Jul 052014
 

It’s not easy being an investor these days. We’re facing higher taxes. We’re being vilified by the media, and we often feel distanced from our friends and families because of our life choices. The struggles we face are real 😐 but our voices have not been heard. Below are several examples of first world investor’s problems.

The Crude Reality

During the last couple of weeks the price of crude oil (WTI) fell slightly. As I’ve disclosed before I own many oil companies like Suncor and Crescent Point Energy. These businesses make more money when the price of oil is higher. So sadly my stocks have been going sideways these last couple of weeks.

14-07-oilglass firs world problems

Of course no one else is complaining because gasoline prices at the pumps fell slightly in recent weeks. But the lower oil price is really hurting my potential profits. Crescent Point shares are only up 12% year to date, and Suncor is only up 22%. How will I ever get by on these dismal returns? 😛

Choosing Sides

Last month the Federal government conditionally approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project. This is great news for Enbridge investors. But most of my co-workers and friends are upset about Ottawa’s decisions. They don’t think the pipeline should be built, and they represent the majority. According to some sources, 80% of B.C. residents are opposed to this project.

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So now I’m torn. I care about the environment as much as my friends do, but I also want my investments to do well. I can’t talk to anyone about this because I haven’t told my friends that I’m an Enbridge shareholder. I don’t want to risk the political backlash. I just avoid conversations if this topic comes up. And I have to make up excuses to not join my pals in anti-pipeline protests, which looks like fun. Being an investor really puts a damper on my social life, and I have to miss out on fun activities with my friends because otherwise I’d feel like a hypocrite 🙁

Exploiting Your Friends

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Oct 172013
 

Jeane Napoles is in her twenties. She is a keen investor in real estate and bought her first condo when she was 21, the same age as when I bought mine. And last year she bought herself a farm in Bayambang. She even has her own blog where she writes about her life experiences. Ms. Napoles appears to be the girl version of me 🙂 I hope we can meet each other some day and have a conversation about our investments and goals 😀

13-10-jeane-napoles-birthday-discretion

The only difference between us is she’s very open about her personal life on her blog whereas I don’t share as much on mine. Discretion is not her strongest characteristic. She seems to be your average girl who likes to hang out with friends, go clubbing, and enjoys traveling. And like other girls she sometimes has trouble deciding what to wear, especially when she’s going to the Grammy’s. Yes! She’s well connected too. Good for her 😀

Unfortunately the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which is the IRS or CRA of the Philippines is after her for tax evasion. Uh oh. If it can happen to her, maybe it can happen to me as well (>_<) The BIR commissioner wants to know where Ms. Napoles got the money from to buy her condo. I forgot to mention earlier in this article that the condo she bought is one of the highly coveted residences at the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel, in Los Angeles, CA, where each unit is worth about $1,300,000 😯

ritz carlton residences discretion

But the story gets worse because her mother, Janet, is allegedly the woman behind a $220 million dollar government scandal. The public funds she was entrusted with was meant for an assistance program that funds public roads, and benefit low income families. But instead all that money that the Filipino citizens worked hard for went into personal bank accounts, real estate, her daughter’s spending sprees, and more. A little discretion could have done her well. But now Janet faces the possibility of going to jail.

Meanwhile the BIR has hit young Jeane with a tax bill of $750,000 inclusive of surcharges and fees for taxable years 2011 and 2012. Great googalee moogalee! 😯 First she finds out her mother might be incarcerated, and now she’s served with this gigantic tax bill. Those greedy government bureaucrats eh 😛 Why can’t they just leave the hardworking citizens alone? What kind of draconian world do we live in when the tax authorities can become suspicious of an unobjectionable girl like Ms. Napoles just because she has a Porsche Cayenne, a Porsche Boxter, fancy jewelry, real estate properties, expensive watches, clothing, and shoes. I mean can’t the poor girl just catch a break 😛

Tip of the day: Use discretion online and in public.

Don’t reveal your financial situation on the internet, especially if you or your family is involved with tax payer’s money. But if you are going to flaunt your lavish lifestyle for other people to see, create an online pseudonym and post anonymously.

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Random Useless Fact: How to make your cat look expensive

tumblr_normal_cat_punch_expensive_cat discretion

Apr 052012
 

I am thankful I live in a relatively stable economy, have plenty of clean water to drink, a car to drive, and access to high speed internet. Luxuries which most people in the world unfortunately don’t have. According to the globalrichlist.com calculator, I am currently in the top 1% of all income earners in the world (if I factor in my part-time and dividend income as well.) So I consider myself pretty lucky being able to live the lifestyle I want and still have enough savings left over to invest for my future. If you make more than $50,000 USD a year, then cheers (^ _ ^ )o自自o( ^ _ ^ ) because you are also in the top 1%, according to that site anyway. However making a decent living in a wealthy country such as Canada, or the US, does have its drawbacks ಠ_ಠ. There are certain responsibilities and problems that will arise when we make too much money that people in poorer countries simply don’t have to worry about. And a lot of those misfortunes we face are often overlooked by world leaders.  Below are some examples of deeply troubling financially related first world problems, which tend to only exist in the realm of the rich … ಥ_ಥ

All images above were derived from internet memes.  While we may live in some of the richest countries on the planet let this be a reminder that we are not immune from the hardships of this world. I can relate to some of these problems myself. How about you? In a future follow up entry, I’ll post about some non-financial problems we face here in the first world.