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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China offers big potential returns with even bigger risks

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 18, 2019

Some of China’s stock market indices showed some of the worst performance in the world over the last year. The Shanghai market fell 24 percent while the Shenzhen market plummeted 32 percent. Trade uncertainty, slowing economic growth in China and a crackdown... Continue reading
The BOC goes on pause for now

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 11, 2019

The Bank of Canada released its Monetary Policy Report this week along with an announcement that the Bank of Canada target rate would remain unchanged. But in the media release Governor Stephen Poloz insisted that rates are too low and further hikes will... Continue reading
The surprising plunge in the price of oil

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Jan 04, 2019

The price of crude oil (WTI) plummeted from a peak in early October of more than $75, to a bottom near the end of December below $45. This rapid plunge was surprising as OPEC announced production cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day and even Alberta kicked... Continue reading
The end of the Greenspan Put

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Dec 21, 2018

The Federal Reserve open market committee hiked rates again. The stock market didn’t like what Fed chair, Jerome Powell, said at the news conference on Wednesday, and what he didn’t say. Since 1987 when then chair of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan... Continue reading
The China-U.S. conflict takes a nasty turn in Vancouver

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Dec 14, 2018

The arrest in Vancouver of a senior officer of Huawei highlights a U.S.-China conflict that could affect investors. Most of the recent US-China articles focus on their so-called trade war. And struggles over trade policy affect stock markets. If it looks... Continue reading
Alberta tries to save the oil sands

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Dec 05, 2018

The Government of Alberta ordered producers to cut their production of heavy oil by 8.7 percent on January 1, 2019. Claiming to represent the “owners of the resource,” the Notley government decided on this extraordinary intervention into the market. The... Continue reading
Disruptive change happens fast

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Nov 30, 2018

Significant technology-related disruption often seems to appear suddenly. Rapid change can impact people’s lives in ways that can’t be predicted. Large impact events are small specks on the horizon now but could loom large in a few years. It’s interesting... Continue reading
Canada and OPEC face new competition in oil

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Nov 23, 2018

Surging U.S. oil production puts energy exporters at risk. Canada and OPEC are on the spot as new oil production from Texas shale formations surpasses even the most optimistic forecasts. Does the increase in U.S. production spell the end for OPEC? What... Continue reading
A messy Brexit means opportunity

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Nov 16, 2018

Brexit is in the news again, as a possible November/December summit between the EU and the UK nears along with the March 29, 2019 Brexit deadline. There are many possibilities for next steps in the Brexit saga, including an agreement on Brexit terms in... Continue reading
Volatility is good for value investors

Published by Hilliard MacBeth on Nov 09, 2018

World stock markets are experiencing unusual volatility during 2018, and some markets, like China, are down more than 20 percent from the start of the year. Political upheaval in the U.S. and Europe is nearly a certainty in 2019, as U.S. election results... Continue reading