Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh frabjous day!

Lewis Carroll had it right. With the market's vorpal blades going snicker-snack, it's way too easy to see tragedy coming even on the brightest day. I envision my portfolio evaporating and my client base dwindling, and I can get quite deep into the drama of it all. Intransigent Greeks (no gifts forthcoming, apparently), idiot politicians (into which category nearly all US incumbents and wannabes now seem to fall), the falling dollar, increasing protectionism, European devolution -- we're not getting a lot of good economic news.

So, cock-eyed and contrary optimist that I am, I start to tally blessings. Resource companies continue to get funding, and the commodity markets are still holding. Gold stocks, especially for smaller entities, are undervalued and represent a real buying opportunity -- particularly with the Chinese starting to make gold property acquisitions offshore.

Technology innovation is strong in Canada, and start-ups are getting an unprecedented amount of government help to commercialize their products (just ask me!).

Even biotech is showing some signs of hope. The US seems to be working on developing a better relationship with China, one of the outcomes being Chinese agreement to help protect IP.

Never mind the market volatility -- pundits wiser than I suggest much of this is mechanical, or at least mathematical, and there is money to be made in the swings as well as in steady growth.

And Angela Merkel has made stocky women hotter than they've been since Peter Paul Rubens was mixing egg tempura.

So for now, we seem to be holding our own against the forces of chaos.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer in the City

There's an old saw, "Sell in May and go away", that used to be regarded as received wisdom on Bay Street. This year, however, we're seeing so much activity that the saying seems more wishful thinking than advice.

The city is buzzing with events, from the Indy to Jays games (anybody still go to these?) to Summerlicious.

The Street is also humming. Everyone is watching the US with some trepidation, while the New York markets and the US economy act in diametrical opposition, each hitting highs and lows respectively. Greece is a concern. Copper prices are strong, then weak; gold is weak (if you can call $1500 weak), then strong. China is flavour of the month, then hits the skids with the Muddy Waters Sino Forest exposé.

So many issues to juggle.

And -- here's the thing -- nobody goes away anymore. All my clients say they're going on vacation, but they're really on their computers and iPads and cellphones, and pretty much accessible at all times.

Sell in May and then watch like a hawk for opportunities -- that's the reality.