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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Warren Buffett is at a crossroads

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Mar 01, 2024

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of Warren Buffett, reported results for 2023 and Buffett left investors with some pearls of wisdom in the accompanying letter to shareholders. As Warren Buffett explains, investing is not easy, but it is very... Read more
China could be the world leader in nuclear power by 2030

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 23, 2024

China is growing its nuclear power generation capacity. Already the world leader in solar and wind, China threatens to take the lead in one of the most talked-about clean energy formats, nuclear power. Will China pass the U.S. and France in generating... Read more
Commercial real estate slump in U.S. could trigger a crisis

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 16, 2024

Commercial real estate is a major asset class for businesses, institutional investors, and banks. For decades, most lenders were eager to accept commercial real estate as collateral for loans. Also pension plans and insurance companies regarded properties... Read more
China struggles with weak stock markets

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 09, 2024

China starts 2024 with drastic measures to head off further losses in the stock market. These actions echo government rescue efforts in 2021-2023 for the property market which have been unsuccessful. Could China stock markets rebound this time? The meltdown... Read more
Canada might abandon its inflation target in a recession

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Feb 02, 2024

The Bank of Canada (BOC) held interest rates steady at 5 percent in January, highlighting growing weakness in the Canadian economy. But unfortunately, inflation is not declining as fast as the central bank would like. Will the central bank abandon its... Read more
Tesla debuts a new inexpensive sedan

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 26, 2024

Tesla announces a new low-cost sedan which will sell for about $25,000 in U.S. dollars. This vehicle will be available in mid-2025 and will be manufactured initially in Austin, Texas. Will this new model be enough to justify Tesla’s valuation? For the... Read more
Armed conflicts have yet to hit markets

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 19, 2024

Investors are coping with a high degree of uncertainty in the world, with at least three armed conflicts active now. The Israel/Hamas war was the top concern. But now the Houthi situation in the Red Sea, related to the Gaza conflict, has become top-of-mind... Read more
The speculative commodity boom that might have been

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 12, 2024

The commodity boom that was expected by many in this period of elevated inflation has not happened. While inflation soared, reaching 10 percent annually in some countries, the prices of commodities that are often used by speculators to make quick profits... Read more
Get ready for excitement and surprises in 2024

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Dec 21, 2023

The year 2024 will be full of surprises and uncertainty. A possible recession, the direction for the stock market, the housing bubble in Canada and changes in interest rates and inflation are all on the agenda for investors as we enter a new year. What... Read more
The Federal Reserve makes a full pivot to rate cuts

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Dec 15, 2023

The Federal Reserve announced a pivot to rate cuts, hinting at an end to the period since March 2022 of rate increases and tightening of financial conditions. When the Fed cuts rates, will it help? The Fed meeting ended on Wednesday with chair Jerome... Read more