Around The World In 100 Words : MAY 2016; Week 21

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Another week of much-ado-about-nothing. Markets finished the week largely unchanged and sit roughly 5% below where they started the year. Only the resource-heavy TSX Composite has posted meaningful gains, as gold and oil have climbed to their highest levels in 2016.

The US saw disappointing jobs numbers last week, calling into question whether its Central Bank will raise rates this month. Inflation remains largely non-existent and housing starts remain good. Overall however, consumer confidence has slipped and ultimately this is what will determine the direction of the economy going forward.

As has been said in each of my Around The World blogs this year, it's a mixed picture with some aspects of the global economy looking better and others worse. This reality has been reflected in stock markets that have failed to advance this year in a sustainable way. We expect more of the same going forward, with the possibility for political developments like Britain leaving the EU or the election of Trump as President possibly being a reason to sell. All told, we remain committed to a defensive position in our portfolio allocations that emphasize capital preservation and returns through yield. Capital gains may just have to wait for better economic numbers down the road. Being diversified and being patient are what's needed right now. Time will take care of the rest.