Cowgirl kiss

Hey Garth,
Just a word from Calgary. I am 52 and divorced – read “make my own financial decisions”. I bought your book Greater Fool last spring. I urged 3 friends – all up to their ears in real estate that they would have to shift- to read it. They did and universally said it couldn’t happen in Alberta.

I sold my house in a small town south of Calgary last June for what I paid for it the year before (less $3000 after expenses) to some people from Canmore. It was an unconditional sale for me, (miracle) but they still haven’t sold their house in Canmore.

I’m currently house sitting just west of Calgary free rent with a really nice hot tub, my kids are travelling in Asia, (I might join them) and I have few expenses and I am waiting it out with my house equity in GIC’s.  Hey, if that isn’t worth the price of a book what is. I think this year will belong to the coachable.

THANK YOU – I’ll be buying your next one, too.


#1 Dave on 11.21.08 at 11:24 pm

A words from Toronto. Thanks a million for your website, eventually sold my house recently with marginal profits.

Now, some cash in hand, but don’t know what to do with it because you mentioned some major banks could callopse. GIC or government bond? Whatever you say I will do it.


#2 Waiting for a Deal on 11.22.08 at 12:33 am

heck … at 55, if Cowgirl looked like that I am sure she wouldn’t be a divorcee for long!

#3 TheComingDepression on 11.22.08 at 1:33 am

I read the same book After I sold everything , then I put it into GOLD And SILVER at $400 and $4. I did some huge research and started this blog..overlooking the “Creek” in Garth’s “Favourite” know the one with the bad road to the airport? GARTH?

#4 Jeff Smith on 11.22.08 at 2:04 am

Good lord! I hope GM will pull out of this ok because if they go under, it will devastate the local economy and will do tremendous damage to the real estate sector of Ontario.

#5 Bobby in Victoria on 11.22.08 at 3:38 am

Was out at a dinner party the other night and ended up talking to a realtor. He said the official word within his company was that prices here in Victoria were going to rise between 2-5% this year. I almost choked and asked him if he really believed that. I said that if the official word was prices would fall, he would never sell a house.
Talk about a conversation stopper.

#6 David on 11.22.08 at 4:29 am

A $3K haircut is pretty inexpensive. If you are 52, you would have some recollection of the mid 80’s financial and real estate collapse. One would assume that your friends are your age and should know better. It can’t happen in Alberta and the sense of Alberta exceptionalism is a good recipe for a financial disaster. You should ask your friends at what point did Alberta become insulated from events in the outside messy real world. Middle aged and up to their ears in real estate? That is frightening and hardly anything to envy.

#7 brazer on 11.22.08 at 9:21 am

Death of a car dealership

“It was the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life,” says owner and president Roger Davidson, 60, about filing for bankruptcy. “It was just an absolute heartbreak. I had 57 employees and many of them had been here for years.”

#8 brazer on 11.22.08 at 9:30 am

GM shutdown moved up

General Motors of Canada said yesterday it will shut its Oshawa truck plant on May 14, rather than July 1 as previously announced, because market conditions in the United States have worsened…

About 2,600 workers will lose their jobs when the plant, which makes the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, shuts its doors.

#9 Jelly on 11.22.08 at 10:11 am

Friends of mine recently bought a small condo for over half a million dollars in Canmore. They offered OVER asking price because they wanted all the furniture included. These are people who I thought were really smart and conservative with their money. I was suprised since I have been harping about bubbles for years and the media has been saying this too.
Anyone else think Canmore is going to crash bigtime?

#10 Ed Sager on 11.22.08 at 11:02 am

There are a couple of condo projects in Canmore that have been shut down. Yes, it’s going to crash; it’s started already.

#11 Mountain Girl on 11.22.08 at 11:57 am

Jelly #9 –
Canmore absolutely breaks my heart. It is the quintessential example of hyperdevelopment. A beautiful little mountain town that has been destroyed by greedy development, horrendous city planning and complete disregard for the incredible wilderness setting that made it a desirable place to be in the first place.
And that same “I want/must have/deserve/am entitled to a second home or holiday property” mentality is spreading like an aggressive tumour throughout more beautiful mountain towns in the interior of BC, making a handful of people very wealthy and shutting locals out of a modest home in a place their family may have lived for several generations. Don’t even get me started on the sickening environmental consequences of this kind of mindless development. Sustainability on any level simply isn’t a consideration.
I think it would be very healthy for Canmore to crash hard. Maybe some of the people who actually live and work in the area could then afford more than a broom closet to live in. Maybe then the wildlife corridors could have a respite from the onslaught of tacky condos and golf courses that have plagued the place.
I, like many others who post on this blog, fervently hope that the enforced frugality of the economic crisis will give our planet a fighting chance to survive. Canmore is a place that represents the gluttonous lifestyle of the Alberta I despise (as opposed to the free-spirited, innovative, caring Alberta that I love). It epitomizes overconsumption. I think it would be most fitting to see those condos and developments reflect the worthlessness of their contribution to the community with a deep deep price cut.
No sympathy from me.

#12 Downsized on 11.22.08 at 12:17 pm

Toronto News- Major Kitchen Cabinet manufacturer with 41 year history in Ontario closing doors for all North American production at the end of 2008.

#13 Calgary rip off on 11.22.08 at 12:24 pm

The media in Calgary tends to downplay the drop in housing here. Its strange, especially in that most people bought their homes before the boom, so even with corrections, they wont lose much equity. The persons affected the most are those persons who purchased at the height of the boom who are speculators, such as one of the dudes I work with who divorced his wife to get away from his mother and law and now has two properties(condo and house) bought in 2006 at the boom height. Those persons who bought at the boom height to just live in the house, assuming they werent financially overextended can deal with their mortgage and fluctuating house values, so its not that bad.

My wife seems to think there wont be a bad crash in Calgary, and that the median wont correct to $250K. We had a big argument about this. I think it will crash hard by what I am seeing. She doesnt. She thinks I will wait forever to see that $250K house. I think sometime next year to buy a house will be a good time, assuming we have the downpayment, which will be helped if she ever does get a job, but either way, I have everything I need(assuming I dont need to hunt bear and boil water-I dont have a big shotgun). The other side of things she thinks that if there is a mass exodus healthcare will be downsized, which it probably will. As a reality check I am not getting ahead financially in Calgary for my family(in between dealing with paperwork at the hospital I have to listen to stupid irrelevant crap from doctors and nurses all day long about sex and stupid stuff), so I really am not too worried, if I have to go back to the three job situation like when I was in Nanaimo and retrain to be an electrician at VIU, its not a big deal. Its amazing the requirements for many to be happy. All I require is reasonably healthy(besides the sports injuries); some type of food that will sustain health; a dwelling of some sort that doesnt have gangs and gunfire and potsmokers like I endured in Nanaimo; my family; music instrument practice; and ethical behaviors, not necessarily in that order.

It continually blows how the media distorts things such as retirement funds being lost and all this “suffering”. What a bunch of crap!!!! You still have flowing drinkable water and something to eat, and are not freezing to death and/or naked with no clothes. So what the hell is the big deal???? I suspect that at age 36 I will probably work until I am dead, with no prospects of future retirement(cant work when you are dead :)). Therefore I value each day and resolve to remain injury free, work ready, and counting each day that I wake up as a definite bonus on this planet.

Stay tuned for the resolution of out of this world prices in Calgary/Canmore. Where it stops nobody knows.

#14 Gonzo45 on 11.22.08 at 12:56 pm

#11 Mountain Girl –
Very well put… I completely agree with you that a collapse of the housing market and the economy will have an environmental upside. I think it could extend more globally as well. The thought of “Drill, baby, drill” as a US solution to the energy crises and the emerging markets of China and India being driven to create more wealth is certainly very scary. Out of this whole mess will come an opportunity to change the direction we are headed. Whether this happens or not, I’m not too sure. Obama has announced one of his ways of trying to grow the economy will be to invest in alternative energy and create new “green” jobs. Maybe we’ll emerge from this whole mess with a sense of living within our means and sustainable growth. In 20 years, we could look back at this economic disaster as the event which made us change the ways of our past. Strong leadership with a vision for the future will prevail. Alberta and it’s dirty oil will be left behind unless changes are made.

#15 Rasputin on 11.22.08 at 1:29 pm

I tried posting this yesterday but it didn’t work. A funny youtube look at the housing bubble.

#16 Roger in Victoria on 11.22.08 at 1:56 pm

Bobby post #5 said:

“Was out at a dinner party the other night and ended up talking to a realtor. He said the official word within his company was that prices here in Victoria were going to rise between 2-5% this year.”

This true but misleading statistic is being pushed by real estate pumpers all over Victoria. Yes the ANNUAL average for 2008 will be 2-5% higher than the ANNUAL average for 2007. When you average the prices over 12 months you only tell part of the story. That is because average house prices rose considerably in the January-April 2008 period but have dropped for 5 of the last six months. Median SFH prices have dropped every month since April. In 2009 prices will continue to drop and the Annual average will also drop. I bet the real estate agent neglected to mention that future prediction by his own association!!

You can see the real story by clicking on my name to see the historical price graph and the BC real estate association predictions for 2008 & 2009.

#17 Roger in Victoria on 11.22.08 at 2:09 pm

Bobby in Victoria,

If you want to see a complete set of stats on the Victoria real estate downturn just click my name and you will see a number of up-to-date graphs on local market conditions.

I update the stats at the beginning of every month. November looks like it will be very slow for sales just like Vancouver.

Garth – Vancouver may be getting all the press but Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island house prices are dropping 1-2% per month. Sales are down by over 40% and listings are at multi-year highs. Many realtors and homeowners are saying that spring will be a better time to sell. When all those new listings hit the market with buyers still sitting on the sidelines prices will plummet.

#18 Downsized and Delighted on 11.22.08 at 2:14 pm

You can’t really expect the real estate industry or the media to give you the cold hard truth about the market right now. If you had lung cancer, would you want them to tell you that 85% of people with lung cancer will be dead within a year? Of course you wouldn’t want them to say don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine either.

I’m not as shocked as most of you at the remarks – not because they are true, but rather, what else would you expect them to say?

#19 wealthy renter on 11.22.08 at 2:17 pm

Toronto News- Major Kitchen Cabinet manufacturer with 41 year history in Ontario closing doors for all North American production at the end of 2008.

Downsized, coming from a proud working class family, I feel a stab in my heart when I see manufacturing firms close down – and there are many these days.

I don’t think society or any level of goverment is dealing with (or accepting the fact) that the manufacturing of consumer items (except in its real niche form) is in its sunset in the western world. I don’t think that anybody, of any political stripe knows what to do about the auto manufacturers and all related industries, such as the cabinet makers that you mention. I would bet there are few damn skilled people in that small plant.

Our education system is working feverishly to try to pursuade young kids to explore the trades and not pursue a university stream. Given what is happening to manufacturing firms, the oil patch and real estate, it is hard to say whether there will be jobs for for kids in the trades when they graduate. Combine this with the fact the fewer and fewer kids are taking math and science, the prospects for high tech industries will suffer in the near future.

We are in a bit of a mess: financial, structural and political. The smart and skilled will prosper, but I can the return of 10% unemployment for the next generation.

#20 Bottoms_Up on 11.22.08 at 2:19 pm

RE: #5 “I almost choked and asked him…”
you should have written “I almost choked him…”

RE: #13: well said.

#21 peng on 11.22.08 at 2:47 pm

Everyone must see this.
There 8 parts. Peter Schiff is talking in November 13, 2006:

#22 kathy on 11.22.08 at 2:47 pm

If a major Canadian bank fails, will that bank’s mutual funds be safe? I know that mutual funds and their component stocks are independent and can go up and down in value but what happens to the holding mutual fund of a bank if the bank fails.

#23 Ultraman on 11.22.08 at 2:53 pm

Mountain Girl says “Canmore is a place that represents the gluttonous lifestyle of the Alberta I despise”

Canmore and Alberta in a generic sense. So much beauty have been destroyed by gluttonous lifestyle. It’s curious of the concept of high density living applies mostly to large urban area when in fact the concept is highly applicable to all the Canmore of the world that sits among pristine natural beauty.

#24 Mountain Girl on 11.22.08 at 2:55 pm

#14 Gonzo45 –
Here’s hoping!
I feel like the economic downturn could be a really good opportunity in many ways.
The pessimism about the economy only really applies if we think the current economic system is worth preserving. I don’t.
Bizarre debt products that no one understands, monopoly capitalism that results in fewer choices for everyone, and the incredibly flawed concept of our planet being an infinite source of resources and an infinite sink for our garbage – all this has caught up with us.
It’s an opportunity for change. I think the adjustment will be painful to us all, but hopefully we can see a future longer than a few months, and can try to plan long-term with full consideration of all the factors, not just some short-term, short-sighted financial plan that doesn’t account for the ecological and social cost of our mindless consumption.
I am actually excited by the number of people who seem to be embracing simplicity. Are we going to figure out that all that stuff didn’t really make us happy in the end?
Interesting times.

By the way, Calgary Rip Off, I got sent a link to a listing site the other day and looked up some houses in my inner city Calgary neighbourhood, just for kicks. I saw two houses (both 1947 1.5 storey houses with less than 1200 sq.ft.) that had been listed at $489k this spring. One is now at $399k, and the other is at $369k. And if the weather-beaten look of the For Sale signs is any indication, I bet those houses will be under $300k before they sell. So that might help convince your wife! :)

#25 brazer on 11.22.08 at 3:10 pm

Bell Canada cutting 250 office jobs in Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal

The union said it is outraged by the cuts, considering employees have”already made significant concessions to allow the company to compete more efficiently.”

#26 TorontoSafe on 11.22.08 at 3:16 pm

Its sad to see what’s happening out there, but I do see some satisfaction. My wife and I have been renting for the past 3 years in Toronto. We’ve taken a LOT of grief from our family for “giving” out money away and paying someone else’s mortgage. So glad we didnt follow conventional wisdom. That being said, my wife is now angling to buy a house in Toronto, but I think we’ve got another 2 years before we fully see a bottom!

#27 David on 11.22.08 at 3:34 pm

Mountain Girl makes a good point. The McMansions and condos are totally out of line with the local ecology and economy. None of these buildings are made to last for multiple generations, but the now and the wow are all important until the next great development comes along. No matter how they try, developers can not foster a sense of community for all their slick marketing efforts.
If many of these developments are unsustainable now what does that say for the future 20 or 40 years down the road while these properties are still debt encumbered?

#28 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 11.22.08 at 3:37 pm

# 17 Roger You never fail to statistically right the VREB spin.

#24 Mountain Girl. Nice post.

#29 The Coming Depression on 11.22.08 at 3:51 pm

MOUNTAIN GIRL-THIS ECONOMIC “depression” will not help anyone! People will be homeless,starving,unemployed and crime will go WAY UP. In the US most states are going broke, which mean they cut services. ( police, transportation, healthcare, hospitals etc.) This depression will spin to Canada so fast it will make your news shoes pop off. Save your money invest in bullion and coins and buy a life insurance on a relative ( under 65)making yourself the beneficiary ( TAX FREE upon passing).. and buy a GUN.

#30 Happy Renter in North Van on 11.22.08 at 4:01 pm

Kathy, I’m in the asset management industry… All Canadian mutual funds’ assets are segregated from the companies managing them. It doesn’t matter who the sponsor is… CIBC, Royal, CI, AGF, etc… they are all subjected to the same rules…

#31 wealthy renter on 11.22.08 at 4:07 pm

This didn’t post, but trying it again.

an interesting post for bubblewatchers, from a relatively mainstream business source.

#32 buy gold on 11.22.08 at 5:16 pm

mountain girl get a life stay up in the mountains where you belong its all hype from the media!!!

#33 john on 11.22.08 at 5:41 pm

#25 brazer on 11.22.08 at 3:10 pm Bell Canada cutting 250 office jobs in Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal
did you know that now when you call bell canada (this has been the case for some time) You are talking to someone in India–Another example of why our country is headed for the toilet!

#34 pjwlk on 11.22.08 at 5:41 pm

#26 TorontoSafe

“my wife is now angling to buy a house in Toronto, but I think we’ve got another 2 years before we fully see a bottom!”

You’re right TorontoSafe, resist the wife’s/family’s pressure as long as you can. It’s tough I know but you thank yourself in the end.
I spoke to a rather dim co-worker about 6 weeks ago about the housing market and spent a lot with him on it. Gave him examples, told him about Garth’s book and gave him the URL to this blog. He told me his wife was pressuring him to “buy” because of blah blah blah. “A better investment would be to sit down with her and explain why you should wait for another year or two” I said, “Take the time now”. Anyhow, the pantywaist came in about 3 weeks ago telling me he bought in the Dufferin & St Clair area. When I asked him if he thought they got a good deal, suprisingly he said “No”. Talk about the lack of a spine… holy crap.

#35 john on 11.22.08 at 5:57 pm

While the US is spending billions policing iraq,going deeper in debt–meanwhile in Iraq>>>’U.S. taxpayer money is involved’
The Government Accountability Office estimates that the U.S. has designated $6 billion to rebuild Iraq’s energy sector and $300 million to develop Iraq’s government ministries. But GAO contends that the U.S. does not have a strategic plan on how to accomplish either goal.

The State Department told investigators it believes the Iraqis should be responsible for devising such a plan. GAO disagreed.

“In our view, it’s a shared responsibility. U.S. taxpayer money is involved,” Walker said.

Last week, Sens. Carl Levin, a Democrat, and John Warner, a Republican, asked GAO to investigate what Iraq is doing with its oil revenue. The senators estimated that Iraq will realize “at least $100 billion in oil revenues in 2007 and 2008.”——– ????????????

#36 john on 11.22.08 at 6:05 pm

The Tar Sands And The Price Of Oil—–(my opinion) The Alberta tar sands have been a cash cow for the oil companies to justify the high price for refining it while conventional methods are reaping a fortune (due to the low cost of refining it).No 1–there is not a shortage of oil northern Alberta is full of capped wells (i was told this by an independent oil producer). Well it kind of makes me warm all over to see them sweating now after they dealt the final blow in the destruction of our economy.

#37 Future Expatriate on 11.22.08 at 6:18 pm

#24 Mountain Girl… unfortunately you don’t know your history. What always comes after a disaster such as this is a fascist strongman the people beg to take power at any cost and “fix things”. Which always only makes things far far worse, because the answer is always a nice long economy rousing war.

Be very careful what you wish for; revolutions may be exciting and sometimes actually even necessary, but the government takes the preceeding state’s place always becomes that which it revolted against and replaced given enough time. All revolution fails sooner or later.

A fact of US vs. Canadian history we’d all do well to learn and always remember.

#38 brazer on 11.22.08 at 6:32 pm

it was only a short while ago that the prime minister was saying our economy was “fundamentally sound”…what a cruel joke he’s played on canadians…sigh.

Harper calls crisis worst since 1929

“The financial crisis has become an economic crisis, and the world is entering an economic period unlike, and potentially as dangerous, as anything we have faced since 1929,” Harper said in an address.

#39 anonymous on 11.22.08 at 6:56 pm

Mountain Girl,
You make some good points, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder what will happen to the vulnerable in our society.
It’s very hard for me to turn a blind eye to this as my sister suffers from schizophrenia and lives on the streets in Vancouver. What about her?

#40 charliegosurf on 11.22.08 at 7:10 pm

mountain girl, im in love, you are the babe with brain out here, xxxxxxxxooxxxxx, that;s just for you, i picture you like the cowgirl upthere, your style is …smokin!

@calgary ripoff, yure a good cowboy too, no kiss for you thougt, good luk with wifey, and youre flames are doin great, but sorry for your stampeeders, they wont spoil the week;end, lol, idont really care anihow..

more kiss to all the cow-girls, they rock my world, hiiiiiiiiiha, time to go the saloon, and play poker to forget about all these gloomy talks, there will be always plenty of food around no matter what, and a shelter under the stars by the fire will always be a cowgirls fav, yippidayyy

#41 416er on 11.22.08 at 7:31 pm

There is one reason the 41 year old ontario kitchen mfg is closing its doors.


They simply cannot compete with Ikea’s price, quality and lead times.

#42 BOB on 11.22.08 at 7:32 pm

#37 Brazer Yup it’s all Harper’s fault. The whole system is collapsing so let’s blame him. I’m sure if the Liberals were in power they would of told us what was going to happen. How about the NDP? I would hate to see the Canadian dollar if they came to power. LOL maybe about 40 cents.

#43 Bottoms_Up on 11.22.08 at 7:34 pm

RE: #24 “and the incredibly flawed concept of our planet being an infinite source of resources and an infinite sink for our garbage…”
Well said. Easter Island a few hundred years ago was a microcosom of our planet today. Their island was filled with resources (trees) which they cut down to prop up large stones. Eventually they cut down all the trees and no longer had food and shelter. As a result, they all died. As you alluded to, our world is headed in this direction and it needs to change. I think Star Trek had it right–humans should not be concerned with accumulating as much wealth as possible, rather our main drive should be the accumulation of knowledge.

#44 poorguy on 11.22.08 at 10:25 pm

Hi guys ,
Can any of you post what is being said in the show called “Hot Property ” on C24.Are they still shameless
to pump RE? I used to watch when I was in Toronto
for pure intertainment value.I am enjoying warm weather in Florida.I cant believe houses are so much
inexpensive in here.

#45 T.O. Girl on 11.22.08 at 10:35 pm

Can anyone post any recent realestate stories or experiences in the Toronto Area Market?

#46 brazer on 11.22.08 at 11:29 pm


“Remember, Canada is not the United States. The fundamentals of the Canadian economy are sound.” – Stephen Harper; Sep. 30/08

“The financial crisis has become an economic crisis, and the world is entering an economic period unlike, and potentially as dangerous, as anything we have faced since 1929,” – Stephen Harper; Nov. 22/08


what a difference a few weeks and an election make, right “BOB”….?

#47 Western Province Red Neck on 11.22.08 at 11:58 pm

Unfortunately I predicted many moons ago on this blog site that Ontario was in bad shape as a manufacturing and overpopulated Province.

Ontario will revert back to the1950’s culture…families doubling up.

If things get really bad, Saskatchewan/Alberta/British Columbia will have to secede from Canada and become Cascadia.

ONtario can keep them Quebec’ers, the Maritimes and the Loonie…Out west our new currency will be called the “Paradise”…We will revert back to Monolingualism…We will all drive race cars, cuz gas will dirt cheap, gain weight, cuz food will be nearly free to buy, and we will stay in great shape cuz, we can swim in the Ocean 12 months of year, ski and golf in the same day…and there is tons of sushi and rice wine cuz we are so close to japan.

come visit us in 2010.

Its time the balance of Power in Canada went west…the Centre of the Earth has had it way too easy for too long.

#48 Future Expatriate on 11.23.08 at 12:03 am

#38 anon: Your sister will be one of the few who will end up better off. If this goes the way of the last depression (and probably, far worse) she’ll be surrounded by many new friends and extended “family”, including entire families with their children, who won’t be schizophrenic but merely unlucky to have been born at the wrong place in the wrong time of history and suckered by the wealthy and wannabe wall street pirates. Good people whose sense of compassion and basic humanity will have been suddenly and profoundly awakened, the hard way.

#49 GenXer on 11.23.08 at 12:48 am

416er – sorry, did you put IKEA and quality into the same sentence? Yikes – please don’t choose a home for me.

#50 pjwlk on 11.23.08 at 1:00 am

#38 anonymous: “It’s very hard for me to turn a blind eye to this as my sister suffers from schizophrenia and lives on the streets in Vancouver. What about her.”

You didn’t seem to have a problem turning a blind eye to sister by letting her live on the streets. What kind of brother/sister are you?
#40 416er: There is one reason the 41 year old ontario kitchen mfg is closing its doors. IKEA. They simply cannot compete with Ikea’s price, quality and lead times.

I seriously doubt our fellow Canadians built the kind of shit Ikea sells as furniture. The real problem is our own people are not supporting Canadian manufacturing because it costs more – regardless of the quality.

#51 islander on 11.23.08 at 4:51 am

So MOuntain Girl, it’s OK if YOU live in the animal’s back yard, but greedy developers are to blame if I want to live there? I used to be on the development appeal board with the MD of Rockyview (borders Calgary on three sides). Your kind made me sick then. And you make me sick now with your hypocritical stance on real estate development.

If “greedy” developers didn’t put their entire personal worth on the line every time they banked land, went through years of development process, and risked everything to build out a project, YOU would have nowhere to live.

Is our public school system to blame for churning out people who have no ability to connect the dots?

Houses do not arise spontaneously out of the primordial muck.

#52 patriotz on 11.23.08 at 4:54 am

“If a major Canadian bank fails, will that bank’s mutual funds be safe?”

Yes. Mutual funds are owned by the unitholders. The bank is just the manager. If a MF manager fails (and this does happen) the fund would just be turned over to a new manager. Of course if the MF holds shares in the failed bank, or any other shares that go down, it will lose money. :-)

BTW #1, government bonds are OK without limit, but GIC’s are insured only up to 100K per bank.

#53 brazer on 11.23.08 at 9:18 am

#45 T.O. Girl

Can anyone post any recent realestate stories or experiences in the Toronto Area Market?

a couple i know listed their luxury rosedale detached home for sale about 6 weeks ago….held several open houses in the first few weekends, and are now only showing their home ‘by appointment ‘.

i spoke with them last night, and they said there have been zero offers and that they had gotten just one enquiry in the last 2 weeks and they were already thinking of other options such as renting the property, or re-listing in the spring if a buyer does not materialize.

the home is listed at $1.3M, so speaks to what is happening in that segment of the market place.

#54 brazer on 11.23.08 at 9:25 am

#51 islander

If “greedy” developers didn’t put their entire personal worth on the line every time they banked land, went through years of development process, and risked everything to build out a project, YOU would have nowhere to live.

virtually all developers, greedy or otherwise, operate as corporate entities.

they are not personally liable if the company goes belly up, or hits any snags; so outside of cash flow issues, drawing ‘salaries’ from the company, driving a ‘company’ vehicle and things like that, i fail to see how their personal net worth is impacted (outside of seed dollars invested, which they have likely already pulled out via dividend income to themselves as shareholders).

please explain how their ‘entire net worth’ is put on the line ‘every time they bank land’….?

#55 Mountain Girl on 11.23.08 at 9:54 am

Islander –
If you were on the Rockyview board, then you were exactly one of the people responsible for the kind of unsustainable development that now has Calgary facing 25% property tax hikes as we try to deal with urban sprawl on an unprecedented scale. We’re one of the worst cities in North America for this problem and it sounds like your wise decisions helped to put us there.
A great big sarcastic thanks for the foresight and planning, and a huge salute to those poor poor developers who bravely plowed over wetlands and native prairie and took a nasty bite out of the foothills to bring us piece of crap houses that, as David, #27, pointed out, probably will be crumbling in 20-40 years.
As for the accusation that I live in one of those horrendously planned developments and so am being hypocritical by condemning others who do, sorry pal, I live in an old house in inner city Calgary. When I go out to enjoy the mountains, my primary concern is my ecological impact there, not some self-entitled swaggering “right” to have a holiday property. And as I have a right to enjoy that wilderness area as part of my Canadian heritage and legacy, I highly resent people like yourself who look at the land and can only see it’s worth in private profit for a few. I will vigorously defend that common heritage from private profit.
Of course, we all need a place to live, Islander. I don’t expect the people who live in those Canmore condos as their primary residence to go live in a tent in a campground, but there are lots and lots of ways to reduce our impact on the planet when we develop new housing. Building clearcut condo developments in prime montane forest is not one of them. Especially when those developments are designed and marketed as luxury holiday homes and further serve to make having a place to live a whole lot more difficult for the average folks who call places like Canmore home.
I don’t think anyone is perfect when it comes to living sustainably. We all have a long way to go on that front. But if we never question the wastefulness or the ethics of our lifestyle, how will it ever change?
Glad to hear that you think the current system is just peachy. I heartily disagree and will continue to stand up for what I consider to be ethical practice in land development and real estate. Which I guess will involve working to correct the bad practices of you and your friends at the MD of Rockyview.

#56 416er on 11.23.08 at 11:55 am

pjwlk: I should clarify my comment was in reference to the ‘retail level’ of their operations as most of Canacs business came from new home builders. Also, I was referring to Ikea’s kitchen cabinetry product not their furniture.

GenXer: There are many levels of quality, relative to price. Semi-custom kitchen mfg’s offer product at a variety of price points. Frameless kitchens with melamine base cabinets, lacquer, wood or glass door styles, full extension metal drawer boxes, blum hinges. If you research, comparing spec for spec,,,,,,,,,,,looking at similar or equal construction quality, for the price, and the fact you don’t have to wait 8-10wks for it – its hard to compete.

#57 Alan Yeung on 11.23.08 at 3:32 pm

I’ve never understood the appeal of buying a “vacation home” in Canmore. There’s no local industry beyond tourism. Are there really that many people who can afford $300,000+ condos in which they’ll spend maybe 2 weeks a year using for vacations? It makes no sense. The market there has always been entirely speculative.

Plus, there really isn’t that much to see in Canmore. Once you’ve been there once, you’ve seen it all.

#58 nonplused on 11.23.08 at 10:44 pm

#37 Future Expatriate

I’m with you worrying about war. The boomer generation, who must take primary responsibility for this mess since they were the majority voting and fielding candidates, are too old now to go to the battlefield. So what a better use of Gen X and Y than to send them to die to obstruct and divert attention from the financial disaster the booms have created? Y’s more so than X’s because we are too old now too unless already serving.

I could also see the boomers becoming enamoured with a fascist as a way of trying to compel Gen X and Y into saving their sorry welfare state and wars. It won’t work though, as anyone familiar with Green Day’s latest album (American Idiot) will know. There isn’t a single Gen Y in North America and most of the English speaking world that doesn’t know the lyrics to “Holiday”.

Here they are for you boomers. Your kids and grandkids are listening to this and it accurately reflects what they think of your politics, and what they plan to do if pressed into unreasonable service or taxes.

Say, Hey!

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called “Faith and Misery” (Hey!)
And bleed, the company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protestor has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find, the money’s on the other side

Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There’s a flag wrapped around
a score of men (Hey!)
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

(Say, Hey!)


“The representative from California has the floor”

Zieg Heil to the president gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government
Bang bang goes the broken glass and
Kill all the fags that don’t agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that’s meant for me
Just cause, just cause,
because we’re outlaws yeah!

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

This is our lives on holiday

Yes, that’s right. Gen Y does not agree with the boomers politics and wars, and, since they are used to getting the short end of the stick anyway, they have a fall back plan. Think “ski bum”.

And the rest of you:

What’s the big grip against IKEA? It’s not the hand made stuff you find in a fine furniture store for $1000 a bookcase, but the average working man can get half decent looking stuff for 1/10 the cost and the packaging saves tons of fuel and cardboard, which is good for the environment.

And I’ve been to the Brick, their crap is worse crap. Plus IKEA has a $1.99 breakfast. You can’t even get that at home.

You guys must be boomers.

You sound like me in 1968. Relax. It’ll pass. — Garth

#59 anon on 11.23.08 at 11:12 pm


#60 Kelowna Gal on 11.24.08 at 12:50 am

Speaking of Canmore…..has anyone been to Kelowna lately? The city council and developers have COMPLETELY ruined our beautiful town (I forgot, they call it a city.) Now some of the developers have stopped building and we are left with big concrete structures that are just sitting. It’s horrible.

Yesterday in the paper there was a report that came out and said that 25% of the children who live here, live well below the poverty level. How sad!!!!!!! Maybe an economic collapse will bring some balance to a very unbalance society.

#61 Just a Girl on 11.24.08 at 7:13 pm

#57 Alan wrote: “Plus, there really isn’t that much to see in Canmore. Once you’ve been there once, you’ve seen it all.”
You didn’t really mean that, did you? :)

I guess if a person wants to SHOP or DINE or stare out the window at the mountains from their indoor hot tub, it could get pretty boring !

However, I’ve camped outdoors in K-country with my children, regularly over the past 20 years. There are so many hikes, rocks to climb, waters to paddle, trails to explore, wildlife to observe, weather changes, and natural beauty to be appreciated … endlessly fascinating, never boring, and we were always sad to leave. Socially, we had great card games, conversations, and meals around the campfire. My fondest family memories are in those mountains.

Canmore is spectacular, like many other corners of the world. We tried to ‘leave only footprints’, we did our best. We were not perfect human beings, but we were thoughtful campers, and we respected the land.

We all need to be cognizant not to love our national parks, protected areas, and public natural treasures to death!

However, a simple reality is, acknowledging our dependence and appreciation for a certain portion of development. We filled up our gas tank in Canmore, bought groceries, beverages, took our kids to the candy store, bought maps and secondhand books from downstairs bookstore. And yes, occasionally we took our kids to McDonalds ;) We were grateful to have those services nearby.

Long story short, the Canmore ‘window gazing condo’ wasn’t the experience we personally wanted, but we were gracious visitors and will always be enduring fans of Canmore’s outdoor offerings … so if some find it boring, that actually might be a good thing for Canmore, in a roundabout way, no?

#62 J.B. on 11.25.08 at 10:51 am

Good grief everyone, get a grip! Even if we lost all of our savings we still have more than half the population of the world. And it was never God’s plan that our world last forever so make your peace with him and get your priorities straight.