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From my Mail Box

I do get lots of emails in my mailbox, asking for many things. Here I try to answer a few of the more simpler requests. This was written in 2008, back in my younger wilder blogging days.

Art for Financial Gain

Old Mailbox from Library & Archives Canada
From Library & Archives Canada

This e-mail almost had me passing my liver I was laughing so hard. It started off with:

If you’re looking for an alternative to investing in stocks or real estate, art might be the way to go – whether you have $1,000 or $10,000 to spend.

You are not serious or as my daughters might say WTF? For my regular readers you know I have very little skill when it comes to investing in stocks (I have had many more flops than wins), I think I know as little about Real Estate, but then again, I have a nice house (which is not an investment in my mind) and I know I never want to be a landlord, so that covers most of the investing areas I know of, but this e-mail suggests Art?

Don’t get me wrong, I like art and I own art, but it is Art for Art’s Sake. I am an amateur ornithologist, especially liking pictures of birds of prey, so I own a couple of Robert Bateman prints which are worth something, I think. This e-mail is saying that I should work with this web site to make money using a methodology outlined by an entrepreneur.

Pardon? So as with most get rich schemes, I give someone I don’t know money to invest and hope they don’t simply squander it, in an area where I have no expertise other than, “That looks nice to me”? I think I’ll be passing on that “investing idea”.

Other Interesting Mail

I also get lots of other interesting e-mails, which fall into a few categories:

  1. How my girlfriend is unsatisfied with me, and I need herbal Viagra of some kind. Why is it my girlfriend is unhappy but my wife isn’t? Curious why those ads always talk about my girlfriend.
  2. Get rich schemes for this blog and how if I use the right keywords like: Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank or PC Financial, I will make a fortune. No Canadian Capitalist is the only successful financial blogger I know of right now.
  3. Phishing e-mail from people in the former Soviet Union or Nigeria who want to send me $1,000,000.00 because I am a good person.  I think I deserve that money, but no, I don’t answer those either.
  4. Occasional inquiries from readers about specific things and even some who ask for investing advice. Here is my investment advice: Pay off your debt and never ask me about investing advice, I will steer you wrong.

I enjoy reading mail and e-mail, and I like reading comments too (especially the nice one who said the Globe and Mail got it wrong and that I was one of the top 5 Canadian Financial Bloggers).

Be Cautious

The CBC asks the question are Canadian Investors being too cautious?

Canadians are sitting on a record $45 billion in excess safe, liquid assets that would normally be invested in the market, according to a report Wednesday by CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal.

So people who want you to invest so they can make money on the transactions think we aren’t investing enough? I am pretty sure that Laura Secord thinks I am not eating enough chocolate too, but I don’t listen to her either.

We in Canada have seen some SPECTACULAR investment busts in Bre-X, Nortel and the high tech bubble, and others, be skeptical and be cautious. Invest in what you understand and know (to paraphrase Warren Buffet), unless you are able to deal with losing the money you invest!

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I found that $45 billion number interesting for a couple of reasons. First is, how do they know how much Canadians have in cash? Shouldn’t we be entitled to having our accounts kept confidential? I’m not saying that the investment industry knows what specific holdings are in my accounts, but why should they even be entitled to know how much collective cash we have?

    The other interesting thing is that having that cash on the sidelines is bullish (generally the crowd is wrong). As the market rises a bit, and this money rushes into the stock market, it will have give the rally legs.

  2. You’re right that people should invest for their own benefit and not to line the pockets of others. But, its sad to think that so much of this $45 billion will sit on the sidelines until stock prices are higher. Why is it that people can figure out that when apple prices are low, it’s a good time to buy them, but they can’t figure this out for stocks?

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