Greg Dean's blog

"Time to invest in Canada?"

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Bob, Brandon, Steve and I were in Miami last week for CI’s annual Leadership Forum giving us the opportunity to spend time with many of the advisors in attendance. For those who weren’t able to join us this year, I wanted to summarize some of the key points from the session we presented on investing in Canada. In reference to investing in Canada, we frequently got asked the question: “Is now the time?” I understand why people are asking it, but in my opinion it fails to recognize how hard it is to time the market.

Safe is now risky

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While we digest the information we obtained from our recent business trip to Japan, I wanted to share a few thoughts on global interest rates. Amidst the recent Fed “noise” around rates in the U.S., I thought I would highlight what I believe was a shocking milestone reached over in Europe a few weeks ago. Both Henkel (€50B euro market capitalization – seller of household products) and Sanofi (€90B euro market capitalization – pharma company) managed to convince a group of fixed-income investors to pay them for the right to borrow money.

Follow up to our outlook on Brazil

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Several months ago Brandon and I returned from Brazil and discussed our excitement at the investment landscape that we saw emerging in the region at the time. You can read that piece here. While it was unpopular and definitely came with its share of uncertainty, we believed the country offered very compelling risk-reward over the long-term for those willing to be patient and ready to act when the stocks we wanted to own hit the prices we wanted to pay.

What's old is new

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Just over four years ago we wrote about one of our core holdings – Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP). Here is what we said:

Coincident with the launch of the Cambridge Income Fund, we wanted to highlight a name we’ve owned for some time but have recently been buying for this fund. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is a $4B mkt cap “utility-like” stock that recently reported strong results.

More support for active share

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As long-time readers and clients will attest, we have always viewed the active-share metric as a helpful tool in holding portfolio managers accountable to their value propositions. It helps investors cut through the “industry noise” and distinguish true active managers from expensive indexers posing as alpha seeking investors. You can read our prior musings here. Given the importance of this topic, we have written on it frequently over the years and share the table below with our clients on a quarterly basis.

Brazil - patience and readiness

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Almost five years ago, I visited Brazil and met with over a dozen companies. My timing wasn’t very good from an immediate investment opportunity perspective. While I was able to establish what would become strong relationships with several management teams, decade-low interest rates and record interest among foreign investors made it very difficult to find great businesses at prices that were materially below their intrinsic value. Well what a difference five years makes! The Brazilian stock market is off more than 30% in local currency (70% in U.S.

Fund update and European trip recap

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Several team members and I spent the first couple weeks of May in Europe which proved great timing given the election results in the U.K. (more on that later). I wanted to highlight some interesting takeaways from our trip to Europe and provide an update on Cambridge Growth Companies Corporate Class.

Everywhere you look governments are trying to become more efficient


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