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October 22, 2019 | The Losers

And finally… The prime minister and his party gave up a lot of ground, surrendering seats and losing the popular vote Monday night. Minority government is no fun, and he’ll likely be fighting for his political life again in a couple of years. The Conservatives blew an historic opportunity to topple a wobbly and insecure […]

October 20, 2019 | Why

One more sleep to the big vote. But let’s ignore that. Enough is enough. We’ll get the country we deserve. But will we get the blog we deserve? That’s the question. Truth be told, you haven’t impressed me lately. At least the 1% of visitors who leave a comment. Over the last few days, they […]

October 18, 2019 | Danger, Danger

Sell. Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital. In a crowded hall, exit doors are small. China has set off a major correction and it is going to snowball. Equities and credit have become very dangerous, and we have hardly even begun to retrace the ‘Goldilocks […]

October 17, 2019 | Tools

The moister moaning has been munificent over the past months since the stress test came along. Maybe 20% of buyers have been punted. And rightly so. People without enough money shouldn’t buying houses. But what about the wrinklies? They’re the crusty folks Mills love to hate – the ones who bought years ago and now […]

October 16, 2019 | Lessons from Anon

The real estate establishment’s in high gear. CREA says sales and sentiment have returned to normal. Re/Max issued a media release stating cannabis has been good for housing prices (at least in the weedopolis of Smiths Falls). Realtor boards in Toronto and Vancouver are pumping ‘balanced’ markets. And apparently there’s an election on, with politicians […]

October 14, 2019 | Kid Cash

Enough of T2, Jag, ‘Doug’ Scheer, Max, Greenies-Greta and the Blochead dude. Let’s stray back into the real world for at least a day, where people actually mean what they say. In this life folks worry about taxes, cash flow, houses, debt, savings, pensions and their kids. And that brings us to Kate and her […]

October 13, 2019 | Seven Days

Seven days before the federal election and more proof a week in politics is an eternity. For several reasons, a yawner vote in 2019 turned into a pivotal contest, rife with financial and economic consequences. Who knew? Here’s the latest, according to the amalgam of polls the CBC tracks: the odds of the Tories wining […]

October 11, 2019 | The Thanksgiving

  Forget Blackface. Ignore Lavalin. Who cares about Jody or Jane? Or that creepy India trip? Deficits, debts and a fake feminist in the PMO don’t matter much when you have… a job. So the latest unemployment numbers, coming just 10 days before the federal election, make it hard for guys like Andrew Scheer to […]

October 10, 2019 | Don’t Inhale

Was it just months ago this blog was labeled not only pathetic but paleo? The crime: suggesting legal weed might impact real estate. Especially rentals. And the question was posed: would you want to be a landlord renting space to junior potheads growing plants in the shower and exhaling odours into the paint? The moisters […]

October 9, 2019 | The Trap

When the cost of money tanks, debt swells. People devote more income to making payments. They save less, spend less and worry more. Liquid assets vanish. Children go shoeless. Dogs run free. Relationships crumble. But realtors and divorce lawyers are happy. Audi guys, too. That may be a tad exaggerated. But you get the drift. […]

October 8, 2019 | Boo

What is it about October? Volatile weather. Volatile markets. Elections. Shorter days. Falling leaves. These are weeks when investors brace for a financial roller-coaster ride. For well over a century this month has sucked. Stock market gyrations during October have averaged 38% more than any other slice of the calendar. The biggest, scariest declines have […]

October 7, 2019 | Flyers

Being in a political debate is no treat. Especially when you have a ton to lose. I know. At the end of my first term as a member of Parliament (I was a Tory then – the good kind, a PC) the election featured a wild event one night in my riding. There were thirteen […]

October 6, 2019 | Lubrication

Oliver’s a Millennial. He admits it. “35,” he says. “Make about 90k a year, DB pension, managed to save about 80k in a balanced portfolio of ETFs. 0 debt. I drive a Kia, so you already know I’m depraved, but I hope you’ll be able to give me some advice, anyway.” The context: we’re exactly […]

October 3, 2019 | Suck. Blow. Repeat.

Here we go again? Arghhh. Say it ain’t so. Well, we’ll see. But the latest market stats out of Canada’s two major-league delirious real estate markets certainly suggest that for a variety of reasons house lust is back. The facts: In Toronto prices popped last month the most in about two years, which means houses […]

October 2, 2019 | Stuff Happens

Despite Wednesday’s market spanking, it’s been quite the year.  Including dividends, Bay Street is ahead close to 20% in 2019. Wall Street has added 15%. Balanced, boring, pedestrian, sleep-at-night portfolios are running double digits in the black. Even wrinklies with less growth stuff and more fixed income are up 7%. Hard to argue that a […]

October 1, 2019 | The Big Fix

Lizzie May would fight climate change by taxing financial transactions. A lot. Seventeen billion a year, collecting money every time you bought an ETF. Jag & the Dippers would bring in a wealth tax to pay for their promises, including pharmacare for all and billions to build cheap houses. This week J said his party […]

September 29, 2019 | Old Dogs

Patrick is 48 and single, renting. His brother Les is 41, two kids, house and mortgage. Mom lives in a little condo, no financing, no savings. Dad has dementia. He’s in the hospital and not coming home. This family’s in crisis. P reads the blog, contacted me for help and let me know his folks […]

September 27, 2019 | The Bribes

Do people lie to pollsters, just to mess with their heads? Maybe. But if the latest numbers hold, the T2 Libs are headed for a majority. This is astonishing to those who wondered how he could survive the Lavalin mess. Or the defection of Jody and Jane. The ethics charges. The godawful India trip.  Overspending, […]

September 26, 2019 | ‘Get Me Out’

There was a money show in the Big Smoke a few days ago. Suspicious DIY investors in hoodies wandered around booths full of hungry salesguys for stocks, weed, crypto, insurance, brokerages and funds. Same old story. Everybody wants to make out like a bandit. Nobody wants risk. When it comes to investing, nothing changes. Ever. […]

September 25, 2019 | Dr. Garth

Impeaching Trump. Trudeau buying homeowners new furnaces. The Greens sucking off $15 billion a year taxing your RRSP transfers. Conservatives encouraging more debt. It’s a mad, mad world out there. But in the warm, wet womb of this pathetic blog, you can curl up on the Doctor’s couch and let those worries hang out. We […]

September 24, 2019 | Really?

Since this election is pivoting on house lust, let’s look at one more key promise: a return to 30-year mortgages. Those of you who can remember the dark, stormy Harper years will recall Ottawa briefly lost its mind and told CMHC to insure people buying houses with 0% down and mortgages amortized over 40 years. […]

September 23, 2019 | Desperados

“A Conservative government will fix the stress test to make sure first time homebuyers can get access to a mortgage.” And with those twenty words young Andrew Scheer, all dimpled and determined, made it official. Full speed astern. The thrusters are reversed. Let’s party like it’s 2016. Blackface meets clownface. What a sad corner this […]

September 22, 2019 | The Dilemma

Tim’s 41 and his wife 36. “We are Toronto poor,” he laments. Poor is relative. Poor is how you feel, not just what you possess. So, yes, Tim is poor. “We earn just over $100k annually before taxes, rent a home for $2250 a month, we both finally paid off the last of our student […]

September 19, 2019 | Gaffes

There I was, trying to suck up votes on tour in Victoria when the news exploded. It was bad. Constituents were ripping Conservative signs out of their lawns and candidate offices nationally were besieged by outraged callers. In the space of a few hours an entire campaign went from cruising to crushed. What happened? The […]

September 18, 2019 | Money for Nothing

The tsunami continues. Atop the universal tax cut, the goosed-up shared-equity mortgage, the guaranteed income for new moms, the fatter kiddie cheques, swelled RESP grants, the free startup money and the flood of new child care spaces comes more wrinklie pogey. The latest big promise from Mr. Socks is a 10% boost to OAS payments […]

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