Surprise! (TWTW – Oct 4-8, 2021)

Surprise! The week’s surprise refers to a Blow out Jobs report in Canada, versus a US Payroll report for September falling significantly short of estimates…

Volatility continues … but decreased meaningfully last week. US Payroll disappointment has a silver lining, in that bulls will look at it like less imminent risk of tapering. Yields made it through 1.6% though at one point, and yet volatility declined, suggesting that might be the key takeaway.

Beyond this, evidently China is continuing to be a significant concern (Evergrande; Government clamp down on tech cos; etc), and now, with Winter on the near term horizon, energy is looking to be occupying greater mindshare, with prices at levels either never seen, or not seen in years, with conceivably not to be underestimated downside risk it to the economy overall => Read more: Click HERE!

How will that all play out?

We’re about to find out … And I imagine it could turn out ugly …

Debt Ceiling … ppplllease! discussions continued, with the very notion in my mind of a debt ceiling being a joke – nothing more, nothing less. WE – society in general – are addicted to debt, plain and simple. We’ve met the enemy, and it is us. So a debt ceiling … please. At some point we are going to have to talk about not a ceiling, but how to “reset”. That, may have to include significant markdowns in my opinion.

Last month – wasn’t great. A lot of back and forth in markets … but then in the end result, a difficult September indeed. Rough Sepember? Indeed … => Click HERE to read more!

Mindpath Virtual 2021 – On the Conference front – where we will discuss some of this, and aim to provide relevant and implementable insights from a group of smart people – Mindpath Virtual 2021 (8th Annual ETF Conference, Oct 26, 27, 2021; bonus day Oct 25, 2021) is right around the corner.

For more info:

To register:

In the meantime, I took a look at Factors through the pandemic, and going back 5 years or so (intro of Vanguard Canada’s Global Factors solutions) to the end of September 2021:

Yellow: VXC (Global ex Canada); Red: VMO (Global Momentum); Green: VVL (Global Value); Blue: VVO (Global Minimum Volatility).

Takeaway? Global Momentum Delivering, and generally tight with Global; Global Value – significant post vaccine news re-rating. Will it be followed by a second act? Global Minimum Volatility: is this what empirical versus academic looks like? Global greater decline in pandemic; subsequent rebound modest on a relative basis. Min Vols fans must have been disappointed … interestingly, Min Vol underperformed Value in September – again, maybe not what folks who have embraced the concept / construct might have expected …

For me, the interesting thing to remember is that factors don’t necessarily behave in the same manner across markets, and beyond that, there are many different ways to screen … all ultimately producing results that can be quite different in different locales, or different market conditions etc. Of course the other consideration relates to the kind of market environment we are finding ourselves in, respectively whether Factors attract capital to a point where the money flows themselves influence the outcomes, respectively impact their performance negatively, should the factor be overbought as a result of money chasing … say momentum, for instance.

Other – Tesla is moving to Texas; Facebook got a lot of flack (deservedly …) Starbucks upgraded 11/10 and Evergrande … still a concern out there, with more bondholders apparently to face more missed interest payments …

weekly performance to Oct 8, 2021:




  • Energy up sharply, with … winter still ahead of us, and no OPEC increase of note at the moment …
  • Thematic hit harder … presumably not liking rising yields (?) as we found out earlier in the year already …


Happy Thanksgiving 🙂