Time to Buy 2 Undervalued Income Stocks

Brad Macintosh

These two stocks fell during the market sell-off and are now part of the January rally. Now that investors’ expectations have been reset and valuations are at historical lows, it’s time to seriously consider these two finance/insurance stocks.

Lock in these dividend payers

First is the Quebec-based financial and insurance services company, Industrial Alliance(TSX:IAG), which faced the same pressures as other insurers due to new business standards from the Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT). The change required insurers to explicitly capture insurance risks, which means more homework and due diligence that took effect in earnest last year. In the long run, this should make the insurance business more robust, but in the short term it has been bad for shareholders.

Many people, including myself, were banging the table as insurance stocks appeared undervalued. Just weeks before Industrial Alliance put in a bottom, I made a bold claim this stock would rise 50%. Despite the LICAT headwind, it looks like my bullish prediction is starting to pan out as the stock is up 15% from the December lows.

As fellow Fool contributor points out, Industrial Alliance now has an eight times price multiple …  which is absurdly low. Last year was a transition year. Having run over enough speed bumps, the five rate hikes since 2017 will now act as a catalyst for Industrial Alliance. Shareholders can enjoy this ride.

Next, it’s been over a year since Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM)(NYSE:CM) absorbed the no fee Simplii Financial personal banking. That’s enough time to recognize some synergies and say goodbye to $98 million incurred in 2017 to consolidate the new service. Revenue in 2018 is showing signs of this synergy. Canadian personal and small business banking revenue increased modestly in all four quarters compared to 2017.

After reaching $100 per share, CIBC has fallen 18% from September highs. In addition to the market-wide correction, other drivers of volatility included the summertime data breach and competition from smaller mortgage lenders.

Yet the chart shows a repeat pattern from the end 2017. At that time, I was so anxious to own CIBC shares that I bought on the first sign of weakness. I learned my lesson, as exuberance produced an initial 10% loss. You cannot expect to time each investment. But CIBC is on my list of top holdings to add to.

Enough about me … if you are not going to buy CIBC shares now, under favourable valuation conditions, you likely never will. The stock price only needs to grow 5% per year to generate double-digit annual returns. How? 5+5 gives 10. At this 52-week low, the annual dividend is $5.44. Time to lock in 5% passive income from the dividend.

Volatility from liquidity

Meanwhile, a small-cap healthcare stock Viemed Healthcare (TSX:VMD) is showing positive momentum, like the 8% one-day price gap up. One concerning matter is how the price swing happened on low trading volume. Who cares about trading volume as long as the stock is rising, right? Well, low liquidity is a risk. It’s like climbing stairs three at a time; eventually you will be exhausted.

High liquidity is like climbing stairs one step at a time. High trading volume means smaller spreads between bid and ask prices. Let’s hope this hot stock shows no sign of tiring.

And we won’t be opening up again for the foreseeable future.

Tune in to our LIVE “Project X” event now for full details on the unique investing “X Factor” that Motley Fool co-founder and CEO Tom Gardner himself discovered has outpaced the S&P 500 in our U.S. business by a factor of greater than 4-to-1.

B.C. finance minister says budget on track, province to lead country in growth

Finance Minister Carole James says British Columbia’s economic growth remains “strong and stable” and the budget is on track to record a surplus in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

James said Monday, November 26, 2018 the operating debt, which builds up when tax or other revenue misses spending pledges made in a budget, has been reduced to zero for the first time in four decades.

The province’s second quarter results for this fiscal year show a projected surplus of $1.35 billion, she said.

The Finance Ministry forecasts GDP growth of 2.2 per cent this year, while the value of all goods and services produced by the province is forecast to climb by 1.8 per cent in 2019.

James said risks facing the province include a $250-million drop in Crown corporation earnings, mainly due to losses at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, as well as a slowing down of the housing market.

To offset those risks, she said a fund that covers potentially volatile revenue changes has been increased by $600 million.

“That additional prudence is very critical … to help mitigate any kind of provincial revenue impacts,” she told a news conference at the legislature.

The B.C. Liberals say property tax revenues are expected to decline by at least $400 million, which means the province is becoming more dependent on personal and corporate income tax revenue.

Shirley Bond, one of the party’s finance critics, says they are concerned about the tax burden on business because of government plans to charge medical service plan premiums and the employer health tax in 2019.

“The burden is compounded with the introduction of the new speculation tax and the devastating effects it is already having on the construction industry with cancelled housing starts and lost jobs, as well as continued increases to the carbon tax and an increase to the corporate tax rate,” she said in a news release.

James said RBC and other analysts remain positive about economic growth in B.C., forecasting the province will remain a leader in Canada this year and next, even before the benefits of a liquefied natural gas development in Kitimat are added to projections over the next several months.

“Private forecasters expect that B.C.’s economic growth will be strong. In fact, they are predicting that we are going to lead the provincial rankings in 2019,” she said.

The 2019-20 budget will be released Feb. 19, along with the third quarterly report.

Alberta in ‘crisis’ over low oil price: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Alberta is in a crisis as the province’s oil is being sold at a discount of about $45 a barrel, but he and some oil company bosses agree there are no easy fixes Ottawa can offer.

“There is no question that folks in Alberta, folks here in Calgary, are living through extremely difficult times. This is very much a crisis,” Trudeau said Thursday, November 22, 2018 following an affordable housing announcement.

“When you have a price differential that’s up around $42, $50 even, that’s a massive challenge to local industry, to the livelihood of a lot of Albertans. I hear that very, very clearly.”

Premier Rachel Notley has said the price gap between Canadian and U.S. crude is costing the Canadian economy $80 million a day.

Hundreds of pro-oil protesters shut down part of the street outside the hotel where Trudeau addressed the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Inside, chamber CEO Sandip Lalli grilled Trudeau on what Ottawa intends to do, including possibly investing in moving crude on trains as a stop-gap measure as new market-opening pipelines remain in limbo.

“Currently, the federal government doesn’t have a plan to address the $80 million that’s coming out?” Lalli asked Trudeau in a question-and-answer session.

“You think there’s a super-simple easy answer and there’s not. There’s a multifaceted complex issue and as much as there is a tendency out there in the world to give really simple answers to really complex questions, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that,” Trudeau replied.

“We need to make sure that we’re moving forward in the right way and that is where actually listening to the experts is sort of the best way to make policy.”

Trudeau said the federal government is doing what it can to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, which would triple its capacity to carry oil to tankers on the west coast.

The federal government bought Trans Mountain and its expansion project for $4.5 billion last summer only to have the Federal Court of Appeal strike down its approval, citing inadequate Indigenous consultation and failure to consider impacts on marine environment.

Trudeau said the sector should benefit from his government’s announcement Wednesday that companies will be able to immediately write off capital investments.

“The accelerated capital cost allowance doesn’t matter with differentials where they are because nobody’s going to spend any money,” said Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. executive vice-chairman Steve Laut following an energy-boss roundtable with the prime minister.

Laut said Trudeau seemed to appreciate how dire the situation is and was receptive to ideas. But Laut said he’s skeptical a federal investment in crude-by-rail, as the Alberta government has urged, would deliver swift relief.

“I don’t know what more the federal governments can do that companies ourselves can’t do,” Laut said. “Getting (rail) cars is tough to do. It takes time to build these things.”

Alex Pourbaix, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc., agreed Ottawa’s ability to help narrow the price gap is limited.

“I think the issue that we’ve all been debating is more of a provincial issue,” he said. “It’s very tough for the federal government to solve that one for us.”

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

Wanda Robson still finds it hard to believe that her big sister is the new face of the $10 bill _ and the first Canadian woman to be featured on a regularly circulating banknote.

The sister of the late Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer and businesswoman Viola Desmond, Robson said the move to include a black woman on the bill is a “giant step forward” in continuing Desmond’s work toward equality.

In an interview, she said she has difficulty putting her excitement into words.

“I’m so grateful and I’m happy,” said Robson, who turns 92 next month. “Those are sort of mundane words, but I’m looking for a word that would describe it, and all I can say is what the kids say today: it’s awesome!”

Robson will make the first purchase with the new bill during a ceremony Monday at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, where Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and museum president John Young will officially launch the banknote.

For her first purchase, Robson plans to buy a book co-written by her and Cape Breton University professor Graham Reynolds about Desmond’s life and legacy, and give it to her 12-year-old granddaughter so she can learn more about her great-aunt’s story.

Robson said her granddaughter has shown a longtime interest in Desmond, despite being born decades after her death in 1965.

“She said, ‘You know nan, when I get my first ten dollar bill with aunt Viola on it, I’m going to frame it, and put it on a wall, and never, ever spend it,”’ Robson said.

On Nov. 8, 1946, Desmond was arrested after refusing to leave a whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, N.S., in an incident that has since become one of the most high-profile cases of racial discrimination in Canadian history.

It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to issue Desmond a posthumous apology and pardon.

Robson has spent years educating children and adults alike about how her sister’s case helped shine a light on Canada’s burgeoning civil rights movement.

She said the new bill’s national circulation will lead to even more awareness about Desmond’s story, and the wider issue of racial discrimination in Canada.

“It’s a giant step forward into knowledge about who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going,” she said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, and I really hope that this bill will get not only children, but adults, to say, ‘who is that?’ And then people will be able to pass on what Viola did and the amazing differences she made.”

Desmond was selected to be on the bill after an open call for nominations and a public opinion survey on the Bank of Canada website.

Behind her portrait, the banknote also shows a map of Halifax’s historic north end, home to one of Canada’s oldest black communities and the area where Desmond grew up.

The map includes the stretch of Gottingen Street, where Desmond opened a salon as part of a business that would eventually expand into her own line of cosmetics and a beauty school, which allowed her to mentor black women from across the country.

In recognition of the bill launch, Halifax’s North End Business Association is hosting “Celebrate Viola,” a multi-day event from Wednesday, November 21, 2018 to Sunday, November 24, 2018 that will feature a roundtable discussion about the civil rights movement, an original musical about Desmond’s life, and a tribute concert.

The bill is the first vertically oriented banknote in Canada, and also includes a picture of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and an eagle feather, which the Bank of Canada said represents the “ongoing journey toward recognizing rights and freedoms for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”

Desmond has received numerous posthumous accolades, including having a Halifax Transit ferry named after her and receiving a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The Millenni-factors: Wealthy Millennials have the will to change the world

A generational shift in attitude is underway when it comes to making a difference, with a majority of affluent Millennials determined to leave their mark on the future. According to a recent TD survey of high-net-worth Canadians, 77 per cent of Millennial respondents believe it’s important to leave a legacy, compared to only 33 per cent of Boomers and 42 per cent of Gen Xers.

These Millenni-factors – wealthy Millennial benefactors – feel they have a duty to leave a legacy (63 per cent). The survey also indicates that other generations of high-net-worth individuals, including Boomers and Gen Xers, are less likely to report the same feelings.

“We are definitely seeing significant changes in attitudes towards leaving a legacy. High-net-worth Millennials stand out among other demographics for their heightened desire to positively impact the world,” says Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Wealth. “This trend indicates that the philanthropic giving landscape in Canada will be reshaped in the years to come, as these Millenni-factors look for ways to put their assets to work to change the world for the better.”

According to the survey, the top three reasons wealthy Millennials may leave all, or part, of their estate to a charitable organization include:

  1. They believe the organization has good intentions (36 per cent)
  2. They support the organization’s mission (34 per cent)
  3. They have a personal connection to the organization (26 per cent)

Although the survey reveals that the majority of Millennial respondents polled have the desire to make a positive difference in the world, it also indicates that half (49 per cent) of them don’t have a will and less than a third have a will that is up to date (31 per cent).

“It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, if you don’t have a will, they may never come to fruition,” adds Ryan. “For Millennials, and indeed all Canadians who have yet to make a will, it’s never too early for estate planning. The same goes for those who have a will that is not up to date. It is always recommended that you review your will at 3-5-year intervals, or whenever a significant life change takes place.”

For Canadians interested in leaving some or all of their estate to charity, TD offers the following tips:

  • Where There’s a Will…
    – If you haven’t done so before, now may be the time to make a will. A will can help give you control over how your assets will be divided, shaping what your charitable legacy can be. If you are like many high-net-worth Millennials, making a lasting difference is important. A financial advisor can help you maximize the value of charitable donations.
  • When Tomorrow Comes
    – As you assess your options about which organization to leave a bequest, it’s important to think about the causes and charities that matter to you. You may also want to consider how relevant these causes will continue to be in the world of tomorrow. No one can predict the future, but you should spend some time thinking about which long-term change is most important to you.
  • Heir Transparent
    – Talk to your heirs, or those who may assume they will be receiving an inheritance from you. It’s important that you set the expectation that you may be leaving some or all of your estate to a charitable cause. This can help avoid conflict and gives you the opportunity to tell them about the charity(ies) you have chosen and why you believe in its (their) mission.
  • Succession Success
    – If you are an entrepreneur, your business may be part of the legacy you leave behind. In fact, according to the TD survey, only 44 per cent of Canadian company owners, with more than $100,000 in investable assets, have a formalized succession plan for their business. As your business is tied to a reputation you’ve worked hard to maintain, developing a succession plan may help ensure that any future owners of the business continue to live up to your values and philosophies.

About the TD Millenni-factor Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 6,021 Canadians aged 18 and older, which included 593 Canadians with $500K+ in investable assets and 310 Canadian business owners with $100K in investable assets. Responses were collected between February 20 and March 1, 2018.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on July 31, 2018. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

Text of Bank of Canada interest rate announcement

OTTAWA _ The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate target Wednesday. Here’s the text of the central bank’s announcement:

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1.75 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1.5 per cent.

The global economic outlook remains solid. The US economy is especially robust and is expected to moderate over the projection horizon, as forecast in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will reduce trade policy uncertainty in North America, which has been an important curb on business confidence and investment. However, trade conflict, particularly between the United States and China, is weighing on global growth and commodity prices. Financial market volatility has resurfaced and some emerging markets are under stress but, overall, global financial conditions remain accommodative.

The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced. Despite some quarterly fluctuations, growth is expected to average about 2 per cent over the second half of 2018. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year and next before slowing to 1.9 per cent in 2020.

The projections for business investment and exports have been revised up, reflecting the USMCA and the recently-approved liquid natural gas project in British Columbia. Still, investment and exports will be dampened by the recent decline in commodity prices, as well as ongoing competitiveness challenges and limited transportation capacity. The Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the USMCA leads to more confidence and business investment in Canada.

Household spending is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace, underpinned by solid employment income growth. Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies. In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated.

CPI inflation dropped to 2.2 per cent in September, in large part because the summer spike in airfares was reversed. Other temporary factors pushing up inflation, such as past increases in gasoline prices and minimum wages, should fade in early 2019. Inflation is then expected to remain close to the 2 per cent target through the end of 2020. The Bank’s core measures of inflation all remain around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that is operating at capacity. Wage growth remains moderate, although it is projected to pick up in the coming quarters, consistent with the Bank’s latest Business Outlook Survey.

Given all of these factors, Governing Council agrees that the policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target. In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt. In addition, we will pay close attention to global trade policy developments and their implications for the inflation outlook.

Information note

The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is December 5, 2018. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on January 9, 2019.

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