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MD Blog

  • NAFTA in the Netflix Age

    The year the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect, there was no such thing as Google and you had to walk to Blockbuster to watch a movie at home. As NAFTA negotiations intensify in the coming weeks, there are many questions about the future of this long-standing agreement, from its impact on Canada’s economy to whether Canadians will ever be able to access U.S. Netflix. (My fingers are crossed on the latter). I strongly believe ...

  • Investing in Materials Means Navigating a World of Cyclical Price Takers

    The materials sector is often overlooked, but its cyclical nature means materials producers can do quite well during an economic upswing. Materials companies are generally capital intensive: this can present challenges when it comes to generating returns. Active management allows us to identify the best investment opportunities in this growing sector. In a world dominated by headline-grabbing FAANG stocks (Facebook ...

  • Digesting a Grocery Deal: The Whole Foods Takeover

    When my wife and I do groceries, we always shop using the Flipp app—it lets us price-match the week’s best deals and save money at our local Real Canadian Superstore. The use of a digital app on our phones is a small example of how technology can influence everyday shopping habits. The next breakthrough may take place in your home, now that Amazon Inc. is scaling up plans to deliver groceries you buy online. In June, the world’s largest ...

  • Getting Fit for “Lean” Oil: Companies Shape Up, With Cheaper as the New Normal

    One sector looking a bit skinny on stock markets right now is energy: many companies have been incurring losses since crude oil prices dropped by half in recent years. Yes, oil prices are low, but I’m okay with that. Looking back over 30 years, the sustained high oil prices of the early 2010s look very much like the real anomaly. We’ve certainly seen companies able to profit at a lower per-barrel cost in times past. I still believe there’s a ...

  • I Love the Sport, But Won’t Risk a Mulligan

    I don’t call myself a golfer, although I do play a few times a year: I enjoy the time outdoors; like to walk rather than drive a cart; and appreciate the good company. I also love that you don’t have to play to excel as an armchair golfer, watching superstars like Jordan Spieth and up-and-comers like 19-year-old Canadian LPGA sensation Brooke Henderson breathe new life into what’s been seen as a stagnant sport. The business of golf: looking ...

  • Why, Even in a Jet Age, We Still Ride the Rails

    As I recently reclined aboard VIA Rail train #656 on my way home from Montreal to Ottawa, I couldn’t help but appreciate how comfortable the journey was, compared to my usual trip by air. The ride gave me opportunity to think about the role of railways in our economy and how our investments in Canadian railroad companies have benefited our clients­—why you might count on a freight train or two in your MD portfolio. Solid economic ...

  • Tax Planning Using Private Corporations, What’s Next: A Summary of Finance Announcements

    As part of the 2017 federal budget in March, the government indicated it would review certain tax reduction strategies now available to private corporations.  MD has been tracking developments closely, on behalf of our physicians who are incorporated. On July 18, Finance Minister Bill Morneau followed up with the release of the Department of Finance’s long awaited policy paper entitled “Tax Planning Using Private Corporations”. It outlines ...

  • 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% ...

  • What Higher Interest Rates Mean For You

    The financial pages were abuzz on July 12 with the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) first rate increase in seven years. What does the move from 0.50% to 0.75% mean to your loans, investments or your travel plans? Read on. Canada’s economy is healthier, so rates no longer need to be at rock bottom Back in 2015, in the face of plummeting oil prices and flagging growth, the BoC lowered rates from 1.00% to 0.5%. Now, with an improved economic outlook for the ...

  • At 30 Times the Price of Oil, This Precious Canadian Commodity Tastes Great

    Here’s something to contemplate over breakfast this Canada Day weekend: That maple syrup you might casually drizzle over your pancakes is worth more than 30 times the price of oil. At $1,700 per barrel of maple syrup1 versus a scant $50 per barrel of crude, this is a Great Canadian Commodity we think merits attention on this national holiday. Move over Big Oil: it’s Big Maple While Canada ranks sixth in oil production, our country ...