Oct 252017
 

Canada’s trade deficit rose to a disappointing $3.4 billion in August, one of the highest ever recorded. Economists had predicted $2.6 billion, lol. They were way off. Both imports and exports were down, which suggests the entire economy may be in trouble.

It doesn’t help either that Canada’s currency has advanced 7% over the past 6 months, largely due to the 2 interest rate hikes earlier this year. According to insolvency firm MNP, 40% of Canadians fear they will be in financial trouble if rates increase again. And 42% say they are only “$200 or less away from financial insolvency, with little cushion to pay unexpected bills or expenses at the end of the month.” This is troubling news. 😔 Consumers will have to be more careful about how they spend their money going into 2018.

With domestic spending expected to fall, and an extended period of large trade deficits, a slowdown in our growth domestic product (GDP) is inevitable. Canada is essentially buying more stuff than we’re selling, which basically means we’re spending beyond our means and going into debt. Due to these factors, we can expect negative repercussions in the financial markets as well. Slower domestic spending means lower sales for domestic producers and their stock prices.

“Given enough time, investors will realize fewer investment opportunities domestically and begin to invest in foreign stock markets, as prospects in these markets will be much better. This will lower demand in the domestic stock market and cause that market to decline.” ~Investopedia

Economists are anticipating annualized GDP growth of about 2.5% for the third quarter. That sounds too optimistic to me. Given the numbers we have today I would expect a more modest growth rate of 1.6% annualized for Q3, 2017. I guess we shall wait and find out later this year.

It can be difficult to find investments in a slow growing environment. But we can always look for opportunities outside of Canada. 🙂 Afterall, if we search globally, we will likely find more bargains, and probably better bargains, than in any single country. This is why I invested in Germany through Dream Global (DRG.UN) a couple of years ago. Canada’s real estate prices were too expensive, so I looked elsewhere for a bargain, and I found one! Dream Global is a Canadian REIT but conducts most of its business in Germany. Hurra! 😀 If we use the iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF (XRE) as a benchmark for Canadian REITs, then since my purchase in 2015, DRG.UN has outperformed XRE by over 30%. Yay! Property prices in developed countries around the world, including in Germany, have risen a lot over the past 2 year and are no longer cheap. But I believe there are still other undervalued sectors around the world today. 🙂

 

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Random Useless Fact

Muhammad Ali reportedly went 2 months without sex before a big fight, claiming it made him stronger in the ring.

 

 

Feb 212015
 

Last month I blogged about investing in German real estate through a Canadian REIT called Dream Global. I chose this investment for its strong foothold in the European economy and for the consistent high yield. Normally dividends from foreign investments are taxed. However because I’ve bought DRG.UN in my Tax Free Savings Account it wasn’t really clear what would happen. Well yesterday I received new confirmation in my brokerage account so I thought I’d post an update. Thanks for the reminder, Bricks. 🙂

Each Dream Global unit currently pays out $0.066667 per month. Since I purchased 180 shares in January I received $12 in distributions this month. As it turns out there doesn’t seem to be any withholding tax on these payments. 🙂 Below is a history of my TFSA transactions for 2015 so far. As we can see near the end of January I initiated a buy order for Dream Global REIT. And then on Feb 13th, when the company paid its investors, I received $12.00 in my account. 😀

15-02-dream-global-purchase-drip

If there had been any foreign with-holding tax it would have been deducted from my account on the same day as I received the DRG.UN distribution. For those who are curious, The abbreviation “TXPDDV” is simply TD’s transaction code used to describe money earned from a combination of different sources including dividend, interest, foreign dividend, capital gains, or return of capital. This is an administrative code used for tax purposes on a T3. In an unregistered account this “TXPDDV” designation means that tax factors have not yet been applied and is frequently misinterpreted as an indication that tax has already been paid. However in a registered account, such as a TFSA or RRSP, there are no T3 tax slips associated with these types of distributions. I called TD Direct Investing earlier today to confirm and that’s what one of their associates told me. So yay. 🙂 I should have invested in this company sooner. 8.7% annual yield on DRG.UN and no tax!

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