On November 17, 2015 we hosted yet another successful event. AWF’s annual Economic Update was held at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and there were over 130 in attendance. Thanks to all our supporters, the AWF community, and our sponsor RBC Dominion Securities the event was a huge success. The event started out with networking and attendees were happy to see many familiar faces. After a delightful lunch the panelists began their presentations.
Speaker panelists included:
Jock Finlayson: Executive Vice President, Business Council of British Columbia.
Christine Hughes: President and Chief Investment Strategist, OtterWood Capital Management
Jim Allworth: Investment Strategist and Co-Chair, RBC Dominion Securities’ Global Portfolio Advisory Committee.
Overall the presentations had a nervous tone regarding the outlook for 2016. The panelists agreed we are faced with a slow growth economy both at home and internationally. Jock described the global economy as “unforgiving”. He is weary about the largely tapped out domestic consumers –pointing to weaker growth in consumer spending - recent China slowdown, and lack of coordination and cohesion of international policy leaders. The good news is, as Jock explained, the expansion in the US continues, which will have a positive impact on the Canadian economy.
The new comer to the panel, Christine Hughes, did not disappoint. In a playfully sarcastic manner she described the affect that US quantitative easing is currently having on world markets and specifically Canada. Every time the US Fed hints at further quantitative easing, we can expect volatility in both the Canadian dollar and major commodity prices. With Canada’s resource based economy she expects slow growth and further weakening of the Canadian dollar.
Although Jim also expects slow growth going forward, he was more optimistic than the other panelists. One of the main indicators he looks for when predicting recessionary periods is the tightening of credit. Jim explained how credit markets show signs of easing and that tightening is a far way off. Hence, he expects the broad market in both the U.S. and Canada should be able to deliver all-in returns including dividends in the low-double digits.
Copy of the full presentation available here for download.