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Investment Commentary

Each quarter our internal research team provides an update on the global markets and how our portfolios are positioned to navigate through the current environment.

Q2 2022 Commentary

In the latest President's Update, Kevin Dehod sits down with Ric Palombi, Senior Portfolio Manager, International Equities and Alternative Income. They discuss the current volatility in fixed income markets, and what investors could see during the second half of the year.

Last quarter, we discussed how the outlook for 2022 was becoming increasingly hazy. The picture is clearing, but not necessarily in a good way. The quicker we get inflation under control, the better chance rates won’t rise to levels that will choke off economic growth. That could help ensure a soft landing.

Against the backdrop of the current inflationary environment, our investment team analyzes trends in Canadian, U.S., international, and fixed income markets in this year’s Q2 investment commentary.

Click here to read the commentary or
download a PDF copy by clicking here

Past Outlook Commentary

Q1 2022
The latest President's Update from Kevin Dehod features Matt Evans, President & CEO of CWB Wealth Management, who talks about what makes CWB's history and culture unique and how it aligns with CWB McLean & Partners. 

Going into 2022, many observers (including us) had a positive view on the economy and markets in general. This was predicated on a receding pandemic – which appears to be playing out. On today’s economic horizon, a different view emerges.

Growth was expected to be well above pre-pandemic levels as a more normal environment brought down high inflation levels as the year progressed. A robust outlook was anticipated for corporate earnings growth, and thus, the stock market. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused a partial reset of this rosy economic view.

In this quarter’s commentary, our investment team shares insights on these and more:

  • How the economic outlook has quickly changed
  • The Canadian equity market is an exception to global equity weakness
  • The effect of interest rate hikes on monetary conditions in the U.S.
  • Ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on global markets
  • The U.S. Treasury yield curve and its implications for interest rates and the economy

    Click here to read the commentary or
    download a PDF copy by clicking here


    Q4 2021

    The latest President’s Update from Kevin Dehod features Scott Blair, Chief Investment Officer, who talks about our first year as a consolidated investment team. What worked? What didn't work? And what are we working on in 2022?

    One advantage of writing a monthly market commentary is that you end up with a library of real-time thoughts that you can later return to and learn from. In reviewing our 2021 archives, we found that despite strong year-end results, 2021 was full of surprises. It was the best and worst of times.

    Although 2022 may not bring us fully back to normal, we think it will be another big step towards normalcy, which is positive for the economic outlook.

    From our dedicated investment team, this quarter’s commentary brings you these insights and more:

    • Lessons learned in 2021 and what we can expect in year 3 of the pandemic
    • Which strong-performing Materials and Financials companies topped our list
    • Why we’re optimistic about travel, easing of supply chain issues and labour market conditions
    • Measures China has taken to improve profitability in 2022
    • COVID-19 and inflation. Are either of these permanent?

    Click here to read the commentary or
    download a PDF copy by clicking here

    Q3 2021
    In the President’s Update of this quarter’s commentary, Kevin Dehod introduces Saket Mundra and Liliana Tzvetkova, the co-managers of our U.S. Equity Portfolio. Saket and Lilly share how clients will benefit from our newly-expanded portfolio team, and why a position in Amazon was initiated this quarter.

    Early in the pandemic, we were shocked to see record demand for nice-to-have items despite being in the throws of a huge recession. In retrospect, we know this was caused by the rise in average household incomes and savings due to generous government programs, while outlets to spend those dollars fell as travel and other services were – and still are – limited.

    In this stage of our economic recovery, our attention turns to how the pandemic has affected supply chains globally, and what impact this is having on our markets worldwide. 

    From our dedicated research team, this quarter’s commentary brings you these insights and more:

    • Supply chain disruption – short and long-term impacts on companies and consumers
    • Rising fertilizer prices around the world and M&A movement in the Canadian equity market
    • What potential rate increases and easing of supply chain bottlenecks could mean for our U.S. portfolio
    • The unravelling of Evergrande and its affect on Chinese banks and companies 
    • How the Fed and Bank of Canada are positioned for their inflationary policy goals


    Click here to read the commentary or
    download a PDF copy by clicking here

    Q2 2021

    In Q2 2021 Commentary video, Kevin Dehod, President & CEO sat down with Trevor Fennessy, Senior Planner at T.E. Wealth to discuss how a comprehensive financial plan can help achieve lasting financial stability and peace of mind.

    The heatwave that Canadians recently experienced is somewhat of a precursor to what’s shaping up to be a scorcher of a summer from an economic standpoint. Provinces are demonstrating forward momentum in easing COVID-19 restrictions, which is key in the hand-off from government support programs back to the real economy.

    With 67% of Canadians having received at least one dose of the vaccine as of end of June (ranking us as world leaders), fully vaccinated individuals will soon catch up. This will result in even more restrictions being lifted, which will unleash many economic catalysts that we’re looking forward to.

    In this quarterly commentary, our research team shares insights on:

    • What’s signaling a hot economic recovery 
    • What the energy sector rebound means for our Canadian portfolio 
    • Our favourable U.S. portfolio performance and the ongoing debate of growth vs. value, inflation vs. disinflation
    • How Italy is benefitting from the €750B European recovery package
    • Inflation concerns and higher interest rates as we continue on the growth path

    Click here to read the commentary or
    download a PDF copy by clicking here

    Q1 2021

    In our Q1 2021 Outlook Commentary video, Gil Lamothe, lead of the Canadian Equities portfolio, joins our President & CEO, Kevin Dehod, to share what he loves the most about his role, the importance he places on client relationships and how the new Canadian research team is positioned to manage the portfolio.


    To go along with the video, is our written Outlook Commentary where we discuss how companies prepare to ramp up business due to pent up demand, low interest rates, and higher savings levels. As more of the population gets vaccinated, we expect strong economic growth once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

    In this commentary, our Research Team analyzes trends in four markets and touches on several key themes including:

    • An increase in M&As in Canada due to low interest rates and aligned shareholder interests 
    • The rotation from defensive to cyclicals in the U.S., as expansion advances 
    • A steepening yield curve beneficial for cyclical companies and Europe and the impact of shortage of semiconductor manufacturing capacity
    • The Fed’s Average Inflation Target changing the game and opportunities in inflation hedges for Fixed Income investors

    Click here to read the commentary or
    download a PDF copy by clicking here


    January 2021

    In the first Outlook Commentary of 2021, our team is reflecting on the unprecedented months we are leaving behind as a means to establishing our plan for the year ahead.

    The start of a new year calls for enhancements, which for us can be primarily granted to our team expansion as a result of CWB’s recent wealth acquisition. In this Outlook video, Kevin Dehod, our President & CEO, with Scott Blair, CWB Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Officer, and Ric Palombi, Director of Research and Head of International Equities, discuss the improved structure within our research team. This progression adds value to our clients by incorporating depth to our research process and harnessing our team’s expertise to its full potential. In this video, Scott and Ric also share the key themes that will be shaping the markets in 2021.


    To complement this discussion, our research team is also providing insights on various topics through a written Outlook commentary

    • Key developments in the reflation trade and opportunities for economic growth in the international markets
    • The disproportionate recovery of the U.S. market, the risk of high expectations and the compelling risk-reward opportunities found in the banking sector
    • Benefits of an active investing approach and the reasons we initiated a position in a Canadian telecom company for the first time in a decade
    • How fixed income bond yields are expected to grind higher and how our portfolio is positioned in an environment where interest rates continue to normalize

    Click here to read the commentary or download a PDF copy by clicking here

    Q4 2020
    2020 has taught us the importance of Patience & Perseverance, both on a personal level and from a research perspective. Our research team discusses how these two qualities are intertwined in our investment philosophy and process in our last Outlook Commentary of the year.
    Q3 2020
    Our special edition of the Outlook Commentary, Stampede-themed, is here! Throw on your cowboy boots and watch our research team embrace the Calgary Stampede spirit while providing timely market updates and answering your questions. Filmed on the Calgary Stampede grounds, this quarterly Outlook Commentary provides insights on the implications of governmental debts, opportunities in the fixed income world, finding intrinsic value in the tech sector, our perspective on the upcoming US elections, and more.
    Q2 2020
    We can’t control this environment or when life will return to normal again – what we can control is our own behaviour. By remaining resilient and disciplined in the execution of our investment philosophy and process, we share how we’re emphasizing companies with strong balance sheets, balancing our exposure to both cyclical and defensive names, and finding opportunities to ‘high grade’ our portfolios.

    * Please excuse the quality of angles of the camera – we did our best to film in our respective homes.
    Q1 2020
    As we begin 2020 we find ourselves entering this new decade with many markets near all time highs, yet the uncertainty and volatility continues. In the first Outlook Commentary of the year our research team shares how they are finding value from their active investment approach in these challenging conditions.
    Q4 2019
    Markets may be at an all-time high, yet fear continues to overshadow the current environment. With the dichotomy between market sentiment and market performance, our team manages risk by cutting through the noise of ongoing headline turbulence and macro uncertainty. In this quarter's Outlook video series, we share our views on the global markets and the stocks we’re finding value in through this ‘confusing’ environment.
    Q3 2019
    When two economic Superpowers like USA & China engage in a trade war, investors fear significant collateral damage on global economies and markets. An environment that gave investors hope at the beginning of the year soon gave way to fear and uncertainty– chief among them a “prolonged” trade war, recession risk and uncertain monetary policy. As investors, we must balance between the short-term pain of companies trying to navigate the trade war with the gain that will come when the trade is resolved.

    In our Outlook Video Commentary, our research team discusses adjustments made to our portfolios in response to the ever changing risk-reward dynamic of each individual stock.