Scratch the Surface…or Dig Deeper

At Sionna, we believe that investing is very similar to chess; we need to think long term when choosing to take a course of action – it’s not just about the next move, but a number of moves ahead. To succeed in chess and investing, it’s important to harness our ability to think deeply and concentrate in an undistracted environment.

The Costly Gender Gap in Canada’s Fund Business (The Globe and Mail)

By almost any standard, the Canadian fund business has a huge gender imbalance. Compared to other professions, and even compared to mutual funds globally, female fund managers in Canada are vastly outnumbered by men, according to new Morningstar research reinforcing long-standing trends.

The Winds of Change

In any period of change there are winners and losers. Some react with fear and loathing, others with enthusiasm and hope. We have a choice which stance to take. In the investing world, we see that uncertainty can diminish confidence and cause stock prices to weaken, even those of high-quality companies. But it can be during times of uncertainty that rational investors have an opportunity to take advantage of temporary weaknesses. At Sionna, we are mindful of challenges, but focus our energies on the potential opportunities.

Investment Lessons Inspired by Bob Rae

While the United States gets ready to vote for their new president next Tuesday, I am reminded of a book I read, “What’s Happened to Politics”, written by Bob Rae. He has had political leadership roles, both provincially and federally in Canada, and along the way has learned many truths about leadership and human motivation and capabilities. I attended a book club gathering, where Bob Rae discussed his book, and I soon realized that some major insights he had learned from a career in politics were equally as applicable to investing.


Overweight Canada: It’s a Winning Trade

Kim Shannon
President & Co-Chief Investment Officer

Hitting the Gym: Pumping Iron in a Downturn

Building muscle is not easy. I should know – I’ve been lifting weights for several years now, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at me. I’m still the same stick figure I was in high school. Nonetheless, it’s a fun and grueling hobby, one that I find strangely calming and meditative. A slow journey for sure, but I’ve committed to it for the long term; images of body-building legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at his prime, remind me to stick with it.

These Fund Managers are Using a Sideways Market to Set Up for the Next
Bull Phase (Financial Post)

Since human beings have a tendency for excess, it often leads to irrational behaviour in financial markets. While many investors try to capitalize on market dislocations, value-oriented equity managers are particularly focused on taking advantage of the irrational pricing that occurs as a result.

Since Inception and Perception

When evaluating a money manager’s performance, investors often cast their eyes across the time horizons to the longest term number – since inception. A positive relative return can be such a great comfort; a validation of the investor’s original selection and a reflection on the quality of the manager. On the other hand, a negative number, whether in relative or absolute terms, might suggest the opposite: that the original selection process was flawed or that the manager lacks quality or skill. Or does it?

Energy Stocks Find Favour with Sionna Manager (Morningstar)

A couple of years ago, when oil prices dipped below US$40," says Shannon, "we started seeing a lot of value in commodities and in the stocks. We began as sector- neutral, so when oil prices and high-quality names dipped below intrinsic value, we started to add to the stocks.

Big-Picture Thinking

When I first started in the industry, one of the more popular styles of investing was top-down stock picking; where you made an economic forecast, decided which sectors were going to benefit and then tried to buy the quality names within that sector. Effectively, this approach required investors to focus on the short term; they predicted what economic trends were underway and then adjusted their portfolio accordingly. Value managers generally didn’t, and still don't, believe that the economy could be accurately forecasted in general, and they definitely didn’t believe that it could tell you how to invest.