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It’s turning into an excellent year

Leaside stock index Nov. 2014Another month is in the books and the Leaside Stock Index continues to shine brightly.

A bunch of good things happened in November, not the least of which was a 15 percent jump in Best Buy’s stock price. Down 41 percent earlier this year, it’s almost clawed its way back to break even, something that wouldn’t have seemed possible as recently as mid-summer.

As a result, the 10 American stocks in the portfolio managed to generate a 7.7 percent gain on the month, including currency. Meanwhile, its benchmark, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, could only muster a 4.1 percent gain on the month, including currency. Funnily enough, the worst performer of the American stocks was Lincoln Electric, which Beth Parker featured in the November issue of this paper.

Year-to-date the LSI including currency is up 13 percent, well behind the 20.6 percent return of the benchmark, but a vast improvement from earlier in the year when the gap between the two was mid single digits.

When it comes to Canadian stocks, the LSI also had a good month, up 4.7 percent, more than three percentage points greater than its benchmark, the S&P/
TSX Capped Composite Index. Approaching 30 percent gains on the year, there weren’t any duds when it comes to performance in 2014.

Highlights during November for the 10 Canadian stocks include the approval by the federal government of the Tim Hortons takeover by Burger King and a 2-for-1 split for Dollarama. With its Bayview store looking busier and busier every day, there’s a good chance it will be splitting again in the not too distant future.

Laden with retail stocks, it’s not surprising the LSI’s Canadian component outperformed the benchmark in 2014. Out of the seven stocks in the index that have achieved 20 percent-plus returns this year, five are Canadian with four being retailers.

Do not expect the same kind of performance from the Canadian stocks in 2015. However, the American stocks, which have had a mediocre year, this next year could see better numbers as the U.S. economy continues to improve and the Canadian dollar carries on its downward spiral.

It’s been an interesting ride so far in 2014. In our February issue we’ll lay out the LSI’s overall performance for this past year. Here’s hoping 2015 is as successful as 2014 was.

Happy New Year to all the Leaside stock enthusiasts. May you continue to invest wisely.