Anthony Layton MBA, CIM

Chairman & CEO, Portfolio Manager

Peter Guay MBA, CFA

Portfolio Manager
  • T514.875.7566 x 224
  • 1.800.875.7566
  • F514.875.9611
  • Place Alexis Nihon
  • 3400 de Maisonneuve Ouest,
    Suite 1501
  • Montreal, Quebec H3Z 3B8

Neither Great Depression Nor Japan

Good afternoon,

There is an interesting article from Morgan Stanley about why this recession is different from previous severe periods. It is somewhat technical but a good read.

On another note, the BCE stock price has crashed, further hurting Canadian Investors. I remind you that single company risk is never adequately remunerated by stock markets. PWL clients do not own BCE shares. 

Please call if you have any questions.

By: Anthony Layton & Peter Guay | 0 comments

The Markets in October: Market Statistics and Commentary

October 2008 stock returns will go down in history as one of the most difficult months for equity market returns in the last century. While returns were significantly negative, they were not without precedent. The table below illustrates what you have been hearing in the media:

THE FIVE WORST STOCK MARKET MONTHS                            (Returns including dividends)
Canadian Equity 1956-2008
(S&P/TSX Composite Index)
U.S. Equity 1926-2008
(S&P500 Index)
International Equity 1970-2008
Oct. 1987
-22.52 %
Sept. 1931
-29.73 %
Oct. 2008
Aug. 1998
-20.11 %
Mar. 1938
-24.87 %
Oct. 1987
-18.38 %
Oct. 2008
-18.75 %
May 1940
-22.89 %
Sept. 1990
-15.57 %
Mar. 1980
-17.64 %
May 1932
-21.96 %
Aug. 1998
-13.48 %
Sept. 2008
-14.45 %
Oct. 2008
-18.50 %
Sept. 2008
-12.10 %

Sources: Ibbotson Associates, Bloomberg


It is important to recall that the PWL broadly diversified portfolios include a further 10-12 asset classes, some of which were less affected:


U.S. Asset Class Returns 1927-2008
Treasury Bills
Long-term Government Bonds
Long-term Corporate Bonds
Large Cap Equity
Value Equity
Small Cap Equity
Source: Ibbotson Associates


Recently, the turmoil in the interbank lending market has started to settle down and banks have started lending to each other again. This improvement is largely due to governments guaranteeing these loans, over and above their generous injections of capital to shore up many major international banks. In spite of this, market nervousness and volatility persist due to major declines in the currencies of several emerging countries. This is to be expected.

What does this mean for you?

  1. As difficult as it may be, the only way to obtain decent returns is to invest in the global economies via the stock markets and hold stocks for the long term. Successful investors accept the risk of the equity asset classes as the key to generating superior returns.
  2. Timing the market – i.e. trying to move in and out of the market at “the right time” - will inevitably lead investors to sell low (after the market has tanked) and buy high (after the market has soared). We firmly believe that the successful investors of the years to come will be those who ignore the sensational media reports and who adopt a rational, disciplined approach to investing in the markets.

Please consult October's Market Statistics. Thank you and best regards.

Market Statistics (PDF)

Statistiques de marché (PDF)


The latest statistics are regularly available in the Broadcast Centre, Market Statistics and you'll find my comments archived in my Market Statistics & Commentary page.

By: Anthony Layton & Peter Guay | 0 comments