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Portfolio Manager Q2 Commentary

By July 17, 2019 No Comments

The S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index increased by 2.6% in the second quarter. This adds to the first quarter gains for a YTD return of 16.2%. During Q2, the S&P 500 produced a 4.3% return for a YTD rate of 18.5% and the MSCI ACWI ex USA posted a 3.2%, leading to a 14% YTD total return.

Over the 2nd quarter, the FED has confirmed its dovish stance given that inflation and economic activity is under control. The Chinese economy growth has been decelerating resulting in the slowest GDP growth in the last 27 years. On the other hand, expectation for the Canadian growth rate has been on the rise. Reasons for this growth is the stronger than expected exports, better than expected labor market conditions, and higher than expected housing starts.

Our NQICA index returned 4.6% in Q2 and 16.5% YTD versus the S&P/TSX which returned 2.6% in Q2 and 16.2% YTD. The 1-year return for NQICA is 4.4% versus 3.9% for the S&P/TSX over that same period.

The worst performers in the index were Norbord (OSB), down 11%, and Great-West Lifeco down 5.6%. On the contrary, the best performer was Dollarama (DOL), up 29.4%, followed by CCL Industries (CCL.B), up 19%.

At the end of Q2, NQICA was under weighted in Energy (-13%) and Financials (-4%) and over weighted in Consumer Discretionary (15.5%) and Consumer Staples (4.3%).

The current rebalancing requirements are minimal and are entirely due to the model’s sector weights’ variation. The telecom sector weight increased, and the financial sector weight decreased due to the greater economic value added (EVA) created by Telecom versus Financials. Industrial Alliance (IAG), having the lowest SP Score of our financial holdings, was kicked out of the index. IAG was replaced by Telus (T) which is the highest scored telecom company not already in the model.