Tired of the front page news headlines? Exhausted from the mental math of assessing every Trump tweet, policy pronouncement and executive order (is it real or reality TV)?
I have never put much stock in groundhog prophecy, but it was always a welcome hope (on the coldest days of February) when it was determined that there might be a chance of an early spring (whether it was true or not). Punxsutawney Phil (Pensylvania) has apparently been correct only 38% of the time. Closer to home Wiarton Willie (Ontario), only 37% of the time.
So this year Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter (which technically is fairly accurate, because the spring equinox falls on March 21), however, his northern "cousin", Willie, thinks that spring will actually come early this year!
Get the golf clubs ready Ontario!
And maybe this sort of upside-down (early spring in the north / long winter further south) prognosticating is a function of the current debate (at some levels there is debate, anyway) surrounding environmental issues and the changing climate?
Or perhaps it is just a nice distraction from all that is currently swirling around in the winds of change in the global geo-political and economic cyclone.
Buy the rumour, sell the fact (or so goes the old financial market trading cliche that I grew up with). Whatever the case, the crystal ball is looking awfully cloudy these days and rumour and fact are not so easy to discern.
So when a client asks: "what's going on ?", I have to pause and think of a reasonable answer: how much time have you got? There is so much going on and we are so busy trying to assess all of the potential scenarios (and the possible impact) that Groundhog Day (and its ultimate relevance) becomes a comically wonderful metaphor for the times: get it right or get it wrong, there is only a 37-38% percent chance of it happening (and like Phil Connors, the Bill Murray character in the movie, you might just wake up tomorrow and have it happen all over again).
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist