Archive for May, 2005

This and That

May 7, 2005

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  1. Statistics Canada released its April job report yesterday, which showed the Canadian economy generating 29,000 new jobs, mostly in full-time jobs. The unemployment rate in Canada is near 30-year lows.
  2. The Globe and Mail newspaper had a recent story on executive compensation in Canada. Topping the list is Power Financial’s Robert Gratton who cleared a cool $173 million.
  3. Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge commented on the economy in Ottawa yesterday. He stated that the Canadian economy is adapting well to changes in the global economy and the strong dollar.
  4. I am seriously considering buying GM retail bonds, which currently yield about 10% for my portfolio. There were two recent Forbes magazine columns on this subject, available here and here.
  5. Donald Luskin writes in SmartMoney magazine that the stock markets are due for a powerful rally. He also argues that treasury bonds are overvalued.

smart Car

May 6, 2005

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We see a lot of people driving around in quirky little smart cars in Ottawa these days and my wife really wants to get one of these puppies. I have to admit that the car looks really cute and I even had one overtaking my trusty (and rusty) old Honda Accord on the highway yesterday.

The car has a lot going for it that make it ideal as a second car mainly for commuting short distances to the office. Fuel (diesel) consumption is rated at 51 m.p.g in city driving conditions. However, we decided against the car for two reasons:

  1. While the car has looks and personality, it is expensive with the smart fortwo starting at $16,500. At this price point, we could easily buy a new Honda Civic.
  2. The car can only seat two people. We are going to have a family, which would make a van a more suitable purchase.

 Posted by Hello

This and That

May 5, 2005

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  • The Toronto Star is reporting that major Canadian banks are launching an initiative that will allow consumers to pay for their web purchases with their debit card. There is also a story on how to use the debit card online.
  • IMHO, managing risk is the most important job for an investor. BusinessWeek has a primer on four types of risk: inflation, interest rate, event and currency risk.
  • Fortune magazine has timely gift suggestions for Mother’s Day.
  • The Globe and Mail has a column on investing in India. I made a recent post on this topic and as the column also notes, the Excel India fund is an expensive way to get exposure. Please be aware that Indian markets are extremely volatile and a broad emerging market fund like the EEM is probably best for most investors.