Reflections and learnings from the year that was

Dec 18, 2020 | Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management


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In our final weekly blog post for 2020, our featured commentary provides you with an update on the coronavirus, our reflections on 2020, and a look ahead to 2021.

A women looking at a wall with multiple images of people.

In addition to our regular commentary, we have also included a link to an RBC Disrupters series podcast, Pandemics, Pivots, and Predictions: Looking Back on 2020 and Ahead to 2021, and a link to a video report that provides insight into the movements of the Canadian dollar and a look ahead into 2021, The George Davis Report: December 2020 Edition.

As always, we end our weekly blog posts with a few good news stories from in and around our community, and this week we included the gift announcement from Jay Elinesky and Tom Schuett to The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s Together, We Care campaign. A link to the press release and event photos are below.

Wishing you and your family a healthy and safe holiday season. We look forward to a new year that we expect to bring an eventual and much welcome return back to normal.

- Jay, Tom, Karie, and Jennifer -
and the entire Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management team


Your weekly economic update

Global equity markets have been calm and remain near their highs for the year as we close in on the holiday season and the end of a tumultuous 2020. As we share our final thoughts this year, we provide an update on the coronavirus, which continues to present a challenge across wide swaths of the world. We discuss the outlook for 2021 and conclude with reflections and learnings from the year that was.

Coronavirus

The second wave of the coronavirus is proving to be much more difficult to contain than the first. There may be a myriad of reasons why – The cooler season in the northern hemisphere, a potentially more infectious virus, and overall “virus fatigue” that has led to people letting their guards down. At current levels, nearly 650,000 new people around the world are getting infected every day.

Canada has seen progress over the past week with a meaningful moderation in the rate of new infection growth. In fact, the new infection rate hardly changed, with the country’s seven-day moving average of new daily infections sitting near 6,650, versus the 6,500 from the prior week. Some provinces saw meaningful declines in new infection growth; Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba. Meanwhile, the East Coast and British Columbia were relatively stable. Ontario and Quebec unfortunately have experienced an increase in the growth rate of new infections. As a result, both provinces are exploring additional restrictive measures in light of the rising pressures facing the health care systems.

After a few weeks of apparent progress, Europe experienced a setback over the past week. Germany’s situation has deteriorated and it has entered a more restrictive lockdown. The Netherlands has followed a similar path. Meanwhile, France and the United Kingdom, which had been improving, saw an increase in new infections recently, leading the latter to adopt more restrictive measures in some parts of the country. With some countries temporarily easing their measures over the upcoming Christmas holiday, the infection trends may worsen over the near-term. Meanwhile, the U.S. is averaging over 200,000 new daily infections. The country’s spread remains broad-based, but the state of California has emerged as a hot spot with well over 30,000 new infections every day. Large portions of the state are under lockdown, but it has yet to have had an impact on infection trends.

Elsewhere, countries across the world ranging from Russia, to Japan, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil are all facing rising trends of new infection growth, illustrating the global nature of this crisis.

A look ahead

We expect 2021 to be a tale of two halves. In the early going, the virus will continue to remain a headwind to economic and earnings growth, as it has for much of this past year. As vaccines become more widely available in the developed world into the spring and summer months, we expect a gradual return to more normal levels of activity. This will set the stage for a more durable economic trajectory by the end of the year. Low interest rates and aid from governments around the world, including an additional round from the U.S., should help to bridge the economic gap that will exist through this period.

Interestingly, despite the renewed restrictions across Europe, Canada, and parts of the United States, the hit to the global economy from this second wave has not been as negative as expected. Recent data from Europe indicates activity, both manufacturing and services, has been more resilient despite recent headwinds. Commentary from both the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve officials of late has suggested the respective economies have been a bit stronger than anticipated, although they acknowledged the elevated risk and disparity that exists among different parts of the economy.

All in all, the backdrop of a very low interest rate environment, significant government aid that may extend further, and a more durable economic recovery should help drive meaningful earnings growth. The challenge for investors is that markets are forward looking in nature, and already reflect much of the projected path that we foresee. As a result, while we are constructive on global stocks given improving trends, our level of enthusiasm is relatively modest.

Reflections on 2020

This was an unusual year in so many ways, with concerns spanning personal health, safety, job and business security, and financial risk. Yet, lessons from past crises served to be useful with respect to the management of our client investment portfolios. More specifically, having a properly constructed financial plan that ensures our portfolios are constructed and managed to meet your needs. In addition, maintaining a level of discipline to control one’s emotions and look past the short-term. Lastly, being prepared to be proactive through rebalancing and identifying opportunities that arise when markets reach extreme levels of pessimism and optimism.

On a final note, we want to wish you and your family a healthy and safe holiday season. We also wish all the best to the health care and front line workers who will remain in the thick of things as they work through this holiday season in less than ideal conditions. We look forward to a new year that we expect to bring an eventual and much welcome return back to normal.


Pandemics, Pivots, and Predictions: Looking Back on 2020 and Ahead to 2021

Artistic rendering of a man. Image text: Disrupters On this special, year-end episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, host John Stackhouse welcomes back a voice that’s sure to be familiar to regular listeners; Theresa Do from RBC’s Thought Leadership Team. Together, they talk to a series of business leaders from across the country who’ve had to pivot their operations in dramatic and unexpected ways over the past year. They also delve into RBC’s world-class research to find out what these changes could signal about what’s coming our way in 2021.

Listen to the podcast online: Pandemics, Pivots, and Predictions: Looking Back on 2020 and Ahead to 2021

The George Davis Report: December 2020 Edition

A hyperlink to the video. Blue box with text: The George David Report
In this edition of the George Davis report, George reviews key Canadian dollar drivers and our 2021 forecast profile.

Watch the video online: The George Davis Report: December 2020 Edition

About George Davis, Chief Technical Strategist, Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities, RBC Capital Markets

With over 30 years of market experience, George Davis is responsible for RBC’s Canadian dollar forecasts as well as intermarket technical analysis research that covers the FX, fixed income and commodity asset classes. Prior to this, he was a Vice President on RBC’s spot Canadian dollar and forward foreign exchange desks in Toronto and a foreign exchange Dealer in Montreal.

 

Safe, Merry and Bright:10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Shopping

Woman sitting on a couch looking at her tablet. She is sitting in front of a Christmas tree. For many, what's often a festive holiday shopping season looks a little different this year. Check out these tips on making your holiday shopping a little easier - and even find some savings along the way. Our favourite tip is to "shop local and support small businesses!"

You can read the full article online: 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Shopping
 

2020 Tax preparation reminders

With the 2020 personal income tax return filing deadline approaching, this is a great time to see if you’re taking advantage of all of the tax benefits you may be entitled to. The following information outlines items you may want to consider when preparing your 2020 personal income tax return.

Download your copy of the article here: 2020 Tax preparation reminders
 

Together, We Care

“We believe in the Foundation’s motto that a strong community makes a hospital greater, and a great hospital makes a community stronger.”

Two men and a woman standing in front of a window that is decorated for the holiday season. The men are handing the woman a gift, symbolizing their donation to The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.

We are very excited to share this donation announcement with you! On December 16, the Guelph General Hospital celebrated a generous gift of $100,000 from Jay Elinesky and Tom Schuett. The gift supports The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s Together, We Care campaign which helps with the Hospital’s most urgent and essential needs.

You can read the full media release online: Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities makes generous gift to support Guelph General Hospital

You can also visit our Facebook page to see the pictures from the day. #TogetherWeCare
 

Community Corner

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

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