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  • Nikkei: Apple looking to buy 55% stake in LCD chip supplier for ¥50B [View news story]
    Putting those offshore ¥ profits to work?
    Apr 1 04:26 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marchers in more than 400 cities across 52 countries took part in protests against Monsanto (MON) today, calling attention to what they say are dangers posed by genetically modified foods. Monsanto is "poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," claims one of the organizers. The company says its seeds help farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy. [View news story]
    Monsanto is one of the companies (and my list is not long) that I will not invest in. Because this is an investment site, I won't belabor this, but do look up "superweeds" that are increasingly resistant to glyphosate (RoundUp). They appear to be threatening the food chain not enhancing it. Read the article in the periodical Scientific American if you place any credence in their research.
    May 26 12:18 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Guardian of London has posted a copy of a "top secret" court order instructing Verizon (VZ) to provide the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) with records of all calls made within the U.S. or originating in the U.S., through July 19, 2013. The accompanying article says the order went into effect on April 25 affecting millions of Verizon customers. In the exclusive article, the Guardian says that it is likely, though unknown, that other U.S. carriers are also affected. [View news story]
    I wonder what the NSA will think of my pizza orders to the local pizzeria (one had EXTRA cheese). If that won't get me a one way ticket to Guantanamo, then that pick-up order for Combo No.6 at the Chinese food place probably will.
    Jun 5 11:38 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Keystone XL Pipeline Being Delayed Until Late 2015 Is Good For Canada [View article]
    Devon Shire, it is not Conrad Black that is involved in the Kitimat project. It's DAVID Black.
    Apr 28 07:53 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Pacific Railway: Off The Tracks After Ackman [View article]
    So a prerequisite for a sovereign nation (in this case Canada) to be concerned about national security is that it must be invaded first? Otherwise it's "ironic"? I think not.
    Apr 2 02:36 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's looking like the June policy meeting when the Fed will officially signal it's set to begin tapering asset purchases, according to Jon Hilsenrath. Yesterday's lukewarm jobs reports removed pressure to act right away, but the prerequisite necessary to cut back QE - an improving economy - has been met. [View news story]
    Of course when this does begin, the spotlight for economic growth policies will shift to the elected houses who, apparently, have exhibited something close to paralysis while the Federal Reserve's plans have evolved. So there will be a transition from one arguably dysfunctional policy to policies created by dysfunctional government representatives.

    What could possibly go wrong?
    Jun 8 08:41 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A 15.8% rise in the M2 money supply in May and aggregate financing of over 1T yuan shows there is plenty of liquidity in China, state-controlled Xinhua news agency says in a commentary piece. Last week's credit crunch in the banking sector was therefore due to widespread speculative trading and shadow financing. The article confirms suspicions that the central bank, which let short-term lending rates hit record highs before intervening to ease the problem, wanted to send a warning as it looks to slow down the credit boom. [View news story]
    To me all stats emanating from the PRC are now, and have been for some time, suspect. Some of their trade figures have been a sham as companies "exported" to Hong Kong to navigate around capital controls.

    If you invest there, you are truly a risk taker. Odd for me to say that as I was a firm believer in the China story 2003-2007. I exited my positions there in January 2008. Haven't been back since and don't plan to until accounting standards aren't of the existential variety. We have enough of that in the West.
    Jun 23 03:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Bought Westpac Banking Corp. Today [View article]
    Be mindful of the currencies. The Australian dollar at the present time, is being "talked down" by the RBA and may go lower. I also hold a small position in WBK and it is fully "franked" as far as taxes go (ie. no witholding tax if held within tax deferred account). There could be/is a small ADR fee however.
    Dec 13 03:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canada's position is that the Keystone XL (TRP) pipeline would not cause a net increase in carbon emissions, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says, responding to Pres. Obama's statement that the U.S. should approve the project only if it did not increase carbon pollution. Oliver says at least 20% of Keystone oil would be lighter crude that would not come from tar sands, and thus not carbon intensive to produce. [View news story]
    Hello? Joe, if it hasn't sunk in yet your opinion on this means zip. The burying beetles of Nebraska hold more sway than any Canadian cabinet minister. This is about votes and legacies.

    Your time would be better spent expediting the east-west option within the GWN.

    disclosure: long TRP, (ENB), (KMI)
    Jun 25 06:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 High Growth Cheap Dividend Stocks To Consider For The Next 3 Years [View article]
    Now about the Royal Bank (RY)....

    "The (pre-tax) yield is 4.2%, and while dividend payments do fluctuate over time they were cut only 25% during the financial crisis and were back to normal in two years."

    Actually, the dividends remained at C$ 0.50 for the entire period from Oct.25/07 to Jul.26/11 (15 quarters).

    What DID change is the Canadian dollar in relation to the US$.

    That has nothing to do with the Royal Bank ~ bu it is the risk you take with "foreign" stocks.
    Jun 22 06:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "It's almost biblical," says Apollo Global (APO) CEO Leon Black. "There is a time to reap and there's a time to sow ... We are harvesting." The P-E kingpin says Apollo has unloaded about $13B in assets over the past 15 months. "The financing market is as good as we have ever seen it. It's back to 2007 levels. There is no institutional memory ... We're selling everything that's not nailed down." [View news story]
    ... We're selling everything that's not nailed down."

    I guess that means they are not expecting their assets, on average, to be not worth too much more than they are today for some time. Could be a warning in there somewhere.
    May 4 08:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Retire Young' Portfolio: Let's Introduce This Oil Company [View article]
    So far this appears to be an interesting portfolio. One US stock, one foreign based, mid cap and large cap, no dividend and above average yield (vs S&P), low beta and beta >1.0, above average PE and low PE, one from the consumer area and the other from energy. If this continues you can't be faulted for being not diversified.

    From your first article I think your focus is mainly on "growth" whether there is a dividend or not; I would say both of your first choices are true to that approach. One thing I would like to see is your entry price and date of purchase as you go along. Also, just out of curiousity, will this be an equal weighted portfolio at the outset? It appears that way from what has been allocated so far.

    I plan to follow your construction and the reasoning behind the selections (and sells) on the "Retire Young" portfolio. Good work Jacob.

    Long STO
    Apr 21 06:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Something's Not Right About This Rally [View article]
    The trouble with EWC is that it is fairly concentrated in that just 3 sectors make up about 75% of its market cap. Financials (35%), Energy (25%) and Materials (16%). Each one of those is experiencing headwinds a bit unique to the Canadian market.

    Real Estate is slowing down due to the Federal governments tougher regulations in the mortgage business. Construction is flatlining as a result. Households are beginnings to hold the line as far as taking on any additional debt. Interest rates are at historic lows. All that is negative for the financials (banks).

    Energy pricing in Canada is basically, for now, being held captive in the North American continent. Natural gas prices are extremely low and will probably remain there for the rest of the year.

    With China attempting to cool off its usually torrid growth, it appears to be running down its inventory/stockpiles of basic metals/materials. Europe, of course, is not exactly booming either. This situation will not change over the next quarter or two at least.

    The only bright spot is what appears to be an uptick in the US economy. That remains to be seen.

    Just my 2 cents worth. (oops I forgot we got rid of those recently).
    Apr 2 01:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Numbers Are In! [View article]

    Great article and indeed many of the usual suspects for a Canadian, my accounts contain many of the same holdings. As far as your pipeline holdings go, I would say a trailing stop on TO:IPL wouldn't be a bad idea at this point. I hold it as well, along with Pembina (PBA), Enbridge, TransCanada and Kinder Morgan (KMI).

    I appreciate your sentiment of wanting to stick with the horses you have, but remember diversification is one of the true "free lunches" investors have. So I won't belabour the point too much. I will suggest a few stocks to consider at some future time or as replacements.

    First, Apple (AAPL) for technology, retail and maybe in the not too distant future health care and E-commerce all in one.

    Second, your REITs are mostly domestically focused, think of expanding that sector to include a global perspective. Perhaps a look at W.P. Carey (WPC) might interest you. Also knowing that both those REITs pay distributions, for your taxable account maybe consider First Capital Realty (TO:FCR) as to the best of my knowledge it pays dividends. Currently I hold it in my RRSP, but plan to transition that holding to the taxable account.

    Finally the underweight in utilities. I can see why that may be non-existent at the moment, but keep an eye on "old reliable" Fortis (TO:FTS), while I don't expect it to do too much over the next couple of years it will probably just keep chugging along increasing its dividend, albeit minimally. I've held it for almost a decade and has a low beta. An anchor. Lol.
    Jul 5 03:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 11 Attractive Canadian Dividend Growth Stocks To Buy Now [View article]
    Thank you Chuck for reviewing these stocks north of the border. If you do follow up on these and others your experienced viewpoint would be greatly appreciatiated. I will say you will most likely have your work cut out for you on a lot of different levels. As both the tax implications and currency swings are bound to put off a few investors.

    Also, the size of the companies on the TSX are relatively smaller than those on the US exchanges. For example the largest on the TSX currently is RBC and after taking the current exchange rate into account it may make into the top 40ish position on the S&P 500. The market capitalizations begin to rapidly diminish after the top financials. Many of Canada's long time leaders have disappeared from the market due to takeovers, both foreign and domestic so there are not going to be an abundance of companies with long histories.

    For those who have been around a decade or two, I'm referring to decent sized companies like Inco, Ipsco, Dofasco, Stelco, Nexen, Shoppers Drugmart which were taken over by Brasilian, Russian, Luxembourg, U.S., China and Canadian (Loblaw) corporations respectively. Be prepared to not hold onto some of the Canadian companies for decades unless they are in regulated segments or classified as economically important. Potash came in under the latter in BHP's recent take-over attempt.

    I'll be looking forward to your unearthing of any value and/or dividend growers in the Canadian markets. I do hold several of the names you highlighted. Perhaps you will have a look at First Capital Realty, Magna International, Fortis, Emera.
    May 24 05:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment