- the source for market opinions


June 23, 2017 | Let’s Go

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

For the past nine years this blog has been rolling history. Every day it sticks its pink little proboscis into the breeze and sniffs for change. So far there has been 2,695 posts containing more than two million words. That’s 33 books.

In response, the people who come here have posted 490,000 comments. That works out to less than 1% of each day’s visitors. The other 99.2% know better. The average time people spend reading this is three minutes and forty seconds which, as pointed out in the past, is exactly 120 seconds less than the average love-making session. But the latter doesn’t require having an Internet provider, or hand-held device. I hope.

Google Analytics, if it can be believed, shows 7.4 million sessions occur here per year. And, I’m happy to say, my file of DELETED comments has shrunk drastically in the last 18 months, since a bunch of dipsticks and ne’er-do-wells were punted from this site.

Anyway, this context is just to remind you we’re all on a voyage together into the unknown, and those two thousand-plus posts amount to an attempt to look a little further down the road, in real time. So don’t bother coming here a year (or five) later to say the observations were wrong. If you don’t like what this pathetic blog has to say, leave. Anybody can look backwards and be a genius. I think they’re called Conservatives.

Well, what’s next?

Pretty much what we’ve been expecting. Record debt and historic house prices have trapped the middle class in a snare of their own making. Income disparity is epic, as wealthy people with more liquidity and diversification make out as never before. Despite universal access to wisdom, financial illiteracy is rampant. A regrettable experiment with populist politics is starting to go badly all over. And, like Sears retirees, many people will suffer in the clash between a globalist, tech-driven, free-trade online world and their own bad assumptions.

So this blog, highly imperfect as it is (but with glistening abs and a six-pack torso) adds a little each day to that map. Maybe people are starting to get it. I see in Toronto, for example, a third of all homeowners now say they’re considering selling. Given that there are two million households, 821,000 detached houses and about 400,000 condos, with the market poised to decline and rates set to rise, this’ll be interesting. Much may be about to change as supply overwhelms demand after years of exactly the opposite.

Anyway, personal real estate is just a symbol of the past – an expensive, inefficient, antique way to live, and an emotional, unpredictable, costly way to invest. It’s amazing how many of us think the goal of life is a house. It isn’t.

The purpose is to enjoy the single asset you cannot earn, borrow or steal. Thus time is the measure. Money can make it pass with more pleasure, but not more meaning. For that you likely need family, success or love. And a dog.

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June 23rd, 2017

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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