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July 9, 2021 | The Gush

Despite the moaning and wailing of those on this pathetic blog who never want to work again, a lot of people do. Friday’s jobs stats were a total blow-out. This confirms two conclusions: (a) election, and (b) central bank retreat. Did you see the numbers? Wow. Over 230,000 new hires last month – almost fully […]

July 8, 2021 | Work for What?

Tony is a self-taught but respected carpenter. “Cabinetry,” he says. “I love building that stuff.” For the last five years he’s been imparting skills and smarts to his twentysomething live-at-home spawn, Ben. I know these guys, as they’ve worked on a couple of my endless reno projects. When CERB came last year it meant $4,000 […]

July 7, 2021 | Muddled

In a moment, more taxes. First, common sense. Stocks markets flared higher again Wednesday as bond yields sank. The US 10-year Treasury yield has plopped to just 1.3% after it leapt to 1.75% in March. Bond yields go down and bond prices go up when investors think things might get squirrelly and fixed income is […]

July 6, 2021 | Torrid No More

Weeks ago a certain pathetic yet fully-inoculated blog told you the real estate mayhem would subside. FOMO would ease. People would get diverted back to other things, like travel, shopping, going to work and finding their pants. Lo, it happened. It now looks a lot as if March of 2021 – exactly twelve months after […]

July 5, 2021 | The Big Lie

Shortly after the herd is dosed, it will get to vote. A Thanksgiving election? If so, how appropriate. Justin, Our Pandemic Protector, will wish you to shower him with thankful ballots for having overseen the virus attack, which only crashed the economy for 15 months and killed 26,362 people. But it could have been worse. […]

July 2, 2021 | Burning

Martin and his squeeze are 38. Rent in Vancouver. No kids. No dog. But big ambitions. We have a combined income of $165,000 and my wife works for a provincial agency. She will have a modest DB pension.  Currently we have $1,250,000 in savings, no mortgage/debt, and we rent.  If you don’t believe me I […]

July 1, 2021 | The End

The RCMP constable, Justin, was kind. “I know it wasn’t just a flag,” he said, staring at the empty, void wall of the wee bank. “Not to you.” Overnight, vandals and thieves cut the cords supporting my Peace Tower prize, ripped it down and stole it. Maybe the flag’s in the harbour now. Or burned. […]

June 30, 2021 | The Fail Test

Well, the pandemic ends tomorrow. Canada Day marks not only a time for haters to harass me about my flag (an update below), but also the time when provinces like BC, Alberta, Ontario and NS dump most Covid protocols and let you live a kinda-normal life again. No masks in British Columbia, where they need […]

June 29, 2021 | The Showdown

The exit of Lib cabinet star Catherine McKenna this week birthed immediate speculation legendary Mark Carney will be running this autumn in the 100%-guaranteed-election that’s yet to be announced. Carney was head snort at the Bank of Canada. Then he ran the Bank of England (during the Brexit mess). Then US special envoy for climate […]

June 28, 2021 | Noob Talk

“Apart from reading your blog,” writes Kiren, “I’m a complete noob.” So how did an 18-year-old from Winnipeg start visiting this pathetic, canine-addicted, heretical financial blog attached to a steerage section teeming with weirdos? “I grew up watching my dad read your blog and became quite familiar with that blog photo of yours long before I myself […]

June 27, 2021 | In the Bag

Five months before Covid crashed into us, the nation had an election. Remember that? It was Trudeau vs Scheer, with the Bloc and Dippers as sideshows and Mad Max uselessly sucking off about 300,000 votes from the Tories. The results (in order of popular vote): Cons 34.3% Libs 33.1% NDP 16% BQ 7.6% Greens 6.5% […]

June 25, 2021 | Now What?

Recency bias is when you think what just happened will happen forever. Current events, in other words, will frame the future. It’s a big reason people suck at investing. They buy high, believing things will become higher. They sell low, since assets will obviously go to zero. And they move to Tillsonburg because the office […]

June 24, 2021 | On Guard

A boom truck showed up in Kingston on Friday and hoisted away the statue of Canada’s first PM, Sir John.. Then workers chiseled off the commemorative plaque. So the city where the founding Father of Confederation lived, died and is buried doesn’t want him anymore. The statue’s gone into hiding. It might emerge later at […]

June 23, 2021 | Over The Top

It’s almost half-past 2021, so let’s review. First, your portfolio. If it’s B&D©, carefully-weighted and globally-exposed you should be up so far this year by high single-digits. Completely ignore the cowboys, swaggering stock jockeys and anon Internet braggarts who come here to make you feel inadequate. Investing isn’t a race or a contest. It’s not about […]

June 22, 2021 | The ‘N’ word

Expect change in the real estate market over the coming months. More sellers. Fewer buyers. Sales volumes declining. Less obsession with housing as the economy opens and people travel, recreate, shop and do all that stuff which was forbidden for more than a year. At the same time offices and workplaces will reopening. Not a […]

June 21, 2021 | The Tightening

Justin Trudeau does not set interest rates. Nor does Chrystia Freeland, the finance ministress. In fact, monetary policy has been divorced from politics since March of 1935 when the Bank of Canada was formed as a standalone agency out of the ashes of the Great Depression, and out of the hands of politicians. It’s the […]

June 20, 2021 | Get Over It

ean and his squeeze have six university degrees between them. Investible assets total $900,000 and household income is three hundred grand. Plus two government DB pensions. And they’re so unhappy. Bitter. “We cannot find a house to raise our two children in that is commensurate with what we think we have earned,” he says. From […]

June 18, 2021 | Blame Game

Let’s play Connect the Dots. As this pathetic blog has tried to underscore, everything is related. Friday gave a great example. Dot. First, the stock market freaked out a little. That happened after an important US central bank dude (James Bullard) said romping post-Covid inflation could cause interest rates to start ascending in 2022, earlier […]

June 17, 2021 | Cashing Out

Believe it or not, I have a day job. Working out of the wee-bank-by-the-sea plus the giant (currently mostly empty) bronze tower on Bay Street, my colleagues and I look after a mess of money for folks. Average ones. And I enjoy it all. The practice is unique in the financial world because it’s national. […]

June 16, 2021 | Why

Three sleeps until I meet Arysha. She was born in Russia, bred and shipped to America. By three she’d had two litters and was acquired by a Canadian military vet with a passion for the breed. The cross-border dog trade is a big one, pandemics be damned. By then she’d been chipped and registered in […]

June 15, 2021 | Chilled, not shaken

Are you feelin’ frothy? Bubbly? Along with those frisky Kiwis and sexy Swedes, Bloomberg Economics says we have the most emotional (and therefore likely unstable) housing market in the world, along with New Zealand and Sweden. Why? “A cocktail of ingredients,” we’re told, including cheap loans, bushels of government money, FOMO, a shortage of listings […]

June 14, 2021 | Going Hyper

As the pandemic passes, will puppies get cheaper? How about plywood? Or properties? These are odd days. The virus hit. The economy cratered. Government freaked. Jobs were lost. Lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions hit, which are only now (15 months later) being peeled back. And yet during this time the price of almost everything swelled like […]

June 13, 2021 | The Tort

Corey’s in crisis. Life was all plotted, the way lawyers like it. Predictable path: career first, then wife, then house. Clause by clause. Motion, discovery and deposition. Alas, she split. So at 41 he has the means and motive, but no opportunity. Naturally (as all troubled lawyers do) he wrote me: “I make $200k plus […]

June 11, 2021 | The Here & Now

The fire chief replied to my letter and warned darkly about the dangers of “firing burning things up into the sky.” But no, he said, there isn’t any local bylaw preventing a non-politically-correct guy from lighting the night on July the first. So I will. From the roof of the wee bank which, thankfully, is […]

June 10, 2021 | Resilience

In case you missed it, oil’s breached the $70-a-barrel mark, which is a big deal. The loonie’s been flirting with the 83-cent US mark. Bay Street’s main index shot over 20,000, and has held. The Big Six banks just made more money than God has. Portfolio managers are now overweighting Canada. Analysts think corporate profits […]

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