John Zechner, chairman and founder, J. Zechner Associates 

Market Outlook: 

We have maintained a more defensive bias this year after the sharp gains we saw in January. We lightened up on some of our tech stocks as they have continued to rally but we see elevated risks in continuing to expect gains from this sector alone. We liken this period to what we saw back in 2000-01, even though valuations in technology are not as excessive as they were at that time. 

On a risk-adjusted basis, we think it makes more sense to stay with the very under-valued cyclical stocks that should rally sharply after we move through the worst part of the impending economic slowdown. We also see upside from holdings in bonds as we don’t see much further upside in interest rates. The only risk there is the time that it takes for rates to start to move back down again, but at least we would be earning income from bonds, cash and high-yield stocks while the economy goes through this expected downturn.  Longer-term interest rates have risen in the past few months as inflation remains at elevated levels, employment has been resilient and the expected economic downturn has not yet taken hold. But we still see all the risk indicators for economic growth on the downside and believe that the 10-year U.S. bond will trade back down to yields in the three per cent range over the next year. 

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Top Pick: Crescent Point Energy (CPG TSX)




Rapid Fire Stocks: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD NASD), VanEck Junior Gold Miners ETF  (GDXJ NYSEARCA), iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF  (TLT NASD), Rogers Communications Cl B (RCI.B TSX) 


Brianne Gardner, senior wealth manager, Velocity Investment Partners, Raymond James

Market Outlook:

I am cautiously optimistic and see extreme greed in the market right now, especially in certain sectors like technology. Since 1956, there have been 13 instances where stocks have rallied 20 per cent from their bear market lows, 12 times (or 92 per cent of the time) stocks are +17.7 per cent higher a year later. Only three times did stocks make new lows, two times it was during the tech bubble and once during the financial crisis.

Tightening stops as market breadth and Investor sentiment weakens after approaching bullish extremes consistent with prior intermediate-term price peaks. Once you get into 2024, I believe that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s own credibility will allow them to then start cutting rates. And when they start cutting rates, you know what? It's not going to do anything to accelerate the economy, so they're probably going to keep on going.

Recession is still likely, but the recovery could be stronger than expected, due to three reasons. Firstly, companies are expecting economic weakness and taking action, cleaning up inventories and balance sheets. Second, the U.S. consumer is in relatively good shape, consumer debt is low relative to levels during the global financial crisis and other more typical recessions. Third, we expect moderating inflation to support consumer strength, while it will take some time for the Fed to get inflation down to its two per cent target, we believe it will be contained near three per cent, which can feel like a real wage boost.

Top Pick: Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM TSX)




Rapid Fire Stocks: Telus (T TSX), Nutrien (NTR TSX), Procter & Gamble (PG NYSE) 


Earl Davis, head of fixed income and money markets, BMO Global Asset Management

Market Outlook:

Expect both the Bank of Canada and the Fed to raise rates by another 75 basis points by the end of the year. Most of the central bank hikes have been completed which means that the future interest rate volatility will be experienced in the five to 10-year part of the curve. Expect the consumer price index to increase to six per cent by year-end and core inflation to remain sticky in the five to six per cent range.

Expect the economy to continue to perform well with a recession being pushed into 2024. Corporate earnings will remain robust for the remainder of 2023 because corporations are able to pass along price increases. Do not expect to see higher unemployment until the fourth quarter of 2023 or even the first quarter of 2025. Ultimately, rates will be higher for longer. Do not expect a cut until second half of 2024 if not 2025.

Top pick (bonds): Dollarama 




Rapid Fire bonds: Sobeys, Metro, any of the Canadian banks