Glitches, Greece, Recessions and #BestMoneyStories

Well, wasn’t that exciting on Wednesday? The NYSE (arguably one of the most important stock exchanges in the world) is shut down due to a computer glitch? Seems I have read something like this before in Debt of Honor (by Tom Clancy)? Maybe not, but that was the first thing I thought of when I heard the NYSE was shut down.

Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy

Link to the book on Amazon

The fact that the Wall Street Journal and United Airlines both had issues as well, makes you scratch your head a little as well, doesn’t it? Were there any strange stock prices entered on Wednesday (Read the novel for that reference).

So Greece decided they didn’t like the EU terms for their bail out and are making up their own deal? This stuff just writes itself, amazing. I plan on sending TD my terms on how I will not pay much back on my Mortgage as well, see how that works for me.

American banks seem to think that Canuckstan, I mean Canada, is in a recession. Our latest finance minister disagrees and just says, “… it’s a flesh wound, nothing to worry about…”, but it remains to be seen who is right and who is wrong here.

Speaking of teetering stock markets, China’s latest Stock Market foray seems to be close to a great fall as well? Not a great week in the investing world I suppose.

My Writings for Week Ending July 10th

A lazy week for me, actually, a very busy week as we prepare for a wedding this week, may not be too much next week we shall see if any Frays or Boultons are at the wedding (Game of Thrones reference) :

Speaking of security don’t fall for the latest IM scam:

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Do Canadians Borrow For Wealth ?

The Bank of Canada (and Stats Canada as well) put out a withering barrage of information every month, that I don’t even try to keep up with, but on occasion I am motivated to go over and check things out, and sure enough, this month I found some very interesting information in the Bank of Canada Banking and Financial Statistics June 2015. Be warned this is a PDF file with over 100 pages of tables and data, but the one table that caught my eye was Table C7 : Chartered banks: Quarterly classification of non-mortgage loans  (I have included a somewhat transcribed version at the end of this article).

As with all data, many different lemma, theories and ideas can be implied or inferred, but I will attempt to make two simple comparisons:

  • Borrowed money for investing compared to Car Rentals
  • Investing vs. Funds held on Credit Cards

Here are two harder to read graphs, that show the trends for the past 10 years (including Q1 in 2015), the big table of the real data is at the end of the article (as well).

Credit and Lease Debt

Car Leases and Credit Cards are what we borrow for (not to build wealth)

If you can make out the colours and such, you will see the really big increase in Credit Card and Vehicle Debt over the 10 years and the very small increase in loans to borrow for RRSPs and General investing. I am not really a big fan to borrow to build wealth, and it seems most Canadians don’t think of that, but holy cow, we do want to borrow to buy “things” like Vehicles, Mobile Homes and “stuff” on our Credit Cards.

The numbers are telling:

  • Private Passenger vehicle loans in 2005 were about $15,577,000,000 but now they are $72,961,000,000 almost quintupled over 10 years (2 complete doublings)
  • For Credit Cards $38,922,000,000 in 2005 but by 2010 $75,738,000,000 almost 1 complete doubling in 10 years.

What does this really mean? I guess we Canadians love our cars, love our stuff, and are wary of borrowing money to invest? (yes an over simplification, but the numbers do seem to point in that direction.

 The Big Table from the Bank of Canada

I do suggest having a look at this data on line as well:

Table C7 : Chartered banks: Quarterly classification of non-mortgage loans
Millions of Dollars
Loans to Canadian individuals for Non-Business Purposes
To Purchase Securities To Purchase Consumer Goods and other Personal Services Total
Tax Sheltered plans Marketable stocks and bonds Private Passenger Vehicles Mobile Homes Rennovations of residential properties Other Subtotal Credit Cards Total
V33760 V37759 V37755 V37756 V37757 V37758 V37754 V37753 V37752 V37751
2005 1,262 3,476 15,577 460 2,824 146,231 165,092 38,922 204,014 208,752
2006 1,300 3,714 16,218 422 3,178 158,824 178,642 41,998 220,640 225,654
2007 1,183 3,876 17,311 388 3,721 178,768 200,188 50,638 250,826 255,885
2008 1,099 3,220 23,002 370 4,903 207,126 235,401 53,703 289,103 293,423
2009 1,306 3,531 33,870 372 3,848 235,530 273,620 57,792 331,412 336,249
2010 1,326 3,789 42,095 200 3,618 247,113 293,027 61,325 354,352 359,468
2011 1,242 3,515 49,347 188 3,328 274,229 327,091 81,811 408,902 413,658
2012 1,487 3,521 54,992 242 3,774 285,252 344,260 78,969 423,229 428,237
2013 1,345 3,067 63,862 258 2,569 291,899 358,589 76,886 435,475 439,886
2014 1,070 3,628 71,981 829 3,155 291,750 367,715 79,046 446,761 451,459
2015 QI 1,573 3,713 72,961 814 3,114 291,887 368,775 75,738 444,513 449,799


Thanks to the odd placement of July 1st this year, I am enjoying two 2-day work weeks (unfortunately with a 1 day weekend in between). I did my best to stuff as much as I could into my 1 day weekend.

4th of July


It is the 4th of July on Saturday and our American relations will show how a Real Party is done. More than one comedian has quipped that the 4th should be renamed Blow Something Up Day but I am OK with seeing a country truly revel in their own freedoms. Oh and for those of you who have said, “I am moving to Canada now that same-sex marriage is legal”, you might want to reconsider things a little. đź—˝

Greece, ’nuff said. By the way, who loaned them the money, Money Mart?

According to our friends over at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Bill C-518 died “on the vine”, in the Senate. Bill C-518 was the bill passed in the house of commons that was, “… (the law to revoke taxpayer-funded pensions from criminal politicians)…”, I guess I am curious to ask, “And you thought the Senate would pass it?”. The CTF is always fun to read (I agree with the National Post on that one).

My Writings for Week Ending July 3rd

Now that Canada Day is done, what next? August long weekend? Simcoe Days? Labor Day? Christmas? Yikes! :

And now, deep thoughts with Preet Banerjee:

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Canada Day Celebrate This Nation

Canada Day 2015 is here, and given this holiday is mid-week this year, it is an odd holiday.

Canadian Flag

Happy Canada Day

In Canada we enjoy many things, and here for your enjoyment is my ode to Personal Finance in Canada:

C  is for the Cash, which of course is King
A  is Accounts which you should have opened (TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RDSP, etc.,)
N  is nervous which you should not be if you have a solid financial plan
A  is for Accountant like Blunt Bean Counter, which you should consult if things get complicated
D  is for Debt, the scourge of us all
A  is for Assets, the one thing we should all be accumulating (useful assets that is)

For your enjoyment, William Shatner sings Oh Canada (another former Montrealer):

William Shatner Sings O Canada by Jacob Medjuck, National Film Board of Canada


Inflation at 0.9% for May (maybe)

A week ago Stats Canada published their Consumer Price Index for the year ending May 2015, and the number they published was that the basket of articles that make up the CPI were up 0.9% year over year.

Given that Food is up it’s normal 3.8% year over year, how is the index only up 0.9%? You guessed it, Gas and energy prices (that complete Index was down 11.8% year over year):

  • Gasoline was down 17.4% year over year, but that will be changing with Gas prices going back up this month.
  • Natural Gas was down 14.4% for the year ending in May as well (not sure about those prices whether they are going up and such).
  • It’s not all good news though, Electricity is up 1.0% so not all of the energy index is down

Without this portion of the index, the actual CPI is up 2.2% year over year. More fun with numbers folks.

CPI with and without Energy

The CPI with and without Energy for the Past Little While

As this graph shows, the real CPI has been running about 2.0% or higher for a while. To see a better graph on what parts are going up and down, I present this interesting piece of data:

CPI components for past little while

The constituent parts and their increase (or decrease)

Bank of Canada’s core index

As we all know, the CPI by itself is only data, however, the system that uses this data (or one of them) is the Bank of Canada, and they will adjust interest rates accordingly, if they feel that inflation is “out of control”, so what does the Bank of Canada think ?

The Bank of Canada’s core index increased 2.2% in the 12 months to May, after rising 2.3% in April.

Bank of Canada CPI

Bank of Canada’s Current CPI, still within norms

CPI Reports for 2015 so far

The reports for this year so far:


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