Monthly INsync Chit Chat April 2024

Road Trip! [by David Cox]

When my middle son Asha, 16, asked if I wanted to go with him to see Jordan Peterson speak in Detroit, I jumped and said, “in!”. Admittedly, a 3-hour each journey on a Monday night is a tad far in my later years (when much younger, a 10-hour overnight return drive from a concert seemed normal!). It really was a great event! And my oh my, the Fox Theatre really is a striking place, and was packed!

Asha has also taken some interest in body building these days, and has started to join me for some shared workouts. Working out with a partner is always easier and motivating, and working out with a son is all that and more. I enjoy helping him learn about form and the different exercises and tracking our progress. I’m still running 15-20km, and when paired with a few workouts, doing my best to age gracefully! Ha!

News – Some That You’ve Heard, Most That You Haven’t [by David Cox]

New squatters’ rights in California leads to homeowners arrested and sent to housing court. Temporary residents jump to 2.7 million as Ottawa tries to curb migration. Bank of Canada warns of low productivity “emergency”, making it harder to control inflation. Jeff Bezos announces “Centre For Sustainable Food”. Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, says he “thinks about quitting every day.” Canadian banks lobby the Bank of Canada to drop shelter costs from the CPI (inflation) calculation, claiming reported inflation would be much lower if they took the high cost of housing out. U.S. 1.3 trillion dollar budget includes money for securing the border in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and Tunisia (but what about the overrun at the U.S. southern border?) Boeing whistleblower was murdered in his car. Ozempic, Novo’s $1,000 diabetes drug, can be made for under $5 a month.

Things We Recommend [by David Cox]

Last year, after hearing so much about them, I jumped in and “invested” in a Ninja blender. I love it! I opted for the unit that came with the big pitcher and three single cups (the latter of which allow us to make different blends at the same time!). Morning smoothies have become as much a part of my routine as morning coffee (always afterwards (and always black) though!) and they’re delicious! The kids love them too, and we’ve experimented with a variety of different concoctions. My “go-to” smoothie:

1/2 cup blueberries
1 banana
¾ cup almond milk (haven’t drank cow milk in decades!)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1 tsp pure vanilla

Lifestyles To Consider! [by Criselle Tung]

In the ebb and flow of life’s demands, it's essential to give ourselves some grace and take a break. Be a couch potato, maybe? As I reflect on the whirlwind that March has been for me, I am reminded of this yet again.

Life's a hustle, no doubt, but it's easy to forget that unwinding should be part of the game plan too. Despite best efforts to keep pushing forward, there will always be days when we find ourselves in desperate need of a breather. And when that day comes, listen to your body, and hit the pause button.

Setting aside time for relaxation isn’t being unproductive, or selfish; it’s also about setting boundaries and giving ourselves the TLC we deserve. We often romanticize hustle culture, but the truth is, prioritizing our wellbeing not only resets our body but also rejuvenates our mind. These moments of stillness are when creativity thrives, ideas bloom, and productivity starts. After all, we’re only humans.

So, no matter how hectic it gets, be intentional about squeezing in self-care. And it doesn’t need to be anything grand. Perhaps just throw on your comfiest lounge pants, whip up some snacks, turn on your favorite show, and snuggle up under a cozy blanket. Trust me, it is that simple!

How’s the (Bigger Picture) Market? [by David Cox]

Stocks continue to rise. Highs are bullish and no one can rationally expect the stock market to fall unless there are stocks making new lows. There aren’t. Stocks on the 52-week lows list are virtually non-existent and outside of the large-cap S&P 500 (below), we see increasing signs of demand for mid-caps and even small-caps. That would only serve to add to arguments of an increasingly positive backdrop for risk assets. Remember, that even in the U.S. market, it was only in January 2024, that we exceeded those early 2022 highs. I remind you of the discussion we had in Dubai at the CMT Association Summit, that investors perhaps need to contemplate that this bull market is only just getting going, and not old at all.

SandP500 Weekly

Source: Optuma
* * as at March 26th, 2024

Market Summary and Trend of “All Assets” [by David Cox]

Not much new here. Most assets are rising, except for bonds. Bonds are losing value on a price basis this year, which means that yields have risen. You have likely heard the media (certainly in Canada) continue to mention how the widespread expectation (and hope!) is that interest rates will fall, and that will allow us to navigate a troubling mortgage renewal environment which would continue to lead to weaker demand, and perhaps more supply in the housing market. I’ve said for some time, that I expect this high rate environment to be for much longer than most expect and it has only just begun. I continue to expect this. Inflation isn’t going away as I see it, and money printing amidst the reckless spending habits of our governments haven’t changed. Those same habits tend to lead to rising prices for risk assets, which is happening. Accept the trends and act accordingly.

SandP 500 Index Chart

Source: Optuma
* * as at March 26th, 2024

We All Need To Keep Learning! – “A Lesson in Risk Management” [by Conor White]

At Financially INsync, we believe that risk management is more important than return management. What do we mean by that? Success isn’t just about making profitable trades, it’s also about managing risks effectively. Technical analysis gives us powerful tools to identify opportunities, but without proper risk management strategies, even the most accurate analysis can lead to large losses.

As per Investopedia, risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling potential risks to minimize losses and protect capital. In the context of technical analysis, it involves implementing strategies to limit the downside risk of trades. Let’s take a closer look at some of those strategies and what they entail!

Position Sizing, simply put, refers to the process of determining the amount of capital to allocate to a specific position. It involves calculating the “size” of a position based on several factors such as risk tolerance, account size, and volatility. To gauge the volatility of a particular security, we prefer to use the average true range (ATR). By taking the ATR of a security over a period such as 20 days, and then dividing it by the average price of that security over the same timeframe, we get a better understanding of volatility which can then be used as a method of comparing alternative investments.

Here is a list of some of our current holdings along with our measurement of volatility – “ATR/Price”. If the ATR measurement is high, that would indicate higher volatility, and as such we may choose to reduce our position size to account for the impact of larger price swings. Conversely, a low volatility stock may command a larger size in our portfolios since the risk of sharp price movements is lower.

Coinbase Global Inc

Source: Optuma
** as at March 19, 2024

Another risk management technique that we employ is the use of a stop-loss. A stop-loss is essentially the maximum amount you are willing to lose on a given trade, and they are often accompanied by an instruction to sell a security if that loss is triggered. Sometimes they can be set using a percentage (i.e. a maximum loss of 8-10%), or they can be set using a strategic price level based on technical analysis, such as support and resistance levels or key moving averages. A stop loss ensures that you have an unbiased, predetermined exit strategy if an investment goes against you.

Remember, successful investing is not just about making profits; it's also about preserving capital (and those profits!) and managing risk effectively. We believe that small losses are better than large losses. Incorporate risk management into your trading plan from the outset, and you'll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of the financial markets.

This Month in Innovation [by Conor White]

MEGA-CRISPR tool gives a power boost to cancer-fighting cells.

Privately built lunar lander makes history with successful moon touchdown.

Delhi Painter gets hands back as organ donation meets surgical excellence.

Apple’s Vision Pro was used in surgery to help perform spinal operations.

Figure 01 powered by OpenAI is a robot that can chat, see, plan, and perform tasks.

One UPtrend, One DOWNtrend [by David Cox]

Around the same time that the stock market bottomed in October 2022, Bitcoin did too.  In the top chart, we can see that over that 18-month time frame, Bitcoin has been going from the lower left to the upper right, while in contrast, Bell Canada ($BCE:TSX) a VERY widely owned dividend paying, telecommunication stock in Canada has been falling.  As I’ve pointed out many times before, there are reasons it has fallen, namely that interest rates have risen (and are rising) and dividend paying stocks tend to fall, pushing their yields up in an effort to make them more competitive with the prevailing interest rate environment.  But the reasons matter far less than the charts themselves.  One up, one down! 

Bitcoin Weekly

Source: Optuma
* * as at March 26th, 2024

We Like Fundamentals Too! [by David Cox]

DoorDash is a $56 billion company that had its initial public offering in 2020. Have you tried it? My family was stuck one time, and ordered pizza in for a family birthday party but I thought it was a crazy expensive service!

You can see they’ve been generating some pretty consistent growth in sales. You can notice that those early +30% y/y sales growth rates have deteriorated somewhat but still sit in the healthy double-digit range. But earnings? None. You can see in the table that the analysts are expecting profits to start to arrive this year for the company. No idea if that will happen or not. Until it does, the often viewed price/earnings ratio sits “N/A” since there aren’t any of the denominator.

Quarterly Numbers

Source: MarketSurge
* * as at March 27th, 2024 

I do like to see that steady growth in the number of funds, which is the institutional sponsorship number, you have heard me refer to. For now, $DASH is in a strong uptrend on the right side of the chart, after an absolutely crushing downtrend from its IPO peak where it fell a remarkable -83.9% from peak to trough.

Doordash Chart

Source: Optuma
* * as at March 26th, 2024

Chart of the Month [by David Cox]

Gold!? A breakout has happened; no matter what currency you look at it denominated in. The reasons for gold rising exist, the narrative for gold rising makes sense, the price has broken key technical levels and demand appears to be exceeding supply. Which is why it can be interesting to look at different assets priced in gold itself. i.e., how many shares of the Nasdaq 100 $QQQ could an investor buy with an ounce of gold. Here are two charts, and on the left we have the straightforward Nasdaq 100 $QQQ (logarithmic chart). On the right side, we have the same Nasdaq 100, but this time priced in gold. No new highs!? The Nasdaq has been very strong indeed, but it has not surpassed those prior, late 2021 highs when priced in gold. Interesting. What do you think?

Nasdaq 100 QQQ

Source: Optuma
* * as at March 26th, 2024

A Service You Don’t (Maybe?) Know About [by Donald Daggett]

The most recent statistics included in Canada Life’s Insurance for your paycheque report indicate there is a 1 in 3 chance that a working-age Canadian will suffer from a long-term disability lasting 90 days or more before the age of 65. Disabilities that last greater than 90 days average 5.75 years.

Having the proper protection in place to deal with a potential disability is often the most overlooked component of an individuals’ financial affairs. Consider how you would be able to meet lifestyle obligations (debt, shelter, education…) in the event you experience a disability. The coverage you have through work may not be sufficient to provide you with adequate protection.

Our team at “Financially INsync” via Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Limited) can help you determine a suitable level of coverage and to compare that with your existing coverage to ensure you’re properly protected for some of the uncertainty that life may bring.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you may have.

Social Media and Our Website [by David Cox]

More shenanigans this month from the Canadian banks, who are suggesting that the Bank of Canada should remove shelter costs from the inflation calculations, which they say would allow inflation to be lower, and actually within target. Haha! If the government were to tell us that we’re wrong and that the cost of living isn’t really rising much, would you believe them? Of course you wouldn’t. I can’t help but comment on some of this stuff and it does affect us mentally and financially, both of which play over into the stock markets!

David Cox tweet


David Cox Toronto Stock Market


Upcoming Dates, Seminars, and Announcements [by David Cox]

What: Raymond James Portfolio Manager Conference
Where: Calgary, AB
When: April 8-10, 2024
Who: I will be attending.

What: Bitcoin 2024 Conference
Where: Nashville, TN
When: July 25-27, 2024
Who: I’m very excited to check out this growing event!

What: Rossland/Trail/British Columbia Trip to See Clients!
When: September, TBA

Thanks for reading our “Monthly INsync Chit Chat”! Have a great April and long Easter weekend!


David Cox, CFA, CMT, FMA, FCSI, BMath
Senior Portfolio Manager, Wealth Advisor
Raymond James Ltd.
Phone: 519.883.6031
Unit 1 – 595 Parkside Drive | Waterloo, ON | N2L 0C7
Twitter Logo @DavidCoxRJ

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