Pender Corporate Bond Fund – Manager’s Commentary – February 2017

Written on . Posted in Commentaries, Pender Corporate Bond Fund

The Pender Corporate Bond Fund returned 0.8% in February. We view this  return as reasonable for the period, given the lower credit spread environment, combined with our own more cautious risk positioning. Our February returns were roughly evenly split between interest accrual and capital appreciation. On the capital side of things, positive moves by our positions in the discounted bonds of Grupo Famsa, Jakk’s Pacific Holdings and Restoration Hardware were offset, to a degree, by a decline in Global Brokerage Inc. notes (formerly FXCM), as that company was impacted by regulatory action.

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Manager’s Quarterly Commentary – Felix Narhi – Q4 2016

Written on . Posted in Commentaries, Pender Strategic Growth and Income Fund, Pender US All Cap Equity Fund, Pender Value Fund

“Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you, because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not.”
 – Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder

Last year served as another vivid reminder that the future is always uncertain. Undoubtedly, 2016 will be remembered by many investors for the surprising victory of the Brexit camp in the UK and Donald Trump’s unlikely march to the White House. These were widely heralded as the first markers of the “Age of Populism”. It seems everyone has an opinion, particularly about Trump, where punditry has become a new national pastime. While important, given how much has been said and written about these subjects, we don’t think we can add much more value to this echo chamber. One thing is certain: It’s not business as usual. It’s not surprising these highly visible events have dominated the headlines, but in this commentary we will focus on other developments which may be under appreciated by many investors, but which could have equally significant, if not greater ramifications than recent political events. These developments include the implications of a potential new secular interest rate cycle and the impact of fast-developing artificial intelligence technologies. Both of these forces will continue to shape society, including political and business strategies, well after Britain presumably leaves the European Union and Donald Trump is no longer in office.

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Manager’s Quarterly Commentary – David Barr – Q4 2016

Written on . Posted in Commentaries, Pender Canadian Opps Fund, Pender Select Ideas Fund, Pender Small Cap Opps Fund, Pender Value Fund

That was an interesting quarter to say the least. Our small cap positions were strong beneficiaries of the post US election rally. We would like to take credit for positioning the portfolio for this event but the reality is we stuck to our knitting and bought companies we liked at a good price. Macro events for the most part don’t impact what we do on a day to day basis. Interestingly we think the outcome of the US election highlights the challenges in positioning portfolios for macro events. In order to properly position the portfolio you had to get two things right, first who was going to win the election and second what the impact would then be. Prior to the election most experts a) expected Hillary to win, and b) predicted that if Trump won, it would be very bad for markets. We’ll stick to picking stocks.

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Pender Book Review: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

Written on . Posted in Book Reviews, Pender Blog

I recently read The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis. When Lewis presented at the CFA Society Vancouver 50th Anniversary Dinner in November 2015, he mentioned that he was working on a book featuring the collaboration between Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. I had previously read Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow and was excited to read about how he and Tversky had developed some of the ideas that led to that book.

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