Market Update 2021


Bill’s Blog March 1, 2021

As many experts from the World Outlook Financial Conference predicted, 2021 would experience sizable volatility. They have been bang on, and I believe the ride may continue to be very bumpy for the remainder of the year. Let’s do a quick review of the first two months of the year, and then I will discuss a few quality solutions for you to consider in 2021.

  • We have seen the stock market still on an uptrend with record highs; however, not without 500 to a 1000 point drops in many world indexes and then reciprocal upswings of the same numbers. These are usually warning signs of a potential large correction or crash in the markets.
  • Many stock indexes are at all-time highs and with record leverage (people and institutions borrowing to invest); this is very concerning, especially with still significantly high unemployment and many sectors of the economy in real trouble. I have to remind you, the stock market does not represent the real economy anymore. Based on historical measurements, the stock market is in a significant bubble. The truth is the market can still go up, yet it will not surprise me if we have a large correction at some point this year. 
  • The real economy is bipolar, a K recovery; some sectors are booming while other business segments are deeply distressed. Mainly due to the government’s decision to lookdown select parts of the economy. As Jim Rickards recently stated, “lockdowns empirically don’t work based on real evidence.” But, they do guarantee destroying businesses, creating high unemployment in significant parts of the economy.
  • The bond market shows fear of inflation based on central bank policies, and the long-term rates have jumped in recent weeks. It is essential to understand how this can impact mortgage and floating rates. Borrowing costs will go up, and highly leveraged households, businesses and governments may get a wake-up call soon.
  • Real inflation is 9 to 10%, not the fake government reported CPI, of 1 to 2%. Look at the price at the pump, groceries, insurances, government fees, real estate, etc., all way UP.
  • Real estate continues to boom in many markets at over 15% plus appreciation. Real estate is in a giant bubble and nearing the peak of its 20-year cycle. Seriously, people need to wake up this is not sustainable. Housing in most markets is entirely unaffordable. Historically, a detached home should be 3 to 3.5 times the median household income in a fair-priced housing market. Not six to fifteen times household income. Housing over-pricing is mainly due to central bank policies of near-zero percent interest rates and banks mainly lending to home buyers (not businesses). Also, several Provincial government policies have contributed to the extremely over-valued real estate market. 
  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have exploded upward from their lows of March 2020. Bitcoin went from $3500 US to nearly $60,000 US in less than a year. I have said to clients for years, having a zero allocation to Bitcoin is the wrong amount. Yes, the crypto market is very volatile and pure speculation; however, the trend is your friend and Bitcoin is gaining global adoption by big money and institutions. Canada approved the first Bitcoin EFT. Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in North America, is launching an IPO and already valued at over 100 Billion dollars. If you know nothing about cryptocurrency, I recommend you learn soon. The crypto market has had a recent pull-back, and this is normal. Nothing goes straight up, and corrections are healthy in all markets.
  •  Precious metals (Gold & Silver). Why should you own gold and silver? Well, if you want to protect your purchasing power and protect your wealth, you may want to consider purchasing some. As central banks globally and governments are creating a gigantic debt bubble (largest in human history). Fiat currencies are being rapidly devalued at a staggering pace. In simple terms, you cannot buy stuff with the same dollars anymore. Hard assets are appreciating, while currencies are becoming worth-less. Gold and silver have had a recent pull-back, yet physical metals are in high demand. There are sizable premiums at the dealerships due to this. I recommend you purchase on pull-backs and build a sizable portfolio along with other hard assets. I foresee a day in the coming years when precious metals will become unaffordable and unavailable except at insane pricing. If you need guidance, please reach out to me. I have helped clients for a decade buy precious metals to diversify and protect their wealth. 
  • Debts, debts, endless debts! We all need to take this issue very seriously as you cannot print your way to prosperity with unlimited money printing and deficits (personal, governments or businesses). Yet, this is the plan of central banks and most governments. Sadly, many Canadian’s are following along. The arrogance of kings and bankers has happened thousands of times historically, and it always ends the same way with a severe economic crisis. But, they will remind you, “this time, it is different.” I am betting on history, not politicians or bankers, and I suggest you do the same. Having little or no debt is freedom.
  • Lastly, expect inflation to rise in our current economic environment. Yet, I see deflation in several asset classes at some point because of the extreme over-valuations. Yes, you can have both inflation and deflation, especially in the current market conditions. 
  • Solutions: 
  • Have an active portfolio manager over a passively managed portfolio. Reach out to me if you need help.
  • Reduce or eliminate debt.
  • Most people do not have gold or silver due to a lack of education on its importance. All major central banks have a large horde of gold (33,000 tonnes collectively), like many billionaires and ultra-wealthy families. I suggest you educate yourself and do the same.
  • Consider select life insurance products with guarantees’ for part of your wealth. 
  • Learn about cryptocurrencies/blockchain and consider a small allocation to diversify (do not borrow) as this is the future of money. Remember, it is high-risk speculation, but if done correctly can create potential life-changing profits.
  • Keep educating yourself financially; the better your financial IQ, the better you will make the right decisions with your income and money. 

All the best in 2021


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