Canadian Banks.

So now that we have a prototype how does this fit with the Canadian Banks? First a bit more about B-waves. They can be regular, or irregular which simple means that they climb above the starting point of the A wave. Their are no hard and fast rules but I believe it is more or less accepted that irregular B-waves should not exceed the top of the A-wave by more than about 30 t0 35%. Here is an example, CWB, Canadian Western Bank, they pride themselves on financing anything that is yellow (think CAT) and belches diesel smoke;

cwb june 29 2015

You can clearly see the B-wave. This one just happens to be at the edge of the 30 to 35% or so limit, but in every other respect it is perfectly clear. Target $8 or lower. If that sounds ridiculous than keep in mind that it last traded there just 10 years ago.

An error crept into the chart, the 4th of previous degree line should be lower, at $6!

The next two big banks that have the clearest B-waves are CIBC, CM and BMO;

CM june 29 2015bmo june 29 2015

Commerce is of particular interest as it managed to double top, the last big bank to do so much to the surprise of many that work there and thought they would never see the day. In any event, nice B-waves and terrible targets. BNS and National Bank have B-waves that are borderline but still acceptable given the channels they are in;

bns june 29 2015Na june 29 2015

Royal appears to follow the triangle scenario a little better and TD is unclear, perhaps because the Canada Trust part changed the company to such an extent that it simple cannot be looked at on a continues basis;

ry june 29 2015td june 29 2015

Royal sticks to it’s channel quite nicely. It would fit either of the two scenarios equally well, in fact it probably fallows the path of JP Morgan the best despite the fact that it has outperformed it by a long shot. TD must fall into the B-wave scenario given the otherwise not acceptable overlap. Putting it all together, including the insurance companies we have the XFN, the TSX capped financial ETF;

XFN june 29 2015

There can be no question that this is a B-wave, AND that it is complete. This chart has less time on it as the ETF did not exist prior to 2002. Fortunately, we can still see where the wave 4 of previous degree, that is on the way up, is. $11 and that is where we should go under EW rules and guidelines.

We have left out HCG, Home Capital Group. It is by far the best performer and fundamentally runs a sound business model. It does not fit easily in either scenario but with a little imagination we can make the triangle – distorted though it may seem to be – work quite well. The top is even perfectly above the apex! Here is that chart;

HCG june 29 2015

The conclusion must be that you do not want to be in the financials, period. By the way, this negative outlook is in no way predicated on what happens in Greece. If the timing seems to coincide it would be just another one of those fallacies, after this, therefore because of this.

HCG, Home Capital Group and CWB, Canadian Western Bank.

HCG aug 2011

HCG has surprised me by its strength. At the beginning of this year it looked to me as if the stock might start down, with the proviso that it might go up another $5. It did $4 and then started its decline. This is a great company that feeds on the discarded leftovers of the big boys, much of which is still high quality business considering the fastidious requirements these big banks often apply. The P/E is quite low at 8-9. Even so I doubt that they will escape the general downdraft banks inevitable will face in the near future. Going lower.



cwb aug 2011 b cwb aug 2011 s

My concern with Canadian Western Bank stems partly from their statement to the effect that they would finance anything that is yellow and spews diesel soot; read Caterpillar and other such machines. Which, of course, makes them more sensitive to the vagaries of the mining and construction industry and vulnerable to demand destruction should the good times come to an end. The history of banking in Canada, West of Ontario is also not all that inspiring given the experience of the Northland and Continental banks in the β€˜80-ties, confirming the adage that the exception proves the rule by going bust in very short order.

In EW terms this rally over the past two or so years is most probable a B-wave, not a 5th as with HCG (perhaps). The A – triangle B – C is readily identifiable by both the channels and the Fibo ratio between the two. I have no idea what keeps the stock suspended at these lofty levels ( for about seven months the stock has traded at a dollar above or below $30!) but, assuming this analysis is correct, a fairly violent drop could be just around the corner.

The Canadian Banks.

First a chart of just about every single one of them;

RY banks BNS banks

cm banks bmo banks

na banks hcg banks

cwb banks  LB banks

TD 2011

From top to bottom we have RY, which made a new high and then dropped 10% or so, BNS that not only made a new high but stayed up there, CM (CIBC) that seems to be groping in the dark, BMO, middle of the road, NA National, HCG Home Capital Group (see comments elsewhere) the best of the lot and , ironically, the only sub-prime lender, CWB Canadian Western Bank they finance anything that belches diesel smoke and is yellow, the Laurentian Bank and last the TD.

Notice that despite some , sometimes large, deviations most have done more or les the same thing. All had 5 waves up, then a big drop, and then an attempt to a new high. Some failed others did not. The TD is in the middle of the pack with a simple double top.

All are sells! These banks operate as a cartel, with intended or unintended collusion all over the place, with rotating price setting etc. etc. This is the same all over the world but Canada does it best. They have a huge lobby in Ottawa and usually get what they want (with the notable exception of further mergers). If they want private wealth management to stay that way, as opposed to broadening the CPP, they will get that.

There is one big problem with this. Ultimately ,with globalization , the system will have to be opened to competition when Canadians tire of paying twice as much as the next guy. They already have just about everything. In the mid eighties they took over mortgage lending from the trust companies and now control about 80% of that. A few years later they took over all the  major investment dealers and now control much of that. Gradually the independent mutual fund firms are also taken over and now they control the bulk of that. They have made sizeable gains in insurance and are gaining momentum. There is precious little left other than leasing and travel. So where is the growth going to come from?

    At the same time new rules  (Basel 3, Volcker, Capital requirements etc.etc.) and regulations are crimping their ability to move beyond the straight and narrow. Not that they ever did much of that but even so they will be doing less of it in the future.  Soon, hopefully, they will lose the absolutely enormous benefit bestowed upon them by ridiculously low rates. This is a mature industry, and the next 20 years are not likely to resemble the last. The only thing they still have going for them is the perception that they are safe blue chips. Any broker who is not sure what to do buys bank stock and this artificially keeps a bid under the stocks, but from the charts it is abundantly clear that this can change very fast as in 2008, maybe it will again.

   From a buy low sell high standpoint , none of the above banks are a buy today.