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MD Blog

  • 94390-MD-blog-Pharmaceutical_730x320

    Mergers and Acquisitions Floodgates Open in the Pharmaceutical Industry

    In a sector scan on health care I published recently, I mentioned that many of our positions within the health care sector were in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries. Recently, we have seen a flurry of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in this space—more than $30 billion year to date in 2018, most of that within biotechnology. Here are the factors that have contributed to the intense round of M&A activity among some of the ...

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    Sector Scan: Innovation a key driver of health care success

    The other day, a friend of mine had an unfortunate accident, slipping on the ice going to work and we had to take her to the emergency room. As we waited for treatment, I couldn’t help but notice all the various forms of equipment and the many company logos I recognized from positions held in our portfolios. I realized how much things have changed over the years, with the abundance of new and innovative medical technologies, much of which is ...

  • 74741-MD-blog-cryptocurrency_200x200

    Blockchain: The Real Investment Opportunity Behind Cryptocurrencies

    Last weekend, hackers stole US$530 million dollars worth of NEM coins from a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. NEM isn’t as well known as Bitcoin, but it has plenty of backers, and the theft affected more than a quarter of a million cryptocurrency investors. Although this was the largest cryptocurrency theft to date, it wasn’t the first, and it’s unlikely to be the last. Hackers stole roughly US$400 million in Bitcoin from another Japanese ...

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    Sector Scan: Why Even Santa Depends on Global Transportation

    Great news if you pre-ordered an iPhone X for your holiday gift list: Apple shortened shipping estimates to two to three weeks in Canada and the United States—just in time to land it under the Christmas tree. Eager customers have been following UPS tracking as their coveted phones travel hectic itineraries, comparing notes online: To reach Vancouver, one order was reported to be shipped by air from China with stops in Korea, Anchorage, Kentucky ...

  • 52843-md-blog-banking-finance_200x200

    Sector Scan: As Canadian As... Big Banks

    Holding bank stocks in your portfolio is right up there with tuques and Timbits as a symbol of Canadian identity—it’s hard for us not to invest in them, as this industry represents nearly a third of our nation’s key market index. Now that 10 years have passed since the start of the global financial crisis, it’s timely for us to revisit the banking sector, at home and around the world. Canada’s has shown resilience next to global peers ...

  • 37099-MD-blog-Bitcoin_200x200

    A Bit About Bitcoin. . .

    In my line of work, friends and family often ask for my thoughts on various investments. Generally, they ask about stocks but, lately, the questions have been about Bitcoin. I see why Bitcoin might grab your attention: Its price has more than tripled, year-to-date. (At yesterday’s close, a Bitcoin was valued at more than CDN$5,800). Another prominent rival, Ether, is on the rise, recently trading at close to 50 times its 2016 year-end value of ...

  • 24342-md-blog-earth---currency_200x200

    The Curious Case of the Canadian Dollar

    With the surprise display of strength by the Canadian dollar over the last 2 months, a summer road trip to the U.S. is making a little bit more sense—but just a little and probably not for long. Since May, the Canadian dollar climbed from just under US$0.73 to just under US$0.80 on a weaker U.S. dollar and improved Canadian economic data leading to a more hawkish Bank of Canada. As a result, buying things in U.S. dollars just got about 9% ...

  • 19182-MD-blog-TobaccoFreeInvesting_200x200

    Thank You for Not Smoking... in My Retirement Fund

    Would you be alarmed if your retirement fund was hooked on cigarettes? I recently met Dr. Bronwyn King, a practising radiation oncologist from Australia and founder of Tobacco Free Portfolios, a non-profit group that aims to eliminate pension fund investments in tobacco. In 2010, Dr. King was dismayed to find out she profited from the very products responsible for her patients’ life-threatening illnesses. Like other Australian health ...

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    Why Would Anyone Invest in Russia?

    By Mark Fairbairn, CFA, B.Eng. Senior Investment Analyst, International Equities Recently, with Russia dominating headline news, I’ve been asked whether we at MD invest in that market—and if so, why? After all, isn’t Russia among the most corrupt countries in the world? Well, yes, Russia does have significant corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Russia scored a lowly 29 (where a score of zero ...

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    The Droids are Here, and They’re Making Lattes

    By Mark Fairbairn, CFA, B.Eng.  Senior Investment Analyst, International Equities Robots tend to elicit both excitement and fear—at least in Hollywood. Excitement about a future of helpful assistants who do all the chores like in The Jetsons … and fear that advancements in robotics will lead to a dystopian future of robot overlords like in The Terminator. Last year while in Japan, I saw Toyota’s violin-playing Partner ...