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Portfolio Update

Holiday Season Moves

By Roger S. Conrad, on Dec. 19, 2016

We based expectations for 2016 on two premises:

  • The headwinds that had buffeted energy stocks and Canadian real estate investment trusts (REIT) would abate, if not reverse; and
  • Our picks’ underlying businesses would continue to hold up, ensuring their stocks would participate in the recovery.

As it turned out, we were right on both counts. Many of 2015’s laggards became leaders in 2016. Oil prices and energy stocks bottomed early in the year and have mostly headed higher. The Canadian and Australian dollars have been volatile, particularly since the November US presidential election, and should end the year flat to up a little. And our utilities, telecoms, REITs and bond funds are also well in the black.

With about two weeks to go in 2016, this year has produced far more gains than losses for the Lifelong Income Portfolio. Despite rising benchmark interest rates—the 10-year Treasury bond yield is up roughly 13 percent this year—the Portfolio’s conservative holdings have averaged a 12 percent return, while our aggressive picks have returned 22.9 percent.

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