Jan 052013
 

Lower Unemployment
Last year ended very positive for the Canadian job market.  In December we hired 40,000 new workers and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1%, it’s lowest point in four years! This number affects both confidence in the stock market, and housing prices.  Hope we can continue helping our unemployed and under-employed friends in 2013 and get the number even lower.

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Precious Black Gold
The oil industry made a big announcement this week and it’s going to benefit Canadians! A group of companies including Suncor, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil, have said they will start a major offshore project in the Hebron Oil Field, near St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. This project will create thousands of jobs which won’t just help those employed in the oil and gas industry, but also the local economy in NL  and other nearby provinces. Not only that but the provincial government will also likely be getting some sort of royalty (~_~) from this new project. This is much needed news for people on the east coast as Newfoundland and Labrador’s unemployment rate is 11.5%, the highest in the country!

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The companies lead by Exxon plan to spend $14 billion extracting the oil but costs could go up higher. There’s an estimated 700 million barrels of oil in this field. At today’s oil prices if they manage to drill up all the oil they can sell it for $63 billion. Pretty good deal for them.  How can the average person benefit from this new announcement? A few ways. 1) Invest in local companies in St. John’s 2) Invest in oil companies  3) Learn skills to work on offshore oil rigs.

disclaimer: I’m a shareholder of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Suncor stocks. In the last week all 3 stocks have gone up in price! I also have Trican and Halliburton stocks. They are oil services companies and provide equipment and expertise to help energy companies actually drill the oil out of the ground from hard to reach areas, such as offshore 😀 This is why I love investing. Large multinational energy giants love to make money and are really good at doing it. Anyone can invest in them today and benefit from their profits in the future :0) Readers, if you don’t already own some oil companies what are you waiting for?

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Dec 142012
 

Despite being only one week away from the end of the world, here are some news you can use 🙂

– We’re Living Longereconomic and financial news
The popular medical journal The Lancet published the most comprehensive assessments about health and life expectancy in the world. After researching 187 different countries scientists concluded that people are now living 10 years longer than in 1970. And on average we are seeing less deaths by disease and starvation. However different parts of the world face different problems. In Sub-Saharan African countries like Kenya or Ghana, patients often lie on concrete floors while they wait for treatment. Malaria, parasites, and poor hygiene are still major problems. But in the developed world, eg: Canada, Europe, Australia,  there has been an increase in mental illnesses, neck/back problems, and heart disease. So if we want to retire early and happy, we must keep our bodies healthy. Sit straight when using the computer, control meal portions, and exercise regularly.  Haha, I’m such a hippocrite because I rarely do any of those things #FirstWorldProblems

-Google Maps is back on the iPhoneeconomic and investment news
Apple has announced anyone running the iOS 5.1 or higher will be able to use Google Maps again with their iPhone. Owning a mapping system that consumers can use to find restaurants or events is a huge opportunity to make money from advertising, etc. Apple tried to create their own maps platform earlier this year but apparently it was really difficult to navigate with. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them :0)

-Gloomy Outlook for British Columbia
A major debt rating firm, Moody’s, just revised its outlook for B.C.’s rating from stable to negative. This means investors will now consider this province to be a riskier place to invest their money which means the BC government will likely pay higher interest rates if it decides to borrow money in the future. My unsolicited advice if you are a BC resident is to diversify your investments into other parts of Canada where jobs, housing, and economic growth is a lot higher than here.  I’m currently looking for investment opportunities in Edmonton, Regina, Calgary, or Saskatoon. This is how you succeed as an investor, you chase after the money 😀

-Positive Outlook for Canada Overall
On the other hand, a separate outlook from our country’s largest bank, RBC, says the Canadian economy overall will grow by 2.4% next year, and then 2.8% in 2014. Of course if the US goes over their fiscal cliff, these numbers will be very hard to meet. But perhaps this is a good opportunity to pick up some beat up Canadian stocks.

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Blog roundup – PF related  and other interesting articles from around the web
My Own Advisor on his dividend update and some time-tested investment tips even used by Warren Buffett
Frugal Rules on how to tip this holiday season without busting your budget.
Mrs Pop on the importance of putting some thought into giving or receiving gifts this holiday
Financial Samurai on how desire is the cause of suffering. Maybe if we wanted less we’d all be happier.
Dividend Girl on her debt update. She’s like me, most of her debt is money borrowed to invest :0)
Outlier Model has a guest post about a guy who plans to retire by 38. Good luck to him.
Retire in Niagara on her updated investment portfolio.
Plunged in Debt on maybe some people choose to divorce because it’s easier to be single than to talk to their partners about money problems.

Dec 012012
 

Mark J. Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada controls what our central bank does on interest rates. Governors get paid between $431,80 to $507,900.  The reason our mortgages are so affordable today, and why Canada didn’t have an economic meltdown during the last recession is largely because of Mr. Carney. Prior to his current job he had a 13 year career with investment bank, Goldman Sachs and has worked in their Tokyo, New York, and Toronto offices.

mark carney

Earlier this week, Mr. Carney was appointed to become the next governor of the Bank of England. His new job will start around summer of 2013. This is most certainly a loss for Canada, but we should celebrate that a Canadian has been chosen to become one of the most influential financial leaders in the world. Nobody knows why he decided to accept the offer, but I think it might have something to do with the ₤624,000 ($993,000 CAD) compensation at his new job 😉 It’s hard to say no to practically doubling your salary. It’s okay Mr. Carney, we understand it’s nothing personal. It’s just business 😀

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The TFSA contribution limit is going up next year from $5,000 to $5,500. This means one month from now we can invest more of our money and not get taxed on the interest or dividends we make \(^_^)/ If you’ve been keeping track, that’s a total of $25,500 contribution room from 2009 to 2013 inclusive. The loonie bin blog takes a more in debt look at the announcement. If you are making less than $60,000 a year, I would strongly recommend you consider maxing our TFSA before your RRSP. On the other hand if you make six-figure annual income like more than a quarter of you readers apparently are (referring to the poll on the right ->) then contributing to your RRSP is most likely a better strategy, especially if you’re married.

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In global news, a couple in China has refused to allow the government to destroy their home to build a freeway. They claimed the relocation compensation offered to them by the government would not be enough to build a new home for themselves so they decided to stay put and the road was forced to be built around the intact home, probably making this an unintentional tourist attraction now 😀 It’s nice to see that Chinese citizens do have property rights after all.

house in middle of street in china

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Foot traffic analyst ShopperTrak estimates nearly 308 million shoppers hit the streets for Black Friday sales, a year-over-year increase of about 3.5 percent. Yeah, go consumers! Keep buying stuff at record amounts so the companies I own will continue to make record profits! The S&P 500, Dow Jones and NASDAQ were up 1.3%, 1.35% and 1.38% respectively on Black Friday, Nov 23rd.

line up of shoppers for target

Cyber Monday 2012 was also a huge success, with preliminary figures showing a 17 percent increase over the already robust sales from 2011. A total of $1.46 billion was spent online in that single day, making it the busiest day for online commerce in American history :0)

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Nov 172012
 

Popular search terms that brought visitors to freedomthirtyfiveblog.com….

Nov 16th – from Halifax, NS…
canadian net worth statistics
The median net worth for an individual Canadian adult is $89,014. But the median net worth for a family in 2005 was $148,350. 

Nov 15th – from Chicago, Illinois…
“i bought apple stock on margin, what should i do”
Depends on your investment philosophy. As a giant tech company Apple may be volatile in the short term, but most analysts on Wall St. believe the long term prospects of the company is solid. I would hold onto it personality.

Nov 15th – from Williams Lake, BC…
“1500 dollars a year dividends”
You would need an investment portfolio of $50,000 worth of diversified stocks with an average of 3% dividend yield to make $1500 a year. If you buy the XIC ETF, which follows the S&P/TSX composite index, you will need about $54,000 because the yield is a bit lower.

Nov 14th – from Toronto, ON…
“where to purchase box gold bullion coins in toronto”
Easiest way is to phone a local Scotiabank and ask if they have any. I’ve heard they deal more bullion than the other big banks. Of course it’s always a good idea to compare prices so feel free to use Google maps, and you want to search for the term “bullion exchange in Toronto.” You will see at least half a dozen companies that buy/sell gold.

Nov 14th – from Prince George, BC…
“which stocks to invest in rrsp”
Canadian REITs (because some distribute income which is taxed at your marginal tax rate,) Canadian bond ETFs, and US stocks that pay dividends (so you can save 15% tax on those dividends)

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Nov 042012
 

Hello friends in Bella Bella 😀 Did you feel the recent earthquakes? Hope it didn’t do too much damage. Hello friends in Ontario and everyone else who was affected by the big storm 🙁  Best wishes to you and your families.

November is financial literacy month. It’s when a bunch of organizations come together to raise awareness and share knowledge about personal finance to help people make responsible financial decisions. There are lots of free seminars, and workshops that will be going on across the country throughout this month.

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On another note, I was inspired by agent Fang’s wraps last month and decided to make my own version. I like to call it the 5 minute breakfast burrito. Because it takes 2 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to cook :0) We’re all busy in the mornings so this is a good way to have a meal without wasting a lot of time.

Step 1: Grab a soft shell tortilla, some sausage, eggs, and mushrooms
Step 2: Cube sausage and shrooms and crack the eggs over them
Step 3: Cook over stove top on high heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly

Et Voila! Wrap the contents with the tortilla and serve with salsa. The 5 minute breakfast burrito. Enjoy (✌゚∀゚)☞

 

 

 

 

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Random Useless Fact:  Here’s a map to show where recent visitors of this blog came from. Lots of readers from North Ameirca and Europe I see :0)