There's mounting investor fear in the tar sands of America's northern neighbor -- and that could mean opportunity for you.
Home to the world's third-largest oil reserves, Canada faces an extremely difficult 2016, as energy prices continue their free fall and the country's new left-leaning prime minister Justin Trudeau promises to enact a stricter environmental agenda that will weigh on oil companies.
These headwinds will hurt the share prices of firms heavily involved in the Canadian oil sands, which makes them dangerous stocks to own right now.
What's more, the liberal administration that now rules oil-rich Alberta announced in December a new "green" policy plan of its own that would cap the province's greenhouse-gas emissions from oil sands production at 100 million metric tons a year.
Not surprisingly, Standard and Poor's in December downgraded Alberta's credit rating, citing the province's weakening revenue forecasts and its expanding debt burden. The Alberta government's most recent budget optimistically forecast oil prices at $50 a barrel in 2015 and $61 in 2016-17. After falling more than 70% from their midsummer highs in 2014, oil prices now hover at below $30 a barrel, which has devastated tax receipts for Canada as a whole and Alberta in particular.
Exploration and production giants such as ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are deeply invested in the Canadian oil sands, joining Canada-based oil sands giant Suncor Energy (SU) - Get Report in producing ever-more oil from the region.
In 1979, Sun Oil merged with Great Canadian Oil Sands to form Suncor Energy, which is currently the biggest player in the oil sands. Suncor's stock has declined 25.49% over the past year, as energy prices march downward and the Canadian oil sands contribute to a massive global glut of oil.
Once a high-flying stock that was all the rage with energy investors, Suncor is now among a group of several vulnerable equities that are poised for further steep declines in 2016.
Problem is, even if oil prices rebound (which isn't likely anytime soon), the imminent carbon caps from the federal and provincial governments would impede oil sands development over the long haul.
The best way to profit from Canada's increasing energy woes is through the HorizonsBetaPro S&P/TSX Cap E Bear+ ETF, an inverse exchange-traded fund that's a bearish bet on Canada's beleaguered energy industry.
This ETF investment seeks to replicate twice the inverse (-2X) of the daily performance of the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index. The fund includes stocks belonging to the S&P/TSX Energy industry sector classification, with the weight of any one company capped at 25% of the fund's market capitalization.
With net assets of $4.73 million, the fund carries a rather high expense ratio of 1.51%, but its prospects are excellent as global oil markets -- Canada's in particular -- continue to stumble in 2016.
Returns for the HorizonsBetaPro S&P/TSX Cap E Bear+ ETF are 28.46% year-to-date, and 42.85% for the past year.
Better known as the land of ice and snow, Canada is also the land of plunging energy revenue. The time to short the oil sands of the Great White North is now, as energy prices continue to plunge with no end in sight.
As we've just explained, Canada's energy industry faces a world of pain in 2016. We've also unearthed a group of 29 dangerous stocks that are on the verge of collapse this year. They're terrible places for your money today. In fact, using a little-known financial "health test," the stocks on this list are a failure in every category! Click here now to make sure you don't make the mistake of owning one.
John Persinos is editorial manager and investment analyst at Investing Daily. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.