Hilliard’s Weekend Notebook

Thoughts, views and opinions as current events unfold: With topics taken from current market events and my latest book — When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash (Dundurn: March 2015)  and my first book Investment Traps and How to Avoid Them (1999) — this short piece will give you unique and valuable insights filtered by my thirty-six years’ experience as an investment professional.


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The strange world of negative interest rates

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 16, 2019

For most of my four-decade career, interest rates have been much higher than today. In the late 1970s, and for most of the 1980s, interest rates were consistently above 10 percent. In the last five years a new phenomenon appeared that most observers thought... Continue reading
China and the U.S. fight for leadership role

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 09, 2019

The U.S.-Chinese competition for global leadership keeps escalating. Although most people see this current conflict as a trade war, there is much more at stake than just trade and tariffs. Throughout recorded history there have been many instances of... Continue reading
The Fed responds to the pressure

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Aug 02, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank, headed by Jerome Powell, took the unusual step this week of cutting interest rates when the economy is strong, and the S&P 500 hit all-time highs. Powell stumbled during the press conference while giving reasons for the cut.... Continue reading
Tesla results feed both bulls and bears

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jul 26, 2019

Tesla came up short for the second quarter, in the eyes of Wall Street analysts who forecast earnings. On other measures, the company succeeded by shipping a record number of new cars and announcing the highest amount of quarterly free cash flow in its... Continue reading
Change generates disruption and opportunity

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jul 19, 2019

Change is constant, in life and in investing. Most of us would prefer that things continue as they are, especially when it’s to our benefit. But change is often unavoidable and sometimes disruptive. While many people and firms fail to adapt to change... Continue reading
The Bank of Canada says the housing correction is over

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jul 12, 2019

The Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report was released this week, along with the announcement that the Bank interest rate would remain at 1.75 percent. As happened in the U.S. and with other central banks, the Bank of Canada hinted that rates will be... Continue reading
Iran is desperate and dangerous

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jul 05, 2019

Iran and the United States are escalating their hostilities, with recent attacks on commercial tankers by Iran and a U.S. air strike canceled at the last minute by the U.S. Although President Trump ran for election on a policy of opposing any U.S. military... Continue reading
A U.S. recession predicted

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jun 28, 2019

A highly regarded forecaster, who has an excellent track record going back to the 1960s, claims that a recession may have already started in the U.S. There is ample corroborating evidence of a slowdown, as the Federal Reserve abruptly shifted their policy... Continue reading
The Fed hints at rate cuts

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jun 21, 2019

On Wednesday June 19, 2019, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank announced its decision to hold policy interest rates steady at 2.25% to 2.50%. Market participants are watching the Fed closely to see if rate cuts are... Continue reading
Two hundred years of financial crises

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jun 14, 2019

A new book, called “A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises” by Richard Vague, covers the causes of financial crises. Consistent with my recent book, “When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash”, Vague finds... Continue reading