Should You Buy BlackBerry Ltd, salesforce, Micron, Palo Alto Networks or Visa?

Should You Buy BlackBerry Ltd, salesforce, Micron, Palo Alto Networks or Visa?

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — InvestorsObserver issues critical Stock Score Alerts for BB, CRM, MU, PANW, and V.

To see how InvestorsObserver’s proprietary scoring system rates these stocks, view the InvestorsObserver’s Stock Score Alert by selecting the corresponding link.

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InvestorsObserver’s Stock Score Alerts are based on our proprietary scoring methodology. Each stock is evaluated based on short-term technical, long-term technical and fundamental factors. Each of those scores is then combined into an overall score that determines a stock’s overall suitability for investment.


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SOURCE InvestorsObserver

World Bank report shines spotlight on Canadian pension model

World Bank report shines spotlight on Canadian pension model

Canada NewsWire

Canada’s top pension funds share best practices for
building world-class pension organizations

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2017 /CNW/ – Canadian public pension funds and pension plans are regarded as among the best in the world, but they underwent an evolution of changes to get to where they are today. Because of their success, the World Bank Group partnered with four Canadian pension funds, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), and OPTrust, as well as the Government of Ontario on a report that studies the evolution of these plans.

The World Bank Group will use the report, authored by Toronto-based firm Common Wealth, to inform its work to strengthen retirement security in emerging economies and increase dialogue on successful pension models in Canada.

World Bank CFO Joaquim Levy attended the launch of the report “The Evolution of the Canadian Pension Model” today at The Omni King Edward Hotel. Hosted by the Canadian Club Toronto, a panel discussion showcased the evolution and endeavours of the pension funds and offered lessons for emerging economies seeking to improve their retirement systems and public pension institutions.

Based on in-depth interviews with some of Canada’s top pension leaders and case studies of four funds (AIMCo, CDPQ, HOOPP, and OPTrust), the detailed World Bank report covers the essential components of pension plan organizations – governance, people and organization, investments, administration, plan design and funding, and regulation and public policy – and presents a four-phase framework for the evolution of pension organizations. It outlines 14 key lessons and draws out several success factors including:

  • Strong collaboration between diverse stakeholders – labour, government, business, and finance – and a sustained relationship built on trust
  • Strong, independent governance
  • Singularity of purpose – to run the organization like a business and focus on delivering retirement security for plan members
  • Presence of strong, ethical leadership at the top and throughout the organization
  • Recruitment and retention of top global talent with a competitive and performance-based compensation framework
  • Critical “founding” stage of a new or reformed pension organization
  • Governments creating the right regulatory environment
  • Investments managed in-house rather than outsourced to third-party fund managers

The report also highlights seven challenges that will shape the future of the Canadian pension model.

Download the Report (PDF):

Remarks were given by:

  • Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, World Bank Group
  • Christine Hogan, Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, World Bank Group

Panelists included:

The panel discussion was moderated by Terrie O’Leary (EVP, Business Strategy and Operations, Toronto Global).

World Bank Group – Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Joaquim Levy
“The responsibilities in designing and managing pension funds are immense and long-lasting. Learning from successful experiences is thus extremely valuable for those setting up new systems, as we see in many developing countries that the World Bank is working with. In designing its system, Canada has tackled many of these crucial issues. I am pleased that some of the Canadian funds are among those looking to partner with pension funds in developing countries and help them invest their assets efficiently, productively, and for the long term.”

AIMCo – CEO, Kevin Uebelein
“AIMCo is pleased that the World Bank is acknowledging the important advantages the Canadian Model of investment management offers pension plans in its latest research, and that it has chosen to include AIMCo among the leaders in this space. Canadian pension plans, as evidenced by those represented in this paper, offer several unique advantages to meet the long-term objectives of clients. The progress these plans have made in the last 10 years is remarkable, and AIMCo looks forward to continuing the important role we play in ensuring the long-term sustainability of our clients’ investments.”

CDPQ – Executive Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretariat, Kim Thomassin
“The report helpfully documents and explains the stages in the evolution of Canadian pension fund investors who, despite their differences, all fit within the Canadian pension model. The narrative resonates with particular saliency for CDPQ, where the evolution continues to this day with our innovative model for infrastructure investments and our expansion into emerging markets.”

HOOPP – President and CEO, Jim Keohane
“HOOPP is honoured to be recognized by the World Bank for our role in the evolution of the Canadian Pension Model. We are strong proponents of the importance of independent governance, scale and in-house investing as well as a balance of risk management, investment success and low administrative costs. This allows us to deliver 80 cents of every pension dollar from investments while achieving a 122% fully funded status that ensures HOOPP delivers on its pension promise.”

OPTrust – President and CEO, Hugh O’Reilly
“The Canadian pension model has much to offer the ongoing international discussion on pension funding, governance and management. As good pension citizens, OPTrust is pleased to be recognized by the World Bank and to be part of this effort to enhance retirement income security for all.”

Ontario Ministry of Finance – Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa
Canada’s pension plans are world leaders in ensuring strong retirement security, and Ontario’s pension plans are at the forefront of this evolution. It is no mistake that the World Bank has recognized the strength of our framework, identifying our plans as models for global retirement security.”

Common Wealth – Founding Partners, Alex Mazer and Jonathan Weisstub
“Our collaboration on this World Bank report aligns with our mission to expand access to high-quality retirement security. We believe that making the principles and lessons from the best Canadian pension organizations available to stakeholders around the world will have a material impact on retirement security across continents.”

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,,

Founded in 2015, Common Wealth is a Toronto-based firm focused on expanding access to retirement security. It has advised pension organizations with collective assets exceeding $800 billion, as well as unions, associations, and governments, on issues of strategy, governance, regulation, and the design and implementation of retirement plans, products, and institutions. In partnership with the Service Employees International Union, Common Wealth recently created the first retirement plan in Canada for lower- and moderate-income earners. The firm is currently working with a variety of partners to create portable, value-for-money, community-based retirement plans within sectors where most workers lack pension coverage.

Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. The Corporation manages more than $95.7 billion for Alberta pensions, endowments and government funds and is governed by an experienced Board of Directors. AIMCo’s goal is to inspire the confidence of Albertans by achieving superior risk-adjusted investment returns. The Corporation was established as a Crown corporation on January 1, 2008. The sole shareholder is the Province of Alberta. Our assets were previously managed by a division of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2016, it held C$270.7 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate.

Created in 1960, HOOPP is the pension plan of choice for Ontario’s hospital and community-based healthcare sector more than 321,000 members and retired members and 500 employers. With more than $70 billion in assets, HOOPP is one of the largest DB pension plans in Ontario, and in Canada. HOOPP is governed by a Board of Trustees with representation from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions.

With net assets of $19 billion, OPTrust invests and manages one of Canada’s largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 90,000 members and retirees. OPTrust was established to give plan members and the Government of Ontario an equal voice in the administration of the Plan and the investment of its assets through joint trusteeship. OPTrust is governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees, five of whom are appointed by OPSEU and five by the Government of Ontario.

Media invited to attend

Event Details:

The Evolution of Canadian Pensions – “Lessons Learned: The Emergence and Evolution of the Canadian Pension Model”
Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Time: 7:10am
Location: The Omni King Edward Hotel, 37 King St. East, Toronto, Ontario
Event website:

Summary/Backgrounder on the World Bank Report on the
Evolution of the Canadian Pension Model

November 22, 2017


  • Canadian public pension funds and pension plans are regarded as among the best in the world today. They also play a significant role in the Canadian financial system, accounting for $1.2T in assets under management with more than 20 million contributors and beneficiaries.
  • It is a reputation that has been built over many years. Just 20 to 30 years ago, many of the pension plans were funded on a pay-as-you-go basis or had funding deficits. They were largely or entirely invested in domestic government bonds, lacked independent governance, and were administered in an outdated and error-prone fashion.
  • A report commissioned by the World Bank – working in collaboration with four participating Canadian pension funds (AIMCo, CDPQ, HOOPP and OPtrust), the Government of Ontario, and Toronto-based retirement security firm Common Wealth – examines the evolution of the Canadian pension model. The purpose of the report was to identify practical lessons learned that could benefit a range of stakeholders in emerging economies looking to design and deliver retirement security systems in a more efficient and sustainable manner.
  • The detailed report covers the essential components of pension plan organizations – governance, people and organization, investments, administration, plan design and funding and regulation and public policy – and presents a four-phase framework for the evolution of pension organizations. It outlines 14 key lessons and draws out several success factors including:
    • Strong collaboration between diverse stakeholders – labour, government, business, and finance – and a sustained relationship built on trust
    • Strong independent governance (possibly the most important element)
    • Singularity of purpose – to run the organization like a business and focus on delivering retirement security for plan members
    • Presence of strong, ethical leadership at the top and throughout the organization
    • Recruitment and retention of top global talent with a competitive and performance-based compensation framework
    • Critical “founding” stage of a new or reformed pension organization
    • Governments creating the right regulatory environment
  • The report highlights that the Canadian pension funds did not take an identical path in their development. A number of them encountered significant missteps, but were able to overcome them over a period of time.
  • Despite the success of the Canadian public pension plans to date, virtually all of them understand and are seized with the challenges and risks that lie ahead and are actively developing and deploying strategies to address these issues. The following are of particular concern:
    • A “low for longer” environment
    • Maturity of plans and ensuring intergenerational equity
    • “Pension envy” sentiments
    • Complexity and competitiveness for good investment opportunities
    • Increasing demands for accountability, transparency and ethical measures
    • Reforms in the regulatory environment
    • Preparation for the next market downturn or financial crisis
  • The report defines the “Canadian model” of public pension as a Canadian public pension plan or public pension asset manager that is typically defined-benefit, has a public-sector sponsor or sponsors, and has the following characteristics:
    • Governance – the funds operate at arm’s length of governments and sponsors and are overseen by independent boards with strong accountability and transparency frameworks
    • Scale – assets under management exceed $10 billion and are often significantly higher
    • In-house management by professionals – a significant portion of investment management and/or pension administration is performed by in-house professionals who receive competitive compensation
    • Diversification – the funds’ investments are highly diversified by both geography and asset class, including a significant allocation to alternative asset classes such as real estate, private equity, and/or infrastructure, and significant direct investments in such asset classes
    • Talent – the ability to attract and retain top talent at both the board and management level
    • Long time horizon – long-term investors are able to withstand short-term market volatility

SOURCE OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust)

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Greenhouse Gainers Devoting Millions in SqF Sparks Significant Stock Growth

Greenhouse Gainers Devoting Millions in SqF Sparks Significant Stock Growth

USA News Group News Commentary

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, November 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

The world’s largest cannabis producers are all in a mad rush to cover the most ground, and produce the most organic product. If numbers from the recent Marijuana Business Factbook 2017 are correct, the US legal cannabis industry is expected to grow 30% in 2017, 45% in 2018, and 300% over the 5-year span of 2016-2021.

Therefore it’s no wonder that this blossoming industry has so far already generated its own multi-billion dollar majors, such as Canopy Growth Inc. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF) and GW Pharmaceuticals plc – both with market caps closing in on US$3 billion.

Not far behind are Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) (OTC: ACBFF) whose valuation is nearing US$2 billion, and the newly-minted billion-dollar corporations of Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF) and MedReleaf Corp.

As investment dollars continue to flood into the sector, legal cannabis growers are investing heavily into real estate for their growing operations.

Investors who may have missed out on the ground floor for the big boys, such as Canopy and Aurora aren’t being left in the cold, however. One of the most aggressive newcomers to the grower space is MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (CSE: MYM) (OTC: MYMMF), that is very much keeping up with the Joneses in terms of square footage, and breaking ground for its soon-to-be-massive facilities in Canada and Australia.

While legalized states in the US struggle with their federal regulatory counterparts in Washington DC, fellow developed-world populations in Canada and Australia are continuing to give investors much to smile about, in terms of potential for this market still in its infancy.

As the countdown towards full recreational legalization in Canada gets nearer, the prospect of an onslaught of demand has sent shares soaring not only for MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (CSE: MYM) (OTC: MYMMF), but for other Canadian growers Canopy Growth Inc. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF), Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) (OTC: ACBFF), Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF), and MedReleaf Corp. as well.


The race to be the biggest and best cannabis grower has been making headlines, as the world’s first mega-greenhouses space began breaking ground, and coming closer to reality this year.

Gone were the days of greenhouses with less than 100,000 square feet in production facility space. Now, the new normal is apparently going to be hundreds of thousands, to over a million square feet reserved for greenhouse growth.

At first it was Aurora Cannabis turning heads with its $100 million Aurora Sky project, at the Edmonton International Airport. Construction commenced on the enormous 800,000 square foot cannabis production facility in July of this year, with completion scheduled for the first half of 2018.

Not to be outdone, industry front-runner Canopy Growth announced it would develop up to 3 million square feet of additional greenhouse capacity in British Columbia. The deal would see Canopy strike a deal with an already established private greenhouse partner, to convert a 1.3 million square foot facility from its current crop of peppers, to cannabis plants-all with the intention of commercial production being ready in time for the July 1, 2018 legalization kickoff date.

But as both those multi-billion-dollar companies have made headlines, up-and-comer MYM Nutraceuticals has successfully commissioned a massive undertaking of its own.

Through a joint effort with the City of Weedon, Quebec, MYM’s massive Weedon Project is destined to the largest cannabis cultivation site in the country.

With the approval and contribution of 329 acres of land from the City of Weedon, MYM will build a 1.5 million square foot greenhouse facility, estimated to produce sales of $750 million by 2021, with profit estimates of $325 million.

Attached to the facility will be an education centre, working in congruence with universities regarding botany degrees, vocational programs with certifications specializing in the cannabis plant and operations from seed to sale. In essence, this massive project is designed to turn Weedon into the undisputed cannabis capital of Canada.


While waves were made by MYM recently not only with an update on its Weedon Project, and with its sister facility in Laval, Quebec, but also with its expansionary efforts on the other side of the planet.

The market truly began to take notice, as MYM announced recently an expansion on its plans to build a facility in New South Wales, Australia. The expansion would make bring the new size of the project to a total of 1.2 million square feet of greenhouse and extraction facilities, bringing MYM’s global square footage very close to Canopy’s explosive 3 million square foot earmark in British Columbia.

The announcement caused MYM’s second significant share price boost in just one week.

“Demand for cannabis is growing worldwide and with MYM actively investigating all opportunities in each sector of the cannabis industry, it will develop MYM into a complete Global seed to sale company,” said Rob Gietl, Chief Executive Officer of MYM Nutraceuticals.

“MYM is working to open up cannabis distribution channels globally to accelerate our growth. Our Weedon project alone has 329 acres to expand production on. As recreational cannabis opens in more markets and as global markets expand, we plan on being ahead of the curve and have supply chains ready.”

Australia is positioning itself as a market to be the next Canada.

As the country has continuously introduced more and more progressive medical cannabis laws over the last few years, it’s safe to assume that legal recreational sales will be soon around the corner.

With a population of more than 24 million people, Australia’s cannabis market has been estimated to grow to roughly CAD $9 billion over the next seven years, making the down-under nation a very attractive market for producers.

Having a leg up on the competition and being one of the first large-scale producers in the Australian market should give MYM a significant first-mover advantage over the competition.


Canopy Growth Inc. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF)

Formerly known as Tweed Marijuana Inc., Canopy Growth is a multi-licensed, geographically diverse marijuana producer, described as “one of the world’s – and Canada’s first – premier exporters of marijuana” by the Financial Post in 2016. Canopy is the parent company of licensed cannabis producers, Tweed Inc., Tweed Farms Inc., Bedrocan Canada Inc., as well as newly acquired Mettrum Health Corp. Canopy currently has a combined growing platform of over 665,000 sq. ft. of production space. It was also the first federally regulated, publicly traded cannabis producer in North America, and the first billion-dollar cannabis corporation. Canopy Growth was founded in 2014, and is based in Smith Falls, Ontario.

Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) (OTC: ACBFF)

Aurora Cannabis boasts the second highest square footage approved for cannabis production in Canada. Together with its subsidiaries, Aurora produces and distributes medical marijuana products in Canada. The company’s products consist of dried cannabis and cannabis oil.

Aurora is the only cannabis producer located in the province of Alberta, giving the company a cost advantage through its free use of fresh mountain-fed water used on site, and housed under the lowest corporate tax rates and power rates in Canada. Capitalizing on numerous farm credit programs provided by the province, Aurora has positioned itself as arguably the lowest cost-per-gram licensed producer in Canada. Aurora became a licensed producer in 2015, and is based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH) (OTC: APHQF)

Aphria is one of Canada’s lowest cost licensed cannabis producers, specializing in the production, suppy, and sale of medical cannabis. The company offers sativa, indica, and hybrid medical marijuana products, as well as cannabis oils. It also provides support services in the form of medical consultations, group therapies, and rehabilitation to veteran and first responders. The company sells its products through its online store or phones, as well as engages in the wholesale shipping of medical marijuana plant cuttings and dried buds to other licensed producers. Aphria Inc. is headquartered in Leamington, Canada.

For a more in-depth look into MYM Nutraceuticals you can view the in-depth report at American News Group:

Article Source: 

USA News Group

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