Matthew Lekushoff |
Emerging Markets | Resilience | Sleep bonuses

After a strong performance in March, most markets eased slightly over the first three weeks of April. It seems, at least for now, that financial markets have stabilized . However, 20 years in the investment industry has taught me that things can change suddenly and when you least expect it.

As a general investment philosophy, it's important to remember that when times are good, enjoy them, but keep an eye out for risk masquerading as returns. When the waters turn rough, don't panic, look for opportunities, and take appropriate action. Regardless of the environment though, complacency should not be an option!

About town


I attended an emerging markets symposium at the Royal York this week. As there are many countries commonly included under the emerging market umbrella, the event narrowed its focus to a few regions in particular-China, India, and Latin America.
I've done quite a bit of research on China and India, so most of what was covered on them wasn't new to me. However, the Latin American talk did open my eyes in a few areas.
The following points most stood out for me: How relatively (historically & relative to other regions) cheap Latin American equities are; the fact that Brazil is actually a net importer of oil; and the average Mexican wage is currently lower than China's, meaning it now has a competitive advantage in the manufacturing department. This is a potentially huge advantage for Mexico, given its proximity to the huge American market. 


This is not to say Latin America is without issues. Brazil, in particular, has a number of things to work through-most recent is the vote to impeach its President Dilma Rousseff this past Sunday, whose presidency has been plagued with scandal, corruption, and a shrinking economy. After a three-day debate, legislators approved the impeachment. For an interesting in-depth analysis on the situation, take a look at Glenn Greenwald's article in The Intercept.

That being said, the symposium has given me ample reason to dig further into Latin American markets, to determine if their low valuations are compelling enough in spite of their issues.
For those interested in learning more about the emerging markets, check out one of my   recent newsletters .

Tax season home stretch

It's getting down to the wire to file your taxes. If you're finding yourself in the last-minute crunch, my latest blog discusses automated tax filing . The CRA and mobile apps have made it easier to file online or on your mobile devices, streamlining the process. 

For those interested, I've also written about tax changes this year and notable write-offs to ensure you aren't paying too much.

Dropping knowledge

  The novel I've been reading lately wasn't cutting it, so over the weekend I dropped it, opting to re-reading a few chapters of  Resilience: Hard-won Wisdom for Living a Better Life  by former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens. If you're not familiar with Resilience, get your hands on it now!

Patterned somewhat after Seneca's Letters from a Stoic, Resilience is a collection of letters Greitens wrote to a former SEAL and friend who had returned to America suffering from PTSD, alcoholism, a family tragedy, and desperately trying to put his life back together. The book utilizes a conversational tone and draws heavily on modern lessons and ancient Greek thinkers. The letters, which vary from the importance of role models and good habits to personal responsibility and, of course, how to become resilient, are as applicable to our lives as they were to Greitens' recipient.

On the podcast front, I recently listened to Joe Rogan (UFC commentator and Fear Factor host) interview one of his favourite guests,  Dr. Ronda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience . Dr. Patrick is a PhD in biomedical science and an expert in nutritional health.

Among many topics, the three-hour conversation (a usual length for him) covered the benefits of both heat and cold exposure, such as saunas and cryotherapy, along with the negative aspects of being overweight, and the challenges accompanying a vegetarian diet. As a heads up, Rogan's podcasts tend to be considerably less...restrained, shall we say, than you'll commonly find on prime time TV.

Some food for thought
  • Health insurance giant Aetna is paying their employees to get a good night's sleep in an effort to combat sleep deprivation. There are pros and cons to Aetna's move, but it's ultimately taking action on an issue that affects many in our increasingly fast-paced and sensory-overloaded society.
  • Trying to find time to exercise regularly, read more, or even learn a new language? Google Goals, released last week, aims to help you fit your goals into your busy calendar. You enter what goal you want to achieve and how many times a week you want to devote to it, and the calendar will find the space.


Matthew Lekushoff, CIMA

Financial Advisor 

Raymond James Ltd.


T: 416-777-6368 | F: 416-777-7020


Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   Like us on Facebook





This provides links to other Internet sites for the convenience of users. Raymond James Ltd. is not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor does Raymond James Ltd endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other Internet sites. Users cannot assume that the external sites will abide by the same Privacy Policy which Raymond James Ltd adheres to.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Raymond James. This article is for information only.  Raymond James Ltd.  Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund