Uniquely Invulnerable (TWTW – Sept 27-Oct 1, 2021)

I came across the title for this week’s “The Week That Was” in an article about … what else? COVID-19 …

BTW – Should we not soon start calling it COVID-22? Hard to believe it will be 2 years come Feb/Mar 2022, that all hell broke lose with this once in a 100 years pandemic.

Anyways – without going into the details of the article, it was talking about the fact that a study in the UK apparently showed that “unvaccinated children are safer from COVID-19 death than vaccinated adults of any age”. That, evidently, is great news, seeing that it is the youngest slice of the population overall that hasn’t yet been vaccinated very much … and it is great news when we are otherwise reading or hearing about what is happening in different parts of the country or the world, in relation to the highly contagious Delta Variant causing some renewed shutdowns, respectively setbacks of not insignificant magnitude (Alberta?) to the whole reopening exercise.

Of course, Friday, the great news, was found in a Merck press release which lifted the company’s stock some 8% to wrap up the week. The News – oral therapy (aka pill?) – called molupiravir, which, we find out in phase III trial showed that it reduced risk of hospitalization or death by 50%.

In other words – another positive on the path of downgrading the pandemic to an endemic label. Phew … just as 4th wave, or Pandemic of the Unvaxx seems to be ramping up in a significant way… Airlines and Travel stocks did well Friday, on that news 🙂 (Related ETF in Canada: $TRVL => Click HERE!

From HarvestPortfolios Canada => Click HERE!

So back to the Uniquely Invulnerable … it seems, in some ways appropriate to this TINA investing world we operate within these days … does it not? Last Tuesday, markets got slammed. Not because of Evergrande “contagion” which may yet come back to haunt us (it is, BTW as of Monday morning, as stock halted in HongKong…), but simply because oh … while you weren’t watching, yields had the nerve of moving back up to 1.5% (imagine that …) and so stocks, and technology in particular, got slammed.

Course the other “thing” that isn’t being very helpful … (notwithstanding Economist David Rosenberg making a good case for risk of return to disinflation => Click HERE! at the same time he opines on the Canadian election results … and otherwise this past week warning on valuation => Click HERE!) is that inflation continues to put up concerning numbers (4.1% y/o/y being the latest in Canada). Yup, when you’re looking at 1.5% yield (pre-tax …) and then you look at what 4.1% inflation does to the leftover return … well, you aren’t a happy camper lol.

That word that seems to be making a big come back lately is “Stagflation”. If I remember correctly, it is a world of not much growth, but plenty inflation … We’re probably going to continue hearing about that one for quite some time to come (unfortunately!). An other word I came across a little while ago which I think we’re also increasingly going to find in our vocabulary is “shrinkflation”, a phenomenon whereby maybe it looks like we’re paying the same … BUT what we are buying (magically?) has actually gotten smaller (the shrinking part).

Not much fun with either of these two, whether stagflation, or shrinkflation. with both, even less.

Another thing that looks to hit us in coming month and won’t be much fun other relates to energy costs => click HERE!

What else happened last week? Well, Canadians (some of us anyways … namely Federal Civil Servants and bank employees …) got to mark the first “Truth and Reconciliation” day on September 30th. A day for all Canadians to come together, and educate ourselves about the wrongs committed against our Native people, and provide support in their healing and the whole nation moving forward united (presumably), and with everyone treating one another with respect, compassion, fairness, and love (ok – admittedly I am ad-lib ing here, but hopefully I get the gist of the goal correctly). For some, that meant – seemingly – going surfing, while opting to not accept invitations from several native groups to attend their event to mark this first Truth and Reconciliation holiday. The he in question … our PM, of course has now apologized. (Sure another heartfelt I won’t do it again, I learned something kind of apology … was he a member of Britney Spears band when she release the hit song “oops … I did it again?” … sorry … digressing again.

Course, not to be left far behind, the Catholic Church in this country got in the news, for being – I am guessing … – fairly creative when it comes to the accounting of how they are abiding with their obligations toward Truth and Reconciliation => click HERE! … this only a few days after having offered their most comprehensive apology yet => click HERE!

Course that’s a few days after finding out that the Federal Government continues to fight residential survivors in court … Oh boy … that whole “truth and reconciliation” business looks to be starting on shaky grounds … CAN WE PLEASE ACTUALLY mean it and look after doing the right thing! Thanks 🙂

Ok – what else? Well, let’s look at some other / ETF “news”:

ESG: Horizons launched an ESG bond ETF product managed by their subAdvisor Fiera => click HERE! 

recently. No surprise these days … everyone is all about ESG, it seems…

I kind of like to call it the vaccine against (maybe?) feeling bad about “investing” as far as looking to offset the potential negative side effects of seeking to make profits/$$$ etc?

Energy – as noted above, looks like … Houston, we might have a problem … which … winter demand conditions may only serve to amplify … In the meantime, well, Goldman Sachs recently updated their forecast for oil => click HERE!

Pandora Papers: and of course – how can one miss this headline? the Pandora’s “files” – with news over the week-end related to another major scandal, with another episode of offshore financial affairs of the rich and famous coming to hit the news … => click HERE!

Facebook: As well as – guess what, someone inside $FB wanted to save that company => click HERE!

Coming up:

a look at September flows & performance 🙂

Preview:

looking at Vanguard’s monthly AUM decrease of some $446MM, despite inflows estimated at $990MM, September doesn’t look to have been particularly pleasant – true to historical form, I would add …