Stocks, Style, Scotch

June 05, 2015 | Dian Chaaban


I’m writing this note to you today from the RBC Dominion Securities office in beautiful Collingwood as I’ve left the city to celebrate my bestest friend Adrienne’s last weekend as a single lady before she marries her handsome husband to-be, Eduardo… but before I step away for the festivities, I’m following up on my promise to you from last week to tell you all about the Stocks, Style, Scotch event that I hosted at Holt Renfrew on the 28th. The SSS series is an evening event that brings together 3 of my favourite things, so if you weren’t able to make it, here is a recap of what you missed:


My brilliant portfolio analyst, Tasneem, shared her views on the market with us from a thematic and trend perspective further emphasizing the strength in a globally diversified portfolio. Some key takeaways were opportunities in Europe and the US. Europe is positioned similarly to where the US was in 2009 from a growth/recovery standpoint and while valuations remain supportive in select European sectors and Asian markets, they could rise if Europe’s economy continues to gain traction and China delivers additional stimulus.


In the US, valuations have become somewhat stretched in the past six months, but they are not so high as to warrant reducing exposure. The U.S. is in the midst of a secular (long-term) bull market, which is usually accompanied by above-average valuations. Sector specific opportunities lie within US Healthcare, US Technology and US Financials.


As for fixed income, the Federal Reserve remains on track to start slowly and gradually raising interest rates sometime this year while other major central banks will likely keep policies highly accommodative. Investors should prepare for heightened volatility at times, especially at the short end of the yield curve, as the U.S. rate normalization process begins.


Holt Renfrew’s very own Style Maven, Martha House, shared her 9 easy pieces to building a perfect wardrobe and trends for this season. If you have nothing else in your wardrobe, a staple blazer, leather jacket, jean button up, printed pants, a patterned sheer blouse, a basic white and basic white blouse, skinny black pants and a bold dress are all you need to create 23 different looks each season.


The scotch tasting and lesson was presented by none other than Canada’s finest Macallan brand ambassador, Marc Laverdiere. With a glass of scotch in his hand, Marc taught us how to properly sip, taste and identify the scotch in front of us …with some secret tips to getting it right every time (vanilla, ahem).