March 27, 2024

Alpen Investment Advisors TLDR Financial Market Recap: March 2024

Canada's labour market, Canadian real estate market forecast, and Ai's effect on Tech Giants.

1.    Canada's Labour Market: A Mixed Bag of Growth and Challenges

Canada's economy demonstrated resilience in February, adding approximately 41,000 jobs, fuelled by a significant population growth (Orlando, 2024). This increase, however, was accompanied by a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 5.8%, a reversal from the decline observed in January. The surge in job creation was predominantly seen within the services-producing sector, particularly in accommodation and food services, marking notable employment upticks in Alberta and Nova Scotia, while Manitoba experienced a decline. Despite the challenges posed by high interest rates, which have tempered consumer spending and business sales, the population growth has provided a cushion against these economic headwinds. This is evidenced by the surge in public sector employment, even as private sector jobs saw a decline by 16,000 positions (The CanadianPress, 2024). Yet, the labour market's inclusivity showed strains, with a persistent gender wage gap where women earned $0.87 for every dollar compared to their male counterparts in the core working age group, despite constituting47.3% of the workforce.

Figure 1: Unemployment Rate in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2024)

2.    2024 Forecast: Revival in Canada's Recreational Real Estate

The Canadian recreational real estate market is on the verge of revival in 2024, bolstered by a resurgence of consumer confidence and a scarcity of available properties (Royal LePage®,2024). Nationally, the median house price is expected to climb by 5.0%, withOntario leading with an anticipated 8.0% appreciation, driven by re-engaged buyers returning to the market. Despite a slight downturn in 2023, where the weighted median price of single-family homes dipped by 1.0%, enduring demand and a 41% decrease in inventory reported by market experts signal a pressing upward pressure on prices. In British Columbia, the market dynamics hint at resilience, with a minor 0.3% increase in the median price of single-family homes to $1,086,500, despite reductions in the waterfront and condominium sectors. As 2024 approaches, British Columbia's recreational real estate is forecasted to see a 5.0% increase in median home prices, reaching $1,140,825.

3.    Ai and the Future of Tech Giants

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has significantly influenced the stock market, particularly highlighting the performance of major tech companies (Hansen, 2024). This trend has sparked optimism among investors and market strategists, with a strong focus on the "Magnificent Seven" tech giants, including names like Nvidia and Microsoft. These companies have led a substantial stock market rally, challenging comparisons to the dot-com bubble with the impressive earnings growth and fundamental contributions to AI advancements.The concentration of market success around these tech behemoths suggests a robust market foundation, driven by solid fundamentals rather than speculative excess.

Figure 2: Magnificent Seven Stock Performance (Hansen, 2024)

Nvidia's latest earnings announcement showcased a remarkable 265% increase in revenue year-over-year, leading to significant gains in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices. This success story among the "Magnificent 7" tech companies underscore the transformative impact of AI technology on the economy. However, there are concerns regarding the potential overestimation of AI’s adoption and utility beyond these leading firms. Skeptics caution that a failure of AI to achieve broader market penetration could lead to market adjustments reminiscent of the dot-com era's fallout (Yu, 2024).

The AI sector's buoyancy, supported by real profits and substantial cash flows, particularly from companies like Nvidia, signifies a strong foundation beneath the AI stock rally. The strategic shift in investments from Chinese to U.S. companies by certain fund managers highlights a belief in the innovative prowess of American firms, especially in AI, where there is visible significant traction and earnings acceleration. This move reflects a broader confidence within the investment community that, despite potential risks from interest rates and inflation, the solid underpinnings of the current market rally, fuelled by the promise of AI, are set to continue driving economic growth and market performance.


Financial Tip of the Month:

March is an excellent time to assess your emergency fund. Given the uncertainties each year can bring, ensuring your emergency fund is adequately stocked is more important than ever. Aim for three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

At Alpen Investment Advisors, your trusted North Vancouver iA Investia team, we are committed to keeping our valued clients informed. We trust that you have found this market recap informative and insightful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your dedicated North Vancouver financial advisor, for any questions about your portfolio or to help navigate the process of growing and preserving your wealth.  



The Canadian Press. (2024, March 8). Canada’s economy added 41,000 jobs inFebruary. CBC News.

Hansen, S. (2024, March 25). Why the magnificent seven stock rally makes sense.Morningstar CA.

Orlando, J. (2024, March 8). Canadian employment (February 2024). CanadianEmployment (February 2024).

Royal Lepage®. (2024, March 20). Recreational Real Estate Market Revival on the horizon: Royal Lepage®. Royal LePage®.

Yu, J.(2024, March 20). Tech Fund beating 99% of peers says AI rally is just starting. Yahoo! Finance.

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