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North American equity markets posted negative nominal returns in 2015 with S&P/TSX Index dropping 11.1% and the S&P 500 Index declining 0.7% (it was slightly positive on a total return basis). In managing a portfolio, it is always interesting to look back and see where the absolute and relative returns evolved from during the year.  The following scorecard shows the nominal returns(not including dividends) for the holdings that form the basis of Padlock’s North American Growth portfolios and which significantly outperformed the two indices above that make up its benchmark: 2015 Padlock Scorecard 2015 Return New Flyer 110.0% CCL Industries "B" 78.3% Alphabet 46.6% Alphabet "C" 44.2% Parex Resources 38.0% Dollarama 34.6% Jarden 19.3% Visa 18.3% Sleep Country Canada* 14.1% Walgreen Boots Alliance 11.8% Gilead Sciences 7.4% Sun Life* 5.9% Rogers Comm. “B” 5.6% Tricon Capital 3.9% S&P 500 Index -0.7% Toronto Dominion -2.3% Equitable Group* -2.6% Apple -5.0% S&P/TSX Index -11.1% Corning* -12.2% Cdn Natural Resources -15.9% NCR -16.1% Peyto Exploration -25.7% Paccar -30.3% Kohlberg Kravis Roberts -32.8% Performance Sports Group -36.9% Tourmaline Oil -42.2% Canyon Services Group -54.7% Hi Crush Partners -80.9% Returns are in the currency of the holding. Holdings introduced to the portfolio in 2015 with returns since purchase * It should be no surprise that the majority of the holdings at...

As the end of the year approaches, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read the various issues of The Lato Letter that you received during the year. I would especially like to thank my clients for their continued loyalty and support in a difficult but yet rewarding year. I have the best clients possible and look forward to continuing our relationship in 2016 and beyond. Padlock’s office will be closed from December 24th to January 4th. I will be checking emails during that period but should you need to reach me on an urgent matter, please call my cell. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016. This information, including any opinion, is based on various sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. To receive The Lato Letter by email from now on,...

As we approach the end of 2015, it is not too early to start thinking about tax planning for 2016. Padlock’s auditing firm, Segal LLP, recently published an excellent piece on some of the tax changes coming in 2016 and what you may want to do about them before the end of this year and into next year. With the permission of Dan Natale, the Segal partner responsible for Padlock, the entire article is included below. Padlock has been very pleased with the service and advice provided by Dan and his team at Segal and so if you are in need of their expertise, let me know and I will make the introduction. Enjoy the article. Act Fast to Head Off Potential Tax Changes in 2016 With the end of the year in sight, and tax changes expected from the new federal government leadership, tax planning may be more important than it's been...

To say that the last few sessions in the equity market have been unnerving is as big an understatement as saying the Blue Jays scored a few runs this weekend (for those who don’t follow the Jays, they set a franchise record this weekend for runs scored in a three game series). The financial and mainstream press has inundated us with commentaries, predominantly on the negative side, about the equity market action over the past few days. There have also been a number of commentaries urging investors to stay the course and to avoid joining the panic. As you know from reading previous issues of The Lato Letter, Padlock has remained constructive on the equity markets for the balance of the year and into next year. We remain committed to that view and suggest that the current market turmoil should not be the beginning of lengthy declining market but rather a somewhat...

The old stock market adage “buy on rumour, sell on news” was certainly evident yesterday as Apple held its “Spring Forward” event. Long anticipated details of the Apple Watch were revealed and on the whole the details were without many surprises, either positive or negative. As you can see, at the 1:00pm start of the event the stock was $127.13, up 53 cents on the day. Tim Cook opened by quickly discussing Apple’s retail store growth; noting that they had opened six stores in China in the last six weeks as part of the plan to bring their current lineup of 21 stores in China up to 40 by mid-2016. Next on the agenda was Apple TV and the announcement that they will be the exclusive initial partner of HBO Now, the new video streaming offering by HBO (not sure if that includes Canada) and the price reduction of Apple TV from...

Apple announced their 1st Quarter 2015 results after the close today. The quarter was expected to be very strong since it was the first full quarter in which the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were available and Apple certainly did not disappoint. For a quick recap of those results and my views, I have attached the clip from the BNN interviews I did as the earnings were being released. This information, including any opinion, is based on various sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. To receive The Lato Letter by email from now on, please click here....

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