Invesco Canada blog

Insights, commentary and investing expertise

What’s your risk outlook?

I have the good fortune of meeting with advisors across Canada and hearing directly about the issues that are top of mind for their clients and their businesses. Usually there’s a certain amount of consistency to what they tell me in terms of sentiment in the market. The big picture view of asset class trends also tends to provide a consensus on where advisors are actively making allocations and how they are positioning investor portfolios.

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Three key takeaways from four days in Europe


April 9, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling in Europe, meeting with colleagues and clients in several different countries. It was a whirlwind tour, but it was well worth the jet lag to get an in-person account of the various issues facing Europe today. Below, I share three key takeaways from my trip.

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The Fed delivers on the dovish side


March 22, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

The Federal Reserve (Fed) held the target range for the U.S. federal funds at 2.25%-2.50% at its meeting on Wednesday. This outcome was in line with market expectations. In addition, the Fed indicated they do not expect to hike rates again in 2019 and only expect one hike in 2020.

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Brexit uncertainty could last for another 21 months


March 20, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

The latest installment of the Brexit drama offers good and bad news for investors in U.K. assets and beyond: The good news is the risk of a “no deal” Brexit has receded, but the bad news is it’s still a possibility and the timeline toward resolution is now more extended. This means that persistent uncertainty is likely to continue to weigh on the U.K. and wider European economies, and may elevate the volatility of U.K. asset markets, particularly the currency.

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Change is in the air as the Fed, BOC and ECB pivot on policy


March 14, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

There is an old Chinese proverb that states, “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” In other words, some people embrace change while others fear it. I’ve come to the conclusion that the speed of the change has much to do with how a change is received. Just look at the past week, when we saw abrupt changes in the direction of the wind for central banks, followed by largely negative reactions.

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What trade-offs will the U.S. accept for a trade deal with China?


March 7, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

Two key risks – trade and central bank normalization – have had an outsized impact on global stocks for more than a year (sometimes positive and sometimes negative). This past week saw developments in each of these key issues.

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What lies beneath the Fed’s ‘about face’ on normalization?


February 27, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

Last week was momentous for one specific reason: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released minutes from its January meeting, which detailed the significant “about face” that the Federal Reserve (Fed) has made over the last few months. In my view, the FOMC’s insights, along with apparent progress in U.S.-China trade talks, could enable stocks to move higher in the short term – but I’m also wary of negative implications that could lie beneath the surface.

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Five ‘swords of Damocles’ hang over markets


February 11, 2019
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

In Greek mythology, the “sword of Damocles” is a powerful morality tale. King Dionysius is a leader who grows weary of a young sycophant, Damocles, who is constantly extolling the benefits of being king. To teach Damocles a lesson about the pressure and insecurity that comes with leadership, Dionysius allows him to sit on the throne for a day – but over the throne, the king has suspended a large sword, hung by a single hair. Damocles quickly learned what it feels like to be a leader who exists in imminent danger and jeopardy.

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The Fed changes its game plan


February 4, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

The biggest American football game of the year was played last night, and for the first three quarters, it looked as if both teams forgot how to score a touchdown. But great teams find a way to win, even when their tried-and-true game plan seems to be faltering.

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Investor sentiment stays positive despite geopolitical drama


January 14, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

There has been no shortage of drama across the macroeconomic and geopolitical landscape so far in 2019. However, it appears that investors may be tuning out much of the political theatre around them. Which storylines are moving markets now, and which may become more integral to the plot in the weeks ahead?

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Is a real winner possible in the U.S.-China trade war?


January 7, 2019
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

Students of history may recall the War of the Roses, which was waged more than 500 years ago. It was an epic battle between two rival branches of the English royal family that both had claims to England’s throne – the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose, and the House of York, represented by a white rose. While the House of Lancaster ultimately won the War of the Roses, by some measures there was no real winner. The war lasted for many years and resulted in very significant damage to both houses. In fact, by the end of the war, the male lines in both houses had been eliminated.

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No holiday in sight for global disruption


December 17, 2018
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

At the start of 2018, I warned about two significant forms of disruption that posed risks to markets: geopolitical disruption and monetary policy disruption. The solution to the global financial crisis – experimental monetary policy – had created greater wealth inequality, which had led to geopolitical disruption, and the situation was poised to worsen in 2018. This experimental monetary policy, especially large-scale asset purchases, was beginning to be unwound – and that was an experiment in and of itself which also had the potential to cause disruption.

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Fixed income: Gauging the ripple effects of softening economic growth

Key takeaways

  • In the US, we believe peak levels of growth are behind us and expect to see slowing in the second half of 2019.
  • Outside the US, there are also signs of softening growth.
  • Inflation is likely to increase somewhat, but we do not believe that wage inflation will be significantly passed through to consumer prices in 2019.

Global macro

In the US, we believe peak levels of growth are behind us, although we expect annual growth of around 2.75% to persist through the first half of 2019 before slowing.  Fiscal stimulus is still having a positive effect on growth, but will likely wane in the second half of 2019.  In addition, the positive financial tailwinds that have been driving the economy may turn more neutral as monetary policy continues to tighten.  Therefore, while consumer spending will likely be additive to growth in the first half, as the boost from tax cuts winds down, the question is how much will the consumer want to spend thereafter? Consumption has grown at an unsustainably high level, in our view, over the last several quarters, driven by stronger consumer confidence and tax cuts. A meaningful slowdown in consumption could have negative implications for broader growth.  These effects mean that risks to economic growth are higher in late 2019 than they have been in previous points in the cycle.

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Global markets, financial district

Exchange-traded funds: Strategies for mitigating the new risks of the new year

Key Takeaways

  • We see new risks on the horizon for both equity and fixed income investors, but there are various exchange-traded fund strategies that we believe can help.
  • We expect that a loss of profit momentum in 2019 could lead to increased volatility and correlations, and we believe that the Low Volatility and Quality factors may perform relatively well in such an environment.
  • With the overall climate still tilting in the direction of higher rates in 2019, one way to potentially manage that risk is to build bond ladders using defined-maturity bond funds.

In the new year, we see new risks on the horizon for both equity and fixed income investors. Equity markets are anticipating a loss of momentum for corporate profit growth. And, for the first time in 12 years, fixed income investors are forced to wrestle with the challenge of navigating a multi-year upward trend in interest rates at both the short and long end of the bond universe. There are various exchange-traded fund strategies that we believe can help with both challenges.

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Walking sculpture, Magic Mountain, Angerpark

Stock losses snowball across the globe in a December sell-off


December 6, 2018
Subject | Institutional | Invesco | Macro views

U.S. stocks began a dramatic sell-off on Tuesday that has continued and spread to other parts of the world, creating intense headlines across the globe on Thursday. There has been a flight to the perceived safety of sovereign debt. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell dramatically, from more than 3% at the start of the week to 2.83% as of this writing1 – and other major sovereign debt yields also followed suit. Some areas of the yield curve inverted, and the 2-year/10-year yield curve is in danger of inverting.

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‘Tis the season for tax-loss selling


December 5, 2018
Subject | ETFs | Invesco | Tax & Estate

As the year-end approaches, many investors with taxable accounts may be seeking to dispose of securities that have lost money. The strategy of tax-loss selling allows the investor to claim a capital loss, which offsets capital gains for the current year. Any unused net capital losses can then be applied against taxable capital gains in any of the three preceding years, or carried forward indefinitely to future years. To realize capital gains and losses in 2018, trades must be executed by Thursday, December 27 to ensure settlement by Monday, December 31, the last business day of 2018.

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Central banks to the rescue? Don’t count on it.


November 27, 2018
Subject | Invesco | Macro views

Stocks continued to slide last week, and most major indices are negative for the year-to-date period – some having posted double-digit losses. As I noted in my commentary last week, there are hints of an economic slowdown appearing. In this environment, expectations are increasing that central banks may loosen their monetary policy in response, but I’m not sure that central banks will come to the rescue this time. In fact, I believe central banks are more likely to be a risk factor going forward.

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