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Globe Investor Shopify, Walgreens and the latest mortgage-rate moves: What you need to know this week in investing

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.



Three stocks on the move with a cannabis influence

You cannot go anywhere it seems without hearing about cannabis stocks and all of the world’s problems that these businesses will solve. For many, the volatility and valuations of most of the publicly traded cannabis companies is too much to stomach. Fortunately, there are other ways an investor with a longer-term outlook can seek to gain exposure to the cannabis space without taking on gut-wrenching volatility. We look at Shopify, Alcanna and Andrew Peller.

More than 85 lenders hiked mortgage rates in the past week. Here’s how you can still lock in a great rate

Canada’s five-year government yield closed at yet another seven-and-a-half-year high Thursday, Robert McLister writes. That’s made lending more expensive, and in turn, inspired over 85 Canadian lenders to hike fixed mortgage rates in the past week. This pop in rates has downright spooked mortgage shoppers. Lenders and brokers are reporting sizable upticks in mortgage inquiries, particularly for five-year fixed rates. The takeaway? If you need a fixed-rate mortgage in the next 120 days, protect yourself and lock one down.

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Related: The three best mortgage bets if rates remain on the rise

Read more: How the proposed USMCA trade deal helps end the greatest home-buying opportunity in a generation

Gordon Pape: The latest addition to the Dow is worth a look

Here’s a skill-testing question: Which of these companies is the largest in terms of retail sales: Target, Walgreens Boots, Home Depot or Amazon.com? Most people would probably pick Amazon. If you did, you’re wrong. Out of this group, the winner is Walgreens. It’s actually the fifth-largest retailer in the world, based on 2017 retail revenue (Walmart is number one and no one else is even close to it). In June, the company became part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing General Electric Co. Here, Gordon Pape takes a closer look.

Related: How GE went from business icon to basket case

Read more Pape: I’m not pleased with the performance of my Balanced Portfolio. It’s time for changes

One year along, my dividend-growth portfolio is bruised, but hardly broken

With apologies to Charles Dickens, it was the best of times, and the worst of times, for my model Yield Hog Dividend Growth Portfolio, John Heinzl writes. Employing the same strategy I use with my personal investments, my goal was to build a diversified portfolio of relatively low-risk securities that would generate a growing stream of cash. The portfolio has succeeded unequivocally in that regard. But this was also the “worst of times” for a dividend-oriented portfolio: Rising interest rates are like kryptonite to some dividend stocks. That’s because higher rates make it more expensive for companies to borrow money, and also because the yields on dividend stocks must rise – which means their prices must fall – to compete with the higher yields available on bonds and guaranteed investment certificates.

Related: John Heinzl’s model dividend growth portfolio as of Sept. 30.

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Read more: How the spike in bond yields could turn out just fine for dividend investors

Take heart investors: Even RBC’s six Canadian stock picks performed dismally last quarter

When RBC Dominion Securities selected its best stocks for its Top 30 Global Ideas for 2018, Canadian companies were well-represented within an international roster that included U.S. and European names. David Berman writes. Six Canadian stocks made the exclusive list, giving Canada an impressive 20-per-cent weighting. But this confidence in the home team hasn’t paid off. According to the Royal Bank of Canada’s update for the third quarter, all six Canadian stocks are down, by an average of 8.2 per cent (including dividends), trailing the overall performance of RBC’s Top 30 Global Ideas by nearly 14 percentage points. RBC is not alone with this dismal Canadian performance. Canadian stocks have been struggling this year, frustrating just about anyone with a tilt toward domestic holdings.

Read more: The TSX has never looked worse relative to U.S. stocks by this measure – and the trade deal isn’t helping

What investors need to know for the week ahead

Looking at the week ahead, markets in Canada will be closed Monday for Thanksgiving; in the U.S. stock markets will be open, while the bond market will be closed for Columbus Day. Canadian economic data to be released include housing starts for September (Tuesday), building permits for August (Wednesday), inflation figures for September (Thursday) and Teranet/National Bank Home Price Index (Friday). Companies releasing their latest earnings include Aphria, Walgreens Boots, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Progressive, Yum! Brands and MTY Food Group.

Looking for more investing ideas and opinions?

A growth stock with a unanimous buy call and a 25% gain forecast

These 20 Canadian stocks surface in search for value

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Why the rich, too, are living paycheque to paycheque

‘Boring’ ETFs could be just the ticket for avoiding market mayhem

New ETF offers unique investing approach to the Big Six banks

This little-known Winnipeg-based company is bulking up with acquisitions and making big returns for investors

Why yield-hungry investors should consider small caps

A guide to money management: Who should handle your nest egg?

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