Investments Unplugged with Philip Petursson

An insightful & lively Podcast with your host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, Manulife Investment Management.


Episode 45 — Because you asked … round 2

November 26, 2020

This episode of Investments Unplugged continues the Q&A of episode 38. The Capital Markets Strategy team once again answer some of the burning questions they’ve been asked during COVID-19 pandemic.

Their responses cover many topics:

  • What effect will government stimulus and mounting debt levels have on equities and fixed income investments?
  • Is a services-based economic recovery important to the markets?
  • Are investors looking more at growth or value now?
  • What about emerging markets? Are they attractive investments?
  • Is the 60/40 investment portfolio dead?

… and more.


Episode 44 — Thinking strategically about fixed income

November 10, 2020

This episode of Investments Unplugged features Daniel Janis, Head of the Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income Team at Manulife Investment Management, who joins Philip to talk about what the fixed-income portfolio looks like heading into 2021. Dan shares how his team analyses and assesses risk within fixed-income investing, and how they pivoted their portfolio in 2020. Philip and Dan also discuss modern monetary theory and their outlook on the U.S. dollar.


Episode 43 — If the markets could vote, who would they choose? 

October 8, 2020

What’s a great way to generate less-than-ideal investment outcomes? Base your decisions on political emotions. The U.S. presidential election is fast approaching, and the Capital Markets Strategy team received many related questions: How do markets react? Are Republicans or Democrats better for the markets? Does policy matter? The team answers these questions and more on a special, election-focused podcast of Investments Unplugged.


Episode 42 — Never let a good opportunity to learn pass you by

October 1, 2020

Over the past six months, we’ve seen a bear market, a recession, decades-high unemployment, unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, and a powerful equity market rally. In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team at Manulife Investment Management share the key things they’ve learned during the COVID-19 lockdown — so far.


Episode 41 — That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!

September 22, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged Jamie Robertson, and Alex Richard, both with Manulife Investment Management’s Asset Allocation team, join host Philip Petursson to discuss the importance of asset allocation. They also explore:

  • How the recent market rally has been surprising – and how it hasn’t
  • What market returns could look like over the next five years
  • How the U.S. election outcome affects the team’s portfolio positioning
  • The team’s outlook on gold, and how it has affected their asset allocation strategy

Episode 40 — A kid in a candy store

August 28, 2020

This episode of Investments Unplugged features Sandy Sanders, Head of the U.S. Core Value Equity Team at Manulife Investment Management, who joins Philip to share his view on the market, from a bottom-up perspective, for the remainder of 2020 through 2021. From June data, indicators suggest that the steep earnings decline through the second and third quarter of 2020 may give way to the beginning of an earnings recovery in the fourth.


Episode 39 — This too shall pass …

August 7, 2020

Will we see a global economic recovery in the next 18 months? In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team share their outlook for the remainder of 2020 through 2021. They discuss what markets could look like if there’s a second or third wave of COVID-19 infections, whether we should be optimistic or not about future earnings growth, their updated model portfolio weightings, and the direction for the Canadian dollar.


Episode 38 — Because you asked: COVID-19 edition

July 13, 2020


In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team answer some of the common questions they’ve been receiving since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide their perspectives on:

  • What’s the risk that the Big Six banks in Canada will cut dividends?
  • There has been an unprecedented amount of stimulus from central banks and government in response to COVID-19. What impact will these debt levels have on investments going forward?
  • Why has the Canadian dollar rebounded so strongly vs the U.S. dollar?
  • Why should I be buying high yield instead of equities, and have I missed the trade?
  • What impact, if any, do elections have on the markets?

Episode 37 — Can we use megatrends as a basis for investing?

June 22, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team discusses megatrends — the social, demographic, environmental, and technological forces of change that are reshaping our world. Their conversation covers digital currency, nearshoring, digital transformation, biotechnology, smart cities, and how we can find the opportunities that the trends indicate.


Episode 36 - Fixed income — are bonds stronger now?

May 25, 2020

This episode of Investments Unplugged features Manulife Investment Management’s Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income Team’s Director and Senior Investment Analyst Charles Tomes, and Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager Thomas Goggins, to discuss the bond markets and what’s ahead for fixed income investments.

The fixed income environment has been interesting, even unusual, over the past few months. Now, it’s returned to more normal levels. What does this mean? What are the risks now? Listen to find answers to these questions, as well as topics like:

  • how bonds have behaved and where they are today
  • U.S. Federal Reserve buying of bond ETFs and the criteria used
  • where credit markets fit into positioning for recovery

Episode 35 — Planning and positioning for a recovery

May 13, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team looks at strategies and ideas to prepare for a market recovery, including balanced versus equity portfolios and credit markets, as well as keeping emotions in check and expectations real.


Episode 34 — Quotes to invest by

April 24, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Capital Markets Strategy team share words of wisdom they’ve learned, which have shaped them as investors, and that they continually return to as guiding principles. These are their quotes to invest by.

For times of market volatility, they remember that “no price is too low for a bear or too high for a bull.” When it comes to portfolio construction, they keep in mind that “too many parts equal too many defects. Reduce the number of parts, reduce the defects.” And when it comes to taking advantage of market downturns, they remember: “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

Tune in to hear what they’ve learned from these quotes, why right now is the best time for advisors to build their books of business, and more.


Episode 33 — Hope is not an investment strategy

April 14, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, host Philip Petursson is joined by Apollo Lupescu, Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Philip and Apollo discuss DFA’s investment approach, the importance of taking emotions out of the equation when it comes to investing, and the answers to these questions:

Should we invest during times of market volatility?
How do elections affect market performance?
Why do today’s markets resemble the markets during World War2, and what lessons can we learn?


Episode 32 — How to survive a bear attack

March 17, 2020

2020 will be the year that the great bull market came to its untimely end. It’s during times like these, when we see equity markets fall as quickly and sharply as they have, that we have to come back to our fundamentals as investors. Over the long term, we want to focus on the goals, manage the risk, and allocate assets properly. 

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, Kevin Headland, Senior Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, joins host Philip Petursson to discuss how the Capital Markets Strategy team focuses on the fundamentals. They share their plan on how to survive a bear attack — four rules to help investors manage market volatility.  


Episode 31 – Asset allocation in turbulent times

March 9, 2020

We can’t predict the risks that cause market volatility, but we can be prepared for them. In this episode of Investments Unplugged, host Philip Petursson finds out how Manulife Investment Management’s Asset Allocation team was prepared for the recent turbulence in the markets.


Episode 30 - Invest in Canada, eh.

February 25, 2020

Patrick Blais, Senior Portfolio Manager at Manulife Investment Management, talks with host Philip Petursson about the potential growth of Canadian markets, the relationship between investments and the Canadian economy, and how the 2020 outlook is shaping up.


Episode 29 - Coronavirus, an economically disruptive, not destructive, event

February 11, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, Macan Nia and Kevin Headland, Senior Investment Strategists at Manulife Investment Management, join host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, to discuss why the coronavirus will be an economically disruptive – but not destructive – event for the markets.


Episode 28 - Pay attention to the world’s yield signs

January 30, 2020

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, you’ll hear from Terry Carr, Chief Investment Officer, Canadian Fixed Income at Manulife Investment Management, on finding good returns on investments in the current global economic environment. Terry joins host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, and Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategist, to share his views about the challenges of the global economy, the likelihood of a market correction coming soon, and what investments will potentially give the best returns.


Episode 27B – Asset allocation — out with the old year, in with the new

January 21, 2020

In part two of a two-part Investments Unplugged episode, you’ll hear more from Manulife Investment Management’s Asset Allocation team on how markets and investments performed in 2019, and what’s ahead for 2020.

Jamie Robertson, Senior Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Asset Allocation Canada & Global Head of Tactical Allocation, and Alex Richard, Senior Investment Analyst, continue their talk with Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategist, and host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, about positioning investments through this coming year.


Episode 27A – Asset allocation — out with the old year, in with the new

January 16, 2020

In part one of a two-part Investments Unplugged episode, you’ll hear from Manulife Investment Management’s Asset Allocation team on how markets and investments performed in 2019, and what’s ahead for 2020.

Jamie Robertson, Senior Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Asset Allocation Canada & Global Head of Tactical Allocation, and Alex Richard, Senior Investment Analyst, join Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategist, and host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, to talk about positioning investments through this coming year.


Episode 26 – ESG: with great investing comes great responsibility

January 8, 2020

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing is no passing phase. In this episode of in*vest*ments: Unplugged, host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, talks with Margaret Childe, Director of ESG Research and Integration at Manulife Investment Management, about this hot topic.


Episode 25 – Fearless Forecast for 2020 

December 11, 2019

Manulife Investment Management’s Capital Markets Strategy team lays down their “Fearless Forecast” for 2020. Kevin Headland and Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategists, join host, Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, in a lively discussion to exchange views and share their thoughts on what 2020 has in store for the markets.


Episode 24 - How low can we go?

October 25, 2019

When your clients ask for an explanation of negative interest rates, and how it could affect their investment returns, how do you respond? In this episode of Investments Unplugged, Manulife Investment Management’s Capital Markets Strategy team discusses the impact negative interest rates are having on global markets, and the opportunities that could be lying within. 


Episode 23 - Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog

October 1, 2019

Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, speaks with a special guest John Natale, Head of Tax, Retirement, and Estate Planning Services at Manulife Investment Management. They discuss how taxation plays an important role in any investment strategy, and what you keep, at the end of the day, may matter more than what you earn. 


Episode 22 - Going global with Mawer

September 16, 2019

Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, is joined by Paul Moroz, Chief Investment Officer of Mawer Investment Management. Paul talks about the team’s “buy, hold, and sell” strategy, and discusses how the current geopolitical environment has affected his team’s analysis, and the opportunities they’re finding as a result.


Episode 21B : Live from the Manulife Mutual Fund Summit

August 28, 2019

In this special two-part series, our host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, gives listeners a “behind the scenes” look into the recent Manulife Mutual Fund Summit.

Philip is joined live with Chuck Tomes, Associate Portfolio Manager and Chris Chapman, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, both with the Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income Team at Manulife Investment Management. Philip also speaks to Sandy Sanders, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, who leads the US Core Value Equity Team at Manulife Investment Management.


Episode 21A : Live from the Manulife Mutual Fund Summit

August 28, 2019

In this special two-part series, our host Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investment Management, gives listeners a “behind the scenes” look into the recent Manulife Mutual Fund Summit.

Philip is joined live with Terry Carr, Chief Investment Officer for Canadian Fixed Income at Manulife Investment Management, and Jim Hall, Mawer Investment Management’s Chairman and Portfolio. He also speaks to Alan Wicks, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, and Prakash Chaudhari, Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, both with the Value Equity Team at Manulife Investment Management.


Episode 20: Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.

July 26, 2019

In this episode of Investments Unplugged, the Manulife Capital Markets Strategy team discusses a defensive position in portfolio strategy. Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategist, and Kevin Headland, Senior Investment Strategist go into detail on why they’ve shifted to be underweight in equities for their model portfolios, and what it means for both the rest of 2019, and looking forward into 2020.


Episode 19 : Driving change for a better future with Manulife’s CEO

June 28, 2019

Perspective from the top. In this episode we speak with Roy Gori, President & CEO of Manulife on his background and future vision for the industry.


Episode 18B: Decisively neutral. Waiting for a signal.

June 10, 2019

Following up from the previous episode on geopolitical risk, the Manulife Investment Management Asset Allocation team continues the discussion with Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist. In this episode, the team focuses on their outlook for global asset classes, risks and opportunities in the backdrop of current global geopolitical events.


Episode 18A: Avoid the noise. Focus on the signals.

June 10, 2019

Has geopolitical risk become the new normal for investing? Manulife Investment Management’s Asset Allocation team joins Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, in a broad discussion on geopolitical risk in the first of a two part series. While these events do occur, the team argues that geopolitical risks should not drive investment decisions.


Episode 17: I shouldn’t have done that….

June 3, 2019

As an advisor, you have seen time and time again, investors panicking during periods of market volatility, selling at the market bottom, locking in losses, sitting out as the market recovers and finally jumping back in at the top of the recovery. Dr. David R. Lewis PhD and Pauline Kabitsis M.Sc. from BEworks, a behavioural economics consulting firm and research institute join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, to share insights and offer advisors strategies to help curb irrational investor behavior during market volatility.


Episode 16: Anatomy of a Recession. Listen on.

May 13, 2019

When will we see the next recession? Very few get it right. But, there are key predictive indicators. Join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist and Kevin Headland, Senior Investment Strategist as they discuss their “Recession Checklist”. Listen on.


Episode 15: The good, the bad and the unexpected

May 2, 2019

After a sharp reversal in the first quarter following the near bear-market in the fourth quarter of 2018, what does the rest of the year hold for investors? Coming back for another appearance, Charles C. Tomes, Associate Portfolio Manager, Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income Team, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC joins Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, and Kevin Headland, Senior Investment Strategist, to discuss his strategies and views in responding to the changing interest rate environment.


Episode 14: Why a bull and bear and not an elephant and ostrich? Why gold coins as a wedding gift and not copper ones?

March 18, 2019

There are things in life that we know as fact but may not necessarily know the reason for that fact. This is also true in the financial vernacular.

Why has gold been revered across cultures throughout human existence? Why a Bull and Bear to describe the market’s sentiment? Why is a 60% equity / 40% fixed income asset mix the global standard for asset allocation? What makes the United States the world’s largest and powerful economy?

Join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist in a lively discussion with Macan Nia, Senior Investment Strategist as they explore these financial truisms.


Episode 13: Seeking the potential to outperform the MSCI World? You need to be different.

February 25, 2019

Learn how thematic investing has opened a different and broader investment universe that lends itself exceptionally well to active management.

Join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, in a lively discussion with Pictet Asset Management, a global leader in thematic investing. Special guests from Pictet are; Gertjan Van Der Geer, Senior Investment Manager, Thematic Equities Team and Jean-Pierre Gemme, Senior Business Development Manager.

Together, they discuss global megatrends, conversion into investable themes and ultimately the portfolio construction which includes selecting equities through a lens of “thematic purity” and strong business fundamentals.


Episode 12: When valuing companies, cashflow is king

January 24, 2019

Investment professionals use a variety of traditional measures to value companies, such as PE ratio, Price-to-book value, Price-to-sales, and Enterprise value to EBITA. But are they accurate? In this episode, Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist, speaks with Patrick Blais, Senior Portfolio Manager, co-head of the Canadian Fundamental Equity team, Manulife Asset Management, who views valuing companies differently. He has often said, “company earnings can be potentially fictional whereas cashflow is real”. Is there a right measure? Listen on.


Episode 11B: 2019 Outlook – Travel with caution, not fear

January 18, 2019

The Capital Markets Strategy team conclude their two-part series with a focus on WYNTK for International Equities, Fixed Income and the Canadian Dollar in 2019. Philip Petursson, Macan Nia and Kevin Headland ends this episode with their individual 2019 fearless forecast. Listen on.


Episode 11A: 2019 Outlook - Travel with caution, not fear

January 14, 2019

In 2018, equities and fixed income can be summed up as being “frustratingly disappointing”. There was nowhere to hide. So, is it so bad, that it’s actually good? Listen on as Philip Petursson, Macan Nia and Kevin Headland, provide their insights on last year’s retail investor capitulation, and how that may set up new opportunities for 2019.


Episode 10B: Bonds. A long-term affair.

January 9, 2019

Our fascination with bonds continues in our last episode of a two-part series. Bonds can come in many different forms, ranging from CMBS, sovereign debt and even “Bowie bonds”. Join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist with special guests, Dan Janis, Senior Portfolio Manager and Charles Tomes, Associate Portfolio Manager, Global Multi-Sector Fixed Income, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC in a deep dive into how they make investment decisions when so many bond structures are available.


Episode 10A: Bonds. A long-term love affair.

December 19, 2018

Bonds or debt has been around for over 1,000 years. Throughout its history, bonds have built empires but left unchecked, spiraling debt has crippled governments. In a special two-part episode, join Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist and John Addeo, Chief Investment Officer, Global Fixed Income, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC in a deep dive into the world of bonds.

Philip Petursson

Philip Petursson, 

Chief Investment Strategist and Head of Capital Markets Research

Manulife Investment Management

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