Monthly Market Commentary

Buybacks: What’s the Point?

August 2018

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...

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Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There

July 2018

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...

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Evaluating Management

June 2018

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...

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

May 2018

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....

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Winner Take All?

April 2018

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...

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“Trade wars are good, and easy to win”

March 2018

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,...

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Stocks Go Up, Stocks Go Down

February 2018

Is it time to panic? On February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell as much as 1,600 points, an intraday record. And the financial media lost their minds: Source: Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Globe and Mail As often happens when inflammatory headlines proliferate,...

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Consequences have Consequences

January 2018

Physics is a pretty straightforward field of study. Those who are well-versed in it can accurately predict the timing of a solar eclipse, map the path of a rocket, or design the voltage of an electrical outlet. Human behaviour, by contrast, is much messier to study. Trying to predict how humans...

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Bitcoin and Baseball: Evaluating the Quality of Decisions

December 2017

Moneyball is one of our favourite books. Written by Michael Lewis, it gives an insider’s view of how the Oakland Athletics’ front office made decisions about trading and signing players. As the book describes, the Athletics focused on improving their player evaluation process so...

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Equity Markets Checkup

November 2017

It has been a lucrative year to be an equity investor. Unless you’ve been invested in Canada. Or Australia. Or the U.K. But other than that it’s been great! As the following chart shows, equities in emerging markets, the U.S., and Japan have all posted solid returns. Owing to our...

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