Navigating the current state of the economy

Aug 21, 2020 | Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management


Our featured economic update focusing on the recent developments in Canada and the anticipation of third quarter results for Canadian banks. Details on two upcoming events are also included in this week's blog post.

Man on a boat holding a green rope. A white sale is above his head, with a blue sky and water in the background.

Our featured economic update is below, focusing on the recent developments in Canada and the anticipation of third quarter results for Canadian banks. We are also featuring two upcoming event invitations in this week’s blog post:

  • Webinar: Planning strategies for business owners

  • Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series: Where do we go from here? In conversation with Jim Allworth

Also included in this blog is a new video from the Wealthy Barber, David Chilton, a podcast discussing COVID-19 trends and the race for a vaccine, the latest 10-Minute Take, and our community corner.

Global equity markets were marginally lower over the recent week. The resignation of the Canadian Minister of Finance and the virtually-held U.S. Democratic National Convention received a lot of media attention, though investors appeared less interested. We provide a brief update on the COVID-19 situation, and share some thoughts on Canada given the government’s decision this week on existing and new aid programs. Lastly, we touch on the Canadian banks who are set to report results soon.

Coronavirus update

The two dominant trends remain the same. Namely, progress in some places and virus re-emergence elsewhere. The U.S. continues to see improvement with new daily cases decelerating, with an average rate of new daily infections above 40,000 instead of the more than 70,000 peak reached nearly a month ago. There are other countries witnessing improving trends as well. More specifically, Russia has seen its elevated figures decline for several weeks. Australia appears to have passed its peak, and Brazil is finally showing early signs of progress.

There remain areas that continue to struggle however, namely India, parts of Africa, the Philippines, and Indonesia where daily new infections remain stubbornly high. Most concerning is Europe, where it has become clear that the region is grappling with a second wave. Spain, France, and Germany all saw figures over the past week that hadn’t been seen in months, and similar trends have emerged elsewhere in the region.

Interestingly, these developments have not necessarily impacted markets. Investors may not view the virus as much of a surprise as it was months ago. Furthermore, investors may have grown more confident that society can adapt while economies remain functioning, even if below normal.

Canada – a new Finance Minister and new aid programs

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was appointed as the country’s new Finance Minister. She takes over at what is arguably a critical juncture and will be tasked with addressing near-term and long-term challenges. More specifically, she will be asked to help the country navigate through the current economic crisis, while ensuring our country is better positioned for long-term and sustainable growth. The government is said to want to explore issues such as sweeping social reforms and renewable energy. However, the country, like others, is already grappling with elevated fiscal deficits as a result of the pandemic-induced spending that may limit the extent of future investment and expenditures.

Significant announcements were made this week on existing and new aid programs to help the country deal with the ongoing economic fallout of the pandemic. There were five key developments:

  1. The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by another month through until the end of September at which point it will wind down and enrollees will transition to the Employment Insurance program (EI) should they qualify.
  2. A reduction in the minimum hours worked to enable more people to qualify for EI.
  3. The Canada Recovery Benefit program will apply to self-employed workers or those who are not eligible for EI.
  4. The Canada Recovery Caregiving program will be for eligible citizens who are unable to work because they need to care for a child, family member, or dependent as alternative care options are unavailable.
  5. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is for those who are sick themselves or have to self-isolate because of the pandemic.

While investors will inevitably debate the effectiveness of such measures, we believe most appreciate that the actions taken thus far have helped soften the blow to our economy thus far. This week’s decisions will help buy more time for our economy to heal.

We hope to also see something soon from the U.S., though admittedly our patience is being tested. Negotiations have proven to be much more difficult and expectations are now for a much smaller stimulus package.

Canadian banks – not out of the woods

Lastly, the next week will undoubtedly be an important one for Canadian investors. The Canadian banks are set to begin reporting their third quarter results. These will be for the period May through July, when the economy began to reopen and recover from forced lockdowns. Consequently, the results may be better than they have been, with a smaller build in reserves for future loan losses than incurred earlier this year. Nevertheless, this positive development, should it occur, may be largely attributed to the aforementioned government programs, CERB in particular, which continue to have the desired effect of limiting any customer or business delinquencies for the time being. Consequently, we won’t necessarily be drawing too many longer-term conclusions from the upcoming results.


Video: The Wealthy Barber’s tips for choosing the right executor

David Chilton Royal Trust logo

“I don’t want to be an executor. Too much work. Too much stress. Too much potential liability.”


Myth: It’s easy picking an executor! Just go with your most trusted family member or friend.

Fact: You need to give a lot of thought when choosing your executor. Way more than most people do.

Here is your link to the video: The Wealthy Barber’s tips for choosing the right executor

This video is part of a three-part myth busting series aimed to dispel common estate planning beliefs many Canadians have. The series is produced in collaboration between RBC Wealth Management Royal Trust and David Chilton, author of best-selling personal finance guides The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns, and former dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. #TrustRoyalTrust


10-Minute Take

The 10-Minute Take is a podcast series dedicated to providing insights from RBC Economists and market experts on events unfolding around the globe.

There is a new 10-Minute Take podcast available on our website.

How Apple became the most valuable public company in the world

Apple has exceeded the historic USD$2 trillion valuation, buoyed by a loyal customer base and our collective dependence on smartphones. Even amid a global pandemic, the company has benefited from a boost in sales thanks to government stimulus. But can the company continue to stay hungry (and foolish, as Steve Jobs would say) in its dominant market position? And how will it fare in the face of lawsuits and antitrust probes? Robert Muller, RBC Capital Markets’ Enterprise Hardware Analyst, shares what’s behind Apple’s growth.


You can listen to the 10-Minute Take podcasts online now: The 10-Minute Take.

Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series
Where do we go from here? In conversation with Jim Allworth

We hope that you can join us for the next online event in the Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series: Where do we go from here? In conversation with Jim Allworth.
Jim will speak on the outlook for the global and Canadian economies and financial markets.

September 16, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
A link to the event website will be provided with
your registration confirmation.

Guest speaker:
Jim Allworth, Portfolio Strategist
RBC Dominion Securities

Kindly RSVP by September 14 by clicking on the button below.

Have a question for Jim?
Submit your questions with your RSVP!


Audio commentary: Update on COVID-19 and the race to develop a vaccine

Dr. Kennen MacKay, Managing Director and Co-Head of Biotechnology Research for RBC Capital Markets, joins Janet Engels, Head of the Portfolio Advisory Group – U.S., to talk about where things stand with COVID-19. They zero in on the data on the number of cases, and discuss how close we are to a vaccine as well as the impact of the race to find effective treatments, now and in the future. Janet asks the question on all our minds: “When will we be back to normal?”

Listen here (approximately 20-minute duration).

Webinar: Planning strategies for business owners

Please join us for a virtual discussion, with members of the RBC Wealth Management Services team, to explore various planning opportunities for business owners, and possible strategies to consider over the course of business ownership.

During this session, two of our leading business owner specialists will walk through potential options that may be available in six key planning areas, including structuring your business, income splitting, accessing surplus cash, selling your business, planning for retirement and wealth transfer.

September 2, 2020 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
This virtual event is being hosted on the BrightTALK platform.


Abby Kassar, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP
VP, Business Owner Specialist, High Net Worth Planning Services
RBC Wealth Management Services

Grant Henri, CFP, PFP, Pl. Fin., TEP
VP, Business Owner Specialist, High Net Worth Planning Services
RBC Wealth Management Services

Kindly RSVP by Friday, August 28 by clicking on the button below.



If this is your first event, you will need to set up a BrightTALK account, providing your name, email and name of your advisor. Please be sure to set your time zone and email preferences.

You will receive a confirmation email from BrightTALK with a calendar booking and link to attend the event


Community Corner

Each week, we like to end our emails with a few good news stories from in and around the community. We hope that they brighten your day!

Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington

ImageWe were thrilled to be a part of Patio for a Purpose, an event benefiting the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington.

Over the three nights, guests enjoyed the beautiful patio at Spring Mill Distillery and learned more about this amazing community organization. We were very excited to hear about their latest initiative that was announced at the event, the expansion of their Free to Grow program to include mental health support for the children in our community.

Please visit for more information about the services they provide.

As always, we are available to connect with you personally. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 519-822-2024 or