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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.



Why portfolio manager Christine Poole likes utilities and her three picks in the sector

Christine Poole

JENNIFER ROBERTS/The Globe and Mail

Portfolio manager Christine Poole is cautious about the bounce back in stock markets since the March slump, Brenda Bouw writes. Like many investors, she believes the coming U.S. presidential election and the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could bring more market volatility in the months ahead.

“We’re definitely not chasing this market,” says the CEO and managing director at GlobeInvest Capital Management, which oversees about $200-million in assets. There are sectors she finds attractive though, particularly utilities as an income alternative for investors in the current low-interest-rate environment. Read more here, including why Fortis, Algonquin and Brookfield Renewable Partners are her three picks in the sector.

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Read more: From Gordon Pape’s mailbag, an intriguing IPO, debating RRIF asset allocation, top discount brokers and other investing dilemmas

Slumping pipelines are an opportunity for dividend investors

With investors increasingly focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, oil and gas pipelines have been getting the cold shoulder, John Heinzl writes. Enbridge and TC Energy have tumbled this year, while renewable power stocks have soared in price. The severe economic contraction triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has only added to investors' unease with pipeline stocks.

But as much as we all want the world move to carbon-free energy as soon as possible, the reality is that the transition will take decades. Oil and gas – and the pipelines that transport them – aren’t going away any time soon. Enbridge and TC Energy yield about 8.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively. The yields are even more appealing given that both companies plan to continue raising their dividends as they deploy billions of dollars into capital projects over the next several years. Read more here.

More from John Heinzl: Yield Hog model dividend growth portfolio as of Sept. 30, 2020

Six ways for retirees to generate investment income of 4 per cent and more with ETFs

The most stressful moment in a lifetime’s investing comes when you convert your retirement savings into income you can live on, Rob Carrick writes. One new exchange-traded fund, the Vanguard Retirement Income ETF Portfolio, is built on the idea of blending stocks and bonds to produce monthly distributions that target a 4 per cent return after fees on an annualized basis.

Competing ETFs usually have the phrase monthly income in the name, but they don’t zero in on the retiree demographic and thus may be overlooked. Let’s fix that with a comparison here of Vanguard’s offering against five other ETFs that investors can use as an alternative to individual stocks and bonds for generating monthly income for retirement.

Retirement income

The Vanguard Retirement Income ETF Portfolio (VRIF) has set a new standard in providing a convenient, instantly diversified way for investors to generate a predictable flow of retirement income. Here are five other ETFs that investors seeking monthly retirement income might also want to research.

FundTickerAssets ($-mil.)Price ($)MER (%)Yield (%)Year to Sept. 30 % rtnThree-Year % rtnFive-Year % rtn
BMO Monthly Income ETFZMI-T10115.520.614.3-3.734.2
First Trust Global Risk Managed Income Index ETFETP-T2317.650.914-5.40.82.9
ishares Diversified Monthly Income ETFXTR-T56610.40.625.8-3.42.54.6
iShares Cdn Financial Monthly Income ETFFIE-T6676.150.967.8-10.50.86
Purpose Multi-Asset Income FundPINC-T16117.561.025.7-8.5n/an/a

Source: company websites, globeinvestor. com, TMX Money

Price/yield data to Oct. 14

More from Rob Carrick: A cautionary story in two parts for ETF investors scoping out hot sectors

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Why a former BMO chief economist is counting on bank stocks and dividends to power her portfolio

When COVID-19 broadsided the stock market in March this year, Sherry Cooper’s financial portfolio sank into an abyss that seemed bottomless, Larry MacDonald writes. Despite the market’s rally since then, her stocks remain underwater by 10 per cent.

But the gyrations of 2020 haven’t caused any sleepless nights for the former Bank of Montreal chief economist, who now works for Dominion Lending Centres and runs a consultancy. She hasn’t jettisoned any stocks this year, and has instead bought some bank shares. “Because my goal is to build up a stream of dividends for retirement, I’m focused less on price fluctuations and more on dividend income,” she says. “I haven’t had any dividend cuts in 2020, so I’m happy with that.” Read more here.

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Profit outlook brightening fastest for these TSX stocks

Identifying companies with strong earnings momentum – an upward trend in forecast profits – has long been an effective investing strategy, Scott Barlow writes. And this tactic is particularly relevant in a market environment where revenues continue to recover from full lockdowns and global quarantines.

A closer look at earnings momentum for Canadian large-cap companies uncovers an interesting list of economically sensitive investment opportunities based in the financial, mining and industrial sectors. Read more here, including how he ranked the stocks with the most rapidly improving profit outlook.

Rapidly improving profit outlooks

Select S&P/TSX 60 stocks ranked by three-month change in 12-month earnings estimates

CompanyTickerYTD Ttl. Rtn. (%)3M Ttl. Rtn. (%)Est. EPS Next 12M ($/share)1M Chg. in Est. EPS (%)3M Chg. in Est. EPS (%)
Shopify Inc.SHOP-T175.97.50.514.11,662.1
Cdn. Natural ResourcesCNQ-T-39.50.6-0.0343.993.5
Cenovus Energy Inc.CVE-T-60.5-14.6-0.0312.878.8
First Quantum MineralsFM-T-6.4-11.8-0.0343.168.9
Imperial Oil Ltd.IMO-T-51.0-25.0-0.09-41.765.7
Magna InternationalMG-T-1.48.81.293.654.7
Teck ResourcesTECK-B-T-18.220.40.2126.846.9
Kinross Gold Corp.K-T100.217.20.204.243.9
Canadian Tire Corp.CTC-A-T3.521.33.350.127.1
Barrick Gold Corp.ABX-T55.71.30.304.525.9
CIBCCM-T-2.69.82.470.125.9
National Bank of CanadaNA-T-4.58.31.49-0.324.2
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.AEM-T39.625.00.680.921.5
Wheaton Precious MetalsWPM-T74.34.50.318.320.4
Toronto-Dominion BankTD-T-13.4-0.11.290.619.1
CCL Industries Inc.CCL-B-T-5.715.60.683.516.3
Royal Bank of CanadaRY-T-2.23.61.960.313.2
Alim. Couche-TardATD-B-T8.9-2.20.480.212.6
Pembina Pipeline Corp.PPL-T-37.2-13.80.570.211.8
Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd.KL-T18.09.60.911.210.9
Inter Pipeline Ltd.IPL-T-39.81.40.184.09.0
Power Corp. of CanadaPOW-T-14.812.50.710.07.4
Restaurant Brands Int'lQSR-T-2.64.30.625.17.2
Manulife Financial Corp.MFC-T-26.10.90.701.06.5
Waste Connections Inc.WCN-T17.53.10.66-0.36.1
Constellation SoftwareCSU-T20.1-5.28.48-0.96.1
S&P/TSX 60 Index-0.33.548.701.45.9

Source: Scott Barlow; Bloomberg

What investors need to know for the week ahead

Several companies will be reporting their latest financial results in the week ahead, including Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Tesla, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, IBM, Intel, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Restaurant Brands International, Rogers Communications, Corus Entertainment, Gilead Sciences, Abbott Laboratories, Canfor and American Express.

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Economic data on tap include: Canadian wholesale trade figures for August as were as the Bank of Canada’s business outlook and consumer expectations surveys (Monday); U.S. housing starts and building permits for September (Tuesday); Canada’s inflation numbers and new housing price index for September plus retail sales for August (Wednesday); U.S. existing home sales and leading indicators for September (Thursday).

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