Hilliard’s Weekend Notebook

Thoughts, views and opinions as current events unfold: With topics taken from current market events and my latest book — When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash (Dundurn: March 2015)  and my first book Investment Traps and How to Avoid Them (1999) — this short piece will give you unique and valuable insights filtered by my thirty-six years’ experience as an investment professional.

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Central banks are nervous as CPI soars

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 16, 2021

Rapid inflation reared its ugly head this month, as the Consumer Price Index hit 2.6 percent gain for the last year. The price increase for energy was closer to 15 percent, while food was almost 4 percent. If the CPI keeps rising at this pace, as some... Read more
Banks tell government to do something about the housing bubble

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 09, 2021

Canadian banks want the government to take measures to halt the latest surge in home prices. Several bank CEOs and economists are urging the government of Canada to slow the runaway housing bubble where prices are advancing at a 15 percent annual rate... Read more
Toronto condo investors worry about cash flow

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Apr 01, 2021

The Toronto condo market is the centre of the Canadian real estate investor world. The amateur investor-landlord makes up as much as 50-60 percent of all condo ownership. As rents have been falling steadily for a couple of years, starting even before... Read more
Population growth gets too much credit for housing bubble

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 26, 2021

Canadian population growth gets too much credit for rising house prices. In fact, in Calgary and Edmonton, house prices declined or stayed flat while population grew much faster than the Canadian average. But now Canadian population growth is slowing... Read more
Volkswagen drops the gloves with Tesla

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 19, 2021

Volkswagen drops the gloves with Tesla in a direct challenge to lead the EV market by 2030. Herbert Diess, CEO, held a battery day presentation this week, announcing a major push into the EV market, where Tesla has been the leader until now. Will Volkswagen... Read more
Value versus growth

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 12, 2021

The stock market rally on growth stocks that started 12 years ago continued this week. Value stocks continue to lag growth stocks by the widest margin on record. Is it time for value to outshine growth again? Last week I wrote about Berkshire Hathaway... Read more
Berkshire Hathaway as an energy play

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 05, 2021

Warren Buffett released his annual letter, reviewing how Berkshire Hathaway (BH) performed in 2020. One interesting portion includes a breakdown of the company’s main assets. There are four main investments which he calls the “family jewels”. These are... Read more
The Federal Reserve is both arsonist and firefighter

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 26, 2021

The stance of the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, as confirmed publicly this week, is for continued support for the economy, as 10 million jobs are still missing. A year ago the Fed lit a fire under prices for assets like stocks with its expansion... Read more
A commodity super-cycle

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 19, 2021

The price of base metals, especially copper and nickel, are known as indicators of future economic growth. While the validity of that relationship is in doubt, it makes sense that base metals would move higher with an expectation for rapid economic growth... Read more
Corporations are jumping on the green energy bandwagon

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 12, 2021

Many corporations are announcing new sustainability or net-zero emissions targets, by a set date, usually 2050. More than 620 companies announced a science-based target in 2020. The total for 2021 will be even higher. As they struggle to meet these targets... Read more