The week started with the Government announcing a surplus in terms of the 2014/15 budget year, of almost $1.9 Billion, and it kicked off a bit of a reaction from many sides. A surplus is a good thing, how the surplus was created is questionable, but it did happen (unless the Government hired all of the old Nortel Accountants). Stories have been brought forward about forced spending cuts in key ministries and the infamous huge savings from Mr. Clement’s Sick Leave changes, however, it is a surplus, that cannot be argued (if you view the term surplus as a specific accounting term). Just an observation, but when did the NDP become more “centrist” than the Liberals?

Crisis? What Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis? by Supertramp (at Amazon)

Glad to see some money sense, with the story of a Brooklyn Nets rookie (who makes $1.3M a year) who has roommates, because rent is whacked in Brooklyn! It’s easy when you get money fast to give into the “Live Now, Pay Later” mentality that our society pushes, but glad to see one young person who realizes that all wealth can be fleeting.

The one interesting thing from the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2014–2015 is the statement of the National Debt. Remember the National Debt is how much money Canada owes to Creditors (many of whom are CSB owners and such, see Page 24 for the exact details of the debt). If I am reading the report correctly, Canada’s Net National Debt is $612.3B (if that is what is on Page 26 of the report). To quote the report exactly:

With total liabilities of $1.0 trillion, financial assets of $336.7 billion and non-financial assets of $74.6 billion, the federal debt (accumulated deficit) stood at $612.3 billion at March 31, 2015, up $0.4 billion from March 31, 2014

So we really owe $1Trillion, but thanks to accounting fun, we say our debt-load is $612B ? I’ll have to remember that the next time I go talk to the bank. Financial Crisis? What Financial Crisis?

Luckily the US Federal Reserve kept their rate near zero. No sudden stock market crashes just yet.

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My Writings for Week Ending September 18th

The days are getting shorter as Autumn is coming (in the Northern Hemisphere). :

Tweet of the week

The Government just told us about how they spent our tax money, why aren’t you reading this?

Money Stories and the Coming Autumn

Larry Swedroe makes a very interesting statement, There Is Only One Person Who Knows Where the Market Is Going, and you might be surprised who that is, however, remember, market timing is a mugs game (i.e. you cannot win, and if you do, it was blind luck). Did you ever wonder in the world of fictional finances (speaking of elections) What Your Favorite Character Might Make? A very interesting Infographic, that is for sure. Sports, income tax and blogging, how could you not read an article that starts with that? The Blunt Bean Counter writes about it in He Shoots, He Blogs, and He Scores!. Speaking of Larry Swedroe, the Canadian Couch Potato comments on Swedroe’s book The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches with their article It’s Better with Beta, can a skilled manager beat the market?

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Sometimes folks write articles with snappy titles that catch my eye, and Robb over at Boomer and Echo certainly did that with Sh*t My Advisor Says, and it is well worth reading. Some useful advice from Barry at Money We Have if you are car shopping, What not to say When Buying a Car, my own suggestion is, “I love this car, I’ll pay what you want”. Mark from My Own Advisor gives tells us about the Things Wealthy People Do Better than Him, in my case, being rich they do better than me. Mr. Money Mustache goes after the 4% rule with The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”, a simplistic view, and is it right?

Are we still in a market downturn? If so, Investor Junkie can help you with 9 Things You’ll Need to Survive a Market Downturn. If the market is in a downturn, is it a good time to invest? If so, where? Michael James answers a reader’s question about Leveraged ETFs, as usual sound advice.

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More Bottom Line

The bottom line panel discusses the economy and the election

Peter and the Wolf

I really liked Danny Kaye’s Peter and the Wolf (written by Prokofiev), so I am curious to see this new interpretation:

2015 Random Thoughts

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Michael James September 22, 2015, 11:55 AM

    It’s good to hear about pro athletes who aren’t just wasting all their money. Thanks for the mention.

    • bigcajunman September 22, 2015, 12:10 PM

      A few have figured out that their money earning years are very few.

  • My Own Advisor September 18, 2015, 11:59 AM

    Always great to watch Preet on the Bottom Line panel.

    Thanks for the mention – enjoy the weekend.

  • September 18, 2015, 11:18 AM

    The media is reporting that the surplus was created by cutting spending, like that’s a shell game. Really? Cutting spending is only one of two ways to create a surplus. The other way is to raise taxes.

    You mentioned that the NDP is becoming centrist. There’s a very good reason for this. Most of their seats in Quebec weren’t elected ‘NDP’ so much as ‘not the current party’. Now the NDP doesn’t want to lose all those seats. So, give up your roots and start appealing to the middle market. Personally I’d think that they’d do very well by sticking to their values, but what do I know?

    • bigcajunman September 18, 2015, 1:37 PM

      The “cutting spending” is an interesting point of view. Is it cutting spending if you force Ministries to push current year spending into the next year cutting spending, or just fore stalling the inevitable? Might be wrong, but that does seem to have been one of the “cost cutting” measures.

      I think we’ll find out whether there was a surplus after the election, one way, or another.


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