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1. Shopping season is here…

Once again, the consumer appears more resilient than expected! Adobe Analytics data showed Black Friday shopping was up 7.5% y/y to a record US $9.8 billion for the day. Adobe also estimated Cyber Monday spending to be US $12.4 billion. Spend on mobile was estimated to be +14% y/y and an all-time record as people preferred to shop from home. And Shopify had a record Black Friday result, with merchants reporting +22% growth in gross merchandise volume (GMV).

If you missed out on the sales weekend, don’t worry, Amazon announced they have millions more holiday deals still to come!

Source: Deloitte (November 2023)

2. Bets on…

The SDEX index provides a good indication of the markets willingness to take on risk. Or its disinclination to take out insurance. The Index measures the relative cheapness to an out-of-the-money put versus an at-the-money put. And the SDEX Index is currently printing at the lowest level in history. Meaning investors aren’t expecting volatility, or don’t think they need insurance against it!

Source: Bloomberg (November 2023)

3. Demographic debrief…

There are some interesting changes in global demographics taking shape –
1. The United Nations forecasts that by the end of this century, Japan’s population will have declined from 120 million to 80 million, see first chart below.
2. India has caught up to China in outbound travel penetration post Covid, after it lagged China by an estimated 13 years pre-Covid.
3. China’s annual births have dropped to the lowest level in over 75 years.
4. And Canada’s population is surging, as USA population change declines.

Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan; UN; Haver; Apollo Chief Economist (November 2023)

Source: Morgan Stanley (November 2023)

Source: Nikkei Asia (November 2023)

US versus Canadian population growth

Source: Evans (November 2023)


This article is prepared by Firetrail Investments Pty Limited (‘Firetrail’) (ABN 98 622 377 913, AFSL 516821) as the investment manager of the Firetrail Australian High Conviction Fund (ARSN 624 136 045), the Firetrail Absolute Return Fund (ARSN 624 135 879), the Firetrail Australian Small Companies Fund (ARSN 638 792 113) and the Firetrail S3 Global Opportunities Fund (ARSN 653 717 625) (‘the Funds’). Pinnacle Fund Services Limited ('PFSL') (ABN 29 082 494 362, AFSL 238371) is the product issuer of the Fund. PFSL is not licensed to provide financial product advice. PFSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited (‘Pinnacle’) (ABN 22 100 325 184). The Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’) and Target Market Determination (‘TMD’) of the relevant Fund are available via the links below. Any potential investor should consider the PDS and TMD before deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold units in, the Fund.

Links to the Product Disclosure Statement: WHT3810AU, WHT5134AU, WHT3093AU, WHT7794AU

Links to the Target Market Determination: WHT3810AU, WHT5134AU, WHT3093AU, WHT7794AU

For historic TMD’s please contact Pinnacle client service Phone 1300 010 311 or Email

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