|Canadians have escaped the many woes of the global economy thanks in large part to our wealth of commodities. Our stock and property markets have performed relatively well, but given slow global recovery, we must remain diligent.
Our June issue has a number of thought provoking articles for your interest and knowledge to live a better life.
Thanks for your interest and all the great feedback.
Enjoy and be well,
Is Canadian residential real estate overvalued?
I was at a dinner party recently and the topic came up; "We're renting, just waiting for property prices to tank" said Bruce. "Well this house has been our best investment ever, we built it 14 years ago and have watched it go up every year since" quirked Janice.
The debate on peaking property prices is now commonplace as we all wonder just how much longer we can expect things to remain good when so many countries have experienced such dramatic property price destruction.
What's a 'blog'?
We've all heard of it, but most of us are still not sure what it is.
Simply, it's a type of website that typically has short articles posted regularly about one or more topics. 'Blog communities' have appeared on the internet around hundreds of topics putting people into contact with each other in relationships where they can learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people with similar interests around the globe.
Barron's June 4th 2011 investment newspaper ran a great article by Michael Santoli who described the US quantitative easing situation as follows:
In typical fashion, stock investors are dreaming of more candy, while bondholders fret over the cavities and calories that more stimulus could cause. Harris (Chief Economist at Bank Of America) says that equity types are asking when QE3 will come, fixed-income investors when the Fed will tighten monetary policy. His answer to both: "Not this year."
Corporate profits remain strong, macroeconomic numbers are softening, stocks remain not far off a multiyear high and stubborn fears of a recession relapse in the air. What will happen after the second round of US stimulus, known as QE2?.
Egyptologist brings Archaeology Alive
Royal Ontario Museum's very own Gayle Gibson will be leading an Egypt expedition delving into the country's storied, ancient past in 2012.
For those who dream of climbing inside dusty 4,000-year-old pyramids and exploring isolated tombs in true 'Chasing Mummies' fashion, a unique opportunity approaches to do just that with Toronto's very own mummy chaser.
After tax income is what matters
When investing outside an RSP or TFSA, it's important to understand how the different forms of investment income are taxed. There are three different types of investment income - interest, dividends, and capital gains.
Interest: Least efficient as there is no tax-favoured treatment. The interest is added to your income and taxed at your marginal tax rate.
Dividends: The government provides an incentive to invest in Canadian companies by providing a dividend tax credit. This reduces tax owing on dividends received from Canadian corporations.
Don't travel without it
We've all heard those horror stories about travelers and their families whose vacations turned into more than they had planned. In many instances, these situations could have been less stressful and more manageable by having proper travel insurance coverage.
The Book of Negroes
by Lawrence Hill
In a fascinating story of North American historical fiction, Lawrence Hill (brother of singer songwriter Dan Hill) tells the story of Aminata. Aminata, is a black girl from Africa who is abducted as part of the slave trade. She travels by slave ship to America, works on a plantation, lives in large cities, and goes to Canada for greater freedom. Her ultimate destination being the return to her native Africa. Through her intelligence, ability to read and apprenticeship as a 'baby catcher', she is able to keep a step or two ahead in her lifelong journey. Her story, part fiction and part history, is one of a very difficult life. In great detail, we gain a better understanding of life as a slave, and within a society which faces multiple barriers to freedom and wealth.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in that period of history, understanding the life of a slave, and those who simply enjoy watching a truly noble person make their way through the world.
Inside Job is a documentary that is focused on the causes and players behind the economic crisis of 2008. Through a wide range of interviews with key players, and a global look that includes the U.S., Iceland, England and China. Inside Job paints a scary picture of greed along with a lack of regulation. Among the key insights of the film is the lack of any meaningful change to regulatory laws in the United States in the aftermath of the crisis. Having worked at a firm with a large capital markets arm, I can see many areas where bankers would go if they were allowed. The desire to make short term profits is large, and there needs to be clear rules put in place by true third parties to provide a reasonable check and balance. The film shows an environment in the United States where the 'third parties' are so influenced by lobbyists of the financial services industry itself, that tough new rules and regulations have never been passed into action.
While it is always important to keep in mind that documentaries such as Inside Job are edited to show a one sided view of an issue - it is very effective in presenting that view.