We built Inukshuk Capital Management to serve the needs of clients looking for a unique approach – void of conflicts of interest, commission sales and pushed products. We began by putting our own money where our mouth is. With low fees and active risk management, we help families achieve financial longevity, that’s the bottom line.
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December 2023: Prognostication
In this issue:
- Global Equity Market Performance
- Owning the Fortune Teller Podium
- Cramer Again
- Wrapping Up
- Health is Wealth
Global Equity (and Bonds) Market Performance
November was something. That something was a ripping global rally in stocks. After a three-month streak of misery where North American equity indexes and bonds were all down around 8%, something changed.
The S&P 500 and the S&P/TSX60 were up around 8% while MSCI EAFE and Emerging markets closed almost 6% higher. Even bonds got in the game: mid-term governments up almost 4%.
Those who must give explanations for this will find some. But it doesn’t matter. Our systems, while giving warning signs for months regarding Canadian stocks have shifted into more solid territory. That is our process.
We remain fully long the S&P 500 and S&P/TSX60.
If you would like to stay current on our measures of trend and momentum in the markets we follow, please click here .
Last year at this time we wrote our inaugural predictions letter. The idea: it would be fun to look at some prognosticators’ guesses for 2022. Most of them were wrong. That is not sample bias.
We don’t do predicting. In markets you can be right about what unfolds and have the wrong trade on. Earlier this year regional banks with ties to technology companies failed. If you knew that would happen you might have sold tech. Many predicted that the sector would suffer. Technology stocks and bitcoin have had one of their best years ever. Whoops.
It can be fun to guess what may happen and then see if you were right. The emphasis is on fun. Some predictions will have actual real-world consequences – such as when central bankers use them for policy decisions. We know how that worked out for many people who have a mortgage.
Owning the Fortune Teller Podium
Let’s set the bar. Two of the all-time worst prognosticators are economist and New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman and CNBC rolled-up-sleeve ranter Jim Cramer. There is no bronze medal contender in this context that we know of, but it may very well be one of them.
In an article dated June 10, 1998, in Red Herring, a technology-focused media organization, Krugman wrote:
The growth of the internet will slow drastically… By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.
No further comment.
On to the clown show that is CNBC and Jim Cramer:
Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out!
Bear Stearns imploded a few days later.
The fun thing about picking on these people is they do not admit they were wrong and make excuses as to how they were misinterpreted. Bad tone implies…
Let’s see some of the things ’people in the know’ predicted for 2023.
In December of last year CNBC reported this:
Jim Cramer on Tuesday gave investors a list of stocks that he believes will perform well next year. Here is his list: Eli Lilly, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Caterpillar, Deere, TJX Companies, Morgan Stanley.
Here is the Cramer kicker:
I’m not hopping on the tech bandwagon. I’ve said over and over again that whether the Fed undershoots or overshoots, tech’s likely to be hurt the worst.
The Nasdaq 100 is up 50% since he said that. Let’s look at his top seven expected winners and compare them to the S&P 500.
LLY clearly knocked it out of the park. TJX and CAT were both up, but far less than the S&P 500. The other four were losers.
If you invested in this portfolio you would have made 7.2%. If you forgot to buy LLY you would have lost 1.8%.
In a Goldman Sachs video presentation from January, Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research, said commodities should rally 43% on the year and will be the best performing asset class. Bold call.
Ok, so that wasn’t a great one. To the end of November, the S&P GSCI Commodity Index was down 2.6% while the Nasdaq 100 was up 44.5% and bitcoin 125%. Note that GS in the index name stands for Goldman Sachs – gotta love a little irony.
In August he retired as a partner. More time with the family?
Michael Burry was introduced to the public in Michael Lewis’ book and the subsequent movie about the Global Financial Crisis, The Big Short. He diagnosed serious issues in the mortgage-backed securities market, suffered serious pain and then made serious money.
In January he posted on X/Twitter:
He had laid out his bearish case for stocks in an earlier post. The brevity of the message is a hint to how he thinks. And maybe how he trades. The thing about reading predictions or calls is you don’t know what happens after. Maybe he lost some money, made a little bit or got out unscathed. Only his investors know. He trades. Cramer and Krugman do not. They talk.
Here is his post a few months later:
You have to respect that.
Unlike the prior subjects of this letter, he has nothing to gain by posting his ideas. And admits when he is wrong.
In this business you will be wrong. If you know why you got into a situation and have a plan to get out of it when things aren’t going your way, then you are managing risk correctly.
Just the other day, the Federal Open Market Committee decided not to raise rates and hinted that rate hikes are on hold. The market has now priced in almost 100 basis points of cuts over the next year or so. Who will be right? Stay tuned.
Here’s hoping you had fun reading. And if you have read this far we wish you an excellent Holiday season, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We will see you again in 2024. That’s something predictable. We hope.
Health Is Wealth
Embracing Daily Resolutions:
As we reflect on the past year, the disparity between predictions and outcomes is evident. As we approach year-end, misplaced projections serve as a reminder of life’s unpredictability. Just as experts lay out forecasts for 2024 with conviction, many of us are crafting New Year’s resolutions with hope.
I believe there needs to be a shift in our approach to resolutions. Instead of lofty year-long goals, let’s embrace a more realistic strategy: the daily resolution.
Setting a daily resolution may sound less ambitious, but it holds the key to genuine and lasting change. The concept is simple: focus on achievable steps each day, rather than grandiose goals. The beauty of this approach lies in its practicality and the cumulative impact of consistent, small achievements.
Consider this: as we stand at the crossroads of the old and the new year, let’s usher in a new era of personal growth with daily resolutions—achievable, sustainable, and undeniably effective. Commit to a daily resolution that can be accomplished immediately—whether it’s taking a brisk walk, drinking an extra glass of water, or dedicating a few minutes to mindfulness.
By embracing a daily resolution, we acknowledge the power of incremental progress. The compounding effect of these small, consistent actions is remarkable—much like the growth we seek in our personal investments.
Each daily resolution is a deposit into the account of your health, happiness, and well-being. The dividends may not be immediately apparent, but over time, you’ll witness the transformative impact of these incremental steps.
Start tomorrow. Take that first step, and trust that the next one will follow. In the end, it’s the small, daily resolutions that add up to the most impressive and sustainable changes. Remember, in health as in wealth, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—make it a daily one.
‘You have to sustain it, to maintain it’
ICM Health Ambassador
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Challenging the status quo of the Canadian investment industry.