Portfolio Manager David Wolf shares his global outlook and fund positioning across asset classes and regions. David also weighs in on changing monetary and fiscal policy, including the recently released Fall Economic Statement from the federal government. David thinks high and rising debt will be a challenge in the future for Canada: the size of Canada’s debt and the rate at which it is growing are among the largest and the highest in the world. Broad debt tends to be a leading indicator of economic stress and asset price stress, and right now, the Global Asset Allocation (GAA) team is looking for exposure outside of Canada. David believes the constraint is going to be inflation; borrowing will become a burden, and the only way out will be to inflate and let prices rise. And, he notes, balanced portfolios are vulnerable to inflation; it is not good for bonds or stocks, or the negative correlation between them. Because of this, the GAA team is moving their defensive position to protected, real assets. David notes that one of the challenges in Canada is a very value-skewed market; there are lots of financials and natural resource companies, which haven’t been the place to be. For value exposure, the GAA team is looking instead to parts of Europe and the emerging markets. They are not entirely bearish on Canada, but believe there are opportunities for returns elsewhere.
Recorded on December 1, 2020.