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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.



Three lesser-known TSX stocks that have skyrocketed amid the pandemic

The Toronto Stock Exchange isn’t exactly teeming with pandemic powerhouses, Tim Shufelt writes. But there is life beyond the confines of the S&P/TSX Composite Index. A few pandemic-era success stories from among the vast ranks of Canada’s small-cap stock universe include Docebo, which provides cloud-based employee learning software, specialty food supplier SunOpta, and Dorel Industries, whose sports products include Cannondale and Schwinn bicycles. Read more here.

More from Tim Shufelt: That brief market plunge in March has served up a wealth of 2020 hindsight

Opinion: Takeover offers for Dorel Industries and Rocky Mountain Dealerships are underwhelming

Gordon Pape: How to invest in the electric vehicle sector and more

A reader writes: It seems that the EV (electric vehicle) and driverless car industry will grow considerably in the coming years. My investment institution does not have a mutual fund or ETF that focuses on this sector. What might be a fairly aggressive way to invest in this sector?

Gordon Pape responds: I suggest you look at the Evolve Automobile Innovation Index Fund (CARS-T). It seems to fit your goals perfectly. This ETF seeks to replicate the performance of the Solactive Future Cars Index Canadian Dollar Hedged index. It invests primarily in companies that are directly or indirectly involved in developing electric drivetrains, autonomous driving, or network connected services for automobiles.

The fund was launched in 2017 and performance so far has been exceptional. The management fee is very reasonable at 0.4 per cent plus taxes. Read more here, plus answers to other reader questions.

The baby boomer’s guide to managing investments using online broker apps

Rob Carrick offers a little project for investors of baby boom vintage or older: Download your online broker’s app for smartphones and play with it for a while. Almost all online brokers now offer a mobile app that allows clients to monitor their investments and trade stocks or exchange-traded funds. For the hands-on DIY investor, mobile investing is a complement to managing a portfolio online and not a replacement. But what a useful complement.

Mobile stock trading is a thing, boomers. Let me tell you what I learned about it so you can judge how to deploy it in your own investing. They include:

  • Logging into your account is faster/easier
  • Apps are for monitoring and trading, not research
  • Ratings of broker mobile apps are worth a look

More from Rob Carrick: The inflation trap facing people holding bonds, GICs and savings

Will renewables’ bright outlook dim in 2021?

Canada’s renewable energy sector enjoyed a remarkably strong performance in 2020, as stocks soared amid a global shift toward cleaner energy, David Berman writes. Good news: Many observers believe this shift has further to go, offering a reason to stay bullish in 2021.

This past year’s gains suggest that a number of renewable energy producers are enjoying broader attention beyond a base of investors who want to align their holdings with environmental principles. The rally has a downside, though: Canadian stock valuations are slightly ahead of their global peers, and there are no bargains in the bunch. Still, many observers are willing to tolerate lofty valuations in favour of the bright long-term growth opportunities ahead in clean energy. Read more here.

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Rob Carrick: How your personal finances will be tested in 2021

A lot of investors will find their magic touch deserts them, Rob Carrick writes. Say goodbye to the stock market’s year of the checkmark – stocks started fine in 2020, plunged for about four weeks in the winter and then surged back. If you put money into the market anywhere near the low point, you made out brilliantly. And so you should have – you did exactly the right thing in buying low.

Don’t expect a gimme like that anytime soon. One reason stocks did so well while a pandemic raged is that investors were looking ahead to a quick vaccine rollout and economy recovery. A lot of great news has been priced into the stock market. Read more here, plus three other challenges to your finances this year.

Read more: A bullish 2021? Investors shouldn’t ignore the case for caution

What investors need to know for the week ahead

In the week ahead, employment numbers are expected for both Canada and the United States on Friday. Other economic data on tap include: U.S. construction spending for November (Monday); U.S. factory orders for November (Wednesday); and Canadian and U.S. trade balance for November (Thursday). Companies releasing their latest earnings include ConAgra Foods, Constellation Brands, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Bed Bath & Beyond.

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