5 from 5i: Increasing Risk When Expected Returns Have Never Been Lower

The big news this week comes out of the US, as President Donald Trump said yesterday that his “fire and fury” comments may not have been tough enough, and refused to rule out a preemptive strike against North Korea. The VIX, a measure of market volatility, has surged in price. Behind the scenes there have been a mix of earnings reports this week. Insurers Manulife Financial (MFC) and Sun Life Financial (SLF) reported second-quarter earnings that beat market expectations, benefiting in part from strong growth in Asia. CI Financial (CIX) has reached an agreement to acquire Sentry Investment for $780M in cash and stock, combining two of Canada’s largest independent active asset managers. Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) reported a better-than- expected quarterly profit and said it expected to repay more than $5B in debt earlier than it had targeted. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. announced it has selected Great Canadian Gaming (GC) and Brookfield Business Partners (BBU.UN) to run its casinos in the Greater Toronto Area. Here are five stories we found interesting this week:

  1. Signs of booms and bubbles, and evaluating current markets for these indicators (a longer read)
  2. Money-weighted return: how an active manager can profit when everyone buys the same index
  3. A road map for transitioning to an ETF portfolio
  4. Investment lessons from a quant-icon
  5. Investors try to avoid pain by making these poor behavioural decisions.
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