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Garth Turner

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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.

April 13th, 2021 | Patience

The Greater Fool - How do you possibly buy a house when bidding against maniacs? Or sell to one? This is perplexing. Stressful. Extreme times have brought extreme conditions and high emotions. “Here you are having to put your life’s one big decision of buying a home in 10 minutes of viewing time,” says a freaked-out buyer in Burnaby. […]

April 12th, 2021 | Froth

The Greater Fool - We talk much about the real estate bubble. It’s real. And dangerous. Fueled by emotional buyers, greed and fear. What about a financial bubble? Is that real? Also a looming risk? Lately equity markets have been at record levels. The Dow. The S&P. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, even Bay Street. New York markets are up more […]

April 11th, 2021 | Sheepless

The Greater Fool - There will be no capital gains tax inclusion rate increase in the budget next Monday. No creeping tax on realized home equity, either. And no wealth or inheritance tax. That’s the will of the Liberal grassroots, as expressed in the policy conference just completed. Add to that comments by the federal housing minister (‘no capital […]

April 9th, 2021 | Is that it?

The Greater Fool - Was that just a first warning shot over the realtors’ bow? Or the only volley? Yesterday the federal bank cop upped the stress test rate, effective June 1st. Now anyone seeking an uninsured home loan has to prove the ability to carry payments at (a) the market rate +2%, or (b) at 5.25%, whichever hurts […]

April 8th, 2021 | The Haves

The Greater Fool - Up or down? Better or worse? Should we party or turtle? The numbers seem bewildering. Seven in ten own real estate, which is going insane. The personal savings rate has not been this high since I had black chest hair (thick, manly, be envious). Stock markets and financial assets are galloping. Portfolios plumping. The US […]

April 6th, 2021 | Too Much, Too Fast

The Greater Fool - A survey by Merrill has found that 70% of Americans now own equities. Stocks. Funds. ETFs. Financial assets. The typical 401k (equivalent to our RRSP) is stuffed with liquid, publicly-traded, negotiable investment assets. And here? In 1991, 64% of us owned real estate. By 2016 that grew to 67.8%. And it has now touched 70%. […]

April 5th, 2021 | Exit Strategy

The Greater Fool - Louis, sadly, came here and read Friday’s blog post. What a drag You might recall that the topic was the tsunami of wrinklies currently being unleashed upon our nation. Over the next decade and beyond, this rabble of aging Hippies, disco freaks, deaf former heavy-metal fans and people who actually remember dial-up Internet and cars […]

April 4th, 2021 | The Melt-up Melt Down?

The Greater Fool - Planning on buying a home this month? Don’t. You’ll probably pay too much. Real estate analysts, economists, aficionados, experts and key players are now all expecting the same. Bubble, meet prick. The federal budget on Monday the 19th will either set up a blow to the housing market to be delivered by CMHC, or do […]

April 2nd, 2021 | The Time Bomb

The Greater Fool - Soon we get a budget. Don’t expect pretty. Red ink to the horizon. All will blame Covid. Fine. We get it. Pandemics are rare and hideously costly. But they also pass, as this one will. However some things don’t pass, and are far more consequential. Like age. Currently Canada is sliding into a demographic crapstorm […]

April 1st, 2021 | Game-Changer

The Greater Fool - Just in time for spring showers, spring flowers and puppies (at four grand a piece), we have new lockdowns. Covid ain’t giving it up. BC is shuttered. The crazy Kelowna ski hill kids are all fired. Ontario hears the bad news today. ICUs are full. Public health officials are scary. Schools going remote again. Every […]

March 31st, 2021 | Blindly

The Greater Fool - Ride with me to a medium-sized city east of Toronto. My sidekick and I have something to share. He’s a lawyer. A real estate guy, handling deals for a decade now. After reading yesterday’s post about blind auctions and the effect they have on property values, he offers this experience. Single family ranch home in […]

March 30th, 2021 | The Ladder

The Greater Fool - The rating agency Fitch periodically parses our silly housing market. The report it produces goes to institutions dealing with residential mortgage loans collateralizing covered bond programs and residential mortgage-backed securities. That’s probably not you. But here’s the interesting conclusion: Fitch’s Sustainable Home Price is derived by benchmarking the current local home price against the sustainable […]

March 29th, 2021 | Varmints

The Greater Fool - Blog doggess Sue borrowed a bunch of money against her home from her bank. The one with the Penguins. She knows the drill. Get a HELOC. Invest the proceeds in non-registered financial assets. Make interest-only payments. Then deduct every dollar from taxable income. All good. Especially when the loan is so damn cheap – the […]

March 28th, 2021 | Rad

The Greater Fool - Three weeks out from the maiden Chrystia budget, the stats are toe-curling. The virus may be vanquished by the end of 2021 but the legacy will live on. In other words, hide your money. From April of 2019 until the end of that year Ottawa spent $10.6 billion more than it took in. That’s called […]

March 26th, 2021 | ‘We are Watching’

The Greater Fool - For the past nine months he’s been chronicling the bizarre housing in his neck of the woods on IG. “It’s crazy,” he says. “Each day I posted listings that were either insanely overpriced, missing photos, photos that were poor quality, houses that were messes, interesting features like stripper poles, etc.” Apparently that’s an appealing feature […]

March 25th, 2021 | The Guardian

The Greater Fool - Are the bankers worried? One of them – a big poohbah at the nation’s largest lender – says it’s time to reconsider tax-free house gains. Gulp. Heresy. The country’s dominant real estate board has reacted in unvarnished disgust. And from the trenches, here’s the report of one of our own – slogging daily to hand […]

March 24th, 2021 | Giving it up

The Greater Fool - How craven has the world become? Reflect on these words from a Blog Dog currently on contract with one of the Big Banks. Working in any capacity that supports mortgage applications these days is similar to an all night shift in a Bangladesh garment factory..  The frenzy you detail on the blog each day is […]

March 22nd, 2021 | The Illusion

The Greater Fool - In speaking with Evan and Barb on Monday it was clear. Nobody is spared from this. They’re both 40, live in a rented flat (a nice one, leafy street, decent hood, Yorkipoo) and have interesting jobs. WFH and virtual these days, of course. “But the before times were good,” she says. ”They’ll come back.” Savings […]

March 21st, 2021 | The Gift

The Greater Fool - A row house on a leafy street an hour (by car) west of the urban core sold last week with a flurry of offers and for hundreds more than asking. Yawn. Old news. This crazed behaviour is everywhere. But it’s still interesting a decidedly middle-class home with no new renos increased 50% in 24 months, […]

March 19th, 2021 | Wrinklies

The Greater Fool - Abdullah (“call me Ab, please”) has a problem. His folks. Like a lot of GenXers these days. It’s complex dealing with wrinklies, especially in a world where up is down, safe is risk and the virus is neverendum. The cost of living is galloping higher. Incomes are not. Health care is under siege. Getting old […]

March 18th, 2021 | Inflation

The Greater Fool - It doesn’t stop. One lonely 2×4 at Home Depot this week costs fourteen bucks, with HST. A sheet of plywood, three-quarter inch pine is (gulp) $77. Even lowly spruce is close to sixty bucks. My suspender-snapping fancy portfolio manager buddy Ryan says his basement reno bill went up a little because of material inflation – […]

March 17th, 2021 | Spring Things

The Greater Fool - It’s end-of-winter update time. Pay attention. First, whither your portfolio? Were those who said stocks sat at dangerous levels last year, as stimulus billions washed over society, right? How about people who warned that if bond yields/interest rates rose  financials would crack? Here are the one-year gains for markets – suggesting if you bought in […]

March 16th, 2021 | The Sequel

The Greater Fool - The vax news is gAdd Newetting more infectious. The AZ brew’s been okayed for all us wrinklies, increasing supply. That floof about it causing blood clots has been discredited. Booster shots for the two-dose vaccines can now be months (not weeks) apart – more supply. And as of next week, boodles of bottles will be […]

March 15th, 2021 | Patience

The Greater Fool - In Kitchener-Waterloo last month house sales grew 28%. The price of a detached place was 35.4% greater than in February of 2020, when you’d never heard about Covid and couldn’t imagine everyone in the bank looking like they were holding it up. Hundreds of new families trekked 120 km down the killer 401 from the […]

March 14th, 2021 | The Bonfire

The Greater Fool - Sometimes it makes sense to step away. Would that be now? In the last two weeks this blog has detailed some of the excesses of our pandemic world. In fact, most of the irrational behaviour flows directly from the virus. Governments and politicians have gone extreme. Shut-in, restricted, locked-down and quarantined citizens have made wild […]
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