This time’s recovery will take longer

BMO’s James Thai argues that as the market slowly recovers it’s critical to separate winners from losers

Michael Ryval 16 April, 2020 | 1:32AM

Light in trees

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread havoc at home and around the world, markets have slowly begun to recover from last month’s deep losses. But the shape of economies has changed and when it comes to stock selection, James Thai, director and portfolio manager, disciplined equities at Toronto-based BMO Global Asset Management, argues that it’s critical to adopt a partial top-down view and separate the winners from losers.

It’s hard to call
“What’s different about this downturn, as compared to previous ones, is the sharpness. We’ve never seen an environment where the economy has come to a complete stop in less than four weeks,” says Thai, lead manager of the $1.6 billion BMO Canadian Equity F. “Whether it is short-term or long-term, it’s too early to make a definitive call. But with the magnitude of the change in the economy it will take a little longer to rebound. I wouldn’t expect to go back to where we were at the end of last year within a few months. It will take longer than that.”

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