What the data tells us

If anybody tells you they know the future, walk away. They don’t. Nobody does. This also holds true in the investment world, where sound investment strategies aren’t about knowing the future but analyzing the present to chart a path forward.

One way of doing just that is to try an obtain the best information currently available, while also realizing that it’s only just that: information. In the end, it also takes insight and wisdom to make sound investment decisions, which is what the best investors generally do more often than not.

The current outlook

With respect to the current global investment outlook, there are various data points that are of current interest. Specifically, according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development), 2017 should be the year when a global economic slowdown is reaching its end.

Canadian economic outlook

The OECD’s July 2017 outlook data shows that, although the years 2009 to 2016 have seen generally weak levels of recovery, in 2017, there are many reasons for greater optimism. Global trade and investment should see improving outcomes, especially in the commodities sector. A 3.5-percent global growth in GDP is expected in 2017, followed by a 3.6 percent growth in 2018.

However, it’s not all sun and roses on the economic and investment front, as challenges remain on a number of levels. Global policy uncertainty is high, trust in government has diminished, and wage growth is still weak. If nothing else, this means that governments at all levels will have to earn the trust of the citizens they serve.

On the domestic front

On the domestic front, the OECD has a positive outlook for Canada, too. Specifically, the growth in global commodities investing will certainly keep manifesting itself within Canada, as the country remains particularly specialized in the sector. Business investment is expected to rise, governmental expansion of fiscal policy is seen as having a stimulatory effect, and excess capacity is set to taper off by the end of 2018, accompanied by a growth in wages.

Yet, despite the data, which looks pretty good on paper, there is never a substitute for experience and knowledge in the investment sector. As the saying goes, experienced investors “have seen it all before.” Which means that opportunities can always be found, regardless of how good or bad the data looks at any given point of time.

ASCEND GRP is an asset-management firm, with offices in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and New York, that services clients seeking investment opportunities worldwide.

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