Archive for September, 2006

A Millionaire Teacher

September 29, 2006

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In an increasingly restive world it is heartwarming to read the story of Roberta Langtry, a retired teacher, who died at the age of 89 last year and left $4.3 million to The Nature Conservancy of Canada.

How did Ms. Langtry manage to accumulate a huge nest egg? She did not win a lottery or inherit a sizable fortune, but The Globe and Mail column gives some clues. As a single woman with no dependants, she seemed to have lived well within her means, living in a modest home and hanging on to her car for a long time. She also invested her savings in blue-chip equities and held on to them for a very long time. It is nice to know that the old-fashioned formula of saving regularly and investing the proceeds for the long term works so well. It is even nicer to learn that Ms. Langtry has made our world a slightly better place.

Lower Heating Costs

September 28, 2006

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Enbridge (TSX: ENB) has announced that it is once again cutting the price of natural gas to 22.54 ¢/m³ starting in October. The new rate is 19% cheaper than the current rate of 27.9 ¢/m³ and well below the 29.47 ¢/m³ rate that Enbridge charged during the same time last year. Note that the new rate includes an adjustment to refund customers because the utility collected more from its customers than the actual costs incurred. Without the adjustment, the new rate would have stayed at the current rate of 34.1 ¢/m³.

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Jeremy Siegel Podcast

September 27, 2006

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Prof. Jeremy Siegel, author of Stocks for the Long Run and The Future of Investors, holds forth on interest rates (the Fed held the line on interest rates as expected last week), the end of the commodities boom, the bursting of the housing bubble and other topics in this podcast (transcript available here). He is of the opinion that the U.S. economy will face a slowdown, not a recession and has a favourable outlook for U.S. equities:

I am still positive on the stock market, probably even more positive on the stock market given that I think that the Fed is done and that the interest rates are going to stay low. As I mentioned earlier the bottom line is that I don’t think that it is a recession. I think that profits are going to slow down definitely, but they are not going to take a sudden dive. So given what profits there are and the earnings forecast and these lower interest rates, stocks I think are at good value.