Oct 252013

Thanks a Latte

For all of next week there will be free coffee being served at participating McDonald’s restaurants in Canada. You can see their Facebook page for more detail ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to exploit other people’s caffeine addictions like I have, then consider investing in profitable coffee companies ๐Ÿ™‚


I bought shares of Starbucks and Tim Hortons earlier this year. On average these 2 companies have so far producedย over 30% return on investmentย since Iย blogged about buying themย in January. I hope some of you guys were also able to take advantage of that opportunity.ย I predict their prices will rise even higher going into 2014!

Growth Downgradedย 

A couple days ago the Bank of Canada pointed out that the country’s economy is growing slower than previously thought. It’s even considering to lower the interest rate. This changes everything for businesses. For the past couple of years, we’ve believed that rates could only go up. But now we realize that they could just as easily go down in the future. This is excellent news for investors like myself ๐Ÿ™‚

How can we benefit from this news?

  • First. Realize that this means borrowing to invest is now less risky than before because we know with relative certainly the cost of short term lending won’t be going up any time soon (exception being in the fixed rate mortgage market.) So personally I’m going to use more of other people’s money to hopefully accelerate my own profits.
  • Second, buy US assets. After the Bank of Canada announced this newsย my net worth increased by $400 immediately ๐Ÿ˜€ Why? Because I have $40,000 USD in American stocks, and the news brought the Canadian Loonie down by a whole 1% compared to the U.S. dollar. I have a feeling the $CAD will fall even more over the next 12 to 18 months. Since I calculate my net worth in $CAD, for every 0.25% weaker our currency becomes I’ll get an extra $100 for free ๐Ÿ˜€

The Panes of Building a Home

A young couple, both artists like myself in their 20s, had quit their jobs to build a home in the woods in West Virginia. They scavenged abandoned yard sites for building material and spent as little money as possible. Slowly but surely they built their dream home for only $500.13-10-glasshouse

They also claim their diet contains a lot of rice and beans, which is understandable since they purposefully quit working!ย But hey, good for them. I admire their creative passion and how they did something meaningful with their lives ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a great example of frugality taken to the extreme! But it’s not something I’d want to do myself.

Continue reading »

Sep 062013

Real Estate Sales Strong Despite Higher Mortgage Rates

Yesterday we just saw the yield on the 10 year US treasury climb to 2.99%, a multi-year high, and mortgage rates are starting to creep up. But houses are still being sold with unimpeded fervor in many parts of Canada ๐Ÿ˜Ž The number of homes sold in Vancouver was 52% higher last month than the same period in 2012. 28% higher in Calgary year over year. 10% higher in Edmonton, and 21% higher in Toronto. Holy guacamole! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This is good news for myself and the other 69% of Canadians who are homeowners because it means there is still lots of transactions and liquidity in the real estate market. How to profit from this trend? Buy a home ๐Ÿ™‚ People told me to wait for the bubble to pop when I was looking to buy a condo back in 2009. Fiddlesticks!ย If I had listened to them my net worth would not be even close to $187,000 today ๐Ÿ˜›ย  Continue reading »

Aug 102013

I didn’t get the new jobย (-_-;)

About 4 months ago I blogged about going for an interviewย at one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I was already making passive income from their stock dividends, but I decided it would be fun to make some active income as well by working there part time! Unfortunately I still haven’t heard back from their recruiter yet so I think it’s safe to assume they do not want me. Maybe I’m just not qualified to work at McDonald’s ๐Ÿ™„ Oh well. Perhaps the sluggish economy is partly to blame.


July Employment Numbers

Speaking of the economy, south of the border the US gained 162,000 net new jobs last month. Employment rose in retail trade, services, and financial activities. They need to create about 250,000 new jobs every month to sustain a normal recovery. So the US dropped the ball a little bit in July, but it’s still an enormous success when compared to Canada’s poor performance. We lost about 39,400 net jobs last month ๐Ÿ™ Most positions lost were in the public sector like teachers, social service workers, and other government employees. Below is a broken down look at Canada’s job numbers.13_08_july_jobs

Making Money at the Movies

This actually happened a couple months ago but Cineplex has increased their dividendsย ๐Ÿ˜€ This has been one of my favorite stocks ๐Ÿ™‚ A couple years ago I blogged about how I invested $2,000 in CGX:TSE which owns movie theaters in Canada. I predicted that theaters would be in a great position to take advantage of all the upcoming movie brands and releases without the risk of investing in individual Hollywood studios directly. ย CGX dividends rose from 11.25 cents/share every month, to 12 cents ๐Ÿ˜€

Continue reading »

Jun 072013

Expensive Night Outย ย โ€“ย Read an article in the paper version of the Globe and Mail where a 16 year old Japanese adolescent went on quite the joy ride after spendingย $56,000 on his dad’s American Express credit card on a one night club binge. The teenager and a friend visited multiple hostess clubs, where he paid to sit and drink with women working there. At one of the venues, he spent a couple of thousand dollars on a single bottle of wine. The teenager’s dad pleaded with the local court to reduce the tab.


Hostess clubs in Japan can’t allow minors to enter in the first place (must be 18+), so the clubs were partly responsible. The judge ruled that credit card companies should also flag questionable activities like racking up a large bill in a relatively short amount of time so American Express was also partly responsible. In the end the dad’s bill was reduced down to 800,000 yen ($8,200.) I wonder just how rich this family is (>_<) And I’m surprised credit card limits can even go up that high ๐Ÿ™‚

Job Boomย ย โ€“ According to Statistics Canada, ourย economy had its best month for job creation in more than a decade last month in May, adding 95,000 new jobs thanks in large part to the construction industry ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s the equivalent to the U.S. adding over one million new jobs in a single month. Canada’s unemployment rate fell, but still remains stubbornly above 7%.

Blog roundup โ€“ Personal finance and other interesting articles from around the web
Pauline from Reach Financial Independence writes about the importance of customer service
Mashed Thoughts reviews a local Oyster Bar in Vancouver

Random Useless Fact:ย A zedonk is a crossbreed between a zebra and a donkey ๐Ÿ˜€


May 112013

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Letโ€™s look at some current business and economic news.

Electric Powerย โ€“ Consumer Reports recently reviewed the 2013 Tesla Model S, and claimed it was the best car they’ve ever reviewed. Not the best electric car, but the best car, period – Giving the vehicle 99 out of 100 points. Around the same time Tesla announced it was profitable for the first time in its history. If you are a fan of electric cars then $80,000 would get you the award winning sedan in Canada, $70,000 in the US. I hear it comes delivered straight to your home.


$TSLA shareholders must be ecstatic as the publicly traded company’s stock price jumped up 25% in one day after the news on Thursday. Some people believed the stock would level off after that or even pull back a little, but on Friday its stocks gained another 10%. It is currently trading at $76.76/share, which puts the company at $8.8 billion market cap. Is Tesla Motors a good investment now? ย I don’t know. It’s hard for me to value a company if it doesn’t have a long record of profitability. Plus I don’t understand the auto business very well. So I won’t be buying into the rally, but will keep an eye on this company with interest ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you think Tesla will be a good long term investment?

Right on Targetย โ€“ US retailer Target has finally started to open up stores in Western Canada. I haven’t been to any yet but I’ve heard the one in Coquitlam Center which has just opened its doors will be very busy. I plan to visit a local Target soon and check it out for myself. It’s important to me that Target succeeds in Canada because one of the reasons I invested in them earlier this year is because I believe Canadian shoppers will give $TGT a lot more business than analysts are expecting ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hurray for consumerism! Go Target ๐Ÿ˜€

Fund Updateย โ€“ I sold about $5K of stocks in May so far. I also received that nice check last week from my tenant. I now have about $9K saved up for my $25K farmland fund. Just need to come up with $16K more. I think it’s doable ๐Ÿ˜€

Blog roundup โ€“ Personal finance and other interesting articles from around the web

Makingsenseofcents talks about how she makes money by writing online
Marissa from Thirtysixmonths has a way to make budgets easier to stick to
Seapotato shares some pictures she took at a seafood event. She got to meet David Suzuki :0) #jealous
Reach Financial Independence explains why she upgraded to a paid bank account
Canadianbudgetbinder shares his family net worth. They’re really good at paying down their debt :0) Awesome job

Random Useless Fact: A group of pugs is called a grumble