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Model Portfolio

Portfolio Manager’s January Comment For Q4 2020 Results

Global equities ended the year on a strong finish. The S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index increased by 9% in Q4 for a total annual return of 5.6%. During Q4, the S&P500 produced a 12.1% return for an annual total return of 18.4% while the MSCI ACWI ex US posted a 17.1% return leading to an annual return of 11.1%.

There was a number of drivers behind this strong finish. Firstly, most company’s results were inline or better than expected. Secondly, central banks have maintained a dovish tone. Finally, the arrival of highly potent anti-COVID vaccines.

In Canada, the best Q4 sectors were Health care up 29.9% and Consumer discretionary up 20.4%. The worst sectors were Consumer Staples down 6.0% and Materials down 4%.

For the year, Info-Tech and Utilities were the top performers up 80.3%% and 19.5% respectively while Energy and Health Care were the weakest down 30.8% and 23.6%

NQICA in Q4 returned 7.3% leading to an annual total return of 2% versus the S&P/TSX TR composite return of 9% in Q4 and 5.6% for the year.

The best performers in NQICA were First National up 8.9%, Equitable Group up 6.6% and Stella-Jones up 4.8% on the back of excellent Q3 results.
On the other hand, the worst performers in Q4 were Richelieu Hardware down 12.6% and Metro down 4.8% on profit taking.

StockPointer® US Model Portfolio Transactions – December 2020

We have rebalanced the Stockpointer® US which is effective now. Here are the details:

Ins:

  1. Amgen (AMGN) – Market Trend. Increase in the Health Care sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio.
  2. Humana (HUM) – Intra-sectoral transaction. In the top of its sector.
  3. CDK Global (CDK) – Intra-sectoral transaction. In the top of its sector.
  4. Weight Watchers (WW) – Intra-sectoral transaction in replacement of DNKN. In the top of its sector.


Outs:

  1. AT&T (T) – Market trend. Decrease in the telecommunication sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, decreasing our position in the portfolio.
  2. American Express (AXP) – Intra-sectoral transaction. No longer in the top of its sector.
  3. TransDigm Group (TDG)Intra-sectoral transaction. No longer in the top of its sector.
  4. Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) – The company has been bought by Inspire Brands in a cash deal.

Portfolio Manager’s December Comment for November Results

Equity markets had a strong positive monthly performance in November. In Canada the performance was particularly strong among Energy and Health Care (cannabis) stocks. In the U.S., the performance was notoriously strong among Energy and Financials stocks. Two of the key drivers behind the performance of this rally were the sucessful results achieved by Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials for their Covid vaccine.

In November, the S&P/TSX rose by 10.6%, the S&P 500 increased by 10.9% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 13.5%. At November end and over a 12-month period, the S&P/TSX returned 4.3% behind the S&P 500 gain of 17.5% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 10%.

NQICAT advanced by 7.6% in November and posted a 12-month return of -1.1%.

The best S&P/TSX sectors for the month were Health Care up 35% followed by Energy up 18.6% and Consumer Discretionary up 16.3%. The worst performing sectors were Materials down 4.8%, Consumer Staples up 2.6% and Utilities up 5.4%.

NQICAT’s best performers in November were Parkland up 22.2% and TD up 19.7%. On the opposite, the weakest contributors were Kirkland Lake Gold down 8.5% and Metro down 3.6% mainly because of sector rotation out of defensive/Covid related stocks.

 

Portfolio Manager’s November Comment for October Results

In October, the S&P/TSX declined by 3.1% the S&P500 decreased by 2.7% and the MSCI ACWI ex USA lost 2.1%. For the 12-month period ending October 30th, the S&P/TSX posted a negative return of 2.3%. Over the same period, the S&P500 surged 9.7% while the MSCI declined 2.2%.

The NQICAT recorded a net loss of 1.3% in October and a 12-month negative return of 3.1%.

The best TSX sectors for the month of October were Health Care up 7.3%, Consumer Dicretionary down 0.3%, and Utilities down 1.3%. The worst performing sectors were Information Technology down 8.7%, Consumer Staples down 7.5% and Energy down 4.7%.

The best monthly performers in the portfolio were First National up 16.1% and Equitable Group up 13.3%. At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Open Text Corporation, which was down 13.0% and Alimentation Couche-Tard down 11.5%.

2 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in October. For this rebalancing, the model required an higher exposure to the Materials and Telecommunications sector.

The economic profile of two holdings (Magna international Inc and Sun Life Financial) have felt under the minimum threshold in the course of the quarter and needed to be sold.

The 2 purchases were Quebecor Inc. (QBR.B) and Stella-Jones (SJ). Both stocks had the highest EVA score in their respective sectors.

StockPointer® Canada Portfolio Transactions – October 2020

We have rebalanced the Nasdaq Inovestor Canadian Index based on our Stockpointer® Canada model portfolio. These trades are effective as of Friday, October 16th after market close. Here are the details of the trades:

Ins:

  1. Quebecor Inc. (QBR.B) – Market Trend. Increase in the telecommunication sector as shown by the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio. The stock is in the top of its sector.
  2. Stella-Jones (SJ) – Market trend. Increase in the material sector. The stock is in the top of its sector.

Outs:

  1. Magna International (MG) – Market Trend. Decrease in the discretionary sector as shown by the Top 100 index, therefore, decreasing our position in the portfolio. Furthermore, the EPI fell under 1.
  2. Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) – Market trend. Decrease in the financial sector. Furthermore, the EPI fell under 1.

Portfolio Manager’s October Comment For Q3 2020

In the third quarter, the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index increased by 4.7%, the S&P500 total return grew by 8.9% while the MSCI ACWI ex-USA returned 6.4%.

Q3 returns were eye-popping and are pointing to a V-shaped recovery. Growth and technology have continued their outperformance again compared to the rest of the market.

In Q3, NQICA returned 9.8% leading to a year-to-date return of -5% versus the S&P/TSX composite which increased by 4.7% in Q2 and declined 3.1% on a year-to-date basis.

In Canada, the best Q3 sectors were Industrials up 13.2%, Utilities up 9.9% and Materials up 8.8%. The worst sectors were Health Care down 14.4%, Energy down 9.4%, and Telecommunication services up 0.8%.

The NQICA’s worst performers in the third quarter were Constellation Software with a return of -3.4%, Open Text Corporation declined by 2.0% and Magna International with a return of 1.6%.

On the other hand, the best results in the third quarter were Richelieu Hardware with a return of 22.0%, Empire Company with a jump in price of 19.3% while Canadian National Railway share price rose by 18.5%.

StockPointer® US and ADR Model Portfolio Transactions – September 2020

We have rebalanced the Stockpointer® US and ADR model portfolios which are effective immediately. Here are the details for the US portfolio :

Ins:

1. Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW) – Market Trend. Increase in the financial sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio.

2. Pfizer (PFE) – Market trend. Increase in the Health care sector.

3. Murphy USA (MUSA) – Intra-sectoral transaction. In the top of its sector.

Outs:

1. LyondellBasell (LYB) – Market Trend. Decrease in the Material sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, decreasing our position in the portfolio.

2. Verizon (VZ) – Market trend. A decrease in the Telecommunication sector.

3. Lear Corporation (LEA) – Intra-sectoral transaction. The EPI decreased bellow 1.

Here are the details for the ADR portfolio :

Ins:

1. Eisai (ESALF) – Market Trend. Increase in the Health Care sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio.

2. Toto Ltd. (TOTDF) – Market Trend. Increase in the Industrial sector.

3. Singapore Technologies Engineering (SGGKF) – Market Trend. Increase in the Industrial sector.

4 Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (AHODF) – Market Trend. Increase in the consumer staples sector.

Outs:

1. CrediCorp (BAP) – Market Trend. Decrease in the financial sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, decreasing our position in the portfolio. The company’s EPI also decreased bellow 1.

2. Grupo Financiero Santander Serfín, S.A. de C.V. (BSMX) – Market Trend. Decrease in the Financial sector.

3. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. Of China (PIAIF) – Market Trend. A decrease in the Financial sector.

4. Telenet Group (TLGHY) – Market Trend. Decrease in the Consumer Discretionary sector.

Portfolio Manager’s September Comment for August Results

Equity markets had a strong positive monthly performance in August. In the U.S. the performance was particularly strong among technology large cap stocks while in Canada the performance was vigorous among financials large cap stocks. It’s widely believed that the FED market intervention is no stranger to the strong performance of equities as of late.

In August, the S&P/TSX rose by 2.3%, the S&P 500 increased by 7.2% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 4.7%. At August end and over a 12-month period, the S&P/TSX returned 3.8% behind the S&P 500 gain of 21.9% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 8.8%.

NQICAT advanced by 1.9% in August and posted a 12-month return of 0.6%.

The best S&P/TSX sectors for the month were Financials up 6.7% followed by industrials up 4.2% and Consumer Discretionary up 1.9%. The worst performing sectors were Health Care down 7.5%, Consumer Staples down 4.7% and Utilities down 2.1%.

NQICAT’s best performers in August were National Bank up 14.5% and Great-West up 12.4% on the back of excellent quarterly results.

At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Alimentation Couche-Tard down 8.5% and Winpak down 6.6% mainly on profit taking and concerns about their respective outlooks.

Portfolio Manager’s August Comment for July Results

The S&P/TSX rose by 4.5% in July and the S&P500 increased by 5.6% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 4.1%. At the end of the 12-month period ending July 31th, the S&P/TSX posted a positive return of 1.9%. Over the same 12-month period, the S&P500 surged 12% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 0.7%.

The NQICAT recorded a net gain of 8% in July and a 12-month return of -2.3%.
.

The best TSX sectors for the month of July were Materials up 13.1%, followed by Consumer Staples up 6.2%, and Information Technology up 6.1%. The worst performing sectors were Financials up 0.1%, Energy up 1% and Health Care up 1.1%.

 

The best monthly performers in the portfolio were Kirkland Lake Gold up 30.9% and Financial National up 22.8%. At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Toronto-Dominon, which was down 0.9% and Great-West down 0.5%.

 

3 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in July. For this rebalancing, the model required an exposure reduction of to the Materials sector equivalent to 2 stocks. Stella-Jones (SJ) and CCL Industries Inc. Class B (CCL.B) were sold because of their relatively lower SP scores compared to Kirkland and Winpak.
The model also called for the selling of Gildan (GIL) due to a deterioration of its SP score.

 

The model required an increased exposure to Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary. The names that made it into those sectors were Empire Company (EMP.A) and Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI). Richelieu Hardware Ltd (RCH) was bought as a replacement for Gildan.

StockPointer® Canada Portfolio Transactions – July 2020

We have rebalanced the Nasdaq Inovestor Canadian Index based on our Stockpointer® Canada model portfolio. These trades are effective as of Friday, July 17th after market close. Here are the details of the trades:

Ins:

1. Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI) – Market Trend. Increase in the discretionary sector as shown by the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio.
2. Empire Company (EMP.A) – Market trend. Increase in the Consumer Staples sector.
3. Richelieu Hardware Ltd. (RCH) – Intra-sectorial transaction. In the top of its sector.

Outs:

1. CCL Industries Inc. Class B (CCL.B) – Market Trend. Decrease in the materials sector as shown by the Top 100 index, decreasing our position in the portfolio.
2. Stella-Jones (SJ) – Market trend. Decrease in the materials sector.
3. Gildan (GIL) – Intra-sectorial transaction. No longer in the top of its sector.

Rebalancing :
The purpose of rebalancing is to limit idiosyncratic risk associated with individual stocks. The re-balancing process resulted in a 3.5% weight for each on the following stocks: Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI), Richelieu Hardware (RCH), Empire Company (EMP.A), Dollarama (DOL), Fortis Inc. (FTS) and Winpak (WPK).

1. We have reduced the weight of Constellation Software (CSU) from 11.3% to 9%.
2. We have reduced the weight of Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B) from 10.6% to 9%.