Looking for investing ideas? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies plus what investors need to know for the week ahead.
Canada approves world’s first Ether ETFs for retail investors
Canadian asset managers are racing to launch the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund to track the price performance of Ether now that regulators have given several investment funds the green light, Clare O’Hara writes. On Friday, Purpose Investments Inc., Evolve Funds and CI Global Asset Management were all cleared by the Ontario Securities Commission to launch the first set of ETFs to invest directly in the digital asset, currently the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, behind bitcoin.
Now, the race to launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange could see multiple Ether funds begin trading on the same day. All three companies have reported Tuesday, April 20, as the first day of trading. Read more here.
Are these the stock market returns of a lifetime?
Stock markets like we have today make financial planning so quick and easy, Rob Carrick writes. A prediction: Stocks will fall at some point, and wealth-building will present the same challenge it always has over the long term, which means 10-plus years. Try to keep this in mind as you look at the returns posted by exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and individual stocks in your portfolio for the 12 months to March 31.
One of the most important lessons is to pay close attention to end-date bias, which refers to the way the end period for measuring returns from an investment can have a huge impact on results. The bottom of the 2020 stock market crash came in mid-March, which means returns measured with the end of that month as the starting date reflect almost the full extent of the stock market surge of the past year. Read more here.
More from Rob Carrick: Damage report: Comparing the year-to-date losses for various kinds of bond ETFs
Gordon Pape: The stock market is at a crossroads – will this bull run continue?
The pandemic crash ended the long bull market that had begun 11 years before, on March 9, 2009. But it turned out to be the shortest bear market in history. By mid-August, the S&P 500 had recovered to a new record high, signalling the start of a new bull. That’s where we are now, Gordon Pape writes. But what comes next? Opinions vary widely.
Certainly, the ingredients are in place for a lengthy run for this bull market. The global economy is in much better shape now than in March, 2009, even though the pandemic is still raging. But, as experts points out, there are potential dangers lurking that could derail investor enthusiasm. That suggests a portfolio strategy of hope for the best, plan for the worst. Read more here.
Critics weigh in on the model dividend portfolio
A reader points out that since October, 2017, the Yield Hog Dividend Growth Portfolio is up about 38 per cent on a total return basis, while the S&P 500 is up 74 per cent.
John Heinzl replies: Yes, the S&P 500 has left my model portfolio in the dust in recent years. I’ve been quite open about that. But I’m glad you brought it up, because it gives me a chance to remind readers of a few points I have raised in previous columns.
First, the portfolio is not meant to be a template for people to copy exactly. Its purpose is to provide investment ideas and a real-time illustration of dividend growth investing in action. There are lots of great dividend stocks that aren’t included in the portfolio; investors should look at casting their nets widely.
Second, I always encourage dividend investors to diversify with exchange-traded funds, including those that track the S&P 500, which provides exposure to key sectors such as technology and health care that are underrepresented in Canada. Read more here.
More from John Heinzl: Moderna, Bed Bath & Beyond and more investing stars and dogs for the week
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Silver was a pandemic haven, now it’s having its day in the sun
Buying silver paid off handsomely last year, when investors turned to the precious metal as a haven while the global economy floundered, David Berman writes. Now, the bet on silver rests on its importance to solar power. That could make it a better bet.
If silver loses some of its appeal as the economy heals and its reputation as a safe asset during tumultuous times becomes less relevant, its importance to solar panels should endure – especially as the world turns its attention to reducing carbon emissions. Silver is an essential component in photovoltaic cells, and demand has been rising with the number of solar installations. Read more here.
What investors need to know for the week ahead
In the week ahead, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will table Canada’s first federal budget in more than two years on Monday. The Bank of Canada will make its latest rate announcement on Wednesday. Economic data on tap include: Canada’s housing starts for March (Monday); Canadian inflation figures for March (Wednesday); Canada’s new housing price index and U.S. existing home sales for March (Thursday); Canadian manufacturing sales and U.S. new home sales for March (Friday).
Companies releasing their latest financial results include Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX,Metro, Rogers Communications, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, United Airlines, American Airlines, AT&T, Verizon Communications, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, Philip Morris and American Express.