Hazzardous Notes Newsletter for Sept/Oct, 2020

October 28, 2020 | Kevin J. Hazzard


Does anyone recognize where this was taken? I spent many summers here when it was a camp for kids. It has since been donated to the community and made into a beautiful park on Lake Huron (Lamrecton Camp north of Brights Grove).

Opening Notes

The Fall months are slipping away as steadily as the leaves are falling from the trees.  Our household has adapted relatively well to the new normal of school.  If you can look past all the masks, sanitizer and radically different class schedules, everyone has adjusted to the new normal quite well so far, at least in the Lambton/Kent area.  Our oldest son, Lucan, continues to be my sole co-worker these days at home.  He sets himself up in his room upstairs while I settle into my office on the main floor.  Craig is our only team member that is currently in the office on a part-time basis.

I talked already about our summer in the last newsletter.  Another development in our household this summer was the purchase of an older, 17-foot, fiberglass boat (and even older motor).  To give you some idea of the motor's age, it is only a few years younger than me - I will allow you to make your own estimates on that.  As relative novices to the boating world, we were able to get it in the water several times downriver on the St. Clair and Snye.  In looking back, we have come to the conclusion that boating is equal parts fun and equal parts stress - particularly with an older motor and novice crew.  If we end up replacing the motor next year with something a bit more reliable, plus a slightly more experienced crew, perhaps the fun can outweigh the stress in future?  We will see...

As I have said now for several months, the investment markets have continued to be quite good.  With so much going on in the world with a global pandemic, significant job losses, economic upheaval etc, it almost seems surreal that the markets have been as good as they are.  Government intervention in both stock and fixed income markets has certainly played a role, but I think ultra-low interest rates together with the demographic impact of retiring baby boomers is also a factor.  In my last newsletter, I repeated the phrase our fixed income desk used - "TINA likes prefs".  TINA is an acronym for "There is no alternative".  Just as the preferred share market (prefs) may look better in future for this reason, the broader stock market is also likely impacted by this same reality.  Investors worldwide are hesitant to invest all of their retirement funds into fixed income markets that are yielding under 1%.  In much of Europe, Japan and other countries, investors are even dealing with negative yields ie: they receive little income and get back at maturity less dollars than they originally invested.  Adding this steady increase in demand from investors with the impact of governments trying to shore up world economies, and we have a market that, though volatile at times, seems determined to keep on pressing upwards over time.  These factors may help to explain the sometimes illogical markets we see.  See the article just below titled "Navigating the 2020s - Greener, Greyer, Smarter, Slower" for some broader insight on this topic.

We hope that everyone enjoys the remainder of the Fall season and keeps healthy.

Navigating the 2020s - Greener, Greyer, Smarter, Slower

With a rapidly aging population, warming climate, and a dizzying pace of technological innovation, Canada's economy will look significantly different at the end of the decade than it does now.  This report is an easy read that I think you will find interesting.  Double-click on this link to read the report (press back on your browser to return to the newsletter):  Navigating the 2020s - Greener, Greyer, Smarter, Slower

Tax-Planning Calendar - A quick view of strategies throughout the year

This article highlights important tax dates during the calendar year and some strategies that may help you eliminate or minimize interest and penalties and maximize tax savings.  There are several listed for the upcoming end of the calendar year.  Double-click on this link to read the report (press back on your browser to return to the newsletter):  Tax-Planning Calendar