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Kinjal Surana

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U.S. energy boom could push stocks even higher over the next few years

Financial Post | Business

U.S equity markets reached new heights in 2013, breaking record high after record high in an almost uninterrupted run highlighted by the S&P 500’s 29% gain from this time last year.

That’s great for investors who piled into the world’s biggest stock pool during the past few years, but Gerry Connor, chief executive at Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc. in Toronto, thinks there’s still something missing from the current rally: something powerful that could push stocks south of the border, if not elsewhere around the world, even higher over the next few years.

“The market doesn’t fully appreciate the potential impact that U.S. energy independence, and the reshoring of manufacturing that comes with it, will have over time,” he said. “This could be one of those themes that will lead us to the top of the market.”

The veteran money manager has participated in more than a few bull markets…

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Where investors should look for the next great risk play

Financial Post | Business

Risk and volatility have been familiar bedfellows for investors during the past few years.

Playing safe, for example, paid off in the years following the financial crisis, with some of the best returns coming from bonds and dividend stocks. The investing climate, however, changed in 2013. Equities started outperforming bonds and the outsized returns started coming from assets that just a couple of years ago would have been considered too toxic to touch, such as Greek government debt.

But this year’s blockbuster rally has meant many plays have become crowded and while economists are forecasting stronger global economic growth next year, especially in the United States, much of that growth has already been priced in this year. As a result, risk is going to have a harder time paying off for investors in 2014.

“For financial markets, the improved growth backdrop may be largely already factored into current prices,” said…

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Five signs your financial manager is not working in your best interest

Financial Post | Business

There are financial advisors who are almost priceless, pointing their clients to good deals and, where the omens are not good, steering them away from folly. There are other advisors such as the infamous former U.S. mogul Bernie Madoff who leave clients in tears and their accounts in bankruptcy.  It is not necessary to be an expert investor to tell if your advisor is on your side or his.  The tracks advisors leave can tell you a lot.  Indications of problems include:

1. Your advisor is urging you to buy a stock or other asset for the wrong reason. “There may be cases in which an advisor is putting clients into products for the fees he or she earns rather than the best interests of the client,” says hedge fund manager Tony Warzel, president of Rival Capital Management Inc. in Winnipeg.  “There may be time when a broker, for example…

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Here’s why Canada’s big banks keep on winning

Financial Post | Business

Better luck next year to those who shorted Canadian banks.

There are was a lot of talk at the start of the year about the Great White Short, as some hedge funds bet against the Canadian banks on the expectation that a slowing Canadian economy would hit financials hard.

But that didn’t play out and anyone who went short lost out on a great rally. The S&P/TSX Capped Financials index is up 21.7% year to date after a year of record profits, numerous dividend hikes and a couple of stock splits.

As we can see from the numbers, anyone who shorted didn’t do so well

“I wouldn’t bet against Canadian banks and, as we can see from the numbers, anyone who shorted didn’t do so well,” said Adrian Mastracci, a portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management in Vancouver.

This year has been a milestone for the country’s banks, with Royal Bank…

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BlackBerry Ltd faces another year of uncertainty as CEO launches rescue effort

Financial Post | Business

TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd. hopes to clean the slate again as it heads into the new year with another lease on life and a leader who believes he can do what his predecessors couldn’t — save the company from a slow death.

[np_storybar title=”BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis walks away from possible takeover” link=”http://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/25/blackberry-ltd-founder-lazaridis-walks-away-from-possible-takeover/?__lsa=b957-fa67″]The former BlackBerry executive, who earlier this year had considered making a bid for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, sold more than $26 million of stock this week, according to the filing. Together with co-founder Doug Fregin, he had controlled about 8% of the stock. Keep reading.
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After months of painful uncertainty and dismal financial results, BlackBerry is in the hands of chairman and chief executive John Chen who hopes to navigate the company into 2014 with reinvigorated vision.

It’s a long haul journey — no question

“I need to go out and convince the world that…

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