No fail

Twenty-six, he has two degrees, works seasonally at a golf club and lives in his parents’ basement. Why, I asked, don’t you take off? You have freedom and youth. Why not use them? He laughed a little and told me I sounded like ‘an old hippie.’

“It’s different now,” he said, “way worse. There are no decent jobs, all university gave me was debt and what am I supposed to live on? Here I’m getting fed, have my space, come and go as I want, and the price is right. Why the hell should I leave?”

Society dies a little every time a young person ducks risk. A boy-man who would rather know where his next meal’s coming from (mom) rather than test his limits in the world will likely never start a company or fight for an ideal. It’s all about risk. If you eschew it when you’ve nothing to lose, you will flee when you do. And then life is just a collection of days.

I’m constantly surprised at the conservativism of youth now. When it comes to money, they seem the first to pile into GICs, scramble to avoid losses or line up overnight to willingly trade their mobility for a condo and a mortgage. Makes you wonder what hopeless old farts they aspire to be, or are destined to become.

Such thoughts were kindled hours ago when I received this note from Toronto:

I am currently mentoring a 19 year old co-op.  Okay, so it’s more like we talk financial matters at 2 am during night shifts at work, but he has very little knowledge regarding finances other than he’d like to have some more than what he currently has.

I’ve been trying to explain various matters to him – invest for one’s retirement early, tfsa vs rrsp, the potential future bankruptcy of most pension schemes, why I feel the real estate market will go down, that he needs to read and read and read. How does one start out if one is a clueless 19 year old with maybe $50 or $100 month to save?  And why would one save that money instead of going out and having a great time with friends?

I remember I first began investing with a savings account, and then with Canada Savings Bonds.  Investing with a brokerage account seemed foolish then as the fees would have equalled or exceeded any returns I could have made.  I am reluctant to get into specifics with the young gentleman as I understand that one has to start saving for the future, and the earlier one starts the better, but how does one begin? Would it be possible for you to do a post for all the investing newbies out there?

Well, I’m sure there are books on such things. Or should be. But here are a few thoughts to impart to your young friend while you toil during the night.

Start with the money you piss away every week. Smokes. Meals out of vending machines. The little stuff, it adds up. Accumulate this, but don’t save it.

Open a TFSA, a tax-free savings account. The government lets you grow the money you put into this, and will never tax you when it comes out. So, obviously, you want it to increase, which will never happen if you just save to collect interest. The limit on new money is $5,000 a year. The growth allowed is infinite.

Don’t open the wrong kind of TFSA, like most banks tell you. No savings, no ‘high-yield’, no GICs or money market fund. You will not even keep pace with inflation, and get nowhere.

Use an online brokerage, instead, one with cheap trades and access to unlimited assets. Now, purchase some ETFs (exchange-traded funds) for the TFSA. These are like mutual funds, but without the do-nothing manager who charges enough to keep himself in new Porsches. They’re far less volatile than individual stocks and over time will reward you.

A decent place to start is XIU, a fund which paces the biggest companies on the Toronto stock exchange, giving good exposure to energy, banks, gold and other commodities.

Increase your position every month with more pissing-away money until you reach the $5,000 annual TFSA limit. Remember, the TFSA lets you also catch up on missed contributions from past years.

If markets crash, buy more. Never panic and don’t sell. You have decades to weather the storms and ride the advances. Fearless, smart young people buy when their parents are terrified.

Once you max the TFSA, put money into an RRSP, opened the same way. Here your limit is 18% of what you make in a year, but start now. Make payments monthly. Invest them in more ETFs, adding exposure to the S&P 500, emerging markets, corporate bonds and real estate income trusts.

Get your work to reduce payroll taxes by filing form T1213 from the CRA web site. Now use the extra cash in your paycheque to make the investments.

Do this month after month after month. Soon you will have what others envy – actual wealth. Investments. Liquidity. Options. Don’t blow it, buying some tarted-up concrete box with 5% down and a mortgage designed to suck the juices out of you. Do not be misguided by your parents’ bleatings to follow in their footsteps, since this is a new time. Forget the pressure of peers who are happy to swap freedom for faucets.

And if you can’t, get new friends.

But above all, try. At 19 there is no fail.


#1 Helpful Advise on 11.11.11 at 10:41 pm

First! First! First!

#2 Smell The Coffee on 11.11.11 at 10:44 pm

The Banks don’t work for you, they work against you. Excessive fees, self-serving bad advice, and no long term vision.

A customer is only to be sheared not cultivated.

Corrupt money makes for corrupt enterprises.

Prior to the 1980’s most commercial banks were viscerally hated by customers.

Then they became our new favourite rich uncle, willing to back our flatulent dreams. These credit pushers are no better than your local corner drug-dealer. Different commodity … same end.

By the end of the decade the Money Lenders will again be universally hated … and avoided by the few remaining solvent consumers.

By then the Banks will be nationalized to deal with the generational debacle of life long debt now completely un-payable.

It has happened in the past and will happen again. Stupidity is recycled by each new generation that assumes it knows better.

#3 LJ on 11.11.11 at 10:49 pm

If only our fearless leaders could balance their books, we would get to put more into the TFSA’s, as they promised when we elected them. So much for depending on governments to be prudent…..

#4 Seven Stars and Orion on 11.11.11 at 11:00 pm

God (you there?)
Here’s wishing I knew my father, and that he would have been a lot like Garth Turner, and kicked my ass into manhood.

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth.

#5 Under 60 in Toon Town on 11.11.11 at 11:01 pm


#6 Seven Stars and Orion on 11.11.11 at 11:02 pm

11.11.11 at 11:00.

that just happened, firsters.

#7 OwlEyes on 11.11.11 at 11:02 pm


#8 Joe Q. on 11.11.11 at 11:03 pm

Index funds may be a better option than ETFs for a new investor. The transaction fees are lower and they’re usually connected with a bank, so doing a regular monthly investment merely involves setting up a regular account transfer. The management fees are higher than ETFs, but only marginally so (a couple tenths of a percent higher).

ETFs are index funds. And cheaper. — Garth

#9 Jane24 on 11.11.11 at 11:05 pm

We had one of these boy-men. At 26 (last year) we asked him to leave and he moved onto a friend’s sofa. Chose to work just enough to exist.

Last weekend he came home and asked his Dad to cut his rock star hair ( Dad is a stylist) and said that his life was uncomfortable so he had decided to get a proper job so he could rent a proper bed in a proper house and start his life like his friends had.

The lad in your article should be tossed out now. The parents are doing him no favours to allow him to waste his life and theirs like this. There are always jobs Garth, maybe not dream jobs, but jobs that would teach this guy a lot. If he stays in the basement what will he do in a few years, move his wife and family in? Let his sucker parents cary them all.

3 am and you have really got me going.

#10 Maxamillion on 11.11.11 at 11:08 pm

Did the boomers miss last nights Doc Zone on CBC, Generation Boomerang.

#11 Mike on 11.11.11 at 11:10 pm

Garth, one of your best posts yet. At 24, i’m often disheartened to find youth my age clueless about money and life in general. Many young men these days are turning into a bunch of pu**ies. Pardon the crudity, but its the sad truth and needs to be said. Why not take risks if your single and at home??

Garth keep up the good work. I hope you replace Mr. Harper one day…lol

Puppies? — Garth

#12 UK Love Calling on 11.11.11 at 11:14 pm

Vancouver =


#13 Bottoms_Up on 11.11.11 at 11:20 pm

#76 Work & Tumbel on 11.11.11 at 10:28 am
That’s fairly (very?) expensive for Kitchener.

480k buys you something similar 25 minutes from Ottawa (recently polled as Canadians’ favourite Canadian city):

And something similar to that Kitchener house can be had in Barrie for 350k:

#14 walter safety on 11.11.11 at 11:24 pm

TFSA ,RRSP? What’s risky about that ?

So you know what happens to those who “take off” ? Their friend’s with TFSA’s don’t get it . They say(with a touch of anger) how can you take 5 months a year to lie on a beach in Asia .?
Or the “so you just work and travel” question with the unspoken “loser” behind it .
Yes ,risk is misunderstood most of all by those who seek security provided by someone else.

#15 The thing in the basement on 11.11.11 at 11:34 pm

8 Joe Q – TD e-series have very low MERs. Not sure what any acquisition costs may be. Probably as good a place as any to start.

9 Jane – Can you come by and help me get rid of “The thing in the basement”?

10 Max – got it scheduled for recording on my HD PVR big screen home theatre with 7 speakers and blu ray just cuz I can. (Hey – sometimes I AM the thing in the basement)

#16 smartalox on 11.11.11 at 11:39 pm

I don’t think that there is much wrong with going back home to live rent free for a year or two while paying off your student loans. I wish that I had been able to pull that off, instead of fleeing into my own life, piling debt on debt just to have a life. Took me eight years to pay off my student loans, and four more to pay off the rest.

#17 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.11.11 at 11:42 pm

Dammit – I listened to Smoking Man and went all-in on Yellow Media!

#18 Unistar38 on 11.11.11 at 11:43 pm

Garth, does XIU pay dividend? If not, then this strategy have not worked for the past ten years. Do you know if there is an ETF which tracks the Canadian banks or TSX 60 which pays dividends? Thanks.

#19 Foggy on 11.11.11 at 11:44 pm

Quote from 26 yr old:

“It’s different now,” he said, “way worse. There are no decent jobs, all university gave me was debt and what am I supposed to live on? Here I’m getting fed, have my space, come and go as I want, and the price is right. Why the hell should I leave?”

How about self-respect, Facebooker?

When we were approaching the age of 21, we could’t wait until we got out and had our own place. Freedom! As far as a job was concerned, anything would do. You had to start somewhere. Then you got a better job, better place (renting) and maybe your first car. And so on…That was the simple plan for all of us. Nowhere were thoughts of buying a house. Realistically that would only happen many years in the future when you had a well-paying steady job of some sort.
And for most of us, that’s the way it went.

#20 Joe Q. on 11.11.11 at 11:49 pm

Garth writes: “ETFs are index funds. And cheaper. — Garth”

I am referring to bank index funds like TD e-Series. The MER of the TD e-Series Canadian Index fund is 0.32%, a little higher than the 0.17% of the ETF you mentioned Garth, but still far lower than the actively managed funds.

The advantage with the e-Series is that there is no commission to buy or sell, and setting up a monthly purchase is dead easy. I would think that a beginning investor with a relatively small amount of money to invest would be eaten alive by commissions in a monthly ETF purchase setup, because the “discount” part of discount brokerages usually doesn’t kick in until you have a good chunk of money invested (generally $50k or so). It is hard to fathom paying $15-$20 per month in ETF commissions if you’re a student investing $150-200 per month anyway. Best to save the ETFs for later.

#21 disciple on 11.11.11 at 11:56 pm

It’s the BPA in the plastic baby bottles and canned foods and drinking water and fluoride (rat poison). Hormone disruptors and intelligence inhibitors. The well-crafted science of stupidity, your real rulers have succeeded immensely. Those damned elders and their protocols.

#22 Stinky the Fish on 11.11.11 at 11:58 pm

I’m thinking more and more young people are getting into home ownership in Canada which can attribute some of the boom in the last decade. Oh ya, ultra low interest rates, loosening lending requirement and numerous other things can also be the cause

Does anyone have new data on home ownership rates for different age groups? I don’t think young people are “prudent” these days. My friends at least are the complete opposite.

As for the future of RE, our decrepit, weak and pathetic (no offense Garth) baby boomers are going to contribute and prolong the bust of the RE cycle. It will sting a bit, so make sure to load up on pampers, my boomer friends.

On a side note, the boomers are going to need the diapers when they realize their house is worth -35% of what it is valued today. They’ll be crapping their pants for weeks in shock that it happened

#23 Jeff in Victoria on 11.12.11 at 12:08 am

So this young man has two degrees and can’t find a decent job. I am hearing it more and more, young folks in late 20’s and early 30’s just can’t quite decide what they want to do with their lives even though there are decent jobs still out there. I often wonder what is taught in high school these days or what guidance and encouragement the young folks are getting at home. We know that young people aren’t being taught about finances, investing and such, that is quite obvious. I am also left to wonder what career guidance they are being given. Rather than just going to university and pursue a degree in an interesting subject and hope there will be a job at the end of it, would it not make better sense to first find out what decent jobs actually do exist out there and pursue the education that one needs in order to get one. Same goes for the income that jobs can provide. It is usually recommended that someone not do a job just for the income it provides and I totally agree, but I think young people should be first encouraged to decide what kind of lifestyle that they would like to have, the income required to support it and then find out what jobs can actually provide them with that, find one of them that really interests them and fast track their education to get one, if after they are working in that chosen field, their interest changes then go after that new direction with same effort. The point is don’t wait around for that perfect job to come along, do something and be ready to change direction, the world will change and isn’t going to wait around for you.

#24 Devore on 11.12.11 at 12:16 am

I remember I first began investing with a savings account, and then with Canada Savings Bonds. Investing with a brokerage account seemed foolish then as the fees would have equalled or exceeded any returns I could have made.

That’s exactly the problem those with very limited means face: even at $9.99 a trade from a discount broker, a single transaction cost represents a very hefty portion of your investment money. Then you have to leave your position, which costs money again. If you have $100 a month to invest, what can you possibly do with it? No wonder people turn to [email protected] who will put monthly it into a mutual fund that does not charge any transaction fees.

What can such a person do except dump the money into orange guy’s shorts?

#25 Ronaldo on 11.12.11 at 12:20 am

That is great advice to any young person Garth. When my sons were 13 and 14 they both had jobs after school and weekends and made very good money for that time. But, they were blowing it faster than they earned it. I decided that I would have to do something to get them to start saving so I talked to the credit union manager, who knew both of them, and I asked if he would give them a loan to buy RSP’s. He said, “send them down.”

My pitch was that they could get a tax deduction and pay basically no tax and that got their attention. Of course at their tax rate, the savings were not that much but the intent was to get them saving and this way they would be forced to make the payments.

They both went for it. Each borrowed $4000. We then opened up an account with a very well known Financial Services company in Vancouver and purchased a good variety of mutual funds.

As well, we opened up a trading account with TD and purchased shares in various companies. The idea was to have them become familiar with the markets and in particular the use of leverage. By the time the oldest got out of BCIT, he had $20m in his account. The other a bit less. They each paid half their schooling from working at summer jobs and I covered the other half and graduated with no student debt.

The oldest used the RSP under the homebuyer plan for downpayment on his first house at age 22. Today, both have their own businesses, both very wealthy and only 39 and 40. They have both thanked me for those teachings early in their life.

#26 Mister Obvious on 11.12.11 at 12:22 am

#19 Foggy

That’s precisely what I would have said. In fact, what I have said many times. But you might as well conserve your energy old boy, nobody in their twenties gives a rat’s ass how we came up. Just as I put little stock in the “back-in-my-day” blather of my father and his contemporaries, the young pup from Toronto will need to find heartbreak and redemption along his own path.

#27 BPOE on 11.12.11 at 12:22 am

Folks, the game plans for Canadians living in Vancouver is simple
1. You cannot afford to live here
2. Max out your RRSP
3. Your refund from your RRSP goes into your TFSA not vice versa as suggested
4. Any additional refund monies goes into your kids RESP
5. No kids no problem put the refund from the RRSP against any debts you have

#28 piker on 11.12.11 at 12:22 am

What do you think about Claymore’s pre-authorized contribution plan to buy CDZ, CPD and CYH?

It sucks that the online brokers of the big banks (CIBC excluded) have colluded to block this fantastic service. It’s too bad that Claymore’s MERs are so high, and that they will be killed when Vanguard finally starts trading.

Also, have any of the other online brokers besides Itrade introduced commission free etf trades?

#29 Stefan on 11.12.11 at 12:29 am

XIU has been in a downtrend since March. Holding anything long term will get eaten away by inflation. Anyone long should consider some insurance. I bought some jan dia puts today. Let’s see if the dow can hold above the 200ma for more then 3 days.

#30 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 11.12.11 at 12:30 am


Garth’s suggestion of ETFs is a good one. But actually, in the first few years fees are not a big concern. So it won’t matter really if it is mutual fund, index fund or ETF.

Here’s why.

Imagine $200 per month saved, or $2400 per year.

Even if the fee were 3% that would be $72 on $2400.

At the end of the second year he would have roughly $4800plus returns less 6% or $4512, if the fee were zero he would have $4800 plus returns. (Not much different)

The point is in the early years the added savings each year DWARF both the returns and the fees.

The thing to do in the beginning is to add money as much as possible to the investment account.

Yes, big returns and low fees matter. Big returns matter more than fees.

What really matters in those first 10 years or so is to accumulate the savings, to add the new money.

Now when you got to $50k or $100k, that is more the time to worry about fees.

So yes, by all means go ETF is you can. But if nothing else use bank mutual funds and set up that automtic withdrawal.

The first key to the journey to wealth is GET STARTED. Now.

That’s why those mutual fund salesman from Investors Group are not a bad lot. Yes they charge high fees. BUT they get people saving. They keep people saving. For life.

Paying lower fees on ETFs won’t matter much if you never put any money into the ETF!

#31 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.12.11 at 12:42 am

26 living in the basement? He has found a nice comfort zone, and as long as his parents keep enabling him, he ain’t goin’ nowhere.

“There are no decent jobs, all university gave me was debt and what am I supposed to live on?” — Plus two degrees, but he does have a point.

Most of the decent- high-paying jobs have gone down ChIndia – Thailand – Bangladesh way, and as long as labor costs remain low, it is far more profitable for companies to relocate mfg. facilities, and use local labor. Throw in some goodies to keep the masses placated, the products will pour out.

Investment advice is spot on, as usual.
#3 LJ — “So much for depending on governments to be prudent…..” — Damn you’re funny!
Greece – Iran Politix and economies make strange bedfellows; Matt Taibbi loves the OWS movement; Fukushima If it bankrupts Japan, there is another to cash in all their IOU’s from the US; Merkel may not take to kindly to the US and US telling her Germany has to save the Euro. The Germans may decide to pull the plug, when they realize how much they would be on the hook for; Apparently, the UK has a very good social safety net; France One and France Two (possibly cover their butts); Eurozone Who are the ones pulling the strings, orchestrating all the turmoil and causing govts. and govt. leaders to resign? Consolidating the EU Out of chaos, order. That is what TPTB would like. Life has different ideas.

Murdoch NOTW and The Sun are Murdoch papers, and he may close The Sun as well; 4:10 clip Hard economic tyranny is here; Colorful Chart How derivatives, sovereign wealth and banking work; Slovenia, Dirty Work, Sigma Six (forerunners of Pink Floyd); Consequences of a Euro break-up, Bond Illusion, 8:58 clip Euro vomit and Generation Recession.
Somalia’s turn At some point (very soon), the west will exhaust itself through debts, civil wars and riots. Not before time; Pressurizing US pressurizing Kuwait to let more troops in (from Iraq), but Panetta warns against Iran strike; Cluster bombs Talk about a bloodthirsty govt.; Russia “Bless you, Konstantin Kosachev: I hope those in the bowels of power in DC and Tel Aviv are listening. Thinking Americans do not support such an attack at all!”; GW Yes, GW is having a major effect on the UK; Fukushima Reactor 4 with pix after explosion (not that anything can be believed from TEPCO).

Greek Soup (or coup); Vanity Better to have Hillary Clinton tell everyone what the US is planning, and Ovanity If the shoe fits . . .

#32 rental monkey on 11.12.11 at 12:42 am

True Story: Conversing with a cook (single guy), at coincidentally a Greek restaurant today and guess what? He has been pre-approved for a mortgage of 165, 000 big ones. I know that’s not a lot but in Victoria that will currently get you a (maybe) one bedroom condo. No co- sign, maybe 10% down and he was approved over the phone. Apparently, his buddy just bought and has been egging him that way too.

He’s not sure yet, because he might want to move in the next little while.

Oh and he makes between $15-$20 an hour.

Shoe shiner story of success or just a home?

#33 cool on 11.12.11 at 12:55 am

Anyone who doesnt have a TFSA is an idiot.

#34 Condo Sucker on 11.12.11 at 12:55 am

I love this advice and couldn’t agree more that for a young investor of this profile, opening a self-directed TFSA and purchasing ETF’s is the way to go.

Also agree that XIU, which mirrors the persormance of the TXS 60, is the best way to start.

Garth I do have to respectfully disgagree though with your advice to hold onto the XIU’s no matter what and not to sell. The last few years, last decade even, have convinced me that “buy and hold” is a mug’s game.

I think one will come out in way better shape by selling and harvesting significant profits (once in a while) as they occur. For instance, once the XIU reaches $20/share or so, great time to sell as that figure seems to be a resistance point of sort when you look at XIU’s persormance over the years.

#35 nonplused on 11.12.11 at 1:02 am

“But above all, try. At 19 there is no fail.” – Garth

That’s good advice Garth ghost writer. (No mention of personal lube, so I can tell every time.) But I don’t think today’s youth are any different than yesterday’s youth.

A couple of years ago I put in a gravel pad, which required a couple hours with a bobcat, some fill hauled away and some gravel spread out. The only guy who I could get to do it came in the evening with his own bobcat after his day gig was over. He got a friend of his to do the hauling. They both had new equipment. And they both turned out to be mid-twenties. They both also turned out to be immigrants, but hey, the price was good and nobody else would do it.

I’ve also worked with plenty of new grads who are smart as a whip, work hard all day long (unlike us old guys who read Greater Fool at work instead), and are highly motivated. Mind you these are engineers and business grads mostly.

How old was that Mark Zuckerburg when he started Facebook? And what about those guys from Google?

But it is true that a great many students are wasting their time in Social Sciences or Humanities, and coming out with good for nothing degrees. Oh well, at least they know how to vote the socialist agenda.

A wise man once said “The first thing a young man has got to do is get himself some money.” For most people, that is going to mean getting a good job. So don’t go to school unless you have some idea how that degree is going to pay you back. Get a job working rigs in Northern Alberta for a few years. You can easily pocket $100,000 a year. Saving $100 a month isn’t going to do it.

If you are going to go to school, consider a trade. If it must be university for you, for Christmas’ sake get a degree that has a future. We don’t need any more sociology majors.

I was reading just the other day that someone put together a study comparing which degrees are most popular vs. which ones paid the most. Low and behold, students got it all backwards. They enrol on mass in degrees with no future, and shun the degrees that lead to income. One of the least favourite? Petroleum engineering. Ok, guess who makes the most now? (On just a bachelor’s degree, we’ll leave doctors and lawyers out for now.)

It’s a sad fact that the majority of university graduates are worse off for having gone to school, being deeply in debt, 4 years behind their peers, and inappropriately trained when they do hit the workforce. And it’s doubly sad because the universities, colleges, and technical schools are in fact offering very valuable programs. The kids just don’t sign up for them.

I’m even having trouble with my own daughter. Straight “A” student, in the 10-20-30 path. Not one of the new “straight A in the remedial math program” students, but one who actually gets it. She wants to study anthropology. She is good looking and fit though, so maybe there is hope she’ll marry rich.

#36 Observer on 11.12.11 at 1:05 am

I’m constantly surprised at the conservativism of youth now.

You have to admit Garth, that many grown-ups haven’t exactly been good role models to instill confidence in our young people. Especially in the world of finance. Real estate allowed to go nuts. Banks going under. Countries going bankrupt. “Too big to fail”. Doing business with (losing jobs to) communist dictatorships. Free enterprise is part of what our brave men and women died for and too many leaders are still finding ways to screw it up.

#37 Devore on 11.12.11 at 1:11 am

I challenge anyone to decipher this logic:

Toronto condo prices will not be going down because:

1. Pre-sale contracts are signed.
2. Previous buyers will be selling to capture gains, and they will not sell for less.

I am pretty sure Don Campbell was alive when condos were sucking wind last decade, and again the decade before, and he was certainly alive, but perhaps unconscious, when more recently the condo market in Florida and Vegas, both infinitely more robust than Toronto, cratered, and no amount of contracts was stopping the fall.

#38 EJ on 11.12.11 at 1:18 am

Want to coax people back into the stock market? Then start prosecuting the fraudsters, get rid of the HFT scammers, replace the current batch of SEC deadwood with honest regulators, end the bailouts, and force mark-to-market accounting.

In short, bring some law and order back and confidence will follow.

#39 Amarillo on 11.12.11 at 1:20 am

The day after I graduated grade 12, I was hitch-hiking across Canada. Woke up with dew on my face from sleeping in a ditch too close to Niagra Falls.

Hitched rides on freight trains where there were too many other hitch-hikers. You have to ride the third engine (right in the cab) because jumping on a flatcar is suicide with a pack on your back and your legs swinging underneath.

Once when I was hitch-hiking, an OPP cop pulled over to tell me not to hitch-hike on the freeway. ‘Sure, I said, would you mind giving me a ride to wherever you’re going?’ With a surprised look on his face, the cop said yes, get in. We were young and sassy and creative.

I was on the road for six weeks and didn’t call home once.

Slept in my car for a period while framing apartment buildings in Calgary in the 70’s while saving money for accomodations. What a blast being young, feisty and free.

I don’t see a lot of young people doing that kind of stuff stuff anymore but maybe they still are. Smoking Man is right, some young men these days do talk softly in an almost feminine way. Maybe it’s the feminized, unionized and politically-correct schools most kids are raised in. I send my kids to a private school where teacher unions are not welcome.

I was raised by WWII vets though. A lot of young people these days are raised by soft baby boomers, maybe that’s it.

#40 Tim on 11.12.11 at 1:39 am

Index funds generally don’t do as well as a diversified portfolio of stocks, as the best performing stocks in the index can only represent a certain percentage of the index fund, you therefore limit your gains on the best performing stocks. When you have as little as 35-30K you can buy two of the best performing stocks from each of the five major sectors of the economy and you will do just fine.

Worst advice ever. — Garth

#41 cxcroney on 11.12.11 at 1:46 am

My next older brother slummed with my mother until he was 35. He always took the easy route, taking 7 years to get a 3 year degree, borrowing money from my sister for his 1st wedding and then declaring bankruptsy,and always expecting to start at the top of the ladder at any job when he would get off his butt to work. My mother cried with joy in front of me when he finally moved out. No more having to share her smokes. He disowned his 3 other siblings when mother died and he didn’t get her entire 10,000 dollar estate. Twenty years later I wish him well, I guess.

#42 on 11.12.11 at 1:47 am

Total victim mentality, there are tons of decent jobs in the world but sometimes ya gotta leave the comfort zone to get em. Career success is 20 % what you know 80 how you get along with others and work it. The degrees open doors, sometimes doors with big prizes behind them. Quit whining.

#43 Occupy Everything on 11.12.11 at 1:51 am

The drunk driving thing has come up in Alberta, and Alison Redford is going to crack down hard on people who are technically below the legal limit.

Now, we can go into long arguments about what this means to the entertainment industry as people can’t order wine with dinner at restaurants and beer sales dry up at the Saddledome, but these arguments miss the point.

The point is the purpose of the law, the implementation of the law, and the effects of the implementation on actually altering behaviour.

A bad law runs the risk of being ignored.

For an example of a good driving law I would like to look at speeding. Let’s say you have a fellow travelling by a speed trap at 90 kph in an 80 zone (I chose this limit intentionally). Mot times the police officer will not even pull that car over, he has his hand full dealing with far larger transgressions than that. To pull the 90 kph guy over means due to resource limitations the 100 kph plus guys might scoot by while he isn’t at the laser gun.

Now what happens as speeders increase their speed. Well, progressively higher speeds mean progressively higher punishment, as it should. The guy going through the 80 kph zone at 160 kph is probably going to loose his licence, as well he should. Going 160 in an 80 zone means you are clearly a hazard on the road.

So what happens if you get pulled over at 0.081% going 81 kph in an 80 kph zone. Well, you won’t get a speeding ticket. But they will ruin your life.

On the other hand, if you are at 0.05% and going 160 kph in an 80 kph zone, you might not even loose your licence if you don’t have any points.

Everyone will have there own opinion, but I think the guy doing 160 is just as dangerous as the guy at 0.16%. And the guy at 0.08% is probably no more dangerous than the guy at 80 kph (providing he is also at 80 kph.

I agree with stiff penalties for drunk drivers. But let’s put some rationality in it. There is no sense destroying the lives of people who are not dangerous. Let’s focus on the folks who are above the legal limit, and make the punishment commensurate to the crime. You can’t treat a guy who is at 0.081% the same as a guy who is at 0.16% the same, and ruin both of them with equal measure. If you do, the law will be seen as arbitrary, and the population will ignore it. It’ll have all the sparkle of a long gun registry. Treat law abiding citizens and criminals the same, and we will all act like criminals.

The only possible excuses for not being reasonable is that Alison intends either a new source of revenue, or to try prohibition again.

PS. Vote Wild Rose.

#44 on 11.12.11 at 2:20 am

re the coop kid… Keep positive the messages may not play out today but the day will come when the kid ‘does the right thing’, at which point he will look back and give thanks for the good advice he received. Best advice I got from a mentor…don’t gossip.

#45 Doctor Strange Glove on 11.12.11 at 2:34 am

Why do we deny you your “Keystone” pipeline? Why indeed. After ze successful operation against Iran, we will have plenty of oil. Ze Iranian oil will be much cheaper, given that the cost of war is a sunk cost. We have ze army, we must use it. We will get to ze tar sands after we have expropriated ze Middle East oil.

#46 debtified on 11.12.11 at 2:40 am

I wish I had the same advice when I was 19.

Garth, I am yet to hear you err on the side of caution when it comes to the equity market. I agree with you that a lot of stocks are trading at around 20% discount these days but I also believe that it is going to get worse before it gets better. You are quite bullish on the equity market as you are bearish on the real estate market. Eventually you are going to be right. However, what’s wrong with taking “shelter” and avoid the coming equity crash? There will be one. The cost of borrowing will continue to rise until one (a person, company or country) cannot continue to borrow anymore. The ensuing debt deleveraging will hurt even the best of companies (just like someone who is financially sound but surrounded by repossessed homes).

How about a post about companies that can weather the debt storm the best?


#47 Jane on 11.12.11 at 2:48 am

#15 The thing in the basement on 11.11.11 at 11:34 pm

“9 Jane – Can you come by and help me get rid of “The thing in the basement”?”

Change the locks. Sell. Move. Have some self respect and in doing so set the example for your grown kids.

#48 debtified on 11.12.11 at 2:53 am

#17 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.11.11 at 11:42 pm

Dammit – I listened to Smoking Man and went all-in on Yellow Media!

You went all-in?

I started my bet @ 0.75 on commons. I doubled down @ 2.25 on Preferred Ds. It’s been an exciting gamble and I still have a significant amount of chips on my stack. I’ll let it ride. Feels better than buying an expensive car.

I like Garth’s suggestion: XIU. It’s a safe bet.

#49 Aussie Roy on 11.12.11 at 2:54 am

Aussie Update

BPOE one from China

The Waning of China’s Real Estate Industry – Video

INTEREST rates will be cut three times between now and mid-2012, but do not expect that to arrest falling house prices or to stimulate the construction industry.

Buyers with household incomes from $60,000 to $105,000 can go into a ballot to buy a house-and-land package, under the $30 million initiative known as My Place.

Top end bubble has burst but still along way to go. Buyers encouraged to catch a falling knife.

FINANCIALLY distressed property listings and mortgagee sales are attracting cashed-up buyers looking for bargains, particularly for prestige properties.


Euro zone sovereign debt is the new subprime

#50 Peter Goesinya on 11.12.11 at 4:01 am

Maximum CPP contributions

1990 28,900 2,800 574.20
1991 30,500 3,000 632.50
1992 32,200 3,200 696.00
1993 33,400 3,300 752.50
1994 34,400 3,400 806.00
1995 34,900 3,400 850.50
1996 35,400 3,500 893.20
1997 35,800 3,500 969.00
1998 36,900 3,500 1,068.80
1999 37,400 3,500 1,186.50
2000 37,600 See NOTE 1 below 1,329.90
2001 38,300 See NOTE 1 below 1,496.40
2002 39,100 See NOTE 1 below 1,673.20
2003 39,900 See NOTE 1 below 1,801.80
2004 40,500 See NOTE 1 below 1,831.50
2005 41,100 See NOTE 1 below 1,861.20
2006 42,100 See NOTE 1 below 1,910.70
2007 43,700 See NOTE 1 below 1,989.90
2008 44,900 See NOTE 1 below 2,049.30
2009 46,300 See NOTE 1 below 2,118.60
2010 47,200 See NOTE 1 below 2,163.15
2011 48,300 See NOTE 1 below 2,217.60

#51 bromance on 11.12.11 at 4:18 am

I am that guy, only I’m 53, and haven’t had a real job since 1986. I have 3 engineering degrees, and basically rake leaves. All I can say to him is get the hell out of there: Its a one way ticket to Palookaville. After a while, he won’t be useful to anyone-especially himself. And then that day comes when he’ll realize that he will never really accomplish anything worthwhile. The inviting arms of safety are like chloroform.

#52 From kits on 11.12.11 at 4:58 am

the 26 year old is lazy not conservative about risk..big difference.

capitalism gives you not what you want but what you deserve and he’s getting a good dose for his lazy, bum of my parents attitude. Hope they kick him out

#53 Aussie Roy on 11.12.11 at 5:51 am

Aussie Update

Auction stock rising clearance rates stuck around 50%.

Next weekend the REIV expects around 815 auctions and 1045 on the last weekend in the month.

•Last weekend: 576 auctions, clearance rate of 50 per cent
•This weekend: 850 auctions
•This weekend last year: 921 auctions, clearance rate of 59 per cent
•This weekend 2009: 772 auctions, clearance rate of 81 per cent{0CD94D30-874E-4DAE-BEFB-D7703B02948F}&title=Auction%20preview%2012%20and%2013%20November

Go on, catch that falling knife, you know you want to – LOL.

#54 Ben on 11.12.11 at 6:26 am

Leveraged ETF’s are not a savings vehicle, there a momentum trading vehicle that decay over time.

Where did I say leveraged? — Garth

#55 bigrider on 11.12.11 at 8:03 am

ETF’s are heavily traded and are adding to the volatility we see in the markets over past few years.

Add to the fact that you can invest in ETF’s that short and volatillity goes up once again.

And why can you buy a financial instrument that shorts anyway? I guess we have all been conditioned to accept the fact that shorting is philosophically OK ,I would argue maybe not.

I would like to short RE in Canada…my neighbors house for instance…after all ,I can short my neighbors company (RIM) . Anyone create an ETF for that yet? (sarcasm)

Whatever happened to investing, security selection, stock picking?

Keep that in mind as you plow money into ETF ‘s.

Ultimately, we are just slugging baskets of securties back and forth to each other..madness I say.

Full disclosure, I use ETF’s in addition to other.

#56 allister on 11.12.11 at 8:43 am

#18 Unistar38 on 11.11.11 at 11:43 pm

CPD = Bank preferreds with a income

ZWB = banks with excitement

Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns

#57 Incubus on 11.12.11 at 9:05 am

“Twenty-six, he has two degrees”

What kind of degrees: fine art?, sociology?, etc

I am pretty sure it is not in engineering, accounting, medicine, etc!

#58 Joe on 11.12.11 at 9:13 am

Be careful what you invest in. There are some banks like BMO selling Mutual Funds but passing them off as ETFs (calling them ETF Funds or something similar).

#59 Jake on 11.12.11 at 9:22 am

Garth, you really need to highlight Joe Q’s post #20. It is the ONLY logical way to start off your savings as it’s true that the trading commissions will destroy any returns for new accounts with very low amounts of money going in regularly.

#60 disciple on 11.12.11 at 9:43 am

I’ll be out of country this week on vacation, I know you’ll all miss me… Had to drop by James Snow and 401 to pick up a couple of items from friends, flying out this afternoon. So here I am, just shy of 9am in Milton on a Saturday, not a creature is stirring in these subdivisions, there was one taxi driver returning home to his 3000 sq foot house with a driveway with one car’s length of space. Nice lawn, though, sod must’ve been lain this summer.

#61 jocelan on 11.12.11 at 9:46 am

Garth, in my opinion, the best piece (of advice) you’ve ever written. I plan to print it and give it to anyone young, and smart enough to listen. Really well done. JT

#62 wtf????? on 11.12.11 at 9:54 am

The ‘entitlement generation’ needs a stiff boot in the a*s thats all. This kid you mention has been spoiled so much that he’s been robbed of his imagination……tough love is what he needs to reboot his mindless funk.

Mommy and Daddy coddle a kid through two degree’s and don’t guide him into the idea that he needs ‘a saleable skill’? Thats just stupid plus stupid equals moronic.

A history degree and a degree in anthropology add up to a waste of time. What planet are these people from…..they bitch because they can’t get the perfect job paying what they think they’re worth? I wouldn’t have any use for any of these people in a car detailing shop…..they obviously have no skills except as wankers who know how to waste time.

Unfortunatley we have these idiots parents who work in government jobs aplenty……making huge dough…raping the taxpayer for disgusting amounts pension money…..this is where the kids learned how to be parasites.

Unless your academic encevour has a vocational someone will actually pay you to be around….them quit school now and save yourself the grief. Heroin is cheaper than two degrees worth of student loans…… at least the dealer won’t trick you into carrying a lifetime of interest bearing stupidity.

#63 Willa on 11.12.11 at 10:13 am

It’s too easy to dismiss an entire generation of boomerang kids as being lazy. Sure, there are lazy ones, but that’s not the whole picture.

Maybe the 100-year-old industrial-era trend of people leaving home at age 18 is over, and we’re heading back to the old way — families staying together for life. I’m Italian, and extended family is the old norm in my culture.

We have two young teenagers, and we fully expect them to boomerang. It’s foolish not to plan on it. So we’ve laid out the terms. The arrangement has to provide as many benefits to us as it does to them, or there’s no deal.

BTW both my kids have investment portfolios with a broker, they’ve both taken a summer program on investing, and both have their own small businesses. One is 13, and the other is 15.

There are many ways to grow up.

#64 Regan on 11.12.11 at 10:26 am

Well, these posts are a collection of how much better we were back in the day…
Who are we giving advice to here? The co-op student who is being required to work for free ‘for the experience’ just to finish school and has the smarts to cut through the crap and ask a mentor how to get ahead? He’s got it figured. Or the 26 year old who works part-time and is a) not buying overpriced real-estate and b) found a cheap (probably free) place to live, probably while paying off student loans? Also seems to have a basic grasp on economics. The only thing to add there is that the golf course kid hasn’t figured out what the co-op kid has – spending too much in a joe job does NOT get you ahead these days. Work mobility is insanely limited and young people are expected to work for free for several years before they can get a decent paying job (entry level jobs have basically disappeared from the workplace). We smart grownups somehow decided it was okay to saddle 20 year old with decades of debt and employers’ neverending demand for free labour so they are financially immobilized well into their late 20s. It’s arrogant for us to complain that the kids have ‘failed to launch’ when we’re the ones who designed a twenty year ramp before they’re allowed to enter the workforce. They don’t task risks because it’s punished. By us. And I agree with Garth, we all die a little when young people can’t rattle the cage a bit and make us wake up. Hm. Remind me to go take some coffee to the Occupy protestors…

#65 avenirv on 11.12.11 at 10:31 am

Stinky the Fish and others.

it is curious/interesting how the actual youngsters hate their parents (see all babyboomers comments).
or, maybe i do not realize that, they are not born from a mother and/or father.

#66 SLN on 11.12.11 at 10:36 am

I have to laugh at all the old white guys telling people what they should be doing. Old Canadian White Guys are perhaps the most sheltered and privileged bunch of folks the world has ever known and they can’t see it. Take away any one of those characteristics and you’d have a more realistic view of the world.
Young = knowledge of the new economy
non-Canadian = some understanding that this country is bubble wrapped
non-white = has faced discrimination
non-“guy” = a whole other way of having to navigate planet earth.

Just calling it like I see it.

Like a prejudiced, racist, ageist? — Garth

#67 Hashnugs Inthebong on 11.12.11 at 10:46 am

I held XIU for a year, but sold it. 2 years ago when EAT dropped their dividend payout and the heard was selling I went all in for 10K in that as it pays 8%. The mutual fund seller at RBC laughed at me, told me I was putting up too much risk with my money. Fast forward to Oct, in the 2 years of dividend reinvestment in EAT, I hold 20% more shares then I initially purchased, and CARA foods comes in and ofers to buy EAT for a 40% premium then its current market value with EAT doing a onetime 25 cent per share last dividend payment. Who’s laughing now mutual fund seller? Moral of the story is No Brain No Headache.

#68 TurnerNation on 11.12.11 at 10:58 am

Anyone in the GTA paying greater than 300-350k for a slightly used ~2000 sq foot two storey cookie cutter subdivision home, with mini lot, is overpaying.
We need a return to 2002 prices!

Here’s one for 344k posted earlier on this weblog:

Problem is, it’s in Barrie!

#69 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 11:00 am

#6 Seven Stars and Orion
You should have waited until 11 minutes and 11 seconds after 11, for an even greater effect.kaboom!
Who knows what might have happened? Anyway 11 11 11 passed w/o any major event. what a letdown. :)

#70 T.O. Bubble Boy on 11.12.11 at 11:11 am

Is Vancouver about to see an influx of RE agents?

Beijing revoked the qualifications of 477 real estate enterprises, as prices of new housing fell 5.1% in October.

I don’t see “Realtor” on the list of 29 occupations in the skilled worker program, so maybe people will be out of luck (unless they are millionaires).

#71 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 11:15 am

stood in line to see the Immortals last night.(great movie, 3D gave us both a headache) We were by far the oldest people in line, except for the daddy with his twenty something son. But I couldn’t help but wonder as I listened to their silly lingo and what-not, what kind of future is brewing for these young guys. I’m sure most of them are still attached at the hip of mom and dad.

#72 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 11:16 am

51 bromance on 11.12.11 at 4:18 am

I am that guy, only I’m 53, and haven’t had a real job since 1986. I have 3 engineering degrees, and basically rake leaves. All I can say to him is get the hell out of there: Its a one way ticket to Palookaville. After a while, he won’t be useful to anyone-especially himself. And then that day comes when he’ll realize that he will never really accomplish anything worthwhile. The inviting arms of safety are like chloroform.


1st you were foolish to not have carved out a life for yourself.
2nd, well now you are stupid for knowing it and not adapting to pursue happiness.

Make a move, take a chance and start living!!

There is no God, no heaven… there will be no second life.

Buy a nice car, go work out, get an interesting a job and go meet some women.

If you can’t do it on your own, get some help.

#73 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 11:21 am

Makes me wonder how we can expect the youngsters to make an honest go of it, while those at the very top are making out like thieves, draining the treasuries of the world. We are in different world now, boys and girls.

#74 Tony on 11.12.11 at 11:25 am

Risk is all about doing the right thing and minimizing risk. Right now there isn’t anything much more risky than being long stocks. There’s an old adage that goes like “when in doubt stay out”. If people can’t see the writing on the wall and go short stocks for the next 3 to 5 years then meet halfway and preserve your capital. Best case scenario is short the market indexes and go long stocks in equal amounts this takes risk out of the equation and will put your stock picking skills to the test. If you like stocks probably the only place to be long is the Canadian venture exchange as it hasn’t been pumped to triple or quad true market values like the TSX and the DOW.

Amateur market timers usually end up as road kill. — Garth

#75 Tony on 11.12.11 at 11:48 am

29 Stefan on 11.12.11 at 12:29 am

Buy more puts around January the 4th next year and if the market hasn’t fallen 20 percent or more by mid-April double up on the position. The market will probably push for the rest of this year. You’ll probably break even on your puts.

#76 Kilby on 11.12.11 at 11:52 am

Is XIU an ETF or a mutual fund? Are they the same? Do you need to buy a minimum like 100 shares or can you buy smaller amounts?

#77 John on 11.12.11 at 11:54 am

Better yet, trade mutual funds. No commissions and no load are easy to find, but the expense is taken from the asset value over time in the form of slightly lower returns. Therefore, buy low, sell high. If you’re not sure when to buy/sell, “buy when it snows, sell when it goes.” Seasonal approach. Works well with diversified portfolio.

#78 Devil's Advocate on 11.12.11 at 11:57 am

If markets crash, buy more. Never panic and don’t sell. You have decades to weather the storms and ride the advances. Fearless, smart young people buy when their parents are terrified. – Garth

The same could be said of real estate.

A buyers’ market should be just that – a buyers’ market. It is not a fence-sitting, waiting, loitering, delaying, dawdling, postponing, vacillating, hesitating, wavering, faltering, pausing, foot –shuffling market. It’s a buyers’ market. By its very name it means buyers should be doing one thing and one thing only – buying. So where are the buyers and why aren’t they buying?

The great irony of a buyers’ market is that even though the opportunity to buy is high, buyer urgency tends to hit an all-time low. The media becomes the excited purveyor of negative news and uniformed advice, and buyers buy it all. Actually, it feels like the only thing they’re buying. Their reluctance is ironic since not so long ago buyers were incredibly excited about buying – and it was a sellers’ market. Prices were escalating and it was perhaps one of the most difficult times to buy value and yet people were buying like there was no tomorrow. Buyers were afraid of losing out by not buying even though the advantage was all to the seller. Now a shift has occurred and it’s a true buyers’ market and what happens? Fear is still in the driver’s seat but the tables are turned – the fear of paying too much seems to stop most in their tracks and immobilizes them. When they should have been afraid of paying too much they weren’t and now that they shouldn’t be afraid of paying too much they are. It’s one of the greatest paradoxical moments of any market and the herd instinct at it most pure. Reluctance in the face of great opportunity becomes an agonizingly defining characteristic of a shift.


In a shift buyers can easily lose sight of the primary reasons driving their home purchase – a different neighbourhood, a better school district, proximity to work or recreation, a different floor plan, more space – and become hyperfocused on price and price alone. With so many homes for sale, too many potential buyers buy into the biggest myth of a shift – they think that they can time the market. Believing in this myth results in a false sense that the buyer has all the time in the world. This fixation on finding “the greatest deal ever” clouds their thinking and causes many to miss out on the great deals that are possible.

There are two types of buyers in regards to timing. There are those who believe they can time the market and there are those who believe timing will find them. The ones who believe in timing believe that they can come in and out of the market and always time it to make the best possible buying and selling decisions. The ones who thing the opposite believe that if you just always stay in the market then timing will simply find you. History supports the latter – it says that if you’re always in the market actively paying attention, although you may never sell at the highest peak or buy at the absolute bottom, you can buy right and always do well over time. Logic says that you can’t predictably time the market to be able to buy at the absolute bottom and sell at the absolute top.

Timers are waiters – those who wait for prices to come down. If the market has dropped then prices are down. Waiters will wonder if they are as low as they’ll go. The problem is that no one can know this until prices are already headed back up. So, then the real question a waiter should be asking is “if prices have already significantly dropped is it safe to buy now?” … The only way they’ll ever know is the market has bottomed is after it has started back up and the only way they’ll know the market has peaked is after it has started back down.

A buyer cannot perfectly time the market – on one can. They can look at indicators that will point out the direction in which a market is going and they can absolutely mark how far it has fallen or risen, but after that the only way to know a market has bottomed or topped out is after it has. In other words perfect timing is luck. The smartest people know this and the smartest money never goes looking for it. They play in the safe zone.

You know the market has bottomed out when it starts back up and you know the market has peaked when it starts back down. The safe zone is where smart people plan to buy and sell. Anyone who buys at the top of a market is just unlucky and anyone who buys at the bottom of a market is just lucky.

People who buy in a buyers’ market are the smart ones. They’re buying in a safe zone and living in the area of certainty. They’re not unrealistic and they’re not greedy. They know they can’t predict the end of a bust, but they can see when a market has fallen considerably. They can’t see the end of the speed at which it will climb afterward so they focus on what they can count on.

People who attempt to predict the bottom in a buyers’ market are essentially undecided while wondering, “Have we hit bottom yet?” The real buyers in a buyers’ market aren’t trying to predict the floor but are just trying to buy smart. They aren’t looking for a killing because they know that’s a matter of luck not planning. They know they could just as easily miss it as hit it. They’re looking for a sound decision with a predictable result and therefore ask the question: “Has the market dropped enough now to make a sensible purchase?” More often than not, when they’re asking this question they are already in the safe zone and the answer is yes. These are the real buying in a buyers’ market. – Garry KellerSHIFT – How To Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times.

Anyone seeking a better understanding of the real estate market and business would be well advised to pick up a copy of this book. I can think of none better for buyers, sellers and agents alike. (BTW I had to type that excerpt for a business article anyway so thought I’d post it here being so timely).

#79 TaxHaven on 11.12.11 at 12:07 pm

TFSAs make no sense unless you have a regular, salaried JOB.

Which more and more of us don’t. We’re unemployed, underemployed, low-paid part-timers, students, retired without pension schemes, perma-travelling, homeless, retired on minimal income, living on savings, on government assistance or under-the-table self-employed.

THAT’S the real Canada. Look more closely…these tax wheezes only work for the few.

Tax-sheltered growth makes sense for anyone. — Garth

#80 Devil's Advocate on 11.12.11 at 12:13 pm

I often give a copy of the book to my clients. It helps them understand and deal with this market. SHIFT…

#81 detalumis on 11.12.11 at 12:15 pm

I thought the kid in the basement was a recent phenomenon until I moved into my 1960 bungalow surrounded by 80+ parents. There are actually three 45-50+ year old “boys” that never moved out, that’s just in my immediate area of 20 odd homes. I never met one woman who did this though, it seems a male trait. One of them ended up knocking up a nanny and yes the 85+ mother supports the whole brood as well. All the parents are relatively well off so maybe it was a “class” thing back then; I grew up in a white-trash neighbourhood and it was unheard of: everybody moved out ASAP.

#82 MarcFromOttawa on 11.12.11 at 12:18 pm

Garth had a great post on October 2nd called Risk Management which first piqued my interest in XIU.

The post was great timing since the ETF was at a 52 week low at the time. There was another good buying opportunity this Thursday.

Those who claim commission fees are too high or that the stock market hasn’t gone anywhere in 10 years obviously haven’t done their research.

#83 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.12.11 at 12:21 pm

#45 Doctor Strange Glove on 11.12.11 at 2:34 am

You’re obviously not from Alberta. It’s called “oil sands”.
The rest of your post is also garbage.
Bored are you?

#84 Ben on 11.12.11 at 12:31 pm

Here’s a June list of Index, Sector, Commodity, Currency, Fixed Income and Volatility ETF’s

#85 MarcFromOttawa on 11.12.11 at 12:33 pm

#76 Kilby

You can purchase XIU.TO on an exchange through a broker (this is what makes it an ETF). You can not purchase mutual funds on a stock exchange.

#86 rosie on 11.12.11 at 12:34 pm

I watched the doc zone suck fest. Poor wee lads and lassies graduating with $28000 loan debt. Let’s see, I graduated with $6600 loan debt in 1978, the price of a medium sized car back then. What does a medium sized car today cost?

#87 TBay Convert on 11.12.11 at 12:40 pm

This is the kind of prediction that keeps people thinking everything will be fine with realestate, have a look:

#88 cool on 11.12.11 at 12:43 pm

35 Nonplused,

Exactly my sentiments sir.I work with new grad engineers in Alberta and most of them are smart and motivated.Some of them are highly ambitious which is good.

#89 cool on 11.12.11 at 12:50 pm

39 Amerillo

“Smoking Man is right, some young men these days do talk softly in an almost feminine way. Maybe it’s the feminized, unionized and politically-correct schools most kids are raised in.”

Amerillo, its not because of schools but because of McDonalds food and hip-hop music.

#90 Kilby on 11.12.11 at 12:53 pm

#78 DA

Mainstream media is still reporting “hot markets” Just fringe sites like this one are preaching caution. Walked through the “Uplands” in Victoria yesterday. For sale signs everywhere, this is Victoria’s 1% neighbourhood. Apparently this group have a handle on when to do what.

#91 Mean Gene on 11.12.11 at 12:58 pm

Me thinks our 26 year old boy wonder needs to go on a working vacation, Aussie would be my choice.

Also, with two university degrees joining the Canadian Forces as an officer is an option, or maybe the Coast Guard??

#92 Sue on 11.12.11 at 12:59 pm

#21 Disciple. I totally agree with your statements. I no longer eat canned foods (BPA) and distill my water to get rid of flouride (add magnesium) to create real water for my family to drink. Throw in Aspartame and MSG (excites you neurons to death) in all processed foods and you’ve got a chemical dumbing down of society.

#93 AKatz-Oaville on 11.12.11 at 1:08 pm

I don`t see any problem with older kids living with parents, as long as both sides are happy with this arrangement, cooperate with each other and enjoy it. This is a personal/family decision and “freedom” includes the right to stay together, if they want. It also does not mean they will be less productive as professionals. They may even have more energy and time to dedicate to their profession since they can share their tasks and obligations at home.

#94 Stevenson on 11.12.11 at 1:09 pm

Why not live at home wait for the all anticipated crash and then buy?

As for the 19 yr old that would be the lame and sad way to minimum wealth for a hong canadian without options. Definitely not for everyone and especially not for people like some of us who know how to minimize high risks so they can retire by 35.

#95 torontorocks on 11.12.11 at 1:16 pm

I’m listening to Starless by King Crimson and read “at 19 there is no fail” right when these lyrics were being sung
“Ice blue silver sky
Fades into grey
To a grey hope that oh years to be
Starless and bible black”

and realized that’s one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever written….to be 19 again. with years to make up for whatever risk I could take…

#96 Daisy Mae on 11.12.11 at 1:34 pm

Jocelan – “I plan to print it and give it to anyone young, and smart enough to listen.”


I just e-mailed the advice to my oldest daughter — two of my grandkids are just entering the workforce. Hope they take heed!

#97 Deano on 11.12.11 at 1:35 pm

For those of you who think that financial literacy is not taught in high schools you are not entirely correct. It has been part of the curriculum for quite some time in Ontario. Teachers are free to address it how they wish. I certainly do quite a lot of it in some of the high school courses I teach.

You’ll be finding some major changes in this area in the near future. Love ’em or hate ’em (or anything in between I suppose), the Liberals are pushing this in schools. I for one have used Garth’s blog as a big inspiration for what I teach my students. Most of them appreciate the fact that I’m giving them an alternate viewpoint to what many of their parents tell them. I had one student say the other day “you’re an idiot if you rent, you’re just paying someone else’s mortgage”. Daddy told her that. You see what I’m working with?

#98 BPOE on 11.12.11 at 1:37 pm

Sorry America. Canada #1 AGAIN. Towers over Switzerland. Just another in a long long list of reasons why Vancouver continues to excel. I don’t usually talk about HAM as Vancouver attracts global wealth. But one thing HAM does like is a #1 BRAND and that’s a FACT

#99 jess on 11.12.11 at 1:38 pm

This irish risk taker started with a £100 loan created £3.7bn. Misfortune followed after a series of failed secret stock market gambles. His occupied home is outside of the Republic which rules freedom in 1 over 12. Accepting ownership of a €194m bill not €2.9bn! As claimed by the formerly known private bank the rebranded (IBRC)

Lewis Smith Saturday 12 November 2011
Irish Independent

#100 Bottoms_Up on 11.12.11 at 1:38 pm

#20 Joe Q. on 11.11.11 at 11:49 pm
The e-series offer only a handful of options (less than 10 index funds I think).

Versus going with a brokerage such as Questrade, which charges less than $10 for buying anything (and you do not need a minimum amount in this account)!

So all one needs to do is save $150/mo, and in a year they can buy 100 shares of XIU. Yes they will pay around a 0.7% commission charge, but this gets paid back in dividends in less than a year anyway.

I would much rather go with a discount brokerage where I control what I own, than a bank index fund that I have no say over.

#101 Patiently Waiting on 11.12.11 at 1:40 pm

So, Garth, did you offer that kid a full-time job?

#102 Bottoms_Up on 11.12.11 at 1:40 pm

And XIU is basically the TSX60, and if you want you can buy only 1 or 2 or 10 shares of it.

#103 stage1dave on 11.12.11 at 1:43 pm

Wow…here’s a subject close to my heart right now…LMAO.

In today’s world, I sometimes think the best way for us boomers to secure our economic future is to make sure our kids get drafted in the first round. That didn’t happen, & having failed personally to win the DNA lottery, I humbly offer the following:

I grew up in Regina, although I can’t be held responsible for this. After 3 years of a paper route, got my first job when I was 15, concrete work (labourer) which frequently meant 30 hrs/wk after school & on weekends. Lasted 2 years, $3/hr. I sucked at school, anyway…

My sister & I were both told when we graduated high school, we had a “free” summer, & then we were expected to carry half the mortgage. (unless we went to university, she did, I didn’t) In 1978, that was $170 (!) Went on to being a hangar rat, 45 hrs/wk, minimum wage again. Started painting signs/pinstriping in my spare time; BS’d my way into a part-time job at a couple of van conversion joints, delivered pizza all nite to make up the shortfall, then later another bodyshop job; still minimum wage. Lost that when the shop went under in spring 1980. Got the odd cash job from a rod guy.

Then I “worked” for the Dept of Highways for 3 months…loved the slackass routine (with $7/hr pay!) hated the attitude of my co-workers. That musta showed, got let go after 3 mos. Every month when my rent wasn’t paid, mom grimaced, sometimes lectured me, always put it up on the “tab”.

Lettered a race car in Saskatoon Dec 80 on a lark; wound up meeting a signshop owner who was looking for help…moved out, spent 6 mos there, 4 years at the next. Good wages, good times. Started out not too sure of my abilities, but I was real good by the end of this sojourn.

(My mother & sister later MOVED IN WITH ME, but that’s a whole other story! I had to BOOT THEM OUT, FCS!)

My point here is: I wanted stuff, & my own life. I started my business when I was 25 (in June 85) & haven’t really looked back. Some months are better than others, but I enjoy what I do & most of the people I do it for.

Why do so many young people these days just seem to want to coast? Or have I turned into my dad? I’ve gypsied all over NA, slept in trucks & cars (because I was sometimes too broke, sometimes too damned cheap to pay $30 for 5 hrs sleep & a fuzzy TV) after working an 18 hr day at a dragstrip or truck stop) & came out of it very self-sufficient & (unapologetically) adaptable.

I told the GF’s daughter after 3 mos of sitting her butt, it’s not OUR responsibilty to PROVIDE the necessities of life IF she wasn’t willing to make an honest effort to attain them herself…my distinction between “help” & “charity”. You need money to survive in this world, so earn some.

Very few of us wind up doing for a living what we truly enjoy, so you should enjoy your work, or enjoy the people, or be so damned glad about the amount of the paycheck you don’t give a damn about the first two. Save enough of those paychecks & I guess you have attained the ultimate freedom in this world, & I guess that’s what this blog is all about. Try not to borrow money unless you know how to pay it back.

And, oh yeah; & don’t blow it on current overpriced housing…rent instead…at least for the forseeable future.

#104 Beach Girl on 11.12.11 at 1:45 pm

My two idiots could come back, but they would be charged rent, and there would be so many chores, they would want to run for the hills. Love Mom. That goes for grandchildren. Thank God I am not blessed with any of them.

Yes, I did pay and am still paying for an education for the last one. Coming to an end soon. I had the means to do it, but the party is over.

Electrical Engineers. I was not paying for basket weaving courses. Or Phys. Ed. crap. I don’t care, my job is done.

And the only way I could do it was investing in RESPs.

Now these two lucky duckies have no student loans, but owe me big time.

#105 Daisy Mae on 11.12.11 at 1:46 pm

Kilby on 11.12.11 at 11:52 am
Is XIU an ETF or a mutual fund? Are they the same? Do you need to buy a minimum like 100 shares or can you buy smaller amounts?


“Canadian investors who want to passively track our equity markets through ETFs have two choices – the iShares CDN Large Cap 60 Index Fund (XIU) or the iShares CDN Capped Composite Index Fund (XIC). As the name suggests, the XIU tracks the performance of a capitalization-weighted index of 60 large, liquid stocks that trade on the TSX. The MER for the ETF at 0.17% is the lowest for a Canadian equity fund. The XIC tracks the performance of the broader TSX Composite index, which is composed of more than 250 stocks, and is slightly more expensive, charging a MER of 0.25%.

Either ETF would be a fine choice for the Canadian equity portion but, in my opinion, the XIC is a slightly better choice as it tracks a broader index and the weight of a single stock is capped at 10%. The XIC allows passive investors to avoid the “Nortel effect” or concentration in a single stock. Recall that in 2000, at its 52-week high, Nortel (TSX: NT) alone accounted for 34.2% of the TSE 300 Index. On the downside, the XIC is far less liquid and the bid-ask spread could be as much as 10 times larger when compared to XIU. However, this shouldn’t be a huge concern for long-term, buy-and-hold investors as the cost will be negligible when spread over the entire holding period of XIC, which could be decades.

XIC was introduced to track the capped version of the Large Cap 60 Index but in the fall of 2005, the mandate for the fund was changed to track the TSX Capped Composite Index. XIC is the appropriate benchmark for tracking the performance of active management, whether it is mutual funds or a portfolio of Canadian stocks.”

#106 Daisy Mae on 11.12.11 at 1:52 pm

I found the info re XIU’s at MONEYSENSE, by the way.

#107 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 11.12.11 at 1:53 pm


I wrote at number 30 above that for a newbie starting out an investment account, the fees and even the returns are not the most important. The amount of new money SAVED each year should DWARF the affect of fees and even returns.

The fact that the market might fall 30% or whatever (or that it might rise 30%) is of little importance since in year two the new savings should be at least 100% of the amount saved and invested in year one. And, too, lower stock prices in year two (if that happens) are a benefit.

There is NOTHING wrong with getting started with the nice lady a the bank or the Investors Group mutual fund salesman.

For those prepared to go the self-directed route, here is a link to the best reference article there is on Canadian Exchange Traded Funds. (If I do say so myself, it’s my article)

#108 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 2:10 pm

51 Bromance,
Remember that when you take the advice of Marc L you are being wisely counciled by some nobody living in his mom’s basement in Saskatoon ( world class city lol)
I wouldn’t hitch my star to his wagon…if you get my meaning, sir.

#109 SLN on 11.12.11 at 2:21 pm

prejudiced, racist, ageist, SEXIST. Come one, don’t forget the most important one. :)

#110 SLN on 11.12.11 at 2:24 pm

*prejudiced.. typo.

— Oh, and don’t get worked up about it. I never said you were one of them – I don’t think you’re technically ‘old’ yet. ;) I bet you couldn’t climb the corporate ladder without official papers from a college or university. Only people that could do that are ‘old’ in my book.

#111 gman on 11.12.11 at 2:26 pm

I don’t buy the argument that it’s different now. 20 yrs ago when I got out of university the recession was pretty nasty too. Couldn’t find a “job” per se. After 2 yrs of doing menial jobs I finally decided to take a sales job on commission (which there are plenty of these days) and the rest is history. Guess I am one of those 1% people now. The issue is these young kids expect the easy job with high pay. Sorry they ain’t there any more. There are lots of jobs out there. They’re just the ones you don’t want because they are beneath you.

#112 jess on 11.12.11 at 2:31 pm

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) paid out £535m in compensation while also delivering faster payouts to depositors, according to its Annual Report andAccounts 2010/11 published today 1 July 2011.
During 2010/11, the FSCS faced an increasing number of claims, including those for high profile failures such as Keydata Investment Services Limited (Keydata). It received close to39,500 new claims from consumers, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year anddecided more than twice the number of claims (more than 47,000) it did in 2009/10. There was an increase of 75 per cent in the numbers of enquiries received, a total of 167,600.The failure of Keydata continued to dominate the work of the FSCS during 2010/11. In total,the Scheme resolved more than 27,000 claims arising from the Keydata failure and paid out£214m to investors.

see – Financial advisers pursued for Keydata sales, 13 Oct 2011

There was also a rise in the number of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims, whichaccounted for just over 20 per cent of new claims. And the FSCS expects to receive a continuing high volume of PPI claims in 2011/12.

Eurozone crisis will hit UK hard, warns Cameron

#113 Smoking Man on 11.12.11 at 2:55 pm

Pretty damn good post.

Two degrees can’t make squat, tell me something new…………

If you don’t learn to Hunt (Buy and Sell) you are locked into a cycle of scrabbling with your peers for the crumbs of someone else’s Deal…….

Going to say it again, today schooling’s sole purpose is not to educate you, it’s purpose is to plant, nurture, and harvest, Obedient Tax Farm Slaves, who are risk averse, feminized and emasculated. Ones that we can entrust the customer list with and sleep at night.

Man the machine did a good Job………….

If you want to survive and prosper in the NWO you need to change the way you think, You need to become a merciless shark always on the hunt, always ready to bury your best friend for a buck. Every person you meet must be always evaluated. Are they someone you can take advantage of , stay away from, partner up with. Or kill (metaphorically).

Walking around the world trying to play a role of your favorite Hollywood character will only lead you to poverty…………

Kill or be killed…………..

#114 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 3:03 pm

#108 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 2:10 pm

51 Bromance,
Remember that when you take the advice of Marc L you are being wisely counciled by some nobody living in his mom’s basement in Saskatoon ( world class city lol)
I wouldn’t hitch my star to his wagon…if you get my meaning, sir.


Glad to see the therapy working…
You are getting softer. One day, you will be kind and able to have meaningful relationships. There is hope Westerman, hang in there.

Let me know on the PO Box so I can forward the funds.

PS: In case the meds are confusing you, I am in Ontario and married with family. Also very productive in society. I even do charity work. Hence my fundraising efforts to save you from yourself.

#115 Mister Sanity on 11.12.11 at 3:11 pm

Garth, I personally prefer XSP over XIU. XIU is too heavily resource-focused due to the Canadian economy’s heavy bias on resources. XSP tracks the S&P500 and is currency hedged. You might lose a little bit on tracking/exchange error, but in return get much better diversity. Just a suggestion..

#116 Mister Sanity on 11.12.11 at 3:13 pm

Here’s something to make the GTA’ers here shake their heads. New phase of Monarch Homes opening in Markham this weekend at Elgin Mills/Woodbine. Starting in the “high $600,000’s” for a 40′ lot, 2000 square feet. Good lord.

#117 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 3:17 pm

#104 Beach Girl on 11.12.11 at 1:45 pm

My two idiots could come back, but they would be charged rent, and there would be so many chores, they would want to run for the hills. Love Mom. That goes for grandchildren. Thank God I am not blessed with any of them.

Yes, I did pay and am still paying for an education for the last one. Coming to an end soon. I had the means to do it, but the party is over.

Electrical Engineers. I was not paying for basket weaving courses. Or Phys. Ed. crap. I don’t care, my job is done.

And the only way I could do it was investing in RESPs.

Now these two lucky duckies have no student loans, but owe me big time.


Pure destructive narcissism.
Have a look and see for yourself;
Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

#118 eaglebay - Parksville on 11.12.11 at 3:39 pm

#92 Sue

MSG are natural ingredients.

MSG is Good for You
An article in the Feb 25 issue of Forbes Magazine argues that MSG (monosodium glutamate, or ajinomoto in Japanese) may actually be good for the world. In the US, health nuts avoid it like the plague, but in many parts of Asia, it sits on the table along with salt and pepper to enhance the flavor of meals. Kunio Torii, a leading expert on MSG and senior scientist at the company named Ajinomoto, insists that a definitive link between MSG and headaches, etc has yet to be proven. Further, his own research has shown that hospital patients who have lost their appetite were more likely to eat their meals when sprinkled with MSG. This, he postulates, could help elderly and sick people improve their appetites, get the nutrition they need, and live longer.

Other things he’s studying: The nutrient absorption effect of MSG (putting MSG in bland diets available in impoverished countries could make starving kids healthier) and using MSG to fight obesity (
injecting MSG in a green pepper will make it taste like a hamburger).

#119 Devore on 11.12.11 at 3:45 pm

#78 Devil’s Advocate

The same could be said of real estate.

/blah blah blah some copy paste blather about real estate always going up blah blah blah/

Slight difference with real estate: you gotta shovel money into it every month.

#120 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 4:03 pm

Marc L,
When you get some serious numbers on that collection, let me know.
Are you sure this is O.K. with your wife? I’m sure she runs the show…right?

#121 cool on 11.12.11 at 4:04 pm

None of the boomer palaces (500k+ detached houses) are selling in Red deer.

#122 GregW, Oakville on 11.12.11 at 4:13 pm

Hi Garth, This may be interesting for some? At 5pm today or tomorrow on TVO?

We all know the adage about inevitability of death and taxes*.

Our speaker this weekend not only accepts the inevitability of taxation as the necessary price we must pay for civilization, but encourages us to go further. He raises the politically “courageous” question about the need for taxes to be even higher.

Our speaker knows a thing or two about the inner workings of government. Alex Himelfarb was the clerk of the privy council between 2002 and 2006. While running the federal civil service, he understood how politically dangerous it became for politicians to even entertain, audibly, the possibility of a tax increase.

Here is a short excerpt from the lecture. ( 4min. )

#123 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 4:19 pm

#69 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 11:00 am

#6 Seven Stars and Orion
You should have waited until 11 minutes and 11 seconds after 11, for an even greater effect.kaboom!
Who knows what might have happened? Anyway 11 11 11 passed w/o any major event. what a letdown. :)

I just realized that I entered my post this morning at exactly 11 am..didn’t do that on purpose..I will now go out and purchase a lottery ticket for tonight..

#124 jess on 11.12.11 at 4:23 pm

#2 Smell The Coffee

Winning – a Song by Charlie Sheen

Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating
POSTED: October 25, 9:26 AM ET

Read more:

#125 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 4:35 pm

#113 Smoking Man
Hey , SM, I like your posts, but seriously I think you have a complex (you might wanna look that one up) about what it is to be a man.
You probably need medication (after all the smoking and boozing) to do the deed , if you know what I mean, and that means “you are emasculated and feminized”.sorry.

#126 Fabrega on 11.12.11 at 4:38 pm

# Smell the coffee

Yes! Yes! Yes!
There is somebody here that tell it like it is.
Banks are like blood sucking parasites.

Of course Garth will say banks are vectors (nice word for the econocrats) of growth, enablers (another impressive econobulshit word) of wealth, bla…bla…bla…

#127 Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 4:40 pm

#117 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 3:17 pm
that was a bit of a low blow dude, Beach girl has done well for her boys and I’m sure it’s been hard at times Kids can be very trying and sometimes there’s no thanks. If your kiddies are still little, you’ll find out soon enough.

#128 Mike on 11.12.11 at 4:52 pm

Tell the truth…. it is much too late for someone under 35 to try and get into real estate… I’d avoid the shoe box condos . In ten years it will be too expensive for monthly maintenance. Those developers are pretty sharp characters … I have other words to describe them but suspect Garth would delete them. Best to invest your money in money based vehicles … SOME etfs are nice and certainly a snap to buy and sell but you should play a pretend account until you get the basics of shorts and longs plus stop loss sell orders.
Real estate in Toronto is still very brisk. One around the corner from us… short lot .. all original washrooms..some updating but 4 decent bedrooms and finished basement… went for almost 100K over asking.
Minimum 5 offers and 5 showings per day for 7 days.
Was pre inspected so buyers had to go in hard with no conditions. Sometimes what goes up does not always go down. If interest rates remain low or EVEN LOWER which some are discussing in MSM then I can see years of bull real estate and by then it will be game over for anyone to get into the market without an inheritance or 35 years amortizations… and that is just paltry little toronto… Vancouver will be stratospheric …
Some interesting trends on , though, Charts indicating less product on the market and shorter days on the market but record prices . But if you read some of the listings you do see the odd one being relisted several times with slowly declining prices… only saw one lot being raised in price … Unless Europe blows up I see a very brisk winter selling season. It is a sellers market here for sure… and going to be a very very Merry Christmas for most agents… They are cleaning up !!!

#129 Mike Rotch on 11.12.11 at 4:55 pm

Re: struggling/fail to launch youngsters with degree(s):

I’m from the end of Gen X, and was fortunate enough to be in school during the early 90s slump and seeking employment after the economy took off. I was also fortunate enough to realize that a humanities degree was all but useless, except as a launch pad to an L.L.B., M.BA., or even B.Ed.

After all, lots of people can read books and articles and write essays. There are far fewer who can perform computational fluid dynamics, carry out finite element analysis, write computer code, etc. Stay technical…..if you hate it, you can always go back and study the fluff later.

Anyway, enough of that digression. Even focussing on the science and engineering grads, I saw a real difference in attitudes between most of my colleagues, and the next batch of young graduates (i.e. Gen Y and whatever the hell they’re calling the group after them).

They just didn’t seem as willing to do what it took to get their foot in the door, get relevant industrial experience, and then work hard to either get the promotion you deserved, or jump ship to something better.

They came out of school knowing less (if that is even possible) about working in the real world. They expected salaries higher, titles and responsibilities more prestigious than their greenness merited. They will not pick up the phone or get in someone’s face to solve a problem……instead they will spend too long type an e-mail loaded with sloppy instant-messaging acronyms.

Anyway, these folks come out with a degree and expect the frigging moon to be handed to them, and they expect to be able to do this at more money than they deserve and without being constricted by anything so trivial as a budget or a deadline!

Yecchh! If I were responsible for hiring my “replacements”, I’d be looking to foreign-trained immigrants, and mature students that effed something up in the first place and toughed out their “second chance”. At least there’s going to be some hunger, drive, and willingness to get the foot in the door and prove yourself!

Sadly, it’s not even really their fault – the poor arseholes had the misfortune of learning in a grossly emasculated educational system. I know. I watched it being neutered as I was going through it.

Many were also brought up by coddling parents who refused to let them fail at anything they wanted to try (would anyone actually argue that persevering through stress and failure is not the best way to learn how to avoid it in future endeavours?)

Anyway, “I can’t find a good job” is nothing but the cry of a loser. There are plenty of jobs that can allow someone to live, pay the bills, and fund eventual retirement, and several do not even require formal post secondary in the traditional sense.


#130 LS in Arbutus on 11.12.11 at 5:11 pm

#23 Jeff in Victoria, totally agree – do something and work hard at it and rewards will come!

The point is don’t wait around for that perfect job to come along, do something and be ready to change direction, the world will change and isn’t going to wait around for you.


I hate to generalize, but I read a joke about why Gen Ys are called Gen Ys. Something like:

“Why do I need to get a job?”
“Why do I have to pay for rent?”
“Why do I need to move out of my parent’s house?”

I’ve worked with a few Gen Ys and have many friends who have as well. Their work ethic is often a big source of frustration for us (Gen Xs and the Boomers) as we remember back in the day, when asked to do something, asking just how high we had to jump, not if we really had to jump, and how to.

Many youger ones don’t seem to understand that you’ve got to put in 60 – 80 hours a week, for a good 10 years, before you can make $100,000, have the great job, be the boss, and attempt a work/ life balance. (Although work/life balance is frankly a myth unless you want /need to coast…..)

Somehow they think this can be obtained by age 25 by working a half-assed 37.5 hour work week. Of course they ALL don’t operate like this but many seem to.

It’s like they don’t have the Emotional Intelligence that you need to delay gratification. Even though they are told you can have 5 marshmallows if you wait 5 minutes, they take the one marshmallow offered now. However they then feel entitled to the other 4 marshmallows as well and get frustrated with you that they can’t have them.

The biggest thing though, is many lack the drive and hunger.

“Bear Stearns was also a place for second chances, hiring many people who had failed elsewhere. The firm didn’t care if you had an MBA or went to an Ivy League school. Bear Stearns’ legendary Chairman Ace Greenberg once half-jestingly told PBS’s Charlie Rose that “we certainly are not going to limit ourselves to hiring people with advanced degrees. We want people with PSD degrees — poor, smart and a deep desire to become rich.””

It seems to me people with PSD degrees typically get ahead. We just don’t have a lot of PSD kids anymore. I guess that is the goal, provide our kids more than we ever had, but I feel the root of the issue of lack of motivation, somewhat lies therein.

I’ve heard of the Big CA firms in Vancouver going to Vancouver Island to hire kids, because the kids from the west side, don’t want it bad enough.

#131 LS in Arbutus on 11.12.11 at 5:18 pm

I also want to add, if you are a professional, you can’t become top of your field or proficient until you put in the time.

Simply working 37.5 hours per week is not going to make you an expert in your job. You’re never going to get there.

When you’re young it’s not about working smarter, it’s about working on your core skills so that build up that store of knowledge.

Lots of kids lament that they “don’t know what they want to do.” But while lamenting they aren’t applying themselves 110% to what they’re doing. As a result they just wallow.

If you work hard, apply yourself 110%, are smart, have some common sense and charm, no one can keep you down. The world is your oyster.

#132 Sue on 11.12.11 at 5:23 pm

#118 Eaglebay Parksville

That’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. Thanks. Anyone who suggests MSG is good for you is obviously profiting somehow…just follow the money I say.
Dr. Blaylock is a BRAIN SURGEON and RESEARCHER and has written a book on excitotoxins (MSG, Aspartame) and it is an airtight argument. Watch this video. Nuff said bc this is a financial website but your comments really pissed me off.

#133 24 year old moms basement. on 11.12.11 at 5:38 pm

Not even gonna use the moniker I use normally out of shame. THanks for this article Garth, I’ve given myself 1 month to move out of my parents places.

$12,000 student debt, 1K income from retail, and a degree that’s worth a lot of if I get the right job.

To hell with this risk free existence.

Wish me luck people!

#134 Devil's Advocate on 11.12.11 at 5:38 pm

#119Devore on 11.12.11 at 3:45 pm
#78 Devil’s Advocate

The same could be said of real estate.

/blah blah blah some copy paste blather about real estate always going up blah blah blah/

Slight difference with real estate: you gotta shovel money into it every month.

I am sure you can find fault in anything Devore, but the truth of the matter is you have to pay money to keep a roof over your head. Consider mortgage interest, repairs and property taxes the “rent” you would otherwise be paying a landlord. The point is real estate is not a short term investment.

The idea is to have it bought and paid for at retirement so that you don’t have a mortgage when you are living off a retirement income. I think there are a good many of us who would agree with that concept.

I would like to point out that your fearless leader is a home owner too and that his point has always been diversification and not to have all your eggs in one basket (real estate). But at no time has he ever suggested not owning real estate.

My point in providing that excerpt from the book “Shift” by Garry Keller in my post at #78 was to suggest to those who are considering getting into home ownership for the long run now might be a good time – certainly more of a “safe” time to do so than three years ago. Unless of course you think that real estate is never going to go up again and these market dynamics are here to stay for the long run. I think most would agree however that eventually the trajectory of real estate prices will skyrocket again as a sellers’ market unfolds and buyers scramble to buy at the worst possible time as they realize the bottom of the market has long past. It’s just the way it is… herd mentality.

Read the book.

#135 LS in Arbutus on 11.12.11 at 5:42 pm

Most of these kids never have a part-time job in high school or college. All they think that matters is getting 89% on their GPA.

Want to teach your kid something REALLY important, make sure they get out there and get a part-time job. Doesn’t matter what it is.

They learn very fast that the boss doesn’t care. They learn how to deal with the public, how to deal with people in the workplace, their petty jealousies , and they learn the value of a dollar, how hard it is to earn it.

Working a job opens your eyes that the only person who’s going to take care of you, is you. It teaches you that you need to learn to play the game to get ahead. (Now I am sounding like Smoking Man, but he’s mostly right – when he’s sober.)

#136 Herb on 11.12.11 at 5:44 pm

Smoking Man,

your #113 is either a bad drug trip or a script for a Mad Max movie.

While I grant that there are individuals who are your kind of “sharks”, they are isolated, stand out and are avoided. But if mankind operated on your principles, we’d still be swinging from branch to branch.

#137 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 11.12.11 at 5:50 pm


When I was in grade 3, the class had to write a Provincial academic achievement / intelligence test.

It was multiple choice.

After the test one boy said he found the test difficult until he figured out “the pattern” of the answers. I guess he thought that there was some pattern so that he could figure out that the answer was “b” not by reading the question and thinking but just by the pattern. He was, of course, an idiot.

Fast forward about 43 years and there are more idiots than ever looking for patterns. Especially in financial markets.

Most investors don’t ask “is (say) Canadian Tire selling below its true value?” They ask instead “is CTC.a going to rise in price real soon?” (They say CTC.a rather than naming the company because they often don’t even think of stocks as companies).

They look to “Technical Analysts” (professional idiots – who would other wise be employed as astrologers or readers of tea leaves) to tell them based on “the pattern” if the stock price will rise or fall.

Just like in grade 3, it is a great pleasure, but no real challenge, to “compete” against such idiots.

#138 Devil's Advocate on 11.12.11 at 5:54 pm

#119 Devore on 11.12.11 at 3:45 pm

Hell man Garth has even boasted on this “pathetic blog” of real estate acquisitions he has recently made.

It’s not about whether to own real estate or not. It’s about buying the right real estate at the right time and not letting your emotions get in the way of a logical plan.

You CAN buy today with reasonable confidence far better than you could have in 2007. In 2007 it was a sellers’ market. A sellers’ market is the exact time you do NOT want to be buying real estate. And believe me, we are a lot closer to the return of a sellers’ market than we were yesterday and a hell of a lot closer than you know. But don’t worry… you will know we’ve bottomed out shortly after we have and there is no denying it. But that will be too late as when you finally come to that conclusion so too will everyone else have realized it and the “good deals” will be gone as we ramp up to a sellers’ market once again.

It is a buyers’ market right now – that we know for sure. It will not be so indefinitely that history has taught us. Or do you think otherwise?

I do not boast. But I do disclose. — Garth

#139 Bill Gable on 11.12.11 at 6:07 pm

Whoops> Leverage bites hard

to whit:

“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights.

Sean Quinn, three years ago listed as Ireland’s richest man, has been declared bankrupt in a Northern Ireland court over alleged debts of €2.8bn to the Irish state-owned lender Anglo Irish Bank.
The 64-year old businessman’s insurance, cement and property empire collapsed last year following a multibillion euro stock market gamble on the share price of Anglo, which was nationalised during Ireland’s banking crisis.


#140 Bill Gable on 11.12.11 at 6:09 pm

WHOOPS: ipad Moment = Mr. Turner = pls delete the most recent post. Totally my fault. Apologies, I always am careful on links…this, I goofed.
Object to lesson to other dawgs.

#141 DaBull on 11.12.11 at 6:35 pm

#74 Tony on 11.12.11 at 11:25 am

Risk is all about doing the right thing and minimizing risk. Right now there isn’t anything much more risky than being long stocks. There’s an old adage that goes like “when in doubt stay out”.

Didn’t Warren Buffet say “When others are fearful, be greedy!” Isn’t the guy a pretty rich guy?

#142 Habbit on 11.12.11 at 7:12 pm

Hi all. Ignore westurdman.

#143 Signpost in the bushes on 11.12.11 at 7:25 pm

For a defensive, diversified portfolio of dividend paying stocks try this (personal) anagram; “TUBERS” These grow quietly underground, hopefully to an impressive size;

Utilities and pipelines
Banks & financials
Energy; Oil and gas and service companies
Real Estate and REITS
Staples; food and agriculture

TUBERS; not perfect for everybody but it may serve some needs. Some may wish to add gold & silver, technology, commodities, etc. There is no one “correct way.” Invest in that which provides comfort and in those businesses which are easily understood by the investor.

Read; Rob Carrick, Derek Foster, Benjamin Graham, Gordon Pape and our host Garth Turner. Each offers a useful perspective from which anyone can plot their own course. The important thing is to begin the journey so set sail either with a hired skipper or take the helm yourself.

#144 gman on 11.12.11 at 7:34 pm

I love the Gen-Y bashing but let’s give them some good advice. And here it is: IT TAKES 10,000 hours to be good at what you do!!!! Get started NOW!

#145 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 7:36 pm



#146 LS in Arbutus on 11.12.11 at 7:42 pm

#129 Mike Rotch – Totally true – except you forgot to mention they want it all in a 37.5 hour work week.


I saw a real difference in attitudes between most of my colleagues, and the next batch of young graduates (i.e. Gen Y and whatever the hell they’re calling the group after them).

They just didn’t seem as willing to do what it took to get their foot in the door, get relevant industrial experience, and then work hard to either get the promotion you deserved, or jump ship to something better.

They came out of school knowing less (if that is even possible) about working in the real world. They expected salaries higher, titles and responsibilities more prestigious than their greenness merited. They will not pick up the phone or get in someone’s face to solve a problem……instead they will spend too long type an e-mail loaded with sloppy instant-messaging acronyms.

Anyway, these folks come out with a degree and expect the frigging moon to be handed to them, and they expect to be able to do this at more money than they deserve and without being constricted by anything so trivial as a budget or a deadline!

#147 Habbit on 11.12.11 at 7:43 pm

#133 Good on you. You won’t need much luck. Just the right attitude. Pass it on.

#148 TurnerNation on 11.12.11 at 7:54 pm

#113 Smoking Man on 11.12.11 at 2:55 pm

Some decent ideas. Notice in Buiness school they only teach group work. And kids are pushed into group sports (team) at an early age.

The message is clear: fit into a GROUP. Be the same. Dress the same. Think the same.

Heaven forbid a kid strikes out on his own (but what will the group think of him??)

Yet we are sold the false reality of individual freedom. Me, I. The iphone/ipod/ipad , myspace.
Or: Empowered Consumers! (now there’s an oxymoron).

p.s only twits twitter. Free as a bird (in a cage).

#149 Terry on 11.12.11 at 7:59 pm

One who does not follow is fool

#150 jess on 11.12.11 at 8:06 pm

126 Fabrega

…those stupid kids would be rather studying dreamology than have to listen to these pillars of the community. Students “Sentenced” to Speeches by Wilk and Greenstein see -Quellos /point
September 11, 2010 ·

Or take a Seminar on how to be a lobbyist
Lobbying 101
one-day workshop

Is this group connected to the eft you mentioned?

#151 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 8:18 pm

#120 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 4:03 pm

Marc L,
When you get some serious numbers on that collection, let me know.
Are you sure this is O.K. with your wife? I’m sure she runs the show…right?


Oh yeah, she agrees your a complete sociopath…
She thinks you need to get a life. Once I get enough for a session, I will send it.

All the best, long live Saskatoon. Great people.

#152 Devore on 11.12.11 at 8:20 pm

#134 Devil’s Advocate

I would like to point out that your fearless leader is a home owner too and that his point has always been diversification and not to have all your eggs in one basket (real estate). But at no time has he ever suggested not owning real estate.

Your entire premise of everything you say rests on the idea that people who are renting, and don’t want to buy today, will be renting forever. Buying something overpriced is never a good idea.

Yes, we all realize Garth owns his house.

Yes, we realize he is not against owning real estate.

Yes, we all realize we’d like to buy at some point (well, most anyways, for some it won’t suit their lifestyles).

But we also realize buying at any cost is foolish. You can put a roof over your head today FAR cheaper by renting than buying. You can choose to ignore this reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. Especially as a first time buyer, when you know you will need to sell (to start/grow a family, move for better work, etc) within a few years, and to “ride it out” until you break even might well mean putting your life on hold. Oh wait, I thought only renters put their life on hold.

Having a desire to own their own house some day is not at all contrary with being bearish on real estate when it is overpriced. It is not wishful thinking. There are times to buy real estate, and there are times to stay away from it. Always a good time to buy, always goes up, putting down roots, throwing money away on rent, those are meaningless marketing phrases, and history does not bear them out.

My point in providing that excerpt from the book “Shift” by Garry Keller in my post at #78 was to suggest to those who are considering getting into home ownership for the long run now might be a good time – certainly more of a “safe” time to do so than three years ago.

Really? That’s your professional opinion too? Three years ago prices were lower, and interest rates have come down since then, so tell me, how is today a better time to buy than three years ago? How can you say something like that with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight?

And what is “long term”, another vague meaningless phrase? For families in the US who bought in 2006, “long term” may very well mean 20 years or more, before prices come up to their purchase price again. Will they too, 30 years from now, still living in the same house, look back and tell their kids “see, real estate always goes up!”?

The average time for a housing bust to level off is about 10 years, is that “long term”? What about all that time in between?

You are, at best, writing dozens of posts to state the truism “buy a house when prices are low and you can afford it”. But you’re certainly going about in a convoluted way, one that on the surface reads like “it’s always a good time to buy”. Spoken like a true salesman.

#153 Devore on 11.12.11 at 8:30 pm

#138 Devil’s Advocate

It is a buyers’ market right now – that we know for sure. It will not be so indefinitely that history has taught us. Or do you think otherwise?

Buyer’s market? What is that? And if there is, so what? It only has meaning in context. Otherwise it’s just BTFD (buy the f***ing dip) mentality, premised on prices always going up. There’s been a “buyer’s market” in the US for 5 years. Or do you think otherwise?

#154 Mark on 11.12.11 at 8:32 pm

#34, sell XIU at $20? Are you crazy? XIU is worth easily $40 based on the underlying firms, the enormous cashflows they generate, and in comparison to RE prices and interest rates.

#155 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.12.11 at 8:33 pm

#39 Amarillo — “Hitched rides on freight trains . . .” — It’s great to look back on those days, and see how much fun and freedom we had!
Europe If, or when it tanks, it will drag NAmerica down with it. But at least we all get to start again on a level playing field, but Eurozone This brings into question Germany’s Fourth Reich; 7:59 clip “Article 1, Section 8, clause 5 of the Constitution: The Congress shall have power to coin money, [and to] regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin.”

“Ben, Congress is SUPPOSED to be in charge of monetary policy, not a privately owned banking cartel!”; Veterans Why they are part of the Occupy movement; 2:20 clip Dominoes tumbling, Italy next then Spain, Portugal, France, etc.; China New debt downgrade for the US?

IMF loses Russia “IMF Director Christine Lagarde wants Russian not to spend their money on social projects benefiting Russians, but instead to privatize the national assets, and reduce public spending, forcing Russia to live on the mercy of IMF handouts, by buying food products from Western Europe. Of course, as recent history has shown, refusal to submit to private central banks like the Fed, the ECB, and the IMF, results in invasion by the United States.”;
El Hierro Will it? Won’t it? Like a washing machine, it’s agitating; Seven Elephants in addition to wars and the cycle change; Fukushima Engineers knew beforehand, but covered it up; Private Prisons Is this what Harper is looking for? Polls One and Polls Two See if you can spot the difference between independent and m$m polls (one lies, the other doesn’t); CBS Poll The US has to start wars and keep them going, as they are broke; Implications Gadaafi was murdered, and may end up being more powerful than when he was alive; Suxual Innuendoes “Israel and the US are literally nations of sadists, necrophiliacs, haematophiliacs, fetishists and copraphiliacs, sexually addicted to orgies of torture, gross death and destruction, rivers of blood, dismemberment, and foul putrifaction.” That’s about right; U-Turn Russia’s space probe to Mars didn’t want to leave Father Earth; Radiation over Europe, but where is it coming from?

A Year Without Groceries Interesting article. I couldn’t do it — too old and habits run me now; Kurds Exxon deals with Kurds; Pelestine UN bid goes to security council. There is no reason to leave them out; NATO Hang the warmongers; 3:54 clip Sheriffs protect citizens against fed. land grab; Nigeria There are no terrorists in Nigeria, only the US military; Fukushima Eight months later, still a mess; Home Schooling Smoking Man, you may agree with this; ObummerCare Serving private interests, not the public.

#156 Daisy Mae on 11.12.11 at 8:34 pm

INVESTORS FRIEND: “There is NOTHING wrong with getting started with the nice lady a the bank or the Investors Group mutual fund salesman.”


There is EVERYTHING wrong with that advice. Just ask me, dammit!

#157 Unistar38 on 11.12.11 at 8:43 pm

#56 allister,

Thanks for the suggestion.

ZWB – definitely a no go for me. Covered call writing sounds good, but…

CPD – too passive, not much capital appreciation.

What do you think about FIE? This is the best that I can find in the market which is consistent with Garth’s strategy.

FIE: investment objectives are to maximize total return to its Unitholders, consisting of distributions and capital appreciation.

Note: it is commission free if you use Scotia’s I Trade to trade this ETF. Chech I Trade’s website.

#158 Westernman on 11.12.11 at 9:01 pm

Marc L,
Apparently you’ve never been to Saskatoon…

#159 Kilby on 11.12.11 at 9:02 pm

#105 Daisy Mae.

Thanks for the tips. I’m 60 so have to decide wisely.

#160 Beach Girl on 11.12.11 at 9:07 pm

Peakoilist on 11.12.11 at 4:40 pm

#117 Marc L on 11.12.11 at 3:17 pm
that was a bit of a low blow dude, Beach girl has done well for her boys and I’m sure it’s been hard at times Kids can be very trying and sometimes there’s no thanks. If your kiddies are still little, you’ll find out soon enough.

Thanks Peakoilist

Obviously Marc L’s mom lied to him.

Hope when his kids grow up they bite him in the ass.

Won’t even talk about basement dwellers.

See how they are trying to roust all the drug addicted, young sex fiends OCCUPYING property that is not theirs. So funny. If I was young had nothing, I still would not want to sleep in that park and freeze. Might party for the day and go home and hit the basement.

#161 JohnnyBravo on 11.12.11 at 9:16 pm

Some interesting thought today. Here’s some of mine:

• In general, stay away from mutual funds. Fees are too high. And, yes, fees do matter. A case study of two investors: They invest in the same securities, with the same initial investment. Investor A buys mutual funds. Investor B buys index funds. After 30 years, Investor B’s portfolio will be worth between 45% and 263% more than Investor A’s portfolio. (Source: The Big Investment Lie by Michael Edesess, page 59)

• Also, loads for DSC (differed sales charge) funds are set at the top of the scale for each contribution you make, and step-slide lower the longer you are invested. Therefore, if you make regular contributions until you retire, no matter how long you are invested there will always be a redemption fee when you cash out (and don’t forget the management fees).

• Evidence shows actively managed funds don’t outperform index funds in the long run. However, from my own experience, I have found that actively managed funds do offer downside protection. For example, if stocks tank by 20%, an actively managed equity fund may only drop by, say, 10%. Again, these are not hard and fast numbers; just my own observations.

• The only way to make an outsized return is through leverage. That’s how it’s done in RE as the norm. As a matter of fact, that’s how so many fortunes have been made in real estate. Leverage. Because at the end of the day what matters is what return you got on the money YOU invested, not how much the property appreciated. Of course buying stocks on margin is hugely risky because the liquidity of stocks makes them very volatile, so the risk of a large swing that could wipe you out is much greater than in RE. Most people should not even think about thinking about doing it.

• ETFs are generally better than mutual funds. You get the diversification of a fund (most mutual funds are de facto index funds anyway) with the liquidity of a stock. Most ETF prices are not affected by supply and demand for the ETF itself, like stock prices are, because the price is derived by the price action of the underlying securities or assets. As one commenter said, leveraged ETFs can fade over time and are meant to be traded daily, not held for the long term.

• I have no problem with shorting. Short selling in an inherently short-term strategy and short term stock price action has little to do with the real economy anyway. But again, not for the average investor, as even leveraged gains are limited (a stock can’t go below zero) but losses can be virtually infinite.

#162 Ozy - TSFA is a scam and financially perverse on 11.12.11 at 9:25 pm

Ozy – TSFA is a typical state scam, it is limited, requires setup/mainteance, it takes 4 weeks to transfer from institution to institution. Is money designed to keep locked (people don’t take them out often, as recontribution in same year is taxed)
To me is a waste, narrow-minded typical state stuff that make lifes complicated for nothing. So called smart fellas that have nothing else to do in life than counting 50 bucks a month savings, can waste their life with such financially perverse vechiles.
What we need is a flat tax system, with no deduction for anything. 16% like some countries in Europe – FLAT.
The government will be resized to 50% and trim the obsene obese canadian governments fats. So we can have a life. That’s the message folks, don’t settle for state financially perverse TSFA, RESP, RRSP, or you’ll be a poor poor paper-slave for your pity life

Guns, god, gold. And flat tax. Right. — Garth

#163 JRoss on 11.12.11 at 9:51 pm


“I think most would agree however that eventually the trajectory of real estate prices will skyrocket again”

I would not agree.

I think that the confleunce of irresponsible mortgage rules and emergency low interest rates is something that is not likely to occur for another generation, if ever.

I think there will be no sharp bottom and quick upturn to ‘time’ and that anybody who waits until they can buy for a similar cost to, or less than, renting will be well served by his/her patience.

#164 DonCarlos on 11.12.11 at 10:05 pm

One thing I would tell 19 year old me:

Remember, through all the work, to keep eating right and working out. You’ll need the energy that healthy living gives you to keep giving your all on the job and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

#165 Newbie Investor on 11.12.11 at 10:09 pm

Garth I think this is one of your best post’s yet! Keep em coming!

The plural of ‘post’ is ‘posts.’ Thanks. — Garth

#166 wtf????? on 11.12.11 at 10:20 pm


#167 Nemesis on 11.12.11 at 10:20 pm

“At 19 there is no fail.”… Hon. GT

[CBC] – Student killed in SFU’s Surrey parkade

“A 19-year-old woman has been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting at SFU’s Surrey campus parkade early Wednesday morning.”

Wildly out of context. — Garth

#168 Ronaldo on 11.12.11 at 10:23 pm

#85 MarcFromOttawa – “#76 Kilby

You can purchase XIU.TO on an exchange through a broker (this is what makes it an ETF). You can not purchase mutual funds on a stock exchange.”

Yes you can Marc, I do it all the time. PH&H funds for example. Go to TMX Money webpage and type in the stock search field PHN660 as an example. This is the PHN Monthly Income Fund. One of their many funds. I can trade them via my TD Brokerage account, no fees to purchase. Check it out.

#169 Ronaldo on 11.12.11 at 10:52 pm

#85 – MarcFromOttawa – here is the link


#170 Betty Danin on 11.12.11 at 11:16 pm

Hi! math wizards 11-11-11 is now passed so do not forget next year 12-12-12. One last point, just continuing to buy investments at lower and lower prices did not work in Japan. I believe we are in at least a 10-15 year modern day depression like the Japanese malaise. Dollar cost averaging will not work . Good luck with that strategy.

#171 West Coast on 11.12.11 at 11:44 pm

Warning. Racist sexist post:

Fact is our country could be bought over several times by a small percentage of foreigners (relative to their population) if members of a comprador class exists (read – Gordon Campbell) is willing to sell it.

Genders have expectations. The appearance of poverty – even if because of frugal saving and investing – WILL NOT GET YOU LAID. THIS MATTERS AS MUCH AS AIR WHEN YOU ARE 20!

#172 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 11.13.11 at 12:53 am

3:27 clip The United Waste of America; New EU Referendum? That would sure spice things up! David Cameron Never cross a woman; Spain Ditch all govts. and toss the banxters into a poisonous pot of witches’ brew; Italian Debt EU banks dumping 300 bln. worth of it, and John Mauldin asks a good question — Where are all the ECB banks? Are they gone because everything has crashed?

EFSF, 2:16 clip Entitlements are being scaled back; Smash and Grab Greece and Italy; Household Debt Pretty pink chart; Stocks 20% undervalued or 15% over.
El Hierro Did you know? No, I didn’t. El Hierro has long been used as a nuke waste dump, so when undersea and above sea volcanoes blow, along with ‘quakes causing a powerful tsunami, there will be a lot more other stuff to clean up; Farewell to black rhinos; Putin Eurasian Block could control world’s energy.

In Praise Of David Cameron Not; Syria Typical. The US bad-mouths Saleh in public, supports him privately; US Troops to be stationed in Oz, and Drone Bases Now it’s on to central and South Africa, as well as Oz, The X-Files has become real life; Evidence There was a fifth planet, which was the forerunner of the CPC.

#173 Rick in Japan on 11.13.11 at 1:08 am

Hi Garth,

I’ve not posted in a while. . . busy with my doctorate studies. I still try to read your posts regularly, though.
As for the 26 year old, I left Canada at 24 (in 1992) due to the lack of opportunities and paid off all debt within a year. There are lots of things to do besides living in a basement and working at a golf course part-time. If I were to start again (I have lived in America, Hong Kong and Japan) I’d probably head to China or Oman/Dubai. Of course there are difficulties in doing so, but the rewards are there for the taking and it is a lot more fun than living with parents.

#174 JohnnyBravo on 11.13.11 at 1:43 am

#168 Ronaldo on 11.12.11 at 10:23 pm

It looks like PH&N under RBC has recently restructured their funds into two series: D and O.

Series D funds can be purchased via a brokerage and they have MERs that are much lower than typical mutual funds. Looks to me like they restructured in order to cut out the advisors in an attempt to lower costs, keep more the money for themselves, and become more competitive with ETFs. There must be a lot of people like me out there. Who needs advisors when you have BNN, anyway? ;)

Series O funds are for select investors. They can only be purchased directly from PH&N. No management fees, but they charge a negotiated advisory fee. You know, invest more, pay less (or at least, pay a lower percentage).

At the end of the day, it looks like the only real difference in the Series D and Series O fund is how fees and distributions are structured in order to extract as much as they can from the two tiers of investors for a given amount invested.

It reminds me of front-end vs. back-end loading. Pay it all now or pay it bit by bit. But you will pay. It’s the fund industry’s version of purchase financing.

That said, PH&N’s funds are not like ETFs in that they don’t trade on an exchange. PH&N simply cut out the middle-man. Mutual fund sales people beware.

#175 Laurenda on 11.13.11 at 2:42 am

**first post doesn’t look like it posted the whole thing, let’s try again…**
FINALLY!! It’s not that I’m looking to be spoon fed, but with a legit, tangible example —> XIU So are we right or wrong that “this is a different time” (not to be confused with, “this TIME is different”)
Great post. Atta boy Gman, atta boy.

#176 Rana on 11.13.11 at 2:43 am

Great advice about saving and its really never a bad time to start working and saving.
There are problems with this- too many young entitled pricks who feel they deserve more than they work for and they don’t want to have to work at anything- including accmulating wealth. Many who complete post secondary feel they should earn much more than what they actually get paid.
Nobody really wants to work, save and live within their means. Because that means you can’t do what you want, when you want and how you want. And I guess that is the definition of wealth. These days people are doing what they want on borrowed money.
Its all sound advice- its just that nobody wants to hear it or should I say very few want to hear it.

#177 Laurenda on 11.13.11 at 2:46 am

RE #165: lmao G… no offense to any quick typers, but perhaps a forum on some grammar is in order here????

#178 Bottoms_Up on 11.13.11 at 3:05 am

#133 24 year old moms basement. on 11.12.11 at 5:38 pm
Good luck, remember there will be some tough times ahead but you are giving yourself the best education you can get. And, your family will still be there for you if you need them.

#179 Bottoms_Up on 11.13.11 at 3:17 am

#92 Sue on 11.12.11 at 12:59 pm
I hate to break it to you but there are much nastier things to worry about than fluoride in your water.

Get caught up on your reading on trihalomethanes, these are chlorination by-products that occur when organic matter in our water reacts with chlorine. It is thought they can have pretty nasty toxic effects…and the worst part is, it’s in the water you use to shower/bathe with (i.e. water that you likely do not distill), and THMs are absorbed through your skin and you also breathe them in and they are absorbed in your lungs.

So the thing is, even by putting in substantial effort to reduce your exposure to some of these possibly dangerous chemical substances, there is always something that you’re still being exposed to that is likely much, much worse.

I think it’s noble that you try to be healthy etc., but at the end of the day a better outlook may be to just not worry about it (as sad as that sounds).

#180 TS Harpoon on 11.13.11 at 7:46 am

“Today I am sharing with you an article arguing that (U.S.) unemployment rates during the Great Depression were overstated, that current unemployment rates are understated and that the two sets of data considered in combination indicate that we are firmly in Depression-era levels of unemployment.” (Via Metafilter)

#181 TS Harpoon on 11.13.11 at 8:11 am

My dad taught me cashflow with a soda machine:

Via metafilter.

#182 MarcFromOttawa on 11.13.11 at 8:33 am

#170 Betty Danin

You’re right we better stock up on farm land, generators, fuel, guns and ammo, gold, and canned food. Then we just have to wait for the women to come (BYOB).

#183 gettin started on 11.13.11 at 9:23 am

“Use an online brokerage, instead, one with cheap trades and access to unlimited assets.”

Any recommendations for an online brokerage for someone just getting started?

#184 steve p on 11.13.11 at 9:26 am

Young man there are no manufacturing jobs in Ontario. All the factories closed up and either went back to the USA or China or India. You could always kill your body working up in the tar sands. I read that pays well.

#185 Herb on 11.13.11 at 9:34 am

By golly, even “Conservative” pumpers and papers are beginning to notice –

Sample: “… the real ideology of these allegedly heartless right-wingers is that almost nothing worthwhile can happen in Canada without state subsidy.”

Next, we’ll have Levant loving the CBC.

#186 Herb on 11.13.11 at 11:01 am

How the USA got that way (via,0

Any suggestions for similar turning points in Canadian political history?

#187 Sky on 11.13.11 at 11:14 am

Here you go Gen Y. It’s all yours. The mountain of debt, the gutted economy, GMO food, the fluoridated water. Fake Swine flu epidemics , chemtrailed skies and Fukushima radiation. Waiting just for you.

But wait. There’s more.

After raising you in a game preserve, coddling and crippling you, perhaps force-feeding you ADHD pharmaceuticals that destroy the brain’s motivational centre…why then we’ll expect you to join the grown-up world. And we’ll be mighty pissed if you don’t get your act together fast enough.

Join the party, Gen Y. What are you waiting for?

With love,
The Boomers

You have it so rough. I weep. — Garth

#188 Sky on 11.13.11 at 11:25 am

Don’t weep for me. Weep for them.

#189 UK Love Calling on 11.13.11 at 11:36 am

BPOE… Canada is America’s retarded cousin:

Although Canada may have a better “brand” which is meaningless, the United States remains the most ADMIRED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD STILL AS OF 2011. Canada – not so much at only #6.

And the U.S. is the #1 Quality of Life for 2011 as well, despite all of its problems. Problems are always blown out of proportion when you are the big kid on the block.
And, the U.S. remains the most admired amongst a much broader cross section of people over that stupid survey you were referring to BPOE. People love to hate the winners and you clearly hate America because its the clear winner on nearly every level. You have a major inferiority complex. Canada is not the U.S. nor will it ever be no matter how hard it tries.

#190 Snowboid on 11.13.11 at 12:15 pm

#134 Devil’s Advocate on 11.12.11 at 5:38 pm…

“Consider mortgage interest, repairs and property taxes the “rent” you would otherwise be paying a landlord”

Another delusional statement from the Okanagan!

The condo we rent – based on neighbourhood comparables – value about $400K – mortgage based on 20% down, 4% over 25 yrs – payment $ 1683

Add in taxes, strata, special assessment, maintenance and the total monthly savings by renting is about $ 1300 a month.

I guess you are hoping for ‘greater fools’ to come along that don’t do the math, in the meantime we are happy to be Okanagan renters.

From the wet and cold desert (only 21C today – but sunny and 26C later this week)…


P.S. Let me know if you want the details on a real ‘buyers’ market – here in the Phoenix area!

#191 Mike Rotch on 11.13.11 at 12:19 pm

@ #179 Bottoms_Up, RE: THMs in drinking water.

Damned tough decision here.

Do you want trihalomethanes in your water which may cause cancer years down the road, or,

do you instead want biologically active pathogens in your water which will cause any number of horrible diseases that can kill you today and tomorrow.

They do need to get better at removing organic matter from water at the filtration plants and better at keeping the storage and conveyance systems nice and clean.

The problem is that providing better drinking water causes higher taxes/fees which also hurt everyone in the short term…..guess we can’t frigging win! :)

#192 renters rule on 11.13.11 at 12:29 pm

@ SLN #66

Also known as Slackass Loser Nobody?

I find your comments about “old Canadian white guys” to be particularly jarring on this weekend following the passing of Nov 11 – Remembrance Day.

It is these very same old canadian white guys (and the ones who came before them), who literally built this country with their own hands. Fought in 2 world wars, Korea, lived through the depression of the 1930s, and either built with their own sweat or paid the taxes to build, all the infrastructure and institutions that make Canada the amazing country it is today — the country that you, I am assuming being a non-canadian old white guy, were attracted to immigrate to (or your family, if you were fortunate enough to be born here).

Lest we forget my ass, what if the dough heads are too self-absorbed to know what happened in the first place? I find myself hoping you live in gadget encrusted den full of granite countertops and stainless steel, a 105% financed shoebox in the sky, that is a monument to you selfishness and stupidity, currently kept a float by a paycheque from a contract job, which will not be renewed because you are too busy whining about your career path and how small your cubicle is to actually be making a contribution in the role you are supposed to be fulfilling.

I feel sorry for your parents, you’re a little *sshole.

#193 stage1dave on 11.13.11 at 12:38 pm

Looking back over this comment thread, I’ve noticed the “generational” thingie making repeated appearances. Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, etc. May have been guilty about referencing it a few times myself…

I don’t think there EVER has been any “good jobs”; to an 18 yr old or newly minted university grad, a “good job” pays you more money than you can spend & lets you do precisely what you want…when you want. They don’t exist! Many of us have probably had a shovel or two in the crap pile at one time or another…

I spent a lot of time doing stuff I didn’t want to do, to earn money so I COULD do the things I wanted later on.

Hard work, perseverance, ambition, talent, etc, will assure you “get somewhere” or “succeed”…more BS. For every 100 people who work real hard, have great ideas, pay their bills, blah, blah, blah, perhaps one or two will “make it” and/or wind up with an overflowing bank account. (that does appear to be the only measure of success in our society) Over 35 years of working & traveling, I’ve noticed many inverse correlations of this proverb.

Kids of any generation aren’t stupid, all it takes is a Kardashian or two to make them doubt the benefits of “hard work” & “perseverance”. Far better to be in the right place at the right time.

(And as reality TV demonstrates every day, there’s more exposure available if you’re living like a pig & forgetting to do the dishes for a couple decades…)

It’s worth mentioning that the last couple generations have grown up looking at their parents’ housing (& job descriptions) as an asset that ALWAYS appreciates…obviously, (with a couple of isolated exceptions) that is now at an end. Having grown up in an era of consumerism financed by HELOCS & CC’s; a sea change of attitudes is what’s needed now.

Lifestyles financed by easy credit were probably a bad thing, & that’s what’s going to change quickly in the years ahead. Banks will return to acting like banks as soon as any form of risk appears on the horizon.

#194 Andrew from Saskatoon on 11.13.11 at 1:06 pm

“Any recommendations for an online brokerage for someone just getting started?”

Unless you’re some kind of stock-picking prodigy, I would never start out with a fee-per-trade system. If you want some level of control, you might want to consider starting out with the salesmen at Investors Group, and just pick your own mutual funds. They’ll try to sell you their generic funds, but you can always override them.

The reason I would suggest this route is, despite the high 2-3% annual fees, they’re really subsidizing you in your early years in the hopes that they’ll buy your loyalty and make money hand over fist off of you by the time you’re a millionaire. The thing is that you can abandon IG once your savings are in the higher 5 figures.

Think about it. The lazy, dumb baby boomers with 7 figures saved with IG are subsidizing people like you who are just getting started. Why wouldn’t you accept this kind of gift?

#195 MarcFromOttawa on 11.13.11 at 1:57 pm

#194 Andrew

Because most mutual fund managers fail to beat the index.

#196 Grantmi on 11.13.11 at 1:59 pm

For those of you in Vongcouver!! Check the reason for driving sky high prices here. Other provinces (and other countries) have figured out how to curtail absentee foreign owners!

But Mayor Moombeen won’t go there, unless to offend his voters!!!

#197 Sotiri on 11.13.11 at 2:15 pm

Here is what you can buy in Toronto with $700.000. The part i like is the ** EXTRAS ** All Elfs, Fridge, Stove, …in a teardown property. Is getting funny and it will not end well.

#198 Condo Sucker on 11.13.11 at 2:21 pm


#34, sell XIU at $20? Are you crazy? XIU is worth easily $40 based on the underlying firms, the enormous cashflows they generate, and in comparison to RE prices and interest rates.


You’re the crazy one if you actually think XIU could reach a share price of $40 or even close to that.

The all time highest share price in the 12 year history of that ETF is $21.31, reached back in 2007. It is currently trading at $17.56.

Check your facts next time.

#199 Patiently Waiting on 11.13.11 at 2:39 pm

Garth, you posted my question but never answered it. So, did you offer the basement dweller a job? If not, why not? He had the motivation to complete two degrees and is good enough to be hired by a golf course.

Surely, the economy will start moving again once rich guys hire young workers to expand business.

#200 Westernman on 11.13.11 at 2:46 pm

UK Love Calling,
Well said. You are right on the money. It’s not just a small cadre of mental cases like BPOE though, it’s the vast majority of the mollycoddled, infantile, pre-pubescent, nanny-state loving population of Canada. They are just eaten up with envy of the U.S.
Standard issue from lazy, government dependent
, liberal physco-babblers though…

#201 Mississauga Renter on 11.13.11 at 2:55 pm

If you’re just starting out, the trading fees from ETF’s are too expensive. The trading fees from monthly contributions to ETF’s are way too high – that’s not a valid plan. If you are dead set on buying ETF’s, best to contribute monthly to TD e-series funds and then once a year transfer it to ETF’s, so you only pay the ETF trading commissions once per year. Note that you have to leave your money in the e-series funds for 3 months to avoid early redemption fees. Generally for accounts less than $50,000 your rate of return is better in TD e-series funds taking fees into account. You could use e-series funds for stock and bond indexes, and reserve ETF purchases for, say, REIT’s (no e-series funds for those).

Trades are ten bucks. Get a grip. — Garth

#202 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 11.13.11 at 2:58 pm

it’s the vast majority of the mollycoddled, infantile, pre-pubescent, nanny-state loving population of Ontario.

Fixed it for you.

#203 Andrew from Saskatoon on 11.13.11 at 3:02 pm


They fail to beat the index because the vast majority of the world is completely clueless about economic fundamentals. If you don’t educate yourself about economics, then you can’t expect to do any better than the average schmuck. Considering that the average schmuck loses underperforms inflation, that’s not a good thing.

Trusting the Investors Group reps to do a good job with your money is no different than trusting your real estate agent or used car salesman to get you a good deal. People have no trouble researching plasma TVs, cars, and sports bets, but they balk when it comes to the research that matters most. These people deserve to lose their money.

My comment was directed at people who feel they have a solid enough understanding of economics to be comfortable doing their own investing. The percentage of people who are savvy enough to pick the right mutual funds is pretty small (say 10%), but the percentage of people savvy enough to pick their own stocks is far smaller (let’s say 1%). My comment is directed at the 9%.

To the remaining 90%, smarten up and take an interest in your money. Then study the world. After you’ve done that, take my advice.

#204 Andrew from Saskatoon on 11.13.11 at 3:06 pm

… And when I say you shouldn’t trust the Investors Group people, I don’t mean you shouldn’t use them at all. I mean you should pick the right mutual funds and reject their cookie-cutter generic advice. You should use them when you’re starting out because their 2-3% fees on a small amount of money is a very good deal.

#205 Patiently Waiting on 11.13.11 at 3:11 pm

192 – “old canadian white guys” Men in their 60s or 70s were born after the wars or were too young to fight in them. They enjoyed the post-war prosperity without making the sacrifices to create it.

193 – I’ve talked to people who entered the workforce in the 1950s-1970s. Face the facts, it was easier to get started then.

#206 Linda Pearson on 11.13.11 at 3:15 pm

#192renters rule on 11.13.11 at 12:29 pm

You’re a little rough on the kid, don’t you think. But the gist of your premise is certainly true. A couple of weeks ago, in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the editorial cartoon depicted an old chap in his Legion blazer and medals saying to a scruffy twenty-something, “When I was your age, we occupied Europe.” Powerful stuff, believe me.

#207 Westernman on 11.13.11 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for


#208 Westernman on 11.13.11 at 3:35 pm

No criticism of the sacred cow of Quebec here, huh?

Your comments are too embarrassing to post. Go take a dump on Free Dominion. — Garth

#209 renters rule on 11.13.11 at 3:45 pm

Pay attention (to quote the master!), men in their 70s today were children of war. Their fathers left and in far too many cases, did not come back. If they did return, the families endured unbelievable hardships while they were gone, and uncertain futures when they returned.

The people who worked and paid taxes from 1950 to 1980 built the backbone of the infrastructure of this country. We have all been mostly “reaping” ever since.

I agree with sentiments of LS in Arbutus — the weenies graduating from school these days who apparently want to be paid for their “specialness” or something, as opposed to their actual value add, need to recalibrate their neediness…. being one of thousands graduating with a bachelor’s degree and expecting to today, now, drive a beemer and live in shiny new condo “purchased” with absolutely no skin in the game….. their parents may have deprived them of tough life lessons throughout their coddled childhood, but they are about to learn them in spades over the coming decade or so. ying and yang.

#210 Mississauga Renter on 11.13.11 at 3:45 pm

Trades are ten bucks. Get a grip. — Garth
No Garth, it’s more like do the math.

If you make only one ETF purchase per month to invest $200 per month, the $10 trading fee is 5% which is ridiculously high. Even investing $500 per month, that one ETF purchase will cost you 2% which is still a very high (and unnecessary) investing cost.

Tax-deductible. — Garth

#211 Samson on 11.13.11 at 4:13 pm

Garth is one of the few who recognizes the danger facing us: our society doesn’t need more peasants, but more captains.

#212 OttawaMike on 11.13.11 at 4:47 pm

#191 Mike Rotch on 11.13.11 at 12:19 pm
and Bottoms up 179

Chlorine has saved 10’s of millions of lives from water borne illnesses.

THM’s: Bad? perhaps but nobody can even come up with one death caused by them.

Unfortunately there are no good substitutes. Ozone and UV sterilization have no residual effect to keep the drinking water pathogen free in the pipes.

Waste water plants country wide are now being forced to de-chlorinate at great public expense and with little science to even justify it in many cases.

#213 GTA Girl on 11.13.11 at 4:56 pm

I agree we cannot coddle our children, and have to push or show them to be independent.

But I don’t agree with this very Canadian attitude of kicking them out at 19 and let them survive.

The only people you can fully rely on (for most people) is their family. Raise your kids to pull their share of workload and take pride in accomplishments, and let them know that their family is behind them every step.

Family is your tribe.

At 19 they are men and women, not children. — Garth

#214 Macrath on 11.13.11 at 5:14 pm

Trades are ten bucks. Get a grip. — Garth

You need 50k in household assets to qualify for the $10 trades otherwise $29. You must also use e-services under 100k.

Tax-deductible. — Garth
Is that adding the commission fees into the capitial gains/loss calculation ?

#215 Westernman on 11.13.11 at 5:18 pm

Too embarrassing? Or do you mean to damm close to the truth? It’s so easy to be on the wrong side these days…

No, embarrassing. (And it’s spelled ‘damn’.) — Garth

#216 Nemesis on 11.13.11 at 5:33 pm

Wildly out of context. — Garth

Agreed , with apologies (as regards the point you were making – indeed, a view with which I tend to concur).

The citation in question was merely a brutal reminder (a feeble and/or poorly chosen one, perhaps)… that oft times, a personal “fail” is an historically contingent, systemically determined event of exogenous origin[s]… the outcome of grotesque externalities inherently beyond the control of the individual; i.e. – ‘locus of control’ exists upon a continnuum (and even in the best of times, ‘externals’ matter/are a factor).

Regardless, ‘externalities’ are, perhaps, at their cruellest when they are visited upon the young.

#217 Westernman on 11.13.11 at 5:38 pm

I seem to recall that not long ago in this country enough people in Western Canada shared my opinion about Quebec that there was a strong political movement to seperate Western Canada from Eastern Canada… that movement is still alive today beneath the MSM radar.
My point is that I have plenty of company out here in the west who agree with me on that subject… PLENTY of company.

You are all embarrassing. I will accept no more comments on the partitioning of the nation. — Garth

#218 sue on 11.13.11 at 5:43 pm

179 Bottom’s Up. Distilling to ensure pure drinking water and slapping a filter on your shower head (removes chlorine) goes a loooooong way to keeping your family healthy. Distilling removes everything except for H20.
Why just stick your head in the sand and “…. not worry about it”. ??? Cancer used to be 1 in 300…now it’s 1 in 2.6…think it’s something we’re doing? ya think?

#219 jess on 11.13.11 at 5:44 pm

grand da to grand son

#220 Macrath on 11.13.11 at 6:00 pm

A problem emerges with the ETF cash flow that builds up in your account at zero % interest, unless you DRIP all your investments. The e-funds solve this problem for me because you can buy in with $100 . I just wish there was a better selection. The MERs are lower than some ETFs.

Anyone know when Vanguard is coming to town?

#221 The thing in the basement on 11.13.11 at 6:49 pm

Andrew (Sask) and Marc (Ottawa) – the reason the average fund doesnt beat the market is that collectively
they make up such a large portion of the market, therefore the average fund should only match market returns. Then as pointed out there are the fees. Also, if a fund is mandated to stay fully invested the manager
may not to be able to shelter themselves quick enough.

#222 SLN on 11.13.11 at 7:11 pm


@ “renters rule”

Your guesses as to my status are all wrong, papi. SO wrong it is hilarious.

but that’s neither here nor there. nice try, dragging veterans into it. wow. deflect much?

oh.. and I’m a renter, too. much love,

#223 SLN on 11.13.11 at 7:14 pm

@ Linda Pearson –

they occupied Europe because that’s where the war was. Today the war is here – its weapons are not guns and bombs, however, so people are slow to see it. the war on the young is fought using financial instruments these days. if you had any guts you’d be on the front lines, but instead, just like during the ‘real’ wars, I suppose it’s easier to let others do the fighting for you.

#224 jess on 11.13.11 at 7:16 pm

#225 Linda Pearson on 11.13.11 at 7:56 pm

#223SLN on 11.13.11 at 7:14 pm

You can rag on me all you want. But don’t you dare, not ever, accuse me of being gutless. You have no idea what my days and nights are and will be for the rest of my life.

#226 Andrew from Saskatoon on 11.13.11 at 8:18 pm

#221 The thing

Again, I’m not talking about following the herd. I’m talking about picking the right mutual funds and beating the herd.