The ponzi

A goodly chunk of the last two days I spent on the phone with Clara. She’s sweet. Sixty-four and separated, she still shares custody of the Australian cattle dog, Daisy, with her ex, who lives three blocks away. (He has a house, she has a rental.)

C contacted me because she’s in financial trouble, has only $300,000, no pension, no support and no income (other than $220 in monthly CPP). She needs that three hundred grand to be generating monthly cash flow. So where’s the money now, I asked?

She told me the tale, in fond tones. When the marriage went south she gave this cash to a dear female friend who promised her a 10% return, that the principal would be safe and returned to her at any time, upon request. “But that turned into 5% three years ago,” Clara continued, “and now it’s gone to zero interest and my friend says she’s sorry.”

Naturally I asked what financial firm her pal is with, plus what assets were being held. After all, portfolio returns have gone up lately, not down. And I assumed when she said “interest” it was just ignorance talking, since no guaranteed assets have yielded that kind of cash for decades. Surely she had been paid largely in a mixture dividends and capital gains.

Well, she didn’t know. “And I didn’t ask, since I was in such an emotional state at the time. But thank God for my friend. She absolutely rescued me, but now that the money has stopped I am in trouble again.” So I said I’d help. Never, I added, give money to anyone again without knowing where it is going, how it will be managed, who they are and what risk is involved.

“Yes, dear, I know that. But the money is perfectly safe and I can get it back anytime. I will ask her today.”

The next morning Clara called again, gave me all the details of her life I didn’t already know, talked about the cash flow she needed and agreed to review an investment plan to be drafted before anything else happened. “I’ve asked my friend to send me a cheque,” she said. “I’ll call again today and find out when it will be ready.”

Two hours later this came: “I just found out from my friend that she lost my 300K in the Virginia Tan ponzi scheme 2 years ago. I am in shock right now, but I wanted you to know.”

Six months ago a mid-60s Vancouver woman admitted to the BC Securities Commission she had bilked investors of about $30 million in a classic Ponzi scheme. For four years, starting right about the time Clara was investing, Virginia Tan solicited money from people, luring them with the promise of interest payments starting at 12%. She hit on friends, family members, then congregants at her church, finally a wider audience that included retirees, priests and business owners.

The only security was a promissory note, with nothing backing it. Like Bernie Madoff’s victims – and like Clara – the investors were happy to reap outsized interest payments, convinced their capital could be returned and smug at their acumen in finding such a great arrangement. Why ask questions when you’re making six times what a GIC pays?

Well, two years ago the Ponzi collapsed. Tan could no longer find enough new victims to continue payments to the old ones. Investors (like Clara’s ‘dear friend’) started to squawk and the regulator became involved. Tan settled with a $3 million penalty and was barred for life from any investment activity in BC. No criminal conviction. No jail time.

Many lessons here, obviously.

Never invest in something you know nothing about, and nobody cares to fully explain. If returns are too good to believe, they’re probably false, temporary or aberrant. There is no guaranteed asset other than one covered by deposit insurance, or government debt. Never invest your money in any scheme, security or market that is not fully regulated. Trust no advisor who is not certified or a fiduciary. Ask questions. Know where the exit is and exactly how to get your cash out. Always keep in mind the three protectors: balance, diversification plus liquidity. And never put all your eggs in a single basket.

Clara is crushed. She has no idea what she’ll do next.

And it wasn’t even Bitcoin.

178 comments ↓

#1 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:03 pm

They made Bernie Madoff chairman of Nasdaq. The bigger the lie the more people swallow it. And you wonder why people don’t trust financial advisors?

#2 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.07.17 at 6:05 pm

The Ponzi scammers of the world that RUIN peoples lives should be publically flogged and jailed for life.

But this is Canada.
The Fine is enough and usually the person has no money to pay it.
“Errrr the moneys all gone, sorry about that.”

The Canadian “justice” system is pathetic

#3 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:05 pm

Clara will do what every other separated Canadian woman does, shake down her ex-spouse for half that house he still owns.

#4 Zen on 12.07.17 at 6:11 pm

Tragic story. Sorry for Clara. And Tan walked away with no jail sentence. Incredible! Speaks volume about Canada’s legal system. If Tan were in China, she would stay in jail for life.

#5 HanMan3000 on 12.07.17 at 6:12 pm

November number are now available: http://TorontoRealEstateCharts.com

#6 Bitcoinnaire on 12.07.17 at 6:12 pm

>Never invest in something you know nothing about, and nobody cares to fully explain.

So how does understanding the complex mathematics that govern the algorithms which provide the trustless interrogation of transactions in Bitcoin produce better investing decisions?

The volatility is quite simple: the market is attempting to value an entirely new financial instrument.

Did we just skirt 20K USD per coin today or was that just me?

#7 Fzzzz on 12.07.17 at 6:13 pm

I’ll wager this happens far more often than is reported.

#8 Eyes wide shut on 12.07.17 at 6:13 pm

Oh, the ignorance, stupidity and naivety abounds.

Disgusting (but unsurprising) – “No criminal conviction. No jail time”.

And the ponzi continues…

#9 conan on 12.07.17 at 6:13 pm

DELETED

#10 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:14 pm

So Clara pissed away 300 large on some pie in the sky ponzi that went south. No problem, back to court and get the equity out of that house her ex still owns. At least the house held its value and she won’t be denied her entitlement.

How is her husband liable? Are you on weed? – Garth

#11 I’m stupid on 12.07.17 at 6:14 pm

That’s shameful. Financial crimes against seniors should be treated like murders. Life in prison. There is no difference between killing a 64 year old woman and financially ruining her.

All I have to say is that if someone did that to my mother I’d be spending the rest of my life in prison.

#12 Bob Dog on 12.07.17 at 6:15 pm

Interesting how almost all of these criminal swindlers are in Vancouver.

#13 Dave on 12.07.17 at 6:18 pm

T2 to the rescue
– USA negotiations – forestry, airline, oil…all dying
– China negotiations – Came back with 0
– Spending – Social programs and used military jet $B

Plan B – New tax plan in 2018

Happy New Year

#14 OttawaMike on 12.07.17 at 6:18 pm

No Smoking Man reports from Cali?

#15 Sunny singh on 12.07.17 at 6:19 pm

Now can I know some of your fav books Garth??

#16 Robert B on 12.07.17 at 6:20 pm

Garth its sad that this still happens today.

Only if it was Bitcoin. Even you Garth would have been happy. More to invest in a balanced portfolio.

#17 Damifino on 12.07.17 at 6:22 pm

That truly is a heartbreaking story.

I saw Virginia Tan on Global a few nights ago. A reporter was shoving a microphone at her outside Tan’s church, asking about how ‘she felt’. She didn’t have much to say and didn’t look like she felt all that well either.

According to the Vancouver Sun, she now lives on a very piddly CPP and OAP.

Perhaps she’d have been better off in prison.

#18 John Dough on 12.07.17 at 6:25 pm

A unique business opportunity has virtually fallen into my lap that I’d like to share with the blog dogs and grrls. A callgirl from Kowloon whispered that the PRC is so short of uranium to power the reactors to produce the electricity to mine the Bitcoins, that they have begun extracting fissionable material from the luminous dials of old watches collected from the bourgeoisie.
My novel approach involves taking the waste material from the “Trade in your old gold” program, buying hazmat suits at Cameco’s yard sale, and hiring people with really long fingernails to do the actual mining. Boys may apply for the positions, but I am only seeking investors with a Candu attitude.

“If this is going to work, it’s going to work really well”©

PS Thar’ she blows :
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/bitcoin-mine-canada-1.4436149

#19 Mean Gene on 12.07.17 at 6:25 pm

That really SUCKS, time to get a job is about all she can do.

#20 bellend on 12.07.17 at 6:27 pm

in the 21st century ignorance is a choice…sadly the wrong choice

#21 Interstellar Old Yeller on 12.07.17 at 6:29 pm

Oh Clara, how awful. I hope there’s adult children, relatives, and friends to help her out. Otherwise, welfare and GIS? Won’t be the retirement of her dreams but she won’t be penniless.

#22 Christie turns a Blind eye on Ponzi Money Laundering crimes on 12.07.17 at 6:33 pm

Feminist-infected Canada is deplorable! How can a Ponzi scam artist receive no prison time for scamming thousands of innocent investors in millions of dollars?

Compare this to when welfare recipients, even under their retributive and surveillance from the welfare office, if they are suspected of “defrauding the welfare system” such as taking on Student Loans, welfare recipients end up in prison!

If a welfare recipient borrows credit from MasterCard, and they don’t declare it as Taxable Income, the welfare office immediately hires provincial police to arrest the welfare recipient, and the Crown is urged to incarcerate the welfare recipient at least 10 years for fraud under 5000.

When you have leftie feminists running the country, they turn a blind eye on money laundering and Ponzi schemes, but punish those in poverty who borrow $1,000 from MasterCard & don’t write on their forms that it’s “Taxable Income”.

#23 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:33 pm

Clara and her lawyer simply file a ‘Motion to Change” with the court based on the fact she is now broke. Separated means still married and any 10-cent lawyer will pull her husband back into this mess and he will almost certainly be obligated to pay for Clara’s silliness. Clara’s husband may not be liable for the loss of 300k but he’s responsible to help his now broke wife.

I’ll pass on the weed.

#24 A Yank in BC on 12.07.17 at 6:33 pm

Interesting to note that Clara still refers to the woman as her “friend”. Jeepers.

#25 Criminal Cabal on 12.07.17 at 6:36 pm

The only lesson here is that until financial industry professionals start to demand that people like this get real jail time then I don’t blame the wider public for not trusting the financial markets and choosing tangible assets like homes instead, no matter how inflated they may be.

But the financial industry protects it’s own and so they get the reputation they deserve as group.

Start demanding that colleagues like this get jail time equivalent to an armed robbery of a similar dollar amount and you will see trust in the public surge in the financial markets and industry. But I don’t see this happening. It’s a rigged system that goes laughably soft on its criminals.

The regulator is the province of BC, through the securities commission, not the ‘financial industry’. – Garth

#26 rainclouds on 12.07.17 at 6:36 pm

Given the fact that we have a balkanized securities commission system comprised of provincial regulators which runs contrary to any civilized 1st world Nationally regulated system.

Sound like another Industry constantly being railed against on this blog?

We are a nation of idiots who seem to enjoy being fleeced…..

#27 D on 12.07.17 at 6:38 pm

http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/12/cryptomania.html

For the bitcoin fans, and non fans.

Thoughts?

#28 Joe Schmoe on 12.07.17 at 6:38 pm

I recently “spied” on my dad (in his 70s) while talking to his financial adviser.

He is using a big Canadian bank.

I left shaking my head. My dad is “comfortable”..fat DB. But if he needed his RRSP/Investments to perform he would be pooched.

Thankfully his mooch kids are all paid off and on their own.

Financial advise is like RE. Be careful in who you trust and get some basic skills to at least measure performance.

My favourite trick: Your portfolio is up 15%!

As you put 20% in that year….

#29 Vancouver Brit on 12.07.17 at 6:39 pm

Having read the news articles about this Ponzi scheme, I can’t help but wonder how people amass such large amounts of wealth when they clearly have no common sense or financial acumen. Multi million dollar fortunes risked on the back of “guaranteed” returns that are clearly above and beyond reality.

Why am I not surprised this manifested in a religious setting? Gullible people are the perfect target I guess…

#30 FOUR FINGERS WATSON on 12.07.17 at 6:42 pm

I guess the nice lady at the bank is looking pretty good to Clara right about now.

#31 MF on 12.07.17 at 6:45 pm

#161 IHCTD9 on 12.07.17 at 12:00 pm

“So the 64 million dollar question now is:

“What do young Women want?”

To try and ignore millions upon millions of years of evolution, sexual strategies, and survival instincts that have allowed our species to flourish.

By age 27-28 there is usually the realization that they cannot win the fight.

By age 36-37, those that have failed to reproduce start to become bitter and will resent anyone (male or female) who has reproduced, or has the ability to reproduce because they are still young.

MF

#32 Andrewski on 12.07.17 at 6:47 pm

The Tan ponzi scheme reminds me of the scum-bag Rashida Samji:

https://globalnews.ca/news/2970155/former-notary-who-masterminded-ponzi-scheme-to-steal-millions-gets-6-years-in-prison/

Caveat Emptor blog dogs.

#33 TheSecretCode on 12.07.17 at 6:51 pm

Biggest payday in one day, ever! Period. Who will ever forget today…that is until tomorrow comes around which will make today look tame.

And it is not even close to being over.

However, something bad is brewing beneath the surface in the financial system and only the well connected know what is happening.

#34 MF on 12.07.17 at 6:52 pm

CPD down bigly the last few weeks again.

Thanks Poloz.

Now was the time to “do the right thing”:

-US increasing rates
-Economy doing well

They should have raised another .25%. They had the chance.

MF

#35 MF on 12.07.17 at 6:53 pm

#32 TheSecretCode on 12.07.17 at 6:51 pm

“However, something bad is brewing beneath the surface in the financial system and only the well connected know what is happening.”

Enlighten us please.

MF

#36 Huiforterner on 12.07.17 at 6:54 pm

DELETED

#37 jess on 12.07.17 at 6:54 pm

and the partners in this crime …this is over two decades!
http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/embarglawsuits-allege-west-vancouver-couple-headed-40-million-ponzi-scheme

The civil claims filed in B.C. Supreme Court allege that starting in the late 1990s, investors put money into what they believed was a payday loan business, and later for short-term loans to businesses that could not obtain credit. …
http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/embarglawsuits-allege-west-vancouver-couple-headed-40-million-ponzi-scheme

fake docs not just in the peg

vehicles stolen by sophisticated fraudsters from Winnipeg dealerships
Out-of-province bank accounts, driver’s licences, forged records used to get vehicles, police say

CBC News Posted: Dec 07, 2017 1:16 PM CT Last Updated: Dec 07, 2017 3:06 PM CT

#38 PGer on 12.07.17 at 6:55 pm

I’ll never understand the “justice” system, especially in BC.

This is criminal and there should have been significant jail time for Tan. But BC judges don’t really seem to believe in jail. Gotta love LaLa Land – I know the criminals do.

#39 TheSecretCode on 12.07.17 at 6:56 pm

Final Bitcoin value = (average individual economic productivity) × (number of productive people *who adopt it*) ÷ (21 million – the 4 million that are lost supposedly forever).

This is a bet that people adopt it.

#40 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 7:03 pm

Re: #31 MF on 12.07.17 at 6:45 pm

#161 IHCTD9 on 12.07.17 at 12:00 pm

“So the 64 million dollar question now is:

“What do young Women want?”

To try and ignore millions upon millions of years of evolution, sexual strategies, and survival instincts that have allowed our species to flourish.

By age 27-28 there is usually the realization that they cannot win the fight.

By age 36-37, those that have failed to reproduce start to become bitter and will resent anyone (male or female) who has reproduced, or has the ability to reproduce because they are still young.”

I guess that might be a question if someone tries to work out how to successfully mate with a young female by reading books.

If a person was perhaps to actually talk to the chosen young female, they would likely get a very different idea as to what would be required to make the relationship “click”. But then that would require that the person wanting to date said young female, have some form of awareness that the young female is actually also a person.

That’s a hard one for a lot of the young men out there. Figure that one out, and you suddenly will have no trouble getting a date.

What do single people who are looking for a mate want?

Have you heard of Tinder?

#41 Marcus on 12.07.17 at 7:04 pm

If only she had invested her money in Bitcoin. She would be set for life. UPDATE: For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:

$0000 – $1000: 1789 days
$1000- $2000: 1271 days
$2000- $3000: 23 days
$3000- $4000: 62 days
$4000- $5000: 61 days
$5000- $6000: 8 days
$6000- $7000: 13 days
$7000- $8000: 14 days
$8000- $9000: 9 days
$9000-$10000: 2 days
$10000-$11000: 1 day
$11000-$12000: 6 days
$12000-$13000: 17 hours
$13000-$14000: 4 hours
$14000-$15000: 10 hours
$15000-$16000: 5 hours
$16000-$17000: 2 hours
$17000-$18000: 10 minutes
$18000-$19600: 3 minutes

#42 Nonplused on 12.07.17 at 7:04 pm

#10 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:14 pm

“So Clara pissed away 300 large on some pie in the sky ponzi that went south. No problem, back to court and get the equity out of that house her ex still owns. At least the house held its value and she won’t be denied her entitlement.

How is her husband liable? Are you on weed? – Garth”

Unlike Garth I sense sarcasm in your response, however it is still over the top.

It is very probable that the $300,000 came from the separation settlement in the first place.

I got divorced once so I learned a lot about the process. Basically, assets that are part of the marriage, (so not pre-existing like inheritance, bags of money you already had, or stuff protected by a prenup), are split 50/50. So is any debt incurred during the marriage. So a very possible source of the $300,000 was her ex buying her out of the house, or at least part of it.

Despite the anger many people feel over the divorce process (it’s messy even when it goes relatively well), you can’t go back to the well twice. Once it’s settled, it’s settled. Once the divorce is final, the fortunes of the ex’s do not affect each other.

The 3 main exceptions to this are child support and alimony, and to some extent pensions. However there are reasons for each.

Divorce does not free you from your responsibilities as a parent so the government went to great lengths to come up with an easy way to figure it out without tying up the courts. Most people who pay child support think they pay too much but whatever, who knows the right amount, but since 1997 you just look up your income on the y-axis and the number of kids you have on the x-axis and boom! There is the payment. There is nothing to argue about. For people who make a lot of money the figure can be staggering, but the idea is the children should enjoy a reasonable lifestyle compared to that before the divorce. Of course the person receiving child support enjoys an uptick in lifestyle too, but nothing is ever perfect and trying to segregate the lifestyle of the primary care giver from their children would be an impossible task. Of course it’s much more complicated in the case of shared or 50/50 care, but there is a formula for that too.

Alimony is probably the most hated result, but it has been many years that the consideration for alimony is based on how much of a sacrifice to their careers the person receiving alimony made due to the marriage, raising kids, etc. For example my ex got 9 months, because I’d put her through university during our short marriage and she was able to work, the 9 months was based on the fact that she was a teacher and that’s how long it was until September.

Pensions are to be thought of as wealth acquired during the marriage, so if you earned the majority of your pension while married it also goes into the asset mix. So if your spouse never worked in the 30 years you did work to acquire the pension, they get half, adjusted for other asset distributions (you can buy them out say by giving them the house or some other asset of equal net present value, or if they have their own pension that goes in the mix too.)

So there are 2 major concepts in divorce law when it comes to the money. Understand them and you understand what’s going on and can settle out of court for much less in legal fees. One is that parental responsibility does not go away with the divorce, but it is no longer settled on a case by case basis they have a one size fits all solution. The other is that both parties to the marriage are considered to have equally contributed to assets and debt acquired during the marriage and they are to be split equally. Ok well I guess there is a third and that is alimony, which is the most contentious but it is supposed to consider given the length of the marriage what is the prospects for each spouse entering or reentering or remaining in the workforce. So for a short marriage (up to 10 years) 4 years of alimony is about all you get now because that can get you through university. Because I’d already put my ex through university, she didn’t even get that, just enough to see her through to a reasonable start date.

I know some people feel slighted by all this, thinking that if they made $1,000,000 a year their soon to be ex should not be entitled to the savings if they made $0. But that’s not the way the court looks at it. They question whether you could have made all that money had you had to stay home and look after the kids. Thus it is considered a joint effort.

And, if you think high earning men hate the divorce laws, you should see what high earning women say about them.

#43 IM in C on 12.07.17 at 7:05 pm

So let me get this straight, the ‘good friend” allegedly looses the money in a publically reported Ponzi scheme, and then neglects to tell Clara about it for 2 years !?

#44 Bezengy on 12.07.17 at 7:09 pm

A fool and their money are soon departed. Clara made a really bad investment, and she has no one to blame but herself. I went through this same thing with a family member who was wiped out a few years back. The guy was one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met in certain aspects, unfortunately he too was far too trusting.

#45 Zapstrap on 12.07.17 at 7:14 pm

I think Clara best be looking for a new beau just in case.

#46 Use your bitcoin to buy hold on 12.07.17 at 7:14 pm

World’s largest online precious metal seller now accepting bitcoin as payment… Who says you can’t cash out?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-07/worlds-largest-online-seller-gold-now-accepting-bitcoin

#47 Use your bitcoin to buy gold on 12.07.17 at 7:15 pm

*gold, not hold

#48 Leichendiener on 12.07.17 at 7:16 pm

Clara is the norm. Caveat emptor. Give to the Salvation Army.

#49 S.Bby on 12.07.17 at 7:25 pm

She could try this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bitcoin-mine-canada-1.4436149

#50 Debtslavecreator on 12.07.17 at 7:26 pm

Only guaranteed investments are insured deposits and Government bonds
True in nominal terms but guaranteed to lose all your buying power over time in after tax / after inflation terms which is what matters
So Govt bonds and cash /GIC that are insured are very risky and many a Canuck will find out the hard way by the mid 2020s at the latest and likely by 2020-2021
Much of the financial knowledge in this country among the masses and most of the industry is myth
Question all theories
The game resets / ends with a wipeout of pensioners / fixed income earners including the vast majority of salaried labour and GIC /cash hoarders who thought they were being safe and low risk

#51 TalkingPie on 12.07.17 at 7:26 pm

There’s a special place in hell reserved for people who bilk innocents out of their life’s savings.

That said, how is a 64 year-old with insufficient savings relying only on magical pixie dust investments to support her the next 20 years of her life? I don’t know her details, but if she’s healthy and fit, what’s to say she can’t continue earning to support herself?

My dad is 73. Was laid off in the prime of his earning years (European immigrant, machinist by trade, moved his way up to afford a paid-off house in the suburbs, 3 kids through private schools, Mom never had to work for a paycheck), had a heart attack at 63. Even now, he still works for part of the year, even though he doesn’t have to. Drove a $1,000 car because it got the job done, until he decided it didn’t anymore, so bought a new one for $40,000. Cash, while the salesman eyed his Costco cargo pants. Mortgage was paid off over 20 years ago, but he still gets to it, and still earns more money than my parents spend, despite probably a 7 figure net worth.

Everyone is a victim in the moment, but often neglect to acknowledge past decisions that got them there in the first place.

#52 Doug t on 12.07.17 at 7:31 pm

I like my 2%’GIC right now

RATM

#53 paul on 12.07.17 at 7:31 pm

So a home owner can not rent his basement out as an
Air B and B.
But if you rent your basement to a tenant they can rent it out as an Air B and B.

Politicians what an F’d up group.

#54 Madcat on 12.07.17 at 7:32 pm

This is horrific! How could someone do this to another human being! This is not a friend. This is a thief!

#55 Fish on 12.07.17 at 7:34 pm

Well there has to be a gentle message, oh I guess just Skate along, free pass

#56 $20,000 on 12.07.17 at 7:34 pm

By year end easy

Institutional monies is hopping on board

The train has left the station

I’m LOVING it

#57 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 7:50 pm

“#42 Nonplused on 12.07.17 at 7:04 pm
#10 The real Kip on 12.07.17 at 6:14 pm

“So Clara pissed away 300 large on some pie in the sky ponzi that went south. No problem, back to court and get the equity out of that house her ex still owns. At least the house held its value and she won’t be denied her entitlement.

How is her husband liable? Are you on weed? – Garth”

Unlike Garth I sense sarcasm in your response, however it is still over the top.”

You mention divorce over and over in your long-winded post but Clara is not divorced, she’s separated and she can go back to the court to ask for a change.

#58 Under the radar on 12.07.17 at 7:52 pm

Judges in Canada especially Ontario, are soft on white collar crime- this was theft – too many feminist judges appointed in the last 25 years, liberal lawyers who become judges, etc . The rock star judges of criminal law are all gone . Bench is now very mediocre.
If Conrad Black would have stayed out of the US he would have got a slap on the wrist by the OSC at most. Clara got swindled , seen it often.

#59 jim on 12.07.17 at 8:01 pm

” Tan settled with a $3 million penalty and was barred for life from any investment activity in BC. No criminal conviction. No jail time.”

Not surprising, sadly. This is Canada.

Let’s not forget this piano player, who has been caught twice running Ponzi type schemes targeting his own community:

https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2011/10/26/accused_in_alleged_ponzi_scheme_arrested_again_on_9_million_in_fraud_charges.html

Never prosecuted, because the Ontario court system “was too full” at the time.

#60 AGuyInVancouver on 12.07.17 at 8:04 pm

#17 Damifino on 12.07.17 at 6:22 pm
That truly is a heartbreaking story.

I saw Virginia Tan on Global a few nights ago. A reporter was shoving a microphone at her outside Tan’s church, asking about how ‘she felt’. She didn’t have much to say and didn’t look like she felt all that well either.

According to the Vancouver Sun, she now lives on a very piddly CPP and OAP.

Perhaps she’d have been better off in prison.
_ _ _
How does this creature have the nerve to show her face in that church after bilking fellow parishioners and priests out of their money?

I agree with all those who say a justice system which doesn’t mete out jail time for this type of crime is no justice at all. Ship her back to Singapore and let’s see how they deal with her.

#61 young & foolish on 12.07.17 at 8:04 pm

If the Rebuplicans manage to pass the new tax bill, investment in Canada will dive and we will get crushed.

#62 TheSecretCode on 12.07.17 at 8:05 pm

Two thumbs up!

There was also a 30% drop, which lasted for about 30 minutes today before recovering.

The algos learn fast.

And even though this is supposedly a fraud:

Goldman Sachs will be clearing Bitcoin futures contracts for at least some clients when futures markets go live on December 10 (CBOE) and December 18 (CME).

#41 Marcus on 12.07.17 at 7:04 pm

If only she had invested her money in Bitcoin. She would be set for life. UPDATE: For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:

$0000 – $1000: 1789 days
$1000- $2000: 1271 days
$2000- $3000: 23 days
$3000- $4000: 62 days
$4000- $5000: 61 days
$5000- $6000: 8 days
$6000- $7000: 13 days
$7000- $8000: 14 days
$8000- $9000: 9 days
$9000-$10000: 2 days
$10000-$11000: 1 day
$11000-$12000: 6 days
$12000-$13000: 17 hours
$13000-$14000: 4 hours
$14000-$15000: 10 hours
$15000-$16000: 5 hours
$16000-$17000: 2 hours
$17000-$18000: 10 minutes
$18000-$19600: 3 minutes

#63 fancy_pants on 12.07.17 at 8:15 pm

Does bitcoin say more about greed or lack of faith in our centralized monetary systems?

Most people are just fine living their lives with a regulated, government-backed currency.

#64 Newcomer on 12.07.17 at 8:16 pm

Garth,

What would you have recommended doing with her 300K? At 10% I can see how she would have been OK, but at 5%, with her CPP, she would have had just 18 and a half K a year, which seems pretty hard to live off.

At 64 she has 20 years to live, so a 60/40 balanced portfolio delivering a better return would be appropriate, supplemented by CPP then OAS and possibly GIS. – Garth

#65 Andrew Woburn on 12.07.17 at 8:21 pm

#12 Bob Dog on 12.07.17 at 6:15 pm
Interesting how almost all of these criminal swindlers are in Vancouver.

#38 PGer on 12.07.17 at 6:55 pm
I’ll never understand the “justice” system, especially in BC.

This is criminal and there should have been significant jail time for Tan. But BC judges don’t really seem to believe in jail. Gotta love LaLa Land – I know the criminals do.
——————————————

I once reported a bankrupt to the BC government for acting as director in direct contravention of the applicable business legislation and to the Vancouver office of the federal Superintendent of Bankruptcy for hiding assets. It was a total waste of breath. The federal guy told me he was coping with 3,000 bankrupts with a staff of three.

The $3 million penalty Virginia Tan was assessed will never be paid. Recently it was reported that the BC Securities Commission has collected almost none of the $500 million in fines it has levied.

We are used to the idea that the performance we are subjected to at airports is “security theatre”. It is clear that we are also getting “enforcement theatre” in white collar crime in BC and probably elsewhere.

Of course BC governments save money by not adequately funding enforcement but it’s like a reverse insurance scheme. The relatively few victims of crime are paying big time so other taxpayers don’t have to share the load.

You don’t have to be a nutbar Republican to wonder if a little more jail and a few less rights might deter many con artists.

http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/hundreds-of-millions-of-penalties-issued-by-b-c-securities-commission-going-unpaid

#66 this was the sadest post! on 12.07.17 at 8:21 pm

Wow, what an awful story! How horribe for this woman. Usually I come here for a few giggles at the expense of shifty realtors, people who live in Milton and house lusty millenials but tonight was not at all funny. I sure hope this woman will be ok.

#67 Rational Observer on 12.07.17 at 8:23 pm

CEF: ” The Ponzi scammers of the world that RUIN peoples lives should be publically flogged and jailed for life. ”

While your anger is righteous, is the extent rational?

You could, for example, ask why the current owner of the Fogo Island Inn escaped similar judgement despite her former position as the Chief Financial Officer at JDS Uniphase. JDSU ruined thousands of people by lying about their financial position, and multimillionaire Zita Cobb knew it.

Or lets try the former Finance Minister of Canada, who shattered investors with his Halloween Surprise, converting income trusts into taxable corporations. Was his original promise to retain income trusts a lie? Ahhh, it was done for the benefit of all, right? Except for investors…..

Fraud is defined as “deceit executed for personal gain”. According to the consent agreement Ms. Tan signed with the BC Securities Commission, Ms. Tan supposedly paid off some of her investors with personal savings. Was there a personal gain? If not, was there a fraud?
The BC prosecutor did not pursue Ms. Tan beyond the BCSC censure. Perhaps the reason is that there was no *intent* to commit fraud, but rather a series of stupid decisions. Without intent, is there criminality?

I am familiar with a fraud where the perpetrator was originally audited by a large Canadian bank. When the company lost money, the individual stopped paying the bank for the audits. Why did the bank not report the change to BCSC? Why did BCSC not investigate? Are the bank and BCSC not both culpable of gross negligence? It eventually turned into a large loss for investors.

It seems to me that BCSC or the Canadian banks could very easily provide partial restitution to victims of alleged frauds. BCSC sucks some $50 million a year from BC businesses. $10 million a year would cover 100% of fraud victim losses in BC on an average annual basis. $5 million a year would provide 50% restitution.

Or lets try the banks: CIBC just reported $1.16 billion quarterly profit. 10% of one quarters *PROFIT* for one bank would cover 100% of fraud losses for an entire year across Canada.

What is the likelihood of a government agency providing resititution to fraud victims? Probably zero, there is no money left after funding terrorism suspects. Sorry……

The likelihood of a Canadian bank admitting negligence, or money laundering, or just plain blatant manipulative greed? Ah, yes, that would be zero, too. After all, the bonus pool is up this year. 11% increase, to $11 billion dollars.

I too, have sympathy for Clara. I hope that she can find some support. It is not as if there are no funds available. However, I doubt Clara will receive help. The snouts in the trough are too large and too selfish.

#68 meslippery on 12.07.17 at 8:36 pm

#22 Christie

If a welfare recipient borrows credit from MasterCard, and they don’t declare it as Taxable Income,
—————————–
Really think cash advance is not taxable, oops now T2
will tax credit card balance as taxable income.

#69 Kelsey on 12.07.17 at 8:36 pm

Truly a sad story and entirely unjust that a petty thief can go to jail for theft under $5K, but a financial predator can steal $300K and multiples more from others without a sentence. Of course you can sell 20% of the US uranium supply and avoid the fine altogether.

@#50 Debt Slave Creator – I recall hearing someone call Gov’t Debt “Return-Free Risk”. So very true, especially stepping outside of the normalcy bias that has set in since the early 80s.

#70 tccontrarian on 12.07.17 at 8:37 pm

I certainly feel for Clara! Sucks to be old without money…
Well, it sucks to be without money at any age, but the older one gets the less time there is to make it!

This story confirms what I’ve determined myself, the hard way (and I think on this, Garth will agree):
The biggest risk is being ignorant.
I trusted others (family, brokers, etc), and they were all ‘geniuses’ in bull markets. When the ugly bear came along, well, ‘the tide went out’ as they say.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who say they ‘own mutual funds’ in the RSPs etc – but have no idea what’s in them!
They think Mutual funds are an asset class for God’s sake!

Anyway, poor Clara – but she almost deserved it! It’s one think to trust a ‘friend’, but to not even ask what the ‘investment’ was, that was negligent! And negligence is a punishable offense.

TCC

#71 For those about to flop... on 12.07.17 at 8:39 pm

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

Recent Sale Report/ Realtor Assistance Needed.

It looks like the recent price reduction on this house did the trick and tempted someone to pull the trigger.

Sold 19 days ago.

Did they get their number?

I doubt it ,but feel free to prove me wrong.

Go on show a win.

If not I will report it as Pink Snow in 3 months.

Hugs and kisses…

M43BC

1880 Riverside Dr North Vancouver paid 1.63

May 2: 1.75

November 9 : 1.65

Change :99,112 6%

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1880-riverside-drive

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAyOEs2Ug=

#72 Raging Ranter on 12.07.17 at 8:40 pm

I overheard a bank mortgage officer talking on the bus tonight on the way home from work. She was telling another guy “We’ve got some great rates right now, but you have to take CMHC insurance. The rates suck for anyone with a 20% or more down payment. Most brokers we deal with now have their clients put down 19% and pay the CMCH premium so they can get the better rate. You can save a tonne in interest on a $600K mortgage.”

So, the long suspected belief that lenders are favouring high ratio over low ratio loans, and rewarding smaller down payments with better rates because they can offload the risk to CMHC is not just a rumour. I have now heard it right from the horse’s mouth. Yes, it was just an overheard conversation (on the bus no less), but it was clear as anything.

#73 Kilt on 12.07.17 at 8:41 pm

What if her friend is lying.
And I am surprised banks or the CRA don’t start asking questions if you all of a sudden start putting 300,000 cheques in you bank account.

Kilt.

#74 Tony on 12.07.17 at 8:49 pm

The important lesson here is you want to get in at the start of a ponzi. When ponzi’s collapse usually the first 5 percent get paid and the rest lose virtually everything. Always get in at the start of a ponzi. Visions of the DOW in the year 1993.

#75 will on 12.07.17 at 8:51 pm

Oh Clara. Ohhh Clara… Hey! That sounds like a song!

#76 Randy on 12.07.17 at 8:58 pm

For the last time, bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme. It’s a pump and dump scheme!

#77 Julie K. on 12.07.17 at 8:59 pm

Comment #36 is inappropriate IMO.

Being a jerk is not indictable. – Garth

#78 IHCTD9 on 12.07.17 at 9:12 pm

Clara should really consult with a Social Worker to see what her options are via the Social Safety Net Federally and Provincially. I am assuming she lives in Ontario.

She should inquire about the GAINS program that pays out on top of OAS and GIS, but you need to be 65 for this.

Also she should be filing a tax return even if she does not have an income to access things like the Ontario Trillium Benefit.

Until she turns 65, there’s always Ontario Works.

I’ll stress that Clara should talk with a Social Worker, they deal with these types of unfortunate situations all the time, and will be able to suggest several programs that may help.

#79 For those about to flop... on 12.07.17 at 9:13 pm

Pink Pumpkin Update.

Here is another relatively affordable house by Vancouver standards struggling to break even.

Originally asking 1.62 the 1.48 now 1.28

Desperate measures for desperate times, but didn’t even go for the reduced sticker,simply removed/expired and put back up at the much lower price.

Speaking of the reduction sticker ,I can’t be the only person that zolo made them much more discreet as it is getting out of hand.

These guys need to get the best part of 1.6 to get out o.k after shelling out 1.46.

This was not far from their original ask way back in April,and so it appears as though it was always deemed a recovery mission.

Could happen but more likely the run into the Broadway Bullies…

M43BC

6633 Broadway Street, Burnaby paid 1.46 asking 1.48 May 2016
$1,620,000
2017-04-30

Now asking 1.28

https://www.zolo.ca/index.php?sarea=6633%20Broadway%20,%20Burnaby&filter=1

#80 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

RE: #75 Tony on 12.07.17 at 8:49 pm
“The important lesson here is you want to get in at the start of a ponzi. When ponzi’s collapse usually the first 5 percent get paid and the rest lose virtually everything. Always get in at the start of a ponzi. Visions of the DOW in the year 1993.”

This is literally the funniest thing I have ever read on here. Thank you for this Tony. Tongue in cheek awesomeness.

So Trumpster just cratered and popped the US’s ability to, um, purchase and mine for oil.

Little known fact, the USA, has basically almost no oil reserves. They are a dry little hole. Very small amount of the black gold. Nowhere near enough to supply all that they need.

In order of magnitude of proven oil reserves, the list goes like this:

1. Venezuela

2. Saudi Arabia

3. Canada

4. Iran

5. Iraq

6. Kuwait

7. United Arab Emirates

8. Russia

9. Libya

10. Nigeria

What do 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 all have in common?

Easy! They are all Muslim majority countries! (Nigeria is kinda half and half, the North half of Africa, north of an invisible line, is all Muslim, south of the invisible line, they are animists – the line cuts Nigeria roughly in half).

The USA is nowhere on that list, because they have basically not very much oil.

So, what has the USA done for years and years and years, to appease the Muslim majority nations, that allow them to produce oil on their soil?

Answer is again, EASY! They have declined to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel has pleaded, begged, supplicated, please, please, please recognise Jerusalem as our capital. The USA has always declined to do so. Why?

Last easy answer: because they need to operate oil extraction activities in Muslim majority countries. If they ever helped Israel out to Jerusalem, then none of those Muslim majority counties would allow them to pump oil anymore.

So all this has to sink in for a few weeks, while the House of Saud and everyone else slowly realises what Trump, who is quite likely the most doofus-est US President in the history of EVER, has done.

He has casually, and without really much thought, (perhaps even while he was drunk?), just broken off the USA’s longstanding romance with Saudi Arabia, who supply most of the USA’s oil needs. The love affair is done.

Perhaps Trump never read a book on Middle Eastern History. Perhaps he never listened to a single advisor. Perhaps he is just a senile old man who makes nutty decisions when his Depends get too full. No one will ever know.

But now as the USA and the world reels from this latest Trump disaster, folks up in Canada should be purchasing oil stock like it was on fire sale.

Because, when you look at that list up there that I just posted, one thing becomes very clear to you. There is only ONE place that the USA can still easily purchase oil. And we live in that place.

#81 disconnect on 12.07.17 at 9:24 pm

#75 Tony
Or Sino Forest
I gaught to laugh at China’s ‘growth’ vs ‘investor’ returns. Everyone (should) know commies are great at running (runing) a country.

disconnect

#82 just a dude on 12.07.17 at 9:32 pm

After she turns 65, Clara should be a bit better off after she applies for OAS & GIS. She might qualify for full benefits under both programs. Not ideal but better than nothing. It’s disgusting what such shyster “friends” do to people.

#83 Buddy O pal on 12.07.17 at 9:36 pm

And what happens when an etf suddenly closes at the worst possible time? Looks ridiculous to type but it worries me – what’s a good threshold of volume to provide a reasonable assurance it won’t close – I’m sticking to the majors ? I’ve been thinking about this since the post on the topic

#84 acdel on 12.07.17 at 9:42 pm

Glad you shared this Garth; same thing happened to my father through what we thought was a trusted family member that ended up being another Madoff scumbag!

He skipped off to Spain in the high hills to escape what was due to him.

ITZ- stay away from this one!

If he lives long enough and I can find him, he and I will have a nice little discussion! :)

#85 For those about to flop... on 12.07.17 at 9:43 pm

Pink Pumpkin Update.

This house just took the small amount of 26k off of asking.

You wanna know why?

Because they are in trouble already and it’s all they can afford to keep the interest alive.

Really need to get close to 1.5 to still have a smile on their faces.

More than likely it will be a painful grimace.

Same as the last house ,original ask was never gonna make them rich and so likely just another bunch of small time speculators about to get their hair singed in uncomfortable places…

M43BC

Paid 1.36 in May 2016
Ass 1.41
Now asking 1.42
Now asking 1.39

1214 CREST CRT, COQUITLAM .

May 25:$1,498,888
Jul 4: $1,459,888

Change: – 39000.00 -3%

https://www.zolo.ca/coquitlam-real-estate/1214-crest-court

https://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx?_oa=QTAwMDAzWE5NMQ==

#86 TnT on 12.07.17 at 9:46 pm

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

I’m shocked at your ignorance on this one Ace…

US Shale has replaced the need for foreign energy.

https://www.amazon.com/Absent-Superpower-Revolution-Without-America/dp/099850520X

This book clearly explains how the Shale revolution will reset the global political system back to before WW1.

Tons of articles on this topic too
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/11/14/is-u-s-energy-independence-in-sight/#1e4152ba71a6

Canada is doomed
Mexico is doomed

Middle East is doomed

#87 Poler Express on 12.07.17 at 9:52 pm

Taxpayers get the bill because now we have one more on GIS to support.

#88 NoOneOfConsequence on 12.07.17 at 9:53 pm

Wah! Boohoo!

Cry me a river.

It’s greed that got her here.

I’m certain she boasted about her investing acumen. No doubt assisting the scammer.

I don’t know which irritates me more: the scammer, the greedy victim, the pointless “feel so sorry fors” or the pathetic “blah blah justice” crybabies.

Get a grip. Stop being pathetic. All of you.

Don’t be greedy, exercise critical thinking (and do what Garth says).

#89 MF on 12.07.17 at 9:54 pm

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

Not really true.

After the second intifada in the early 2000’s, most of Israel’s neighbours realized that supporting the Palestinians who continuously resorted to terror and were supported by the Iranian government (not it’s people) was not worth it. Iran had everything to gain from violence in the Palestinian territories.

The Arab Israeli conflict as it was before is therefore over (hopefully) as priorities and allies have shifted. Today Israeli leaders and Arab leaders are a lot closer than they have ever been. It is definitely not as clear as it used to be.

That’s the main reason why Trump did what has been talked about for decades. The move is largely symbolic, it was the right time, and it was a campaign promise to the republican base. This “issue” should therefore (and hopefully) pass without anyone being hurt. Other countries will eventually follow in their recognition as well.

MF

#90 Smoking Man on 12.07.17 at 10:03 pm

#14 OttawaMike on 12.07.17 at 6:18 pm
No Smoking Man reports from Cali?
….

Smoke to the left Smoke to the right. In the middle blue sky’s. I’m on nicorete gum. Haven’t had a smoked in a week and haven’t had a drop of booze.

The cough is gone my and head is clear. What was I thinking when I spent the last few years as a gonzo writer.
What a waste of time.

Going main stream now. To old to fight insanity.

#91 MF on 12.07.17 at 10:06 pm

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

“Last easy answer: because they need to operate oil extraction activities in Muslim majority countries. If they ever helped Israel out to Jerusalem, then none of those Muslim majority counties would allow them to pump oil anymore.

So all this has to sink in for a few weeks, while the House of Saud and everyone else slowly realises what Trump, who is quite likely the most doofus-est US President in the history of EVER, has done.”

-Oil has not been used as an economic weapon since the 1970’s oil crisis when OPEC realized cuts hurt itself just as much as it hurt everyone else.

The results of the oil embargo were more gas efficient cars worldwide and a USA that decided it needed to further develop it’s own extraction industry to be less dependent on foreign oil.

40 years later, OPEC is a lot weaker than ever as countries like Russia pump more oil as well. Moreover, the US is finally starting to pump a sizable amount for itself.

Basically the oil card is much less powerful today than ever, and Trump (the big oil business president) is well aware of that.

MF

#92 Hawk on 12.07.17 at 10:07 pm

What is “criminal” is a —-so called—–“justice system” that basically gives no punishment to monsters.

This woman should have been in a prison for the rest of her life, anything else is a sick joke.

#93 45north on 12.07.17 at 10:12 pm

Ace Goodheart: Because, when you look at that list, one thing becomes very clear to you. There is only ONE place where the USA can easily purchase oil. And we live in that place.

that got my attention

#94 dosouth on 12.07.17 at 10:18 pm

Well Clara here is one idea….

HSBC sued in class action involving use of their accounts by Tan

#95 Hawk on 12.07.17 at 10:27 pm

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

The Arabs, ……and particularly the house of Saud, ……need Uncle Sam, more than the reverse way around.

#96 acdel on 12.07.17 at 10:32 pm

What every Albertan has known all along as well as the rest of Canadian’s that get it.

Interesting development: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/kinder-morgan-neb-trans-mountain-decision-1.4438461

Hopefully these unemployed B.C. activists (actually American sponsored, so I hear) that drive or fly to these protest can now get a job! Perhaps they have had the flu lately and have need of the Canadian Health system which is partially funded (tax dollars) by this so called dirty oil that benefits all Canadians! Oh, the drama!!

#97 down_boy on 12.07.17 at 10:35 pm

Post Clara’s wallet address and we can crowdfund her 300k in doggiebytes. If she can hold out awhile *~ poof ~* she’s back in the game. Currently trading at $.013989.
(To the anxious: No, you did not miss the crypto rush. It’s just starting and far better options than btc will rise to the top.)

#98 PastThePeak on 12.07.17 at 10:55 pm

#62 TheSecretCode

So what you’re saying is that it will hit infinity soon?

#99 Entrepreneur on 12.07.17 at 11:02 pm

Lock her up and throw away the key. So many stories like this so lock these thieves up.

The news media on different trades are not clear and sometimes the reporting is quickly reported comes out confusing. China is smart enough not to join TPP but likes free trade. Also, China is great on manufacturing.
And we have tourism/resources and what happened to our manufacturing?

I think the news media want us confused, especially some of these financial advisors that make snide remarks about the NDP then talk about how great free trade is for our economy. Really! And talk about political bully pals.

Bloggers on here have said many times over and over that small businesses are closing their doors, all across Canada. Easy to manipulate and ignore!

#100 Once bitten twice shy on 12.07.17 at 11:03 pm

Not everyone who gets swindled in these schemes are elderly or dumb. A bunch of us lost our savings through a real estate rent-to-own deal that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme after all.
Just google Golden Oaks Enterprises in Ottawa or its owner Jean-Claude Lacasse.
Over 27 million dollars missing. RCMP are still investigating, but there will probably be nothing left once the lawyers and the Bankruptcy Trustees have been paid.
I feel fortunate I only lost $27k.
Of course, by the time there’s a criminal case and conviction, he’ll probably be too old to serve jail time.

#101 LivinLarge on 12.07.17 at 11:09 pm

Nonplused, very nice summary of matrimonial law and division of property. Been through it ages ago and everything you say rings true. Well written and concise. Kudos.

#102 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 11:13 pm

Re: US shale oil replacing the need for foreign oil purchases: This is all theoretical. Has not happened yet. The USA still derives most of its oil supply from other countries. Shale oil is an interesting micro play, but it is nowhere near satisfying the USA’s relentless thirst for oil.

Re: Arab – Israeli conflict – Don’t care a whit about it. But watch what happens as major Muslim majority nations begin to understand what the newly minted Israeli capital of Jerusalem means to them. You are going to see some major upsets.

At any rate, my prediction is this whole situation will result in the USA and Trump being much more interested in Canadian oil. Which of course means we get to re-negotiate the re-negotiated NAFTA cause all of a sudden we have a card in our hand that the USA badly wants.

#103 cramar on 12.07.17 at 11:16 pm

Very sad story. I feel for Clara. People involved in a Ponzi should be convicted of fraud. Unfortunately it would not help out Clara.

#104 IHCTD9 on 12.07.17 at 11:24 pm

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

————-

Oil reserves are a tricky thing to calculate, and published numbers are not always talking about the same things.

Oil reserves are generally published as conventional, non-conventional, technically recoverable, technology required etc…

The fact is that looking at total technically recoverable oil reserves and projected discoveries based on the latest data it is actually the USA who has the largest recoverable Oil reserves in the world apples to apples. This is thanks to it’s massive tight shale oil formations in combination with hydraulic fracking technology.

The USA was the global Oil giant once before, that was when it pumped conventional oil. Those reserves peaked in 1970 and have been going down ever since. It is just a trickle today.

During this time, OPEC supplied most of the Oil to the US until Canada brought it’s super cheap WCS crude on line where we became the largest supplier of Oil to the US.

It was just last year that the US made it again legal to export oil. The US banned Oil exports in 1975 as their domestic production took a massive dive and the OPEC oil embargo shook their economy. So right now, US pumped Oil is fuelling cars in the EU once more, for the first time in over 40 years.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-reserves/u-s-holds-bigger-oil-reserves-than-saudi-arabia-russia-study-idUSKCN0ZK1TS

Trump likely also knows that the Saudi fields are way over represented. They’ve been pumping the Ghawar Field since 1951, and there has been zero technical performance data of the formation made available since nationalization of the Saudi oil industry. The entire field has required liquid injection since 1965 to keep the formation pressurized, and some parts of Ghawar are producing oil containing a near 50% water cut. It’s also crapping out tons of NG. The lack of pressure and NG increases indicate it’s a dying field. Estimates are that it peaked in 2005. All conventional oil fields die as a NG/NGL field once Liquid injections aren’t enough to keep the pressure sufficient for the NG to remain in a liquid state.

#105 Blutterfy on 12.07.17 at 11:30 pm

I worked in the car sales industry for awhile. It never ceased to amaze me how many people would fall for too good be true. (Spoiler alert: you lose). Go for the most reasonable option and don’t be greedy.

#106 Blutterfy on 12.07.17 at 11:31 pm

Edit: too good to be true

#107 When Will They Raise Rates? on 12.07.17 at 11:33 pm

Most people are just fine living their lives with a regulated, government-backed currency.

I would check your assumptions…

#108 Karl on 12.07.17 at 11:45 pm

A widow of a fellow sailor in my yacht harbor came to me and asked me to help her invest her money. I looked her in the eye and said “I am not qualified, see Schwab.” I do not know what happened next.

#109 Ronaldo on 12.07.17 at 11:46 pm

56 $20,000 on 12.07.17 at 7:34 pm

By year end easy

Institutional monies is hopping on board

The train has left the station

I’m LOVING it
—————————————————-
The only way this thing will continue to go up in price is if there is another Greater Fool willing to take it off your hands for a higher price. There is absolutely no value otherwise. Once the government gets involved, this thing is going to come down fast. Wait and see. Do you remember what happened to the Hunt Bros. when they tried to corner the silver market back in 79? You probably weren’t born yet right? This is all very comical. Even Roger Ver is dumping his hoard. I suggest you think about doing the same while you can because once the herd starts heading for the gate, it may be too late. At least sell enough to pay off your LOC’s, Credit Cards and Heloc.

#110 Cloudy on 12.07.17 at 11:52 pm

#42 Nonplused on 12.07.17 at 7:04 pm
Interesting read thanks for posting. I’m not going to fact check but it passes the reasonable person test.

#51 TalkingPie on 12.07.17 at 7:26 pm
Very good post and I completely agree that there are too many people that omit their previous life choices. That is a systemic problem that is getting worse and worse. Keep giving kids trophies for nothing and participation ribbons and there won’t be a single human left with self motivation.

#111 Greater Fool on 12.08.17 at 12:18 am

Garth, I don’t have money for a house, but I do for bitcoins! Have been buying and trading my Bitcoins since last year. I think that next year is the time to trade my bitcoins to the REAL Ponzi! REAL ESTATE in Canada!!!
If one Ponzi buys me another Ponzi that is fine, when I told people that I would buy my house with Bitcoins the laughed, what if I add a Porsche to it? Hum…..

#112 NoName on 12.08.17 at 12:23 am

So let me sea did i get this correct, Weizhen Tang 6yrs in jail for running ponzi, Virginia Tan gets none…

#113 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 12.08.17 at 12:25 am

Thank you for exposing the tragic outcome of investment fraud Garth. As someone who has worked for a regulator in the financial services, I have heard many heartbreaking stories like Clara’s.

All of your words of advice are right and should be followed. However, I believe that a smooth confidence man or woman could take-in even a sophisticated investor, but kind and trusting people are the easiest targets. Often it is a “friend” or relative who betrays them and it is amazing how often the victims of these crimes continue to trust and believe the scamsters, often blaming the regulators who shut them down.

There were a number of comments tonight that these scams happen all the time and aren’t reported. These tragic stories are reported on the websites of the provincial securities commissions and SROs: unfortunately the main stream media seldom picks up these stories (e.g. W.H. Stuart Mutuals Ltd.).

Finally, it amazes me how often shady characters banned from the financial services sector turn their talents to real estate instead (e.g. Fortress Real Development).

#114 Myra Andrews on 12.08.17 at 12:33 am

Clara said her friend told her that the money was lost in a Ponzi scheme with Virginia Tan. Does she have any evidence that the “friend” actually did this with the money? Does her friend have any proof of this? She lied about it for 2 years so is the “friend” telling the truth now?

#115 NoName on 12.08.17 at 1:31 am

#81 Ace Goodheart on 12.07.17 at 9:16 pm

i was about write about extraction cost geopolitical situation, ask why 49% of all dinosaurs went to die in midle east this and that… but ill skip that and conclude right or wrong we are moving away from internal combustion engines towards batterys and other stuf (hybrids, capacitors and fuelcell-s [what is basically a battery car with engine and no emmissions]) it doesnt matter where dinosaurs died anymore. India will probably be first in all electric mass transportation.

friend of mine sent me an email some time ago mentioning superconductors, hi dencity batterys and super capacitors.

here is a electric bus that runs on super capacitor and charges in seconds.

https://www.supercaptech.com/the-supercapacitor-electric-bus-is-adopted-in-china

#116 Myra Andrews on 12.08.17 at 1:50 am

“She gave this cash to a dear female friend who promised her a 10% return, that the principal would be safe and returned to her at any time, upon request. “But that turned into 5% three years ago.”

In court documents it said that Virginia Tan paid annualized rates of return of 16% to 21%. Was her friend receiving the higher rate, paying Clara 10% and then only 5% and pocketing the difference?

The whole thing with the friend sounds fishy.

#117 Re comment 36 on 12.08.17 at 2:39 am

I’m sorry Garth Turner but your comment on that post as being a jerk and allowing it is just plain stupid. Sorry.
It’s a horrible thing to say to someone, anyone.

#118 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.08.17 at 2:47 am

@#89 No Conscience

“don’t know which irritates me more: the scammer, the greedy victim, the pointless “feel so sorry fors” or the pathetic “blah blah justice” crybabies.

Get a grip. Stop being pathetic. All of you’

*******

Until it happens to someone you know

#119 slippery cricket on 12.08.17 at 2:50 am

#78 Julie K.
….totally agree, comment #36 was a ridiculously stupid thing to post. It seems challenging for some to keep from posting their stupid thoughts.

#120 morrey on 12.08.17 at 2:59 am

B.C. became a gangster paradise because, for so many years, politicians and realtors and pundits (including Mr. Mason) took to focusing on the narrative that racism, racism, racism was afoot anytime anybody pointed a finger at money from China as the key source of skyrocketing house price matters around Vancouver.
And so – in that climate that Mr. Mason helped cultivate – the politicians, and government-linked financial agents who should have been vigilant, became instead timid and scared that they might be branded hateful racists for raising any alarm over moneys flooding in from China.
In Vancouver, “the monster-house squabble has often been fueled by jealousy and RACISM”. That was a typical column of Mr. Mason some years back. “An undercurrent of RACISM in A LOT of them”, Mr. Mason quoted on Vancouver whistleblowers .
You helped GROW THE PROBLEM, Mr. Mason! Fess up…

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/how-bc-became-a-gangsters-paradise/article37252702/

#121 Big Daddy on 12.08.17 at 4:32 am

I read recently in one Canadian rag about how white collar security crimes, like ponzu and pump and dump are rarely prosecuted beyond a slap on the risk…..no jail time….ever…and that the regulator was owed many millions in fines they never bothered to collect. Some of us may be in the wrong business. I think you can blame the immoral judgements on the tone set by our gov’t…..like Trudeau’s ‘fuddle duddle’ style of not ever telling the truth, his many ministers publicly lying with zero accountability, and when caught by their own missteps play at being angry with their accusers, calling them outside for sandbox tussle. It’s the lack of ethics that drives the appt of political minded judges that sets the bar so law in Canada.

Clara should do what half the people in Canada are doing….-olive, firemen lawyers etc….all caught but persistent after no charges, set up a grow op and sell weed out of her local SBux.

#122 jane24 on 12.08.17 at 6:12 am

One thing I have learned in life is that a fool and their money are always always soon parted. I have been that fool a few times in my life but hey I learned. What does concern me is the large number of senior marriages breaking up today without any regard for how the two new singles will pay the bills. We all know these couples, what on earth are they thinking?

#123 Another Deckchair on 12.08.17 at 6:38 am

@Ace, and the oil discussion.

IIRC, depletion rate on normal oil wells is about 5% and fracking something like 40%.

That’s like “drill a well, and within a year, output will be down xx%”

If those numbers do hold up, the USA Shale boom means,
– continuous drilling
– continuous water usage (And disposal of contaminated water)

It’s been a few years since I looked at this in depth, but, the water issue is real – drilling and fracking is the easy part, it’s the water that places (especially in parts of the USA) that is the difficult bit.

Anybody want to chime in and continue/correct the above?

We live in interesting times…

#124 kman on 12.08.17 at 7:47 am

Off topic, we can finally see the sold prices for real-estate.
It’s not Zillow but a step in the right direction:
https://www.mongohouse.com/

#125 kman on 12.08.17 at 8:24 am

This is offtopic but of interest to a lot of people on this blog,
Finally we get to see price history for real-estate listings.
Here are a couple of sites that allow you to see it:
http://housesigma.com
https://www.mongohouse.com
Nothing like Zillow but a step in the right direction.
Why cant we see property taxes?

#126 Stuart on 12.08.17 at 8:31 am

This family stole, lost, or pissed away $80 million dollars. One got 1 month house arrest and 1 month curfew. The other got 3 and a half years.
They completely wiped out families who trusted them for years.
I know. I helped build one of their companies and I lost everything, too, when the Peers family went rogue.
I work now as a waiter in Calgary. I’m 56 and grateful for the work.
What will Clara do?

https://albertaventure.com/2016/05/powerful-albertan-family-defrauded-investors-millions/

http://edmontonjournal.com/business/local-business/paula-simons-gentleman-fraudster-jay-peers-faces-justice-as-last

#127 Victor V on 12.08.17 at 8:37 am

Breaking: US added 228,000 jobs in November vs estimated 195,000 increase.

#128 The Technical Analyst, CSTA, CPD on 12.08.17 at 9:14 am

Bitcoin: “A fool and his money are soon departed”

#129 Alistair McLaughlin on 12.08.17 at 9:35 am

Myra Andrews brings up some valid points. This “friend” was anything but honest. Was the Virginia Tan thing just an excuse not to pay the money back? Maybe “I got scammed too” is just a convenient ruse to cover up what she really did with the money. Lying for two years leaves one suspicious even when the liar does “come clean”.

Who invests $300K for a friend anyway? What kind of person would want to accept responsibility for a friend’s life savings? If any friend handed me $300K and said “Alistair, I trust you, please invest this money for me”, I couldn’t throw that money back at them fast enough. Managing money for a friend is a great way not to be friends anymore, even if you do have the best of intentions. Markets don’t give a crap about your friendship.

Oh, and people like NoOneOfConsequence make me sick. Just because someone is naïve or gullible or even “stupid” doesn’t make it OK to take advantage of them. That kind of reasoning is always used when the strong prey on the weak. It’s despicable and amoral, and often a sign of sociopathy.

#130 Grey Dog on 12.08.17 at 9:42 am

WOW, great stories today!
Why is Canada so lenient on these white collar crime fraudsters?

#131 paulo on 12.08.17 at 10:00 am

Clara: this story smells more fishy than the Seattle fish market. I think your “friend” may have been the one that scammed you!
I would advise you to file a complaint with your local Police fraud squad, they will likely do a soft investigation
and very quickly be able to confirm if your friend is telling the truth or not than you can decide your next move.

#132 Penny Henny on 12.08.17 at 10:11 am

Well look at the bright side. Soon she will be collecting OAS and she can also apply for GIS. That should bring her up to about 1700-1800/month. She just has to move to a less expensive local (small town Ontario)

#133 Penny Henny on 12.08.17 at 10:16 am

Real jail time for ponzi schemer Andre Lewis.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/the-law-page/osc-seeks-to-sanction-toronto-businessman-guilty-of-fraud/article23808740/

#134 Penny Henny on 12.08.17 at 10:20 am

#31 MF on 12.07.17 at 6:45 pm

Hey MF, you’re back!
Where the hell were you?
Looking at condos?

#135 NoName on 12.08.17 at 10:24 am

interesting read

feysbuk, feysbuk, feysbuk…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-12-07/how-rodrigo-duterte-turned-facebook-into-a-weapon-with-a-little-help-from-facebook

#136 TnT on 12.08.17 at 10:40 am

#124 Another Deckchair on 12.08.17 at 6:38 am

It’s been a few years since I looked at this in depth, but, the water issue is real – drilling and fracking is the easy part, it’s the water that places (especially in parts of the USA) that is the difficult bit.

Anybody want to chime in and continue/correct the above?

*****

You are correct from your information as it was known a few years back however a lot has changed.

As noted in the book I posted @ #87 TnT – The Absent Superpower

I’ll paraphrase from what I remember from the book.

First the crash in Oil prices put so much pressure on the Shale industry that all the players were forced to innovate and collaborate to stay in business.
By doing this they brought the profit breaking point down to profitable levels. They tap wells and only bring the product online when cost effective.

The technology invented to tap the Oil became so good that they can apply it to older Shale sites bringing them back to life. Also note: the Oil they do recover is the sweetest and easiest to refine.

The byproduct (waste) that they also have to deal with is Natural Gas. What a stroke of luck to have Natural Gas as a byproduct of fracking Shale.

So not only do the have the easiest and sweetest of Oil they also have an abundance of Natural Gas (all of North America has changed to Natural Gas because of this, especially Ontario – cancel Coal and pipelines).

Now about the Water part. They now recycle the Water. The Water they do use is Brine Water from deep down under that is naturally salty making it better for fracking and it is useless to farmers.

The Shale revolution is so successful that USA is now (or soon to be) completely energy independent.

The ramifications of this completely rattled Saudi Arabia to the point where the current de facto ruler rounded up all his competition, drained their accounts and set a new course toward modernizing the country. The Saudi attack on Yemen is a warm up for Iran.

USA withdrawal from the ensuring energy trade routes also means its withdrawal from policing the globe, creating a void causing other countries to rethink their alliance.

Trumps being a nationalist only expedites this as well.

The US is entering a second boom that will dwarf the 1950’s.

Cheap labor costs, cheap taxes, cheap housing and cheap energy (add the “reduced” regulations too) are the ingredients for igniting an economic engine like rocket fuel.

Keep this in mind every time you see News stories on Albert’s failed economy, Canada’s failed Trade with China & TPP, Brexit, The House of Saud changes, EU disintegration, Russia’s hegemony plays on filling the void, Unemployment #’s from the US, US withdrawal from The Paris Accord, TPP and moving Capital of Jerusalem (no longer needs to appease the Middle East).

#137 TurnerNation on 12.08.17 at 10:57 am

Stuff they won’t teach you in school. To get ahead in life you need these three things:
1. High IQ
2. High impulse control.
3. High Work ethic.

If you have high IQ, high work ethic but low impulse control you become a very effect securer of drugs or money for your ponzi scheme.

The functional addicts and anyone who can fradulently raise 30m are quite brilliant with their efforts. Continually working hard to secure what they need. Pulling levers and people.

#138 TurnerNation on 12.08.17 at 11:05 am

^ And I guess those without work ethnic and impulse control are those sitting on street corners begging.
They are smart at hooking people in. Would make great salesmen.

#139 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.08.17 at 11:16 am

#44 Bezengy on 12.07.17 at 7:09 pm
A fool and their money are soon departed.
———–
Funniest misquote of the year.

#140 Ronaldo on 12.08.17 at 11:17 am

Here is another Ponzi that was operating in BC a fews years back and took many people to the cleaners. As with most of these scams, the regulators were asleep at the switch.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/eron-mortgage-vp-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-theft-charges-1.527870

Another in Victoria a few years ago.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/former-victoria-financial-adviser-ian-thow-faces-fraud-charges-1.787683

#141 rainclouds on 12.08.17 at 11:23 am

All those deluded sunshine coasters who were convinced Valhalla was getting a bridge to their bucolic and soon to be suburb of Vandelusional can go back to staring at their navel while driving the only road north south several times a day.
Ìts. not. going. to. happen.
Duhhhh

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/province-scraps-plan-for-fixed-link-to-sunshine-coast-1.4439010

#142 Ronaldo on 12.08.17 at 11:38 am

How BC became a gangsters paradise.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/how-bc-became-a-gangsters-paradise/article37252702/?utm_source=Shared+Article+Sent+to+User&utm_medium=E-mail:+Newsletters+/+E-Blasts+/+etc.&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

#143 farsyd on 12.08.17 at 11:41 am

Please tell us that you made this up for illustrative purposes related to minding who you invest with and where. At the very least, please follow up that the “dear friend” will be charged or sued to be held accountable. Good luck Clara, kind of Garth to continue to help.

Nothing on this blog is made up except the comments. — Garth

#144 Ace Goodheart on 12.08.17 at 11:41 am

RE: #116 NoName on 12.08.17 at 1:31 am

Yes the electric car debate and how all of us will soon be riding around in battery powered automobiles that drive themselves.

I guess if that ever happens Bolivia will become the capital of the free world (and the richest country on the planet – that’s the only place you can mine lithium in any quantity other than on asteroids)

In Ontario, despite the government throwing free money at electric vehicles ($14,000 + rebates!!!) it has become apparent that by 2022, electric cars will still represent less than 5% of all vehicles on the road.

Cars are made of steel and plastic. Plastic is made of oil. Lots of oil. Steel requires oil in its production process (go to a steel mill you’ll see what I mean).

The question really is not what is oil used for, it is what is oil NOT used for (not much it turns out, it’s in pretty much every consumer product).

So, yeah, the future you’re looking at, with nothing but electric cars, built out of materials that do not require oil in the manufacturing process, is while nice, not very realistic.

#145 n1tro on 12.08.17 at 11:51 am

No criminal conviction. No jail time.
Many lessons here, obviously.
————-
Lesson here is to start a ponzi scheme because the consequences are not that bad.

A $3 million penalty is not bad? You must be flush. — Garth

#146 Stan Brooks on 12.08.17 at 11:54 am

CPP looks like another version of Ponzi.

220 per month in CPP for 64 years old?
Excuse me, Canadians need much bigger safety net. Look at the Europeans.

Canada is the only G7 country with no drug plans for seniors.

This lady is toast.

It’s an employee/employer funded plan. You get out commensurate with what you put in. — Garth

#147 PastThePeak on 12.08.17 at 12:02 pm

#121 morrey

Well, no one should be under any delusion that a climate of political correctness that swings from “politeness” into thought police wouldn’t have consequences. If real issues raised are easily silenced through accusations of racism, sexism, gender-ism – then of course the problems will get worse.

BTW, mentioning the citizens of a specific country in a specific case (e.g. Chinese involvement with organized crime) is not racist in the least. I think people need to look into the definition of racism before they so easily lob it around.

#148 Ace Goodheart on 12.08.17 at 12:04 pm

Re: #90 MF on 12.07.17 at 9:54 pm

“The Arab Israeli conflict as it was before is therefore over (hopefully) as priorities and allies have shifted. Today Israeli leaders and Arab leaders are a lot closer than they have ever been. It is definitely not as clear as it used to be.”

I’ve always hoped that this would be the case.

The Christian and Islamic based religions have always struck me as being most closely related to the South Pacific “Cargo Cults”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

Both Christianity and Islam are very similar and appear to be describing the same event from different perspectives.

My theory was that at some point, the area of the Middle East which is the birthplace of Christianity and Islam, was visited by a more advanced civilisation (which is now lost to time and no longer exists on our Planet) resulting in the world’s most successful cargo cult.

When you study South Pacific cargo cults, the similarities are eerie. Even the look that the people who practice these cults, get in their eyes when someone challenges the validity of their beliefs, is so similar to the look you get from a Christian or a person who practices Islam, when you challenge their belief system.

It is an interesting field of study anyway. If the people there are finally putting aside their religious differences and trying to get along, that would be amazing.

#149 Rooster on 12.08.17 at 12:09 pm

Garth’s possibly apocryphal story got me to thinking how much will I need in retirement? One of the talking heads on Steve Paiken’s show last night claimed that recent research shows that retirees can live well on less than was previously assumed (70 % of former income). It appears that even 40% can cover the necessities (food, shelter, heat, light, cars, internet, cellphones, and roombas) and leave enough for a modicum of happiness. Maybe trying to create a bigger pile just exposes one to financial risks, and the only benefit is affording the cost of cruises to socialize with the high-rollers that frequent this forum. I’ll pass.

Why would anyone not want the greatest amount possible to finance the period when you have the most leisure time and fewest employment obligations? Retirement is not about subsistence living, but living large, making every dwindling moment count. — Garth

#150 TEMPLE on 12.08.17 at 12:13 pm

At 64 she has 20 years to live, so a 60/40 balanced portfolio delivering a better return would be appropriate, supplemented by CPP then OAS and possibly GIS. – Garth

Does this advice ever change? It’s the same thing you say for someone in their 20s, someone with a lot of assets and a big pension, and someone retired with peanuts in the kitty. In your other posts, you talk about all the specialized advice and attention that comes from hiring a professional (and paying ridiculous fees for it), but to me, it looks an awful lot like one size fits all.

If we were to live in different worlds, the portfolio would vary more. But we don’t. A 60/40 is intended to smooth out volatility and give somewhat predictable returns in an unpredictable political and economic environment. Also when human nature changes, and people stop feeling the greedy urge to buy when things are expensive and fearfully dump them when they get cheap, the advice will alter. But that’s not happening. An astute money manager understands that when people say they have a higher risk tolerance, they actually don’t. Especially on the Internet. – Garth

#151 RyYYZ on 12.08.17 at 12:30 pm

#17 Damifino on 12.07.17 at 6:22 pm

My sympathy for Tan is zero. If she really does have to live out the rest of her life in the same sort of poverty she left her victims in, good. Still not adequate punishment, but it’s something.

My sympathy for Clara is tempered by her stupidity, naivety, and greed in handing her money over to someone no questions asked. I mean, who does that with $300K? How do you make it to your 60s being that naive?

#152 Jeff on 12.08.17 at 12:36 pm

Stuff they won’t teach you in school. To get ahead in life you need these three things:
1. High IQ
2. High impulse control.
3. High Work ethic.

I would add those :

4. High energy
5. Garth’s charisma

#153 Stan Brooks on 12.08.17 at 12:55 pm

It’s an employee/employer funded plan. You get out commensurate with what you put in. — Garth
——————-
Exactly.

Instead of government demanding let’s say 20 % of income as mandatory pension contributions which will guarantee let’s say min 2 k in monthly pension income, they allow the stupid to spend everything they make with no savings and no pension which itself drives inflation up.

so instead of savings and lower inflation, higher pensions, we get debt, higher inflation, no pension.

A sick and fraudulent system.

Everything here is to ensure that you spent everything you make with no ability to pass anything except debt to hairs for the benefits of few oligopolies and less than 1000 super rich.

#154 MF on 12.08.17 at 1:04 pm

#32 Penny Henny,

Lol I’m back.

No condos for me yet. Still waiting on OSFI to pass then I will start (unless I chicken out).

I have a good excuse though. I’m in the process of reading an investing book someone on here recommended (The 8 pillars of investing). Trying to get confidence back up in the process.

Thanks for the shout out!

MF

#155 Jeff on 12.08.17 at 1:06 pm

Academic School passed 16 yo is worthless imo.

After 16yo, an individual should attempt to school of life, which is very different from academic school.

Academic School is a tool to create good sheep employee, not strong individuals.

#156 Newcomer on 12.08.17 at 1:39 pm

Here is a question:

Other than fully understanding the safety of every fund or enterprise that a financial advisor, or friend or [email protected] invests your money in, how does someone protect against being ripped off?

For example, if I’m at the investment banking division of a big 5 bank, does that ensure that my money will not just go poof, or could even one of those guys be investing in something stupid. Does telling them to stick to a 60/40 balanced portfolio actually mean that I get that, and not 60% bitcoin derivatives and 40% Venezuelan bonds? And what about the guy offering tax returns and mutual funds next to the dry cleaners? Does it make any difference that he has letters after his name?

#157 Ace Goodheart on 12.08.17 at 1:49 pm

RE: #2 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.07.17 at 6:05 pm

“The Ponzi scammers of the world that RUIN peoples lives should be publically flogged and jailed for life.

But this is Canada.
The Fine is enough and usually the person has no money to pay it.
“Errrr the moneys all gone, sorry about that.”

The Canadian “justice” system is pathetic”

Totally agreed. The penalty should be jail for life. Like they did to Bernie Madoff. No parole. No escorted day passes. Locked up and you stay locked up.

These people are literally ruining other people’s lives.

#158 Re., Jeff on 12.08.17 at 1:57 pm

Really ?

Then where are our doctors going to come from ? The ‘non-academic ‘ real world ?

Have you lost your marbles ?

#159 LivinLarge on 12.08.17 at 1:57 pm

Good question Rooster. I watched that program intently as well and the guy from the Rotman school talking about not needing as much to retire as when working does have a point and one I tend to agree with from personal experience.

Now the woman to his right that also sits on the board of a healthcare pension fund was making some points I was curious about. She was pretty much saying that the standard 60/40 portfolio allocation is out of date with future market expectations. Not certain I buy that concept because she was suggesting that indviduals needed access to investment vehicles available only to pension funds currently.

So, I looked up the Teacher’s Pension Fund Results for last year and they are claiming 10.1% total return. Sure, not bad but not terribly higher than what is claimed here for a 60/40. And maybe not any higher this year so having access to investment ops only available to huge pension funds doesn’t actually translate to enhanced ROI.

There did however seem to be concensus that “doing it yourself” was fraught with serious increased risk.

As for Fealess Leader’s question about why would anyone want a smaller nest egg, it really isn’t about wanting less, but a lot about “needing” less to feel comfortable and that means risk tolerance level. Personally, I don’t mind earning a little less or paying an advisor’s fee to eliminate or reduce my return volatility but my portfolio already earns more than I can spend without dramatically increasing my lifestyle needs.

Yes, I am fortunate and it isn’t due to my investment savvy. Just started with more than I needed and let nature take its course while not living an extravagant life.

So, sure more is better in the end because it gives you more options in the end but just chasing ROI is risky and prone to leading to bad or poorly timed decisions.

#160 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.08.17 at 2:03 pm

#155 Jeff on 12.08.17 at 1:06 pm
Academic School passed 16 yo is worthless imo.
After 16yo, an individual should attempt to school of life, which is very different from academic school.
Academic School is a tool to create good sheep employee, not strong individuals.
—————
Smokie.
Your first discipel.
Only 11 more to go.

#161 BillyBob on 12.08.17 at 2:11 pm

Anyone else think it’s pretty obvious The Real Kip got taken to the cleaners by his ex? Lol

Bitter loser, much?

#162 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.08.17 at 2:13 pm

Some people fatten up their wallets before they die.
And, some like me, fatten up their soul.
That one you can take with you.
At last, that’s what the Pope says.

#163 Rooster on 12.08.17 at 2:15 pm

Why would anyone not want the greatest amount possible to finance the period when you have the most leisure time and fewest employment obligations? Retirement is not about subsistence living, but living large, making every dwindling moment count. — Garth
————-
Living large in retirement is probably a goal for those who squandered their prime years watching their pile grow instead of enjoying the then. I know it is heretical to you, but it doesn’t take a lot of money to be happy, often there is an inverse relationship. Just ask the rest of the non-western world.
But I get your point about maximizing returns. I just don’t think people need as much money in retirement to thrive, not just survive, as the financial orthodoxy claims. If the risks are potentially greater than the returns, and you don’t NEED the returns, why go there? How about a blog on how much is enough? You must have loads of real-life examples you can share.

#164 Damifino on 12.08.17 at 2:35 pm

#149 Rooster

Garth’s possibly apocryphal story got me to thinking how much will I need in retirement?
———————————–

When you are young, robust and energetic, chances are someone will pay you to be useful. For the next few decades, all will be right with the world.

When you are old, jaded and tired chances are you will appreciate a nice stack of income-producing wealth. The bigger the stack is, the more income it will generate.

Decide what you want that income to be, then work backward to find the size of stack required. I think that helping people determine (and eventually realize) that amount constitutes a large part of what Garth does.

Don’t worry about creating a bigger stack than you might ever use. It’s a great problem to have. It means you can set your own course during all your time on the planet. A stack of wealth buys you freedom, not toys.

And if you don’t simply drop dead at 80, the stack may come in useful in your last few difficult years. It will be a time when you need security, protection and comfort, not a new Lamborghini. Believe me, I’ve seen it.

#165 Iconoclast on 12.08.17 at 2:47 pm

Ace Goodheart;

You may have heard that MBS (Mohammed Bin Salman), the new heir to the Saudi throne, is consolidating his power by arresting and shaking down all his relatives and trying to avoid a coup.

There are also rumours that the Las Vegas shooting was related to a failed assassination attempt on MBS in Las Vegas. Note that the Saudis own the top five floors of that hotel. Interesting, no? That would explain MBS’s recent “anti-corruption” fervour.

Anyway, the scuttlebutt is that MBS has already made a deal with Israel and the USA for support against Iran by trading away support for a Palestinian state. This would clear the way for Trumps Jerusalem announcement. You’ll note Trump didn’t appear very worried about the reaction.

So watch what the Saudis do, not what they say.

Iconoclast

#166 Country Strong on 12.08.17 at 2:57 pm

#155 Jeff on 12.08.17 at 1:06 pm

Academic School passed 16 yo is worthless imo.
Academic School is a tool to create good sheep employee, not strong individuals.
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True dat! But don’t we still need architects & engineers to make things like buildings and the internet, and doctors and nurses to fix things, and maybe a few scientists to dream up the impossible. But yeah, the rest of it is garbage.

#167 Ace Goodheart on 12.08.17 at 3:06 pm

Re #165

You may be right.

Last time Canada’s oil industry got a major growth spurt was following the US’s disastrous Iraq war. All of a sudden expensive, hard to refine Canadian crude started looking really good to them. My guess is relations with the Arab Muslim world soured somewhat.

When the Americans went back to middle eastern oil as an addiction, Alberta, formerly the world’s richest place, became the socialist republic of has-been.

Makes me wonder what BC was selling and whom they were selling it to.

Vancouver went from the money laundering capital of the world, second only to Macau, where a house was just a way to filter your cash, to the communist people’s republic of property taxation.

Canada is still such a side act sh$t show. We always get used.

#168 LivinLarge on 12.08.17 at 3:20 pm

Rooster, I’m with you 100%.

This so often expoused “travel dream” for retirees especially confounds me. Traveling when I’m 70+ is becoming less and less of a “dream” although I do live outside Canada for 5 months each year, I am really just keeping two static residences because I can. A little local country travel when I am there but not constant by any stretch. Personally, sitting on a beach bores me and cruises seem like hotel living with a changing biew but I see a lot of folks doing it. Saving for years in order to do travel I could have done when I was more active seems counter productive to me.

As for accumulating the largest “pot” as possible? Sure, it beats being short. What I am more concerned about is a return to the inflation levels of the 1975-89 period and my financial needs late in life exceeding my income.

Modern medicine can keep us alive much much longer than people were living in the 70s so the chances of experiencing those levels of inflation just as I am needing nursing home care is a real concern. Outlivingone’s savings is now much more real a scenario than it was in the 70s and there aren’t many people who will choose not to avail themselves of a longer life.

Realistically calculating a level of income in retirement is certainly a smart move but without also knowing what inflation is going to do in the next 20 or 30 years does make that a crap shoot but “IF” you retire with little debt and an affordable home without any mortgage then I tend to think that you only really need to replace about 65-70% of your last year’s income to at least not take a retirement lifestyle hit, as long as your savings are at least beating real inflation and tax rate growth. Living significantly better in retirement than when working your last few years seems a but of a recipe for problems down the road. Living on cap gains and divs when retired can have a nice impact on your net net income level.

#169 smad on 12.08.17 at 3:27 pm

Hi Garth – just wondering if maybe you could do a post on why we don’t (or can’t?) have mortgage rules here that are similar to the US? Things like being able to lock in an interest rate for the full term of your mortgage? Is it just lenders being greedy?

The Canada Interest Act prevents it, to ensure consumers do not get locked into high rates (or benefit overly from low ones). – Garth

#170 TnT on 12.08.17 at 3:34 pm

#148 Ace Goodheart on 12.08.17 at 12:04 pm

Both Christianity and Islam are very similar and appear to be describing the same event from different perspectives.

My theory was that at some point, the area of the Middle East which is the birthplace of Christianity and Islam, was visited by a more advanced civilisation (which is now lost to time and no longer exists on our Planet) resulting in the world’s most successful cargo cult.

*****

Ace.. was your name hijacked?

Both Christianity and Islam describing the same event from different perspectives is because they both believe and speak of the same God.

Also note their “Died & Born Again God” have been the same story told since Egypt.

God: born of a Virgin, Died and resurrected 3 days later.

It is not a coincidence that our Sun (Ra God from the time of Egypt) also Dies for 3 days (Dec 22nd to 25th) and then Rises.

When I say dies, I really mean the Sun’s arc (Rise to Set) across the sky goes lower with each cycle from the Summer’s equinox until Dec 22nd.

Then for 3 days it never goes above its lowest arc line until the 3rd day when it rises 1 degree higher and starts a new cycle.

All of Egypt’s religion (The same one above) and basics points were retold in Greek (Zeus, Hercules etc.) to Roman (Mithra) to Christianity.

Islam is an extension of the above religion cultivated in the Dessert where the Romans did not rule, therefore they (Islam) recognize no law except God’s law.
Christianity was cultivated under the rulers of Romans therefore that religion survived only by accepting Roman law first then practice Christian Law which made it very adaptable to any Government and works perfect with the separation of Church and State.

Best thing we can do for humanity is to study the dominant religions and dispel the myths.

It’s been a long time since I researched this stuff but there a re lots of data points.

http://beginningandend.com/jesus-copy-horus-mithras-dionysis-pagan-gods/

#171 OttawaMike on 12.08.17 at 3:56 pm

#14 OttawaMike on 12.07.17 at 6:18 pm
No Smoking Man reports from Cali?
….

Smoke to the left Smoke to the right. In the middle blue sky’s. I’m on nicorete gum. Haven’t had a smoked in a week and haven’t had a drop of booze.

The cough is gone my and head is clear. What was I thinking when I spent the last few years as a gonzo writer.
What a waste of time.

Going main stream now. To old to fight insanity.
—————————————————-

I see you have not lost your incredible power to Bullshit.

#172 Renter's Revenge! on 12.08.17 at 4:09 pm

#163 Rooster on 12.08.17 at 2:15 pm

Living large in retirement is probably a goal for those who squandered their prime years watching their pile grow instead of enjoying the then.

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

I’m squandering my life just by living it. Between working, commuting, working out, shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning, sleeping, and hanging out with friends and family once in a while I don’t even have time to spend money. When I get married, buy a house and have kids, I’ll have even less time. It seems like my money will have to wait until I retire before it gets spent!

#173 Linda on 12.08.17 at 4:13 pm

Such a sad story, but I’m wondering….

1) Is there any kind of paper trail (other than a cashed bank draft or certified cheque) that can document exactly where Clara’s money went?

2) If there is no such trail, did Clara ever receive any income from this ‘investment’?

3) If she did not receive anything & has no paper trail, where is the proof (if any) that her money was invested by her friend via Ms. Tam? Is it possible her friend kept the funds for herself? Is it possible that money was how her friend recouped any losses she had experienced herself due to investing with Ms. Tam? As in she borrowed a page out of the book & used Clara’s money to emulate what Ms. Tam was doing?

I’d like to believe that her friend is on the up & up, but – $300K is enough to tempt. Heck, people kill other people for sums far less than that, so unfortunately it is possible that Ms. Tam is being used as a scapegoat to cover up what really happened to Clara’s money. Just saying.

#174 Grey Dog on 12.08.17 at 4:34 pm

131 Paulo, I agree with you. Is the friend’s story true? Is the “friend” still living in a sticks and bricks home that is paid for? I’d be looking at her to sue rather than ex husband.

My Neighbour lost her divorce settlement holding a bad mortgage for some huge old property in downtown Kingston, now she is dealing with a mittfull of lawyers…in retirement, greedy investments promising great returns, who needs the years of uncertainty and sleepless nights?

#175 LivinLarge on 12.08.17 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for bringing up the Interest Act, Fearless Leader.

It got me thinking about those incredible interest rates the payday lenders charge and I wrote to the PMO about. If the maximum rate in of interest permitted under the Criminal Code is 60% per year, how do the shylock payday lenders get away with charging $9/$100/week? It might have been slightly less but way over 200% PA.

#176 crossbordershopper on 12.08.17 at 5:31 pm

well Claire first your husband screwed you and then your friend did it.
I guess you still have half a dog.
women should in my opinion stay married. it would make their life very simple. I dont understand why people dont just get along. What do you think your life will be better if you were single. Do you think you will be happier, richer, piece of mind.
Your husband is on his own, and your friend, go ahead sue or whatever, you still wont get any money.
being single lady, retired and poor, is not something to plan for.

#177 Ray on 12.08.17 at 5:56 pm

#148 Ace Good heart on 12.08.17 at 12:04 pm
Re: #90 MF on 12.07.17 at 9:54 pm
Both Christianity and Islam are very similar and appear to be describing the same event from different perspectives.
My theory was that at some point, the area of the Middle East which is the birthplace of Christianity and Islam, was visited by a more advanced civilisation (which is now lost to time and no longer exists on our Planet) resulting in the world’s most successful cargo cult.
I fully believe Jesus was actually a Buddha Monk. There is a lot more physical evidence to support this idea. When you look at the “evidence”, the balance of probabilities suggests this is the most probable scenario. Jesus wasn’t resurrected, he was resuscitated. After his resuscitation, he left on a trade caravan, and lived to be an old man as a Buddha Monk in Kashmir. His tomb is there to see.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY0Ib3aPG6Y

#178 Linda on 12.08.17 at 7:16 pm

Did a search to see what news there was regarding the Tam fraud – one article regarding the conviction of Ms. Tam mentioned that an audit of the Tam business records had confirmed the names of 177 individuals who had been defrauded. Clara should contact the trustee appointed in the case to see if her name or the name of her friend is part of that list. She might not get any funds back – CRA is looking for money & for sure the Government is going to have first crack at any assets – but at least she can confirm whether her friends name is on the list & add her own just in case there are funds left over for distribution. Because if her friends name is not on that list I’d say Clara has some recovery of her own to initiate.