- the source for market opinions


Hilliard MacBeth

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Author of "When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash"

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Gold bullion and gold mining shares have been used at times as a hedge against the possibility of a cataclysmic event in the markets. Since the arrival of COVID-19 and a severe economic downturn, interest in gold as a hedge is making a comeback. Will gold and gold mining shares perform as a hedge this […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Savvy investors look for safe places for their money in uncertain times. Canadians consider large companies that pay generous dividends as reliable and safe. Are traditional safe-haven investments likely to perform well this time? Some Canadian companies have paid dividends continuously for more than one hundred years. Bank of Montreal paid dividends since 1829, Bank […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - A full-blown global recession is inevitable at this point, due to government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The world’s economy was slowing before the pandemic hit. A growth slowdown has now become a widespread economic contraction. Stock markets reacted sharply with most stocks down at least 30 percent, and some large firms in […]

March 13th, 2020 | The OPEC Era is Over

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The oil supply cartel known as OPEC continues to self-destruct. With the announcement that the Saudi-led group of oil exporters could not reach agreement with Russia the price of oil collapsed. Will OPEC ever regain control of the oil markets? In my weekend note on December 31, 2014 I wrote that OPEC was struggling with a worldwide […] Radio - So called safe havens not so safe anymore

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The Bank of Canada (BOC) cut its policy interest rate on Wednesday to 1.25 percent, the first cut in rates since 2015. The drop of 50 basis points was like Tuesday’s move by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which was done as an emergency response to risks related to the impact of COVID-19 on the global […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The stock market has started to react negatively to COVID-19 spreading outside of China. Markets are down about 10 percent from the peak valuations of mid-February 2020. During a steep correction, it has been profitable to buy stocks. This is called “buying the dip”. Is now a good time to add exposure to the market? […] Radio - Why the COVID 19 virus likely will be under reported in US

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Space-X is launching telecommunication satellites that will become a network called Starlink. Starlink will bring high-speed, low-cost broadband internet to the world, starting in mid-2020. The requirements to use Starlink are the purchase of a pizza-box-sized receiver and a subscription. This service will be especially useful for remote areas outside of big cities that suffer […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China is causing worry all over the world, as the virus appears to cause severe sickness in about 20 percent of confirmed cases, and death in about 2 percent. The stock market is near record high levels, having taken a mild dip when the virus was first reported, and […] Radio - Railroads and record high equity markets

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The U.S. is close to self-sufficiency in energy, which is changing the balance of power in the world’s oil markets. The price of crude oil surged briefly in the first week of January after the assassination of an Iranian general by the U.S. military. But the oil price came down to earth quickly, reflecting the […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Large capitalization U.S. companies continued to outperform last year. The Russell Top 200 mega-cap index gained 30 percent last year, while the Russell 2000, a group of about 2,000 companies that average only $2.43 billion market value rose 23 percent. Since 2016, on an annualized basis, the small cap Russell 2000 gained about 8.1 percent, […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - A new year and a new decade triggers thinking about what the most rewarding investment theme will be over the next year and beyond. A leading candidate for a dominant theme is the impact of climate change risk. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that climate change is an example of the Tragedy of […] Radio - US-China Phase One Trade Deal Very Shaky

January 10th, 2020 | The U.S. Obsession with Iran

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - People are wondering what will happen after the U.S. assassinated a senior Iranian commander, Major General Qassim Suleimani. Iran is a long-time enemy of the U.S., after the hostage-taking of 52 Americans at the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the overthrow of U.S.-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, both events happening in 1979. Is war inevitable? […] Radio - 2019 North American Economy Healthier Than Expected

December 20th, 2019 | The Trump Impeachment Begins

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - President Donald J. Trump, 45th head of state, is now the third President since 1776 to be impeached by the House of Representatives of the United States. The next step is a trial to be held in the U.S. Senate, and a vote that will determine acquittal or removal from office. Will impeachment or the economy […] Radio - Household debt starting to sting

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The era of a comfortable retirement funded by defined benefit pension plans is fading rapidly from the scene in North America. Companies and governments offering defined benefit plans are struggling to fund their obligations. Some have even reduced payments arbitrarily for pensioners and most no longer offer a pension to new employees. Was the guarantee […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Canadian banks face stiff headwinds next year. They will have to deal with increasing loan losses, weak capital markets and slow retail lending. This is the start of a period of elevated risk, as the credit cycle turns. Should investors reconsider their holdings in Canadian banks? In “When the Bubble Bursts, Surviving the Canadian Real […]

December 3rd, 2019 | GDP Numbers and Real Estate Radio - NATO Summit, Over Priced Military Equipment Radio - Canadian legal pot sales plummet 33% quarter to quarter

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - The world’s largest company, Saudi Aramco, is proposing to list its shares on the stock exchange in Saudi Arabia. The prospectus issued last weekend, at 658 pages, includes a lot of interesting information about the oil business, the company’s size and value and forecasts for the future of the oil industry. Is it a good […]

Hilliard's Weekend Notebook - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is invested in a lot of cash and cash equivalents, about $122 billion in August 2019. Most investment managers cannot afford to wait to invest in stocks when the market is rising, as missing out on gains upsets investors. A decision to delay investing cash can be a career-ending move if […]
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