Fear and greed & Nikki


As I mentioned, I’m deep into writing my new book. One focus is an analysis of the emotional side of investing, and what it does to us. From Nortel to GM to the Nasdaq to bungalows in Regina. Hard to believe how turned around and screwed up we can get.

I thought about that while looking at the latest stats from the Toronto housing market. Sales were up 64% last month. Prices were up 14.4% – or a multiple of 16 over the current inflation rate.

What a sweet time to cash in. So why was the number of houses for sale down 46%?

When sales and prices vault, it’s interesting that most homeowners refuse to list. Conversely, when a buyer’s market emerges, prices drop and sales wither, the market’s invariably awash in listings. As my research confirms, this is because we move in herds. When the herd gets wind of rising prices, it stampedes over, ups demand and pushes them higher. When the market softens, the herd sniffs danger and runs for the watering hole.

The herd members feel elated when they pay a high price for a rising asset, and worry when they pay far less for something falling in value. This pretty much explains all you need to know about Canadian investing. Buy high and sell low, after you buy high and intend to sell higher.

As for vendors these days, greed is good. A bull market for houses makes homeowners feel wealthier. The last selling price on the street forms the new base value for their own place, whatever its condition. Besides, greed makes people want to buy things, not sell. Instead, it’s fear which creates vendors – and that’s why last October there were 27,000 houses for sale in Toronto and this October there are 14,000 on the market.

Emotions make people do irrational things, like pay $42 for a share in GM, maker of an army of SUVs, as oil was heading above $100 a barrel. Or, scramble to buy stock in a dot-com company with no earnings and no track record. Or get into a bidding war for a house you could have purchased last year for 20% less – and probably can again in a year or two.

Remember that when the overriding sentiment of a market is bullish, most of the buying momentum is usually in the rearview mirror. By the same token, when everyone’s convinced a market will fall, it’s likely at the moment of capitulation.

That happened last March when a majority of investors looked at the crashing stock market and freaked. The ratio of short sellers (those trying to recoup losses by betting the market would fall further) swamped buyers, most of whom were professional traders. Of course, the buyers scored. The short sellers crashed and burned. More evidence that bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get baconized.

But, in fairness, investors also get wooed, seduced, juiced and misled. In the lightly-regulated, emotion-laced world of flogging houses, seems a licensed agent can say, or write, just about anything – even when it may be contrary to the interests and education of clients.

And for a fine little example, we whisk you back to Calgary, where sales of single-family homes rocketed ahead last month by 57%.

But apparently not in Nikki Harrison’s world. The Re/Max agent with the fetching web site photos instead is telling her clients, “The real estate market is at or near the bottom. If you buy and hold till the market regains its composure you stand to gain considerable equity.” And this: “We are in a buyers market. With all the foreclosures on the market, many people are struggling to sell their home giving you bargaining power when you talk to them.” And this, “Many foreclosures and Bank Owned property can be bought for a fraction of the value right now. Most lenders simply want to recoup the initial loan amount and the Foreclosure costs.  I can help you find these foreclosures.” And this, “Real Estate is at an all time low. This buyers market is not going to last.  If you have been considering investing in real estate at any point, now is the time to start.”

You can read her blog here. She may even have written a few words herself.

Fear and greed. Realtors’ little helpers.


Well, that didn’t take long. If you are looking to read Nikki’s “Top 10” list, sorry, but she yanked it as the sun dawned over Calgary (along with the full-length portrait, above). Instead, her response to my comments is posted below (now also removed from her site). Should you choose to comment directly to Ms. Harrison, be civil and constructive.

Garth Turner – Modern Day Witch Hunt

This morning I woke up to over 400 emails pertaining to a post on Garth Turner’s website entitled “Fear and Greed & Nikki”.

There was a post on my site listing the Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate and apparently it caused a huge influx of responses from a well organized lynch mob, arranged merrily by Mr. Turner.  Mr. Turner is writing a book.  He is looking for people to buy it.  I think he thought crucifying me online with a very large picture of me would be the fun activity of the day and might get him some traffic.  Some of the responses to Garth’s take on the blog were more than scary, they were down right threatening.  I am surprised that he would condone these types of posts, since he does moderate his blog column.

I have removed the Top 10 Reasons, due to the fact that my assistant gleamed snippets from other Top 10 Lists out there in cyber land and it wasn’t relevant to our market.  I’ll consult with some of my Platinum REIN members here in Alberta and develop one that is more Alberta specific.

Investing in Real Estate in Alberta is still a very viable way to increase your wealth in these uncertain times.  One man’s opinion does not make it a fact.

Written by Nikki Harrison


#1 vreaa on 11.15.09 at 11:08 pm

Wonderful stuff.
Her “Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate in Calgary” are preposterous, given where we are in the cycle.
They are also internally inconsistent – #9 sings the praises of leverage, while #5 recommends taking advantage of individuals who have overextended themselves with, you guessed it, leverage.

#2 SWM on 11.15.09 at 11:11 pm

I just read that realtors website and the 10 reasons for investing in real estate. Interesting logic….

Reason #9 is that more leverage = more profit.

Reason #5 is that landlords overleveraged (a “no brainer” thing to do in point #9) and are having a hard time.

#3 $fromA$ia on 11.15.09 at 11:28 pm

“When sales and prices vault, it’s interesting that most homeowners refuse to list.”- Garth.

Garth, people including myself feel the same way with any other investment including stocks. Day traders are great opportunists. It also helps brake that willingness to hold when an oportune time arises.

BTW, Nikki the realtor is HOT. She should consider taking over Marc Carneys role. Hot, Hot, Hot. SSSSSSS.

Oh Baby! Turning dreams into addresses.

Wow, does that mean she does house calls?

#4 mikef on 11.15.09 at 11:51 pm

remember reading an article in 2006 how a Playboy
Playmate decided to invest in Californian real estate.

When cute blondes tell me to invest in real estate it’s
safe to say we are at the top of a bubble

#5 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 12:10 am

The Babe does not come with the real estate deal! Perhaps that is why they call it REAL estate? People need to get REAL! ROFLMAO! Yeah! Sure! Right!

#6 Real Estate Deal or No Deal on 11.16.09 at 12:16 am

I sure like your pics Garth.

#7 Not Garth on 11.16.09 at 12:20 am

I must admit…I’d buy a house from her….

#8 JoeShmoe on 11.16.09 at 12:28 am

That is what makes Realtors look bad. The most inane piece of drivel I have seen on a blog. She should be ashamed of herself.

#9 jmcanuck on 11.16.09 at 12:36 am

Who cares if she’s totally clueless…SHE’S HOT! I’m too busy drooling to pay attention to anything she says.

#10 Ted on 11.16.09 at 12:43 am

Fear and greed. Realtors’ little helpers.

Garth. Aren’t those the reasons people read your blog and buy your books.

At least I speak for myself. — Garth

#11 Rob in NVan on 11.16.09 at 1:01 am

Garth’s “herd behaviour” discussion contains just a hint of Robert Prechter, he of Elliott Wave Analysis.

Prechter wrote a paper a couple of years ago arguing that the “efficient market hypothesis” was unable to explain financial markets. Regardless of what you may think about Wave Analysis, it’s worth a read if “herd behaviour” (and its correlate “social mood”) interest you. Especially when people feel uncertain, their default behaviour is to herd:

“in finance, uncertainty about valuations by other homogeneous agents induces unconscious, non-rational herding . . . ”


Humans are herd animals, predominantly impulse- and emotion-driven . . . largely rationalizing, rather than rational . . . and prone to experiencing fevers of irrational exuberance (as Alan Greenspan might say, were he here). We all experience difficulty bucking the social trend.

With thanks to Garth, this blog functions as a “herd” of sorts for many like-minded contrarians. It assists many in avoiding the temptation to blindly stampede off of the cliff with the other lemmings (sorry, “sheeple”). It tempers impulse with a large dose of rationality.

It’s striking how current day economics largely ignores the psycho-social aspects of “market behaviour” (i.e., human behaviour) in favour of determining (and then repeatedly revising) mathematical models in an attempt to “explain” and predict financial market trends. ‘A product of the technological “rational – materialist” world we have opted to create.

The current typical American “consumer” provides an example of how the prevailing mood can alter markets: despite all-time-low borrowing rates, they’ve largely switched (“cash for clunkers” notwithstanding) to paying down their debt. It’s becoming increasingly cool (translation: “necessary”) to be a spendthrift.

The Canadian herd as a whole is apparently not yet of that frugal frame of mind. However, as sure as their debt to personal income ratios keep irrationally rising, they will follow soon suit. And down will fall house prices.

Oh, except that “it’s different here” (a rationalizing statement, if there ever was one).

#12 LS on 11.16.09 at 1:16 am

In one corner, Garth Turner with reasoning, logic, and his patented snarknalisys. In the other, a good looking blonde giving the “come hither and buy this house” look.
Who cares about fundamentals, I know where I’m going!

#13 Comfortable in a coma on 11.16.09 at 1:16 am

“I would be cautious of doing seller financing because if the person ends up filing bankruptcy you could be out of a house.”

A person going bankrupt, doesn’t usually offer financing. In these trying times you will have to be more creative than that!

#14 Alberta Ed on 11.16.09 at 1:19 am

There’s a word for Nikki.

#15 Chaostrology on 11.16.09 at 1:27 am

It’s like shootin’ blondes in a barrel.

#16 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.16.09 at 1:40 am

“. . . the herd sniffs danger and runs for the watering hole. . . . greed is good. . . . pigs get baconized.”

The Trouble With Tribbles is they’re not baconized. I love bacon (Flambed Bacon with Strawberry Ice Cream — a healthy way to start your day).

Let the Tribble Herd run off the edge of a cliff (does the Tribble Herd include realtors?).
Ever wonder why Canada is fighting a war in AfPak and wasting OUR money there when it could be better used here?

Further, is Stevie already on April Fools?
Not too long ago, I mentioned the cycles were changing, from the Caucasian to the Asian / Mongolian Race. Part of a para. (from zerohedge) says it better:

“When Obama sets foot in China for the first time, he will confront a dramatically altered balance of power between China and the United States.” China’s changing times
Comment from wrh.com (follows) is better. Someone is testing to see whether another fake war can be justified to fool the masses again. — Obama is wrong “There is already a deal and it is called the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United States has violated the terms of that treaty which may be why Iran isn’t really in a hurry to make any more deals likely to be an equal waste of parchment.”

Instead of war, we can all eat GMO Foods and get our DNA all messed up.

Frank Zappa was theoretically correct, as the next generation will probably be a cross between frogs / toads / lesbians / queers!

#17 Jared on 11.16.09 at 1:47 am

“As I mentioned, I’m deep into writing my new book. One focus is an analysis of the emotional side of investing, and what it does to us.”

– Garth, I’ve enjoyed your blog for almost a year now and would like to give something back. Check out “Your Money and Your Brain” by Jason Zweig (if you haven’t already). It just might help with the new book.

Good Luck!

~ Jared

#18 Cordoroy Cowboy on 11.16.09 at 1:48 am

That is one stomach turning lady.

I guess if you are totally gormless you might believe what she is trying to sell, and I mean totally gormless.

Does she eat her young too?

#19 davers on 11.16.09 at 2:02 am

I always thought fear was a factor in buying real estate.

“buy now or be priced out forever…”

This realtor does it by saying now is a great time to buy, dont miss out.

#20 Onemorething on 11.16.09 at 2:45 am

Whatever! She reminds me of the 2005-2006 Option Arm-Alt A girls selling $1.5M condos in Florida. Private parties, No money down, champagne pouring, and tons of other incentives knowone will admit to.

These events did exist, she is just taking a more subtle approach on how to WORK IT!

and Onemorething, Remax is nothing short of Pimp or Drug Dealer!

#21 rp on 11.16.09 at 2:56 am

I think my IQ just dropped a little.

#22 Happy Renter in North Van on 11.16.09 at 3:16 am

I think she did a great job of copying and pasting her blog from various US web sites…

In the absence of any realtor’s competitive advantage(because of monopolistic pricing policies by CREA and the MLS system), you might as well hire a real estate agent (AKA glorified used house tour guide) who is nice eye candy.

#23 Betamax on 11.16.09 at 4:56 am

“Hey Nikki, you’re so fine…”

I don’t mind when realtors act like the salespeople they are, but I object to them pretending to give objective ‘investment’ advice — which invariably involves you buying real estate no matter where the market’s going.

That said, Nikki’s a sweetheart and we should cut her some slack…right? OK, I’m a weak man.

#24 latinlife on 11.16.09 at 5:43 am

Gold @1,133.03 today.

Oil flat at $77.40. But, oil is still a better hedge even if gold is going up more. Right Garth?

#25 Repatriated Expat on 11.16.09 at 6:16 am

Good realtors should be recommended.
Bad realtors should be put out of business.
This lady should be jailed.

#26 frank pasquale on 11.16.09 at 6:40 am

#1 Real Estate is at an all time LOW?
Im confused. That makes no sense.

#27 NOBODY on 11.16.09 at 6:50 am

She’s pretty hot.

#28 Heinz Skitzvelvett on 11.16.09 at 7:09 am

Just posted to Nikki’s blog as a public service announcement in hopes she salvages some self-respect:

Dear Nikki,

If you’re noticing a sudden and dramatic increase in traffic to your website, it’s likely because you were just made a mockery of by Garth Turner at GreaterFool.ca

It was pointed out that your reason #9, over leverage, is exactly the kind of reckless behaviour that led to your reason #5.

I would encourage you to check for fallacious arguments such as these in future blog postings so you don’t become the subject of further ridicule.

I would second the notion, as Garth’s blog posits quite successfully and with solid reasoning, that real estate agents and brokers like yourself engage in appealing to people’s insecurities (namely fear and greed) to further their ambitions.

Some would argue this kind of behaviour borders on a breach of fiduciary duty.

#29 Heinz Skitzvelvett on 11.16.09 at 7:15 am

Sure enough, Garth, I copied a few random excerpts of Nikki’s blog posts into the ol’ googleosaurus, and not surprising, the excerpts show up in other multiple locations.

The erudite call lifting other’s work, uncited and without quotation marks, something other than a blogpost…

#30 David @ SC, Qld on 11.16.09 at 7:28 am

Reminds me of our own Amber Werchon (Poster child of the Queensland RE market).


Fast forward a few years…

Now that she’s doing motivational speaking, it’s hard not to compare her to Taleb’s description of the “Lucky Fool”.

#31 prairiegopher on 11.16.09 at 8:10 am

Hi Garth,

Would you take a look at what is going on in the Regina market. Houses here are now priced as high or higher than Edmonton. Why? This city hasn’t changed other than some “pie in the sky” theory of what, I Don’t know!

#32 Ray MacDonald on 11.16.09 at 8:29 am

Having in the past 5 years moved myself, my daughter, and my mother-in-law plus cleaning out homes for my late sister-in-law and my late parents, I conclude that selling and/or moving house is a PITA. Even the emotion of greed isn’t enough in many cases to motivate a seller. Another reason why real estate is an illiquid investment.
However when it comes to fear, whoa! That’s a whole other level of motivation to sell and move.

#33 Kurt on 11.16.09 at 8:34 am

Heinz Skitzvelvett: Nicely done!

#34 Don't Believe the Hype on 11.16.09 at 8:51 am

Interesting – she’s a mortgage broker as well. So she makes money selling you a property and on the mortgage she shoehorns you into. From her other website http://www.designmymorgage.ca where she sells mortgages in the Okanagan valley:

Q I don’t want a 35 year amortization, I don’t want to take 35 years to pay off my mortgage!

A This is a response I hear every day. There are many uses for a 40 year amortization, and the main use is to make it more affordable to get into a better property right now. If you are purchasing your first or second property, and KNOW that you will not spend the rest of your life there, this is a good time to consider a 35 year amortization. A 35 year am allows you to qualify for a higher purchase price, and keep the payments lower, and more affordable. Once you sell that property, and buy your “forever” home, this is when you may want to think about a lower amortization. Keep in mind there are many ways to pay down your principal, while still enjoying the lower payment of a 35 year amortization. Mortgages in Canada come with “pre-payment” allowances of between 15-20% of the original mortgaged amount once per year, as well as increasing your monthly payments as well. At the end of your term, i.e. 5 yr fixed or 3 yr fixed, you have the option of choosing a different amortization again. So you may need the lower payment for the first 5 years, but at the end of that term, you do have the choice of reducing the amortization to a level where you are paying down the principal more aggressively.

Wow. What she lacks in conscience she makes up for in looks. Horrible.

#35 OttawaMike on 11.16.09 at 9:00 am

In keeping with your theme Garth, nearly everybody calling for a stock market correction makes me believe this rally has some legs yet.

Speaking of legs-
Nikki: A wolf in cheap clothing.
Here in Ottawa we have a similiar version that goes by the moniker Kiki, her Biz card tagline: “Not your parent’s real estate agent”

#36 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 9:26 am

I see the Little Head still rules the ‘thinking’ of the Big Head for many males here!

Nastradumas: You need to write to Jon Stewart and get a jar that Baconaise! That’s the breakfast ticket for you!

As to the Babe RE Agent…Think HIGH MAINTENANCE!

What a way to start a Monday! LMAO!

#37 dd on 11.16.09 at 9:31 am

More layoffs in Alberta. And oil and gas sevice company in Calgary and Edmonton just layed off 30 staff.

I really don’t understand the high price of homes in this current market given the unstable employment picture.

#38 X on 11.16.09 at 9:31 am

Had dinner in Toronto with some friends, young professionals (ages26-33), all well educated. We were discussing RE, not surprising I was the only one who did not feel that RE valuations will continue to climb upwards and onwards forever.

In a way its not their fault, all they have known their adult lives is that RE rises. They all felt like they had to buy now, or forever be priced out of the market.

Sadly most don’t understand the effects of a lower interest rate on affordability.

I am sure that RE agents like the one shown get a much better commission if their client is educated on these things. LOL.

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 9:34 am

#31 prairiegopher

Regina is obviously the next target of the RE Industry Giants. That ReMax balloon is not as innocuous as it looks. It is really their Mother Ship. Like the aliens in Independence Day, they go from market to market, creating havoc and then leave them looking like Detroit!

When will people learn their goal is solely more money, and the MSM plays their tune for them in print and on TV.

The game is all about ‘perception’ and the majority of people are so blinded by their own greed they can no longer detect the greed in others. And people thought The Matrix was science fiction? HA!

Oh, and BTW folks, you are not going to escape it all come 2012 because, just like the movie, your life has a One Star Rating and it will continue on well past 2012.

#40 Janet M. on 11.16.09 at 9:36 am

Wow – I cannot believe in this day we have one “expert” deciding to lynch someone publicly and everyone starts to throw stones and accuse her of being a witch. You all may get some personal satisfaction by beating the crap out of someone and trying to ruin their ability to make money in this economy, and you should all be ashamed of yourselves. This is a pitiful display of people with too much time on their hands and the unfounded leanings to judge based on a single article on a site. Do you even know if she was personally responsible for it, or does she hire someone to update her blogs?

You all should be ashamed.

(a) Her name is on it. (b) Realtors guide clients into decisions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. (c) The information appears to be plagiarized from a US source, yet is presented as relevant to the Calgary market, when conditions are distinctly different. (d) We should a great deal from those involved with the largest financial transaction of peoples’ lives. — Garth

#41 Nicky on 11.16.09 at 9:47 am

Heinz, shame on you she doesn’t know what fallacious means.
Where’s your humanity?

#42 Janet M. on 11.16.09 at 9:49 am

Her “name is on it”? Do you have an assistant? Are they not doing certain mundane things in your name? It was plagiarized… hmm sounds like another lame assistant way out of a task….so Garth this is how you justify crucifying someone? because in your opinion, they “deserve it”? Maybe it would be wise to get all the facts from the person you are about to lynch before you declare their guilt. I guess only lynch mobs and assholes will buy your book

Long ago I learned that anyone who puts their name on something intended for public consumption must stand by that. You and Ms. Harrison may think it’s fine to throw an assistant under the bus. Not me. This is an example of why the real estate industry needs to find a few more ethics. — Garth

#43 Devil's Advocate on 11.16.09 at 9:59 am

28 Heinz Skitzvelvett “Some would argue this kind of behaviour borders on a breach of fiduciary duty.”

Fiduciary duty is one thing, competence is another. Incompetently incompetent, incompetently competent, competently incompetent, competently competent.

Greater Fools… incompetently competent. Nikki? I suspect she does well enough for herself… what might that say of her competence? A stealth Greater Fool’s predator?

#44 Devil's Advocate on 11.16.09 at 10:02 am

A Greater Fool’s stealth predator.

#45 greyhound on 11.16.09 at 10:06 am

Interesting that the link to her article no longer works. Can’t even find it on Google cache.

greaterfool.ca is having an effect.

#46 Schroedinger's Bull on 11.16.09 at 10:08 am

I don’t know how somebody cites something like “now is a great time to buy a house”…I don’t see Garth citing Peter Schiff, for instance (or the other way around). It isn’t like she’s just lifted the first chapter of a hemingway novel or something.

She’s a real estate agent folks…we all know how they make their money, ridiculous as it seems to us. I doubt you’ll find any real estate blog or site that doesn’t contain the same content.

#47 Soylent Green is People on 11.16.09 at 10:13 am

Here’s a pic of Calgary Real Estate Mavern Nikki Harrison totally lathered up and naked with another hot totally naked blonde AND a celebrity*********



#48 Sammie from SK on 11.16.09 at 10:24 am

#34 Don’t Believe The Hype
Nikki’s reasoning on why you might take out a 35 year ammortization actually has some elements that I recommmend to clients as their financial planner. Nikki states ” A 35 year am will allow you to qualify for a higher purchase price….” This statement may be true but it is not why I would suggest a 35 year am.

What I suggest to clients is to buy a house with a purchase price that you can qualify for with a 25 year ammortization. However, apply for the initial mortgage at 35 year am rather than a 25 year am. This will have the effect of reducing your required monthly payments. Now, and this is important, proceed to set your monthly payment at the 25 year am schedule rather than the 35 year am schedule.

You would do this for two reasons:
1. Even though you technically have a 35 year am you will be paying it down as if it is in fact only a 25 year am.
2. When interest rates go up you have some wiggle room in your monthly payment. You can either pay the higher payment and stick to your 25 year am schedule….or if that is not possible you have the flexibility to pay your monthly payment according to the 35 year am schedule.

#49 Calgary_rip_off on 11.16.09 at 10:29 am


Calgary real estate is a buyer’s market and wont last long. Right. There are so many jobs in Calgary supporting the current prices. These house are not worth the money. Again and again, it will be fun to watch in the coming months. The likelihood of it going up is much much less than imploding. When interest rates sky rocket, can you say cave in?

This lady will likely go to other lines of work which seem more suitable for her…..She remains someone else’s problem, not mine.

#50 Grantmi on 11.16.09 at 10:48 am

I don’t get it!

Is she a Vancouver Expert??


Or a Okanogan Expert??


Or a Calgary expert!! I’m totally confused!!

Well at least she has her high school diploma at least!!


#51 Subversive on 11.16.09 at 10:52 am

I got a mortgage from Nikki back when she was just ‘nikkibroker.com’, before she got all fancy and realized she could make money on both ends of the transaction as a realtor AND a mortgage broker. She always was ‘all sizzle no steak’, and my wife and I deliberately used a different mortgage broker when we purchased our house this past summer.

You think she’s bad, you should hear what these REIN ‘experts’ are shilling these days. They charge people $200 a month to convince them to get over leveraged and (in most cases) over their heads.


#52 Opportunity on 11.16.09 at 10:56 am

Sold my condo in Vancouver. Didn’t get what I wanted but did make a profit so this is good. I’m with Garth in that the worst is yet to come and I’m in cash.

#53 Grey on 11.16.09 at 10:58 am

And today the Globe and Mail decides to do yet another fun filled article about the upswing of our housing market. I thought house sales were already doing good?

Recovery to strengthen house sales


#54 Dan in Victoria on 11.16.09 at 11:02 am

Bun Wars.

#55 Gideon Sword on 11.16.09 at 11:06 am

That is really sad that there are only two pictures on her website….Realtor like her should have a Photo Gallery. It’s a MUST imho.

#56 Dan in Victoria on 11.16.09 at 11:06 am

Post#36 Bill in Muskoka(NAM).Think of it this way Bill, there is only enough blood in some males to run one thing at a time.

#57 Calgary Rip off on 11.16.09 at 11:06 am

Nice update on her reply Garth.

Here she is backpeddling. Very very funny. It’s all about the $ here in Calgary. It has to be because housing is SO expensive.

Guaranteed that she just lost many many potential clients. Nobody should trust any realtor.

Thanks for posting factual evidence and nailing her on incorrect information!!!

#58 Gideon Sword on 11.16.09 at 11:09 am

Well it’s confusing I must say. Who’s condo chick now? Is it still gal from a previous post or Nikki? They’re both stunning. Thanks Garth it’s much better than politicians. As least it adds some solt and pepper to our discussions.

#59 Soylent Green is People on 11.16.09 at 11:10 am

#42 Janet M. on 11.16.09 at 9:49 am


Ethics indeed.

#60 dave in calgary on 11.16.09 at 11:17 am

The #1 “Real-estate is at an all time low” was the dead giveaway that this was plagerized material. I mean 10 years ago you could get a crappy shoebox in the burbs for 130,000 in cowtown, not it’s 400,000…. not really an all time low unless you consider “all time” to mean the last 5 minutes.

Also, congrats to Garth for not letting this Janet M poster off the hook simply by blaming a staffer… but I guess people are just acting like their government…

#61 Repatriated Expat on 11.16.09 at 11:20 am

Assisstant equals scapgoat these days.

But I’ll take her at face value, no reason for me to think she’d lie about anything.

#62 HJ on 11.16.09 at 11:23 am


Well, I guess some people figure if realtors want tens of thousands of dollars for doing nothing, while ruining you financially, they’d better at least be hot…

Catwalk models stimulate sales in upscale New York – Realtors are hiring chic girls to push condos

DEALING with cut-throat real estate agents can be like floating on your back in the sea as hungry sharks circle ever closer.

Recently some Manhattan brokers seem even more desperate to secure sales in a slowing market — arriving at showings stressed and sweaty, with bags and black circles under their eyes.

Would it ease the pain if these brokers were chic, beautiful young women?

One boutique agency thinks so, and has hired fashion models from the catwalk to be real estate agents. Paramount Realty, in downtown Soho, has six models on its books and some have already made multi-million-dollar apartment sales.

These women are extremely attractive and dress accordingly. Forget the usual broker attire of casual jeans and sneakers — these women are decked out in Gucci and Jimmy Choo. Clients are driven to showings in a 2007 Rolls-Royce phantom and get to have lunch with blonde beauties.

“We are transforming the experience of buying and selling real estate in much the same way the fashion houses and other premium brands are leaving the imprint of a memorable living experience,” said Paolo Zampolli, co-chairman of the Paramount Group.

#63 $fromA$ia on 11.16.09 at 11:33 am

Nikkis last comment about Albertan RE still being a good investment was reffering to the 90% of the pop that still has full time jobs.

As long as these professionals get paid by transaction like the mortgage brokers. The money’s going to flow.

Nikki, you’ve got your errors and omissions insurance ,what do you care if some families are not responcibly buying?

Your just another opportunist parasite on the “Conservative” Governments loose lending policies.

The stimulous is supposed to be used so people and businesses can do transactions not partake on already inflated investments.

Loose lending has created this RE BUBBLE, Its going to finish with a bang, keep pumpin’ it girl, we need you more than ever!

#64 Downsized and Delighted on 11.16.09 at 11:39 am

Leverage is the reason that real estate is a great investment. Overleveraging takes a good investment and makes it risky.

If you can’t comprehend these two ideas just because they both contain the word leverage then consider that a house purchased with a 50% downpayment is leveraged.

#65 pjwlk on 11.16.09 at 11:43 am

Garth, while I agree with most of your statements regarding herding, I’m not sure I agree with this one;

“when everyone’s convinced a market will fall, it’s likely at the moment of capitulation.”

Are you referring to when the market is near the bottom and people are thinking it will get worse or near the top thinking the same?

I believe that most people are completely unaware of what is imminent. However most contrarians know that the moment of greatest public despair is the time when you want to get back into the market.

#66 CalgaryRocks on 11.16.09 at 11:51 am

Oh great, so now her ‘assistant’ is responsible for the dumb stuff that appears on HER website. Nice!

Are those hot pictures of her assistant too, this is too confusing. What a dork.

#67 artisuseless on 11.16.09 at 11:51 am

Sorry, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when they look like that.

And the bratty, insecure ‘victim’ response (what, can’t stand by what you wrote because of some negative feedback?) confirms it.

Part of me would love to see this stupid bubble economy finally crash and burn if it would put a stop to this insane arrogance and hubris we’ve seen over the past decade.

#68 Jim on 11.16.09 at 11:51 am

Blonde bimbos now pumping overpriced real estate…whatever it takes to sell product…

Housing market to Improve in 2010

Her look is not the problem, and not relevant. — Garth

#69 rory on 11.16.09 at 12:00 pm

#50 Grantmi …one of your links

The title page is “Your BC Mortgage broker” …the pic behind this title …is that Oregon or California or some place in BC I have never been …does anyone know or is it just another assistant screw-up.

#70 PeckedToDeathByDucks on 11.16.09 at 12:00 pm

look!…a shiny thing.

– greatest fallacy is believing that “the herd” controls the march of the markets

#71 pezzazz on 11.16.09 at 12:03 pm

Hey Nikki,

If you can’t take the heat get off the internet. If you attach your name to your opinion and then publish it for all to see then you need to expect the consequences, both negative and positive, of such actions. You clearly don’t believe in your own opinion since you decided not to defend yourself and instead decided that the best defence is a good offence.

That doesn’t fly on this blog. That doesn’t mean that your pic isn’t going under my mattress though.

#72 Jake on 11.16.09 at 12:03 pm

#38 X,
Exactly. When all the young people have ever known is increasing real estate prices, why should they expect anything different? What they need is the right advice and unfortunately it will not come from “housing experts.” My brother is on the verge of getting a monstrous mortgage himself (about $300K). This is 4X what my parents’ mortgage was for a similar home they bought 18 years ago. He is in the same line of work as my father and his income is only 30% more than my father’s was 18 years ago. This is madness!!! I have counseled him to wait, but he is too afraid to miss the boat. He jokingly says I will owe him $60K if he doesn’t buy and it goes up 20% next year. I think he will take the plunge this week. He is 27 and will be the last of his friends to get the ball and chain. A generation of slaves indeed.

#73 jess on 11.16.09 at 12:04 pm

… she must have went to the free seminar to learn the secret selling recipe from former motivational millionaires . How generous these present millionaires are! Especially, their willingness to share their secrets with all of us investors.

Notice the signs on the lawn are getting bigger along with the agents face and lettering. what’s next christmas lights.

#74 Elle on 11.16.09 at 12:10 pm


The majority of these posts are not much more than pure sexist crap!!

It is one thing to to be critical of ethics or what we judge to be shoddy work practices but this seems, to most of you, (males no doubt)…to be all about her gender and how well she’s built!

# 40 Janet…thank you, you’re absolutely right!

When selling my property last year, a male RE agent turned out to be a real Con artist, kind of a bait & switch deal…..ugly ………..but his gender did’nt enter into it, nor how good looking he may be or, how well he may be hung!!!

Sorry about that Ms. Harrison.


#75 Jake on 11.16.09 at 12:17 pm

I must admit, Nikki is beautiful (Is it politically correct to say that?). My wife actually gave me a scolding look when I brought up the greater fool site lastnight.

“Relax, it’s just Garth Turner’s site,” I replied in my defense.

Can I suggest a best of Garth’s calender for 2010?

BTW, #36 Bill and #56 Dan, sorry to hear there’s no more lead left in the pencil. I guess going for long walks and antiquing is fun too though.

#76 Devil's Advocate on 11.16.09 at 12:18 pm

While I certainly do not support Nikki’s business model those who berate her here do so thoughtlessly only in as much as they might fear her predatory instincts. You need not fear you are not her target market. There is no shortage of “greater fools” who might fall prey to Nikki and one might argue she is doing us a service through the order of natural selection.

Only when the greater fools realize how susceptible they are will they learn the skills necessary for survival. By culling the greater fools in the interim we set example to those lesser fools to wise up and consequently “tune up” our economy along the way.

Nikki is the real Vulture… and Lioness… Shark… a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing. A curvateous, sultry seductress not unlike a Venus Fly Trap. The ultimate weapon. It could be argued that she is… a necessary evil such as exists in all manners of life.

The real stimulus package.

#77 Evangeline on 11.16.09 at 12:27 pm


I have not read all the comments yet so someone may have addressed this already. KUDOS for getting a shallow piece of garbage PR taken down. People who are going to be investing huge amounts of money in real estate deserve a blog that serves up more than pap.

((I have removed the Top 10 Reasons, due to the fact that my assistant gleamed snippets from other Top 10 Lists out there in cyber land and it wasn’t relevant to our market. I’ll consult with some of my Platinum REIN members here in Alberta and develop one that is more Alberta specific))

So it’s the assistant’s fault? LOL!!!!!!!!

#78 JM on 11.16.09 at 12:32 pm

Having recovered from a previous particularly nasty “inter-generational eye-gouge” (Garth’s words), I have a priceless (actually overpriced) nugget for all:


List $269K, Sold $333k – take the time to look at the pic – I’ve seen better sheds here in T.O.

#79 Keith in Calgary on 11.16.09 at 12:44 pm

Hello Nikki……

Hope you are reading this blog. I am a professional salesperson, and have been one for 20 years.

When you have to dress and pose seductively, as well as plaigarize and lie in order to market your “product”…….is it glaringly obvious to those of us out here in Cowtown that you are whaty we call………”big hat, no cattle”………

#80 miketheengineer on 11.16.09 at 12:45 pm


You have gone and distracted the masses….nothing like a hot blonde. I wouldn’t trust her with a 10 foot realestate sign. ALL HOT BLONDES ARE TROUBLE.


I was listening to a talk show last night. I am not providing the link, since it is way too racial.

In the discussion, they said that an announcement would come out sometime this week, about the new “Ukraine Flu”. They also talked about what was going to happen, if it hit the USA. They said to “stock pile as much food and ammo as possible” due to a lock down on cities, borders etc, similar to the lockdowns that NOSTRADUS JR. posted, in his links, about the Ukraine. This Ukraine bug is looking to be much worse than the H1N1, and appears quite different.

Wanted to pass along the info….despite the hot blonde distraction.

#81 TheFirstRick on 11.16.09 at 12:52 pm

Ms Harrison, you are hot. Regardless of what Garth says, I am buying whatever you are selling!!

#82 jess on 11.16.09 at 1:00 pm

The World Health Organization said Friday that a “high to very high intensity of respiratory diseases” had been reported in Russia and Belarus but it was now less concerned about a big outbreak in Ukraine.

“The initial analysis of information from Ukraine indicates that the numbers of severe cases do not appear to be excessive when compared to the experience of other countries and do not represent any change in the transmission or virulence of the virus,” the WHO said in a statement posted on its web site.

Ukraine, Belarus and some Russian cities have recently extended school breaks because of fears about the pandemic virus. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said school closures were among steps that could slow viral spread at the beginning of an outbreak, but had less usefulness once the flu had reached 5 percent of a given population.

#83 vreaa on 11.16.09 at 1:00 pm

a. #72 Jake – in which city is your brother buying? (If in Vancouver, I’d archive the anecdote).

b. Regarding comments #1 and #2, this is to reassure readers that vreaa and SWM are NOT one and the same poster (but we sure are on the same wavelength).

c. There have been posts objecting to the numerous comments regarding Ms. Harrison’s physical appearance.
Garth is wisely staying above the fray on this one by making the good point that her physical appearance is irrelevant. In some ways it is irrelevant.
That said, I think it’s still fair to submit that, Ms. Harrison has, herself, chosen to use that particular full length photo of herself in her promotional material, and thus the issue of physical appearance and attractiveness is a relevant discussion point. And one would make the same comment were it a male realtor using a similarly ‘attractive’ pose to advertise for business.
‘DREAMS’? Paging Dr. Freud…

#84 gator77 on 11.16.09 at 1:01 pm

So many males threatened by a pretty female. Did anyone actually see if she might knows what she is talking about? Seems to me that someone with her experience might be worth talking to.

How can you morons discount her financing abilities combined with being a real estate agent? Seeing how most real estate people don’t give a damn how you pay for the property after it’s sold, Nikki looks to be an awesome resource.

Ok, she’s hot. Put your testosterone aside and look for qualified people to help you with your real estate purchase. She has more information on her websites to assist buyers and sellers than 95% of any other realtors. In the end, it’s still your own decision.

I love your liberal socialist rants Grant and the rest of your faithful legion. What’s next? Are we going to hear how politicians are going to save us from this sinking economy? Or more about how capitalism is evil and will be the detriment of society?

What’s the name of the book? So I can avoid it altogether…

#85 AM on 11.16.09 at 1:09 pm

Hey Gator… who’s Grant?

#86 Repatriated Expat on 11.16.09 at 1:10 pm

Nikki’s rebuttal sounds more like a plug for the REIN group she is pushing more than anything else.

#87 confused and a little crazed on 11.16.09 at 1:15 pm

oh cmon guys

visiting an hot blonde blog site….then the slurrs come out, as well as tongues. but i guess that’s the price on holding a blog. I think she actaully thankful for the xtra foot trackfit on her site more publicity . She won’t admit though. She come across as the sweet, innocent pfofessional but she will tell you it’ss a great time to buy or sell on the same day

#88 Keith in Calgary on 11.16.09 at 1:16 pm

Gator 77…..

Her profile says she has 7 years RE experience, unfortunately all of it has been gleaned during the boom market runup……hardly noteworthy. Let alone, she’s not what you’d call a seasoned veteran who’s seen it all, been thru numerous economic cycles, and can advise you from personal first hand experience on what will happen, and what you should do next.

30 minutes with a calculator can teach you all you need to know about mortgage financing. I used to be a banker.

It’s all superflous fluff supported by the obvious…….if she had any professional credibility at all, and was just not another one of those pretty faces with a lawn sign that populate the RE industry, her picture would be conspicously absent from the ad. But alas, it is not.

Threatened…..?? LOL !!! Having a battle of wits with her about our RE market would be akin to fighting an unarmed person.

#89 S on 11.16.09 at 1:18 pm

On the other hand…,
If nothing else, Nikki’s success is a proof of Alberta’s can do attitude. Without much education she seems to have accomplished something with her life. Those who bought properties or arranged for mortgages through her would most likely have bought real estate anyway. They chose to go to that particular agent for reasons that probably go well beyond her stunning looks. Give the girl some credit. I am 100 % with #74 Elle on that.
To miss Harrison, should she be reading, now that you made some money head back to school and pursue an MBA or a related degree. Without it your credibility will always be under attack. And take a page from Danielle Park’s book.

#90 lgre on 11.16.09 at 1:20 pm

Not surpsising, since she is one of Don Campbells cronies, anytime REIN is mentioned, the information needs to be crumpled and burned. REIN promotes RE at all costs, regardless of price, leverage (debt) is their best friend and that’s all that counts..being a Platinum REIN member means that you have a lot more debt then a gold or silver member. I wonder how many are buying her story.

#91 Patient In Lotus Land on 11.16.09 at 1:21 pm

OK, what is a Blog? Isn’t it typically the thoughts of an individual? Sometimes with supporting links, sometimes quoting other sources, but primarily the intellectual property of the poster?

I can’t find a single blog entry from Ms. Harrison that isn’t taken direcly from another source. Heck, one of her entries can be found on the Nova Scotia Mortgages site: http://www.novascotiamortgages.net/appapprovalinfo.htm

Yet every single entry is labeled as “by Nikki Harrison”. Without posting a disclaimer quoting the true source of the word-for-word text, isn’t this blatant copyright infringement?

Don’t hide behind your assistant Ms. Harrison. Take your medicine and do the right thing. Use this as a learning experience to become something better.

#92 kitchener1 on 11.16.09 at 1:22 pm

Garth, I am going against the herd of this blog today.

She is just a drop in the ocean of RE agents that advertise and push their agenda.

If you where to search all RE agents website’s you would find the same dribble, but I do agree that if it was some 60 year old dudes website, the response would be different.

When it comes to buying homes, buyers have to assume responsibility and stop blaming RE agents or mortgage brokers for their actions.

Personal responsibility!!

If people are going to take the word of one person (RE agent) when making the biggest purchase of their lives, well then thats their problem.

When we buy cars, TV’s, cell phones, appliances etc.. we all research the purchase, ie.. read reviews, compare specs, etc… When buying used cars, we get mechanics to look at them

Same due diligence is required when buying a home.

On a whole, I am not big on RE agents and can;t wait for the anti-comptetion rulings to be finalized re MLS. My interactions with RE agents have been nothing short of comedic at various open houses I have attended. Sometime I ask them to repeat what they just told me as its so stupid.

#93 freedom_2008 on 11.16.09 at 1:23 pm

Hi Garth,

Your intention is good, but this (and some comments from others) went a bit too far.

What do you and others want to archive from this blog? Honest opnions, frank discussions, helpful ideas, humours, … they all are good and useful. But please and please keep the dirty part (like what happened today) out, this is low and not fun for decent people at all.

We want to keep reading your blog, so please, please keep it clean.

Thank you.

#94 Calgary_Rip_Off on 11.16.09 at 1:23 pm

Gator77: You are an embarassment to all males and Canada. Any smart male would be wary of any woman that looks like this and should be. Due to society’s inherent structure today as a guy you can get in serious financial troubles with females. No longer is it 1000 AD in Scandinavia where you can do what you please with females. Females in many cases are worse ethically than males and in many cases no different. The only thing that is different is the packaging. A woman that looks like that is actually worse than any Hells Angel biker dude because the threat is hidden. I would do anything to get away from a woman like this, especially a realtor.

Socialism is bad eh? Maybe you should move to Texas Gator, and pay for all costs of healthcare. I hear its right wing down there.

As a dual citizen in Canada I find it embarassing the number of right wing Canadians that dont have a clue what they actually say they want. Totally pathetic. And totally pathetic to put down socialism. Like my tax dollars should only go to Stephen Harper’s salary. How about social programs for the unemployed, EI programs, subsidized child care for single moms and dads, health care, etc. Oh I forgot: Harper and his right wing goons want to be Republicans. How embarassing.

Garth shred another Calgary realtor.

#95 Grantmi on 11.16.09 at 1:32 pm

#84 gator77 on 11.16.09 at 1:01 pm
I love your liberal socialist rants Grant and the rest of your faithful legion. What’s next? Are we going to hear how politicians are going to save us from this sinking economy? Or more about how capitalism is evil and will be the detriment of society?

It’s Mr. Grantmi to you Comrade Gator!

Eh! I was tying to be polite! Just pointing out the facts!

But since you want to defend Ms. Harrison!!

I was merely pointing out she claims to come across as THE EXPERT!! Yet she’s bounced around from province to city with her trade. One minute she’s a broker.. next she’s an EXPERT RE Agent in Calgary.

But personally! Hanging your RE Agent certificate on the wall for 7 years does not make an expert. It just shows you that expert badges are handed around (or self professed) like candy!

She’s a brand! (Yes! With her looks included) But if you’re a brand.. you better be button down with what you’re packaging.. or the MOB will call you out on it.


Move Along!! Nothing to see here!

#96 Increasing that 1% on 11.16.09 at 1:33 pm

Daaah, you’re hot Nikki, pant, pant….like, I never see pretty girls in real life, …slobber, slurp…

Men use their looks ALL the time in sales and business- only some just THINK they’re good looking.
Orrr, they use their pretty young assistant standing beside them…

Wish MORE ‘scoundrels’ would have the light shone on them

#97 LS on 11.16.09 at 1:34 pm

@gator77 “Did anyone actually see if she might knows what she is talking about? ”

Well yes. Lots of people did. Didn’t take more than reading her first post to see she doesn’t have a clue.

Now about her response:

“This morning I woke up to over 400 emails pertaining to a post on Garth Turner’s website entitled “Fear and Greed & Nikki”.”

That’s a little extreme. Laughing about some clueless realtor over here is fine, but sending an email just to attack her is a little over the top. I can see how getting 400 emails from rabid real estate bears can be disconcerting.

“There was a post on my site listing the Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate and apparently it caused a huge influx of responses from a well organized lynch mob, arranged merrily by Mr. Turner.”

A lynch mob? Did you get strung up on the nearest tree? Let’s not exaggerate. Never seen a more disorganized bunch.

“Mr. Turner is writing a book. He is looking for people to buy it. I think he thought crucifying me online with a very large picture of me would be the fun activity of the day and might get him some traffic.”

How would this post get people to buy his book? You are right in saying that making fun of your ridiculous statements was a fun activity, but I somehow doubt it was motivated by driving traffic to Garth’s site.

“Some of the responses to Garth’s take on the blog were more than scary, they were down right threatening.”

Huh? I don’t see anything threatening on this blog, just a bunch of perhaps off-colour jokes (I meant mine tongue in cheek, hopefully it wasn’t misconstrued). If someone sent threatening emails then those idiots should be punished, but that’s just a reality of the crackpots out there, and not the fault of this post.

“I have removed the Top 10 Reasons, due to the fact that my assistant gleamed snippets from other Top 10 Lists out there in cyber land and it wasn’t relevant to our market.”

Funny how it needs to be exposed before you realize that. Let’s just leave the lies up until someone complains, it’s better for business…

“I’ll consult with some of my Platinum REIN members here in Alberta and develop one that is more Alberta specific.”

We can’t wait to read it. Let me guess, #1 reason: It’s different here.

#98 bill on 11.16.09 at 1:42 pm

Hey Nikki: dont blame your assistant . I can just imagine what those platinum club members have to say….. They’re saying sell! and get into gold and oil ,eh?

#99 David in Calgary on 11.16.09 at 1:42 pm

Yeah, c’mon guys, enough of the comments about her looks. It lessens the constructive comments and articles I read on this site.
Bottom line is this. Nikki’s sales pitch is WAY too common for most real estate agents in Calgary.
– “it’s always a good time to buy”
– ” the market will forever leave you behind”…..
Calgary real estate agents haven’t had to do any real work in over ten years. It’s a bad joke and if anything, the real scorn should be put towards the morons who have been running around creating bidding wars on already over priced houses.
“nothing gets us into trouble like low interest rates.”
Keep up the great work Garth, love reading the website everyday! If I had listened to my Calgary Real Estate agent in 2007, I would already have lost over $100,000 in equity.
But, hey, “it’s always a great time to buy!” : )

#100 Cassandra on 11.16.09 at 1:51 pm

Her look is not the problem, and not relevant. — Garth

A bit hypocritical, maybe, Garth? You choose the images to post here…whether it’s “Condo Chick,” or that sex-bomb Mark Carney.

Thanks for the info, during the past few months I have learned quite a bit from you and your dedicated posters here, much of it well thought-out, many helpful links to help me figure out the insanity of the RE bubble of today.

But the full-on misogyny and wolf-calling that have been unleashed here are enough for me, thanks. Realtors are salespeople. They have never been that high on my list of what I would consider honourable professions. However, there is a line, and it’s been crossed here.

As for you, Nikki – take your revenge by living well.

#101 Betamax on 11.16.09 at 1:54 pm

“this seems, to most of you, (males no doubt)…to be all about her gender and how well she’s built!”

Nikki is the one who made her body the focus of attention with her ‘Realtor Porn’ pics, so address any concerns of sexism back to the source.

Claims of ‘lynching’ or ‘crucifying’ are hyperbolic nonsense. Welcome to the internet, kiddies. There’s no broadcasting pedestal here; whoever puts themselves out there invites commentary from the great unwashed, deservedly or not.

#102 The VULTURE on 11.16.09 at 1:55 pm

“Real Estate is at an all time low. This buyers market is not going to last. If you have been considering investing in real estate at any point, now is the time to start.” Nikki


Say what?!?!?!?!

Real Estate is damn expensive right now. Insane prices. Debt for life! Never pay off your mortgage. Show me these low prices and I will buy one. may two or three!

#103 Downsized and Delighted on 11.16.09 at 1:59 pm

The reaction on this site to that young real estate agent’s blog is completely out of proportion and totally inappropriate. Talk about your “herd” mentality.

So she made a mistake on a “blog”. She had reading material for buying property that were thought to be general tips but turned out to be specific to the U.S. market So she removed it. Oooohh – how terrible for all of you……..you must be soooooooo offended.

For this she is subject to the wrath of all the “lesser” fools on this site. Your comments reveal your true character (not to mention age – obviously juvenile).

#104 The VULTURE on 11.16.09 at 2:03 pm


Want to give Mike Carney and the boys some really scary nightmares?????

No more credit card purchases.
You have to buy food, heat, water and gas but cut out everything that is non-essential to survival.

No new HD TV. Your 5 year old CRT TV works just fine thank you!

No new clothes. Wear what you have until it scares even moths away.

No Vacations. Go to your local park or conservation area.

No new car. Buy used and only when you have to. Get your current car tuned up and cleaned.

No new cell phone. Old one works fine.

No new furniture. Who are you trying to impress. If a chair works then keep using it.

No new hardware or tile floors. Sure, it looks really pretty but food in your stomach is much more satisfying.

No new video games. Come on, $80-$90 for a video game that the kids play for a couple of days and then get bored of. Rent instead. Common sense it would seem.

No rental DVDs. Get legal stuff off of YouTube.

No new DVDs. Just forget it.

No eating out. Prepare your food from scratch. Forget heavily packaged food items as well.

No stopping by the bar with some friends after work. Bar tabs run up really fast.
Stop smoking.

No going to that expensive gym. Purchase your own equipment used and work out in your basement. Want an expensive new treadmill??? Go outside for a walk instead.

NO MORE OVERPRICED REAL ESTATE!! (You are hurting everyone else by your foolishness. Respect your money and your very survival. Americans have been learning to hate real estate over the last couple of years. Are they really that different than Canadians?? Think about it. Don’t do what they have done in the real estate market.

No buying daily newspapers. All that you want to read is on the net anyways.
No buying anything that is not an absolute necessity.

Have discipline. You cannot prosper without it.


Real estate is one of the quickest ways to wealth destruction if you are not prudent and financially savy.


Don’t believe in all the marketing hype.

#105 $fromA$ia on 11.16.09 at 2:23 pm

“Forecasting that central banks around the world will now be net buyers of gold for the first time since 1988 – a claim made by the GFMS consultancy in April and by European Central Bank manager Paul Mercier at the London Bullion Market Association conference earlier this month – Hambro says that “Gold’s role is gathering a lot more attention in terms of risk diversification.” – Bullion Vault

Well well, I think I am going to go out and buy some more GOLD.

Garth, Gold is going mainstream. You’ll be using your money to whipe yer a$$.

#106 Niergen on 11.16.09 at 2:26 pm

I saw something really familiar – if something wrong, the assistant is the one to blame.

#107 Ginger on 11.16.09 at 2:32 pm

We recently received an advert from a local Remax agent, advising us to buy some rental property as we are in a university town, and there are thousands of students looking for rentals. This agent guarantees selling as well. I was disgusted by this, but thanks to the info we’ve gained from this site and others, we are sure of making the right decision not to buy! Even though half the houses in our neighborhood are rented out to students – we bought a home not an investment.

#108 peter w on 11.16.09 at 2:38 pm

Is Nikki going to fire her assistant for plagiarizing? Is the CREA or other real estate association to which Nikki belongs going to reprimand her for her plagiarizing, as she is ultimately responsible for her work? Not likely…

In most other professions, stealing (a.k.a. Plagiarizing) is grounds for dismissal.

At best, Nikki’s blog shows a severe lack of professionalism as the blog is HERS.

As worst, it shows that Nikki can’t be trusted and should not be allowed to work as a “professional” of any kind due to her lack of ethics.

Sorry, Nikki, but that’s the truth.


#109 Crazy Times on 11.16.09 at 2:40 pm

@Freedom 2008:
How is this post dirty? The game this lady is playing is dirty. Garth is calling her on it. This is exactly what everyone needs to see. I have friends who have just bought with 5% down @ 35 years in Calgary… and they are both 40 Years old. Ouch. That’s dirty.

@everyone on this comment board
It IS about her looks. It obviously plays a very large roll in her life and her approach to selling real estate. She has not just a head shot, but her entire body on show. Her website is riddled with lies (subjective and objective)…all that will be left when her ‘youth’ leaves her.

@downsized and delighted
Nikki’s blog will influence buyers and sellers. Her blog contains misinformation and online plagiary or ‘Content scraping’. Why are you defending her? She will get what’s coming to her.

#110 David Bakody on 11.16.09 at 2:58 pm

Ms. Harrison:

“One man’s opinion does not make it a fact”. It would be safe to say One women’s opinion….. I suspect there are several million women who wish they could wear cloths and draw a passing eye. Sarha Palin came out Alaska dressed to the 9’s and has now made millions. There are several articles on the web site that support the before mentioned list (no big deal) …. RE investors will make their own choice (s) for a host of reasons. Good Luck and continued success in RE.

#111 Grantmi on 11.16.09 at 3:12 pm

WOW! That’s a turn-a-round…


she’s taking her Glam Shot Pic down!

I also see she deleted comeback to you Garth.

Always well!! Now please pass the butter for those buns!!

#112 David Bakody on 11.16.09 at 3:16 pm

Peter W.

In most other professions, stealing (a.k.a. Plagiarizing) is grounds for dismissal.

Our man Stephen Harper stood on his feet in our H of C and read word for word and line for line the speech of a PM from another country, and was never taken to task by the public ! It’s called ” Conservative Leadership”

#113 X on 11.16.09 at 3:30 pm

Should markets correct 10-20% to more reasonable prices. Probably.

Will they? Don’t know yet…In a way perhaps it would be best for the current gov’t if they simply plateau for a number of years.

But I do know that GTA prices are unreasonable, and I won’t buy at these prices.

#114 Dorf on 11.16.09 at 3:39 pm

I am taking the advice of The Vulture #104

Good old-fashioned common sense, my favorite meal.

#115 Roial1 on 11.16.09 at 3:43 pm

#69 rory on 11.16.09 at 12:00 pm

#50 Grantmi …one of your links

The title page is “Your BC Mortgage broker” …the pic behind this title …is that Oregon or California or some place in BC I have never been …does anyone know or is it just another assistant screw-up.

Back round? back round? Oh ya! there is one.

Actually I’d bet on Long Beach, Vancouver Island. looks like the north end of the park facing South, from near Green Point

#116 Paolo on 11.16.09 at 3:43 pm

That’s hilarious!
It just goes to show that anyone can be a real estate agent and wealth advisor. At least Nikki has her looks to back up her knowledge. I didn’t read today’s post in great detail but now I see this update.

The Herd doesn’t like it when you hold up a mirror to their Herd Mentality.

Apparently real estate is at an all time low and it’s never been more affordable, it adds equity and stability to these uncertain times. I hear Alberta is a good buy!

“Modern Day Witch Hunt…caused a huge influx of responses from a well organized lynch mob, arranged merrily by Mr. Turner”

“Lynch Mob???” Her reaction is hilarious…her reaction says it all. A little sensitive aren’t we?

#117 Cassandra on 11.16.09 at 3:51 pm

#109 Crazy Times
“I have friends who have just bought with 5% down @ 35 years in Calgary… and they are both 40 Years old. Ouch. That’s dirty. ”

Crazy. Baby. When your 40-year-old friends with the 5/35 go into negative equity in 18 months, are they going to blame their realtor, who held them down with a gun to their heads and made them sign the papers?

Or will it be the spouse ? (“wifey’s fault!”)

Or Mommy?

Perhaps Daddy?

Grow up.

#118 Emma on 11.16.09 at 3:55 pm

#40 Janet M.
The notion of having a blog implies that you have something to say and are not hiring other people to say something for you.

#42 Janet M.
What has Garth said about Ms Harrison that is untrue? Read the post again. In fact HE didn’t say much about her at all – merely stated some facts and included statements she made. The only personal comment he made was to imply a little plagiarism occurred – which was further proved by the blogdogs AND Ms. Harrison herself.

I am confused by the continued lemming jumps and am genuinely interested in what is fuelling the idiot consumption of RE at its peak. This (being idiot realtors who spout the ‘now or never’ mantra) is but one example. I am neither an asshole nor a member of a lynch mob.

#74 Elle
While I agree that some comments here are over the top, this is the way of the world. There will never be an equivalent to sexist comments that men can make – just as there are no equivalents to racist comments that white people make. I would rather have it out in the open than thought and kept private. Thanks to the guys I work with there’s no way in hell I’d go to work in a form fitting skirt and sweater – yet in general, they appear quite gentlemanly. Now on the other hand, if I was selling something other than my brainpower I just might consider it. Therein lies the problem.

#119 Barb the proof reader on 11.16.09 at 3:56 pm

Amateur Nikki Harrison refuses to take responsibility and blames her misleading ways on her assistant posting irrelevant stuff!?!

a) Nikki is the only one responsible for what is posted on her site, therefore she cannot blame her assistant, and only Nikki is to blame for misleading people.

b) She admits it is misleading information not relevant to Alberta, therefore she is an admitted danger to consumers.

Shame on Nikki. Her sloppy and seemingly unconcerned behaviour, and inability to take responsibility is very UN-PROFESSIONAL.
These are the hallmarks of people to be aware of and avoid.

Cudos to Mr. Turner and his blog for pointing out Nikki’s violations of the Public Trust. Now that’s digital democracy!

#120 tech4monkies on 11.16.09 at 4:01 pm

I think a large part in the fault lies in early education. Financial training in grade schools in needed to guide future generations and help them avoid the leeches of society… The rest of us just have the resources of blogs like this to educate (and entertain us!).

But if people would be better educated, that would make it more difficult for the government and business to ‘guide’ us, which maybe why this hasn’t been implemented. The herd is afraid of change (that and spiders). But if recent events tell us anything, its that we sorely need change.

Enough of my rant :)

Here’s a link to mortgage rates in canada:


Here’s a link to mortgage calc tool:


Here’s a link to CMHC city stats:


If anyone has any links for RE info, please post. Its the only education I gots.


#121 Kate on 11.16.09 at 4:02 pm

Garth, you are popular! Wow, 400 follow-ups. I wonder if I could ask you to promote my business by putting an article about it on your website (kidding).

#122 Calgary Rip off on 11.16.09 at 4:02 pm

Paolo: #116: “Apparently real estate is at an all time low and it’s never been more affordable, it adds equity and stability to these uncertain times. I hear Alberta is a good buy!”


1)Prices are $200K over what they were in 2005. That’s just inflation.
2)Interest rates will soon rise.

What part are you missing Paolo? You think its smart to buy a house at the peak and then lose on your investment due to the increase in interest rates? Sure you may be able to sustain payments, but ANYONE is better off renting in Calgary right now.

Very very very bad idea to buy right now.

#123 bill on 11.16.09 at 4:04 pm

Garth ,you are a funny guy. Really like the new pics.

#124 EB on 11.16.09 at 4:06 pm

#118 Emma “…just as there are no equivalents to racist comments that white people make.”

I take it you don’t speak Mandarin. You would hear things that would turn your hair white.

#125 Cassandra on 11.16.09 at 4:06 pm

118 Emma on 11.16.09 at 3:55 pm

“There will never be an equivalent to sexist comments that men can make – just as there are no equivalents to racist comments that white people make.”

There are many equivalents on both counts.

For the latter, they are usually just not spoken in English.

#126 Calgary Fools on 11.16.09 at 4:08 pm

Garth, check out the greatest and latest from Mario at the Herald.

More bogus articles again. This dude has to stay employed. Looking forward to the interest rate fiasco June 2010. It will be like a Burger King Whopper.

Keep ’em posts coming about bogus realtors in Calgary. Maybe next time do Bob Truman’s blog.

#127 jose on 11.16.09 at 4:12 pm

“Investing in Real Estate in Alberta is still a very viable way to increase your wealth in these uncertain times.”

The biggest uncertainty IS real estate

#128 David on 11.16.09 at 4:15 pm

Ms. Harrison should remember the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity and that 15 minutes of blog fame is an eternity these days. People have long since forgotten Mahir Cagri, the amateur Turkish accordion player who created quite a stir in the early Wild West days of the Internet. A jammed e-mail box is a good sign. To make a play on words of the famous quote from Sitting Bull the day before the Battle of the Little Bighorn: “Today is a good day to buy”!
There is no crucifixion team out to get Ms. Harrison and all those extra sales should be a soothing balm for hurt feelings.
No one ever earned a decent paycheque in real estate pushing fundamentals.

#129 S on 11.16.09 at 4:17 pm

Now I’ll give a different female perspective on the responses to this blog. If I were Nikki, I wouldn’t be offended by how my looks are coming up, but I’d be flattered and encouraged. I would, after all, know that my looks get me far in the salesworld, and this would just reinforce that knowledge. You think Nikki is unaware of how her appearance gives her an advantage? Get real.

89 S on 11.16.09 at 1:18 pm (a different “S” than myself)

“Without much education … To miss Harrison, should she be reading, now that you made some money head back to school and pursue an MBA or a related degree. ”

She’d need some more education before she can pursue an MBA… And this blog post and response isn’t “smart” enough (and if she wants to blame her assistant, she wasn’t smart enough to hire a good one and/or outline work expectations, so the responsibility falls right back onto Nikki herself)

#130 Emma on 11.16.09 at 4:21 pm

re: 35 yr ams enabling a higher purchase price

Most realtors are too busy multiplying average price by their commissions to really understand how interest rates work over the long term.

Here’s the advice I got from my awesome realtor:
1. If you can’t double at least a quarter of payments and drop a lump sum each year, you can’t afford the mortgage long term.
2. If you can’t handle it on one income (just in case you lose the other) you can’t afford it.
3. Take half the amount the bank suggests and you’ll be laughing in a very short term.

He was so right!

When I buy a second property, who do you think I’ll be going to? Some realtors are in the business of building clients rather than milking them on a one shot deal.

#131 jess on 11.16.09 at 4:47 pm

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said it’s “not obvious” that asset prices in the U.S. are out of line with underlying values after a 64 percent jump in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index from its March low.

“It is inherently extraordinarily difficult to know whether an asset’s price is in line with its fundamental value,” he said today in response to audience questions after a speech in New York. “It’s not obvious to me in any case that there’s any large misalignments currently in the U.S. financial system.” …

On the possibility of using interest rates to pop bubbles, “we can never say never,” Bernanke said today. “We have to keep an open mind.”

#132 BAD on 11.16.09 at 5:09 pm

The trouble is that:

When asset bubbles pop, ‘it’s rather painful to all and sundry’

This is why it is in everyone’s interest to prevent an asset bubble, especially a bubble in RE.

Three views on a housing bubble

Too late for us to prevent the creation of the RE bubble. All those low interest rates and ‘mortgage innovation’ (sic!) seem to be not only preventing it from bursting but pumping it up even more.

That’s regardless of a particular REALTOR® looks or (professional) sales pitch.

Interesting times we live in, interesting indeed.

#133 smw on 11.16.09 at 5:09 pm

#131 Watched Bubble Never Pops

Jimmy, you’ve finally surpassed Nostradamus Jr. as the resident fool on this blog, congratulations Mr. Millionaire.

#134 Coho on 11.16.09 at 5:13 pm

Small wonder I was confused by the realtor’s description of the real estate market up here. I thought, “Where is this prevalent in any part of Canada at this time, let alone in Alberta?”

Plagiarizing an article specific to a market in the US where the bubble has burst and using it to attract clients thinking she can find them bargain basement prices on foreclosed properties is irresponsible at the very least, if not downright deceptive. If that isn’t baiting people through misinformation, then what is?

Interesting how spurious behaviour is tolerated among professions like politicians and realtors whose unethical behaviour has the potential to cause us much pain if we rely on their “expertise”.

There will always be the predators which will never change for the better, nor are inclined to, but lets hope decent people begin to see through the propaganda and not continue to be such programmed automatons.

Isn’t the BoC and IMF now starting to utter that Canada is in a housing bubble. See, that’s what they do — they lay the foundations to create bubbles to fuel consumerism and then when it is time to pop the bubble they come out with headlines that there is in fact a bubble and then blame the people for getting themselves into too much debt! They play both sides! And we are the herd that moves in which ever direction they want us to through our own greed and fear.

#135 Carrie Prejean on 11.16.09 at 5:14 pm

Hey Nikkie,

i love your outfit!!,

maybe we should hang out, and discuss further more youre open minded view on real estate, im tryin to expand my visions of this complicated world we live in.


icould add a chapter in my 2nd edition of my novel wich relates immenselly to your exploitation by the liberals mind ho loves to destroy our conservative values.

i could be an aide for your website video sections, and Garth, please stop being so innapropriate!!

#136 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 5:14 pm

Post#36 Bill in Muskoka(NAM).Think of it this way Bill, there is only enough blood in some males to run one thing at a time.

This is so very true Dan. Just this afternoon I was listening to Laugh USA on my car’s Sirius radio and heard Bill Engvall describe his experience getting to fly with the USAF Thunderbirds in an F-16 at Nellis AFB.

The pilot explained that the G-suit would keep the blood in his brain when he was pulling 9 G’s. Bill explained that he tended to pass out when he passed a stuck fart due to lack of blood in his brain. I don’t really recommend using a G-suit to prevent that however as it could cause an excessive pressure resulting in a LAUNCH! ROFLMAO

#137 Híppos Purrós on 11.16.09 at 5:15 pm

Rory/69… It’s Oregon – near Cannon Beach, I believe…

Garth… in the course of researching your current tome you should read Drew Westen’s , ‘The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation’ (if you haven’t already)…

#138 AM on 11.16.09 at 5:18 pm

#125…”Ms. Harrison should remember the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity and that 15 minutes of blog fame is an eternity these days.”

I’m not sure about that this time around. Anybody that found Nikki’s web page the honest way today probably ended up on Garth’s blog to see what all the hoopla was about. This is also why Nikki dropped the rebuttal; it was a no win pissing contest for her.

On the other hand. I don’t think any of Garth’s regulars knew who Nikki was befor today, and I guarantee you that they are not going to be giving her any business in the near future.

#139 Harper Times are Tough Times on 11.16.09 at 5:18 pm

#84 gator77 on 11.16.09 at 1:01 pm
So many males threatened by a pretty female. Did anyone actually see if she might knows what she is talking about? Seems to me that someone with her experience might be worth talking to.

Guess you didn’t bother to read previous posts.

How can you morons discount her financing abilities combined with being a real estate agent? Seeing how most real estate people don’t give a damn how you pay for the property after it’s sold, Nikki looks to be an awesome resource.


See comment above. Guess your testosterone is kicking in.

I love your liberal socialist rants Grant and the rest of your faithful legion. What’s next? Are we going to hear how politicians are going to save us from this sinking economy? Or more about how capitalism is evil and will be the detriment of society?

What’s the name of the book? So I can avoid it altogether…

Grant? Hey dude, I don’t think Garth is going to have a sleepless night cause you won’t buy his next book. And BTW I believe he’s a Red Tory – you know – fiscally conservative – totally unlike your Messiah. Leader.

#140 Calgary_rip_off on 11.16.09 at 5:18 pm

“S” #129 “You think Nikki is unaware of how her appearance gives her an advantage? Get real.”

On the contrary. Her appearance gives her a decided disadvantage.

I would choose an older male realtor in Calgary before I would choose her. Someone who had been around a while.

What real life experience does she really has? She hasnt been through that much school, and she is young, so she cant claim she is book smart. And street smart? Her comments show her ignorance. And you think some guys would pay to have her as her realtor due to her appearance? Just as I would never pay a female for certain things I wouldnt pay for someone who couldnt deliver the goods. I would expect that they would pay ME for wasting my time.

Maybe next time Garth you should go after some established in Calgary. I think there is a guy named Wong that is a realtor here. He has TV ads running generally around 6 pm when the Global news is on. Set your sites a little higher at which realtor you choose to shred instead of clueless ones like Nikki.

#118 Emma: “There will never be an equivalent to sexist comments that men can make”. How judgemental and untrue. It’s funny how conceited and vain females can be in general thinking that EVERY man can want them-women that dress in tight clothes as you describe are nothing more than a distraction and a pain in the ass. They distract from the man’s work and add nothing of value-generally they complain if the man calls on them to deliver the goods, about how they are being “harassed”. That’s not sexist, that’s reality. What you categorize as “sexist” is a simple response. Dont put a human in front of a bear and that human won’t get mauled. Simple.

#141 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 5:28 pm

Post#36 Bill in Muskoka(NAM).Think of it this way Bill, there is only enough blood in some males to run one thing at a time.

One thing I forgot was the pilot told him to eat peanut butter before the flight because ‘It tastes the same coming up and it did going down!’ LOL

#142 Cassandra on 11.16.09 at 5:35 pm

#133 Rip-Off

Wow – a socialist-cowboy-neo-Viking with a healthy fear of women. I bet you’re in hot demand on the Calgary dating scene…

#143 Fred Barker on 11.16.09 at 5:42 pm

“Investing in Real Estate in Alberta is still a very viable way to increase your wealth in these uncertain times. One man’s opinion does not make it a fact.”

I dont understand. This makes no sense.

#144 Fred Barker on 11.16.09 at 5:43 pm

Oh i see, “it” is Garths position on real estate. Its not relating to the previous sentence. Very bad grammar.

#145 Calgary_rip_off on 11.16.09 at 5:44 pm

Cassandra(#133) give it up: Im happily married and not on the market. I already reproduced. My wife would happily shred realtors like Nikki and typical females.

If I were single Id be married to my Stratocaster rather than wasting time with females who should be paying me. :)

#146 Harper Times are Tough Times on 11.16.09 at 5:46 pm

#80 miketheengineer on 11.16.09 at 12:45 pm

You have gone and distracted the masses….nothing like a hot blonde. I wouldn’t trust her with a 10 foot realestate sign. ALL HOT BLONDES ARE TROUBLE.

Totally sexist remark. I was considered in my day (eons ago) as a sexy blond by some males who had less blood flow in their head than elsewhere. I never flaunted myself – wore classic clothing. I shall never forget being in a pub in Mtl. singing along with others to a group playing and one guy behind me said ‘I want to go to bed with you even if you have a lousy voice. ‘ I turned around and looked at him. He was drop dead gorgeous. And then I told him to ‘f++k off.

#147 freedom_2008 on 11.16.09 at 5:52 pm

#109 Crazy Times,

I am not saying what the realtor did is clean. She may uses her looks for her business, that is her choice, but we don’t need to use/include that part in our discussion. Dirty is dirty, it doesn’t matter who uses it and in what way.

Garth, I do like your new pictures, we get the humour back finally.

#148 pjwlk on 11.16.09 at 5:54 pm

#62 said “DEALING with cut-throat real estate agents can be like floating on your back in the sea as hungry sharks circle ever closer.”

You should try the Future Shop or The Brick at Christmas time… Now those people are hungry sharks!

#149 Charlie go surf da Revolution on 11.16.09 at 5:55 pm

Roial1 on 11.16.09 at 3:43 pm
#69 rory on 11.16.09 at 12:00 pm

#50 Grantmi …one of your links

The title page is “Your BC Mortgage broker” …the pic behind this title …is that Oregon or California or some place in BC I have never been …does anyone know or is it just another assistant screw-up.

Back round? back round? Oh ya! there is one.

Actually I’d bet on Long Beach, Vancouver Island. looks like the north end of the park facing South, from near Green Point

NOPE, NOWAY ITS GREEN POINT….aint that big of cliff there, no this is somewere in Washington state or Oregon, will figure it out…

fear, greeding and loathing in las-Canadas!!!

Nice work Garth!!! if they can rock, let them roll as well!!!

wonder what the north-shore junior thinks of the pineapple express causing havoc in the Best place on Earth…maybe is too busy drinkin batch of onsale fool olympic, lol ;)) wine,lolhttp://www.vancouversun.com/life/Winemaker+Vincor+discounts+Olympic+wine+switch+2010/2083472/story.html

OUR Prime is india tday having a photo op with a bollywood star, to keep our economy rolling, the E.I. programs scam…gst return fraud..and such, ahhh the good butter chicken life of a politician…smell the curry???

as for nIkkie, her knees turned me off big time…

#150 Cordoroy Cowboy on 11.16.09 at 6:03 pm

I love how Nikki wants to put all the love on her assistant.

Apparently according to Nikki her assistant “gleamed” (sp) “snippets” from other top 10 lists. Way to throw her under the bus. Nikki’s behavior was reminiscent of this blond barracuda. Read the article from Saturday’s Vancouver Sun.


It’s always good to have an assistant or two to blame when it hits the fan.

Who me? The butler er assistant did it.

#151 Cassandra on 11.16.09 at 6:11 pm

#146 Calgary_rip_off
“My wife would happily shred realtors like Nikki and typical females.”

Oh stop it! I can smell the pheromones from across the Rockies and its getting me all aflush… just as well you have a capable guardian at the gates ;)

#152 Harper Times are Tough Times on 11.16.09 at 6:12 pm

OT – Oh God I just switched on the TV and see Barbara MacDougall. What a monotone/robotic voice. Too bad that it were not later – She’d put me to sleep within 15 minutes.

#153 LetsGetOurFactsStraight on 11.16.09 at 6:19 pm

I can think of much better and obvious targets. Why not go after Ozzie Jurock or Bob Rennie? They not only have websites, but they get tons of airtime too! Those guys have been sucking in greater and greater fools all the time. Nikki’s got nothing on them!

Both have been mentioned here several times. — Garth

#154 BAD on 11.16.09 at 6:20 pm

Fear and greed, the little helpers, lead to mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes…

Those people are usually more than happy with their investments – until the market crashes.

3 Big Money Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Which mistakes have you made? Or was it your assistant…

#155 E.O. on 11.16.09 at 6:24 pm

I think you went a little far this time! It’s one thing to target a profession/group and another to target an individual. I do agree relators are evil!

ALSO why do your post have a strong sexist tone for example “Condo chick” and I have seen many of your comments refer to “the wife” etc. I am starting to feel alienated by these comments.

Why have you never made a comment about how men choose to buy house that are much more expensive and grand then they need because this reflects on their manhood? Stop being a chauvinist and get on with the writing.

#156 Downbytheriver on 11.16.09 at 6:35 pm

@ #144 Fred Barker
“Investing in Real Estate in Alberta is still a very viable way to increase your wealth in these uncertain times. One man’s opinion does not make it a fact.”

I dont understand. This makes no sense.

Neither did the complaint about getting all the hits to her website from this blog but then saying it’s Garth Turner singling her out to drive viewers to HIS blog…

I think some people live on their own planet sometimes.

Whenever I read about how crazy house prices have become in the face of still horrific economic data I get this feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Why do people keep thinking that bad things can only happen to other people in other places and despite doing the same thing they will see a different outcome?

#157 BAD on 11.16.09 at 6:38 pm


1 in 6 Americans goes hungry

Incidentally the spike in number of households going hungry coincides with the asset bubble pop. This is unsettling indeed.

#158 jess on 11.16.09 at 6:42 pm

The Roots of Protectionism in the Great Depression

conclude that a key factor behind this variation in trade policies was nations’ adherence to the gold standard. Those countries that clung to the gold standard were more likely to restrict trade than those that abandoned it.

…had more countries been willing to abandon the gold standard and use monetary policy to counter the slump, fewer would have been driven to impose trade restrictions.

“Remaining on the gold standard fueled protectionism, but the countries that left the gold standard began to liberalize their trade policies. The United States, for example, delinked in 1933 and a year later enacted the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, which gave the President the authority to trim import duties in foreign-trade agreements. Once France went off gold in 1936, it began eliminating import quotas.

Parallels between the Great Depression and today have raised fears of a new slide toward protectionism. But the policy tools in the modern era are different, the authors write. In the 1930s, stimulus meant monetary stimulus, which tended to depreciate the nation’s currency and make its products cheaper in export markets. Such moves tempted other nations to impose trade barriers. Today, besides monetary stimulus, nations are using fiscal stimulus that boosts domestic demand and helps not only the nation that uses it but also those countries that export to it. Thus, the temptation to restrict imports now rests with nations enacting such stimulus. The “Buy America” provisions in the 2009 U.S. federal stimulus package are one example.”


#159 Concessionman on 11.16.09 at 6:55 pm

Man I could swear she was the feature at…nevermind..

#160 jess on 11.16.09 at 6:57 pm

boomers watch out for those “wealth education” programs !

Regulators File Lawsuit Against Alleged ‘Green’ Investment Ponzi Scheme

“The only green these promoters seem interested in was investors’ money,” an official of the Securities and Exchange Commission said of a green investment scheme. The agency filed a lawsuit, above, on Monday. Federal regulators have accused four people and two companies of using bogus claims about “green initiatives” to entice more than 300 investors into what was really a $30 million Ponzi scheme…

According to the complaint, the fraud scheme’s promoters targeted elderly investors and those nearing retirement age. Investors were told they could reap substantial returns from such “green” initiatives as the development of “carbon negative” housing in rural Tennessee and the production and marketing of “bio char,” a charcoal substitute made from organic waste.

In fact, regulators say, the private company in which investors sank their money had almost no assets or operations and the promoters were paying the promised returns to early investors with money collected from those who invested later — a classic Ponzi scheme.

“The only green these promoters seemed interested in was investors’ money,” said Don Hoerl, director of the commission’s Denver office.

The individual defendants are Wayde McKelvy, of Sunny Isle Beach, Fla.; his ex-wife Donna McKelvy, of Parker, Colo.; Troy Wragg, and Amanda Knorr, both of Philadelphia.

In addition, the lawsuit names two companies, the Mantria Corp. in Bala-Cynwyd, Pa., run by Mr. Wragg and Ms. Knorr; and Speed of Wealth LLC in Centennial, Colo., a “wealth education” program founded by the McKelvys.

#161 Vancouver_Bear on 11.16.09 at 7:00 pm

And looks like it’s not different here, bubble is always a bubble:


#162 Dan in Victoria on 11.16.09 at 7:09 pm

Yesterdays post re Joyce,”Call their bluff and have it in writing,if it is so they will write it down,if not why not?”Today has been a classic example of what I was getting at Joyce.A little lesson for you that you can file away.

#163 Glenn on 11.16.09 at 7:17 pm

Good thing you didnt post me original comments, the blood sucking harpy would have unleashed the swarm on you. Allow the feminist to feed in the darkness it requires!

#164 Schroedinger's Bull on 11.16.09 at 7:26 pm

Most of the comments on this thread are udder nonsense! What kind of boobs are you? I’ll concede that real estate prices have been artificially lifted and supported by interest rates that are under the wire, historically speaking, but do we all need to come here and beat our breasts about it all of the time?

I think we all know the market’s about to go tits up, but I think all of us might benefit from a bigger, more rounded perspective.


#165 Glenn on 11.16.09 at 7:26 pm

Isnt it amazing how the resident females can get their collective dander up over some harmless banter? I wonder where these same females and their highly devloped social conscious were during the last 40 years as leading feminists spewed the following bile; “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act. Sexism is NOT the fault of women — kill your fathers, not your mothers.” — Robin Morgan, Editor of MS magazine … “I have little sympathy for men. Like a Jew just released from Dachau, I watch the handsome young Nazi soldier fall writhing to the ground with a bullet in his stomach and I look briefly and walk on. I don’t even need to shrug. I simply don’t care. What he was, as a person, I mean, what his shames and yearnings were, simply don’t matter.” — Marilyn French, in “The Women’s Room” … Whats the word Im looking for here…ah, yes! Hypocrisy.

#166 john m on 11.16.09 at 7:28 pm

lol sounds like dinner at “Nikki’s” wouldn’t be a good idea Garth :-)

#167 Yogger on 11.16.09 at 7:29 pm

Who cares if her assistant wrote it? She is responsible for whatever is posted on her blog. Anyone that works for a company/corporation knows that whatever you or your staff attach your name to is YOUR responsibility. If the facts were plagiarized, Nikki needs to take full responsibility for that. You can’t shift the blame.

#168 Soju on 11.16.09 at 7:29 pm

Wow if we’re going to get on Nikki’s case for her infractions we might as well bring up financial planners that do nothing good but sell mutual funds to unsuspecting lambs. I guess those clients must be greater fools as well???

There is never a justification for betraying the trust of others. — Garth

#169 The VULTURE on 11.16.09 at 7:30 pm



Go Garth Go! Go Garth Go! Go Garth GO!!!

You hit a major nerve today. Wow. This is pure entertainment though I do believe Garth’s message today is vital to understand if you are to survive out in the current business jungle. It is brutal out there right now. There is so much disinformation out there that one can be tripped up if one does not do ones own due diligence.

Garth, that is why you are a born leader and very successful business professional. You are not afraid to tell it like you see it.

This my friends is integrity. Listen to Garth. He is keeping it real in really troubled times.

He has been guiding my life and business decisions for some while now. Never let me down. Again, true leaders are not bought, swayed, intimidated, fearful, submissive, passive, meek, nor cowardly. True leaders lead. This is the only way they know how.

I am buying Garth’s new book as soon as it hits the book stores. I want my copy signed.

Garth, You are the real deal. Keep up the brilliant work. I love this website! Obviously, so do a great many other fans as well!


#170 pjwlk on 11.16.09 at 7:30 pm

#124 EB & #125 Cassandra:

I think #118 emma may be speaking to the hypocrisy in which the comments from males and whites seem to be considered by many to be worse than similar comments made by others who are not male or white. I believe this to be true and have witnessed it many times. C’est la vie…

#171 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.16.09 at 7:45 pm

#75 Jake

Plenty of ‘lead in the pencil’, but then that, used wisely, prevents the lead in the brain from playing Russian Roulette. Try it sometime, if it is not already too late! ;-)

#172 miketheengineer on 11.16.09 at 7:49 pm

Plague Hits Ukraine:


This is in UK newspapers….

Stock up on Canned goods guys. This ones appears to be getting interesting.


#173 David on 11.16.09 at 7:49 pm

Let all of us offer up prayers that Nikki can recover and get over herself. It was only an asset bubble and even if it has ruined the economy for a decade, it is all good. In her next incarnation maybe Nikki can sell beautiful seaside properties in Newport Beach, California to real estate hungry Calgarians looking for bargains.

#174 Cory on 11.16.09 at 8:03 pm

I don’t know, I deal with alot of sales people and buy items worth far more than a house. I have dealt with both sexes, and yes I have seen those companies that send in a “hot” girl that doesn’t have a clue, and I say thanks and goodbye….I just don;t have time to waste. There are a few women I have dealt with though, still do, that are far hotter than this Nikki, but who are actually worthy of respect for their knowledge and abilities. These said women do not expect to make a sale based on their looks and truth be told, they do not want to make sales like that.

There are good salespeople, men or women, and there are bad, just like anything else. It just so happens that in this case, this Nikki is obviously not too smart and relies on stupid males with even less of a brain to spend their money with her.

It’s sad really. When I have the opportunity to deal with a woman who sure, may be hot, but actually knows what they speak of, I give them all the respect in the world since, in this world, yes even today, it is still hard to get for females. It doesn’t mean they make a guaranteed sale from me, economics still have to make sense, but if they can, kudos to them.

I just wish this real estate market would fuggin die….DIE!!! I am tired of people like this thinking they are smart.honestly. I agree 110% that listings have dropped for the very reason Garth said…arrogance and complacency have kicked in and would be sellers figure they have something people will trip over themselves to buy.

#175 Onemorething on 11.16.09 at 8:33 pm

#48 Sammie,

Do you run the flipside with your potential buyers as well showing them 20-30% loss in value on their home and if interest rates triple in the 5 year fixed you lock them into?

35 am paying 25 am for budgeting was so last 30 years. Get a grip!

#176 jobr on 11.16.09 at 8:35 pm

From our BMO buddies; a bubble is not a bubble!!

Bottom line: Canada’s resale market metrics are stoking fears of a housing bubble, but the fears for the most part are unfounded. It’s not a bubble when a record sales rebound follows a massive sales collapse, owing to the vagaries of pent-up demand. It’s not a bubble when prices accelerate because growing demand is butting up against shrinking supply. It’s not a bubble simply because relative prices are at record highs. Furthermore, given that mortgage credit growth is moderating, and new home and land prices remain subdued, the evidence on the ground argues against a housing bubble.

#177 Toronto C9 Renter on 11.16.09 at 8:39 pm

I always enjoy your blog Garth. Thanks again

While I can’t say I learned anything particularly useful from today’s post and comments (a rarity), it was certainly entertaining!

#178 Grey on 11.16.09 at 8:43 pm

And on the exact same day in the Globe as the previous article I posted:

Canada’s housing rebound sparks fear of bubble


#179 Jason on 11.16.09 at 9:24 pm

The problem in this country is there are no voices for the other side of the Real Estate market outside of this Blog and a few minor other ones. That being those who argue that we are in a Bubble and that this latest Real Estate frenzy fed by historically low interest rates can only end bad.

We get a constant media stream of so called expert opinions from every group that has a vested interest in home prices and sales going higher and higher. That would be the Real Estate Association, Realtors, Mortgage brokers, Lenders and developers. They all pump Real Estate and convince the easily manipulated that right now is always the best time to buy.

The media outlets are basically in the pockets of these groups. Locally every radio station, Newspaper and TV station have non stop ads by Rel Estate related companies and groups. There is no way they would bite the hand that feeds them so the bottom line is we continue to get the daily, non stop arguments as to why you need to buy and why you need to buy now as it is “Always a great time to buy Real Estate”!!!!

#180 conan on 11.16.09 at 9:26 pm

Is Nikki allowed to have both a mortgage broker and a real estate license at the same time in Alberta? The laws are different in other provinces and it is confusing.

BTW Nikki would look hot even in a birka so some of these comments are over the top.


#181 The truth on 11.16.09 at 9:32 pm

Homeowners have made quite a bit of money in the last 4 months or so. $50,000 Cdn and up in many cases tax free. This is FACT. Those not invested in any assets just got left a little further behind and this is FACT. Just dissapointed that in terms of Gold as a currency, house prices have actually fell in value and this is a FACT.

People think a real estate will crash. This is SPECULATION not supported by any facts…just bending them to serve their own purpose.

House prices will be up in 6 months when valued in Canadian Dollars but will be down when valued in Gold. For Australians, our prices have actually not risen over the last year. Educate yourselves sheeple of this blog! Otherwise, continue to look bewildered month after month. C’est La Vie!

#182 Jason on 11.16.09 at 9:39 pm

“Onemorething on 11.16.09 at 2:45 am

Whatever! She reminds me of the 2005-2006 Option Arm-Alt A girls selling $1.5M condos in Florida. Private parties, No money down, champagne pouring, and tons of other incentives knowone will admit to.”


That’s funny, I saw the same sort of thing on 60 Minutes afew years ago. They showed one very average new Condo development in pre Real Estate bust Florida where the condo sellers had a red carpet and Limo in front, phony Paparazzi who took pictures of the prospective new buyers coming to view the condos, cheese, wine, etc. convincing the very gullible buyers that they were buying into a lifestyle, into glamor, excitement etc. The reality was they were being suckered into buying a Bubble priced condo in a Bubble market.

Those very same buyers must have been in shock to see their new neighbors 2 years later buying the same units for 60% less than what they paid.

It seems like it is almost to easy to take peoples hard earned money these days. You don’t have to be a robber, you just need to get into Real Estate.

#183 jmcanuck on 11.16.09 at 10:32 pm

#182 The Truth

How have homeowners made money? Their equity is locked away in a non-liquid asset that over 35 years will cost a fortune in interest payments, taxes and maintenance. If they move they just pay more for the same house. So who is making money besides realturds? Go ahead and buy at the top…see how that goes.

#184 average joe on 11.17.09 at 12:09 am

I find it surprizing Niki, who is in marketing, would not be aware of how she presents herself. I am in no way saying that all of the comments have focused on the content of Niki’s website rather than her image, but she is the one to put her image out there as a hook and as an alluring hook.

How can she complain with any credibility that she found the comments distasteful? When my daughters were younger and they chose to wear clothes that were too alluring, I would ask them “What message are you trying to send?” I would wager Niki knew what message she was sending. Even as teenagers my girls were more modest than Niki, who is supposed to be an adult professional. I have been on a lot of real estate websites , and I can’t recall seeing that type of photo.

Initially when I logged on to read your post I thought it was a parody. I had to follow the link to see if it was authentic.

When I linked on to her top 10 list and saw her sweater with clevage done to her naval, I thought she is putting out RE porn. Hard to be sympathetic. You only garner the respect you deserve. You only deserve the respect you command.

My apologies, I have also concentrated on the image rather than the content…but who wouldn’t?

Long ago, someone whom I respected said, in the end you really only have your reputation to stand on. Why cheapen yourself? Oh, silly me, could it have to do with money? Funny how the desire to acquire more wealth often does cheapens us.

#185 Taxpayer like you on 11.17.09 at 12:22 am

131 Mr. Bubble:

$100K is a lot of money. What is surprising is how far it doesnt go these days. Who knows? That may change.

#186 Mark on 11.17.09 at 6:49 am

Hi Nikki,

Let me present an ecommerce website’s owner comment on what you are doing online, as it may have serious legal implications, especially when your shoddy “marketing” practices have been exposed so brilliantly by Garth. And your ‘good looks’ may be actually more a condemning factor than an advantage in the court of law.

For your information: Using material online that you are not an author of is an infringement on others’ copyright-protected intellectual property, in simple English called STEALING. Over the years, we caught quite a few perpetrators lifting text and pictorial material from our site. And almost every scumbag who did that and responded to our demand of removing the stolen material immediately defended himself/ herself with an ‘assistant’ or ‘staffer’ lame duck excuse. So you are far from being original in your lie :-).

Now – the implications.

Thousands of people know by now that you are a thief. And it is not a lesser offence of ‘plagiarizing’ in your case (where one writes herself on the basis of other material); it is building your whole site with cobbled together, lifted VERBATIM material from more than one source.

Now, let’s suppose that among the people who read Garth’s blog are those who were infringed upon or they know others whose online material is stolen. Interested parties can contact your host and IP provider presenting evidence that you are not the author of articles you sign with your name. Most of them will not want their reputation tarnished by an exposed thief whom they host/ service and will pull your websites off the Net in no time. But some of the parties whose material you used to your commercial benefit, these with ‘deeper pockets’ (from America) may not hesitate to start a lawsuit against you. And more and more cases of this nature are being heard in designated district courts in the US (with foreigners on trial) and resulting in sucessful convictions.

Pretty serious stuff, eh? You never thought that stealing left and right from the Net may have serious implications. But you would not give a f***, even if you knew, would you? While building your “career” you have not been bothered by any of such minor matters like honesty and own moral conciense, anyway.

Congrats on your ethical and professional stellar track record, lol!

#187 jimmy on 11.17.09 at 7:11 am

Wow! RE agents sure get snarky when you call ’em on their BS.

Notice she didn’t stand-by or defend her information, she just blamed an assistant and pulled the page.

RE agents are mountebanks.

#188 BlorgDorg on 11.17.09 at 7:59 am

Original images:


Unlinking is not the same as deleting, Nikki.

#189 Gypsy on 11.17.09 at 11:02 am

Even if she deletes that photo, Google cache will have it for a long time for your viewing pleasure.

#190 Janet M. on 11.17.09 at 12:05 pm

yes because you all want to salivate over her while you accuse her of dressing provocatively and try to ruin her reputation — grab your clubs boys and drag her into the bushes by her hair where you would be so thrilled to do rude things to her… hope that makes you all feel like the big men you are, hiding behind your computer screens with your small penis’s.

Janet, it is interesting that you are linked to this. — Garth

#191 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 11.17.09 at 1:11 pm

Oooooooooooo…Seems Janet M. has had her hair messed up by reality? I love the courage Nikki has sending her lackey here to comment!

#192 Soylent Green is People on 11.17.09 at 1:43 pm

Today her twitter account links to this blog, driving traffic over here to GT.

Fear and Greed! So much fun! Check it out here http://www.greaterfool.ca/2
about 3 hours ago from web


Isn’t that weird she would do that after writing such a complaining response?


#193 Soylent Green is People on 11.17.09 at 1:46 pm

The picture that launched a thousand ships:


#194 Shiner on 11.17.09 at 3:43 pm

Ahhh, nice soylent. Seems Gator77 is her husband. Makes sense.


#195 Downsized and Delighted on 11.17.09 at 7:25 pm

185 average joe: The picture that Garth posted of Nikki showed her wearing a blouse (buttoned up to the top) with a sweater over it, and a skirt. It was a full length shot which did show that she was very attractive (but in an average girl next door way). The picture however was blown up very large which seemed to exaggerate her attributes.

This picture was removed by Garth at Nikki’s request.

If your daughters wore this type of outfit they would be the most conservative in the average classroom today.

#196 Soylent Green is People on 11.17.09 at 11:11 pm

Wow Shiner, talk about the stalkaprazzi ‘R Us.


The worst cut and paste jobs on the internet lol

Maybe Brad’s in charge of everything (tax purposes?) and that would explain her outrage i.e. she has nothing to do with running the business at all…


Brad Harrison was born and raised in Alberta, like many of the local’s in the Kelowna area. Having gained his real estate experience in Alberta, Brad has a much more valuable knowledge base when working with buyers from other area’s moving to the Kelowna area. He is much more aware of the vital differences between buying real estate in here and he will guide you through the differences.

Brad is married to Nikki Harrison who has been a very successful and respected Mortgage Expert in Western Canada for almost seven years. Nikki has received many awards and achieved top volume status with several lenders in Canada over the years. She has a reputation of, “If Nikki can’t do it, then it can’t be done.” Nikki can offer pre-approval’s in minutes, there is no waiting for your banker.

If you are looking to an experienced real estate team from pre-approval to getting the keys to you new home, you cannot find a better team.

When you hire Brad as your sales associate, you are getting a dedication and service level that comes from a true desire to help. Your real estate experience will be unlike any other you have had before. Let Brad’s Team of real estate experts assist you in your next home purchase!


Working with Brad Harrison means working with a TEAM. That team includes a mortgage professional that has many years of extensive experience and works along side Brad to streamline your entire real estate purchase.

Knowing that you qualify first, before you even start shopping for your property is SO KEY, that we quickly realized the value that our two professions offer to our client base. When you hire me as your realtor, you have an edge that other people don’t get with their real estate professionals. You have an inhouse team of real estate and finance experts available to you, seven days a week, day or night. Not only will you get pre-approved within hours of speaking to Nikki, but you will know your maximum purchase price and what your monthly payment may be.

Because of this value added component to my business structure, you can talk to your mortgage expert whenever you need to. Not just Monday through Friday during regular banking hours.


Nikki Harrison’s previous experience and resume speak volumes for her ability to help people who have basic mortgage needs, or have intricate highly specialized situations. Nikki helps everyone, in any situation.

Why use a Mortgage Broker?

Make a Mortgage Broker Part of your Financial Plan

For most Canadians, buying a home is the largest financial decision they will make in their lifetime. Yet, consumers across the country are more likely to painstakingly review dozens of investment possibilities for their portfolios than to scrutinize their mortgage choices.

The mortgage world – like the investment world – can sometimes be confusing. There is a vast array of choices – open, closed, fixed, floating, long or short amortization, prepayment options, portability… and of course, the rate itself. Making the right mortgage decision can have a huge financial impact over the long term.

Many Canadians have an investment advisor to help them sort through their choices. Now, Canadians are also beginning to turn to Mortgage Associates to help them make better mortgage decisions. Canadians are just now catching up with their counterparts south of the border, where Mortgage Associates already arrange approximately 70 per cent of mortgages for U.S. properties.

So what is a Mortgage Broker?

The role of a Mortgage Broker is to understand your mortgage needs, seek out the best options for your situation, and guide you through the lending process. A Mortgage Broker does not work for any individual institution or lender, but is independent, and has up-to-the-minute loan rates for a wide array of banks and other lending institutions.

There was a time when the banks exercised the view that they “owned” their customers, and Mortgage Broker’s were perceived only as a last resort for home buyers with poor credit history. But times have changed, and home buyers in every bracket are learning they can benefit from the professional advice of a Mortgage Broker.

Many Canadians are realizing that taking time off work to make an appointment to meet with their banker, is not always possible OR desirable. The old days of bankers have “personal” relationships witht heir clients, are over. Chances are, the person that you met with to open your bank account, no longer even works at that branch OR bank. Your mortgage broker will be with you for the life of your mortgage needs.

My goal is to advise you from the beginning of your Mortgage, through until the day you are Mortgage Free.

A good investment advisor can make you thousands of dollars. But a good Mortgage Broker will SAVE you thousands of dollars. Whether you are buying a home or renewing a mortgage, consider making a Mortgage Broker part of your financial plan this year.

#197 sutluc on 11.17.09 at 11:39 pm

I guess she was bound to make some mistakes, having only been a realtor for two months and all…

#198 jeff on 11.18.09 at 7:31 pm

…and obviously using her sex-appeal to sell real estate….ohhhhh the horror