that it relates to the current events. The events are, as it’s said, what they are. The market already understands that virtually everything in China is shut down. Autos sales have plummeted, 99% of nightclubs closed, 70% of restaurants […]

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Monthly Commentaries / January 31, 2020

Appealing to Interests

This month our CIO, Linda Lebrun, outlines why we believe management ownership of corporate stock best aligns them with shareholders. Simply put – we human beings are self-centered and respond well to incentives that appeal to our self-interest. One is simply more inclined to be more attentive if the incentive structure appeals. Linda’s note speaks […]

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