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The Role of Machine Learning in Quantitative Investing

By: Tingting Lu, Co-Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.

April 17, 2023

AGF’s Tingting Lu explains the role of machine learning in quantitative investing.

 



Timelapse star trails over colourful city lights

Why It’s Too Early to Claim Victory Over Inflation – Or Recession Concerns

By: David Stonehouse, Senior Vice-President and Head of North American and Specialty Investments, AGF Investments Inc.

March 9, 2023

Less than three months into the new year, the prevailing narrative has changed substantially for the economy. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the consensus view was that peak inflation was behind us and that the economy was decelerating at an alarming rate, both in North America and globally. In fact, by some measures, expectations for an imminent recession were at record levels going back through decades of history. However, history has also shown how difficult it is to forecast a recession. Indeed, whether they be central bankers, economists or investors, observers have struggled to identify recessionary conditions in real time even when they’re in the midst of one.

 


 Timelapse star trails over colourful city lights

Seeking Balance Following Market Extremes

By: Stephen Duench, Co-Head, Highstreet Private Client & VP and Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.

March 9, 2023

The dramatic rotation in market leadership that defined equity returns during the first month of 2023 has become less acute in more recent weeks, but investors still need to be careful about its influence on portfolio positioning going forward.

 


 Timelapse star trails over colourful city lights

Why Last Year’s Stock Market Laggards Are This Year’s Early Winners

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

March 3, 2023

Investors were a decidedly bearish bunch at the end of 2022, but that’s no longer the case if the dramatic turn in momentum stocks is the result of the market’s growing confidence at the beginning of this year.

 


 Timelapse star trails over colourful city lights

AGF Outlook 2023: The Return of Normal

By: AGF Investments Inc., with contributions from Highstreet Co-Head Stephen Duench

December 7, 2022

While volatility is expected to continue in the early part of 2023, the Fed and other central banks are poised to end their respective tightening cycles in the coming year, opening a path for markets to rally with more conviction. But the return to more "normal" interest rates means the next bull market, when it arrives, will likely look much different from the last one driven by ultra-accommodative policies that were put in place following the Global Financial Crisis more than a decade ago.


 


 

Sailboats Racing

Yes, Markets Are Oversold. But Investors Still Need to Be Cautious

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

November 24, 2022

Every month (or so), AGFiQ highlights the quantitative investment factors that are helping shape equity markets. Today’s focus is oversold conditions and the risk of weakening economic and earnings data.


 


 

White Water Kayaker

The Most Important Indicator to Watch Right Now? The Two-Year U.S. Treasury Yield

By: David Stonehouse, Senior Vice-President and Head of North American and Specialty Investments, AGF Investments Inc.

October 14, 2022

Inflation has been one of the key issues affecting global markets this year, and in recent months the focus has increasingly turned to whether it has peaked.

 


 

Sailboats Racing

Three Takeaways from the Summer Rally in Stocks

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

September 9, 2022

Every month (or so), AGFiQ highlights the investment factors that are helping shape equity markets. Today’s focus includes the risk on/risk off nature of the rebound in stocks and what the PMI cycle means for factor performance going forward.

 



White Water Kayaker

What is Momentum Telling Investors Right Now?

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

August 4, 2022

Every month (or so), AGFiQ highlights the investment factors that are helping shape equity markets. Today’s focus is momentum volatility and what it may or may not be signalling investors.

 



Should Equity Markets Really Be This Volatile?

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

June 20, 2022

Investors probably don’t need to be told that markets are extra volatile right now. That should be obvious to almost anyone experiencing the extreme ups and downs that have characterized the investment landscape so far this year. But not everyone may know that today’s volatility rivals some of the most turbulent periods in recent market history or that it may not reflect the current economic reality.

 



Value Outperforms and Other Extremes Defining Markets So Far This Year

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

April 27, 2022

Equity investors may not be keen to rehash the first few months of 2022. After all, the selloff in major equity indexes marks one of the worst starts to a year in recent memory. But that doesn’t mean they should turn a blind eye to what has already transpired. In fact, when it comes to the extreme performance of some factors – as well as sectors of the market – the more that’s understood, the more prepared investors will be for how stock returns might unfold moving forward.

 



Revisiting the Threat of an Inverted Yield Curve

By: Stephen Duench, Co-Head, Highstreet Private Client & VP and Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.

April 1, 2022

The start of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest rate-hiking cycle has some investors keeping close watch on the shape of the U.S. Treasury yield curve – and who can blame them? After all, if short-term rates continue to climb higher – and end up being greater than long-term rates – it would lead to an “inverted” yield curve, which has tended to be a very good canary for predicting past recessions, history shows.

 



Pricing In a Slowdown

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

March 22, 2022

The biggest question facing investors these days seems to be whether the global economy is set to plunge into recession, yet not everyone seems willing to wait for the answer. Instead, equity markets are reeling from the growing list of economic headwinds now at play and several facets of the selloff suggest the chance of a significant slowdown in the business cycle is a fait accompli that could lead to economic growth turning negative this year.

 



Quantitative Tightening: The Potent but Underappreciated Sister of Interest Rate Hikes

By: David Stonehouse, Senior Vice-President and Head of North American and Specialty Investments, AGF Investments Inc.

March 15, 2022

Understandably, much of the investing world – much of the world straight-up – has been focused on the geopolitical and economic fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That conflict has implications for Europe and for commodity prices that are more serious than any we have seen in a very long time. Yet without minimizing the gravity of the crisis or its grim human toll, the risk for investors is that the conflict distracts them from another, perhaps more impactful, long-term development: namely, the most significant shift in monetary policy since the Global Financial Crisis.

 



Striking the Right Balance in a Dividend Portfolio

By: Stephen Duench, Co-Head, Highstreet Private Client & VP and Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.

February 28, 2022

North American dividend stocks are garnering a lot more attention from investors these days and should warrant a growing share of support as an effective hedge against inflation and higher interest rates in the months ahead. Not surprisingly, some of them have performed very well recently – especially in relation to historical returns. And that means a blended approach that takes into consideration the future growth of a company’s payout, as well as its current yield, could be more important than usual over a full market cycle.

 




Why Stocks That Fall Together May Not Rise Together

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

February 11, 2022

It may not be today or tomorrow or the day after that, but sooner or later, most investors will recognize this year’s selloff in equity markets as an opportunity to buy some good stocks at discounted prices. In doing so, their instinct might be to seek out the hardest hit names of the recent correction, yet that might not be the best approach – at least from a factor perspective.

 



When Value Gets Extreme

By: Abhishek Ashok, Analyst, AGF Investments Inc.

January 19, 2022

Growing concerns about central bank tightening caused an extreme rotation in equity markets over the first few weeks of the new year. Namely, value stocks were bid up and outperformed relative to other factors such as momentum and growth, which have been two of the dominant trades for much of the past two years.

 



Why Dividend Growth Is Back

By: Stephen Duench, Co-Head, Highstreet Private Client & VP and Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.

November 18, 2021

Equity investors don’t have much to complain about these days. Since bottoming in March of 2020, most stock markets around the world have rallied almost uninterrupted and made huge gains in the process. Yet one thing that many of them have sorely missed during this latest run higher is dividend growth and the extra “oomph” it usually provides to portfolios.

 


 

The authors are regular contributors to the Insights and members of the Highstreet Pooled Funds Investment Team as well as AGF Investments.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Highstreet, AGF Investments Inc, or any of its affiliated companies, products or investment strategies.

The commentaries contained herein are provided as a general source of information based on information available at the time of writing and should not be considered as investment advice or an offer or solicitations to buy and/or sell securities. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication, however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Investors are expected to obtain professional investment advice.

AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.

Highstreet Asset Management Inc. (“Highstreet”) is registered across Canada as a Portfolio Manager and Exempt Market Dealer. Highstreet is wholly owned by AGF Investments Inc., a subsidiary of AGF Management Limited. AGF Investments Inc. is registered as an Investment Fund Manager, Portfolio Manager, Mutual Fund Dealer and Exempt Market Dealer.

Effective January 1, 2020, all members of the Highstreet Pooled Funds Investment Team are employees and registrants of AGF Investments Inc., Highstreet’s parent company. Pursuant to exemptive relief, Stephen Duench is dually registered as an advising representative of Highstreet Asset Management Inc. and AGF Investments Inc., Highstreet's parent company.

The Highstreet Pooled Funds are investment vehicles offered exclusively to clients of Highstreet Asset Management Inc.

Private Client Newsletters

Current Issue

March 31, 2023

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Market Updates

May 2022

 

Highstreet 12th Annual Investment Conference (Replay)

After two years of virtual annual investment conferences, we were excited to welcome clients back to the London Hunt Club on November 15th, 2022. The evening first featured a business update from Mike Hammond and Mark Stacey, followed by a detailed presentation on Markets, the Economy, Interest Rates, and a Highstreet Pooled Fund 2022 performance review by Stephen Duench and David Stonehouse.

Watch Replay

 

Inside Perspectives: An AGF Podcast Series

NOVEMBER 7, 2022

From the United Kingdom to the United States, political dysfunction has emerged as a large and growing concern for investors. On this episode of Inside Perspectives, Kevin McCreadie, AGF’s CEO and Chief Investment Officer welcomes back Greg Valliere, AGF’s Chief U.S. Policy Strategist and special guest General Andrew Leslie to discuss the potential crisis facing some of the West’s most successful democracies and the impact that could have on financial markets going forward.

 

Updated Offering Memorandum and Statement of Policies

Updated copies of the Highstreet Pooled Funds Offering Memorandum (November 2022), it’s Amendment (March 2023) and Statement of Policies (December 2022) are available directly via the client portal. Alternatively, please contact your relationship manager to receive a copy.

Registered Plans

Group Retirement Savings Plan Declaration of Trust

Retirement Income Fund Locked-In Addendum

Retirement Income Fund Declaration of Trust

Retirement Savings Plan Declaration of Trust

Retirement Savings Plan LIRA/LRSP Addendum

Tax Free Savings Account Declaration of Trust

Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Disclosure Statement