How do farmers do it? It takes strong will and fierce dedication to give yourself a chance of being successful. Even if you are at the top of your game, mother nature can swoop in anytime she likes to change your fortune both for better or worse. You are betting your livelihood on something almost entirely unpredictable. The farmers I know love it, but it is a tough business. Well….as investors we can relate to some degree as we have chosen a profession based on markets that have often been described as a “random walk”. That is precisely why we appreciated this list that was sent to us recently.
We can’t control the weather or financial markets, but we spend every day trying to be prepared, removing weeds and identifying the best investments to put the odds of success in your favor.
The financial landscape of 2023 looks a lot different than it did back in 2021. Here are a few opportunities we have taken advantage of that would not have existed a few years ago.
- Higher interest rates – we have increased our exposure to bonds and/or GIC’s depending on portfolio objectives. With interest rates now above 5% and the potential for capital appreciation in bonds, the odds are favorable for strong risk adjusted returns.
- Dividend growth - companies with increasing net cash flows and as a result increasing dividends are very attractive. A great way to fight inflation as a business is to have the ability to grow cash flow faster than inflation on a consistent basis.
- Infrastructure – remains a key diversifier within our portfolios with a huge pipeline of projects for many years to come.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute, October 2017 “Bridging global infrastructure gaps”. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/operations/our-insights/bridging-infrastructure-gaps-has-the-world-made-progress
4. Artificial Intelligence – AI is a game changer for a lot of companies, but we are early in the adoption phase and the winners and losers are not always easy to spot. We have exposure to the largest, most stable companies in the AI space.
Many of these opportunities will play out over the long term and we are prepared to give them a chance to grow.
MANULIFE SECURITIES IS CHANGING ITS NAME
You will receive notice with your September 30th statements that Manulife Securities Incorporated is changing its name to Manulife Wealth Inc.
Today, Manulife Securities is comprised of two firms: your firm, Manulife Securities Incorporated, an investment dealer and Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc., a mutual fund dealer. Pending regulatory approval, we will be amalgamating these two dealers into a new single entity called Manulife Wealth Inc. on January 1, 2024.
We welcome this change as it reflects the value of advice and the service we offer, and our dedication to supporting you with your financial goals. Over time, you will start seeing our new brand name “Manulife Wealth” as it replaces “Manulife Securities.” This change only affects Manulife Securities, and it does not impact other Manulife businesses. This will have no impact on your services or investments.
THE TAKE FIVE, TELL TWO STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING FRAUD
Fraud has become increasingly sophisticated. Phishing attacks, voicemails, texts; it feels like there are more channels to attack than ever before.
How can we protect against these rising scams? As a starting point, try adopting the approach of: “take five, tell two.” If you are solicited by others, “take five minutes to think about it, and then talk to two different people about it before doing anything.” This can prevent us from making rash decisions. The trick is that we need to do this each and every time a solicitation occurs. Educating ourselves and others, especially the vulnerable, is also important.
We are here to help. If you need to use us at one of your “two”, we are more than happy to serve this function and we can provide other tips to protect yourself.