Christmas Wishlist: What Canadian Investment Minds Want for the Holidays

Plus, a sneak peek into 2024

Ashley Redmond 22 December, 2023 | 4:17AM
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Letter to Santa

It’s Peppermint Mocha season (Starbucks SBUX best-selling holiday beverage) or as others call it “holiday” season. We are already in full swing here at Morningstar, sorting out important questions like Which Sectors and Stocks Are Set for 2023 Holiday Sales? and exploring Why Investors Should Pay Extra Attention to Shopping Trends This Holiday.

But, what about Christmas wishlists? What is everyone hoping for? I asked a few of Canada’s top minds within the financial community what they're wishing for:


David O’Leary, Founder & Principal, Kind Wealth

O’Leary is wishing for two things this December:

1. Early indications of an eventual soft landing for the economy in 2024. Hopefully, this will curb the number of lost jobs and the resulting impact on household incomes will be that fewer Canadians experience financial hardship.

2. The second wish (more of a fantasy, according to O’Leary) is to see investors stop falling for pitches from financial services providers for unnecessary, complex, and expensive products like hedge funds, levered/inverse ETFs, and structured notes (e.g. principal-protected notes and market-linked GICs). “The secret to investment success boils down to how well an investor can stay invested for the long term and resist the sales pitches they hear for expensive investments,” says O’Leary. 


Alex Mazer, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Common Wealth

Mazer’s Wishlist focuses on three things to help strengthen the retirement security of Canadians:

1. The trend of more small and mid-sized employers (SMBs) introducing workplace retirement plans (with employer matching) continues. Often with the support of advisors, setting up retirement plans for their employees for the first time. Payroll-based saving with employer matching is the most effective way to help people to save, and advancements in technology have made it easier for employers of any size to offer a plan.

“The lack of workplace retirement plan coverage remains the number one weakness in Canada’s retirement system,” says Mazer.  

2. Canadians and their advisors begin to appreciate the value of lifetime income annuities as a key part of their retirement plan. Interest in annuities increased with rising interest rates and increased focus on income security, but they remain a highly under-valued tool for managing longevity risk. “It’d be good to see annuities included as an option in more workplace retirement plans, building on a trend already underway in the US,” adds Mazer.

3. Regulators finalize changes to the Capital Accumulation Plan Guidelines – the main rules governing group retirement plans – which haven’t seen a major change in two decades. If properly implemented, it will meaningfully improve retirement outcomes for Canadians. 


Erin Campbell, Founder & Partner, Moneta

Campbell has a few things on her wishlist, and she sees them coming true in 2024:

1. Aggressive global interest rate hikes put a hard stop on growth during 2023; a stable or dovish stance on interest rates in 2024 should drive economic growth. Look for that. As well, as accelerating economic growth is likely to provide a catalyst for small-cap outperformance next year. “Historically, small-cap stocks have demonstrated a heightened sensitivity to economic conditions, flourishing during periods of expansion,” she adds.

2. We see the re-emergence of the commodity investor. A lack of investment coupled with a spiraling debt cycle will encourage investors to return to the physical investing world of natural resource space.We expect to see an uptick of financing and M&A activity in the space as investors return and seniors consolidate the space as economic stabilization promotes growth opportunities,” she says. Energy and precious metals will also act as an effective hedge against the almost daily geopolitical shocks.


Happy Holidays!


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About Author

Ashley Redmond

Ashley Redmond  Ashley Redmond is a writer for Morningstar Canada.

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