Jun 222015
 

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”― Leon C. Megginson

Change is inevitable, unless the vending machine is broken. 😀 When things don’t go quite the way we want them to it’s tempting to want to change the system. But it’s often more favorable to just change ourselves than the circumstances.

If we don’t like our surroundings or the people around us, it’s usually easier to change our habits, or our mindsets to adapt to the environment around us, than it is to convince the rest of the world that they should change.

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Jan 142015
 

The basic concept of debt is simple. It’s when someone borrows money from another person. But once we start looking at different forms of debt such as sovereign debt, treasury bonds, mortgage-backed securities, demand loans, etc, it can start to sound like a different language to many of us. 😕

Even the money in your wallet right now is just another form of debt. It may not be your debt but if you trace back that money to its initial point of creation you’d discover who’s debt it belongs to. 😉

Year of the Debt

It has come to my attention that there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about the topic of debt on the internet. That’s why I’m making the proclamation that 2015 will be the year of the debt. I dedicate this year to write more about debt and its impact on our lives. I have even created a new section on the blog that’s all about debt.

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Most consumers are told that being in debt will hold them back from spending, investing, and living the life they want. But this is not entirely true.

Canadians now have more debt than ever before yet our average household net worth continues to reach record highs. So debt and wealth doesn’t have to be contradictory. In fact, often times debt can increase our financial well-being.Alberta has the highest household debt of any province, but they also have the highest household incomes. 🙂

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Dec 082013
 

StatsCan says 18.7% of Canada’s assets were controlled by foreign enterprises in 2011. Not surprisingly about half of these entities are based in the US 🙂 The UK and Dutch-controlled enterprises held the second and third highest spots respectively. No other country had more than 5% of foreign-controlled assets. The shares of foreign-controlled assets and revenues declined from 2010, while the share of profits under foreign control was up over the same period.

I’m glad that over 80% of our country’s assets still belong to Canadians 😀 Despite what we hear in the news, it doesn’t appear that we’re completely selling everything we have haha. But this study is a couple years old and doesn’t account for more recent takeovers like the record breaking $15 billion CNOOC/Nexen deal last year. There is obviously not enough data here to extrapolate a trend, but it would be interesting to see the updated 2013 numbers, which probably won’t be released until 2015 😆

The U.S., Spain, and many other countries around the world experienced a housing market crash in the last recession. Japan, the 3rd largest economy in the world is undergoing a frustratingly stubborn secular bear market in its equities for over 2 decades now. In other words people who have used the popular buy-and-hold strategy to invest in the Japanese stock market index would have lost a lot of money, even with dollar cost averaging 🙁 China, the 2nd largest economy, is laden with highly volatile asset prices and opaque regulations. Many people in Hong Kong literally went from millionaires to filing for bankruptcy when the local real estate bubble popped in 1997/1998, and home prices fell by over 50% on average 😕

For better or for worse, I expect foreign interests to grow in Canada as entrepreneurs, sovereign wealth fund managers, and investors from abroad look for a relatively safe and financially stable place to find prosperous opportunities 🙂

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Random Useless Fact: honesty-buffett-quote

Sep 242013
 

I want to buy some corporate bonds. Verizon recently issued a record amount and I’m thinking about getting in on the 10 year 5.15% tranche before they become too popular 😕 Making over 5% return a year doesn’t sound too bad 🙂 On a risk adjusted bases this BBB+ bond offering is probably one of the best investment opportunities out there today \(^_^)/

What Is A Bond?

(Besides a spy who drinks martinis and works for the British Secret Services)

A bond is a loan between a lender and a borrower. It’s basically an I.O.U. contract 🙂 Normally consumers borrow from banks. For example someone gets a $10,000 loan from BMO so they can buy a car. A bond is similar, but the other way around 😎 which means the bank borrows money from the consumer and of course pays interest to the consumer. Sounds like a sweet deal doesn’t it? 😀 Anyone else interested to buy some bonds with me? I’ve only bought bond funds in the past, but never individual names before. But hey, we learn by doing 🙂 and sometimes that means stepping outside of our comfort zone. quote-alone-neverbeen-follows-crowd

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