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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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ETFs in a Bear Market

Exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) have enjoyed tremendous growth since the financial crisis. We’ve discussed this growth previously, but as a refresher, the following chart illustrates how passive investment funds have been stealing market share from funds that are managed actively. Source: Morningstar Direct If you were an individual investor who decided to switch your entire portfolio from […]

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Canadian Household Debt: What’s Next?

Canada turned 150 years old this month. Over this century-and-a-half, the country’s GDP has grown from under $400 million to over $2 trillion. From beaver pelts and codfish to bitumen and car parts, the face of Canada’s economic growth has changed considerably over the last 150 years. In the last few years, the face of Canada’s economic […]

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What is Risk?

A question for you. Let’s say that you invested $100 in each of two different securities. Suppose you held both of these securities for five years before selling them. Over the five year period, the securities’ prices performed as shown in the following chart. Which of these two securities is riskier? Option 1: Security A […]

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The Cost of Decisions

You are currently reading this. That means there are many other things you aren’t doing. You could, instead, be exercising at the gym. Or you could be working a part-time job at a coffee shop. Or you could be writing your own blog post for an asset management firm. The world is your oyster. (We […]

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When Hindsight Isn’t 20/20

We’re wrong a lot. We didn’t anticipate the oil price collapse in 2014. We were concerned that the overheating Canadian housing market would cause widespread economic problems years ago. And we thought that United Airlines had some of the best customer service among air carriers. But we’re also right a lot. In our business an […]

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Worried About Market Timing?

The equity markets have had an impressive run recently. The S&P 500 is at record levels. The S&P/TSX Composite Index set a new high in February. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 20,000 for the first time in January. If you’ve been fully invested in the markets leading up to today, you’re probably feeling […]

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ETFs and the Future of Investment Management

The investment options utilized by the average investor used to be pretty limited. Unless he or she wanted to own individual securities, mutual funds that were managed actively by professional investors were the go-to alternative. And with limited competition for savers’ investment dollars, these mutual funds could easily charge annual fees that totaled more than […]

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The Problems with Predictions

In our most recent letter to unitholders we discussed the reasons why we passed on investing in Samsung SDI Co Ltd (006400-KRX), an electronics and battery manufacturer. The bulk of our concerns rested with the unpredictability of how one of the company’s key markets, sales of organic light-emitting diodes (“OLED”), will ultimately evolve. We understand why someone […]

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Top 10 Risks

The end of the calendar year represents an apt time to reflect upon the past 12 months and also to anticipate what could be in store for the coming months and years. We’re hard-pressed to think of a single year since the financial crisis that generated as many astounding headlines as what we just saw […]

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Political Risks Facing Canadian Banks

Since last December when we wrote about what could cause a Canadian Perfect Storm, we have had a great deal of positive feedback from readers who felt that not enough has been written about the risks that Canadian investors now face. So we decided to take another stab at it this month by discussing political and […]

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