From the Desk of Irwin Michael – May 8, 2015

The past week has been characterized, once again, by a continuation of stock market volatility, which was mainly driven by corporate earnings and to an extent, a solid U.S. jobs report released this morning. Positive employment numbers are a good sign that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum, although it is still hard to predict when interest rates will rise, since there are limited signs of inflation. Additionally, oil prices have been trending higher well above their lows and have been a prime factor in keeping the Canadian dollar steady versus the $US. With regard to our ABC portfolios, we have made the following investment transactions over the past two weeks:

Firstly, we sold our entire holdings in Encore Wire Corporation, Big Lots Inc., and Flexsteel Industries Inc. Although we like all three companies, their stock prices have appreciated substantially and we found more value elsewhere. We have directed the sales proceeds into attractively valued companies including Telus Corp., Loblaw Companies Ltd., Information Services Corp., Pepsi Inc., InterTape Polymer Group, and Macdonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. Overall, we remain diligent in our hunt for additional portfolio selections and are presently accumulating several new securities for the funds. We will announce these new positions once they are filled.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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