Insights

These concise papers provide a detailed look at the factors that contribute to the investment decisions we make at Sionna.

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You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover: Perspectives on Judging Investment Performance

January 2022

Few events can be judged accurately as fortunate or unfortunate, or profitable or unprofitable at the time they occur. In many cases, only time will tell the whole story and challenges can often become opportunities and visa versa. The value investment approach has been challenged for a while, with recent weak performance dragging down the long-term annualized result. This weighs on investors’ perception, and they can be drawn to judgemental thoughts that may mislead them.

The Case for Canadian Dividends

October 2021

Dividends have historically been a meaningful component of market returns. This is particularly true in Canada where dividends have comprised 30-40% of TSX Composite Index total returns over the past three decades. While dividend returns have been dwarfed by price returns in recent years, we believe this has created an attractive setup for dividend-paying stocks to outperform going forward.

Canada’s Role in Energy Evolution and Carbon Reduction

July 2021

This past year has brought some element of change to every business in every sector. As we reflect on 2020 and the many changes that emerged, the Canadian energy industry was arguably one of the most impacted by these changes.

Simplification

April 2021

An Internet search on the subject of “ways to simplify your life” offers up hundreds of articles, reports and books on the seemingly popular topic. Many of these pieces are penned by so-called life gurus, and recommend solutions such as “declutter your house”, “remove toxic influences”, “take control of your finances” and the very popular “reduce your social media use”. The basic concepts of simplification transfer well to the world of investment management, and have been the core of investment philosophies of some of the industry’s most successful and esteemed investors, Warren Buffett included.

Focusing on the Long Game Under Stress

January 2021

I looked up from my desk and found the market down more than 10%. The next day, it was up 10%. The day after, down 10% again. That violent yo-yo-ing was the reality this past spring. At one point, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost a quarter of its value in about a week. Reflecting on 2020, the most memorable (or rather, forgettable?) part of the year was the market freefall during the spring. Amid the chaos, our team triple-checked every holding’s balance sheet and the discounts on offer and acted decisively. During such a stressful period, how were we comfortable that we were making good decisions?

The Mind and Mispricing

October 2020

One of the few certainties in investing is the ubiquitous presence of uncertainty. As an investment manager, it is our business to deal with uncertainties as well as the attendant opportunities and risks that uncertain situations present. At Sionna, we spend a lot of time thinking about the behavioural dynamics that can drive mispricing in the market and how uncertainty plays a role.


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