As we approach October, most global equities trade marginally lower on the month. As is often the case, commodities bucked this trend. Gold is currently trading almost 5% below August’s month-end value, while energy prices have moved in the opposite direction - significantly! While both Brent and Sweet crude have risen 10% this September, Canadian energy producers have risen by an impressive 17% this month, 59% year-to-date, and 123% over the last 12 months!
I rarely mention natural gas as it rarely impacts the global economy to the extent other commodities do. However, this may change in the coming months.

As the world reduces its carbon footprint, the demand for natural gas has been increasing (it emits less pollution than coal and oil) on the road to a renewable future. With the unseasonably cold winter in Europe last year, demand for natural gas spiked in order to heat homes. This summer, a dearth of wind on the continent curtailed the production of renewable energy, forcing natural gas to make up much of the difference.

On the supply side, China has increased natural gas imports, redirecting fuel that would traditionally help Europe rebuild its stockpiles, while producing countries like Russia have experienced issues maintaining historic levels of supply. The sum result of these issues has led to the price of Henry Hub natural gas to rise an incredible 28% this month! It now trades at its highest level since 2008.

Another abnormally cold winter could create a perfect storm given the low levels of natural gas on hand in Europe. This perfect storm could cause prices to rise precipitously, straining the budgets of lower income homes and potentially hampering the economic recovery, while adding inflationary pressures and possible blackouts. 

Should some of these scenarios come to pass, it’s possible a few of our positions would be hurt. However, not only would our fixed income act as a ballast, gold and especially energy stocks would likely benefit. Potentially in a significant manner! Stay tuned.

If you’re looking for more timely information on the markets, you can find them on the research section of my website, or on my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds.
Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf: I enjoyed this short book on the importance of having and sticking to a proven process. Part Karate Kid, part The Wealthy Barber, this story is a great read for young people - or anyone starting something new - on how to have the right mindset and work ethic.

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions by Neil Gaiman: I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, but his first book of short stories written in 1998 left me disappointed. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by his books and graphic novel, The Sandman, but I felt most of the stories weren’t quite up to his other work.
The Hangman by Loiuse Penny: One of the best lessons in the importance of context that I’ve had in some time. As many of you know, Tanya and I are reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series together. With a weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, it felt an opportune time to return to the series via this short novella. Unfortunately, everything from the characters to the storyline seemed shadows of their usual selves. However, after some research, Tanya discovered it was written specifically for adults learning to read and was therefore, written at a third grade level. With that context, we quickly went from frustration to appreciation.

Natural Gas Prices in Europe Hit an All-Time High by Julianne Geiger: “The surge in natural gas prices is also due to a massive supply shortage in Europe, a situation that is quickly spilling over into other countries and other markets—including the coal and oil markets as demand for power exceeds supply. The natural gas crisis is set to intensify as winter heating season approaches, with supplies insufficient to keep up with current demand, let alone build stockpiles for what will be increased demand in the cold season. Europe’s natural gas crisis has prompted European fertilizer producers to curb output, which could send food prices soaring along with the natural gas prices. It has also sparked warnings of blackouts and factory shutdowns.”
As mentioned above, this story is worth keeping an eye on! 
Three Ways Singapore is Designing Urban Farms to Create Food Security by Clarisa Diaz: Singapore is a city-sized country with unique challenges. Fortunately, ingenuity is one of its strengths. Clarisa Diaz highlights this ingenuity when it comes to the country’s efforts to improve food security.

Macron Dithers on Nuclear Power Investment as Issue Divides France by David Keohane: Surprisingly, 70% of France’s energy comes from its 56 nuclear reactors, which is why it produces a fraction of Germany’s carbon emissions. However, Prime Minister Macron has yet to make important decisions about whether to invest in extending the working lifetime of these reactors. I thought this article was worth including as, despite its risks, it’s becoming increasingly clear that nuclear energy will need to be part of the discussion around global warming.

The Benefit of Giving Your Kids a Chunk of their Inheritance Before You Die by Joel Schlesinger: Deciding whether to leave money to your children before or after you pass can be a difficult decision. This article discusses some of the advantages of gifting assets to your children sooner than later, while discussing a few of the issues you’ll want to be aware of. 

If this is something you’ve been thinking about, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!
Supply Chain Chaos Spreads to Inland Waterways by Garth Friesen: By now, you’ve likely heard about the supply chain issues plaguing the global economy. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ida recently made them worse by impeding shipping volumes on key U.S. waterways, like the Mississippi River.
Aside from this article providing a clearer picture of the existing supply chain issues, I was most struck by the extensiveness of the U.S.’s inland waterways. This network has significantly contributed to America’s development and continued prosperity. It reminded me how vital navigable waterways and deep water ports are to economic development. Africa, for example, has very few, and has suffered as a result. The more I read about geography, the more I’m convinced of its influence on development and progress.
Why There is No Solution to Our Age of Crisis by Adam Tooze: Adam Tooze presents a short history of China’s last 120 years, while explaining why it will be vital to much of what happens in the future.
Technological Stagnation: Why I Came Around by Jason Crawford: The world, and the manner in which we interact with it, is vastly different from that of two decades ago. So to hear someone say they believe the pace of technological change is slowing, sounds, well, delusional. However, Jason Crawford, creator of the great website The Roots of Progress, makes just that claim, while making a surprisingly compelling case for his argument. 
Exercise Could Reduce the Risk of Developing Anxiety by Katherine Wiles: Nice reminder of yet another benefit of regular exercise.
The Case for Optimism by Kevin Kelly: Much of the news focuses on what’s wrong or will go wrong. While this is often important, it’s also important to focus on what has gone right and, perhaps more vitally, how things could improve in the future. In this short essay, Kevin Kelly provides such a perspective. 
Simple Rule Change Could Mean Check-Mate for Unfair Advantage in Chess by Mehmet Ismail: As someone who played a bit of chess years ago - okay fine, I belonged to a chess club - I’m not sure how I feel about this...but it’s definitely worth at least exploring.

Nifty Gateway and the Significance of NFTs by Ark Invest: Interesting podcast on NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and a company that sells them.
Adam Robinson & Bill Brewster - Disproving Your Thesis on Infinite Loops: I love conversations like these. Three smart and successful individuals discuss their thought processes, the work required to be right, remaining vigilant against our own mistakes, and a lot more.
What is Green Hydrogen and Will it Power the Future? by CNBC: Good video on green hydrogen and its possible role in the future.
World's Tallest Elephant Toothpaste Volcano by Mark Rober: If you like watching science experiments, you’ll love this!
Grace Kelly: So...I may have watched this 10 times...give or take a dozen. If you’re curious, it’s a riff on the actual song.

Today is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on our history, the treatment of Indigenous communities and to determine how we can build a future that is just and fair for everyone.

Many people wish they started sooner. Almost nobody wishes they started later.” 
- James Clear

“Conquer thyself, til though has done this, thou art but a slave for it’s almost as well to be subjected to another’s appetite to thine own.”
- Sir Richard Francis Burton

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
- William James
Matthew Lekushoff
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. Unless otherwise mentioned, all market returns are sourced from Thompson One.