Outlook for September 2018

Summer is almost over, and things are getting very interesting in the global financial markets. The talk of town is the start of EM currency crisis. August saw the spectacular fall of Turkish Lira and with it, the Turkish markets. While the media played it as a local event that would not effect the global markets, that tone shifted very quickly, as other EM currencies started falling — Argentinian Pesos, Indian Rupees, South African Rand, Brazilian Real all took a pounding in the last few weeks of summer. Not only the EM contagion is starting to play out, but also developed markets look precarious — with Euro trending down, British pound heading down; Aussie dollar and Canadian dollar are starting to show weakness too thanks to the housing bubbles — anyone and everyone you talk to, advises running to the safety of the almighty US dollar. With everyone piling on one side of the trade, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to figure out what happens after this crisis plays out…

Add to the fact the ongoing tariff war crusade initiated by the US administration. While the initial winner seems to be the US (and the US$) most international trading partners, including its closest allies, have indicated being treated unjustly and looking for alternatives. If history teaches us anything, tariff wars almost always never turn out as originally intended, so it will be interesting to see how the bureaucrats maneuver the upcoming minefield.

So, in just matter of months, we have gone from a narrative of “coordinated global growth” to “EM crisis/global contraction”.

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Outlook for August 2018

August already?! This year is running by. Interesting times in the market. Looks like the two of FANG darlings have fallen into correction/bear market territory (Facebook and Netflix), which I think is just the start of things. The correction in Facebook should be a reminder that investment mood changes on a dime in the market. The share of overall market by the big 5/6 tech companies comprises a big share of the pie, something that has sent me running for the hills for the better part of the year.

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Outlook for July 2018

The dog days of summer are here. Here in Ottawa Canada, we’ve been setting records of sweltering heat…on Canada Day (July 1st), we hit 47°C with humidex!! More importantly, the hot stock market in the US continues its streak with no letdown in sight. While Tech grabs all the headlines, its the Consumer Discretionary that topped the returns for the first half of 2018. The following return charts are courtesy of Novel Investor.

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Outlook for June 2018

A bit late since I’ve had to travel for work last few days. Work has been extremely busy, so I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the markets and the steady flow of drama/news, which has actually been refreshing. I knew that I was consuming too much news and have cut back over the course of year or so, but last couple of weeks have shown that I am still consuming too much financial/social media and need to cut back.

I will keep this post really short and put a current snapshot of my portfolio as of May 31, 2018. Not much has changed as for the outlook and I still maintain a fairly defensive stance on the overall market.

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Outlook for May 2018

One third of 2018 is done and the markets just keep getting more and more interesting by the day. The stock market is rallying hard and billions are added to individual networths (Jeff Bezos) overnight as if the numbers mean nothing. This is the reality that we live in when your cost of capital is zero for a decade. Capital has concentrated to an extremely small segment of the population, who control immense amount of wealth and continues to divide the nation/world more deeply. However, with the yield curve getting close to the 3% mark provides an interesting inflection point as investors watch it closely.

The smarter of the two, bond market, is signaling a coming recession (possibly in 2019), while the equity market keeps shrugging things off. It’s all well and dandy until it isn’t. The central bankers have painted themselves into a corner and will trigger the next economic crisis, as the end of the 30-yr bond bull market nears.

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