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October 15, 2018 | The Simple Reason Stocks are Destined to Mean Revert: ‘Normal is a Long Way Down’

Good summary of relevant points in this segment.  The reality is that no investment approach gets to win forever, each one has periods of under-performance.  What matters most is not how much asset prices go up and down, but rather how much one keeps on a cash in to cash out basis over full market […]

October 10, 2018 | Sell off Affords Another Opportunity to Evaluate Capital Defense

World markets are bright red today across the board:  commodities, emerging markets, developed markets, dividend-paying companies, REITs, tech stocks, corporate bonds, cryptocurrencies, pot stocks, most currencies relative to the US dollar, you name it–it’s pretty much all getting shellacked. The rare exceptions are US Treasuries, Canadian government bonds and the US dollar (as mentioned) which […]

October 9, 2018 | 60 Minutes: Bricks and Slaughter, Exposing Australia’s Housing Crisis

Similar themes and catalysts here with the US in 2006 and Canada today.  As property prices mean revert so goes highly levered economies and financial markets.  Expecting other outcomes is unrealistic. It’s no secret that Australia is experiencing a downturn in the property market. But for Aussies who own their own home or have a […]

October 5, 2018 | The Case for Organic Food

As we prepare Thanksgiving dinners in Canada this weekend, some food for thought: what we ingest adds up. Is Organic food just a fad or a buzzword? This family doesn’t eat organic food because it costs more than conventional food and it just isn’t convenient. The Experiment. For the next two weeks this family decided […]

October 4, 2018 | Rising Rates Retreat When Consumption Drowns

The US Central Bank hiked benchmark rates last week for the 8th time since their tightening cycle began in December 2015.  Starting from the all-time low of .25%, the federal funds rate now tops 2%+ for the first time in a decade. In the longer run, higher rates are critical for a stable financial system […]

October 3, 2018 | If Everyone is in ETF’s, What Could Possibly Go Wrong??

Our firm has been using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for cost-efficient equity exposure in portfolios since 2000. Great idea except when bought or held at record high valuations, in positively correlated global markets, that have been simultaneously hyper-extended on QE and reckless leverage. At the same time, two decades of increasingly ‘easy money’ has ballooned […]

October 2, 2018 | Corporate Execs Using Tax Breaks to Pump and Dump

As government revenues fall, deficits compound and debt levels leap, corporate executives have been directing the corporate cash freed up from recent tax breaks to pump up their company share prices with buybacks, while dumping their own personal holdings into the strength created.  ‘So long suckers’, indeed.  Buyers and holders beware, your longer-term financial interests are […]

October 1, 2018 | Millennials Migrating to Lower-Cost Housing Areas

Labor migration has long been the necessary life-blood of economic and population rebalancing. As student debt has soared in recent years, and shelter costs in many areas moved firmly into the unaffordable zone, young people have wisely begun moving to areas where they can afford to have a roof over their head.   This enables them to start […]

September 30, 2018 | Bailing Out the Reckless and Unethical: Tipping Point Coming?

We have to wonder how much more pain and suffering the masses will tolerate to keep subsidizing the reckless and unethical.  Is there anyone alive who still doesn’t understand the direct connection here?  When the coming bear market unveils the extent of the damage once more,  the next test of the status quo will be […]

September 28, 2018 | Classic Financial Characters and Themes

Classic financial characters and behaviors in this story.  Always worth remembering how susceptible humans can be to the slippery slopes of charismatic characters, greed and fraud. Dana Giacchetto, was the money manager to the stars in the late 1990’s (including a close relationship with Leonardo Dicaprio). But his life came crashing down when the SEC […]

September 27, 2018 | UBS Report: Toronto and Vancouver Make Top 4 Global Realty Bubble Cities

A new UBS report confirms Canada’s two largest cities–Toronto and Vancouver–as being two of the four most egregiously-valued realty markets in the world and making them at risk of price collapse.  Naturally, these are the same two cities with the largest Canadian mortgage balances outstanding as well.  See:  These are the world’s biggest property bubbles as […]

September 26, 2018 | Our Secular Bear in Stocks: Fulfilling the Promise of Dismal Returns

The financial world is a complex and dangerous place for those who don’t know what they are looking at.  Some valuable historical perspective is offered in this segment. Clarity Financial Chief Financial Strategist Lance Roberts reviews the history of stock valuations, the CAPE, and how what happened in the early ’90’s is relevant to investors […]

September 25, 2018 | Canadians Struggling with Record Debt and Rising Rates

If Canadians had practiced prudent debt-avoidance guidelines the past decade (and been counseled by banks and other financial advis0rs to do so)  they would be better drown-proofed and resilient coming into the rising rate, economic downturn part of this cycle. Unfortunately, many did the opposite, and so are learning hard lessons once more. Next, the coming […]

September 24, 2018 | Seniors Mortgaging their Homes to Live and to Help Adult Kids

Nothing reduces future inheritance and spending ability like mortgaging to spend now.  A decade of low-interest rates has taken a compounding toll in the form of falling investment income for savers along with leaping shelter and education costs. This has prompted seniors to borrow against their home ‘ATM’ to live (via regular and reverse mortgages) […]

September 22, 2018 | Mass Fraud and Lack of Prosecution have Enabled Ongoing Financial Crime Epidemic

In all the coverage of the 10th anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, one lasting legacy, too little noted, is the contagion of financial crimes and fraud that have plagued us since.  See: A Denver attorney still cleaning up Lehman mortgage mess: “Some people committed fraud because they could get away with it. But many of […]

September 21, 2018 | Marks: Waiting for Bargains is Critical and Waiting for them Today is ‘No Fun’

Good historical context in this segment on cycles, behaviors and present conditions. Howard Marks Investor Series, featuring Howard Marks, W’67, Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital. Here is a direct video link. Also see Howard Marks: One thing that makes great investors great: “Back in the early seventies somebody gave me a great gift and told me about the three […]

September 20, 2018 | Selective Memories and Finance-Sponsored Spin a Decade after the 2008 Crisis

Everywhere this month we are pummeled with finance-sponsored drivel and half-truths a decade on from the 2008 meltdown.  This morning as I was driving, it was retired Royal Bank CEO Gord Nixon’s turn to pontificate on CBC radio about how he managed to steer the bank safely through the ‘Lehman collapse’.  Conveniently of course, with […]

September 19, 2018 | Pot Stocks Higher than Rational Return Prospects

Euphoric frenzy around start-ups and new sectors present lengendary capital dangers, particularly because people tend to increase their bets as stock prices rise faster than business prospects.  Meanwhile for the companies, delivering on operational expectations is a long and winding road.  As Cannabis supply and stock prices are leaping, regulatory and demand questions are likely […]

September 18, 2018 | Canadian Marijuana Investors Risk Lifetime Ban From The US

As with every nascent sector and new business model, the cannabis space is rife with unknowns and enormous risk for would-be investors.  Even less understood perhaps, is that there are also personal mobility risks that come with owning shares in the companies. Believe it or not.  See For Canadian marijuana investors, coming to the US is […]

September 17, 2018 | How We Earned the Retirement Savings Crisis

This video segment discusses the $1 trillion+ deficit in corporate pension plans and how the average fund today is missing 20% of the capital needed to pay benefits promised.  It is critical to note that this capital hole persists even at the end of the longest financially engineered rise in asset markets and corporate profits […]

September 13, 2018 | Pot is the New dot.bomb

As cryptocurrencies and their companies continue to plunge–the sector’s down 68% since January 1, 2018–stories abound of individual  gamblers that have been wiped out.  Again.  It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s nothing new here, just all the usual suspects:  a hot idea heavily sold to the gullible, who bet money they can’t afford to […]

September 12, 2018 | Chinese Government Encourages Share Buybacks as Bear Market Deepens

Rivets are starting to blow once more on the debt-on-debt Ponzi driving Chinese markets.  Following the lead of western companies, corporate buybacks in China have surged in 2018 (see left).  This is the latest desperate effort to stop asset bubbles from following their natural destiny to implosion. See the WSJ’s Record Buybacks Don’t Mean Buy in China. […]

September 11, 2018 | Racing to an Electric Vehicle Future

Embarrassed into acceleration by zero-to-sixty startup-to-award-winning-carmaker Tesla, the world’s major car makers are now literally racing to catch up.  That’s a good thing for consumers, air quality and our environment.  Thank you Mr. Musk et al. As a leader in auto sector innovation, Germany is gearing up for the electric future. Last year Chancellor Angela […]

September 10, 2018 | Sellers in Denial as 28% of GTA Listed Homes Now Sit Vacant

As sales continue to slow in Canada’s property markets, the hottest spots in the greater Toronto (GTA) and Vancouver areas are, so far, still considered ‘sellers’ markets’ even as some 28% of the GTA’s listed properties are now sitting vacant– a 17% year-over-year increase in vacant homes for sale. Reasons for the mounting unsold inventory […]

September 8, 2018 | Recession Overdue, Likely to Arrive Sooner than Later

Further to my Peak prices, capital waves receding article today, this discussion elaborates further on key catalysts and coming opportunities for which we are prepared. Jim Millstein sees a recession sooner than expected on record global debt and rising rates. Here is a direct video link.

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