Data

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DOUG By Guest Blogger Doug Rowat

I’ve been in finance most of my professional life and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t using a Bloomberg terminal, or a ‘Bloomberg’ as it’s commonly called. It’s an indispensable data resource enabling us to monitor client portfolios, analyze the impact of news events in real time and creatively produce new investment ideas through data analysis.

But it ain’t cheap. An annual Bloomberg subscription costs US$20-25,000/year. Multiply this by an estimated 325,000 users and you begin to understand how Michael Bloomberg amassed, according to Forbes, a fortune of roughly US$41 billion. However, it also illustrates how valuable data has become.

But data, of course, can also be problematic, creating not clarity and insight but confusion and prevarication. Nowhere was this better illustrated recently than with the US presidential-election polling and the surprise Trump victory. An SNL skit showing smug (then ultimately panicked) liberals sipping Chardonnay at an election-night party because the outcome was preordained based on ‘Huff Post’ data also highlights the point. False data, or more precisely insufficient data, misdirects effort, creates complacency and ultimately results in volatility (or worse, a Trump cabinet). Just ask Hillary Clinton supporters who probably now wish they’d focused a bit more on rural areas instead of urban centres.

But this is not the fault of the data itself, only the collection and distribution of it, as well as the depth of the analysis. The grossly incomplete polling information went straight to the media who preached it as gospel without a second thought (me included). And here’s another interesting point about data gathering: the data we deem worthwhile can be oddly subjective. Jeffrey Hammerbacher, a Harvard-educated math whiz and former Facebook employee who has struggled with mental illness, recently lamented that he had a far more robust dataset to work with from a Facebook server than he did for even the most basic of human brain function. In other words, data gathering has been more focused on social media, finance and commerce than on human health.

time

I’ve written previously about the transformative power of technology, but I conclude the same about data. Available data is poised to dramatically increase. Why? According to a recent World Economic Forum, we’re only about seven years away from the first implantable mobile phone (bend over) and the world will have 1 trillion sensors connected to the Internet as early as 2022. Cars, appliances, shoes and clothes are already ‘sensing’. Soon our eyeball gazes à la Minority Report could be gathering continuous streams of information as well.

While an Orwellian dystopia may be your first thought, it need not be. Data is more beneficial than it is dangerous because hidden in all those numbers, characters and symbols lies, hopefully, the truth. We may misinterpret the data or not have enough of it, but it does have the power to move the world forward in positive ways. It may allow us to better anticipate changes to the global economy, monitor and improve our health (already it’s improving the prediction rates for breast cancer, as just one example), better forecast the onset of destructive weather, allow your favorite sports team to score more points (though Corsi stats haven’t helped my Maple Leafs one iota in the past decade), and it may have even helped you get a date last night (yeah, Tinder uses lots of data). We just need to gather and use it responsibly, respecting privacy as well as ownership rights. I don’t necessarily enjoy our monthly Bloomberg invoice, but it’s worth every penny.

There are no specific investment ideas here, but ideas nonetheless. And the fact that you’re reading this means that you clicked on this site to get here. Bonus: one more data-point for us.

Doug Rowat,FCSI® is Portfolio Manager with Turner Investments and Senior Vice President, Private Client Group, Raymond James Ltd.

156 comments ↓

#1 The other Keith in Calgary on 12.10.16 at 2:46 pm

A few points. Data is all well and good, and you make a good point about the collection, distribution, and analysis of it. Data can be incomplete or biased enough to negate even the most sophisticated analysis, and sometimes the analysts just get it wrong. Economic data is notorious for that.
Too often the data gets twisted to support a preordained result, something demanded by the media owner, a political leader, or some other blinkered person in authority. This diminishes the overall respect for data analysis.
But all that means nothing if people don’t believe the results. Both extremes of the political spectrum simply don’t believe results that do not support their views, regardless of the integrity of the data collection and analysis process. It’s like they don’t believe a scientific process anymore, or that the results have meaning in the real world. For example, climate change is a thing. Only a data blind idiot would deny it. And yet, such people exist, and even more stunning, hold power over the rest of us.

#2 Johnny D on 12.10.16 at 2:46 pm

Great post Doug. Always a good read.

Can’t wait to see some accurate data on Canadian Real Estate one of these days. Can’t hold my breath waiting on CREA though.

#3 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm

What scares the hell out me me is the concept of a ‘cashless society’. If I want to buy a used set of snow tires at my neighbor’s garage sale I don’t think that transaction needs to be worldwide knowledge.

If you take away cash you take away money itself. All that’s left is ‘data’. Data about you that will enrich the owners of server farms located in countries other than Canada.

#4 Please help me on 12.10.16 at 2:50 pm

Ok so go buy apple and facebook stocks?
Let’s have a post on stocks!

#5 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 2:50 pm

Excellent, it will be even easier to torture the data to get whatever answer is wanted.

Support galore for every view point!

#6 For those about to flop... on 12.10.16 at 2:55 pm

During the recent U.S election whenever I saw the poll of polls or anything like that the L.A times had way different numbers than all the rest, with better numbers for the Orange Octopus and was considered the outlier.

I watched a segment on t.v which explained at the time before the election why their numbers were different.

Over a extended period they went back to the same 3000 people and made sure all the demographics were evenly weighted and also asked them to give a percentage out of 100 as to how confident they were going to vote this way and weighted their responses into the poll as well.

As usual I don’t have the vocabulary to properly explain but if you click on the link below and click on a few of the BLUE lines that are there it explains what they did that was different from other polls and how they got the prediction right.

O.k my fingers are sore ,have at it…

M42BC

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-usc-latimes-poll-20161108-story.html

#7 Wild Albertan Gonads on 12.10.16 at 2:56 pm

So T2 just implemented a coast to coast taxing of our freezing cold Canadian asses… and Exxon is now the Trumpster’s Secretary of state!

Keystone is a done deal for sure.

#8 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 2:59 pm

Cash is Trash

#3 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm said:

If you take away cash you take away money itself.

*********************************************
Money represents an intangible claim check on goods and services. When you work you get claim checks to spend.

Storing and transferring the claim checks electronically is ideal. The notion that money needs to be represented by or backed by precious metal coins, non-precious metal coins or by bits of paper are all antiquated and confuse the bottom line nature of money as transferable claim checks on goods and services. (Read the book Money, The Unauthorized Biography by Felinx Martin).

Even as 90% of our transactions (all the really big ones) were done without physical money we still thought of paper money as the “real” money. That was wrong.

Paper money is doomed and will be out of circulation faster than you think.

Yes, that will mean a loss of privacy. And a real hardship for those doing illegal or tax evading transactions. Tough Luck. It’s a done deal.

#9 Context on 12.10.16 at 3:00 pm

Good afternoon Doug and you don’t need data to find a date, but logic and common sense. You simply go where the women are located tonight for example, as they will be waiting for the right man to enter through the door. They will signal with a smile and the toss of her hair. I know where they will be tonight, but ain’t telling unless you pay me well.

#10 paulo on 12.10.16 at 3:01 pm

You have to remember data is just that data: the art is being able to apply the random human factor, that effects the outcome.
example, i just looked at a article that proposes that trump applied the “human factor” and won key Midwest states and PA because he saw the intrinsic human like to
wear base ball caps in these areas, hence the Make America Great Ball Cap not so far fetched i think

#11 Victor V on 12.10.16 at 3:02 pm

Hi Doug, speaking of data, I’m curious if there is recent information that speaks to what $$ amount the average Canadian has squirrelled away in their TFSA. I’m looking to benchmark our family performance in this regard but can’t find any stats online. Thoughts?

#12 att0m on 12.10.16 at 3:10 pm

You’re my favourite weekend guy Doug!

#13 Steerage Bilge on 12.10.16 at 3:13 pm

#3 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm

What scares the hell out me me is the concept of a ‘cashless society’. If I want to buy a used set of snow tires at my neighbor’s garage sale I don’t think that transaction needs to be worldwide knowledge.

If you take away cash you take away money itself. All that’s left is ‘data’. Data about you that will enrich the owners of server farms located in countries other than Canada.

Just swap some chickens or goats … or gold there is always gold.

#14 hope & ruin on 12.10.16 at 3:16 pm

But data, of course, can also be problematic
———————-

I’m not worried, Mark knows excel.

#15 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.10.16 at 3:19 pm

And lets not forget Facebook’s unforseen info helping companies using data mining to view peoples “likes”, photos, comments and purchases to help determine their credit rating…..

http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://fortune.com/2015/12/01/tech-loans-credit-affirm-zest/&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiYuvq2uOrQAhVI6GMKHcJiDw0QFghcMAU&usg=AFQjCNHIz0buXkzmAmaywqAEEaAXR1gtkg

Sorry. I disagree.
Too much info about everyone isnt necessarily a good thing.

#16 Drill Baby Drill on 12.10.16 at 3:26 pm

TRex for SoS..

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/rex-tillerson-exxon-mobil-expected-be-named-trump-s-secretary-n694371

T2 and Butts boy… well that sure throws a spanner into your socialist dreamworld

Thanks for the carbon tax!!!…which will have no impact on anything what so ever

#17 TurnerNation on 12.10.16 at 3:29 pm

If you own your Toronto SFH you are a millionaire.

How about a slanty semi or sht bung?
Then, 3/4 millionaire.

I imagine that the endless downtown condo towers are marketed overseas too due to our fast dropping Poloz Peso, Rockstar PM, and of course equality: women may get stoned out of their gourd along side men, at Government head shops.

Bread and circuses for passive masses

#18 Doug t on 12.10.16 at 3:44 pm

We are heading towards a cashless system faster than most realize – and it’s not good. Just one more link in the chain of control for the mass.

RATM

#19 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 3:47 pm

Doug. How did you feel when BBG went down last week. I would be be claiming at lease 500 bucks.

Good thing is, I don’t need Bloomberg anymore, got me a Herdomoter a Multy search twitter scanner. And db written.

It’s how I called the Trump Landslide. One of the highest electoral collage wins in history.

No offence but every one of you learned the same shit in school. That’s why you’re all wrong at the same time. You trust MSM way to much. Only dirty rotton scoundrels can see through the bill shit. Takes one to know one.

Good thing you guys do balanced portfolios,where it don’t matter where the markets go. If you had to made a living betting on these kinds of events.

It would end bad for 99%

#20 jay on 12.10.16 at 3:57 pm

You should collect some data on how incompetent our Government is here in B.C.They just had to close down the Alex Fraser Bridge due to falling ice .I guess they forgot that it snows in The Best Place on Earth.

#21 TurnerNation on 12.10.16 at 3:58 pm

Context a large condo 25 Esplanade.
Ask front desk for Warren’s party tonight. An all nigher apparently but a crowd of singles older than myself. An acquaintance of mine who likes to party . I might stick my head in.

M41ON

#22 Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 4:05 pm

Thank you Doug for explaining WHY the rebellion against Hillay/Bush/Google/Facebook et al has begun and it will continue.

Privacy is the glue that holds us all together as a society allowing us to make decisions. The scum listed above have been doing the opposite. Think about it.

#23 Context on 12.10.16 at 4:07 pm

#16 TurnerNation:- Mark your calendar for February 2, 2017 at 803 King Street West as the recording artist Candice Sand will be there. The place will be packed and you know the data and facts will be great for a Thursday night.

#24 AB Boxster on 12.10.16 at 4:09 pm

Big data, big internet, everyone connected all the time, information at your fingertips.

I’ve lived in the time before all this.

How did we survive without 400 channels and netflix?
Well we had 3 ‘free’ channels each of which had decent content.
(oh the humanity)

How did we survive without instant access to media content 7/24.
Well we read books, became involved in community, and talked to or neighbours. All free of charge.

How did we survive without cell phones or heaven forbid a data plan?
Please, what a utter waste of time and cash.

Everything that involves data, connectivity, faster access to more, is just designed to sell us more, more, more.

Ullta-consumption makes the world go round.
More junk we don’t need. More services we can do without. More ways to influence your spending habits, your opinions, your behavior.
More brain candy to get you high.

Technology can be transformational in good ways.
Big data’s only value is to sell us more junk.

#25 Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 4:09 pm

It’s like they don’t believe a scientific process anymore, or that the results have meaning in the real world. For example, climate change is a thing. Only a data blind idiot would deny it. And yet, such people exist, and even more stunning, hold power over the rest of us.

___________________________________________

100% of Canada is below zero right now. 50% of the world is getting snowed on. Ten years ago that blow hard Al Gore said that (today) we would be able to row a boat around the top of the arctic circle.

How are those data points working out for you? Rebel people. Rebel.

#26 Please help me on 12.10.16 at 4:15 pm

Doug can I see the data for stock portfolios vs etf portfolios? Over the last 20-25 years please, thx ur friend please help me:)

#27 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 4:18 pm

#8 InvestorsFriend

Yes, that will mean a loss of privacy….. Tough Luck. It’s a done deal.
——————————-

And that’s my point. I believe in honesty because it’s better for everyone, not because an Orwellian data collector watches my every step.

Yes, I lament the loss of integrity for it’s own sake.

You’re right… that’s tough luck indeed.

#28 Freedom First on 12.10.16 at 4:29 pm

Yes. The data was extremely important in forecasting Brexit, Trump, Nortel…..etc.

But I digress. Of course data is important. The more the better. However, and, most unfortunately, Data, no matter how informative, nor history, no matter how recent, does not fix stupid…..nor greed, fear, house horny…..

007
Freedom First
Master of Freedomonics

#29 Pete on 12.10.16 at 4:37 pm

The mainstream media’s failing to report on Trump’s likelihood of a win wasn’t an error, it was a lie. That’s all they do. They lie. They attempt to manufacture consent for the governing powers. They has the data, they lied. The Hillary camp certainly had the real data (the real internal polls never shared outside the inner circles).
What you are saying is that if they only had access to more data they would be able to better manipulate things into their favour. I can’t believe that you would think that that would be a good thing.
Nothing positive will ever come from giving away more data to the powers-that-be.
Just say NO to the ‘internet of things’.
I have no Facebook page, I always pay with cash FOR EVERYTHING, I have no cellphone, I have no rewards cards, no credit card, my car is over 35 years old. I am not a luddite but I’m not out there to be data-mined. I do realize that being on this website I’m giving some data (before someone makes a comment about it).

#30 Andrew Woburn on 12.10.16 at 4:37 pm

#3 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm
What scares the hell out me me is the concept of a ‘cashless society’.
======================

The issue is not the continued existence of tradeable bits of paper, it is the government’s ability to track transactions.

I have every confidence that the fertile, outlaw minds of the hacker community will create a viable form of untraceable digital money when it is needed.

#31 The Future Mrs. Hammerbacher on 12.10.16 at 4:39 pm

Thank you for not using the term ‘big data’

#32 acdel on 12.10.16 at 4:52 pm

Cashless society; good-luck with that; just revert to the old ways of bartering, people will not put up with that.

Best data in the world; hell, that is easy, start talking to all the hard workers (working people) out there in the field instead of relying on stupid charts; the workers know what the hell is going on out there.

Good blog by the way!

#33 calgaryPhantom on 12.10.16 at 4:55 pm

Such an irrelevant post. Shame on you.

#34 Paul on 12.10.16 at 5:02 pm

Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm

What scares the hell out me me is the concept of a ‘cashless society’. If I want to buy a used set of snow tires at my neighbor’s garage sale I don’t think that transaction needs to be worldwide knowledge.

If you take away cash you take away money itself. All that’s left is ‘data’. Data about you that will enrich the owners of server farms located in countries other than Canada.
———————————————————-
Plus you will pay sales tax!
Just love the people who pay for coffee a magazine or a pack of gum with a card of some kind.

The good thing for the banks you will pay a small fee for every transaction plus if you get pissed you won’t be able to take your cash just a cheque or some other card to take to one of there “competitors” they are all in it together.
Pay cash, tip in cash, I know it’s a little hard for some to make the correct change give it a shot it will be worth it.

#35 mark on 12.10.16 at 5:05 pm

“problematic” oh that word triggers me.

#36 Pete on 12.10.16 at 5:09 pm

Cashless society will require the whole world to be on board (or we’ll just carry US, Euro, Rand, Pound Sterling) and/or outlawing the possession of paper money as well as gold, silver, platinum, copper, etc.
I wouldn’t put it past them.
People in New Jersey were said to be ‘bartering’ with bottles of Tide laundry detergent a few years back. There were some stories about people being arrested for carrying 2 jugs of the stuff down the street. Trust me, it will come to that. First, they took all the silver and gold out of the coins, then they passed civil asset-forfeiture laws making the items themselves the criminal. Pretty soon anything of value will become automatically forfeit-able since it just might at some point be used to barter with for ‘illegal’ purposes. Look into it; what has already been done through civil asset-forfeiture legislation will make you sick.

#37 Andrew Woburn on 12.10.16 at 5:14 pm

It seems to me that the radical expansion and accessibility of cheap data will tend to erode profit margins over time. Although Doug finds the Bloomberg expensively useful, he is getting the same info as traders at JP Morgan for a relatively trivial amount.

If more and more competitors are accessing essentially the same data sets, they will have less opportunity to increase their mark-ups based on proprietary knowledge. One can see the same democratizing effects with cloud based systems which can be rented for a fraction of the cost that would have applied to equivalent capability ten years ago.

As the cost barriers to competing in the digital world continue to fall, in a sense, everybody will eventually know everything and be able to process everything. I suspect that those businesses who can build their “moats” around intellectual property and expensive hardware systems will do the best in the longer term. For that reason I would give greater odds on Amazon still being around in 2116 than, say, Google or Netflix.

#38 Nemesis on 12.10.16 at 5:20 pm

“According to a recent World Economic Forum, we’re only about seven years away from the first implantable mobile phone…”… – Dougie

#Actually,Since1967… #TheCerebrumCommunicator:

https://youtu.be/BuwF3dRJiS8

#39 Alpha Bravo on 12.10.16 at 5:26 pm

How about a slanty semi or sht bung?
Then, 3/4 millionaire

——————

You underestimate the bungalow gravely. The aging demographic, one floor seeking senior coupled with the voracious builder will double its worth in the next 5 years.

#40 The Great Gazoo on 12.10.16 at 5:32 pm

This was originally announced with the OPEC deal on November 30th.

Today Non-OPEC producers confirmed they will cut 6ook barrels per day. Together with OPEC this is a total cut of 1.8 million bpd. If we assume 75% compliance, the actual cut will be on the order of 1.3 million bpd – give or take. Still a big big deal.

Non-OPEC agree to cut oil output as part of global deal to boost prices

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/non-opec-agree-to-cut-oil-output-as-part-of-global-deal/article33293276/

Here was the real news for the day:

Saudis Signal Deeper Cuts After Deal With Non-OPEC Countries

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-10/non-opec-joins-opec-in-first-global-oil-output-cuts-in-15-years

Here is a key excerpt from the article:

“This is shock and awe by Saudi Arabia,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “It shows the commitment of Riyadh to rebalance the market and should end concerns about OPEC delivering the deal.

Amrita Sen is a well respected oil analyst. Oil is heading higher folks.

The Saudis’ may be able to produce oil at low cost, but their country is running a deficit on the order of $75 billion annually and their financial reserves need to be shored up. They really need higher oil prices as do Russia and many other producing countries – including Canada.

This obviously means more revenues to Canadian energy companies that will lead to higher energy stocks. This will provide an added boost to the Canadian economy and Canadian dollar, plus more pressure on inflation. This will put additional pressure on those pesky interest rates that have stayed low for so long.

2017 is going to be an interesting year.

#41 Andrew Woburn on 12.10.16 at 5:42 pm

It is hard not to be impressed with the achievements of Michael Bloomberg but not all business geniuses are American. I am thinking of our own quiet Canadian, Kenneth Thomson, who had the incredible foresight and guts to bail out of a successful newspaper empire in the Nineties when it was still worth something and become a pioneer in the electronic publishing of information and data. He inherited a $500 million newspaper chain and turned it into a $30 billion world wide powerhouse by the time he died in 2006. For those who don’t know, his dad started the whole thing from one newspaper in Timmins.

#42 Penny Henny on 12.10.16 at 5:53 pm

#5 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 2:50 pm
Excellent, it will be even easier to torture the data to get whatever answer is wanted.

Support galore for every view point!

////////////////////////////

Every view point except ONE.

The sales mix theory which no data exists.

Mark, if you have the data then please feel free to post it.

#43 Doug Rowat on 12.10.16 at 6:02 pm

#32 calgaryPhantom on 12.10.16 at 4:55 pm

Such an irrelevant post. Shame on you.

No refunds, sorry.

–Doug

#44 Birthed of a Supernova on 12.10.16 at 6:12 pm

#18 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 3:47 pm

One of the highest electoral collage wins in history.


Bullcrap

http://www.iweblists.com/us/government/PresidentialElectionResults.html

#45 Doug Rowat on 12.10.16 at 6:14 pm

#11 Victor V on 12.10.16 at 3:02 pm

Hi Doug, speaking of data, I’m curious if there is recent information that speaks to what $$ amount the average Canadian has squirrelled away in their TFSA. I’m looking to benchmark our family performance in this regard but can’t find any stats online. Thoughts?

All things being equal, TFSAs are our preferred account type. Don’t worry about your neighbour, just do your best to get your contributions to $46,500.

–Doug

#46 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 6:22 pm

Cash is On The Way Out

#33 Paul on 12.10.16 at 5:02 pm said

Just love the people who pay for coffee a magazine or a pack of gum with a card of some kind.

Pay cash, tip in cash, I know it’s a little hard for some to make the correct change give it a shot it will be worth it.

******************************************
Sorry, it’s over, cash lost out to plastic.

I have used mostly debit card for some years. I try to avoid credit card since that costs the merchants more but 99% of them don’t seem to care. Also I prefer to pay as I go.

In the past year I went to the “tap” system on debit. You can’t beat it. It’s almost instant. The clerks no longer have to handle germy cash. No opportunity for staff to steal cash or miscount.

All my life, I never left home without my wallet and I always used to carry cash including coins.

Now I don’t bother taking coins and paper cash sits untouched in my wallet.

I can now almost see the day when I might want to pay with my phone and just carry that and no wallet. But for now, you can’t beat paying by debit card it is the fastest and most convenient.

Oh, and servers prefer the machine as the tips are higher, believe me. How else did 20% become the standard except the machine now tells us in a lot of cases?

#47 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 6:34 pm

Canadian Business Geniuses

#40 Andrew Woburn on 12.10.16 at 5:42 pm said:

It is hard not to be impressed with the achievements of Michael Bloomberg but not all business geniuses are American. I am thinking of our own quiet Canadian, Kenneth Thomson, who had the incredible foresight and guts to bail out of a successful newspaper empire in the Nineties when it was still worth something and become a pioneer in the electronic publishing of information and data. He inherited a $500 million newspaper chain and turned it into a $30 billion world wide powerhouse by the time he died in 2006. For those who don’t know, his dad started the whole thing from one newspaper in Timmins.

******************************************
Absolutely. I was aware Ken Thomson got out of newspapers and into the digital world early. I don’t recall too many stories celebrating this.

Other fantastically successful Canadian businessmen include:

Alain Bouchard and his partners at Couche-Tard. Three men there are billionaires and the fourth is close.

Larry Rossy at Dollarama.

The Sobeys family of Stellerton Nova Scotia

Jim Pattison

Martha Billes with Canadian Tire

The McCains of NewBrunswick

The Irvings of New Brunswick

The Weston family with Loblaws and more

Just check the list of Canada’s richest people. Great success stories there:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/richest-people/100-richest-canadians-complete-list/

And I think you get to number 20 before you see anyone who made their fortune in real estate / property.

#48 good grief...just listen to Bogle... on 12.10.16 at 6:48 pm

data?…..lol. Here’s Mr Bogle….

‘the stock market is one giant distraction to investing’

“The grim irony of investing is that we investors as a group not only don’t get what we pay for, we get precisely what we don’t pay for.” :)Translation don’t hand your to data folks, they are hopelessly swinging at alpha

“The index fund is a sensible, serviceable method for obtaining the market’s rate of return with absolutely no effort and minimal expense. Index funds eliminate the risks of individual stocks, market sectors and manager selection, leaving only stock market risk.”

“Investing is not nearly as difficult as it looks. Successful investing involves doing a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes.”

“Time is your friend; impulse is your enemy.”

“Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack.”

#49 Ronaldo on 12.10.16 at 6:48 pm

#33 Paul

”Pay cash, tip in cash, I know it’s a little hard for some to make the correct change give it a shot it will be worth it.”

Son recently tried to pay for a purchase at a pharmacy with a hundred dollar bill and they refused it telling him that it may be counterfeit. Maybe we will see anything over a 20 being discontinued. As it is right now, when you pay in cash anywhere its seems very out of the ordinary. Most people pay with plastic nowadays.

#50 Self Directed on 12.10.16 at 6:52 pm

Here’s Data on the big banks. It’s in highlight form by the folks at Canadian Mortgage Trends, so careful.

http://canadianmortgagetrends.com/canadian_mortgage_trends/2016/12/q4-2016-bank-earnings-mortgage-morsels.html

Raw Data is pulled in with rough edges smoothed over for VP’s to report to their bosses, that data is merged with some other data and shared with the big Execs, that data is then tweaked and shared with CEO and Board of Directors, they do a couple of more tweaks before releasing a quarterly earnings statement.

Doug, at the end of the day your Bloomberg crystal ball is only useful because everyone else is using it also.

#51 post #23, AB Boxter... on 12.10.16 at 6:53 pm

‘Big data’s only value is to sell us more junk.’

nailed it. Kudos to Bloomberg tho, if there’s market? sell your product

#52 thinking on 12.10.16 at 6:54 pm

Thank for your post.

Data?? How many people come out with biased and false data, sometimes because they do not know better, sometimes on purpose to mislead others.

How much data is necessary for the politician to understand that we the human are destroying everything on this planet, some of them pushing agendas that it’s just a lie to stop the economies while the polar bears are dying and the African elephants are being killed and a disgusting female posts her picture on Internet with a killed giraffe

Today we need to walk besides the last type of one rhino protecting him from other humans.

While in one place we discovered a solution for something the whole humanity is trying to hide it from others and in 10 others places scientists are trying to arrive at the conclusion, as a race it’s like the left hand of our body hides things to the right one.

It’s just sad.

#53 Context on 12.10.16 at 7:04 pm

#20 TurnerNation:- Well if your going to stick your head in its just a few minutes down the street. The kilted girls will be waiting for you there instead.

#54 CONservative media lies on 12.10.16 at 7:10 pm

Did some of you just clued into reality that the conservative media lies? DId you forget Harper was supposed to at worst , win a minority with JT2 having no chance of a minority yet alone a sweeping majority? How about Tim “Harris” Hudak who was supposed to win since KW had no chance of crushing the CONs with a majority? CON media lies all the time, almost everyday. Thats what CONs do. Saying media is left wing is a CON lie.

#55 conan on 12.10.16 at 7:13 pm

Doug, is that what you want for Xmas this year…… a Bloomberg terminal?

#56 Dark Matter on 12.10.16 at 7:16 pm

I believe many data points are better than a few. I think this why Technical Analysis works. It is the market’s opinion in real time of a particular stock, weighted average by voters (investors), by the amount they are bullish or bearish. In the long term, earnings stability and growth will ultimately determine the stock price, but in the short term, patterns arise that are tradable. Technical Analysis provides exit and entry opportunities. I believe the ideal investment system weighs about 50% on Fundamental Analysis and 50% on Technical Analysis. I am a “Cowboy” according the Garth. I think risk mitigation is best obtained in the process of the stock selection, not through diversification. I believe there is a risk of Opportunity Lost, or the losses of owning a weak stock compared to owning a stronger one. (“I could have had a V8 !!!”)
I love this blog and rely on the long term balanced opinions provided by Garth,Doug and Ryan. Thank You

#57 mouldyinYVR on 12.10.16 at 7:18 pm

Speaking of data:
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/hidden+ownership+homes+prevalent+report+says/12502054/story.html?src=ilaw

“An influx of overseas capital is one of several causes of rising property prices (in Vancouver and Toronto), but the extent and impact of foreign investment remains unknown since very little data is collected on property owners……….Individuals can use shell companies, trusts and nominees to hide their beneficial interest in Canadian real estate.”

#58 Debtslavecreator on 12.10.16 at 7:19 pm

It’s called a totalitarian dream and its already here. Much of what we are experiencing has happened several times before to most nations in the past. The massive corruption including the junk monetary policy which enabled the growth of an oversized state is merely maturing as it naturally does. They will eliminate $ 100 and probably $ 50 bills with 18-24 months. The usual excuses will be used which of course 99.8% of the population has no clue about. Then they continue to pass regulation after regulation as broke governments always use the law as a weapon and tool of extortion and theft.
In a typical day the majority are violating at least 1 or 2 “regulations”.
They will continue to raise taxes and fees and eventually print massive amounts of money which will probably be SDRs
So forcing the masses into digital slaughter pens will give them full control as they raise taxes dramatically, print to destroy the value of whatever is left and then many will revolt and hit the streets in rage. Imagine most of your money taken through taxes and fees and unable to afford your weekly groceries after a lifetime r of work. If you cause too many problems they will simply freeze your account and leave you hungry – oh and if you rock lovers think you will walk around with your coins good luck – that will be “against the law”
No amount of fees and taxes will help them. Most of the developed world governments are broke. You can use the most optimistic estimate of the underground economy and lost taxes and multiply it by 3 and big deal it still would not pay for more than 2-3 months of interest
That said it will be very hard and scary but humanity will survive and move forwad
Be careful

#59 CONservative media lies on 12.10.16 at 7:20 pm

#39 The Great Gazoo

Oil rise is temporary since output from everyone else will rise plus oil cut backs are based on good faith. Is it likly oil cutting nations will LIE? Lol not for money im sure.

#60 conan on 12.10.16 at 7:27 pm

#28 Pete on 12.10.16 at 4:37 pm

I predict that you will want to slap yourself in the head soon after purchasing/acquiring your first cell phone.

‘What is this texting Sorcery?”
” This phone saves me time and reduces frustration……..doh!”
“Time is money ergo…………doh!”

#61 tkid on 12.10.16 at 7:36 pm

Clinton lost the election because her campaign received poll results that were not favourable to her. Instead of learning from the results and tweaking her position, they had the poll results tweaked to match her position.

There were a number of articles in the mainstream press about poll results that were re-worked. The lack of good sense shown by the Clinton campaign is astonishing.

And this was duplicated by previous election results. Polls showed one party winning, and another party wins instead. Why? Because polls are no longer an accurate reflection of the voters.

Facebook is much the same way. Far too many times has Facebook made a statement where ‘we don’t do X, or Y’ and then six months later there’s a news article where it is proven Facebook did X and Y. Facebook has lost all credibility. At this point I would not be astonished if Facebook was caught manipulating the data it provides.

#62 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 7:53 pm

My Mistake…

About the rich people list I mentioned at 46 above

Numbers 12 and 13 in the top 100 list are also real estate related. So three out of the top 20 made it in real estate.

#63 Fish on 12.10.16 at 8:00 pm

I like usa,
Remember we are getting a New Face on our $10. 00 Bill, shortly

#64 Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 8:00 pm

#56 mouldyinYVR on 12.10.16 at 7:18 pm
Speaking of data:
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/hidden+ownership+homes+prevalent+report+says/12502054/story.html?src=ilaw

“An influx of overseas capital is one of several causes of rising property prices (in Vancouver and Toronto), but the extent and impact of foreign investment remains unknown since very little data is collected on property owners……….Individuals can use shell companies, trusts and nominees to hide their beneficial interest in Canadian real estate.”

________________________________________

So in other words we have data on almost everything EXCEPT all the foreigners buying RE.

Yeah

Right

The pile of reasons why people do not trust media, government and corporations is stratospheric.

#65 Chico on 12.10.16 at 8:04 pm

The problem with data is partly the quality and partly the volume. We as a society have been in the “information age” for several decades and yet people aren’t generally better informed when it comes to all kinds of important subjects like health, marriage, raising children and in the case of this blog…finance.

Once upon a time we had simple products like Rice Krispies, whereas now we have multiple varieties of items like this. There is ample proof that with the increasing options, we tend to make less decisions and simply check out and shut down. I’m sure this is part of the problem with financial services and investing as well. A person who is trying to learn from the ground up, is often overwhelmed by the volume of data and so ends up throwing up their hands and choosing something that appears simple… like buying a house.

I heard a very informative stat many years ago. Prior to publishing his record selling book, the One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard found out that less than 90% of all non-fiction books are read past the first chapter. The book was published in 1981. Their solution…write a book that was only one chapter long!
I’m quite confident that no greater percentage of non-fiction books are being read today.

Beyond obtaining solid information, the biggest issue people face is the willingness to learn and incorporate the information into their lives, but that would require effort and change, which isn’t very popular.

#66 Context on 12.10.16 at 8:04 pm

#46 InvestorsFriend:- The list is interesting but this does not cover the family held private companies as see at least one name missing.

#67 me again on 12.10.16 at 8:05 pm

here is the best crash course in geo politics out there
guaranteed to enlighten

https://www.spreaker.com/user/acrnetwork/cia-cfr-castro-cuba-dialectical-psy-ops-

#68 Warren- the lagging indicator on 12.10.16 at 8:09 pm

Garth – “sating my need for syrupy subservience”
++__++

I think Edgar just did a backflip!

#69 Russ on 12.10.16 at 8:09 pm

Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 4:09 pm

It’s like they don’t believe a scientific process anymore, or that the results have meaning in the real world. For example, climate change is a thing. Only a data blind idiot would deny it. And yet, such people exist, and even more stunning, hold power over the rest of us.

___________________________________________

100% of Canada is below zero right now. 50% of the world is getting snowed on. Ten years ago that blow hard Al Gore said that (today) we would be able to row a boat around the top of the arctic circle.

How are those data points working out for you? Rebel people. Rebel.
===================================

Hey Polls,

The LWN (left wing nuts) are going to be all over you for your thought, above.
They have faith in the global warming doctrine as though it’s a religion.

As a Canadian, I believe global warming is in our best interest.
As a skeptical taxpayer I believe the Canadian Government likes the LWN movement for the gov’ment benefit of increased taxation without representation.

Another blogger of interest:
http://blog.dilbert.com/post/154082416051/the-non-expert-problem-and-climate-change-science

#70 CDN vs US stock exchange data on 12.10.16 at 8:11 pm

Real time US stock exchange data is available publicly for free – unlike Canadian stock exchange data. Go figure. Same with real estate data.

#71 Bottoms_Up on 12.10.16 at 8:18 pm

#5 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 2:50 pm
————————-
Not really. Data is truly beneficial, and gives things such as how close is the nearest hospitable planet? Ever hear of technical analysis in stock trading? How about the baseball fielding shift? Xray of your dog’s mouth? And of course DNA, to predict the best medicine for you. Data truly is the ultimate.

#72 wallflower on 12.10.16 at 8:21 pm

Is that what mydemocracy.ca is doing? Collecting data?
I am a Challenger.
Cool.

The survey presented in mydemocracy.ca is a sub-zero rendering of an unidentifiable objective which dished bias in a patronizing fashion. Are we looking at the results of decades of raising children in an environment where “everybody is a participant, and everybody gets a ribbon”? I am most keenly interested to know how much money was spent in this overall exercise. And who made out like bandits with the loot?

#73 Bottoms_Up on 12.10.16 at 8:32 pm

#68 Russ on 12.10.16 at 8:09 pm
————————
The Arctic has never been warmer, and has never had less ice since humans have roamed the planet.

Sure global warming may have some positive impacts in Canada such as warming our winters and increasing ocean fishery yield, but don’t you think the negatives far outweight the positives? Think severe drought….burnt Fort Mac….flash floods and house insurance claims (Calgary)…heat waves and morbidity and loss of life…..loss of crops including wineries…loss of ice roads…etc etc. Not to mention the negative impact on the rest of humanity.

#74 Beth Bronson on 12.10.16 at 8:37 pm

The Canadian dollar will rise again to 85 cents to parity by early next year.

Not good for a Bloomberg subscription when buying worthless fiat money at 70 to 73 cents for every 1 Canadian dollar.

Isn’t it a co-incidence that when the BoC is planning to put more women on our banknotes that the value of our dollar is rising? Trudeau will make Canada great again while Donald Octopus Trump will crash the U.S. economy for real.

Canada is one of the richest and safest countries in the world. We respect the human and civilian rights of everyone in Canada. Canada is a 1st world country of richness and wealth.

Look at all of those luxury condos and penthouse mansions decorating our skyline in Toronto. Our country is the greatest in the world. I am proud to be Canadian who respect women. Trudeau will prove to his haters that he will make Canada turn into a global superpower.

We are going to tell African nations that they should respect our Canadian women and implement more stringent pro-women policies to promote gender equality.

Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya did not get the memo that women should be respected. That was the reason why they were invaded in & out by foreign military. Respect a woman and your country will not be sanctioned, invaded and overthrown…….

Over to you, Doug. (heh, heh) — Garth

#75 Martin Krugeur on 12.10.16 at 8:55 pm

76 cents Federal Reserve notes = 1 Canadian dollarette.

Time to invest in Canadian dollars. The US dollar is already going to fall when Trump is offocially sowrn in as Presideten in January 20o17.

Oil is going to help boost our economy. The C$ is not going down. It is rising in value.

#76 professional statisticologist on 12.10.16 at 9:01 pm

Statistics are useful when analyzed correctly.

I’ll use the picture provided with the article as an example. From this we can see that 100% of bald men are single and ride the bus. We know this is significant because the sample size (n=6) represents all the bus patrons, excluding the bus driver who obviously has a full set of hair and a wife at home.

#77 Gasbag Boomer on 12.10.16 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Doug for a thought provoking post.

#78 Sydneysider on 12.10.16 at 9:06 pm

The key question that people in all walks of life must address before making predictions is “what is the basis of your epistemology?”, or in simpler words, “is the structure of your knowledge built with firm materials, all the way to the foundations?”.

People in the investment game have no predictive models and no trustworthy data about company performance and prospects.

#79 Ronaldo on 12.10.16 at 9:11 pm

Deluged by data.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2jmi42_doc-zone-deluged-by-data_tech

#80 professional statisticologist on 12.10.16 at 9:11 pm

Statistics are useful when analyzed correctly.

I’ll use the picture provided with the article as an example. From this we can see that 100% of bald men are single and ride the bus. We know this is significant because the sample size (n=5) represents all the bus patrons, excluding the bus driver who obviously has a full set of hair and a wife at home.

#81 professional statisticologist on 12.10.16 at 9:13 pm

Typo in my first submission. Sorry.

#82 acdel on 12.10.16 at 9:18 pm

Huh regarding the delay in posts; those of you who get it; do the same, is this site for real or not, post when people post!!! Sorry, I am just another canucklehead, just being taken for granted! Tax me please, use my info to sell yours, oops!

#83 Last of the boomers on 12.10.16 at 9:26 pm

@ #7

Now that enbridge line #3 has been approved do you think that they still need Keystone?

Anyone care to comment?

#84 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 9:35 pm

#43 Birthed of a Supernova on 12.10.16 at 6:12 pm
#18 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 3:47 pm

One of the highest electoral collage wins in history.


Bullcrap

http://www.iweblists.com/us/government/PresidentialElectionResults.html
….

So I embellished a bit. The tactics and shit you learn watching MSM do it every day.

You screw up badly… Blame the Russians.

#85 acdel on 12.10.16 at 9:43 pm

#64 Chico

Great post!

#86 fishman on 12.10.16 at 9:50 pm

Did any blog dogs catch Justin Trudeau’s welcoming speech for Biden. He alluded to Obama’s State dinner & mentioned a couple people not in attendance. Then offered himself as the only “eye candy” for cousin Joe.
Did I miss something, or is there an inside joke, or did lil potato really “jump the shark?”

#87 HellYeah on 12.10.16 at 9:51 pm

“But it ain’t cheap. ”
Well, of course Bloomberg ain’t cheap. Been around too long. But there are many, more recent entrants that provide timely, accurate trading signals more focused on specifics (as defined by the client) that are cheaper.

“But data, of course, can also be problematic, creating not clarity and insight but confusion and prevarication.”
+100. This is the real cost of data – it’s analysis, and what makes it suitable for the purposes of the user, that costs money. You need an expert to interpret data, and to to put it into your context, so you pay for the data feed plus the analytics. IMO.

#88 Balmuto on 12.10.16 at 10:06 pm

“I’ve been in finance most of my professional life and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t using a Bloomberg terminal, or a ‘Bloomberg’ as it’s commonly called.”

You’re either in front of a Bloomberg, or behind.

#89 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 10:07 pm

76 Gasbag Boomer on 12.10.16 at 9:05 pm
Thanks Doug for a thought provoking post.
….
Jesus, if you want to get a man’s respect you got to chuck a few insults never kiss ass.

You obviously never did any good drugs in the 60s and 70s.

What is wrong with people.

#90 Doug Rowat on 12.10.16 at 10:23 pm

#73 Beth Bronson on 12.10.16 at 8:37 pm

The Canadian dollar will rise again to 85 cents to parity by early next year.

Not good for a Bloomberg subscription when buying worthless fiat money at 70 to 73 cents for every 1 Canadian dollar.

I’ll check my Bloomberg to confirm that forecast.

And, unfortunately, Bloomberg likes my Canadian dollars about as much as he likes sugary drinks, so I don’t have much choice with respect to negative currency effects.

–Doug

#91 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 10:24 pm

My next book. Being a Man for Dummies.

You little bearded downtown snow flakes, thinking you will get loyalty from your woman acting like girl.

Real woman, sort these idiots out.

We all know what the lesbonic forces of evil will say.

Real Woman.. Will buy that book for there soft hubbies if they realy love them.

Why does saving earth always land on my shoulders.

Damn the council on Nictonite for sending me here.

#92 Victor V on 12.10.16 at 10:24 pm

#44 Doug Rowat

My wife and I have maxed out our contributions since the TFSA was first offered. With growth, she is now sitting at $61K and I’m at $66K — from a benchmark perspective, trying to get a sense as to whether this performance is average, below or above average.

#93 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 10:41 pm

Let’s face it. T2 a teacher. A suck up begging for funding is his previous life’s experience.

That’s his experience in business. Rather than the thrill of out manovering an aponent.

Saudis got his number. Kill your oil and buy ours. Screw Alberta families. Make the lesbians happy.

Being the little girl he is, he bought it. So did butts, my bet butts has a shit load more loot in his off shore account than T2.

But no one can compete with Suzuki, that shit has been playing this game for a long time.. Stealing tax payer loot while secretly worshipping his masters in Saudi Arabia. One needs loot to save a tree.

I’m hammered and loving my honest opinion of shit.

#94 BillyBob on 12.10.16 at 10:46 pm

Cash is Trash

#3 Damifino on 12.10.16 at 2:47 pm said:

If you take away cash you take away money itself.

*********************************************
Money represents an intangible claim check on goods and services. When you work you get claim checks to spend.

Storing and transferring the claim checks electronically is ideal. The notion that money needs to be represented by or backed by precious metal coins, non-precious metal coins or by bits of paper are all antiquated and confuse the bottom line nature of money as transferable claim checks on goods and services. (Read the book Money, The Unauthorized Biography by Felinx Martin).

Even as 90% of our transactions (all the really big ones) were done without physical money we still thought of paper money as the “real” money. That was wrong.

Paper money is doomed and will be out of circulation faster than you think.

Yes, that will mean a loss of privacy. And a real hardship for those doing illegal or tax evading transactions. Tough Luck. It’s a done deal.

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

Nonsense. Many illegal transactions are already “cashless”, i.e. drugs for guns. All that will happen – and is already happening with cryptocurrencies – is that “money” will begin to be moved outside of the present system. With the technology available today, setting up parallel monetary systems is more viable than ever. All you need is a trusted way to track those “claim checks” you mention, and when people lose trust in the current system, it opens the door to alternatives.

Governments intent on the “cashless society” should be careful what they wish for.

#95 Smoking Man on 12.10.16 at 11:07 pm

CTV

Are they owned by some CIA thing..

Bahahaha at Lisa’s take.

#96 RIL on 12.10.16 at 11:13 pm

Re: A Cashless Society

I carry no cash. So the other night when I ran into my favourite panhandler Harvey sleeping rough on the – 37 C streets in Ft. Mac, I told him to wait while I found an ATM. It was an early Solstice present as I go to YYC on Friday. When I gave him his stipend he stared me straight in the eye to express his gratitude. High IQ and EQ and a good man. Not a single chance given to him in his life. Another victim of a European conquest to whom recompense is due.

#97 Mark on 12.10.16 at 11:24 pm

“Oil is going to help boost our economy. The C$ is not going down. It is rising in value.”

Wow, so much bullishness on the CAD$. Y’all realize that the BoC will probably cut as soon as the CAD/USD$ pair goes to 1.24.

I’m personally looking for housing deflation and rising gold prices to be more of a driver of CAD$ than oil. But my predictive record isn’t good on this topic unfortunately.

Real time US stock exchange data is available publicly for free – unlike Canadian stock exchange data. Go figure. Same with real estate data.

So get yourself a brokerage account with one of the big-5, and help yourself to the free real time data. Not a big deal. And if you’re a trader (you shouldn’t be…but that aside), data doesn’t cost that much in the scheme of things. Besides, most of the TSX, by market cap, trades on the NYSE anyways.

As for ‘data’, well, I think another poster above hit the nail on the head — most investors do better in methodical rebalancing of index funds, rather than trying to sift through all the data. Those Bloomberg terms seem to be quite an overly expensive, ego-boosting tool, more than actual tools useful for generating results. Along with fancy downtown offices, and secretaries hired for their tendency to wear short skirts.

#98 Mark on 12.10.16 at 11:25 pm

“Real time US stock exchange data is available publicly for free – unlike Canadian stock exchange data. Go figure. Same with real estate data.”

in previous post should be bolded… sorry.

#99 Vampire studies GMST 454 on 12.10.16 at 11:29 pm

48 Ronaldo.

Yeah I like my small bills for coffees, haricuts and the dollar store.

It was explained to me, some years ago now, that the merchant is not bound to accept a particular denomination of currency. The real intent was that you cant expect the small vendor to have change for a C-note. BUT the note is still legal tender for the settlement of all debts, public and private, and the offer has been made to pay by the puchaser. So the deal is the purchaser is free to take the item, but the debt remains. Never tried it.

#100 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.10.16 at 11:34 pm

Data is just garbage in garbage out with out smart people filtering out the garbage.
Doug, looks like you are on the garbage out site.

#101 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.10.16 at 11:38 pm

Doug,
You spent most of your life behind a computer terminal.
And you call this life?
I’m so sorry for you.

#102 Vampire studies GMST 454 on 12.10.16 at 11:39 pm

“…allow your favorite sports team to score more points…”

Or allow the opposing team to score more points. So the net benefit in this environment is zero, due to the win-lose result.

You leaf fans will fall for anything…..

#103 RIL on 12.10.16 at 11:39 pm

# 72 bottoms up

Whether or not CC is anthropogenic, the debate is over. You left out some consequences from your good but short list. Such as Sudan being uninhabitable and many tens of thousands of CC refugees arriving in Burrard Inlet and the St. Lawrence. Wait and watch.

#104 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.10.16 at 11:43 pm

#91 Victor V on 12.10.16 at 10:24 pm
#44 Doug Rowat

My wife and I have maxed out our contributions since the TFSA was first offered. With growth, she is now sitting at $61K and I’m at $66K — from a benchmark perspective, trying to get a sense as to whether this performance is average, below or above average.
———————
Buddy,
You’re wasting too much time worrying about money.
Take your chick on a nice holiday.

#105 Polls R Phake on 12.11.16 at 12:00 am

We are going to tell African nations that they should respect our Canadian women and implement more stringent pro-women policies to promote gender equality.

Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya did not get the memo that women should be respected. That was the reason why they were invaded in & out by foreign military. Respect a woman and your country will not be sanctioned, invaded and overthrown…….

Over to you, Doug. (heh, heh) — Garth

____________________________________________

You have got to be kidding me? Do you think the opium dealers and gun runners (Clintons and Bushes) give a rats ass about women in those countries? One of Hillary’s most famous quotes about the now “destroyed” Libya was “We came, we saw….he died”. Brutally and disgustingly I may add. Give your head a shake Beth.

#106 Fish on 12.11.16 at 12:07 am

It is Grand, Merry Holiday season to you all

#107 Context on 12.11.16 at 12:09 am

#90 Smoking Man:- I know where you will get lots of sales. How about the sisterhood at Cottey College. I am still looking for the Chapter address in Toronto, but its carefully hidden.

#108 Sydneysider on 12.11.16 at 12:35 am

Data are relatively neutral. Problems arise when people think they can see patterns in it.

Your role is that of the soothsayer, who can read the future from the pattern that the entrails make when thrown on the ground.

#109 NoName on 12.11.16 at 12:37 am

#8 InvestorsFriend on 12.10.16 at 2:59 pm

Yes, that will mean a loss of privacy. And a real hardship for those doing illegal or tax evading transactions. Tough Luck. It’s a done deal.

—-

how about some liquid tide?

Older article, but relevant for those doing illegal or tax evading transactions.
A case study in American ingenuity, legal and otherwise.

http://nymag.com/news/features/tide-detergent-drugs-2013-1/

#110 Maj on 12.11.16 at 12:49 am

#24 Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 4:09 pm

I hope you’re not insinuating that just because Al Gore made an incorrect prediction, all science is discredited.
It’s time to stop rowing your boat around in circles and find the truth.

http://tinyurl.com/hgcsa9b

#111 Stock picker on 12.11.16 at 1:40 am

I think that the persons and industries that are crying foul over free flowing information, truth, data access, political influence lost to the internet are those whose sense of entitlement is being eroded. Recently every losing side has blamed “fake news” for their fall instead of acknowledging the growing awareness by greater segments of the population that the game has been rigged. A great example was the Pierre Trudeau liberals co-opting Hockey Night in Canada as a propaganda tool when the monopoly indigent CBC was the only game in town. Perhaps this is why Junior Trudeau slips into reverie about his envy and respect of totalitarian regimes and the control they enjoy.

Brokers paying 25k for information are failing to realize that the same information is made freely available by companies and agencies whose legal responsibility forces disclosure.

#112 millenial82 on 12.11.16 at 2:15 am

One interesting thing about technology is when you look forward everything sounds scary but once upon a time the technology we love today sounded scary too. Nobody likes change but it comes about whether we like it or not. Eventually we just get used to it. I don’t necessarily buy into all of the predictions we hear about though (and apparently lately predictions aren’t very reliable either.) Implantable phones? Driverless cars? VISA cards on fingerprint or eye scans? Sure they will come about because there is a potential corporate profit in these endeavours but my guess is they won’t dominate as much as we are led to believe. I know a lot of people who bought into wearable technology like fit bits and smart watches and most of those devices are now collecting dust or in the trash. I’d call them a fad. People love buying vehicles to take control of the nice ride and its feature, not hand it all over to a robot. In the old days this scenario was called catching a bus or taxi. There is a also a leisure market for things called motorcycles, snow machines, ATV’s, seadoos, et al. Are these predicted to be self driving too? LOL. Now, enter an authoritarian government with these technologies and things could get scary fast.

#113 Metaxa on 12.11.16 at 2:25 am

@ #91 Victor V


#44 Doug Rowat

My wife and I have maxed out our contributions since the TFSA was first offered. With growth, she is now sitting at $61K and I’m at $66K — from a benchmark perspective, trying to get a sense as to whether this performance is average, below or above average.

Despite the TFSA being able to hold any kind of investment activity the banks and credit unions seem all to willing to allow their customers to use then as glorified savings accounts. ergo very little interest.

I have a friend who didn’t make his fees year before last with CIBC.

With that in mind I’m going to day you are above the average but if you are young enough you can go nuts inside a TFSA and make big bucks. CRA apparently frowns upon those who day trade in a TFSA so there is that.

I’m old so less aggressive but ours are a bit better off than yours. My adult sons are way more aggressive and are far ahead of both me and you however they are mid twenties so have time to recover if needs be.

Put your money in each year as spicy as you can stand, you will be far ahead of most I’m pretty sure.

#114 Tony on 12.11.16 at 4:33 am

Re: #58 CONservative media lies on 12.10.16 at 7:20 pm

The U.S. rig count is also moving skyward which will put in a ceiling for oil in the 50 to 55 dollar range U.S. for West Texas Crude. The world economy is worsening yearly. Demand for oil is falling and we probably will see 30 dollar oil by 2020 or earlier.

#115 Jules on 12.11.16 at 5:58 am

Number one lesson from statistics 101:
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT. If there is anytime at all wrong with the numbers that go into an analysis, the rest is completely irrelevant. It’s hard enough to get squeaky clean data from a controlled research setting never mind our increasingly complex world.

#116 Jules on 12.11.16 at 6:01 am

Sorry should say anything* not anytime*.

#117 When Will They Raise Rates? on 12.11.16 at 6:39 am

“Vee vill use zee data responsibly.”

#118 When Will They Raise Rates? on 12.11.16 at 6:40 am

“For zee good of zee people”

#119 When Will They Raise Rates? on 12.11.16 at 6:41 am

… Until the people revolt , that is.

#120 When Will They Raise Rates? on 12.11.16 at 6:48 am

Long data encryption services, peer to peer and barter platforms, PMs, and cryptocurrencies.

#121 D.D. Corkum on 12.11.16 at 7:25 am

Data didn’t cause a polling miss. Most polls were remarkably accurate heading into the election — mean error was well within historic norms.

Flawed models, discounting undecideds and the possibility of bias extending beyond state boundaries, resulted in flawed predictions. As an example, 538 gave Trump a rather reasonable 30% chance of success because they did consider these things in their model.

Others, who said it was 99% Clinton, made flawed assumptions that severely impacted how they understood the data in front of them.

#122 Pepito on 12.11.16 at 7:33 am

Data is the new God in the church of science, but it still runs on faith as most folks neither have access to the raw data, the criteria for its collection nor the information or knowledge of the process by which results were arrived at and interpreted.

In other words, much of the high brow intellectual, in vogue ” evidence based science” is just a modern version of yet another belief system which can and sadly is much manipulated and abused by those in power.

Examples of such manipulation and often unethical or even criminal abuse are countless. Is it any wonder that the public is sceptical ?

#123 Gasbag Boomer on 12.11.16 at 8:00 am

Re. Smoking Man #88: LMAO!

#124 "Privacy is dead" IS totalitarianism on 12.11.16 at 9:32 am

#109 millenial82

You must be new or haven’t heard of Snowden, Wikileaks.

We did enter the era of totalitarian and authoritarian governments.

You could use other label, as well, when Google’s Eric Schmidt runs a side gig through a startup utilizing Google and other data to elect a candidate selling out voters data both for monetizing and political influence gain.

He also proposes to hire an army of “young, clever, enthusiastic” people (millennials, I guess), pay them very low compensation for their work from the estimated 1.5 billion dollar election campaign budget.

Then he shows up on election night at Hillary’s headquarters with a badge “staff”.

Hard to not think of Mussolini’s name and his famed definition of politicians and corporations working together.

#125 Fraceswkia Olivia on 12.11.16 at 9:41 am

DELETED

#126 Polls as weapons on 12.11.16 at 9:56 am

# 118

Data didn’t cause a polling miss. Most polls were remarkably accurate heading into the election — mean error was well within historic norms.

—-

Polls in this election were used primarily as psychological weapons to influence the mind of voters instead of data to reflect voters state of mind.

This is the same thinking that now orders investigation how the Russians won the election for Trump.

Since the result has to be produced before the current ruling party hands over the power the expectation of the outcome of the “investigation” is pretty clear for the investigators, who happen to be agencies dealing with classified data.

The not too hidden message is that based on classified data analysis the political power may not be transferred.

#127 jess on 12.11.16 at 10:04 am

historical data points the known knowns (4.1 project)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Westbrook Pegler, a vituperative critic of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once wrote that the president’s attack on the ill-gotten gains of America’s wealthy was shameful hypocrisy given the fact that FDR’s “buccaneer” grandfather’s opium fortune had allowed Roosevelt and his family to enjoy “to the utmost … luxury and riches derived from the degradation and wretchedness of the Chinese people.”

In 1946 the “bikini” (named after the bomb that destroyed bikini island ) was designed by the frenchman who made tons of money
what irony
sold as health and vitality in the PR while the real people (or savages as they called them of bikini island
suffered from radiation and poverty
————————–
see john pilgers doc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy5YngR-Cbs

#128 rfidchipsrus on 12.11.16 at 10:11 am

Dougie,

Good article, but you better leave the human data technology game to the Japanese….they have already started bar-coding people….I am guessing rfid chips are next!

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201612091048344233-japan-barcode-dementia-old-people/

#129 Ret on 12.11.16 at 10:25 am

Governments are data adverse. They don’t want anyone to know how poorly they perform and how ineffective new programs have been.

The answer is always more government and more new taxes to keep the party going. Buying votes, silence and support from large corporations, greedy public sector unions and shady government contractors seems to be the order of the day both municipally and provincially in Ontario.

Time to drain the swamp. The backroom deals with taxpayer money need to stop.
—————————————————————-
Shopping trip to Niagara Falls N.Y. this week.
Eggs, large 60 c./doz., extra large 64c./doz. (Walmart)
Milk $1.69 US gal. (Wegmans)
Gas $2.39 US gal. (Tops)
All squash, 65c./lb (Wegmans)
Even with a 30-35% higher USD the prices for many things were less, a lot less.

Batteries, cleaning supplies, clothing, HP ink cartridge, Fram oil filter, motor oil – all less after $ conversion. Less sales taxes too by 4-8% depending on what you purchase..

They even give you free shopping bags so you don’t have to pretend that you are trying to save the world by stuffing used and torn plastic bags into your all of your coat pockets everywhere you go.

McDonald’s looking for employees. $9.75 USD to start.

#130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.11.16 at 10:28 am

@#73 Beth Bronson
“Respect a woman and your country will not be sanctioned, invaded and overthrown…….”
********************************************

Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Riiiiiight.
Oil had nothing to do with those invasions.

On a more intellectual light
Any relation to Charles?

http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://listverse.com/2014/06/16/10-truly-bizarre-facts-about-englands-most-insane-prisoner/&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiB-_71uezQAhVBRGMKHZw-DoEQFgg4MAY&usg=AFQjCNH0uVME_m9k3OWxhf4lMqiOvhf5eg

#131 hope & ruin on 12.11.16 at 10:58 am

@ Pepito

Have you ever read a peer-reviewed paper?

At least anything in a scientific publication is peer-reviewed by a flock of arrogant scientists who love nothing more than to shred each others methodologies.

The data collection and interpretation is clearly stated in the article and also open to being attacked.

The system isn’t perfect and abuses slip thru but on a whole it is leagues better than religious or faith based evidence systems.

#132 Context on 12.11.16 at 11:29 am

Here I gave Doug an investor’s lead for the portfolio because there are women with the big money known as the Sisterhood with a secret Chapter in Toronto. I have done the facts and data work as to them $1 million is pocket change. Discounting their vast Real Estate holdings they have invested $283 million thus far with scholarships. They may need an investment advisor.

#133 Russ on 12.11.16 at 11:46 am

Bottoms_Up on 12.10.16 at 8:32 pm

#68 Russ on 12.10.16 at 8:09 pm

Sure global warming may have some positive impacts in Canada such as warming our winters and increasing ocean fishery yield, but don’t you think the negatives far outweight the positives? Think severe drought….burnt Fort Mac….flash floods and house insurance claims (Calgary)…heat waves and morbidity and loss of life…..loss of crops including wineries…loss of ice roads…etc etc. Not to mention the negative impact on the rest of humanity.
=============================

Hey Botts,
You are confusing bad things happening as being not normal.
I would like a discussion on how the positives truly affect Canada. MSM focuses on the negatives since there is money to be gained (including more taxes & fees).

In your examples:
fires at Fort Mac, the location is near far north prairie. Think about it, you can’t have trees and a grand prairie. What we saw was nature’s continuous slow march northward.

If you’re build homes on an ancient floodplain… some day it’s gonna get wet.

It was too hot and a drought on the West Coast a year & a half ago. I loved it, especially swimming in the ocean like I did as a child.

Our lifestyle (not choosing good food & lack of activity) is by far the greatest threat to a Canadian’s health.

I’m going to have to re-think the loss of wineries thing… are you sure? That is really disturbing.
Isn’t it hot and dry in Italy?

A great boat designer, I believe it was Herreshof, said “Never underestimate the power of conventional thinking.” In regards to the Yacht Club not being ready to race catamarans.

So, how do we profit from conventional thinking in this global warming meme?

#134 bsnyderheidi on 12.11.16 at 11:47 am

good

#135 Doug Rowat on 12.11.16 at 11:47 am

#108 Stock picker on 12.11.16 at 1:40 am

Brokers paying 25k for information are failing to realize that the same information is made freely available by companies and agencies whose legal responsibility forces disclosure.

Not all in one spot. I’m paying for the aggregation.

–Doug

#136 Doug Rowat on 12.11.16 at 11:54 am

#98 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.10.16 at 11:38 pm

Doug,
You spent most of your life behind a computer terminal.
And you call this life?
I’m so sorry for you.

Could be worse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f20SDLMbxwU

–Doug

#137 Context on 12.11.16 at 12:56 pm

#73 Beth Bronson:- Are you a member of the Secret Sisterhood because as at 2011 you had about 100 Chapters across Canada? There are 4 alone in the Toronto area.

#138 DON on 12.11.16 at 1:03 pm

#73 Beth

Option 1: Internet Troll

Option 2: M$M Groupie

Option 3: Yikes (too scary to think about)

#139 meslippery on 12.11.16 at 1:04 pm

Used tires 4 for $100.00
$50.00 LCBO gift card $25.00 Canadian Tire gift card
for gas $25.00 Walmart gift card for food. Do we have a deal? I charge the cards to my credit card.

#140 Bram on 12.11.16 at 1:12 pm

#110 Metaxa on 12.11.16 at 2:25 am
CRA apparently frowns upon those who day trade in a TFSA so there is that.

If that’s true, they should be reigned in for abuse of power.

I don’t day trade, but CRA dictating how to invest?
What’s next? Health Canada dictating how to have sex?

Bram

Active trading can be considered a business activity, and tax shelters were never designed to shield that kind of income. If you don’t want to pay tax on gains, you have to play by the rules. RRSPs have similar restrictions. — Garth

#141 DON on 12.11.16 at 1:21 pm

#64 Chico

Well put!

#15 Crowded and # 28 Peter
YUP!

Doug:
I get that you were broaching the advantages of big data in this article. Far too often we only look at the advantages. The media at the moment is all about the advantages, where’s the balanced, diversified analysis? Human nature has the ability to lead us to new heights but if used for self interest all bets are off. It’s a delicate situation when human nature needs to be considered along side the data points.

Just read an article regarding lulu lemon yogi gear going out of trend. Who would have ever thought! Perhaps FaceBook will be next. All time wasting technology has it’s best before date. Who really want’s to be online all the time, there’s a whole world out there. There is a growing trend to be offline and enjoy the moment.

Every new generation has defining trends, most agree not to be like their parents.

The best way to predict the future is to under the social, cultural, political, economic, and psychological data points. You don’t need to go to school for this, just need to be aware and open-minded.

#142 DON on 12.11.16 at 1:24 pm

Last post: should have read “understand”

“The best way to predict the future is to understand the social, cultural, political, economic, and psychological data points. You don’t need to go to school for this, just need to be aware and open-minded.”

Cheers,

And Crowded – the great depression was a factor that led to World War 2. Great way to employ people.

#143 Stanley on 12.11.16 at 1:25 pm

Your data is useless in a rigged market.

#144 Julie K. on 12.11.16 at 1:31 pm

Data fuels Aritificial Intelligence (AI) development and implementation.

Enough said.

#AI

#Robots

#145 InvestorsFriend on 12.11.16 at 1:32 pm

Bank Financials Are Opaque

I am just reading Royal Banks’s annual reports. I know the lingo as I have been reading bank reports for almost 20 years though I focus on Canadian Western Bank which is way less complex. And I have the financial designations to know the lingo. But I am by no means an expert on bank financials.

What always strikes me is HUGE leverage. Royal Bank is particularly highly leveraged with assets over 20 times larger than common equity.

Lots of mark to market impacts on earnings which obscures things.

Opacity in things like “Trading”. They really don’t explain what this is at all. (People who think they know, likely don’t)

Conclusion: It is impossible for retail investors to have any real understanding of the risks and even the true economic earnings of the big banks. Anyone who thinks they are 100% safe does not know what they do not know. I would however say they are probably VERY safe. There is probably virtually zero risk of failure. But not zero risk of a huge hit to profits.

“Too Big to Analyse”

Banks could be hit with losses on bonds this fiscal year as rates rise because some of these are marked to market in earnings, unlike loans which are almost never marked to market.

#146 Polls R Phake on 12.11.16 at 1:46 pm

#107 Maj on 12.11.16 at 12:49 am
#24 Polls R Phake on 12.10.16 at 4:09 pm

I hope you’re not insinuating that just because Al Gore made an incorrect prediction, all science is discredited.
It’s time to stop rowing your boat around in circles and find the truth.

http://tinyurl.com/hgcsa9b
____________________________________________

No only phake government science. A weather girl? Really? Maybe she can come disrupt the two feet of snow in greater Vancouver right now. Does she have a magic climate change wand?

#147 LP on 12.11.16 at 1:49 pm

#130 Russ on 12.11.16 at 11:46 am
I’m going to have to re-think the loss of wineries thing… are you sure? That is really disturbing.
Isn’t it hot and dry in Italy?
***********************************
I don’t much about this stuff but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the problem might lie in the type of grape that is planted. There must be one or more that are particularly suited to Italy’s hot dry climate. However, those same types, if a Canadian vintner wanted to gamble by planting them, would likely die off in our occasional really frigid winters.

#148 Metaxa on 12.11.16 at 1:52 pm

My single most pressing concern:

Its not data as in dayta, its data as in dahta.

Every time I hear that commercial on TV it triggers me.

#149 Casual Observer on 12.11.16 at 1:55 pm

Ken Rogoff, a professor at Harvard University, and author of “The Curse of Cash” is one of the biggest proponents of a cashless society. He says the ultimate goal would be so Central Bankers could impose negative interest rates on banks and consumers in order to “force” them to lend, spend, and consume.

As long as withdrawing and hoarding cash is an alternative, negative rates would not be an effective tool for Central Banks to deliver “growth and stability”.

Spoken like a true elite.

http://www.kennethrogoff.com/

#150 Context on 12.11.16 at 2:07 pm

#133 Doug Rowat:- Gee thanks as you just had to remind me of my gaming at the sit down table in the donut coffee shop. There was this sweet sixteen who watched us shooting down the alien crafts and she wanted a competition by throwing a 10 spot on the table. Sweet sixteen gamed us and walked away with the pot calling us a bunch of amateurs.

#151 TurnerNation on 12.11.16 at 3:10 pm

Who might be buying those endless Toronto kandos I alluded to: he said.

(From this weekend’s print edition of IBD)

http://www.investors.com/news/real-estate/vancouvers-tax-on-foreign-investors-spurs-chinese-to-tour-seattle/

“In Toronto, about 2,100 miles east of Seattle, the Vancouver tax has also rippled through the market, said Hunter Milborne, chief executive officer of Milborne Real Estate. His team is responsible for about 15% of sales of new condo units in Toronto each year, advertising through many Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking brokers to reach Chinese buyers across the globe.

The week that the government announced Vancouver’s foreign tax, Milborne was dining in Toronto’s tony Yorkville neighborhood with about a dozen Chinese bankers. Conversation over the lobster and dim sum dinner was consumed by the tax, he said. The diners mentioned that a handful of clients were closing their Vancouver accounts and planned to sell homes to move investments to Toronto.”

#152 Love My Kia on 12.11.16 at 3:12 pm

Why don’t you find a library (ie: your public library) where you can get Ebsco Business Source Complete database for free?

As a librarian I realize how brutally expensive these aggregators can be for libraries. Why not thank your leftist government for allowing you to access this? You may even luck out and find Bloomberg someplace such as an academic library. If so ask the institution if you can be a community user so you can access it and save yourself good $.

#153 TurnerNation on 12.11.16 at 3:14 pm

Some say this whole Climate Change [sic] movement is tinged with religious fervidity.
(Deniers will burn.) The next level of mind control, along with S, D, and R&L as usual

To wit: I read of a Victoria BC municipality with a $3000 fine for illegal cutting down of trees, on the books.

Here in Hogtown our real lives are worth much less. Feels good?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/erica-stark-toronto-pedestrian-conviction/article33212441/

“Driver who killed Erica Stark on Toronto sidewalk fined $1,000”

#154 jess on 12.11.16 at 3:31 pm

Sharing data
cooperation and effective information exchange
works so imagine putting the real owners on those trusts and fake shells

Eight arrests in counterfeit euro operation supported by Europol
08 December 2016
Press Release
Criminal group is one of the most active counterfeit euro vendors online. Counterfeit currency was sold on Darkweb marketplaces and paid for in Bitcoin.

Europol has supported Italian Guardia di Finanza in an investigation targeting a criminal group considered to be one of the biggest vendors of counterfeit euro currency online. As a result, eight suspects were arrested, including the vendor and leader of the group. During the course of the investigation, several hundred counterfeit euro buyers were also identified.”
https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/eight-arrests-in-counterfeit-euro-operation-supported-europol

#155 maxx on 12.11.16 at 5:03 pm

“…in all those numbers, characters and symbols lies, hopefully, the truth.”

Numbers, characters and symbols either report an outcome, (previously established or not) or a (usually) feeble and hopeful attempt to predict a result.
I rather think that the “truth” lies either squarely behind or perpetually head of data, given our tendency to bias.
Data is simply a tool requiring highly developed reasoning capability, lest it be a blunt tool or trap and is only as useful as the interpreter’s skill at aligning it with high-levels of intuition.

Most data is useless and not to be confused with information.

#156 Newcomer on 12.11.16 at 5:20 pm

I can now almost see the day when I might want to pay with my phone and just carry that and no wallet. But for now, you can’t beat paying by debit card it is the fastest and most convenient.

I stick my debit card in my phone case. I keep my wallet in the glove compartment of the car, for the few times a year in which I need it.