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Pope Down on Win at All Cost Financial Plans

Written back in 2009, not too sure whether the current Pope is on line with profits.

Pope Likes Profit but not At All Costs

Former Pope Benedict XVI made an interesting statement in 2009:

“Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,” he wrote. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.”

Keepin’ it Real with the Papacy

Good to hear his holiness not denounce profit, and stating the obvious that simply getting profits at all costs might not be the best thing for everyone, is still a good thing to point out.  We have lived through decades of “ends justifies the means” profit taking by many companies, and countries and at the end of it all, most of us get screwed by all of this money grubbing.

When is it enough money? That’s an individual decision, but it seems in large firms, the answer is, “Never enough money!”, unfortunately.

Individual Bankruptcies up 31% Year over Year

In a less happy bit of data the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada published data showing personal bankruptcies are up a whopping 31% from last year at this time. The number quoted for personal bankruptcy is big and worrisome too, given the Canadian bankruptcy laws (check out the web site for exact definitions and helpful hints on what other ways you can deal with crushing debt loads).

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Why? Because Someone Wants to Buy it!

Written in 2009 when there was still a technology discussion going on, and not just the Cult of Apple.

I had a very lively discussion with a friend yesterday who ranted at me about how technology in general and cell phones, Blackberries and iPods in specific are annoying to him. Why is it annoying, if someone wants to buy it ?

Now my friend is of the older generation and has no idea why anyone would purchase this technology and why anyone would want to be that connected to the outside world. I didn’t want to discuss those reasons, since WHY people want things is secondary, the fact that they do buy things builds entire businesses, and that is the important reason.

Build it and if they want it, they will buy it, is the bottom line. It is built because someone wants to buy it.

How does Apple make a fortune on iPod, when it is not advanced technology, it is in fact old technology, because people want to buy it! Why do cigarette companies even though they are literally killing their customer base? People are addicted and want to buy the cancer sticks.

Business is very simple, if no one buys a product, the product goes away, if someone wants to buy it, the product continues on (with the exception of communist states).

Does everyone need to follow me on Twitter (by the way twitter.com/bigcajunman)? No, but for some odd reason every day 2-3 more people are following me, I have no idea why.

If they buy it, they will continue to make it, it is just that simple.

The hard question in business is what will someone want to buy next. Deep thoughts for a Tuesday.

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Random Thoughts

With Lent beginning, tax season roaring into view and the RRSP season coming soon to an end some very interesting posts were done this week, for the end of February.

Have a great weekend all, and watch for the Ultimate Canadian Get Rich Quick scheme video.

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When Financial Bloggers Meet

When Financial Bloggers Collide

Another one of the great N.C.F.B.A. summits took place this week with a special guest Preet from Where Does All My Money Go who was in the National Capital region on business and decided he wanted to get his finger on the pulse of some of the most dynamic financial bloggers in Canada (ok, what is the correct font for sarcasm). Preet has been promoted to an honorary member of the N.C.F.B.A., and promises to attend yet another of our “Financial Think Tanks” in the near future.

What do Financial Bloggers talk about when they get together? Finances, ETF’s, Mutual Funds, Get Rich Quick Schemes, Blogging and Advertising, Car Racing,  and many other interesting topics. This esteemed group is also frugal, (some might even say CHEAP) I had two decaf coffees, Michael James had a ginger ale, the Canadian Capitalist had a hot tea, Canadian Money Review had two Perriers, and Preet I believe had a soft drink. Needless to say our server was not enthused by our lack of ordering, but we as Financial Bloggers must show the financial restraint that we espouse (i.e. practice what we preach).


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Good Bye 2008

A Historical Article I am keeping around to remember the year 2008, when the stock market went into the crapper (thanks to the debt crisis).

This has been one of the most interesting years in my life and in the financial world, and I will not lament it’s end, but it is certainly not the worst year of my life (but it isn’t one of the top 10 either). 

This year has seen:

  • My retirement savings drop by 20% in value thanks to the stock market implosion, caused by the shenanigans and tom foolery over low rate mortgages in the states, and the financial apocalypse.
  • My career at Nortel finish at 20 years (I am still looking for gainful employment), but maybe that is a good thing at the end of it all. With this I have taken complete control of my retirement savings, as well.
  • My oldest go off to University and now I am learning how the business of higher education works (and it’s ins and outs). 
  • An election that seems to have resolved nothing and we are more likely than not off to the polls again in 2009, which always makes for fun writing.
  • The birth of the TFSA, but I am not sure how I am going to use it yet.
  • Gas prices going up and down have caused havoc with any kind of budgeting attempts by my family, but the cheaper prices now, has managed to balance mid-year large outlays for fuel.
  • Interest rates remain at historic lows and inflation has calmed down with the drop of fuel prices as well, where will this lead? I have no idea, but I hope interest rates stay down for a while longer, then they can sky rocket (remember interest rates low good for borrowers, bad for bond holders).
  • I await a “bail out” by the government for me, but I guess for the common man, the “bail out” is called buying lottery tickets. Maybe I should change my name to Ford?
  • I have written well over 250 posts this year, which is the most active writing year I have ever had.

I thank you kind reader for your patronage this year and hope you keep coming back to see my view of the Personal Finance world in the coming year.

Bye Bye 2008

Man that was a tiring year
Man that was a tiring year

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