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Below is our monthly commentary on topics covering the markets, the economy, and our investment approach. To receive an email notifying you when our blog is updated, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

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Recession Worries

The market selloff in December caused a lot of people to get really bearish really quickly. The following chart, from Google Trends, shows that searches for “recession” hit a five-year high last month. And it’s not just the average Google user who is increasingly worried about an economic downturn: a recent survey of U.S. CFOs found […]

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Auto Sales: the Canary in the Coal Mine?

The Bank of Canada has increased its key policy interest rate five times over the last year-and-a-half. This represents the largest sustained increase of the rate in almost 13 years. Over these 13 years, Canadians responded to the downward trend in rates by increasing their borrowing (rationally, some would say). Mortgages, which account for 70% of all […]

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Where Do Things Stand After the October Selloff?

October was… well it was something. For the second time this year, global equity markets had a substantial selloff. Also for the second time this year, the financial media tried to one-up each other with inflammatory headlines: Source: Business Insider, CNBC, ABC News, CNN, news.com.au, The Chronicle Herald Taking a step back from the bearish headlines, the […]

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Emotional Investing and Environmentalism

What’s better for the environment: driving or biking? We’re going to assume that you chose biking. Your analysis probably went something like this: cars burn gasoline and emit exhaust. And gasoline is produced by oil companies who turn pristine pockets of nature into industrial sites. Bicycles, on the other hand, are much simpler. You just […]

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Do Buybacks Matter?

Thinking about share buybacks can make your head hurt. The act of a company buying its own shares can resemble art created by M.C. Escher. Because of this, there are misconceptions about what buybacks actually accomplish. Do they slow economic growth? Do they inflate share prices? Are they some form of evil financial engineering? Before we […]

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Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There

People have a hard time sitting still. “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” said Blaise Pascal. Perhaps this has never been more evident than the present day: the next time you see someone sitting alone, observe how long it takes before a cellphone is pulled out […]

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Evaluating Management

Have you ever gone on a date? Have you ever interviewed someone for a job? Have you ever done both at the same time? (Let’s ignore the HR implications of this scenario.) Professional investors often find themselves in situations that are a hybrid between a date and an interview. When meeting the management team of […]

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Things are going swimmingly! Especially in the U.S. We’ll forgive you if you didn’t know that, given all the rhetoric about the dangers of free trade and how jobs need to be brought back to America. But it’s true! Look, there’s even a chart to back up this claim: the U.S. unemployment rate is near […]

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Winner Take All?

The following chart recently caught our attention. It shows the number of movie tickets purchased per capita over a span of time in the U.S. It illustrates a drastic decline in attendance at the cinemas in an abbreviated period of time. We have redacted parts of the chart because we want you to take a […]

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“Trade wars are good, and easy to win”

In an effort to protect domestic steel and aluminum producers, U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced his intention to impose tariffs on imports of the two materials. Trade wars are a contentious issue, so the pushback to the announcement was swift. In an attempt to defend his stance, Trump responded with the quote in our title. […]

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