The big reveal

BUMMER modified

Daily (almost) I write a pithy article for thith pathetic blog. Routinely a small but weird coterie of commenters gives me feedback. But I’d always wondered who the readers are and what they’re like.

Last week I told you what I know about you. Of the twenty thousand lost souls who show up daily, four in 10 live in the GTA, Calgary or Vancouver, and eighty per cent appear to be addicted. Most spend three minutes, which means they consume the post and ignore the comments (incredibly wise). The biggest crowd of people reading at any one time happens routinely around 10 pm EDT, when your spouse most needs attention.

Beyond that, blind. So a few days ago I asked for a bit of demographic info and your prediction for house prices. Would my audience turn out to be blinking, pasty, basement-dwelling, parental-sucking, low-income Millennials, or an ageing herd of arrogant, job-hogging, house-rich, disdainful Boomers?

Well, who knew? The result was illuminating. And voluminous. Over 800 responded, overwhelming the GreaterFool crack Statistical Analysis & Quant Unit. So they went home to watch soccer. The job was left to another blog to analyze this blog, which has to tell you something. Because they have no lives, the guys at Toronto Condo Bubble spent the weekend crunching and graphing, and this is their report.

BTW. You’re richer than you think.

__________________________________________________________

A typical doomer is in his 30’s, has a household income of $150,800 on average, is likely to be a renter and expects home prices to drop north of 20% down the road.

Not what you expected? Then keep reading. A few days back Garth Turner asked few questions in his Who Are You post: “(a) rent or own, (b) family income, (c) age and (d) your outlook for real estate over the next one or two years.” Since Mr. Turner made it clear that he won’t be producing any graphs based on the generated data I decided to do it myself. Below is what I got.

You would expect that a lot of real estate bears would be living in their parents basement but this is just not the case.

CHART 1 modified  

The median household income of a greaterfool.ca reader was $125,000 which is significantly higher than the 2011 median household income in Canada of $57,700.

How come all the doomers are high earners you may ask. One possibility is that people who make a lot of money care more about learning personal finance than those who make an average income.

CHART 2 modified

Below is income distribution by age group:

CHART 3 modified

The most active age group on Garth Turner’s blog is 30 something. 38% of people in their 30’s own and 62% rent. Of those who are in their fifties, 48% rent and 52% own.

CHART 4 modified

About 80% of Garth’s blog readership believe that home prices will eventually fall. Near 7% believe that home prices will continue to go up and around 13% believe that prices will continue to remain flat.

CHART 5 modified

Notes: In total I went over 827 comments from which I coded 530. Comments which included incomplete information and trolling (Smoking Man) were not included in the analyzed data set. There were a lot of single individuals in the sample and in many cases it was not clear on whether income was for an individual or a family. Long story short, I counted all the incomes and labeled it household (singles + families). With regards to the real estate outlook, lots of people included the long term prediction, so I’ve included that one too.

207 comments ↓

#1 Al on 06.23.14 at 5:27 pm

Boy are people funny about the money. Waste their whole lives chasing the dolla and putting up a false front. Poor souls

#2 BG on 06.23.14 at 5:28 pm

“BTW. You’re richer than you think.”

Richer than me for sure!
Now I feel like the only dude insisting to keep his towel on in the lockers room

#3 Buy When They Cry, Sell When They Yell on 06.23.14 at 5:41 pm

What I’d like to know is the blog dogs income by region. $150,000 goes a lot further here in Winnipeg than in Vancouver. I’m still amazed at the number of high income earners, though I suppose it does make sense that most people who would read a daily blog on how not to get screwed financially would probably be people concerned with amassing and preserving wealth.

#4 Darryl on 06.23.14 at 5:43 pm

Guys
I don’t know what I am .Born in 65 am I a Boomer or an X ?

#5 Smoking Man on 06.23.14 at 5:47 pm

trolling (Smoking Man) 

Ha, I made page 1…. Eat your heart of dogs…

Nice pic…

#6 Jimmy on 06.23.14 at 5:50 pm

Too bad you can’t control for selection bias.
In the future a more formal approach http://www.poll-maker.com/ may produce more relevant data. A talking point was created either way I suppose.

#7 Montellino on 06.23.14 at 5:52 pm

Haha love how Smoking Man got picked out of the crowd
Anyways thanks for the graph dude but you were better off spending the wknd chasing tail than telling us that over 70% of readers think house prices will decline 15-30%

#8 Smoking Man on 06.23.14 at 5:59 pm

I’m so sick I can’t even spell out, I wrote of..

Back to bed

#9 Randy on 06.23.14 at 6:05 pm

I deliberately keep my income down to reduce the tax theft by our governments.

#10 Mike in Surrey on 06.23.14 at 6:05 pm

Addicted reader, following your chart as owners, household income of $140,000, in our 40s, and going against the crowd that Housing will go Up! Yes, we’re richer than we think, and my wife plans to retire at 55.

#11 Smoking Man on 06.23.14 at 6:13 pm

What amazing luck, at the casino I’m playing Mississippi, next to me a publisher, specializing in fiction.

Told him I’m working on one, nearly finished. So I let him read chapter one.

Blew him away, he says Grammer and spelling horrible.. Content spectacular, original..

He wants me to send in the manuscript, and may offer me a contract.. I haven’t even copyright it yet.

He called 3 times today… I dident pick up.

I’m going self publish route… Cause I know when he hits chapter 2. He will want it changed or it will upset him so much he might jump out the window.

#12 devore on 06.23.14 at 6:16 pm

It’s rather pointless to analyze the responses, and even worse to draw any conclusions based on it.

#13 Toronto Condo Bubble on 06.23.14 at 6:22 pm

Thanks for re posting Garth.

Here’s the link to the Data set if anyone wants to make more charts out of it.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1I1kD8hE7FSSy8UmLlZHbafbmomGXlXZvnSGzFriUr80/pubhtml

#14 Saskatchewan Girl on 06.23.14 at 6:34 pm

To #2 BG: I feel the same as you do! You know what, screw everything, let’s just let the towel drop and be proud! Our low-middle income is what it is: After all, maybe size doesn’t matter so much as how we use it (i.e. reading this blog and applying its principles). So cheers to all the low-middle income earners on this blog – very little is needed to make a happy life! And you know what? Since starting to read this blog a few years ago, I silently harboured a wee bit of a suspicion that reading this blog officially classified me as a doomer – out of touch with a balanced view of our country’s economic fundamentals – that maybe real estate is not in as bad a state as Garth suggests. But after seeing these numbers – I now feel more confident! And yes, Jimmy, it would be interesting to see the results via pollmaker.com. A great big THANKS to the guys at TORONTO CONDO BUBBLE for crunching these numbers – you are very cool and very appreciated! How awesome to learn that there are plenty of high income earners in Canada who willingly CHOOSE to rent simply because it makes financial sense. Now, I’m even more proud to be going AGAINST THE GRAIN!

#15 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.23.14 at 6:34 pm

Going by those stats, my income will be dropping after age 40… So much for those “prime earning years” in your 40’s and 50’s!

And – kinda throws a wrench in all of those financial planning myths about magically “catching up” on lost investment years later in life.

#16 triplenet on 06.23.14 at 6:35 pm

Devore….
we may conclude the following (or not):

We either rent or own (50/50)
Our income is ~$130,000
Market values may fall 15%
…….So say the 35 year olds.

#17 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 6:36 pm

Nice job, Toronto Condo Bubble!

The more vocal, regular commenters seem to skew a bit older, but interesting to see it’s lots of 30-somethings flocking to hear Garth’s word. Sure, we have more time to recover from self-inflicted financial disaster, but better to avoid castration entirely.

#18 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 6:37 pm

#4 Darryl on 06.23.14 at 5:43 pm

I’d say among the youngest of Boomers.

#19 Saskatchewan Girl on 06.23.14 at 6:38 pm

To Darryl: I’m pretty sure you’re a Baby Boomer. My mother was born in 1957, putting her right at the youngest end of the boomers (I think the cut-off is 1955).

#20 Joe2.0 on 06.23.14 at 6:38 pm

Great shot of Smoking Man.

#21 Mr. Zipper on 06.23.14 at 6:40 pm

Daryl….”Guys
I don’t know what I am .Born in 65 am I a Boomer or an X ?”

I’ll trade you my Boomer for your X anyday.

#22 4 AM Sunrise on 06.23.14 at 6:49 pm

#15 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.23.14 at 6:34 pm

The “prime earning years” used to be in your 40’s and 50’s. Nowadays, aren’t these the prime layoff years as companies turf older workers for TFWs, cheap and easy Millennials, and outsourced labour?

#23 james on 06.23.14 at 6:50 pm

Merging individual and dual incomes together into household income is probably necessary, but a little difficult from an interpretation standpoint.

The most surprising to me is income reported for people in their 20s. I don’t know many 20 somethings making 110k, so I assume many of these are dual income families.

And yes, the question of location is important. An 80k salary is not much given living costs in Toronto or Vancouver, but one can live like a king in Kentville or Pittsburgh.

#24 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 6:51 pm

#2 BG on 06.23.14 at 5:28 pm

Ha ha! Don’t feel bad, not everyone played, for whatever reason (I noticed #440 Son of Ponzi had a wish list, only got 2/4).

Maybe the bigger takeaway is that Garth convinced hundreds of readers to publicly post (truthful?) personal data on the internet. It’s certainly a devoted following.

#25 fredmcgriff on 06.23.14 at 6:51 pm

Garth, you’re avoiding the facts again…

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/Barbara+Yaffe+high+price+housing+America+attic+Canada/9966989/story.html

“The May 28 article, titled This is What Happens When Foreign Investors Invade Vancouver, follows a similar one by an equally surprised writer in The New Yorker magazine.

Housingwire says the challenge for Vancouver, and cities like it, “is that foreign investment isn’t an unalloyed good.

“It’s great for existing home owners, who see the value of their homes rise, and for the city’s tax revenues.

“But it also makes owning a home impossible for much of the city’s population,” according to the magazine, echoing a widely expressed lament of Vancouverites.”

#26 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 6:54 pm

#22 4 AM Sunrise on 06.23.14 at 6:49 pm

You got it. That old life path isn’t a sure thing anymore. Better to bust your tail in your 20s and 30s and make your money then, so when employers no longer want you in your 40s and onwards your second career as a barista or “sandwich artist” is not completely involuntary.

#27 Mister Obvious on 06.23.14 at 6:57 pm

#4 Darryl

You’re an X-Boomer.

I have a good friend also born in 1965. He’s “on the cusp”, I suppose. He enjoys none of the privileges of early boomerhood and must deal with all the social and financial challenges of Gen-Xer’s.

But I really am a boomer and he’s got 15 years on me. I can’t buy that no matter how much cash I have.

#28 Shawn on 06.23.14 at 6:59 pm

Not a random sample of the GreaterFool visitors

I share the concerns of Jimmy and Devore that the sample would not be random/ accurate.

The analysis and graphs may be very precise but also very wrong.

There was no attempt here to draw a random sample and it seems likely that those with the biggest incomes were mostt likley to want to show and tell.

Then there is the issue of exaggerating the income.

I am inclined to believe that most of the high incomesw are real but that the sample was not random.

Other people are often richer than you thought.

The basement dwellers were humbled and stayed silent, mostly, I suspect.

Still, a very fun survey.

So, in conclusion, you fared badly. — Garth

#29 Gen Y on 06.23.14 at 7:00 pm

I’m just so amazed by the high income of those in their 20s, it’s giving me a complex. I thought I was doing quite well compare to my peers before reading this.

#30 Mister Obvious on 06.23.14 at 7:17 pm

If the age range of this blog’s commenters is anywhere near that of the entire readership, almost everyone is very much younger than the author.

This tells us something… but I’m not sure what. This could only happen in the world of finance. Pop stardom, for example, certainly does not work that way. Unless maybe you’re Paul McCartney. Dunno.

#31 Mishuko on 06.23.14 at 7:17 pm

Man that hurts… knowing I’m in that 2% group and not even making the same income. Atleast I can hope to make more in the future.

One surprising thing is there were no teens! Or did I miss them? Would be interesting to see if they care.

#32 the jaguar on 06.23.14 at 7:19 pm

Garth; does any of the information used to make those pretty graphs take the “B.S” factor into account? Oh, I suppose it’s all rather harmless. It was an awful lot of posts. An illustration of the same “herd” mentality that is the subject of your blog most days. For what it’s worth, I figure the drop will be between 20-30% based on location. Depends on whether there is an external event not related to real estate itself that precipitates the decline. It does seem like the stars are aligning for change. I notice other more subtle indicators as well. Certain demographics are abandoning the big cities. Climbing real estate prices doesn’t explain all of it. It’s more like an exit strategy before those cities become uninhabitable for those who are beginning to find them so… Think “Gotham City”.
The Jaguar was born in the year of the classics. Somehow survives on high five figure income but values other things more than money. Currently renting in a little box after pocketing cash from the sale of my last home. Doing inventory on all my possessions to determine their contribution to my well being, utility, and lean mobility.
I do like to read the comments of certain blog contributors, but some post too much, too often, and are too self congratulatory in their comments. Garth always makes me smile.

#33 Doc on 06.23.14 at 7:20 pm

Boomers like me were born between 1946 and 1964

#34 Banjopete on 06.23.14 at 7:24 pm

I posted household as I assume most did. Either way more than I need and enough to worry about what to do with it. I also agree that most folks come here because they also have extra money and care what happens to it/with it so it is a skewed segmented readership.

#35 brainsail on 06.23.14 at 7:27 pm

#24 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 6:51 pm

“Maybe the bigger takeaway is that Garth convinced hundreds of readers to publicly post (truthful?) personal data on the internet. It’s certainly a devoted following.”

The incomes reported are quite startling. I wonder if many are unreported incomes to Revenue Canada because of all the under the table incomes that I remember when I lived there. Left in 1983 and unreported cash incomes were often bragged about in the circle of friends that I knew.

#36 TimV on 06.23.14 at 7:28 pm

For long term real estate predictions, you need to specify real or nominal terms, too. Over 10 years (not even a full real estate cycle), inflation has a large effect — easily up 30%, with a reasonable 2.5%/year assumption.

#37 Mr. Reality on 06.23.14 at 7:36 pm

Great post Garth, interesting info indeed.

I’m curious as to what the net worth of us folks are in comparison to home owners and renters per age group.

I know a number of 30 something homeowners that are ridiculously in debt and cannot calculate a positive net worth…

Sheeple

Mr rm

#38 D.D. Corkum on 06.23.14 at 7:37 pm

#29 Gen Y on 06.23.14 at 7:00 pm

I’m just so amazed by the high income of those in their 20s, it’s giving me a complex. I thought I was doing quite well compare to my peers before reading this.

—-

Likewise, I found that number surprising too. But then, Millenials only made up 15% of comments whereas I figure the percentage would be much higher on if the blog wasn’t about personal finances.

So the income figure here really doesn’t represent typical Millenials. Rather, it seems that only wealthier ones visit the site at all.

#39 D.D. Corkum on 06.23.14 at 7:43 pm

#28 Shawn on 06.23.14 at 6:59 pm

Not a random sample of the GreaterFool visitors

—-

Of course it isn’t. But some of the statistics are still pretty useful.

If someone lies and claims they make a million dollars, it will heavily skew the average. The median, however, will remain fairly stable. So you can meaningfully compare the medians to other surveys which are likely also subject to self-reporting bias.

#40 john doe on 06.23.14 at 7:46 pm

Is it a surprise that the stats are skewed… more renters visit this site… REALLY? lol. wow.

i quesiton the numbers and the people that actually posted. aren’t too many 20 somethings making that much cash – even dual incomes – in toronto/vancouver/montral.

Why bother lying on an anonymous blog using a cake name? For what advantage? — Garth

#41 No Debt on 06.23.14 at 7:59 pm

@ #4 Darryl on 06.23.14 at 5:43 pm

“I don’t know what I am .Born in 65”

You’re probably screwed.

#42 Ralph Cramdown on 06.23.14 at 8:04 pm

I tracked down the quote about a project selling out in Thornhill, from the comments yesterday. Led me to a board with lots of threads from house-horny new build buyers, mainly from north of Toronto and around Ottawa, but elsewhere too.
http://www.buildinghomes.ca/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=24

I discovered that signing a contract with a builder only obligates you to take delivery of a house with finishes that your wife would divorce you over. Later, after your cheques have cleared, you get round two, where the developer soaks you for the soaker tub, or to build it to $million house spec in the first place (“Vinnie says you pay the extra $5,000 or all your ceilings get the stipple popcorn treatment. Not personal, just business.”)

I foolishly thought that the upgrades would be priced at cost plus a generous markup for the builder, but it appears they’re extracting as much as they can from people who don’t know material and labour costs, or don’t want to hire contractors after closing. There’s also stories about people replacing floors and even kitchens as soon as they take possession, as they felt the builder’s choices weren’t acceptable, but couldn’t negotiate changes, substitutions, or deletions.

The thought that people are willing to stand in line to contract for a $1.2mm house, KNOWING that they’re going to get treated like a mug and screwed on the finishes and extras (not the first new home purchase for some of them) boggles my mind.

#43 courage and poo on 06.23.14 at 8:08 pm

It’s gonna be a whole lot of courage and poo from here on out.

#44 save. spend. splurge. on 06.23.14 at 8:08 pm

Re: “BS” incomes

Question all you want.

No one cares if you believe them or not, they’re the ones raking in the dough and couldn’t care less other than being proud of their income.

#45 2or3orsometimes7 on 06.23.14 at 8:08 pm

#30 Mister Obvious

‘If the age range of this blog’s commenters is anywhere near that of the entire readership, almost everyone is very much younger than the author.

This tells us something… but I’m not sure what. This could only happen in the world of finance. Pop stardom, for example, certainly does not work that way. Unless maybe you’re Paul McCartney. Dunno.’

—————————————–
I think it tells us that 30 year olds need mentors. And that we cannot turn to our parents for advice.

#46 wayne on 06.23.14 at 8:10 pm

The most surprising to me is income reported for people in their 20s. I don’t know many 20 somethings making 110k, so I assume many of these are dual income families.

People in their 20s are more insecure and more likely to anonymously lie on the internet about their income.

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

#47 Drill Baby Drill on 06.23.14 at 8:22 pm

Dear Pathetic Blog : what this survey tells me is that the 30 something bloggers on this post are listening and are not blind to the mortgage lender tricks. This is a very hopeful sign for our offspring ( I am staring 60 right in the face). Yes that’s right I am pre-disco BABY !!

#48 CanadianCorner on 06.23.14 at 8:26 pm

That guy sure has a lot of time on his hands to compile all those comments.

#49 omg on 06.23.14 at 8:28 pm

Pretty affluent group reading this blog, must have a fair bit of grey matter behind it all.

I wonder how it compares to the income of the average house/condo buyer in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver.

Not that I am saying GF readers are smarter than those people buying houses right now, I would never say that, I would not.

#50 Vangrrl on 06.23.14 at 8:30 pm

I am more surprised by the number of people making comments like ‘I feel inadequate/I am depressed now/I thought I was doing ok (until I compared myself to people who make more money).
I would get depressed if I had to sit all day/drive to work/work more than 30 hrs a week. But I reckon Garth’s followers are mostly Type A’s?!

#51 TheCatFoodLady on 06.23.14 at 8:30 pm

Anyone using a regular ‘name’ or alias here hopes they’ve developed brand recognition; they pride themselves on their perceived persona. If they think they’re perceived as being well off, educated, cultured – pick your parameter – they’re not going to say anything that might blow that out of the water. You’d think it wouldn’t matter but to many it does – after years of moderating a discussion forum, it appears to be a fairly common thing.

I’ll admit it was a bit jaw dropping to see how much better most are doing compared to The Main Squeeze and me. I knew we were at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder but didn’t know we were barely clutching to that bottom rung & trying to keep our toes out of the muck – LOL. Every sample needs outliers though & for those who might have hesitated to post a lower income – don’t be.

Many of you are just starting out or trying to get past punches life has thrown at you. Chip away at prosperity – you’ll get there. There is plenty of great advice here & the basics don’t change. And you may be stuck in a low income rut, either for now or permanently. It’s not the end of the world – trust me on that.

Someone said here recently; I think it was here – don’t fret over what you don’t have, appreciate what you DO have. Figure out what’s really important to you as opposed to what society tells you what should be important. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn what truly matters doesn’t have huge dollar signs attached to it.

#52 Daisy Mae on 06.23.14 at 8:33 pm

#12 devore: “It’s rather pointless to analyze the responses, and even worse to draw any conclusions based on it.”

******************

Yes. The responses still remain anonymous so how truthful might it be?

#53 debtified on 06.23.14 at 8:36 pm

Thank you, Toronto Condo Bubble, for doing the tally. Thank you, Garth.

#54 Canada Revenue Agency on 06.23.14 at 8:37 pm

We would like to thank all who forwarded their income to this public blog. Now we will compare it to your filed tax returns.

#55 Daisy Mae on 06.23.14 at 8:38 pm

WIKIPEDIA: “Baby boomers are people born during the demographic Post–World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964.”

#56 devore on 06.23.14 at 8:38 pm

#16 triplenet

Devore….
we may conclude the following (or not):

We either rent or own (50/50)

If by “we” you mean “those who bothered to respond with some possibly factual and accurate information”, then yes, you may conclude so.

#57 waiting on 06.23.14 at 8:39 pm

I realized my response didn’t send (from my ipad instead of computer may have been the problem) and I’m here every day so feel like I should represent my age group. Late Boomer (sounds too much like Late Bloomer). so here goes:
a) rent (after having owned for 28 years)
b) family income $100,000 k, my income dropped from $90K to $15k after losing my job 3 years ago
c) Age – 57
d) prices to drop
You didn’t ask for net worth – mine’s spread out in a couple of dubious investments (Garth would not be impressed) and $500,000 in savings which I thought would go to another house, but not any more after reading this blog for two years. It’s time to get some investment help.

#58 Canada Revenue Agency on 06.23.14 at 8:40 pm

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

No one is anonymous in the digital world.

#59 2or3orsometimes7 on 06.23.14 at 8:40 pm

Re: RE correction and incomes

I think the divide between the rich and poor is really widening. And that makes me think ‘in demand’ areas will correct only slightly (if at all). In those demand areas, the ratio of income to mortgage is probably largely fine, and the few fools that overextend themselves will be able to see to a 1%er if their cash flow falls apart.

#60 Mandria on 06.23.14 at 8:40 pm

I’m kinda curious how many other women are on this blog. The stat results were written as though the readership was male (which is probably largely correct). I’d be interested to know how many other female finance/economics nerds there are out there.

#61 2or3orsometimes7 on 06.23.14 at 8:41 pm

….and the few fools that overextend themselves will be able to SELL to a 1%er if their cash flow falls apart.

#62 stop lying on 06.23.14 at 8:42 pm

#42… buying a new build is always a balance between what can only be done by the builder (like ceiling heights) and what you’d like to be done before you move in, like flooring. almost always you get a credit from the builder for upgrades so that offsets the inflated cost. if you research properly you can identify what has value with the builder and what is best done by yourself after.

btw, in the past when you bought a new build you actually made pretty good coin as the deposits were low and by the time you took possession your house was worth 100k more. i don’t think that is the case any more, but maybe i’m wrong as the new price for my house was 120k higher one week after i signed up for mine. location really is everything.

#63 wayne on 06.23.14 at 8:44 pm

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

For the exact same reason people brag under an anonymous alias online. You see evidence of people doing this in your comments section every single day. I’ll turn your question right back at you – WHY?

It’s because they’re insecure and it helps them feel better about themselves.

#64 stop lying on 06.23.14 at 8:45 pm

btw #2, the internet is the opposite of shrinkage so don’t worry about it too much.

#65 sideline sitter on 06.23.14 at 8:46 pm

location and job are paramount… my first real job I started at $34k, which is not much at all. right place, right industry, and five years later I was over $100k.

two professionals, late 20s, should easily make over $100k in Toronto… if not, theyre doing it wrong. cost of living is too high otherwise.

#66 Daisy Mae on 06.23.14 at 8:51 pm

GARTH: “After all, we come here every day, snipe and bitch at each other, get horny or deleted, make sweeping pronouncements, create facts, or try to sound way richer or macho than we are….”

********************

“…or try to sound way richer or macho than we are”. So I took the survey with a grain of salt.

#67 sideline sitter on 06.23.14 at 8:53 pm

also, vangrrl… I agree with you and I live based on commute. 15 mins by bike, 25 with transit. I could never be a 401 commuter, no matter what I got paid!

#68 Innumeracy Chick No More on 06.23.14 at 8:54 pm

People don’t lie about their income on this site. The point is moot. Besides it’s not what you make it’s what you do with what you make. I get tired of people complaining about what they make and then watch them make very poor decisions and live way beyond their means. It amazes me when my colleagues pay checks are incorrect and a days pay is missed and even though it will be corrected within 48hrs they are freaking out. That’s just sad. Over extended. And they think putting money in the stock market is risky…how about spending all your money before you earn it.

#69 Freedom First on 06.23.14 at 8:58 pm

I was at the lower end of the income curve, and I told the truth on everything I wrote. Like Garth says, why lie on an anonymous blog, and I also believe a very high % were truthful. I know a lot of people in those high income brackets, and quite a number of them rent for many great reasons. Biggest reason being they are rich and know how to invest and make money to accumulate wealth and renting is cheaper right now. They all owned property to live in when it was cheap. Those days will return. Rich Investors know that. They don’t operate by their emotions, they use knowledge and brains. That is why they are rich and the Herd is not. Many high income people are part of the Herd, as financial illiteracy is rampant in our society. 2nd biggest reason they rent, without a doubt, they travel, a lot.

Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1960. Garth has written this # and when the oldest Boomers hit 65 Garth wrote about it.

#70 earthboundmisfit on 06.23.14 at 9:00 pm

A generation is 20 years. Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1966.

#71 waiting on 06.23.14 at 9:01 pm

#50 cat food lady

funny, I had the same thoughts about the income thing, both about what others posted and how I felt about my own (was going to mention it, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as eloquent as your comments).

#72 walltiger on 06.23.14 at 9:01 pm

50 TheCatfoodlady.

you have earned my respect, CatFoodLady.

#73 DreamingInTechnicolour on 06.23.14 at 9:07 pm

Go in low, looks like some folks out west are starting to get desperate….

http://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/spotlight-langley-june-22-2014/#comments

#74 waiting on 06.23.14 at 9:08 pm

#59, you are not alone in your gender group, and I believe Cat Food Lady is also a member of the non-member group.

#75 takla on 06.23.14 at 9:09 pm

I believe most claiming higher than average income were very truthfull.I know I was as I rounded off the numbers as best as I could.
What we have to understand is most quoted their Gross incomes,obviously once you hack off 35 % so the gobermint get their share many are not as prosperous as their stated incomes would suggest.
Also as been noted 80 k in vancouvers high cost of living would not be the same as 80 k in bum- uck nowhere.
80 k with your living expense’s suplimented by a friendly landlord is quite attractive if you ask me tho..

#76 Happy Renting on 06.23.14 at 9:15 pm

#49 Vangrrl on 06.23.14 at 8:30 pm
I am more surprised by the number of people making comments like ‘I feel inadequate/I am depressed now/I thought I was doing ok (until I compared myself to people who make more money).

======

It bears repeating that your living costs mean as much as your income figure.

Within the past year the Globe and Mail published an essay, where the writer lamented that he and his wife made $100k combined, but struggled to afford a condo and one licensed daycare spot in downtown Toronto. Among the irrelevant sniping in the comments, someone made the point that $100k wasn’t a lot of money for the lifestyle the writer’s family was trying to pull off. And that commenter was right. If you live somewhere where everything costs an arm and a leg, the advantage of high earnings is greatly reduced.

#77 Dual Citizen In Canada on 06.23.14 at 9:17 pm

For those who think they don’t make enough compared to people on an anonymous blog, just remember that the more you make, the more you spend. For all the posted incomes, no one posted their disposable income. I’m sure there are some who make 40-60K who have more disposable income than the high earners. The tax man taketh away as you earn more. Be careful what you wish for. Never try and keep up with the Jones’ and think the grass is always greener on the other side. Live within your means.

#78 TurnerNation on 06.23.14 at 9:24 pm

“Hard Work Brings Freedom”

Here were sit, tax slaves in our cities (aka “Agenda 21 concentration camps?) where increasingly energy, travel and food sources are being rationed via higher prices.

Soon we think we will finally pay off our debts to our slave masters and be free! But almost weekly they impose more fines and penalties (taxes and inflation) onto our debt.

Drive them off the land! They cannot have freedom and peace. “Crisis in Iraq II”

The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge
http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Curve-Journey-Profit-Amazons-ebook/dp/B008UX32KY/

“In June 2009, 60 soldiers slipped into the bush above Devil’s Curve, a notorious bend in the two-lane highway connecting Peru’s northern Amazon to the outside world. The soldiers had orders to dislodge the 3,000 Awajun natives who had been camped there for the past 57 days. The subsequent clash was deadly.

At issue was the lease of three-quarters of the jungle to foreign oil and mining interests over the previous decade. The Devil’s Curve untangles the story behind the deadly stand — and the Canadian gold mine that provoked their drastic action.”

– Or closer to home, as a Premier of Ontario said, once:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Harris#Ipperwash_Inquest_.282005-2007.29

“I want the f______ Indians out of the park,”

(Our home and native land?)

#79 jess on 06.23.14 at 9:24 pm

another reveal from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF),

The OMFIF research publication Global Public Investor (GPI) 2014, launched on June 17 is the first comprehensive survey of $29.1 trillion worth of investments held by 400 public sector institutions in 162 countries. The report focuses on investments by 157 central banks, 156 public pension funds and 87 sovereign funds, underlines growing similarities among different categories of public entities owning assets equivalent to 40% of world output.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2014/06/15/david-marsh-new-force-in-world-markets-global-public-investors/10548183/

====================

…”… 8.7 percent increase in water rates, part of a long-standing trend that, according to Food & Water Watch, has seen prices increase 119 percent over the past decade.

This rate hike follows an announcement in March by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department that it would start turning off water for accounts that are past due. According to a late May Director’s Report from the DWSD, there were “44,273 shut-off notices sent to customers in April 2014” alone, resulting in “3,025 shut-offs for nonpayment, and additional collections of $400,000.”..
https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/06/18-7

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24539-buying-up-the-planet-out-of-control-central-banks-on-a-corporate-buying-spree

#80 Jack BeNimble on 06.23.14 at 9:28 pm

A blog post about a blog post about a blog post.

With the graphs, it’s nice to see I’m in the contrarian majority!

#81 Millenial on 06.23.14 at 9:38 pm

Hey Garth,

Over half your readers are in their 20s or 30s. You need to do some research, get in touch with our age group, so you can make your blog posts even more amazing and relevant to us.

Start by listening to these fine minstrels:

DELETED

#82 Ronaldo on 06.23.14 at 9:39 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomers

1946 to 1964 = Baby Boomers

#83 Anonymous Internet Bullsh!tters on 06.23.14 at 9:43 pm

I would like to bet every single person who reported their income in that survey a dollar for every dollar I am sure they over reported their income. I will pay a dollar for every dollar they under reported.

Any takers to divulge their real income reported to Revenue Canada? If everyone came clean and the truth was revealed, I would walk away with millions. Guaranteed.

#84 Innumeracy Chick No More on 06.23.14 at 9:43 pm

# 59 Mandria

I am a woman and started investing in my early 20’s. I did it all wrong, BreX , JDS, made all the mistakes and then I started reading and I wish I knew what I know now back in my 20’s. The best thing I did was live below my means but I didn’t figure that out until I was almost 30. Now in my forties I feel very fortunate and love sharing my knowledge with the younger crowd.

#85 ETF FAN on 06.23.14 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for the info. I was truthful when posting family income and I hope others were, as well. I enjoyed the comment about the peak earning years now being in the 30s. I believe the charts point out this new trend. Too many workers getting the boot in the late 40s early 50s. We tried to save as much as we could in our 20s and early 30s for this reason.

#86 Vamanos Pest on 06.23.14 at 9:44 pm

Garth, you’ve twice so far in the comment section added editorial comments supporting the validity of this by questioning why someone would lie. While I agree that there is no apparent reason to do this, this actually isn’t the problem with the validity. The problem is selection bias. Even if everyone’s answers were honest, it remains entirely possible that 80 or 90 percent of respondents in the survey are in the top half of income of your readership. Put another way, it’s possible the only thing we learned here is that high income earners are much more likely to answer surveys asking about their income than lower income earners.

A fun exercise, but glad you didn’t waste your time on that analysis. For the bloggers that that did spend time on the analysis, their own “About” section says that writing the blog is “a complete waste of time”.

They got that part right.

#87 Janster on 06.23.14 at 9:45 pm

@ Darryl – definitely a boomer my man – but……… perhaps a boomer that relates more to X’ers than to boomers, as I do.

@Saskatchewan girl – right on:
” After all, maybe size doesn’t matter so much as how we use it (i.e. reading this blog and applying its principles). So cheers to all the low-middle income earners on this blog – very little is needed to make a happy life!”

To continue with the innunendo ;) I encourage all of you who buy into this philosophy to keep it up! Richness is state of mind! One can live very well indeed when they know how to make a happy life.

To all readers, I highly recommend you take a look at this to complement your already decent knowledge that things are not all they seem to be:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/85873/why-next-20-years-will-completely-unlike-last-20

Awareness is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half.

#88 Frugal on 06.23.14 at 9:46 pm

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

That income vs age curve is clearly inaccurate — check out Statistics Canada for some real numbers. There’s no way that the median kid (on this blog or anywhere else in Canada) living with parents makes $65k/year. If they did, they wouldn’t be living at home.

I don’t why people lie about their incomes, but it’s statistically improbable that the numbers posted here are anywhere near reality, especially regarding the younger posters. I think the anonymity of the internet has greatly increased the probability of exaggerations and outright lies, not the other way around.

After using an internet pseudonym for a long time, it becomes part of your identity and a source of pride. That’s why nobody on this blog is likely going to come clean and admit that they lied about their income. If they did, their blog name, and by association, their real life self esteem would take a big hit.

Cross reference posters on that survey with the regulars. — Garth

#89 Ronaldo on 06.23.14 at 9:46 pm

#50 TheCatFoodLady –

”You may be pleasantly surprised to learn what truly matters doesn’t have huge dollar signs attached to it.”

That is so true.

#90 OlderbutWiser on 06.23.14 at 9:47 pm

Freedom First, you were at the bottom of the range and told the truth….I was at the top of the range and also told the truth. I have nothing to gain by not being truthful. And, CRA….I declare all of my income.

Mandria, I am also female and although I gave my family income, I make over 2/3rd’s of that amount. I do all of the investing for us since my husband is incredibly risk adverse. He would be fully invested in GIC’s. But, I love him dearly and he pays all of the bills and does the cooking LOL!

I have been following Garth since he was a columnist at the Sun. I have several of his earlier books. I admire and respect his outlook on the economy and his strategy for a balanced portfolio is sound. His zingers keep me coming back for a laugh.

Life is not about spending money, the important things are a good marriage, love and respect for your partner, spending time with your children and family. If you have that, then you are truly “rich”.

#91 Bargains everywhere on 06.23.14 at 9:54 pm

#59 Mandria on 06.23.14 at 8:40 pm

I’m kinda curious how many other women are on this blog.

**********

There’s a few of us out here.

#92 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.23.14 at 9:58 pm

@ #39 D.D. Corkum on 06.23.14 at 7:43 pm
#28 Shawn on 06.23.14 at 6:59 pm

Not a random sample of the GreaterFool visitors

—-

Of course it isn’t. But some of the statistics are still pretty useful.

If someone lies and claims they make a million dollars, it will heavily skew the average. The median, however, will remain fairly stable. So you can meaningfully compare the medians to other surveys which are likely also subject to self-reporting bias.
————————————–

I didn’t post my specific income (it varies a LOT year over year, based on bonuses, stock prices, etc.), and that would have skewed things UP… so, there are some data points missing from both sides of the greater fool survey.

#93 lala on 06.23.14 at 9:58 pm

Nice charts but he missed the same age wifes. For some unexplained reasons blog dogs don’t like young wifes. This is a big factor that housing is not crashing. Can’t wait to learn swift coding……

#94 Frugal on 06.23.14 at 10:00 pm

Cross reference posters on that survey with the regulars. — Garth

I’m not a regular poster so maybe somebody else could do this as I have no idea who the regular posters are. It would be interesting to compare the income curve of the regulars vs the occasionals. If the two curves match, then it doesn’t make any difference if you’re a regular or not.

The argument postulated was that regulars with established names on this blog were trying to impress with inflated incomes. I’d say two-thirds of the 800 were first-time posters, according to IPs. — Garth

#95 OttawaguyRenting on 06.23.14 at 10:03 pm

Sitting around drinking till 2am on Saturday night a block away from my rented pad at another rented pad in “Posh” Ottawa

“look at all the Yuppies” my mate blurts while we devour another round of whiskey as our wives chat on the sofa “all around us down here…500k in homes…Suburus and volvos and BIG BIG baby carriages all lined up”

“ain’t gonna end well”

It won’t. They are all NEW. Like the polish on that Audi..so NEW. NEW to our hood where combined our two pads are worth $2300 a month. NEW to being YuPPie.
Oh they look so immune to falling flat on their smug faces..they do.

“what happens in 5 when 5percent is the new norm?”

“Ill Lease that Audi R8 Squint FACE and BirkenSTOCK wife drive around in for real cheap”

:D

We don’t care for it.

We just watch from the sidelines while those people don’t leave the house cause they can’t afford to do anything but fuel their expensive car and shove formula down their snot nosed kids gullet.

Keep hustling and jiving DOGs

The party will be over and I’ll be watching the exodus of “Posh”ville

Ottawa – Glebe is for sale if anyone is interested. 5 houses a street…..
Burn

#96 Goldie on 06.23.14 at 10:08 pm

hi Garth and all,

thought you might enjoy “we’ll shoot your stuff” video #7 because they shoot a KIA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYavDwuU6XU

#97 Darren on 06.23.14 at 10:11 pm

I’ve been having a debate with someone on another blog who insists that it’s ALWAYS better to buy than rent over the long term. Despite giving him numbers proving differently he is determined to believe in his theory.

Please take a look at the talk between myself and Kyle here:

http://www.torontorealtyblog.com/archives/the-friday-rant-is-honesty-no-longer-the-best-policy/11113

See if you can convince him he’s wrong or perhaps he’s right and I’m wrong? I just can’t see how!

#98 gmc on 06.23.14 at 10:12 pm

here it comes, by the fall if not sooner, are you ready!!!
todays Quote
“The implied understanding is that crowd behavior and markets are definable and thus predictable, which they are not — that there is a science to something in which very little science is involved. Predicting the markets is not like predicting the phases of the moon. As Charles Mackay went to lengths to point out in Extraordinary Popular Delusions or the Madness of Crowds (1841), you cannot rationalize what is essentially irrational. That is one of the reasons why people own gold coins. Hedging one’s portfolio with gold comprises the armchair approach to outlier or black swan events, and it is essentially foolproof. ”
why load up that TFSA with some good Canadian juniors
such as :http://www.theralase.com/www2/ a cure for cancer perhaps or if you are into gold
Novo resources: potential new Wittwaterrans type deposit in Australia….. half of all the worlds gold come from Wit in South Africa, and still has 1.3 billion Oz in that area. Novo $1:40/share
cheers and good luck
Yo should read Charles McKays book it was written in 1841 and stands true for today,….. Madness of the crowd, tulip mania etc…… it’s all happening TODAY.

#99 Joe2.0 on 06.23.14 at 10:14 pm

Ok I’ll solve this debate, all of you people that lied and wasted Garth’s time fess up.

#100 Retired WI Boomer on 06.23.14 at 10:15 pm

I agree, “Why would anyone lie on an anonymous blog?
Got me. I was truthful. Being me and my fear wife of 40 years come 7/6/14 have nothing to hide. Did we do our “BEST” ? Hell No, because we aren’t the sharpest knifes in the drawers. We did OK for 2 high school graduates, who had a decent work ethic, and knew when we were being screwed.
As retirees, with a 17 year old paid for home, a couple of cars, no debt, and money in the bank WHAT do we need now? Our income is close to the Cat Food Lady’s and we aren’t going to complain. We don’t live in Canada but, we are close enough to it, and I worked there for several years back in the plate 80’s.
It is NOT what you make, it is how you spend, save, and invest it that counts the most over the long run.
From the numbers I have seen nobody will starve, nobody will be unable to rent a decent place. Sure, few will be able to buys $700K house without much gambling, and pain. You won’t NEED a $700K home to raise a family, and be happy either. (Trust me, been there, done that).
What you might need here in the US is a plan to cover the $250K of medical costs that will NOT be covered by social insurance here in a typical retirees life. Sure our social security might be a bit more generous in one sense, but much less forgiving in another.
SAVE what you can in a Tax deferred, or TAX FREE venue. You get no ‘do-over’ for planning an adequate retirement. No, you don’t know how long you get to walk around this gas-bag, but it might be longer than you think, and who cars if I’m wrong? You won’t you’ll be dead!

Good luck to all, smoking man here’s wishing you a fast recovery!

#101 Janet on 06.23.14 at 10:16 pm

I am older (53) single woman, happily renting and love reading this blog. I don’t read too many of the comments except for Smoking Man of course. He cracks me up every time. Honestly, I have so much respect for you Garth in this world of bullshitters and salespeople. It amazes me when I hear people who I consider intelligent giving me shit for renting when I could own a little piece of something for myself. Seriously scary.

#102 Vangrrl on 06.23.14 at 10:17 pm

I personally prefer this comparison:
http://www.worldwealthcalculator.org/
Perspective!

#103 Ralph Cramdown on 06.23.14 at 10:22 pm

You folks realize that you’re trying to analyze the result of a DOUBLE selection bias — those who did read this blog the other night and those who answered the survey.

The results don’t strike me as implausible; people with little disposable income, money to invest and/or free time are likely to be elsewhere. That doesn’t mean they’re true, just not implausible IMHO.

Don’t feel bad with your numbers in comparison to a self-selected group of the wealthy. Once you’re above household median income and assets, you’re already in the top half, and if you’re younger than 50 or 60 that’s quite an achievement. Because of the way income curves skew, getting above the AVERAGE in those stats already puts you far into the top half of the population.

Most wealthier people tend to associate with those of similar wealth, to somewhat overestimate the wealth of peers (you don’t see the debt, just the lifestyle), and consequently to see themselves as not doing as well as they actually are. This is probably good for wealth creation, ahrd work and striving, bad for social redistribution and policy.

It doesn’t matter how high you set the bar, somebody will say “that’s not rich; you can’t make ends meet on that” with a straight face.
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2010/12/07/Down-and-Out-on-250000-a-Year
http://www.torontolife.com/informer/features/2012/02/15/almost-rich/

#104 waiting on 06.23.14 at 10:23 pm

Why would people lie?
Because people often lie to themselves.
It’s a good thing you didn’t ask our weights.

#105 brainsail on 06.23.14 at 10:24 pm

An interesting chart of 820 US occupations and their wages (2013).

http://media.theweek.com/img/generic/WAGES_nbybnrs_copy.jpg

#106 Pope SnugglyNostyBombed the 666yz on 06.23.14 at 10:25 pm

#57 Canada Revenue Agency on 06.23.14 at 8:40 pm — “Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

“No one is anonymous in the digital world.”

Precisely why I didn’t bother answering. Besides, I’m a simpleton and that’s fine with me.
*
1:05 clip Remember The Exorcist? Don’t play with Ouija boards (unless you know what you’re doing), plus stay in control of one’s emotions. The last 75 minutes of the second film, The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen is identical with what happened in the first few months of 1949, except for the obvious two changes.

Easy to understand why pregnant women were having miscarriages in their seats and others were spontaneously throwing up or fainting. The first Jesuit priest, the main exorcist was in a mental hospital for a year or more, and many audience attendees were also carted off to mental hospitals. BTW, the nightmare before xmas.
*
Illegal Immigration Is this the US version of the TFW program? Guess the Democrats have a reason for this; al ISIS Kyeeduh Two fine CIA – Mossad inventions; Now it’s up to 133 countries countries moving away from the west — “They’ve had enough of the New World Order. And an alliance of 133 countries, two-thirds of the nations on Earth, signed an agreement this weekend to end the West’s New World Order and replace it with a fair, honest and legitimate World Order – one that lets everyone participate and benefit, not just the super rich.”

#107 Ralph Cramdown on 06.23.14 at 10:26 pm

#92 lala — “Nice charts but he missed the same age wifes. For some unexplained reasons blog dogs don’t like young wifes.”

You can be rich or on your second wife, but being both is much rarer. Divorce kills net worth for everyone but family lawyers.

#108 Cici on 06.23.14 at 10:28 pm

My Goodness Blog Dawgs, Relax!!

Who cares if the next reader/commenter is bringing in more or less cash than you. Seriously, like everything else in life, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you USE what you’ve got. Save 15% to 30% of your income, invest wisely (or hire a wise, bearded Oracle to handle it for you) and don’t take on more debt than you can handle.

Then quit obsessing about the small stuff (there will always be someone richer, more powerful, more talented, funnier, more charismatic or lucky than you and likewise, there’s always going to be someone less of all of the above than you). Don’t compare yourselves so rigorously, because it doesn’t matter.

Take care of your basic needs and then some, and enjoy the rest of your life ;-) Financial reward and gain is not the only measure of success, and happiness goes way beyond…

#109 KommyKim on 06.23.14 at 10:29 pm

RE: #9 Randy on 06.23.14 at 6:05 pm
I deliberately keep my income down to reduce the tax theft by our governments.

I’d rather have 60% of $100,000 than 100% of $10,000.

#110 Retired WI Boomer on 06.23.14 at 10:33 pm

MY LIFE’S A PILE OF SHIT – yesterday

No, I can’t spell well, don’t like autocorrect, and abuse the language, among other things. Your point was….

nobody’s poifect here

#111 ShawnG on 06.23.14 at 10:35 pm

Thank you Toronto Condo Bubble !

I’m not that surprised about readers’ high incomes. If I didn’t have any investable cash, then I wouldn’t have bothered with personal finance websites like this one. Also, we have high income because we worked hard. We are a group who know the value of money, or we wouldn’t resonate with theme of ridiculous house price.

To those who question the validity of posted incomes: if you make only 25k, does claiming to make 200k anonymously on a website really make you feel good about yourself?

#112 gmc on 06.23.14 at 10:37 pm

“It’s better to walk alone,
than with a crowd going in the wrong direction ”
Diane Grant

#113 José on 06.23.14 at 10:40 pm

Vancouver prices just keep going up.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-real-estate-hot-spots-identified-1.2684952

#114 4 AM Sunrise on 06.23.14 at 10:42 pm

#87 Frugal on 06.23.14 at 9:46 pm

There’s no way that the median kid (on this blog or anywhere else in Canada) living with parents makes $65k/year. If they did, they wouldn’t be living at home.

———————————————————

Hell yes, some would still live at home, for cultural reasons. My cousin in Hong Kong is 45, makes about CAD $120k, and still lives at home because my aunt says, “pay rent wasting money! Stay home for free!” She has no plans to buy real estate because she thinks the market is overvalued. And my aunt says, “why bother getting an apartment when she would still come by for dinner every night?” And yes, my cousin is still single – women there say the only “good” men around are MBA’s (Married But Available).

By the way, there’s some ranting and raving in HK about Hot Mainland Money driving up real estate prices, so it’s not just us.

#115 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 06.23.14 at 10:42 pm

SHIFT happens. Real estate, like any investment, is a long term hold. If you have short term speculative expectations, be they bull or bear, chances are you’ll get screwed.

It’s just as simple as that.

};-)

#116 R on 06.23.14 at 10:46 pm

Hey, this is what happens when you invite the bottom half of the internet over for a pool party.

#117 TurnerNation on 06.23.14 at 10:49 pm

Saw today’s pic and thought I’d clicked on the annoying site StreakingAlpha.

(This guy – probably SM’s urchin – has zero hedge behind him.)

#118 KommyKim on 06.23.14 at 10:56 pm

RE:I’d say two-thirds of the 800 were first-time posters, according to IPs. — Garth

Most users here have a dynamic IP address that will change occasionally if their ADSL/Cable modem’s power is cycled or they deliberately release and renew their IP address in their router. 20 somethings and torrenters are more likely to know how to do the latter….

Now why would anyone bother? This is beyond silly. — Garth

#119 Smoking Man on 06.23.14 at 11:03 pm

#100 Janet on 06.23.14 at 10:16 pm

You ain’t seen nothing yet, wait till the book is available.

At 53, still young but I suggest you read it in close proximity to an emergency room.

You will laugh so hard, the possibly of breaking something inside body is real.

I will take you from shear moments of depravity, to uncontrolled fits of laughter, this can not be a healthy .

I’m enjoying writing it so much, tweaking it. When it is done, damn I’ll have nothing to do.

#120 lala on 06.23.14 at 11:05 pm

#106 Ralph Cramdown on 06.23.14 at 10:26 pm

#92 lala — “Nice charts but he missed the same age wifes. For some unexplained reasons blog dogs don’t like young wifes.”

You can be rich or on your second wife, but being both is much rarer. Divorce kills net worth for everyone but family lawyers.

I agree, people are so obsessed with money they forget about what life is all about.

#121 Son of Ponzi on 06.23.14 at 11:10 pm

Biggest crowd around 10:p.m. EDT.
By that time already well liquored up.
We at the wet coast are just starting.

#122 Jon B on 06.23.14 at 11:23 pm

This polling exercise was a success. Let’s have more. How about doing one on vehicles? We can find out how many six figure earning 30 something’s are driving around town in KIAs. The car you drive says a lot about the house you own/rent you know.

#123 Ontario's Left Coast on 06.23.14 at 11:25 pm

I can’t believe all the posters who think the incomes stated were exaggerated. It makes no sense… What could anyone possibly stand to gain from lying to a bunch of anonymous strangers?

If you’re bright, willing to go the extra mile and deliver genuine value, companies will throw ridiculous sums of money your way. I didn’t find the numbers the least bit surprising, and I live in the middle of nowhere!

#124 Son of Ponzi on 06.23.14 at 11:26 pm

The most surprising to me is income reported for people in their 20s. I don’t know many 20 somethings making 110k, so I assume many of these are dual income families.
People in their 20s are more insecure and more likely to anonymously lie on the internet about their income.

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth
—————
Google Sigmund Freud and Penis Envy.

#125 SHELTER THE MONEY NOT THE PEOPLE on 06.23.14 at 11:46 pm

#25 fredmcgriff on 06.23.14 at 6:51 pm
_____________________________________
I agree 100% Fred.
Unless you actually live here you cannot feel the pressure of the high living costs.
We all know that this city is a haven for HOT MONEY.
I don’t like to call it HAM because it also comes from many places other than ASIA.
We have been pushed into the Fraser Valley when we could have been able to afford the East side.
Now commuters pay the tolls, while others unfairly, have a nice bridge for occasional use.

If you live in another country and you are a high level bureaucrat that embezzled a pile of cash. Then you don’t care if you pay 20% more in Vancouver over the locals. You are getting Stable government and safety from confiscation in your home country.
Read the link written by a Chinese immigrant to get a clearer picture.
http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.ca/2014/06/chinas-naked-officials.html

#126 baby boom definition on 06.23.14 at 11:49 pm

Baby Boom Canada: births 1946-1965
Baby Boom USA: 1946-1964

Peak year for US births was 1957

#127 Rainclouds on 06.23.14 at 11:56 pm

#112 Jose “Vancouver prices just keep going up.”

Really?

http://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/

#128 Ulsterman on 06.24.14 at 12:10 am

If the incomes were mostly household then they really aren’t THAT high. A couple of government workers or other professional types would certainly have dual incomes of 150k.

That said, when self reporting, nearly all men have bigger penises than average, are taller than average, richer, most hair, faster cars, and are in better shape than average. Ask anyone who has had the pleasure of online dating about people’s tendencies to exaggerate their “assets.”

I agree with the selection bias thesis put forward by many posters. When asked for incomes, those with high incomes relished the prospect of reporting incomes. Those less successful probably found something better to do with their evenings.

#129 4 AM Sunrise on 06.24.14 at 12:19 am

#115 R on 06.23.14 at 10:46 pm
Hey, this is what happens when you invite the bottom half of the internet over for a pool party.

——————————————–

That guy thought it was a bottomless pool party, like in Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay.

#130 Carpe Diem on 06.24.14 at 12:23 am

#4 Darryl

Ask yourself this.

“Will I be able to have CPP at 65 or 67?”

If 65, your a boomer.
If 67 then X and screwed by the boomers in more ways than one. Well, unless you make a living delivering services to them due to their incompetency.

Seize the day. Seize the opportunity. No Mercy.

Carpe Diem

#131 DON on 06.24.14 at 12:37 am

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

For the exact same reason people brag under an anonymous alias online. You see evidence of people doing this in your comments section every single day. I’ll turn your question right back at you – WHY?

It’s because they’re insecure and it helps them feel better about themselves.
***************************

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

Most likely for the same reason people take on too much debt and think the sky is the limit and logic doesn’t apply. People on dating sites lie, hell even the real estate industry stretches the truth on the internet and in some cases outright lying.

But I am not saying that is what happened here, the readership could be a vertical slice of like minded individuals. Who else reads this blog at 10pm.

#132 Flawed on 06.24.14 at 12:45 am

So not only was this blog full of Canadians lying about their incomes or public servants bragging about them….now we have the GOVT publicly announcing the first national bitcoin regulations in the world embarrassing me and the voting public at the same time.

In a nutshell it says that if a “Foreign Countries Citizens” incorporate a bitcoin money service business and this foreign country “ALLOWS” Canadians to participate in this business that business MUST march on into Canada and signup to our MSB/FINTRAC system or else.

Or else what? King Harpo will ask Obozo to send in the SEALs to the British Virgin Islands to arrest the guys running a bitcoin exchange which had a few Canadian customers?

This is beyond embarrassing. Gov’t today is so stupid it is just unbelievable.

https://www.coinforum.ca/discussion/1699/canada-passes-bill-c-31-new-stringent-bitcoin-reporting-law

#133 Fiendish Thingy on 06.24.14 at 12:47 am

@#4 Daryl

The Baby Boom was from 1946-1964, with the peak year being 1957.

#134 KommyKim on 06.24.14 at 12:56 am

RE: RE:I’d say two-thirds of the 800 were first-time posters, according to IPs. — Garth
Most users here have a dynamic IP address that will change occasionally if their ADSL/Cable modem’s power is cycled or they deliberately release and renew their IP address in their router. 20 somethings and torrenters are more likely to know how to do the latter….
Now why would anyone bother? This is beyond silly. — Garth

All that it requires is for the power to go out for an hour or so, and voila, when the power comes back on your router automatically negotiates a new IP address with your ISP. No conspiracy theory needed, except we are on this blog so therefore it is mandatory. LOL.

#135 Flawed on 06.24.14 at 1:00 am

#113 4 AM Sunrise on 06.23.14 at 10:42 pm
#87 Frugal on 06.23.14 at 9:46 pm

There’s no way that the median kid (on this blog or anywhere else in Canada) living with parents makes $65k/year. If they did, they wouldn’t be living at home.

———————————————————

Hell yes, some would still live at home, for cultural reasons. My cousin in Hong Kong is 45, makes about CAD $120k, and still lives at home because my aunt says, “pay rent wasting money! Stay home for free!” She has no plans to buy real estate because she thinks the market is overvalued. And my aunt says, “why bother getting an apartment when she would still come by for dinner every night?” And yes, my cousin is still single – women there say the only “good” men around are MBA’s (Married But Available).

By the way, there’s some ranting and raving in HK about Hot Mainland Money driving up real estate prices, so it’s not just us.

**************************

That’s HK not Canada

#136 Tiger on 06.24.14 at 1:15 am

Want proof
Go to plenty of fish, a lot of smoking men and woman visit this site, what you see is not what you get!
Garth how can your site be different just asking

#137 My Life is a Pile of Shit on 06.24.14 at 1:37 am

Why would anybody lie in an anonymous online survey? They maintain a fake Internet persona. Some consider their online persona equally important as their real life persona, even if they are both fake.

#138 Tiger on 06.24.14 at 1:37 am

Yeah it’s not what you make it’s what you bring home!
Taxes are just like the ex they never stop trying to milk you! If you faked an orgasm in the past don’t worry the gov will find out and you will pay(principal residence )
Lying and cheating , your no better than a smoking man ! Better yet go whright a book on bullshit tell them you were hi lifer on the greater fool then you will know the truth answer

#139 Turtle on 06.24.14 at 1:59 am

Why would anyone lie under an alias? Somebody explain this. — Garth

================

When high income numbers started to show up in a comments section, readers with lower numbers were intimidated and bumped their numbers up, or didn’t post at all.

It is just not cool to make less then your peers. People got depressed and didn’t publish their numbers, when they found themselves on a lower side.

What you see on those charts is the top half of blog readers, and their average/median score.

#140 Fortune500 on 06.24.14 at 2:09 am

I find it interesting to read all of the comments claiming that people lied or that the sampling isn’t accurate. Of course there will be truth to this, but as a household in our early 30s with a high income and high liquid net worth, let me explain something. The way we did it, and the way 99% of the other people I know in this category did it, was through listening, learning, applying, and repeating this process. Especially when it was difficult … especially when we failed the first dozen times.

The minute you allow yourself to believe that something is ‘unrealistic’ or ‘impossible’ is the minute you sell yourself short. Focus on what you can learn here, not on how other people’s situations make you feel.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that not everyone comes here for the same reasons, but I do believe there are a healthy lot of us who frequent this forum (and maybe Canadianmoneyforum.com, retire-early-fire.com, etc.) to learn and to share knowledge. What Garth is giving you, and what many of the respondents could provide you with, are tools to get to the same place. It is up to you how you choose to react.

Keep up the good work Garth, and thanks to Toronto Condo Bubble for taking the time to crunch the numbers.

#141 dosouth on 06.24.14 at 2:25 am

Just to help those of us out west on Van. Isle who are waiting for prices to drop. Here are 4 that fell this week and we have visited them all –

Down from $799,000 Aug 2013 to

http://tinyurl.com/kpej8vt

Down $995,000 Aug 2013 to

http://tinyurl.com/p6zvxt5

Down from 1.15 mil Oct 2013 to

http://tinyurl.com/ofyxr2d

Building lot on the ocean started at $750,000 Jan 2013 and is now at

http://tinyurl.com/mglp8j3

#142 Freedom First on 06.24.14 at 2:27 am

#114 aka dev…adv….

Time someone said it. “You are an A$$ hole”

#143 cynically on 06.24.14 at 3:05 am

If those reported incomes were mainly salary then I wonder why Canada has such poor GNP and GDP figures compared with other advanced industrial countries. To pay those kind of numbers one must have pretty high production and Canada has never been a very large manufacturer and producer so……..?

#144 koala on 06.24.14 at 3:51 am

# 59 Mandria

38 year old woman, just started reading this blog 6 months ago. Addicted to Garth and the comment section.

We were quite truthful in the survey, reported every single dime to the CRA and paying lots of taxes. I see no reason to lie here.

My husband and I manage our investment separately, I am moving to a Garth approved way, meanwhile, my husband agrees with what Garth says (especially don’t buy individual stock and find a financial advisor) he does the total opposite. Recently, he found this gold mining company in Vancouver that is starting to grow pot legally and thinks it is a brilliant idea and put in a lot of money. Buying a few ETFs and re-balancing just seems too boring for some.

#145 Jersey on 06.24.14 at 4:01 am

Wake up people. Housing price will not drop in Vancouver. Tons of new immigrants buying here.

#146 Roial1 on 06.24.14 at 4:41 am

Well, Last day in Vienna.
It’s been a great holiday over here but I must admit it will be good to get home and see my dogs again.
Ten weeks is a long time to be away.
Thanks again for the great advice about a balanced portfolio and getting a good advisor.

Al (soon to be) in lotus land

#147 Bruce on 06.24.14 at 5:23 am

Sold my house, a bit early back in 2010. Missed a lot of gains, but hard to time the market. I thought it had peaked in late 2010 early 2011. My mistake, my loss.

However, I use the interest I get from a 150k second mortgage i lent out to a 24 unit building to pay my entire rent on a house that is worth 780k. rents and the cost of housing is out of wack in the gta.

#148 wayne on 06.24.14 at 6:31 am

http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCAKBN0EZ0SE20140624


LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday there is no housing bubble in Canada. Asked at a bond conference in London if there was a bubble, Oliver said: “No”.

“The advice we have received is that we are not in a bubble,” he told reporters.

I wonder if the CREA is the one providing that “advice”.

But more worrisome is that the Finance Minister is not reaching his conclusion on his own – someone is drawing a conclusion and telling him we’re not in a bubble.

This does not inspire confidence.

#149 Smoking Man on 06.24.14 at 7:53 am

How is this for a big revel….

Mark Carney testifying at a public hearing. Comes out and admits, rates are based on wages, and spare capacity in the labor market.

Clearly spelled out.. So at leased now, you neanderthal monkeys who believe that central banks definition of inflation is CPI… Wrong…..

In fact, once the slack is removed, they still won’t spike rates. They need to restore some balance, take more of the profit, away from investors, give it to the slaves so that they can pay their debts.

For those of you who skip my posts.. Don’t skip the link.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/carney-sees-scope-to-absorb-more-slack-before-boe-rate-increase.html

#150 the jaguar on 06.24.14 at 7:57 am

Incredible. All because the two letters “BS” were typed in the blog. Sorry Garth. I’ll keep reading the blog but I am “out” of this section.

Have no idea what you refer to. No deletion. — Garth

#151 Londoner on 06.24.14 at 8:01 am

If you don’t like living within your means go out and figure out how to make more money. Don’t settle for less and pretend to be happy. Making money feels good. Pretending not to care and secretly envying others, not so much. But remember it’s just money. It’s not going to give you everything. Enjoy life and don’t kill yourself trying to get rich.

Btw – no one cares if you believe their stated earnings or not. Your beliefs are not going to change anything.

#152 Mr. Frugal on 06.24.14 at 8:09 am

If the numbers appear skewed, it’s because the readers are skewed! Low income families can’t afford houses. So, you would expect to find fewer of them reading this blog. Young kids with high incomes are pissed that they can’t get into the market. So, they are waiting for a real estate crash and are addicted to this site because it offers hope.

#153 Dominoes Lining Up on 06.24.14 at 8:12 am

Bad omens continue.

CBC tv just did a spot about the large numbers of Canadians not planning to vacation anywhere this summer, a big increase from past years.

Many planning on a “staycation”, which basically means they can afford their cable tv bills and that’s about it.

Apparently, they’re not even travelling to see local attractions. The Toronto zoo is losing a fortune with attendance way down this year.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/06/24/pricey_pandas_cant_turn_zoos_year_around.html

Who, exactly, will be renting all those empty and underused cottages in Muskoka and the Kawarthas this summer?

They are unsellable, and soon to be unrentable.

A friend of mine has a kid who looked for months for a summer job. Finally got one with with a major retailer. Opened up the first paycheque. It’s not from the retailer, but from the Government of Canada.

This is job creation?

Fake job market. Cancelled travel plans. Not even going to local attractions.

This is economic rot. It will devastate from the rural and resort areas inwards towards the big smoke (Toronto) sooner than thought. I was thinking it was still a year or two out, but am now expecting the bottom to fall out of the floor this summer and fall.

#154 fred panster on 06.24.14 at 8:14 am

Canadian finance minister says no housing bubble in Canada

LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday there is no housing bubble in Canada. Asked at a bond conference in London if there was a bubble, Oliver said: “No”.

“The advice we have received is that we are not in a bubble,” he told reporters.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/canadian-finance-minister-says-no-housing-bubble-canada-090829043–business.html

#155 ducker on 06.24.14 at 8:21 am

5 years ago I was making less than half what I am now. But I work in tech, where the young advance quickly and where the middle-aged are at risk of getting dumped if they fail to get into management. My wife and I both have advanced degrees and we live in a big city. We haven’t made optimal decisions, but we also avoided some terrible ones, and we got a great head-start by scoring well in school at subjects that happened to be in demand by the time we graduated.

#156 Sheane Wallace on 06.24.14 at 8:52 am

You have to read it to believe it:

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/canadian-finance-minister-says-no-housing-bubble-canada-090829043–business.html

LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday there is no housing bubble in Canada. Asked at a bond conference in London if there was a bubble, Oliver said: “No”.
“The advice we have received is that we are not in a bubble,” he told reporters.

1. Garth, there is no bubble according to Joe

2. Apparently somebody told him that as clearly he does not have the brains to analyze it himself.

Oh my, we are so screwed!

#157 Captain Sensible on 06.24.14 at 9:16 am

#4 Darryl on 06.23.14 at 5:43 pm
Guys
I don’t know what I am .Born in 65 am I a Boomer or an X ?
———————————————————
To Darryl, in the US you would be considered as GenX, in Canada you are a baby boomer

#158 Nemesis on 06.24.14 at 9:19 am

#You’reRicherThanYouThink? #Freedom85 #OctagenarianOkieRealtorFinallyRetires #LivesInCanoe #ForgotToBringPaddle

[PentictonHerald] – “Peace and tranquility”

http://www.pentictonherald.ca/life/article_7e93902c-fb46-11e3-ab85-001a4bcf6878.html

#TheDefinitiveDemographicTaxonomy #InWhichDecadeDidYouEnjoyYourFirst… #’BigReveal’

60’s – Boomer
70’s – Dazed&Confused
80’s – XGen
90’s – YGen
00’s – MillenGen

#159 LH on 06.24.14 at 9:25 am

Re: #13 Toronto Condo Bubble

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1I1kD8hE7FSSy8UmLlZHbafbmomGXlXZvnSGzFriUr80/pubhtml

Why is the data being truncated at 900k?
While some of the >1 million reports were dubious (CNR CEO, Smoking Man, etc) some, such as that of yours truly, were real cash money. But it would only serve to further skew up the 30s homeowner set :)

LH

#160 Captain Sensible on 06.24.14 at 9:27 am

To Darryl, in the US you would be considered as GenX, in Canada you are a baby boomer

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/baby-boom/

#161 Tony from Calgary on 06.24.14 at 9:49 am

Though I didn’t leave a comment on the original who-we-are post, I hope you’ll run an analysis like this again in the coming months/years Garth.

I can’t wait to live in my parent’s basement… it’s only a matter of time :D

Bring on the 40%+ decline…

-TFC

#162 Londoner on 06.24.14 at 9:52 am

#155 Sheane Wallace

What did you expect him to say to a question like that? “Yes, we’re in a huge bubble and I’m powerless to stop it”?

#163 CDizz91 on 06.24.14 at 10:05 am

Garth I have been reading your blog for about a month now and I quite enjoy it ! That being said im wondering if you and your followers can share some knowledge. Im 29, household income of $150,000, as of today current equity is aorund 30%, current mortgage is due in March so im wondering what your thoughts are on fixed vs variable and long term vs short term (1-2yrs) ?

#164 Aggregator on 06.24.14 at 10:20 am

BREAKING: U.S. May new-home sales rise 18.6% to 504,000 annual rate

What's with the surge in new home sales? This.. Zillow to offer US real-estate listings to Chinese portal

That's right. America finally figured out how Canadian organized real estate keeps pumping out home futures contracts: by selling them on the international market to any willing buyer.

This isn't you parents RE market anymore. It's gone global with the Canadian home carry trade as a preferred investment vehicle amongst Asian investors.

#165 Julia on 06.24.14 at 10:25 am

Apropos of nothing or perhaps of polling readers but just wondering how people would feel about buying a pre-construction condo and then finding out a worker fell to his death while building it. :-(

On the other issue of people not wanting to be honest about $ if they make less, perhaps this created a bit of a selection bias. Proud and loud as we say during Pride!

#166 Jason on 06.24.14 at 10:41 am

Life is not always about money. If you are in your 30’s you can still buy a house and have time to invest for retirement.

Don’t let the bubble talk and correction get in your head. Happy wife happy life!

#167 Nemesis on 06.24.14 at 10:47 am

#FunnyOldWorld #Quotes’OTheDay! #’AfterBurners’AreGo!

“Reality TV to me is the museum of social decay.” – Gary Oldman

[UK Telegraph] – Gary Oldman’s Playboy interview: most outrageous quotes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10921952/Gary-Oldmans-outrageous-Playboy-interview-best-quotes.html

“[Mark Carney’s Bank of England] is like an unreliable boyfriend”. – British Labour MP Pat McFadden

[UK Telegraph] – Mark Carney plays down imminent rate rise amid weak wage growth

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/interest-rates/10922357/Mark-Carney-plays-down-imminent-rate-rise-amid-weak-wage-growth.html

[LAT] – Military’s pricey F-35 fighter jet catches fire during takeoff in Florida

…”The radar-evading, supersonic fighter jet, a nearly $400-billion weapons program under development for more than a decade, experienced the emergency on the ground Monday at 7:15 a.m. Pacific time.

The aircraft was preparing to take off on a training mission, but aborted due to flames that appeared in the back end of the aircraft. Emergency responders then moved in and extinguished the fire with foam, according to an Air Force statement…

…It’s the latest setback for the F-35 program, which is billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. The per-plane cost estimates have gone from $78 million in 2001 to $135 million today, according to the Government Accountability Office.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/aerospace/la-fi-f35-fighter-jet-fire-20140623-story.html

#168 Eatin' Bonbons on 06.24.14 at 10:50 am

To Darryl @#4

I did a quick check and saw that Harvard Center classifies X as 65 to 84 and Uof Michigan classifies as 61-81. Looks like you’re Gen X.

With regards to survey results: I am surprised the 40+ and 50+ crowd isn’t earning more. I really would have thought they would be the higher earners.

#169 cowtown cowboy on 06.24.14 at 10:53 am

Wow there sure seems to be a lot of skepticism over the salaries that were posted…I have to admit I was a little curious about some of the big salaries posted by some of the 20 and 30 somethings.

In the interest of full disclosure, as I don’t have a lot of hang ups about talking about money, I make more than some and less than others.

The wife makes 85k working 4 days a week in HR and I pay myself 135k through my corp..The corp charges me out at between $80 to around $120/hr depending on the role and company(IT project management or business analysis, mainly at Oil and Gas companies, as they tend to pay the best). So as long as I am working steady, the corp will make about $160 – 200k/year, or around 30-50k net of salaries and expenses. I am 45 with an MBA and BA and the wife has a BA. 15 years ago I was making $38k/year, now that was rough…..

Our net worth is between $800-850k and considering we only really started saving anything when we hit 30, we seem to be OK. One definitely needs to be invested in the markets to grow wealth and we hope to have about 3mil by the time we are 60 and then it is margaritas and knee high white socks! Not much point in working til you drop, Keep saving and investing blog dogs and rest will take care of itself……I hope!

#170 Uh Oh Canada on 06.24.14 at 11:03 am

Yes, numbers here are skewed compared to Statistics Canada. We have the data on Garth’s readership niche only.

I know that many of my 30 something pals are not reading this blog because they’re too busy consuming things, being in debt, and renovating. They have no money left over to invest.

#171 Yorkie-UK on 06.24.14 at 11:13 am

Well that was so much fun I’ve come back for another go!

Is it just the poor people who think over 800 contributors made the numbers up for a laugh? Anyone in the +$150K range think the income figures are exaggerated?

Just asking……

#172 Sheane Wallace on 06.24.14 at 11:15 am

#161Londoner on 06.24.14 at 9:52 am
#155 Sheane Wallace
What did you expect him to say to a question like that? “Yes, we’re in a huge bubble and I’m powerless to stop it”?
…………………………….
His statement should be:
We are analyzing the market conditions, here is the supporting data, wed have the tools and controls in place to support healthy market.

Not that they do (have the tools) or will succeed but at least shows some minimum competency on the topic.

Statements like:
1. We are monitoring the situation (i.e. implies passive attitude)
2. We are being advised that there is no housing bubble.. (advised by whom? It is his job to express HIS and THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT POSITION on whether there is housing bubble and support it with facts and data, knowledge, risk analysis etc.) If they did any analysis is good to mention it and at least publish some credibly looking data to support it.

are unprofessional and do not attract confidence.

Imagine when the market blows up this guy coming out and saying: It seems the advise we were given that there is no housing bubble was wrong.

If he knows that we are in bubble we can accept some more professional public statement on the matter (we know that he can’t openly acknowledge the bubble) but his lack of actions to limit the blowout and the damage is an outright moral crime which combined with his inability to express himself appropriately is adding insult to injury.

#173 Sheane Wallace on 06.24.14 at 11:25 am

at least find some quality classy lier (like former M.C.)

#174 rainclouds on 06.24.14 at 11:37 am

Interesting Sept 2013 article and subsequent comments by Ross Kay (CREA Frankennumber outlier) and Greg Krump(CREA Economist/fart catcher) duking it out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ross-kay/real-estate_b_4018891.html

#175 liquidincalgary on 06.24.14 at 11:53 am

# 87 et. al

my income number was given to me by my accountant,
“there,” he said, “you make the equivalent of 80K/yr”

and i said, “and this is what that gets me?”

“a rental suite and two late model vehicles?”

#176 liquidincalgary on 06.24.14 at 11:55 am

err that has since changed to #88 Frugal ‘everyone is a liar’

#177 OKInvestor on 06.24.14 at 11:58 am

Here is fair warning from Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics for those in the bond market:

1) an accident is coming in the bond market
2) likely going to be triggered by derivatives

So, get your money out of the bond market before an accident happens and the gov’t forces you to keep your money in bond funds.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/danger-alert-big-wave-of-mergers-declining-market-debt-light-volume-soaring-food-inflation/

#178 Toronto_CA on 06.24.14 at 12:00 pm

I didn’t participate in the survey because it would be full of self-selection bias and unverifiable to boot. Just because it is anonymous on the internet doesn’t mean people will be truthful (“why lie?”). Especially regular posters would want to up their “cred” amongst the blogdogs by inflating their incomes.

But what the hell, I’ll be honest. I’m 37, single earner household, renting a great 2bed/bath condo in Toronto close to work for $1650 including parking and utitlies, expect a 20-30% correction that will come with the next recession and not sooner, and my taxable income on my tax return for 2013 was $189k. My girlfriend does not live with me but she pulls about $65 a year, so if we are doing combined household icnome I guess that puts us around $255k. Does this make me a typical blogdog?

#179 TurnerNation on 06.24.14 at 12:17 pm

#152 Dominoes Lining Up

Well Worstjet just announced this party flight destination. Why else? (From oil to spoil.)

“WestJet Airlines Ltd. is launching its new non-stop, twice-weekly service between Las Vegas and Fort McMurray, Alta. Today’s inaugural flight represents even more service to Fort McMurray as part of a major expansion of flights into the oil sands region. “

#180 Blacksheep on 06.24.14 at 12:37 pm

I am amazed at the amount of play this is getting.

Cattle concerning themselves whether comments or incomes were honest. Garths, pic – O – the day is fitting, as you sound like high school girls.

Expect dishonesty and you won’t be disappointed.

#181 Funny People! on 06.24.14 at 12:42 pm

Now if you toss in Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberger. The average income will be around 50 million.

#182 Eugene K on 06.24.14 at 12:46 pm

Hey Garth,

A few posts back you mentioned that most people read and don’t post any comments. Well i’ve been reading your blog for about a year now. And this is my first comment on your blog.

I only wish i started reading this years ago. Most of my money was in HISA’s and GIC’s. After finding you by accident and reading about ETF’s, i have since started investing in them. Have set up a somewhat balanced portfolio, which has appreciated quite nicely in the last year, and get a bunch dividends monthly. I only wish i found your blog earlier.

I’m single, live in Vancouver, rent and not inclined whatsoever to purchase any properties.

#183 Sideline Sitter on 06.24.14 at 12:52 pm

@YorkieUK – My family income is over $150k, and I don’t think the numbers were outrageous. Perhaps it’s because of the company I keep, and that they all (probably) make more than me.

Success breeds success.

#184 Steve on 06.24.14 at 12:55 pm

I LOVE the instant and subtle aspects of your photos! Then I get to read your comments and filter both to capture the essence of the humour, caution and doom.

#185 calgary rip off on 06.24.14 at 1:02 pm

Death is the great equalizer.

Wealth is created to give comfort. Some people use it as a status symbol. Wealth is valuable in that it allows freedom of time and avoidance of bs. Problem is the majority of the population get entangled in the snares of having tools.

The reason to have a high paying job is not about the wealth. It is about having to deal with less idiots. The less money you make in general the more idiots you have to deal with. Its best to be a CEO or something so there are many filters-call it bs management-so you dont have to deal with the general population, the majority of which are morons.

It is this same argument for which to buy a mortgage. Instead of being reactive and waiting for your next move as determined by what the population decides to do, you look at real data of what has happened historically where you live and look at individual variables pertaining to your unique situation. In Calgary that is pretty easy to determine.

If I had listened to this blog and not bought in 2011 when I did, houses in my area are now at least $50K above, if you can find a decent one in Nw Calgary, and I wouldve been paying $1700/monthly for rent alone, same as the mortgage. Thats $54,285 I couldve spent hoping that prices would drop. Given that my retirement isnt until at least 2040, assuming Im still alive, thats some serious cash that I wouldve given to some landlord dude just because he bought when Calgary was normally priced. Why would anyone subsidize landlords?

Probably the reason that people that make $100K and above are on here is that the reality of real estate renting and owning both suck. It’s all a ripoff and always will be. There is no “solution”. Its not investing. The solution is to ignore it because unless the economy collapses, house prices wont come down, and if the economy collapses, there will be no job.

The only certain thing is death. Not if, but when.

#186 :):(Ying Yang on 06.24.14 at 1:36 pm

#11 Smoking Man on 06.23.14 at 6:13 pm
What amazing luck, at the casino I’m playing Mississippi, next to me a publisher, specializing in fiction.
Told him I’m working on one, nearly finished. So I let him read chapter one.
Blew him away, he says Grammer and spelling horrible.. Content spectacular, original..
He wants me to send in the manuscript, and may offer me a contract.. I haven’t even copyright it yet.
He called 3 times today… I dident pick up.
I’m going self publish route… Cause I know when he hits chapter 2. He will want it changed or it will upset him so much he might jump out the window.
……………………………………………………………………..
What the hell have you been sick with Smoking Man? It has been a few weeks since I last read your ramblings and you were sick then. Take it easy guy and relax. Smoking Man publish it yourself. Do it now. Why let some guy take a cut on your idea.
How did you meet a publisher from Mississippi?
:):(

#187 bill on 06.24.14 at 1:56 pm

#51 TheCatFoodLady on 06.23.14 at 8:30 pm
catfoodlady nailed it again .

#188 bill on 06.24.14 at 1:59 pm

Ralph said:
”The thought that people are willing to stand in line to contract for a $1.2mm house, KNOWING that they’re going to get treated like a mug and screwed on the finishes and extras (not the first new home purchase for some of them) boggles my mind.”
just plain crazy!

#189 none on 06.24.14 at 2:07 pm

#115 };-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 06.23.14 at 10:42 pm
SHIFT happens.

Seriously – what is with you and this silly sound bite? Did you hear it on some sort of TedX talk and by constantly repeating it you think it makes you sound smarter?

#190 Gainsaywhodare on 06.24.14 at 2:26 pm

I don’t understand why people make such a big deal out of the survey not being a true representation of the general population, the 99%, the average Canadian, etc, etc. There were 800ish responses, which could mean the whole town of Churchill or a few from each cities. Just take a chill pill or in the least take it for its entertainment value.

#191 Shawn on 06.24.14 at 2:37 pm

Success breeds Success

182 Sideline sitter said Suceess Breed Success and metioned hanging out with successful people.

*****************************************
I agree. I believe Garth too has sometimes advised people to “get better friends”.

This is true. Positive sucessful people tend to keep winning. Hanging out with unsucessful and or negative people is genenerally not a path to sucess or happiness.

This is perhaps why so many of us tire of the doomer and blamer mentality that is so common.

#192 Harry Wilson on 06.24.14 at 2:57 pm

Stay contrarian, Mr. Turner.

One thing that I would have liked to have seen in today’s comments is some debate on the value of raw, anecdotal data, as seen on the ‘Who Are You’ post, versus the graphed data of today. (It’s been wisely said before on this site that “the plural of anecdote is not data”, but in this case, yeah, it is, and it’s rare that we get to compare the two.)

While today’s graphs are quick and easy to digest, I believe that if you really want to know what 839 people think, you have to listen to 839 people. For this reason, I am glad that you asked for people’s stories, rather than succumb to the ‘push-button’ surveys that some suggested on the June 19th post.

I hope that you will do this again as the occasion rises; it is helpful to our understanding of an issue when we can triangulate the data with the stories behind the data, to get to the truth.

P.S. As for fibbery on the internet, I like the old maxim ‘If you never tell a lie, you never have to remember anything’. Telling the truth is very empowering.

Having said that, I’m not really a jobless 58-year-old named Harry. I’m actually a 22-year-old stewardess named Inga.

#193 Son of Ponzi on 06.24.14 at 3:45 pm

Now if you toss in Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberger. The average income will be around 50 million.
—————–
Zuckerberger?
That would make him German.

#194 Son of Ponzi on 06.24.14 at 3:47 pm

I LOVE the instant and subtle aspects of your photos! Then I get to read your comments and filter both to capture the essence of the humour, caution and doom.
————–
And the hedge in the background is due for a trimming, like the housing and the stock markets.

#195 NoName on 06.24.14 at 3:58 pm

It funny to see how some people have all their priorities in wrong order. Was “survey” scientific enough, and who and how many participants over stated their income. Sad…

We know why we come to this blog dayly. http://youtu.be/pGL2rytTraA

#196 randman on 06.24.14 at 3:58 pm

Garth

Some reading material for you..(for a laugh)

https://medium.com/spencers-collection/why-vancouvers-housing-costs-arent-the-problem-its-the-people-who-buy-them-d094a420da2b

#197 tkid on 06.24.14 at 4:23 pm

5 years ago I was making less than half what I am now. But I work in tech, where the young advance quickly and where the middle-aged are at risk of getting dumped if they fail to get into management.

Same here. But I live with momma (pay her rent), and am saving my pennies, and if they lay me off I’ll scramble and attempt to find another job. This is all I can do about it; reduce the bills, increase the savings.

They like the young ones because they learn quickly, they can work 24/7 with no fuss (24/7 kills the middle-aged), and they can pay them less and the young ‘un thinks they’re being paid big bucks.

There is nothing in any rulebook that says they must employ me.

#198 Smoking Man on 06.24.14 at 5:13 pm

#185 :):(Ying Yang on 06.24.14 at 1:36 pm

Bad summer cold, or lung cancer..

Publisher wasn’t from Mississippi, we where playing Mississippi stud.

Already have self-publishing thing figured out.. UOG

FrezzenPress… Is an option, also talking to some blog dogs who are in the business…

#199 JuliaS on 06.24.14 at 5:16 pm

Garth, how about hosting a debt composition survey? Personally I’d be interested in finding out how much money people owe to student loans, credit cards, mortgages etc.

Asking people whether they rented or owned last time didn’t take into account whether houses were paid off or not. I personally consider anyone carrying a mortgage a renter.

#200 triplenet on 06.24.14 at 5:22 pm

Garth,

A researcher affiliated with us in Calgary simply could not resist forwarding this comment from Bob the realtor’s blog in Calgary………circa 2011

Two years ago, Garth ejaculated: “That the Calgary market will crack is a given. It’s different here, until it isn’t. Which is soon.” So far, his crack has resulted in the median price being up $40,000. What did he mean by soon?

……sometimes you just have to laugh. If used as a verb – okay, but it is still in the wrong context.
Would be interesting to read some of his contract language. Don’t even think it!

#201 Jookster on 06.24.14 at 5:33 pm

Oops I’m a few days behind on doing the survey.
Oh well, I still wanna talk about a few things. I’m a 32f single earning 40k in Vancouver. Renting a beautiful upper suite home near a skytrain. That means I don’t own a vehicle which saves me $800/month inc gas and insurance. I know that I’ll probably never be able to afford a house but I’m happy with where I am now. From hearing what my friends are going through, I feel pretty damn lucky. My friend who bought a condo on Marine and Kerr was implying how stupid it is to be paying for someone else’s mortgage. In my head I’m thinking how stupid it was for him to buy a unbuilt condo on impulse and expect his financially irresponsible gf to chip in every month. Then I have a friend who bought a condo in down town but couldn’t afford so she rent it out. She ended up renting in Langley which is 30mins away. What? Then another girl bought a condo in Richmond but I know she won’t be there for long. It’s too small she said. Then why did she buy it then? All of my friends who bought a condo is complaining about something. They all wished they have a lil financial freedom. Some hate their jobs but they have to suck it up. My bbf’s husband got laid and she’s freaking out. They have 2 mortgages to pay!
Here I am with nothing to worry about :) I love my rental home and my landlord loves me!

#202 Jookster on 06.24.14 at 5:35 pm

got laid OFF I mean! Darn iphone

#203 Pete in Barrie on 06.24.14 at 5:58 pm

I wonder if the income is skewed high because of the educated nature of the reader of a blog such as this. Most web sites are convoluted mazes of pictures, headings, and anything, but coherent sentences and unified paragraphs. So, only those with an interest in financing, bubbly real estate and well written prose would even bother reading this blog. And those would be the small percentage of truly literate in society.

Just sayin’.

However, I didn’t bother responding to the survey and I am not at the six figures. Go figure!

#204 Mixed Bag on 06.24.14 at 6:00 pm

#196 tkid on 06.24.14 at 4:23 pm

Not necessarily. Guess I fall into that – gasp! – approaching middle-age category. The middle-aged in our office aren’t going out to bars like our younger, single colleagues, so those of us on call answer the phone more often, are more reliable, and have more experience and know better how things in the company work (e.g. who to re-direct to when the weird calls come in). Pros and cons on either side. I’m not worried about my job security.

#205 mindboggles on 06.24.14 at 6:39 pm

I too was shocked that most people are making far north of 100k household income, and it has depressed me ever since last week. I didn’t know what was bugging me, but that was it.

My question is how can people complain if they are making 100k+ a year?!?! Shit I would be banking 50k in that case. Are you all leasing the newest BMWs or something??? where the hell does all that money get wasted?

I suppose I waste more with my 2500 monthly budget (family of 4) than some kid in africa, so I guess its all relative, but damn!

#206 Entrepreneur on 06.24.14 at 7:11 pm

Combined income in this two family home. Our income increased because of the pensions & our age. We are on the low scale but we survived the commercial fishing industry…just.

#207 Enthalpy on 06.25.14 at 3:28 pm

well my income sure falls short. Id love to get an idea of what industry and kind of jobs these people are doing. Id love to find postings for these jobs too.