‘Twas the week before Christmas: Mawer’s 2018 year-end investing review — in poem form

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"Dear Santa please bring us one approved pipeline."Angela Weiss/AFP

The “boring” Mawer Investment Management Ltd. is a privately owned, independent investment firm, managing over $50 billion in assets for individual and institutional investors across all major investment strategies, with more than 150 employees across Calgary, Toronto, and Singapore.

Each year, some of the firm’s more creative employees put their lyric-writing talents to work offer a variation of the poem “Twas the night before Christmas.” The original poem was penned about two centuries back by Clement Clarke Moore whose father was the Bishop of New York and who achieved fame for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington.

The investment firm takes pride in offering clients its “boring” investment approach, this year was anything but dull:

‘Twas the week before Christmas
So let’s set the scene:
Just what the heck happened
In 2018?

The year started merrily
With equities strong
But by late January
Things began to go wrong

The VIX spiked in Feb
And equities went down
Volatility’s the theme
“Good grief!” –– Charlie Brown

With interest rates rising
And inflation expectations
World markets did tumble
To investor frustrations

Q2 seemed different,
Corporate earnings did sing
Could the decade-long bull
Still be in the ring?

The bear could awaken—
With Tariffs, FAANGs, or oil price
But is it signal or noise,
Or a roll of the dice?

And NAFTA dragged on
From Q1 to Q3
The TSX fluctuated
With uncertainty

Behold a new star
Weed entered the fray
The TSX lit up
But on the sidelines, we’ll stay

Speaking of investments
Creating a craze
Bitcoin’s down 80 per cent
From the height of its days

And closer to home
Oil prices rallied
But then moved back down
As pipeline work dallied.

Planes, trains, or automobiles
It would be sublime:
Dear Santa please bring us
One approved pipeline

Heading down to the south
Where the Fed was a-raisin’
Unemployment was low
And the greenback a-blazin’

With debt service costs high
From those strong U.S.—“D’s”
Many abandoned ship
On EM currencies

Down peso! Down lira!
Down rand and real!
Can they pay back their debts?
Investors can’t tell

Facebook, Apple, Amazon,
Netflix plus Google make FAANG
They drove the S&P
A most notorious gang

Tech stocks are enticing
The unicorns shine bright
But we avoid fanfare
Keeping the long-term in sight

When Trump said to the dragon:
Trade tariffs are nigh
China did suffer
While U.S. markets flew high

But now the U.S. and China
The trade talks seemed strong
Then Meng was arrested
Can’t they just get along?

Now Brexit’s delayed
They just can’t agree
Soft, hard, or no deal
We’ll just have to see

Not all U.K. businesses
Will be affected the same
So whatever’s decided
Mawer’s still in the game

Yield curve, oh yield curve
How flat will you go?
Inverted or rising,
No one can know

Be Boring, Make Money™
Is always our theme
Happy holidays to all
From the entire Mawer team

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