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Showing posts from December, 2015

2015's Best of Pension Pulse?

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In my final comment of 2015, I'm going to go over a few key comments of the year. To date, I published 238 posts this year and while I consider them all important, it's useful to highlight the ones which I think are worth remembering as we head to 2016.

January 2015

Outlook 2015: A Rough and Tumble Year?: I always start the year with my outlook which sets out my market views. If you read it carefully, you will see I made some bad calls on some biotechs (still like the sector) and small cap stocks in general but the big picture was bang on. In particular, I made great calls on deflation, shorting oil and the loonie and told my readers to keep steering clear of energy (XLE), Metals and Mining (XME), Materials (XLB) and commodities (GSG). That advice alone was worth more than a $1000 or even a $5000 annual subscription to this blog from major pensions and financial institutions!!

Prepare for Global Deflation?: A key macro theme I've been harping on for years is deflation. In fa…

The Year Nothing Worked?

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Lu Wang of Bloomberg reports, The Year Nothing Worked: Stocks, Bonds, Cash Go Nowhere:
The idea behind asset allocation is simple: when one market struggles, it’s OK because an investor can jump into another that is thriving. Not so in 2015.

In fact, if you judge the past year by which U.S. investment class generated the largest return, a case can be made it was the worst for asset-allocating bulls in almost 80 years, according to data compiled by Bianco Research LLC and Bloomberg. With three days left, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has gained 2.2 percent with dividends, cash is up less, while bonds and commodities are showing losses (click on image below).


After embracing everything from Treasuries to high-yield bonds and technology shares amid seven years of zero-percent interest rates, investors found themselves with nowhere to run at a time when the Federal Reserve’s campaign of stimulus drew to an end. Normally it isn’t like this. Since 1995, practically every year has se…

No Enhanced CPP For Christmas?

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Leah Schnurr and Randall Palmer of Reuters report, Ministers eye no action on Canada Pension Plan premium:
Canada's federal and provincial financial ministers are considering not raising premiums for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), federal Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Monday, despite a Liberal campaign promise to enhance the plan.

The ministers will be considering a range of options over the coming year "from doing nothing because of the economy to more significant changes," Morneau told reporters after meeting with his provincial counterparts.

The Liberals, elected in October, campaigned on expanding the CPP, but the Canadian Federation of Independent Business warned that a premium increase would boost unemployment, because it does not take profit into account.

The CPP is comparable to the U.S. Social Security program.

The minister said the province of Ontario, which has talked about starting an Ontario pension plan because people are not sav…

Biggest Pension Gaffe of 2015?

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Watching that awkward moment at the end of Miss Universe 2015 on Sunday evening got me thinking about the biggest pension gaffe of the year. Earlier this month, Adam Mayers of the Toronto Star reported, $10,000 TFSA limit gone to help fund tax cut:
Friday’s Throne Speech didn’t mention Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), but federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau didn’t leave us in suspense for long.

On Monday afternoon, as part of measures to help pay for a middle-class tax cut, Morneau — cheerfully and in a brisk boardroom manner — said the $10,000 annual limit introduced by Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver is gone.

The good news is that the $10,000 amount stands for this year and goes into your lifetime total. But as of Jan. 1, it’s back to the future for this popular savings vehicle, dubbed the Totally Fantastic Savings Account by Wealthy Barber David Chilton. It reverts to $5,500 a year.

The Liberals argued during the election that the higher limit only benefits the rich, b…