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The Fiscal Front

Investment Views, Investments

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a number of new policy initiatives on March 10, including:

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Winner! Fundata FundGrade A+ Awards

Investment Views, Investments

In the midst of all this market volatility it feels good to announce that the Empire Life Emblem Growth Portfolio1, Elite Balanced Fund2, and Asset Allocation Fund3 are 2015 Fundata FundGrade A+ Award winners!

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Interested in Short Interest

Investment Views, Investments

Recently there has been a lot of talk about short sellers as they've "attacked" some Canadian businesses. There is often a strong emotional reaction to short-sellers, but we should also have a logical, proactive process for dealing with them.

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Market Volatility Perspective

Investment Views, Investments

Global stock market volatility accelerated in recent days on renewed global economic weakness concerns. Continued economic and stock market weakness in China has received much of the blame for the recent volatility. Last week’s devaluation of the Chinese renminbi against the U.S. dollar was an attempt by the Chinese government to boost exports, but may also signal an economy that is weaker than official reports indicate.

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Revisiting the Nifty Fifty

Investment Views, Investments

The ‘Nifty Fifty’ were a group of 50 popular large-cap U.S. stocks that were must own blue chips in the 1960s and early 70s. This piece from USA Today last year recaps the phenomenon quite well. This was a group of stocks with which you could do no wrong – they would grow and pay steadily increasing dividends in practically any environment. That attitude is beginning to see a revival today but it has historically produced poor results.

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Tactical management that delivers downside protection and upside participation.

Investment Views, Investments

I’d like to share my recent question and answer session about managing the Empire Life Asset Allocation Guaranteed Investment Fund (GIF).

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Bond Market Update

Investment Views, Investments

The old proverb “may you live in interesting times” certainly applies to the bond market these days. It has been an extremely volatile year so far, with Government of Canada 10yr bond yields dropping from 1.80% at the start of the year to a low of 1.24% in February. But since then they’ve bounced right back up to around where they started!

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UK Election Implications

Investment Views, Investments

The referendum is pretty much a done deal now, although the outcome of the referendum is obviously unknown at this time. Generally, in my experience, there is a lot of hype when there is an upcoming referendum but when people go to vote, there is a bias towards the status quo (as seen in Scotland recently). So I would not consider the Conservative win as the expression of peoples' desire to leave the European Union (EU) - but rather the inability of the Labour party to offer much to the people in this election.

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Can Active Managers Beat Their Benchmark? Yes.

Investment Views, Investments

In the ongoing debate between active vs. passive investing, Invesco has released a whitepaper examining the historical outperformance of active management.

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The Upside of Downside Protection

Investment Views, Investments

Some of my fellow blog writers have previously commented on the benefits of downside protection through the teams’ value oriented approach to investing. For example, Nessim Mansoor wrote about Rule #1 and Gaelen Morphet wrote about The Asymmetrical Nature of Risk and Return. Today, I’d like to look at it from an asset allocation point of view.

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