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BMO Nesbitt Burns
1 First Canadian Place
38th floor, P.O. Box 150
Toronto, ON
M5X 1H3
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Hi,
 
Trust this note finds you well as we race into the last quarter of 2020.
 
Your portfolio declined somewhat in September (about half August’s gain). You experienced positive performance in 2020 and over the last twelve months.
 
It is October and headlines are understandably filled with uncertainty and concern (United States (U.S.) presidential election, COVID-19, unemployment, an uneven economic recovery).
 
Our process and investment discipline navigate the present as we bridge our way to a new cycle of growth.
 
We start by being properly diversified all the time: Not all your investments behave the same way day-to-day yet all are productive (they make money) over time.
 
With our forward looking understanding of the big picture (some businesses are thriving while others are not) we own investments that align with the positive trends our team identifies while avoiding investments exposed to negative trends.
 
These top-quality U.S. and Canadian businesses are central to our economy. They are adapting and thriving in this very unusual world. The value of their leadership and quality of management shine in times like these.
 
Here’s what we do know – over half of Americans are now working remotely from home (according to a University of Chicago survey). We would expect a similar experience for Canadians.
 
As a result, people have been exposed to a different set of choices and sets us on a path of domestic over international spending and activity.
 
With the future in North America much more domestic than it was eight months ago; it leads to positive tailwinds for areas such as domestic consumer (renovations etc.), healthcare,  technology and transportation. This is what we own and where we continue to find new ideas/opportunities to add to your investment portfolio. We expect these trends to carry into the middle of this decade and beyond.
 
We remain careful and cautious in the short-term while constructive and confident in the medium-term.
 
Our investment strategy remains sound and is unchanged.
 
You remain in a strong position financially.
 
The view from Brian Belski, BMO’s Chief Investment Strategist:
 
“After five straight months of gains, US stocks were broadly lower in September with the S&P 500 falling 3.9% during the month and pulling back 9.6% on a peak-to-trough basis. With investors already facing a host of uncertainties heading into the final quarter of the year, the September selloff only raised the anxiety quotient even further, renewing fears of a severe and protracted price decline. From our perspective, however, we do not view this selloff as a harbinger of things to come, but instead as a much-needed market reset after an impressive 60% price run-up since the March low. With that said, we do expect that investors will be forced to contend with a very volatile market backdrop in the coming months, making stock selection increasingly important, in our view. Nonetheless, we continue to believe the S&P 500 index will end 2020 higher than current levels ... The TSX momentum slowed in September, declining 2.4% on a price return basis and marking the first monthly decline since March. Furthermore, there was a more defensive trade during the month… The market clearly took a breath in September, as investors took some risk off after an epic price recovery from the March low. Overall, we continue to believe the TSX is well positioned to maintain positive momentum heading into 2021.” Portfolio Strategy – October 2020. BMO Capital Markets.
 
-          Stocks in your portfolio that made a new 52 week high this past month: Accenture*, CN Rail*, Microsoft*, Qualcomm
 
-          Stocks in your portfolio that made a new 52 week low this past month: None
 
-          The Loonie declined by two cents versus the US dollar to $0.75
 
Thank you.

We wish you all our best,
 
Ian, Gab & Kaitlyn



* This specific security is covered under the research of BMO Capital Markets. For a full list of company specific disclosures keys please visit https://research-ca.bmocapitalmarkets.com/Public/Company_Disclosure_Public.aspx or ask your BMO Nesbitt Burns Investment Advisor for a copy.