Technology, globalization, and inflation have been
key themes influencing markets in the recent past.
But what of the future?
To find out what might lie ahead for the economy and markets
around the world, we spoke with four leading money managers.
David Marvin, CFA, is Chairman and CEO, Marvin & Palmer
Associates, and lead manager of the Atlas International Large
Cap Growth Fund, Atlas International Large Cap Growth RSP
Fund, Atlas International Emerging Markets Growth Fund, and
Atlas Pacific Basin Value Fund. He is a growth investor
specializing in international large-cap opportunities.
Anthony Rawlinson, Managing Director, The Global Value Investment
Portfolio PTE Ltd., and lead manager of the Atlas Global Value
Fund and the Atlas Global Value RSP Fund, searches the globe
for value investments.
Terry Bacinello, M.A., CFA, is President, BonaVista Asset Management Ltd., and lead manager of the Atlas Canadian Large Cap Value Fund and Atlas Canadian Small Cap Value Fund. She is an expert at finding Canadian-based value investments.
Fred Pynn, CA, CFA, is Vice-President, Equities, Bissett & Associates Investment Management Inc., and lead manager of the Atlas Canadian Large Cap Growth Fund,
specializes in Canadian large-cap growth opportunities.
What do you see affecting the economy and markets
as we advance into the new millennium?
We see businesses increasingly dividing into two categories: old
economy and new. The old economy includes basic industries
and financial companies — the type of businesses that make up
the New York Stock Exchange.
The new economy is technology, and the businesses listed on
the NASDAQ Composite Index. While many businesses in the
new economy are growing rapidly, leaving those of the old
economy behind, others are starting to suffer the effects of over-
valuation, and the markets are highly volatile.
The regions that look attractive to us are those where new
world industries have the greatest growth potential, but we have
also shifted back into financials, cyclicals and select retailers as
we wait out the volatility. Asia/Pacific currently tops our list.
Japan is just beginning to embrace telecommunications
technology, and continued corporate restructuring throughout
the region should boost productivity and growth.
Continental Europe is another area of growth. And in the
United States, we look for the newer, innovative technology
companies to lead the markets.
A paradigm shift is taking hold in the global economy. Today we
are seeing growth without inflation.
The influence of the U.S. economy on the world is lessening.
In the 1960s, the U.S. represented 60% of the world’s gross
domestic product (GDP). Today, it represents just 25%.
Technology is revolutionizing the way business is conducted,
bringing consumers and producers closer together. And the cost
of producing goods has declined substantially. High-quality
products can be manufactured anywhere, and opportunities to
make money exist in a variety of businesses around the globe.
We look for market returns to moderate compared with
1999. While inflation should remain in check, short-term
interest rates in the U.S. are likely to rise.
Currently, the greatest threat to global markets is the price of
oil. Near-term supplies are tight, and we could see a spike in oil
prices sometime in 2000. This could lead to the perception of
higher inflation as price increases flow through to consumers. If
interest rates rose sharply in response, it could put the brakes on
Canada is just beginning to participate in the growth that’s been
occurring in different pockets around the world. We’re in
catch-up mode, being two to three years behind the United
States in terms of productivity growth. But it’s this lag in
productivity that will help propel Canadian markets forward
over the next two years.
Governments at all levels are becoming friendlier towards
business. Reduced regulation and lower taxes have been put in
place to stimulate growth and encourage development.
When market heavyweights BCE and Nortel Networks are
excluded, the TSE is one of the most undervalued markets in the
world. Technology and biotechnology are expected to continue
to outperform traditional industries. As productivity continues
to improve in Canada, we see plenty of upside potential.
The resurgence of the global economy has led to a rebound in
commodity prices, improving the outlook for traditional
Canadian resource stocks, including oil and gas, forest products,
We’re optimistic about the Canadian economy, forecasting
GDP growth in the 4% range for 2000. The only potential
clouds on the horizon are those that would affect the U.S.
economy. While the global economy has become less dependent
on the growth of the U.S. economy, Canada, as its largest
trading partner, is still tied to the fortunes of the United States.
Your market outlook is generally positive. How is this
reflected in the funds you manage?
For the Atlas International Large Cap Growth Fund, we focus on
identifying markets and sectors that are likely to outperform.
The Fund is always fully invested. Currently, we view
Asia/Pacific as the most attractive geographic region, followed
by continental Europe, and then the United States.
The track record of the Atlas Global Value Fund is based on our
ability to identify successful businesses. We’ve made money in
many places around the world because of the companies we
Our approach remains to buy strong growth cheaply, and we
avoid economically sensitive businesses.
We look at the business first and then at the region it
operates in. That’s why this Fund is an ideal complement to the
Atlas International Large Cap Growth Fund.
As value-oriented managers, we buy quality companies that can
compete well in their industry. Before we focus on price, we
look for profitable businesses that are the leaders in their
market, have a good balance sheet, strong management, and the
ability to grow. We aim to buy undervalued companies and hold
them for four or five years.
Currently, we’re redeploying profits into better value stocks.
We view bank stocks as inexpensive and see value in mines and
minerals and oil and gas stocks.
The Atlas Canadian Large Cap Growth Fund takes a
broad-based approach to the new economy. Making no big bets,
we favour smaller exposures to a wide variety of holdings.
Our approach is to buy existing companies that are reasonably
priced, profitable, and have good growth prospects. We bypass
the start-ups in favour of businesses that have revenues,
documented profits, and proven growth.
We favour the pharmaceutical and biotech sector — a
new-economy sector that has been overlooked in the rush to
To capitalize on the rebound in commodity prices, we’ve
increased the Fund’s weightings of cyclical stocks, excluding