Investing in the Age of Trump

Automation is much more of a game-changer than the White House, panellists say.

Michael Ryval 25 May, 2017 | 5:00PM

Too much attention is being paid to the so-called Trump effect and not enough to looming economic challenges such as the impact of increased automation on jobs. This was among the views expressed by CIBC and Morningstar economists and a CI Investments manager who participated in this week's Morningstar Executive Forum. Moderated by Christopher Davis, a strategist at Morningstar Canada, the May 24 panel discussion examined the global macroeconomic outlook and investing in the so-called Age of Trump and was attended by about 75 financial-industry participants.

People may be giving U.S. President Trump more credit in moving markets than he deserves, argued Benjamin Tal, deputy senior economist at CIBC World Markets, a unit of Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. "If you look at the numbers such as the trend in the U.S. dollar and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields, Trump is a blip. People are starting to realize that Trump is not such a game-changer, from a market perspective, because he cannot do anything."

On the other hand, Tal added, investors still need to appreciate the spirit of populism that Trump represents, because it may be around for years. "The worst thing we can do is impeach Trump. The only way to defeat populism is to allow it to fail. That's Brexit, and Trump."

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Michael Ryval

Michael Ryval