- the source for market opinions


December 11, 2019 | The Big Proboscis

Hey, time for another ok-Boomer paranoia blog. While the kids today are perfectly compliant when it comes to gutting the notion of property rights and happy to stick it to existing homeowners and rentiers, the crusty ones are not. In an overtaxed land, using more taxes to drive down asset values is a flawed idea. […]

December 10, 2019 | The Jubilee

Kids exiting uni owe an average of $28,000. For law students it’s four times that amount. If you’re a baby doctor or dentist, owning two hundred grand is no stretch. Lots of people carry those debts into their thirties, when they’re into the process of heaping on more debt – for a car or maybe […]

December 9, 2019 | Threats

A brief update on this pathetic blog. It’s been eleven years of dogs, balanced portfolios, taxes, chiseled abs, moister-bating, house porn and fighting with infidels, xenophobes and now the Wexit whackos. It contains 3,590 posts (2.7 million words, or the equivalent of 44 books) and 632,033 comments, not counting the 14 million that were deleted. […]

December 8, 2019 | What’s Coming

The average tat costs about $200. So soon you can have a new one, thanks to Justin Trudeau’s government (he has a few). In the coming days the feds will table legislation to cut some taxes by increasing the basic personal exemption to $15,000. That means no tax on that first fifteen grand (a $2,000 […]

December 6, 2019 | The Disgrace

It’s a coincidence, but on the day the Bank of Canada head dude said he’s quitting came evidence the maple economy’s melting. Stephen Poloz is out in June. And we lost 71,000 jobs in a single month. It’s hard to overstate how much this sucks. If we were Americans it would equate to erasing 700,000 […]

December 5, 2019 | Trust

It’s a weird Canadian thing. Everybody – buyers, politicians, moms – complains bitterly about houses people can’t afford. But we call markets where sales are brisk and prices rising, ‘healthy’ and ‘robust.’ We say places where real estate is getting cheaper are ‘in distress,’ ‘depressed’ or ‘struggling.’ So are lower prices and less debt a […]

December 4, 2019 | The slathering

Why do big-city houses cost so much and rents are bonkers? Yeah, mortgages are too cheap and house lust too strong. But as big a reason as any comes packaged in one word: investors. Half all new condos and four in ten existing ones have been snapped up by people with no intention of living […]

December 3, 2019 | Six Words

Trump snorted and stocks got the shakes this week. Fresh from hitting record highs, equity markets shed hundreds of points. The issue? China. After  hinting a trade deal was at hand, Tariff Man reappeared saying he was in no hurry to sign anything. In fact a new set of levies may be imposed on the […]

December 2, 2019 | Wrexit

Most of us outside AB don’t care about Wexit. But we will. Western alienation has the potential to create political chaos in Canada, send the feds into a tailspin, blow up the Conservative party and send a shudder through the national economy. But Alberta isn’t going anywhere. Just like Quebec. And Jason Kenney, the current […]

December 1, 2019 | Dr Garth

“Unsure of whether an MSU is appropriate or patronizing, so I’ll just state I’ve been an avid reader and occasional commenter for 12 years, and your advice has saved this Alberta cowboy from himself many a time,” says Thomas, guaranteeing my attention. “I’ve never sent in an email, but puzzling through this one and thought […]

November 29, 2019 | The Target

You can hide a million bucks in your RRSP, and escape the long arm of the CRA. You and your squeeze can shelter almost $150,000 as of January in your TFSAs, and Bill Morneau’s sticky singers will never touch. Your investments can earn fat capital gains and the tax bill’s reduced by 50%. Or collect […]

November 28, 2019 | The Sure Thing

  The big blue bank pays 1% on its high-interest savings account. That’s half the inflation rate. Fail. But RBC will pony up a 2.5% yield for the first 90 days. Meanwhile Laurentian Bank has rattled the market with a HISA delivering 3.3% – bizarre, since that’s almost a third point higher than the rate […]

November 27, 2019 | Dog Talk

Bow-wow. Time for a Blog Dog update on some of the sordid, lamentable and usually nauseating topics this site loves to wallow in. Pull on the hip waders. Here we go. Siphoned seniors, going in reverse: So the amount of money being sucked out of houses by old people is reaching astonishing levels. Reverse mortgage […]

November 26, 2019 | The Rain Tax

This week the UN said greenhouses gases spew unabated, and we’ll all fry in eighty years. Global temps will spike over three degrees, and millions will become climate refugees. The economic destruction, political disruption and human misery will be legion. So why would you ever birth a child today? Action is desperately required. The deniers, […]

November 25, 2019 | Dr. Garth

So little time. So many questions. Here’s Patient One. Mackenzie. “I can’t recall you ever giving blog advice on how best to set up an RESP,” he says, proving that he hasn’t paid attention in the past. I know I should do it before year end for young Alexander, born last July. Any advice on […]

November 24, 2019 | Rights & Wrongs

Some days ago Dominique Walker, 34, and Sameerah Karim, 41, and their kids broke into a three-bedroom suburban home in Oakland, California. Actually they moved in. Squatters. The two have founded an ad hoc group called Moms for Housing. The goal is poetic and just, if illegal: “a collective of homeless and marginally housed mothers […]

November 22, 2019 | Not Gonna Happen

Twenty-four years ago this week the Dow breached 5,000 for the first time. Now it flirts with 28,000. Let’s have some context. For example, remember the dot-com bubble and crash? Tech stocks lost 80% of their value, and for good reason. We went through the Y2K scare. Then the mother of declines in 2008-9 as […]

November 20, 2019 | Shared Stupidity

The GTA is a huge place. Six million captives. There are hundreds of thousands of rental units in Canada’s biggest hunk of urbanity. Currently 99% of them are unavailable if you happen to be looking for digs. That vacancy rate of just over 1% is bad, but last year it was 0.3%. Fewer rentals means […]

November 19, 2019 | Don’t Do It

There was a good reason 65 was set as the retirement age for a government pension back in 1935. Life expectancy at the time was 61. Surprise! Well, lots has changed. Now you can apply for your CPP at age 60, if you want (and you should). The average dude lasts until 80 and the […]

November 18, 2019 | Fear of Heights

As 2019 began Bay Street legend David Rosenberg told clients falling show ticket prices on Broadway were reminiscent of 2007, and they should get set for “the high (and rising) risk of a recession.” Like, move to cash. Since then the Toronto stock market – despite an utter collapse in weed outfits – is up […]

November 17, 2019 | The Moaning

During that godawful election campaign the cowboy premier argued the mortgage stress test is unfair to Calgary and Edmonton. “One of the reasons why homes are less affordable in Alberta today is because of unfair rules imposed by Ottawa to deal with the overheated real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver,” thundered Jason Kenney. The […]

November 15, 2019 | Seeing Red

Well, there ya go. The indy PBO (Parliamentary Budget Office)  has confirmed what this cerebral but athletic blog told you. Trudeau fibbed. The federal deficit will be bigger, and your need to do something about it more urgent. You may recall during the election campaign that the T2 guys admitted (a) they have no plans […]

November 14, 2019 | Naked

The creep continues. It started with the mandatory reporting of any real estate transaction on your annual tax return – whether you made bank on it or not. Then it spread to the CRA as revenuers tracked down condo flippers, renospeckers and amateur landlords. Then they came for the basement suiters who collect cash rent. […]

November 12, 2019 | The F factor

The saga of F has been well documented here. Since he died more than five years ago, Jim Flaherty’s name is rarely heard. Too bad. He had some guts. And while in my final political days he joined the forces repelling and ejecting me, respect is due. The elfin deity left more good than bad […]

November 11, 2019 | Chow Down

What a weird blog. Alberta Liberation Army news. The Greta Report. The Breeders’ Daily (canine division). Fear & Greed on Bay & Wall. The Tax Avoider. T2 and You. Canadian Investment and Conjugal Advice. And, of course, The House Horniness Hotline. Today some morsels for all blog dogs to chew on. Apparently things are not […]

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