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Looking for investing ideas? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies plus what investors need to know for the week ahead.



The dividend hikes keep coming and I just bought shares in two companies for my Yield Hog portfolio

I’ve been accumulating cash in my model Yield Hog Dividend Growth Portfolio, and now it’s time to go shopping, John Heinzl writes. Thanks to a combination of dividend increases and reinvestments, the portfolio’s projected annual income has grown by 33 per cent since inception on Oct. 1, 2017. It is now churning out annual income – based on current dividend rates – of about $5,453, up from $4,094 initially. Despite its recent sluggish performance, the portfolio is very much living up to the “dividend growth” part of its name.

Buying good companies when their shares have suffered a setback can be a profitable investing strategy. With the pandemic causing upheaval in the restaurant business, shares of Restaurant Brands International are down about 18 per cent from their prepandemic levels in February. By adding shares to my Restaurant Brands position, I’m getting paid a 3.8-per-cent yield to wait for the business to recover. Read more here about why he bought RBI and Bank of Montreal shares.

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More from John Heinzl: CIBC, Salesforce and more investing stars and dogs of the week

GICs are still in demand as stocks soar - here’s what people are doing with their money

In a normal stock-market rally, GIC broker Brandon Brot typically sees a drop-off in client investment flows. Not this time, Rob Carrick writes. Demand for guaranteed investment certificates today is pretty much what it was 12 months ago for Mr. Brot’s company, GIC Wealth Management. The preference for GICs is particularly notable because interest rates have been edging lower for months now. Another challenge is that the interest-rate reward for locking in money for five years versus one to three years is minimal. The lack of incentive to lock up money for five years has led to a preference for shorter terms among his clients. Read more here.

More from Rob Carrick: TD shows the way to making ETFs the everyday investor’s best friend

Canadians need to rethink their bank-heavy portfolio strategy

Canadians love their bank stocks. Maybe too much, Ian McGugan writes. Over the past few decades, the country’s biggest lenders have rewarded their shareholders with generous dividends on top of big capital gains. After so many years of sterling performance by bank stocks, multitudes of Canadian investors are now heavily invested in shares of the Big Five. But while Canadian banks aren’t going to go bust, but their future is nearly certainly going to be less bright than their past.

Among the headwinds facing Canadian lenders is the near-record level of debt among Canadian households. That crimps possibilities for further bank lending, especially if the pandemic proves to have a long-lasting effect on economic growth. Increasingly, Canadian banks are looking beyond Canada for growth, but their foreign ventures have yet to deliver a gusher of profits. Read more here.

More from Ian McGugan: Discontent in Belarus could benefit Canada’s potash miners - and send this 5% yielding dividend stock soaring

The loonie is not as strong as it seems - and investors are piling on bets it’ll soon tumble

Don’t be fooled by the loonie’s steady rise over the past five months, Tim Shufelt writes. The Canadian dollar is not quite as strong as it seems. The loonie’s advances have been less than stellar when compared with the powerful tailwinds supporting it – specifically, the boom in commodity prices and the slide in the U.S. dollar, which has propelled other resource currencies to spectacular gains.

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Internationally, investors have built up a rather large bet against the Canadian dollar in foreign exchange markets, with net short non-commercial contracts rising to US$2.6-billion as of Aug. 18, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That’s the largest bearish position on any major currency outside of the U.S. dollar. Shorting activity against the loonie is on the rise, says Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia. Read more here.

Short positions gain steam as

investors bet against loonie

USD/CAD (right scale, inverted)

Net (long minus short) position

(thousands of contracts, left scale)

60

$1.27

40

1.31

20

1.35

0

1.39

-20

1.43

-40

-60

1.47

Aug.

2019

Oct.

Dec.

Feb.

2020

April

June

SOURCE: SCOTIABANK GLOBAL FX STRATEGY

Short positions gain steam as

investors bet against loonie

USD/CAD (right scale, inverted)

Net (long minus short) position

(thousands of contracts, left scale)

60

$1.27

40

1.31

20

1.35

0

1.39

-20

1.43

-40

-60

1.47

Aug.

2019

Oct.

Dec.

Feb.

2020

April

June

SOURCE: SCOTIABANK GLOBAL FX STRATEGY

Short positions gain steam as investors bet against loonie

USD/CAD (right scale, inverted)

Net (long minus short) position (thousands of contracts, left scale)

60

$1.27

40

1.31

20

1.35

0

1.39

-20

1.43

-40

-60

1.47

Aug.

2019

Oct.

Dec.

Feb.

2020

April

June

SOURCE: SCOTIABANK GLOBAL FX STRATEGY

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How Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for U.S. president, made a fortune in the stock market

Victoria Woodhull

Library of Congress

Victoria Woodhull was ahead of her time, Larry MacDonald writes. In 1868, she made a fortune in the stock market. Two years later, she and her sister were the first women to launch a stock-brokerage firm on Wall Street. Then, in 1872, she became the first woman to run for U.S. president, before women were even allowed to vote.

Woodhull was getting the stock tips from her good friend Josie Mansfield, mistress of Wall Street titan Jim Fisk. She heard firsthand of his market moves and passed on what she had learned to Woodhull. An important manoeuvre for Fisk was buying up gold to corner the market. The plan was to push up prices and squeeze the short sellers (press them to buy back and return the stocks they had borrowed), then sell at the top to the momentum and trend-following traders. Read more here.

What investors need to know for the week ahead

In the week ahead, Canadian and U.S. employment figures for August will be released on Friday. Other economic data on tap include: Canada’s building permits, plus industrial production and raw materials indexes for July (Monday); U.S. construction spending for July (Tuesday); Canadian labour productivity for the second quarter (Wednesday); and Canadian merchandise trade deficit for July (Thursday).

Companies releasing their latest earnings include Alimentation Couche-Tard, Transcontinental, Laurentian Bank of Canada, Macy’s and Barnes & Noble.

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