"You're beautiful beyond words, You're beautiful to me, You can make me cry, Never say goodbye." - Bob Dylan, "Never Say Goodbye" from the album Planet Waves.

"I will remember you, will you remember me." - Sarah McLachlan.

And the last day begins.

My 10 investing rules

In no particular order.

1) Remember that the market doesn’t know and doesn’t care who you are. It isn’t a personal thing when it goes down after you buy or up after you sell. Don’t be emotional about your investments. The markets do not care.

2) When everyone is on one side of the ship, more often than not it is wise to go to the other side.

3) Listen to opposing points of view – positive and negative. If you only listen to those that agree with you, you’re likely to find yourself on the wrong side of the investing ship. Arguing against your own point of view however makes your thesis stronger and makes you a better investor.

4) Think and then think again. When facts are presented, they are very compelling but often times when they are viewed from a different angle, they may be less so. This is especially true with headlines and statistics (be especially wary of graphs where scales between two items aren’t equalized).

5) If you haven’t made an investing mistake or five, you’re not learning. But do cut your losses early.

6) Do your homework, know what you own and understand your investments. It is your money (not your advisor’s money).

7) Remember markets can only react to the same news so many times – three is about the maximum in my experience. By then, both good and bad is discounted and something new has to come along. This is most true for bad news.

8) Periodically re-read Bob Farrell’s 10 investing rules. There is at least one of his rules that is applicable to the current environment, whatever that environment is.

9) If there are 42 analysts covering a stock and 42 buys – don’t buy it. And finally

10) Watch those alligator patterns. When the jaws of performance get so wide for one equity, security, currency, it is just about time for them to shut. Always be careful out there and stay tuned into BNN.

As always, there are many news points to consider...

Concordia Healthcare

The drug company reported results that show a nickel miss. Revenue in the international business is now included for a full quarter. Based on my calculations, the daily revenue for this side of the company (which now represents 60 per cent of the total) declined about 4 per cent. However, the average exchange rate of the British pound to the U.S. saw a sharp decline (4.79 per cent on an average basis) more than accounting for the weakness. North American revenue increased 177 per cent year-over-year ($85.9 million) reflecting $56.8 million acquired with the Covis acquisition in April 2015. This segment’s revenue did increase from $74.2 million in Q4. According to estimates from CIBC, Legacy revenues look higher while AMco looks lower (likely currency). More details will come from the 8:30 am conference call.

Don’t break out in song yet

While it is close, according to the keeper of the data, Howard Silverblatt at S&P, Alphabet (Google) hasn’t yet passed Apple as the largest company by market cap in the world. Using the most accurate data (April 21, 2016 shares outstanding), Apple’s market cap $494.83 billion while Alphabet (a three classes) was $494.791 billion, a difference of 0.00808 per cent. 

Toronto housing – no problem

According to an interview, Gord Nixon, formerly head of RBC is unconcerned about the Toronto housing market but more circumspect about Vancouver (where foreign buyers may be a concern). Listen into the interview on The Street this morning.

Corporate items and the calendar

HBC highlights a 4 per cent rise in same store sales for Q1; Aimia boosts dividend by a penny and New Flyer boosts its dividend by 36 per cent to 90 cents; Nordstrom plummets 17 per cent on its weak outlook. According to Thomson Reuters, despite the high profile misses, 70 per cent of the sector (with 2/3 having reported so far) have beat earnings expectations. It is the outlook that is killing them. There will be more retail earnings today. There are a series of annual meetings (from Aimie and Chorus through Power Corp and Sprott. Retail sales in the U.S. (+0.8 per cent estimated) could be the data point of the week. And for oil watchers, the Baker Hughes rig count will be released (down 79 per cent from May 2014 high). Sirius XM and its U.S. parent have agreed to the “take private” offer at $4.50/share. Honda misses forecasts.


The day is off to a weak start. Economic data around the world has been disappointing (European GDP at 0.5 per cent versus initial +0.6 per cent for Q1, Hong Kong GDP surprisingly contracts 0.4 per cent. Chinese loans substantially below estimates (new loans 31 per cent below expectations). Oil is down as are the futures. Be careful out there.


I have read "Dance to the Music of Time" at least three times. It is on my e-reader now, and I may take another run at it this summer. It is a series of 12 books written by Anthony Powell that spans the lifetime of Nick Jenkins from his junior years at public school in England through Oxford, the school friends he had and their ups and downs from just after WWI through the early 1960s.The title comes from a painting of the same name depicting the four seasons of life. What always strikes me about the characters in the book are the coincidental re-meeting of, in particular, Widmerpool, a bespectacled oddball character who never quite fits in but always seems to show up again and again. And that is what saying goodbye is like — the ending of a chapter where you have grown very accustomed to the characters, their lives, their peculiarities as well as their strengths. They are a part of you while reading, they stay with you after and periodically, coincidentally they show up again. That is how I shall say goodbye to my own dance to the music of this BNN time. And I enter my “next chapter.”