‘Twas the week before Christmas

by Mawer Investment Management, via The Art of Boring Blog

‘Twas the week before Christmas
So let’s set the scene:
Just what the heck happened
In 2018?

The year started merrily
With equities strong
But by late January
Things began to go wrong.

The VIX spiked in Feb
And equities went down
Volatility’s the theme
“Good grief!” — Charlie Brown

With interest rates rising
And inflation expectations
World markets did tumble
To investor frustrations.

Q2 seemed different,
Corporate earnings did sing
Could the decade-long bull
Still be in the ring?

The bear could awaken—
With tariffs, FAANGs, or oil price
But is it signal or noise,
Or a roll of the dice?

And NAFTA dragged on
From Q1 to Q3
The TSX fluctuated
With uncertainty.

Behold a new star
Weed entered the fray
The TSX lit up
But on the sidelines, we’ll stay.

Speaking of investments
Creating a craze
Bitcoin’s down 80%
From the height of its days.

And closer to home
Oil prices rallied
But then moved back down
As pipeline work dallied.

Planes, trains, or automobiles
It would be sublime:
Dear Santa please bring us
One approved pipeline.

Heading down to the south
Where the Fed was a-raisin’
Unemployment was low
And the greenback a-blazin’.

With debt service costs high
From those strong U.S.—“D’s”
Many abandoned ship
On EM currencies.

Down peso! Down lira!
Down rand and real!
Can they pay back their debts?
Investors can’t tell.

Facebook, Apple, and Amazon,
Netflix plus Google make FAANG
They drove the S&P
A most notorious gang.

Tech stocks are enticing
The unicorns shine bright
But we avoid fanfare
Keeping the long-term in sight.

When Trump said to the dragon:
Trade tariffs are nigh
China did suffer
While U.S. markets flew high.

But now the U.S. and China
The trade talks seemed strong
Then Meng was arrested
Can’t they just get along?

Now Brexit’s delayed
They just can’t agree
Soft, hard, or no deal
We’ll just have to see.

Not all UK businesses
Will be affected the same
So whatever’s decided
Mawer’s still in the game.

Yield curve, oh yield curve
How flat will you go?
Inverted or rising,
No one can know.

But one thing is certain,
We’ll keep playing our plan
Bottom-up, fundamental
Since ‘74 we began.

Be Boring, Make Money™
Is always our theme
Happy holidays to all
From the entire Mawer team!

This post was originally published at Mawer Investment Management

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