Small caps are stocks that have market capitalizations below $1 billion. This is the generally accepted definition. Likewise, micro caps are those with a market cap below $500 million. Although these stocks can be highly volatile, there are some high-quality companies in this space that are worthy of investors’ attention.
Earlier this month, I brought to your attention two micro caps that have the potential to yield outsized returns — Hamilton Thorne (TSXV:HTL) and WELL Health Technologies (TSX:WELL). Earlier this week, Hamilton Thorne released strong preliminary results, and it is up by 7.4% in only a few weeks.
It was a record quarter and year for one of world’s leading Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) companies. Fourth-quarter revenue of $10.8 million and EBITDA of $2.2 million represents growth of 34% and 27%, respectively. Margins continue to trend upward, and Hamilton Thorne experienced growth across all of its segments.
For the fiscal year ended December 2019, it posted record revenue of $35.3 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $7.1 million. Once again, this represented strong growth of 21% and 14.6% over fiscal 2018.
Not only did the Hamilton Thorne pre-announce strong results, management also introduced the company’s 2020 outlook. The company is looking to drive strong growth across its U.S. and U.K. equipment businesses and has several big sales in the pipeline for 2020. Although these bigger-ticket items are lower margin, the focus remains on driving top-line and adjusted EBITDA growth.
The company also re-iterated plans to execute its growth-through-acquisition strategy. Speaking of which, its latest acquisition — Planer — contributed approximately $1.6 million in revenue to fourth-quarter results.
In 2019, Hamilton Thorne’s share price climbed 23%, and it is well on its way to posting double-digit gains again in 2020. After announced preliminary results, the company briefly touched a 52-week high of $1.50 per share. This is close to analysts’ one-year average price target of $1.54 per share and implies 15% upside from today’s share price of $1.30 per share.
The top stock on the TSX Venture
Another small cap garnering plenty of attention is DynaCERT (TSXV:DYA). The company is involved in the design and manufacturing of a transportable hydrogen generator system. DynaCERT’s technology reduces carbon emissions in diesel engines. This makes it an attractive investment for those looking for eco-friendly investment options.
This past Thursday, the company was announced as the top stock on the TSX Venture 50. The TSXV 50 is an annual ranking of the top-performing stocks on the venture exchange. In 2019, DynaCERT’s share price shot up by 284%, more than tripling investors’ investment.
Is DynaCERT a buy? Unlike Hamilton Thorne and WELL Health Technologies, the company remains a speculative buy on the basis that it generates little revenue and is far from profitability. It is early days for this eco-stock, and investors can expect considerable volatility.
Can the company post a repeat performance in 2019? It will be a tough task. On the bright side, the company has the shift to renewables and sustainable investing as a tailwind. Investors are craving for the next clean energy company, and DynaCERT’s technology certainly fits the build.
Hamilton Thorne is poised to continue strong growth and is one of those rare small caps that is profitable. It remains a top micro cap and is worthy of investors’ consideration. On the flip side, DynaCERT is still in the “prove itself” stage, and investors should not rush out and start a position in the company based solely on last year’s performance. That being said, it is worth adding to watch lists.
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How Much Will Parents Invest In Their Kids' Education? "All Bets Are Off" – Forbes
A new study finds that parents are rethinking their education spending in a fast-changing world: less on school supplies and more on tuition.
There are plenty of parents stressing a bit with the new school year looming—especially those feeling the pinch of continued inflation or fearing a looming recession. Finding room in their budgets to invest in their children’s education could be a challenge.
A new survey by the personal finance website WalletHub also found that some 66% of parents say the pandemic has changed the way they plan to spend money on their children’s education—particularly in where they think their investment will help their children the most.
“Some families have moved states for more dependable in-person learning, while others have started saving for private school after previously planning on public education—just to name a couple popular adjustments,” says Delaney Simchuk, WalletHub analyst. “Time will tell how inflation, or the next big crisis will further affect pandemic-inspired educational investment plans.”
WalletHub’s 2022 Back-to-School Report also revealed some other insights into how parents think about spending money on their children’s education.
Shifting the focus of their spending
While back-to-school sales and tax holidays might offer some relief, finding extra money to pay for the rising cost of new clothes and school supplies might prove difficult for some families under a budget crunch this year.
Case in point: merely one-third of parents who participated in the survey said they would spend more on back-to-school shopping this year compared to last year. This tallies with a recent study by Deloitte that similarly found that 37% of parents have plans to increase their back-to-school purchases over last year.
At the same time, some 46% of parents say they would apply for a new credit card for the purpose of getting a discount on school supplies this year.
“Back-to-school shopping expectations are dampened somewhat by concerns over inflation, and the comparisons versus last year are tough given that most schools returned to in-person learning last year and parents spent accordingly,” says Simchuk.
Is education worth going into debt for?
One of the more interesting questions the WalletHub survey posed to parents was whether they thought their children’s education was worth going into debt for. About 70% of parents said yes, which tells us a lot about why we as a country continue to see skyrocketing levels of student debt.
Credit card debt levels have also begun to creep back up after retreating during the first year of the pandemic.
“We’re generally unhesitant to overspend, and when the expense is as significant as education—both in amount and importance—all bets are off,” says Simchuk. “Parents want to help their children as much as possible, and a good education is a dependable road to a solid professional career.”
But a caution is appropriate here, Simchuk believes. “Parents simply should not forget that they are financial role models and putting themselves in a precarious position could actually jeopardize their kids’ future.”
It’s also a potential call to action for parents to recognize that living with debt can be stressful for their children, and that there are alternate pathways for their children to have success that don’t include going into debt to pay for a private primary education or even to cover college tuition. In the end, skills matter as much if not more than degrees when it comes to landing a great job, alongside “adulting” skills which can be strengthened by landing a great internship.
Financial literacy as an essential life skill
While parents say that taking on debt to finance a child’s education is a good investment, most (86%) believe that financial literacy training should become part of the core curriculum. In general today, personal finance isn’t widely taught in the classroom, and neither are other soft/professional skills that employers value highly.
“Parents want their kids to be prepared for life, and budgeting, saving, investing and even paying taxes are all important, practical life skills,” says Simchuk. “Many parents also recognize the importance of having some financial know-how when making big-dollar decisions regarding higher education.”
That’s a great point given that students should be thinking of their education as an investment and how they might expect to generate a positive return not just in terms of pay, but also happiness and work-life balance. Money is just one piece of the bigger picture.
The evolving economics of education
Time will tell how changing economic conditions in the coming years will impact how parents feel about investing in the different aspects of their children’s education. The WalletHub survey offers us a glimpse into how trends might already be shifting in terms of where parents prioritize spending—less on the basics and more on the perceived quality of a degree.
But some things will never change. It’s a safe bet that parents will always pursue the goal of trying to offer their children the best life possible. In that regard, investing in a great education will always be considered priceless.
FedDev Ontario Investment Contribution to TRCA Will Support Enhanced Visitor Experiences at Bruce's Mill Conservation Park – TRCA
August 9, 2022, Toronto, ON – Visitors to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park in Stouffville, ON will enjoy enhanced experiences thanks to an investment contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) that will help to revitalize the park infrastructure.
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville made the funding announcement today at Bruce’s Mill.
The investment contribution of up to $740,715 will support improvements at Bruce’s Mill intended to positively impact both the local community and visitors to the park, allowing more people to re-engage with their communities and nature.
These improvements include: the installation of two new picnic shelters, the addition of 15 new accessible picnic tables for community use, and the upgrading of three washrooms to improve accessibility and physical distancing components. In addition, the park access roads and parking lots will be paved and repaired.
“Our government is investing in community infrastructure to support the mental and physical health of Canadians by promoting social interaction and physical activity. This Canada Community Revitalization Fund investment for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will help revitalize the Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park’s public infrastructure. This revitalization will help draw visitors to Bruce’s Mill, where they can come together, enjoy the outdoors and be active.”
— The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“The investment by FedDev Ontario will not only improve visitor experiences at Bruce’s Mill but will accommodate the increased demand for outdoor recreation and provide safe alternative recreational activities as we all recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is investments like these that allow TRCA to keep our parks and trails in a state of good repair while increasing community connection and improving accessibility to our visitors.”
— – Michael Tolensky, Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
TRCA’s Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park
Conveniently located off Highway 404, Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park is a popular destination for the five million residents within our jurisdiction and from many tourists from around the world. In addition to picnic areas and trails, recreational facilities at the park include a professionally designed golf driving range and a BMX cycling track. To learn more visit trca.ca/bruces-mill.
About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of <span data-trca-tooltip="
The entire area of land whose runoff water, sediments and dissolved materials (nutrients and contaminants) drain into a lake, river, creek, or estuary. Its boundary can be located on the ground by connecting all the highest points of the area around the river, stream or creek, where water starts to flow when there is rain. It is not man-made and it does not respect political boundaries.” class=”glossary-term”>watershed communities through the protection and <span data-trca-tooltip="
To repair or re-establish functioning ecosystems; the process of altering a site to establish a defined, native, historic ecosystem; the goal is to emulate the structure, function, diversity and dynamics of a specified ecosystem.” class=”glossary-term”>restoration of the natural environment and the <span data-trca-tooltip="
Ecological services are defined as the overall benefits to humans arising from a functioning healthy ecosystem, which includes improved water quality and quantity, air quality, soil stabilization, flood mitigation, balanced hydrologic regimes, biological processes and biodiversity. Ultimately, the streams in TRCA’s watersheds run into Lake Ontario and have a direct influence on the water quality and habitat along the waterfront.” class=”glossary-term”>ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.
To learn more about TRCA, visit trca.ca.
Senior Manager, Communications, Marketing and Events
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Short Term vs Long Term Investments: Gauging the saving spectrum – Economic Times
Quick wealth creation is what financial markets consider; however, investing as a practice is a long-term process. While an investor’s capital can be invested in the short-term and long-term, both forms of investment have their merits and demerits.
Typically, short-term investments involve less risk than long-term investments. Long-term investments give the investor’s money a substantial period to grow and recover from major dips in the market.
Having clear and crisp financial goals can help the investor decide whether to choose short or long-term investments and which vehicles within those categories aim towards personalized investment gains.
Before choosing any investment strategy, the investor ideally needs to do proper research on which asset types suits their need.
What is suitable for one investor might not be in sync with another’s financial objectives, so one must consider their overall goals along with the risks one is willing to take.
Short-term investments have a validity period typically up to three years – high liquidity instruments, generally involving lesser market risks.
Also, these temporary investments are mostly used for parking excess funds for a short period. Short-term investments are highly liquid and hence are used by investors to meet expected near-future expenses.
Less risky in nature, these short-term investment products have a short tenure and give predictable returns as compared to long-term investments be it –
● Treasury bills which can be redeemed within 91 days and is a high liquidity instrument.
● Gilt Funds which invest only in government securities and owing to zero credit risk, are safe investment funds.
● Ultra-short-term debt funds wherein the maturity period ranges between three to six months and provides comparatively higher returns.
● Low duration debt funds whose maturity period ranges between six and 12 months, these funds invest in debt and money market instruments.
● Money market funds that invest in money market instruments and have a redemption period of up to one year.
● Bank fixed deposits that can be renewed on maturity and their tenure can range from 14 days to 10 years. Also, liquidity can be a concern here as some banks don’t allow premature withdrawals.
● Company fixed deposits can have a tenure of more than one year
● Post office time deposits have tenures ranging from one to five years and similarly Recurring deposits can open an RD for a duration as low as six months. Sweep-in-Fixed Deposits as against low returns on savings accounts, these offer comparatively higher returns, with a minimum tenure of around 12 months.
On the other hand, long-term investments are investments that can offer high returns after several years, typically five years or more – involving more market risks.
Be it via stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, etc. Investments in stocks earn quite high returns if patience is kept high (Of course, this cannot be guaranteed but you should assess your risk-taking capacity before thinking of investing in stocks).
Having a deeper understanding of the market movements so that the investor makes wiser financial decisions and when to sell the stocks, investing in stocks and securities requires a trusted financial partner, who can provide hassle-free features to open an online Demat and Trading Account.
Another long-term investment avenue for receiving higher returns is Equity Mutual Funds where the investor gets to pick from small, mid-cap, and large-cap equity mutual funds for the long term to achieve greater financial goals.
Ultimately, the short-term investment gives levy to the investor to achieve their financial goals within a short span and with lower risk (depending on which asset you pick), if the investor has a greater risk appetite, and wants higher returns, they can select a long-term investment avenue.
To further simplify, if the investor wants to preserve their capital and is happy with moderate returns then they may choose short-term investments but, with the expectation of a higher return, the investor may invest in long-term investment avenues.
(The author is Senior Vice President, at mastertrust)
(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)
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