Apr 112013

13_04_bestemployermugAn annual online study for the top companies to work for in Canada was released yesterday. The study ranks companies on various factor such as voluntary turnover, ethnic breakdowns, tenure, benefits and perks and number of holidays, to determine the best places to work.

13_04_bestworkplaceGoogle Canada is on the top of the list followed by Intuit, and then Microsoft Canada Inc which rounds out the top 3. Tech companies are generally over represented in these kinds of studies. The complete list of all 50 companies can be found here.

I don’t work for any of those companies 🙁 but I AM a shareholder in 5 of them (or at least their US parent companies) including McDonald’s, Google, and Starbucks which I just bought earlier this year 🙂 Without investors like myself companies would not have the money to expand and hire new employees so it feels good to contribute to something bigger than myself  🙂

So how can we use this survey to our advantage? One way is to invest in these businesses. Any company on this list should attract the attention of top talent in their respective industries. These companies can filter through the applicants and pick the best of the best. The result is they’ll have a highly skilled and motivated workforce which should in theory outperform their competitors over time by generating higher productivity and bigger profits 🙂

But investing is risky. Is there a another way we can make money without risking our savings? Yes :0) We can work for these businesses directly. I certainly don’t have the educational background to land a position at Google, Microsoft, or any other tech giants, but I did find a company that only requires you to have a positive attitude 😉 Can you guess which one? Well earlier today I applied for a job at McDonald’s and guess what? They gave me an interview! They asked typical questions and overall I think I did well despite not being properly dressed for the occasion. The interviewer said her manager will contact me in the upcoming days. Imagine the bragging rights I’d have if I worked for one of the top companies in all of Canada, muahaha (^▽^) Can’t wait to hear back from them ^_^

Random Useless Fact: Men get hiccups more often than women.

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.

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.

Oct 182012

It’s not everyday we see a 10% intra-day drop in Google’s stock price but that’s what happened today when they missed analysts’ expectations. To make things worse there was a small hiccup during the earnings report process when a third party company accidentally released their profits early without permission, which caused all kinds of problems (゜o゜)  Some investors are beginning to think that the company’s advertising business, which is by far how Google makes most of its money, will not continue to do so well in the future. Sentiment was so bad today that Google contacted the NASDAQ exchange and said “Stop this madness and halt all trading activity for GOOG!” (I paraphrase of course) Their stocks were literally out of commission for most of the afternoon today, which means nobody could buy or sell their shares.

 After the initial shock has worn off the stock  started to trade again in the afternoon. Is this a good time to pick up some Google shares, or wait awhile and see if it drops even more?  I am tempted to buy some GOOG now. But I will be patient and do some research into their financials first. From an earnings perspective they are still more expensive than Apple stocks despite their $60 per share drop today.