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Year Ahead Conference Highlights

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Robert Luft

I recently attended the 13th annual iA Securities Year Ahead Investment Conference in Toronto featuring some of the top investment minds from both within and outside of my organization.

The purpose of the event was to help attendees get a better sense of what we should be expecting from financial markets in 2019 by showcasing the differing viewpoints of more than 20 industry experts. The day featured some impressive talent, including iA Financial Group’s Chief Economist, Clément Gignac and Brian Belski, who is the Chief Investment Strategist at BMO Capital Markets. We also heard from a number of prominent money managers, as well as Peter Norman, one of Canada’s leading experts on the residential housing market.

Some of my key takeaways of the day include the following:

  • While the idea that we are in period of renewed volatility was prevalent throughout the event, there seemed to be a general amount of optimism about the markets for 2019.
  • The final quarter of 2018 was a difficult one for investors. Stock markets around the world slid by 10% or more, but significant dips from time to time are completely normal. The most important thing to remember when the market faces challenges is to remain disciplined.
  • Interest rates may continue to drift higher, but there is little expectation for a rapid upward spike.
  • There is very little evidence to suggest we will face a recession in 2019.
  • Political risks remain elevated, but the professional investors we heard from said there is little reason to stay on the sidelines for this reason.
  • Higher borrowing costs have put a dent into the willingness of Canadian homeowners to invest in renovations or to purchase bigger homes.

A consensus viewpoint at the conference was that the Trump administration remains a major variable, but conditions for corporate earnings growth and stock market appreciation are in place.

Sincerely,
Robert Luft, CFP®, CIM®
Portfolio Manager


This information has been prepared by Luft Financial. Opinions expressed in this article are those of Luft Financial only and do not necessarily reflect those of iA Private Wealth. Furthermore, this does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors.

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