Monday, March 24, 2014

Bets against the Canadian dollar surge again

Article Date: March 24, 2014

The latest report from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission is blaming the Bank of Canada for the sloping Canadian dollar. The CFTC says "The Canadian dollar is trading at its lowest level since July 2009 and much of it is due to an implied weak Bank of Canada policy on interest rate expectations." It is crazy how this is a factor in a strong dollar. I for one 'enjoy a low interest rate', the banks of the world are rich enough. If they are showing profit from rates on mortgages at just greater than 3%, how is it better to take money off my table with higher interest rates? So the banks can show strength to represent our countries wealth. How about leave the money in my pocket? Chances are I am spending it right back into the economy anyway! Meanwhile the rest of the worlds economies are having a huge impact. You may not know it, but as China's manufacturing sector is expected to slow. You can be sure to see another impact on our dollar.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wireless carriers hike prices across Canada

Article date: March 17, 2014

I am sick and tired of how much phone companies are allowed to charge us! Many of you may be unaware that we are all being completely taken advantage of. Canada is pushing for a fourth wireless phone carrier, "great" one more company to rip us off. The three current competitors Bell, Rogers, and Telus are currently charging $80 for the minimum monthly service. Yes that includes unlimited long distance calling, text messaging, and voicemail, but, what about the data? I am going to propose a thought, and you tell me what you think? If you use all your data.... and then some, you get penalized pretty hard. But, if you don't come anywhere near what you payed for, how come we are not credited or reimbursed? I would like to see how much this data really costs..... because no one's informing me of the money I'm saving Bell every time I don't use my entire package. Upsetting, really upsetting. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Irving Oil spending $60M on maintaining Saint John refinery

Date of article: March 03, 2014

Atlantic Canada's business giant Irving Oil will be conducting upgrades of $60 million over the course of six weeks to maintain its equipment involved in refining oil. The plus side to this announcement is that Irving will be requiring 1700 extra workers to complete such an overhaul. This "turnaround" will require 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until completed. In total, about 2,000 people will be involved with the project, including 1,700 additional tradespeople, most of them from New Brunswick. This is fantastic news, as any boost in employment helps generate a healthy economy. The refinery is crucial in sustaining Irvings position in the east and northern section of the U.S. It can produce over 320,000 barrels a day, and typically exports 80% of its production to the U.S. Irving says gasoline exported from the refinery represents 19 % of all U.S. gasoline imports. I feel that is a huge number, how about you? Well done Irving!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lower Canadian dollar won't slow snowbirds

Article date: Feb 24, 2014

This article is showing how much money Canadians spend in cross border consuming and vacation spending. My article refers to snow birds as the people who migrate south, for all or a period of the winter. The majority of Canadians (80%) are just daily commuters, returning the same day from shopping or business. What was interesting to me is, the amount of money Canadians spent in Florida during 2012; this is the number one snowbird destination. The figure is $4.4 billion, and the "Toronto-Dominion bank says it expects Canadians will take three million fewer trips to the U.S. this year and next. That's going to bring total spending down by as much as $4.5 billion, the bank estimates"(CBCNews, 2014). So, if everyone who goes to Florida, could just stay home in Canada we could keep our spending locally. I know it's impossible to implement such a scenario, but it's strange when you see a deficit, and you are able to apply it to a corresponding industry/economy that could make up the difference. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

These companies want their staff to watch the Olympics at work

Published Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014

Ah, the Olympics! A great time for countries to come together, and rally around their athletes. The article I happened upon, shows how amazing Canadians and Canadian businesses are during the Olympics. Three major sponsors of Canadian athletes, not only promote watching the Olympics, but also taking in as much as possible, on work time. If you happen to work for Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Tire Corp., or Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., you could be doing just that. "Nearly every Canadian Tire office has set up a viewing lounge, where employees can catch CBC’s coverage of the Games while relaxing in beanbag chairs and enjoying refreshments. The lounges have also been decked out with Canadian flags and team gear"(Jared Lindzon, Globe&Mail, 2014). I really think this is great, it feels so good to unify ourselves and cheer for the home team. I would encourage you to have a look at the article and read some of the contests these companies held for employees to win a chance to go to Sochi, Russia. It is like 'social responsibility' for the employees. Well done Canadian Tire.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Consumer debt snowballs to $1.4 Trillion

Article Date: February 10, 2014

Hello everyone, I have a great article to share with you. The article explains where Canadians consumer debt is held at the present moment, and the cities and  provinces that have the highest delinquency rate. I was amazed to find, we have almost double the credit card debt than what is owed on financed car loans.

The figure of $1.4 Trillion is slightly up from last years $1.3 Trillion. WOW!  Where did we as consumers just happen to spend another $100 Billion? I wonder, is it because people are used to carrying debt and become accustom to living outside their means? It feels normal to some.

The Atlantic Provinces are second behind Toronto for delinquency rates. This means, the percentage of loans that have gone unserviced for 90 days or more. Edmonton gathered the greatest amount of debt in the run of a year, and the best province or the people who settle debt the easiest is, Quebec.

I really don't know how to comprehend all this information, but, we all carry a little debt from time to time. There are not many people who can say they paid cash for their house! The main theme is to stay within self-protecting limits. You are your own worst enemy! Protect yourself friends.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Canadian retailers face tough sales and more layoffs this year, say analysts


Article date: January 31, 2014

This weeks article is somewhat tied together with my previous blog post. Last week I shared an article on the fluctuating dollar and the impact it has on industries. Here is the worst case scenario for retailers, analysts are forecasting a rough year due to the already slumping Canadian dollar. I struggle with the thought of the economy and how expendable some industries are. A few of the larger retail chains are announcing layoffs, specifically Sears laying off 2200 people and Best Buy laying off 950 people. The intensifying competition in the retail sector, which is already under pressure from a weaker Canadian dollar and the fallout of poor sales over the holiday season, has left them with no other option. They feel that making money is the top priority and cutting employment could make up that difference. This is only one change within one industry, but be assured that another industry is capitalizing or recovering at this very moment as well. I always feel bad for those who have lost work, but other industries are strengthening.