Commentary

On the other hand…

I have been washing my hands so often and using a spray of disinfectant so many times every day that my hands both hurt. I’ll take that consequence without complaint; we are all sacrificing and changing behaviors to protect each other in the throws of this Covid barging into all of our lives. I continue to respect distancing. I especially pay attention to my internal frustration when I am out to a store. My heart goes out to the staff, wearing masks, standing in front of so many people every day because that is part of their job. I have been making a point to say thanks directly to each of these people that are there helping me. I keep a check and awareness on my impatience and frustration, it is Covid created, not the stores or checkout staff!

I come to the office very early every day. Covid has made the quiet of the mornings downtown even quieter for the last few months as every public facing enterprise has not been able to be open. Just this week I am seeing a few shops sporting open signs, it is so awesome to see the start of a return to what we are used to. Please support these local ventures whenever you have the chance to. These are our friends and neighbors. Amazon and Jeff Bezos will not miss you.

Talking heads and online experts are always frothing at the mouth to tell you what to buy, to invest in, hawking that can’t miss stock that you would be so dumb to miss out on. On the one hand you can invest like that, on sound bites and hype, without taking into account your particular time horizon or risk tolerance. Take Royal Caribbean Cruise lines for example. Our Canada Pension Plan gurus bought that stock in size, pre-Covid, after what I trust is their thorough due diligence and stress testing. That stock has since lost 85% of its’ value, the Canada Pension Plan portfolio has lost over $ 1 billion $CAD on that holding alone. It is either a deep value stock now or just a deep something else entirely.

On the one hand I like that gas prices are so low, summer driving and camping season is close at hand, it is nice not to feel gouged at the pumps as we all have experienced in years gone by. On the other hand, the oil and gas industry globally has been decimated by Covid. Just a few short months ago the Saudis and Russians were not cooperating with OPEC members to reduce oil production, price drops as a result caused a lot of pain to our oil sands producers and shale operations in the USA. Covid has since caused a complete free fall in oil pricing and oil storage globally is stuffed to the brim, the rafters, even the gills.  Consumption and demand remain crippled by travel restrictions, fear of Covid, and also huffing and bluffing still between the USA and China.

Our Pivot indicator took us out of the equity markets early, before the Covid meltdown. That was frustrating for a month or so in 2019 for sure, but ultimately it is a game changer now. Buy and Hold has its place, at certain times, in certain situations, at different points in a market cycle. Like hugs and handshakes now though, there must be a re-think. We have proven we can get you out of the way of a major market downturn. With cash in hand and markets on sale we will deploy your dollars into proven sound businesses. As we start to do that again, Pivot will always have our back in case Uncle Sam or our “little potato” print too much money and hand out too many promises.

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