Matthew Lekushoff |


The last two weeks saw global stock markets continue their strong start to the year. The Canadian and U.S. markets are leading the way with an increase of more than 10% on the year. International markets are up close to 7% and emerging markets (EM) are about 5% higher for 2019. 

Part of Canada's strong showing has been due to the energy sector, which makes up almost 20% of the TSX's market capitalization. The Canadian energy index has done slightly better than the TSX with the price of energy up more than 20% so far this year.

The exact reason for this discrepancy is hard to know, but it seems likely the government-mandated restriction of production is partly responsible. The cuts have since been relaxed by 75,000 barrels a day for February and March. It should be interesting to see what the next few months bring with the current volatility of energy prices and geopolitical events.

The RRSP deadline of March 1 is only eight days away. Reach out if you have any questions about RRSPs, whether you want to open one, or if you might require a top-up on the contribution you have already made.


One Behavior Separates The Successful From The Average by Benjamin Hardy: This short blog includes one of my favourite allegories on success.
Did Ontario's Minimum Wage Hike Kill Jobs? A Look At The Numbers, 1 Year Later  by the HuffPost Canada: Last year's increase of Ontario's minimum wage was controversial, mostly because it was increased by 20% after no change for a long time. Now that a year has passed, this article compares Ontario employment numbers with the rest of Canada.
The Coolest Things I learned in 2018 by David Perell: As the title implies, last year David Perell found a lot of things interesting. I think you'll likely agree with him on at least one or two items.
Central banks buy gold at rate not seen since WWII  by Business Insider: Gold has performed well over the last few months, partly due to central banks adding gold to their holdings. For those worried about the state of global affairs, both diplomatically and fiscally, gold is an asset that should do well if things take a turn for the worse.
The Three Leapfrogs in Frontier  by Adam Kutas: By now many of you are familiar with emerging markets, as they represent up-and-coming countries, such as, China, India, Brazil, and Mexico. However, not all of these countries have reached the same level of economic development. For those in earlier stages, the term "Frontier Markets (FM)" is often used. This article explains that many FMs will likely skip the market structures that were essential when countries like Canada were developing into mature economies.
Twitter Thread for Rule Makers, Rule Breakers:  One of my favourite parts about Twitter is stumbling upon thoughtful threads that explore ideas and books in greater depth. I've enjoyed them so much I decided to give it a try myself. This thread on Rule Makers, Rule Breakers is the result. I hope you find it interesting. 
Political Reality Meets Economic Reality by Howard Marks: The latest letter from investment legend Howard Marks discusses how the current political and economic realities are colliding.
Daniel Kahneman on Cutting Through the Noise (EP.56) by Conversations with Tyler: A great conversation with the brilliant Daniel Kahneman.
Wont' You Be My Neighbor?:   A touching documentary on the life of Fred Rogers. This trailer gives a nice feel for what it is like.

The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli: When I began writing these letters, I committed to mentioning every book I finished. Unfortunately, I should have quit this book halfway through as I can't think of one thing I will carry forward with me. 


" Expiring information is sexy but it's not knowledge. Here are a few telltale signs you're dealing with expiring information. First, it's marketed to you. Second, lacking details and nuance, it's easily digestible. This is why it's commonly telling you what happened, not why it happened or under what conditions it might happen again. Third, it won't be relevant in a month or a year. Expiring information is one reason  I stopped reading most news. It's a false map."
- Shane Parish

  • In the lead up to one of the more eventful moments in the film calendar, CNET has put together its predictions for the 2019 Oscars.

Matthew Lekushoff

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