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no-cover
January 23, 2012
Other

Understanding Calendar Spreads

Richard Croft

An option strategy that works well for those want to take advantage of time value is calendar or time spreads. It is also a good strategy in a low volatility environment. With the MX Volatility Index at 15.35% and well below its 200-day moving average there is a good argument in support of the position that volatility is low....

628
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7 years ago
no-cover
January 16, 2012
Other

Upswing in the Agriculturals?

Richard Croft

We allude to fertilizer, of course, something that hasn’t been much in the news lately, given all the fuss and bother about European (and other) debt problems overhanging the global financial system. But people must eat, and animals must be fed. It just so happens that supplies of one staple grain crop are tight at the...

579
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7 years ago
no-cover
January 09, 2012
Other

Turnaround Value?

Richard Croft

Earlier this week, a closely watched indicator suggested continuing improvement in the US economy. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers index climbed to 53.9 in December, up from 52.7 in November. The gauge posted its best reading since June, as factory activity showed broad-based growth...

577
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7 years ago
no-cover
December 19, 2011
Other

Will we see more of the same?

Richard Croft

Year-to-date, the traditional non-cyclical sectors have performed on cue and in textbook fashion, outperforming cyclical stocks by a wide margin. The S&P/TSX Capped Healthcare (+12.8%), Capped Telecom (+13%), Income Trust (+15.4%) and Capped REIT (+13.8%) Indexes have posted year-to-date double-digit gains compared with...

626
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7 years ago
no-cover
December 12, 2011
Other

He Shoots He Scores!

Richard Croft

Last week’s billion-dollar plus sale of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan’s majority interest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to a couple of Canada’s largest telcos is an example of effective decision-point resolution. It remains to be seen whether Canada’s Competition Bureau will approve the transaction. But...

743
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7 years ago
no-cover
December 05, 2011
Other

Brookfield Positioned for Recovery

Richard Croft

One of the sectors usually associated with non-cyclical stocks is real estate. You can see that in the sectors performance. The S&P/TSX Capped Real Estate Index was ahead 2.6% year-to-date to the end of November. It is up 6.3% over the past 12 months. That’s not too surprising, given that the bulk of the index comprises...

697
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7 years ago
no-cover
November 28, 2011
Other

Income Power

Richard Croft

When momentum rules the day in stock markets, it’s difficult to go against the grain. Only the boldest of the bold have the stomach to do so, placing bearish trades in the near-certain expectation of some success. In the past few weeks, that type of speculation has borne fruit. Others rely on defensive strategies to at least...

748
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7 years ago
no-cover
November 21, 2011
Other

The Point of Maximum Pessimism?

Richard Croft

In the glass-half-full department, Warren Buffett, the CEO of investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., recently said, “American companies look very cheap compared to investment alternatives,” and promptly took a US$10 billion (5.4%) stake in International Business Machines Corp. In all, Berkshire, led by Buffett and his...

693
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8 years ago
no-cover
November 14, 2011
Other

The Business of Politics

Richard Croft

It’s tempting, when big business and big politics do the waltz, to bet on some outcome or other. Trouble is, it’s often impossible to see behind the veils and curtains, to say nothing of smoke and mirrors, that obscure the true picture of events. It’s even more difficult when what’s at stake is counted in the billions...

659
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8 years ago
no-cover
November 07, 2011
Other

What we Know and Think we Know about Manufacturing

Richard Croft

Allow me to begin with some background about what we know and think we know. Which is really another way of asking what is being priced into the market? It would seem from recent stats out of the US and Canada that a double dip recession is unlikely. Replaced by a prolonged period of slow growth which the US Fed estimates to...

689
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8 years ago