Good afternoon,

The second quarter of 2018 began as the first quarter ended – restrictive trade posturing dominating the news, placing equities into increased volatility and losses. Despite some easing of the rhetoric by both the Chinese and American leadership mid-week, and an apparent agreement to negotiate before enacting new and punitive tariffs, stocks took a ‘wild ride.’

When President Trump first announced his punitive intentions, China responded with duties on $3 billion worth of trade, and two days later the amount of trade involved was $50 billion for each country. The strength of the Chinese response surprised most, and it was a real-time, clear demonstration of “tit-for-tat.” Tit-for-tat trade policy relies heavily on the term “equivalent retaliation,” where each new escalation is immediately matched, and often causes a further increase by the original combatant. We expect continued volatility and buying opportunities during the coming weeks.

On the positive side, it appears that NAFTA re-negotiations could be concluding soon. Both Mexico and the U.S. have been increasing the intensity and progress of NAFTA negotiations. A desire to reach a new agreement before the Summit of the Americas meetings, and before upcoming elections in both countries, has given Canada an opportunity to move the talks to conclusion on a more positive note.

This Friday we were all shocked to hear of the tragic accident involving the Humboldt Broncos. Just over a month ago I was on a bus heading to Fort Francis with my son’s hockey team for a tournament and I remember the boys building comradery and memories that will last a lifetime. It’s painful to think of those young men playing for Humboldt experiencing such a horrible accident on their bus trip as well as the suffering their families will experience far into the future. In the face of such tragic news, we are given a stark reminder of how fortunate we are to have this moment and just how precious life can be. Our prayers go out to everyone involved.

Take care,




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