Jul 012015
 

The European debt crisis is so confusing, it’s like Greek to me. lol 😀 As of yesterday Greece became the first developed country to default to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the tune of €1.6 billion. Overall Greece owes about €300 billion to all its creditors.

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A referendum in Greece will be held this upcoming weekend to decide if the Greek people would like to stay in the European Union and continue using the Euro, or exit the EU and revert back to their old national currency. What happens next is the million-euro question. A Greece exit (Grexit) should not have a large direct impact on other countries. But here are some lessens we can take away from the predicament facing Greece right now.

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Oct 102014
 

The Labor Market

In September 248,000 new jobs were created in the U.S. 🙂 The national unemployment rate dropped from 6.1% to 5.9%, the lowest since 2008. This must mean we’re almost back at pre-recession, full employment right? Well if you ask people on the streets how they feel about the strong labor market recovery, many of them will not know what you’re talking about.

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The Chicago PMI which is a confidence indicator for businesses dropped to 60.5 in September from 64.3 in the previous month. The Conference Board published its Consumer Confidence survey and they were expecting 92.5 in September. However the actual number was only 86 🙁 So why is there a disconnect between the employment data and how people really feel about their finances? To understand this we simply have to dig a little deeper into the numbers.

Read Between the Lines

Compared to Canada’s high unemployment rate of 6.8%, the U.S. appears to be quite smug sitting at just 5.9%. 😛 However the unemployment rate does not account for people who are no longer looking for a job. And in September 315,000 people in the U.S. dropped out of the labor market. The labor force participation rate is now at 62.7%. This is the lowest it has been in 36 years! The last time this many people was out of work relative to the population size was back in 1978. This is why so many people are still frustrated with the job market, and don’t believe that the U.S. economy has recovered. The number of jobless people rose to an all time high of 92.6 million last month. That’s 92.6 million people not paying any income tax. That’s more than 1/3rd of everyone who could be working, but aren’t. 😯

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Apr 212013
 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Let’s look at some business and economic news we should care about.

Snail Mail Slowing Down – Canada Post made $127M in profit last year but the amount of shipments have been declining. I hope they can find new ways to make money. This company employs about 71,000 workers in Canada and is a big driver in our economy.

Low Growth – The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has downgraded Canada’s growth prospects to just 1.5% for 2013. This is great news for Canadians with debt because it probably means our interest rates will stay low for the time being. How can we take advantage of this? Well personally I plan to borrow more money to invest in assets that will directly benefit from faster growing developing countries. The IMF says that global growth on average is expected to be 3.3% this year 😀 So if we’re doing worse than the average, then there must be other countries that are doing better 🙂 My strategy is to leverage borrowed money from a place of low growth to invest in high growth environments 😉 

Losing its Glitter – Gold fell in price dramatically lately. I’m not too worried even though I’m invested in gold. China and India are huge customers of gold. China’s economy is still growing north of 5% a year so eventually precious metals should recover which means now might be a good time to start buying some gold if one doesn’t yet have any.

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Blog roundup – Personal finance and other interesting articles from around the web
Being frugal has an article on suggestions for lending money people close to you
Add Vodka warns that over deprivation can actually backfire
Agent Fang shares a frugal way to prepare some delicious home made chicken karaage
Dividend Ninja takes us through a couple of resource stocks he just bought.
Girl meets Debt discusses what she likes and dislikes about blogging as a PF blogger
Modest Money has a post on what you should if you’re traveling and run into problems with a rental car

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Liquid Updates – What’s new with me

Bought some cool entertainment recently. Thought I’d share in case anyone was curious to know what I do in my spare time.

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I also recently made a major purchase. It costed me over $2,000. Since I didn’t have any savings or an emergency fund I used my line of credit to pay for it haha. I’ll blog about my new awesome purchase this upcoming week, but here’s a hint; vampires are allergic to it 🙂

I think I may have a spending problem. I keep buying stuff I don’t even need. As if going into $2,000 of debt wasn’t bad enough I also found myself purchasing something else last week. Except this one costs WAY MORE. It’s so expensive it makes $2,000 look like a rounding error. If you follow me on the twitter, you may have seen this. 13_04_twitterland

More details to come later. It will probably mean going into more debt for me to finance the purchase. But I’m okay with that since using other people’s money was how I made 12.5% on my farmland investment last year. Some might say going into debt can restrict your freedom. But I think it can also create the foundation for wealth and financial freedom. Debt is a tool. It just depends on what we use it for 🙂