Jan 182014
 

According to the 2014 B.C. Assessment, the title of the priciest house in B.C. this year goes to 3085 Point Grey Rd. Vancouver. The 30,600 sq-ft, two-storey house has 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms 😯 It was custom built in 2008 and construction is finally complete this year! And the price? A mind blowing $54.2 million! The owner, also the person who commissioned building this property, is none other than Chip Wilson, founder and ex-CEO of the popular athletic apparel company Lululemon 🙂 Known for his business prowess, billionaire status, and philanthropic activities through his charity in Ethiopia, he’s certainly more than just a Chip off the old block 😀

14-01-yogasnow, yoga, priciest house in B.C.

However last year he made a public comment about some of his customers that many people took offence to. Since then the yoga pants that he invented have become the butt of the internet jokes 😀 And before that incident Lululemon faced public relation problems with their black Luon yoga pants because the material used to make them was too sheer, making them overly see through. The company decided to do a complete recall of the product when the problem was exposed 😀 Most investors want businesses to disclose their financials and be transparent, but what Lululemon did was sheer incompetence, as they took transparency to a whole new level 😀 The once proud and beloved success story that grew out of Vancouver is now getting quite a bum rap 😀

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Jun 162013
 

13_06_yoga_flexibility

I’m not a Lululemon shareholder, but I was as surprised as any $LLL investor when Christine Day abruptly announced she would be stepping down after 5 years as CEO with the Vancouver based, athletic apparel company. During her last year with Lululemon, Christine was paid about $4,280,000 in compensation. Wow, that’s no small change 🙂 The company is now frantically looking for a replacement to fill the role of CEO. I just thought I’d let everyone know about the opportunity in case anyone believes they’re qualified and wants to apply.

Judging by the job posting on their website, the CEO should have a good sense of humor 🙂 Here is how the company describes the role.
You report to no one, you are the CEO (duh). You are passionate about doing chief executive officer type stuff like making decisions, having a vision and being the head boss person.

Furthermore, here are some other qualities the ad says you should have as the next CEO of Lululemon.
-You are disciplined, focused and can hold headstand for at least 10 minutes
-You break all the rules like getting your OM-on (loudly) whenever the urge arises
-Your go-to party trick is your dead-on impression of the yogi in “Sh*T Yogis Say”
-You use your third eye to channel innovation

I probably don’t have what it takes to run a multi-billion dollar company but I live in Vancouver and I like the idea of yoga wear. So I thought why not give it a shot. I know it’s kind of a stretch 😛 for me to get this job but some people play the lottery with arguably similar probability of success. So I applied for the position and received a confirmation email saying they will review my experience and qualifications. And now I wait 😀

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Random Useless Fact: Leporiphobia means the abnormal fear of rabbitsrabbit_on_toilet

 

Mar 082013
 
Happy International Women’s Day

13_03_friendsbenefits, celebrate women's dayToday is March 8th so let’s celebrate women’s economic and social achievements. I watched an 11min interview featuring a couple of representatives from TD Bank. Ms. Caranci is an economist and Ms. Caskey is a portfolio manager. They mentioned that studies from Credit Suisse and other notable institutions show that corporations with more female board members outperform those that have less. For example looking at the S&P/TSX Composite index over the last year companies with at least one woman on the board have seen a 7.2% return on average, while the overall index returned just 4% 😀 Makes sense to me. Women represent half the consumer market place. So if I was running a company I would certainly want to have a woman’s perspective when it comes to making strategic business decisions. It’s too bad that only 11% of board members of companies on the TSX Composite are female. In the interview, Ms. Caranci says this is partly because of the composition of our industries. For example, half the stock market index is made up of resource companies and they “only have 6 to 7 percent representation of women, so they’re really pulling down those numbers.” So what can corporate Canada do to get more women represented on company boards? There are a few ideas floating around. For instance some European countries have strict quotas for their companies. In Norway publicly traded companies must have at least 40% female representation on the board, or else the company faces penalties or sanctions, such as being de-listed from the stock exchange 🙁 I don’t think Canada should necessarily adopt those kinds of laws because some argue mandatory quotas does more harm than good for women in the workplace, but I’m sure we can figure something out.

So how can the average investor use this information? Well since the research has suggested that a board of directions with a diverse background of both men and women tend to outperform the benchmark, we should consider this information when researching which stocks to buy. Thankfully, Ms. Caskey gave us a list of some notable companies that have a relatively high female representation on the board or executive team. I’ve listed a few below. Stock symbols are in (brackets) 😉

Potash Corp (POT) – 23% female board
EnCana (ECA) – 30% female board
Lululemon (LLL) – 45% female board

I currently have POT and ECA in my long term buy and hold portfolio. LLL is a very interesting company that started in Vancouver and has expanded very successfully into other countries. The brand was even featured on Oprah, lol. I’m a little concerned about the stock’s valuation because I don’t know how long it’ll continue to grow at its current rate. So this athletic apparel company is only on my watch list for now (^_^) Side note: LLL is not included in the TSX Composite index.

13_03_lululemonbrand, women's day

February Employment

How about some good news to end the work week 😀 Canada created 51,000 new jobs last month, and most of them are full-time work. The overall unemployment rate remains unchanged at 7.0 from the month prior, however this means more people are in the workforce which is a good thing. ON and BC made up most of the gains, with 35,000 and nearly 20,000 new jobs respectively. In the United States about 236,000 new jobs were created in February and unemployment edged down to 7.7% which gave investors the confidence to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by almost half a percent today to end the week at $14,397, yet another record high 😀

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Blog roundup – Personal finance and other interesting articles from around the web
Passive Income Earner explains the difference between Bonds and Preferred Shares
Mrs. Pop from Planting our Pennies shares their up to date balance sheet (net worth) They have a ton of assets
Mr. CBB from Canadian Budget Binder has some pretty impressive numbers for his family as well.
Laurie from Frugal Farmer encourages anyone who might be struggling with their finances to take back control
Money After Graduation on the value of a concert ticket
Pauline from Reach Financial Independence on realizing not everyone has to have the same goals because we all have different values
Jordann from My Alternate Life on what it takes to become an entrepreneur
Frugal Rules has several tips on doing your income taxes
Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses tells us a little bit about the writer behind the blog, herself