I’ve been watching the markets a little closer than in the past. I’m impressed with a confluence of factors that I think makes the present situation unique.

The US dollar is performing better than most other currencies. The US stock market, especially large caps (represented by the S&P 500) is out-performing other markets. US small caps follow closely behind. Looking longer-term into the past, we see that the US stock market has outperformed Canadian stocks in most periods outside of 2000-2008, which was a resource boom.

If someone were to ask me today: “I have an extra $100,000 cash that I’d like to put to work, what would you advise?” I’d suggest investing it in US large cap stocks. An investor could do this by buying an ETF, such as XUS or ZSP or VFV (all unhedged). These ETFs are offered by iShares, BMO and Vanguard respectively, but I have no idea of how the offerings differ. Another option would be to buy a mutual fund. I can’t offer any possibilities at the moment.

Finally, it would be possible to buy individual stocks. This would mean opening a US dollar trading account (at your brokerage), converting your currency to fund the account, then buying stocks on a US exchange: NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. You could possibly buy the top 40 or 50 stocks from this list: http://www.roberthurdman.com/wp-content/momentum.php?market=SP100 This approach will require more active supervision of your holdings.

None of the foregoing constitutes advice. I don’t know your personal situation. If you need professional advice, talk to your advisor or broker.

Check in with the markets

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