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BofA Securities ESG strategist Dimple Gosai published a report estimating that climate change will soon result in US$50-billion in agricultural-related losses annually. U.S. crop destruction in wheat will potentially climb 50 per cent as warmer winters give rise to more invasive pests.

The report is full of eye-opening statistics and projections that include:

  • Pesticide use in the U.S. exceeds one billion pounds annually
  • Climate change has already wiped out approximately seven year of productivity improvements in agriculture
  • The global population is expected to increase by two billion people by 2050, requiring food production in the next four decades exceeding all production in the last 8000 years
  • Crop insurance costs forecast to increase by over 20 per cent
  • A yield improvement of 6 per cent in U.S. crop yields can feed an additional 20 million people

Ms. Gosai believes that gene editing to create crops with greater drought and heat tolerance will be essential to address the challenges of climate change for agriculture. Cover crops, grown to protect and enhance soil rather than harvested for food, are being developed by Bayer Aktienges, Bunge Ltd. and Chevron.

Importantly, the demand for change has climbed not only because 2022 was the third most expensive year for weather-related disasters since 1980, or because global temperatures have been at a 50-year high for the past three months. It is also because rising input costs including labour and fertilizer are motivating food producers to increase productivity.

The report cites Canada’s Nutrien Ltd. (NTR-T), Corteva Inc. (CTVA-T), Bunge Ltd. (BG-N), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM-N) and India’s UPL Ltd. as companies actively partnering with food producers to implement sustainable practices.

-- Scott Barlow, Globe and Mail market strategist

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Stocks to ponder

Walt Disney Co. (DIS-N) The entertainment giant announced a US$60 billion spending plan on parks and cruises to stay ahead of growing competition, but some Wall Street analysts are worried about a long road to payoff.

The Rundown

Morgan Stanley Canadian strategist on inflation, interest rates and the best investment opportunities right now

The Globe and Mail’s Jennifer Dowty speaks with Stu Morrow, chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Canada, who provided his insights on the economy, markets and asset-mix recommendations.

Clean energy investing loses lustre despite climate crisis

Despite the heat waves, wildfires and floods that have amplified calls to accelerate the global energy transition away from fossil fuels, investors withdrew record funds from the world’s largest clean energy investment vehicles so far this year. As Reuters reports, one key reason is that investors are betting big on artificial intelligence.

Investors temper pessimism on China, but bullish tilt remains distant prospect

Reuters reports on how investor negativity on China is showing signs of shifting as money managers stop or slow cuts to their exposure, even if they see a durable bullish tilt in the market or sentiment as distant.

Instacart stock subdued as debut enthusiasm loses steam

Grocery delivery app Instacart’s (CART-Q) fell 5 per cent on Wednesday, as the grocery delivery app joined other recent stock market entrants in failing to keep up with their strong gains on debut. Investors were hoping that a recent wave of new listings would reignite the IPO market after a near 18-month dry spell, but stocks including chip designer Arm (ARM-Q) and RayzeBio have slipped from their debut highs amid persistent worries about high interest rates and inflation.

Miles Nadal’s tiny family of funds: expensive, underperforming, and targeted by activists

You may not have heard of a small outfit called Artemis Investment Management Ltd. but you likely have heard of its owner, Miles Nadal – philanthropist, entrepreneur and former CEO of public company MDC Partners, where he resigned after U.S. regulators accused him in 2017 of collecting millions in undisclosed perks. Artemis manages just two small vehicles that trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Citadel Income Fund, worth about $33-million, and Energy Income Fund, even smaller at about $4-million in market value. They have two things in common over the long term: They are terrible performers, and they are expensive for their investors. And David Milstead reports on how they have another thing in common right now: activist investors who are seeking profit by forcing change.

Others (for subscribers)

Number Cruncher: 20 funds seeing a rebound in 2023

‘The likelihood of BoC pulling the trigger again has increased substantially’: How markets and economists are reacting to hot inflation data

Wednesday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Wednesday’s Insider Report: Large-cap energy company CEO sells $2.1-million worth of shares

Tuesday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Tuesday’s Insider Report: Company leaders are buying this stock yielding 6.6%

BofA lifts its year-end target for S&P 500 by 7%, led by ‘old economy’ stocks

Globe Advisor

How mastering the art of scuttlebutt can generate alpha

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Ask Globe Investor

Question: I have a large sum in a U.S. dollar account at Tangerine. The interest rate is terrible, namely 0.1 per cent. What are some good alternatives?

Answer: If you don’t already have a discount brokerage account, now may be a good time to open one, as it will give you far better options for parking your idle cash.

Most discount brokers offer investment savings accounts, denominated in either Canadian or U.S. dollars, that pay much higher rates. BMO InvestorLine’s BMO USD High Interest Savings account, for example, currently pays an interest rate of 4.9 per cent, with a minimum initial purchase of US$1,000. Other bank-owned brokers offer similar rates. What’s more, such accounts – which you buy and sell much like a mutual fund, with no fees or commissions – are covered by Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., even when they hold U.S. dollars. (Check for coverage limits.)

There are other options. You could squeeze out an additional half-point or so of interest by choosing a high-interest savings account exchange-traded fund, but there are drawbacks to these products. You may have to pay a commission to buy and sell them. Moreover, not all HISA ETFs automatically reinvest distributions, so you won’t necessarily get the benefits of compounding. With broker-operated investment savings accounts, on the other hand, interest compounds automatically (unless you choose to receive the interest in cash).

For all of the above reasons, an investment savings account will likely meet the needs of most investors looking for a place to stash their cash. And the rates will crush the puny return you’re getting from Tangerine.

--John Heinzl (E-mail your questions to

What’s up in the days ahead

David Berman shares his insight on the short-term and long-term impact of labour strikes.

Click here to see the Globe Investor earnings and economic news calendar.

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Compiled by Globe Investor Staff

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