Finding your niche

DOUG By Guest Blogger Doug Rowat

As the explosive growth of the ETF industry continues, we’ve seen a predictable development: greater and greater ETF specialization. As The New York Times put it recently, the ETF industry is carving up the stock market “into ever thinner slices for investors eager to find other next big things.”

These niche, ‘thin slice’ ETFs are typically focused on the technology sector (robotics, cybersecurity or artificial intelligence, for example), but this is becoming less so. In Canada, for instance, specialized ETFs focused on the marijuana industry are, of course, currently all the rage. There are now four weed ETFs listed in Canada versus none less than two years ago. The largest, by far, being the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ).

But HMMJ embodies one of the key dangers of niche ETFs: concentration risk. The top four holdings of HMMJ total a 44% weight, for example. Not exactly broad diversification and, not surprisingly, HMMJ has five times the volatility of the broader Canadian equity market, which is itself risky. It begs the question: if you’re comfortable with this level of risk, why not simply buy the four stocks and save yourself the 0.75% MER?

But not all investors make themselves aware of the risk, thinking instead that the ETF structure itself assures diversification. But specialized, theme-based ETFs are not only expensive but rival single stocks in terms of volatility. Interested in junior gold mining? The top five holdings of the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) account for almost a 30% weight and the ETF charges 0.54%. Think the skies will soon be filled with drones? The ETFMG Drone Economy Strategy ETF (IFLY) charges 0.75% and you’d better learn all you can about Aerovironment because this company alone has a 12% weight. Believe consumers will abandon Amazon.com and head back to the shopping malls? The Pacer Benchmark Retail Real Estate ETF (RTL) charges 0.60% and just TWO holdings combine for a massive 30% concentration. And the list goes on.

So, just as only holding a few stocks is a dangerous portfolio strategy, so too is only holding a few niche ETFs. SocGen recently highlighted that one in four stocks lose 50% or more during recessions (see chart). If you have only a few specialized ETFs in your portfolio, which typically focus on risky, emerging industries and have heavy weightings to only a few names, you’ll likely experience similar volatility. HMMJ and IFLY, for example, dropped 24% and 19%, respectively, last year and we’re not even in a recessionary environment. ETFs generally provide great diversification, but for theme-based ETFs, this isn’t the case.

Recessions happen and concentrated investment portfolios can be devastated.

Source: SacGen

There’s also the opposite problem with niche ETFs: are they, in fact, targeting the right market areas? In other words, are they providing ENOUGH concentration? We had Coincapital knock on our door a few months ago plugging their blockchain ETF, Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR). Coincapital uses “a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to identify companies for the fund.” I’ve lost track of how often I’ve heard the term “proprietary” in sales pitches over the 20 years that I’ve been in the investment industry. Such language immediately gives me pause. When something’s proprietary, transparency becomes difficult and attempts at clarification inevitably result in Catch-22 dilemmas. “Proprietary” sales pitches usually end up something like this: it’s the best investment technology because nobody else has it, but we can’t fully explain it because then everybody would have it.

However, our main difficulty with LDGR was simply that we had little confidence that it was offering direct exposure to blockchain technologies. Consider the ETF’s top holdings (below). Is the ETF investing in the niche blockchain space or will its performance be dominated by the much, much broader market forces affecting the US and Canadian financial and retailing sectors?

Decide for yourself:

Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund top holdings

Source: Bloomberg

Overall, it’s not that these specialized ETFs are engaging in false advertising—after all, I discovered all this information because of what they disclose publicly—but problems occur when investors don’t take the time to research exactly what it is that they’re buying.

In other words, if you’re thinking of purchasing a niche ETF, pop the latch and check under the hood.

—————-

Finally, I’ve written many times on this blog that rising interest rates don’t negatively impact Canadian real estate investment trusts (REITs). Here’s an example (https://www.greaterfool.ca/?s=no+vacancy). Yet, what should come blasting across my smartphone to start 2019? Another misleading headline regarding REITs and interest rates:

The Globe & Mail gets it wrong. REITs do great in rising rate environments

Source: The Globe and Mail

Strong REIT performance during periods of rising interest rates shouldn’t be a “surprise”; REITs perform well in these environments. And last year was proof of that. There were four rate increases from the US Federal Reserve and three from the Bank of Canada, but Canadian REITs advanced 4.9% in 2018 (including dividends) versus the MSCI World Index (global equities) which fell 8.2% on the same basis. And, as a long-term investment, REITs have returned 10.2% annually over the past 15 years.

Just add ‘em to your portfolio already.

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

 

45 comments ↓

#1 nlabixa on 01.26.19 at 3:30 pm

first for the 2nd time

#2 not 1st on 01.26.19 at 3:35 pm

I am long REITs because after people start losing their homes those apt blocks are going to be stuffed full. Besides garth is wrong about rates. They are going nowhere but down. It was pointed out that no central bank could ever normalize rates in this new environment. Its been tried now in Japan, EU, Canada and the US and every time they do, the economy wobbles.

#3 Shawn Allen on 01.26.19 at 4:07 pm

In the Beginning…

In the beginning there were indexes (S&P 500, Toronto Stock Exchange, DOW, others).

And John Bogle saw that these were good and invented the index mutual fund.

And the Toronto stock exchange saw that this was good but invented the first Exchange Traded INDEX Funds, the first two being HIPs and TIPs. Hundred index participation units and Toronto index participation units.

And New York pretended not to see this and re-invented Exchange-Traded INDEX Funds the first few being SPY and DIA to track the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index.

And someone dubbed these ETFs, Exchange traded Funds but they really should have been called ETIFs, Exchange Traded Index Funds.

And a whole slew more came along to track every known index.

And then having run out of actual indexes to track someones got the bright idea to simply make up new indexes. At first these were legitimate indexes.

But later people started creating indexes to track such as the index of whatever I feel like putting into it.

And then someone invested managed index funds.

And with all this the original idea of Exchange Traded INDEX Funds got forgotten by many.

#4 Ray on 01.26.19 at 4:07 pm

Very helpful. Thanks for your perspectives

#5 Debtslavecreator on 01.26.19 at 4:09 pm

Brilliant post Doug
I can’t tell you how many people tell me stories about their marijuana fund or stocks
I once had a guy show me his self directed rsp statement which was well into 6 figures and all of it was in energy
Another cashed out 800 k commuted value from a crown Corp moved it into a self directed lira and proceeded to lose over 80 % of it in less than 2 years

REITs are good
Doug what’s your opinion on RIT
Not looking for advice
But I am considering this for REIT
I am very bullish on apartment and data centre reits

#6 Dave on 01.26.19 at 4:14 pm

Can someone confirm my understanding of debt to income ratio?
If my before tax income is 100k, and I buy a 300k home with 50k down/250k mortgage, is my debt to income ratio 250%
That doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me and yet everyone is up in arms that average Canadian debt to income ratio is approaching 200%

#7 Stone on 01.26.19 at 4:46 pm

#2 not 1st on 01.26.19 at 3:35 pm
I am long REITs because after people start losing their homes those apt blocks are going to be stuffed full. Besides garth is wrong about rates. They are going nowhere but down. It was pointed out that no central bank could ever normalize rates in this new environment. Its been tried now in Japan, EU, Canada and the US and every time they do, the economy wobbles.

———

Hmmm…maybe it would be a good idea for the economy to wobble. Time to hit the reset button and flush out all the dead weight.

The Fed has raised rates 9 times and more to come. There is no reset coming. – Garth

#8 AK on 01.26.19 at 4:55 pm

#6 Dave on 01.26.19 at 4:14 pm
“Can someone confirm my understanding of debt to income ratio?
If my before tax income is 100k, and I buy a 300k home with 50k down/250k mortgage, is my debt to income ratio 250%
That doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me and yet everyone is up in arms that average Canadian debt to income ratio is approaching 200%”
===================================
To calculate your debt-to-income ratio:

1. Add up your monthly bills which may include: Monthly rent or house payment. …

2. Divide the total by your gross monthly income, which is your income before taxes.

3. The result is your DTI, which will be in the form of a percentage. The lower the DTI; the less risky you are to lenders.

#9 georgist on 01.26.19 at 5:29 pm

Garth reasoned that domestic demand eclipsed foreign money, because he was using the official numbers:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-money-laundering-problem-may-be-much-worse-than-imagined/

From the comments of that article:

Example: Realtor gets 2m listing for free from naive seller. Realtor flips (assigns) listing to gang member 1 and receives commission and kickback for sale. Realtor then flips assignment 1 to gang member 2 for 100,000 more and receives more commission and another kickback from gang. Then, realtor flips assignment 2 to gang member 3 for another 100,000 more, and gets more commission …etc etc etc.

So, after flipping one property 5 times before completion, value has increased 500,000, and the gang has laundered:

Initial sale price: 2m + 2.1M + 2.2m + 2.3M + 2.4m = 10.8m from one sale.

—-

Any second thoughts, Garth?

#10 dakkie on 01.26.19 at 5:31 pm

Real Estate FALLING From Manhattan To Hong Kong! Global Slowdown Escalates.

https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/real-estate-falling-from-manhattan-to-hong-kong-global-slowdown-escalates/

#11 not 1st on 01.26.19 at 6:11 pm

Ryan, Garth spends a lot of time on GTA housing but aren’t your alarm bells going off on Canada as a whole? You see the debt and the type of govt we have. That’s going to be a major drag on stocks here. Are you reducing exposure?

#12 Stone on 01.26.19 at 6:17 pm

#7 Stone on 01.26.19 at 4:46 pm
#2 not 1st on 01.26.19 at 3:35 pm
I am long REITs because after people start losing their homes those apt blocks are going to be stuffed full. Besides garth is wrong about rates. They are going nowhere but down. It was pointed out that no central bank could ever normalize rates in this new environment. Its been tried now in Japan, EU, Canada and the US and every time they do, the economy wobbles.

———

Hmmm…maybe it would be a good idea for the economy to wobble. Time to hit the reset button and flush out all the dead weight.

The Fed has raised rates 9 times and more to come. There is no reset coming. – Garth

———

I agree with you Garth. That’s the point I’m making. Rates will continue to rise, many individuals, households, and companies will choke under the pressure which will precipitate a downturn, reseting things through an eventual recession. Whether that transpires in 6 months, 2 years, or some other time, it will come.

#13 Figure it Out on 01.26.19 at 6:34 pm

“If my before tax income is 100k, and I buy a 300k home with 50k down/250k mortgage, is my debt to income ratio 250%. That doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me and yet everyone is up in arms that average Canadian debt to income ratio is approaching 200%”

If you’re 25 or 30 with a decent job and a DTI of 250%, that’s not so bad. If you’re 50, it’s not so great.

Now consider that 36% of households own but have no mortgage debt or HELOCs, and that another 32% rent, and figure out what everybody else’s debt must be averaging to get to an overall average of 170%…

#14 Shawn allen on 01.26.19 at 6:35 pm

What Alberta Recession

At West Edmonton Mall this afternoon. Not just busy. Packed! Many people walking with shopping bags not just browsing. This in what should be one of the deadest times for retail. Well it is warm today so maybe everyone emerged . But no sign of recession in this giant mall. Too bad no reit owns this one. It’s privately owned.

#15 Doug Rowat on 01.26.19 at 7:05 pm

#11 not 1st on 01.26.19 at 6:11 pm

Ryan, Garth spends a lot of time on GTA housing but aren’t your alarm bells going off on Canada as a whole? You see the debt and the type of govt we have. That’s going to be a major drag on stocks here. Are you reducing exposure?

Our market has risks, but the Canadian equity exposure we do have is there because our market also has certain strengths (attractive valuations, highly profitable banks, etc.).

We also run a global portfolio and global markets don’t care at all about our real estate market, so we don’t need to focus on it. Similarly, you’re not focussing on the fact that I have much less grey hair than Ryan.

–Doug

#16 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.19 at 7:20 pm

Interesting discussion once again Mr Rowat.

As for REIT’s

Do you think moving forward the “Brick’s and Mortar” retail might be dying a slow internet/amazon delivery death?

#17 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 01.26.19 at 7:26 pm

High Yield bond ETF with an MER of 75BP and a monthly yield of 8% is a reasonable addition to my “I am too old and too tired to go chasing bonds” portfolio. Sometimes we pay for the service so we can fagetaboutit. ETFs are a godsend especially the broad-based indexes for the retail clientele and the retired on a budget and the risk-averse.

#18 Vampire studies on 01.26.19 at 7:41 pm

72 Stan (from last post). I think you and I would both describe ourselves as “savers”, but I’ve always been wary of claiming too much credit (pun intended) for that.

How did I save? Well, if we believe Shawn (sigh), total savings will equal total debts. If someone buys my house with a mortgage, I claim I have savings, but in fact it is someone else’s debt. Let’s say I then buy gov’t bonds with that money. Then the government hires me
to build a bridge so more goods can be transported. I then save my profit from that work. Sounds good, but originally based on someone’s debt.

The money created by the original debt can move through the economy forever. So if debt also has corresponding savings, how can we have too much debt? I can’t make an argument to say X is too much but Y is OK.

So what is debt, and what is savings? The simplest definition I have is owed labour and stored labour respectively. When does the system breakdown? When the owed labour is not produced.

#19 Avocado latte on 01.26.19 at 7:44 pm

As I have dug into reit ETFs, I can’t help but think they should be spilt into individual holdings, some pay eligible dividends, others fully taxable income, and others are return of capital (which aren’t taxed until you sell). I want my other-income in my registered accounts, and roc in my non-registered. Seems like a etf isn’t flexible enough in this case. Anyone care to weigh in?

#20 Long live the queen on 01.26.19 at 7:54 pm

Her Majesty’s Mary Jane

#21 NoName on 01.26.19 at 8:33 pm

#16 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.19 at 7:20 pm
Interesting discussion once again Mr Rowat.

As for REIT’s

Do you think moving forward the “Brick’s and Mortar” retail might be dying a slow internet/amazon delivery death?

I came acros similar number few months ago regarding brick vs online stores. If i got numbers right brock and mortar store outsell online sore by big margin. It will be a long while befor proverbial “death” arrives. Keep on mind that per every prime members that are paying 130 for service now, amazon “looses” arond 700$ in shipping cost per year. Its not meater if but when shipping cost is passed down to coustomer online shopping might not be as atractive as it looks like now, if i got numbers right.

https://www.business.com/articles/brick-and-mortar-vs-ecommerce-stores/

#22 Shawn Allen on 01.26.19 at 9:05 pm

What is debt and Savings

Vampire Studies at 18 said:

The money created by the original debt can move through the economy forever. So if debt also has corresponding savings, how can we have too much debt? I can’t make an argument to say X is too much but Y is OK.

So what is debt, and what is savings? The simplest definition I have is owed labour and stored labour respectively. When does the system breakdown? When the owed labour is not produced.

******************************
Agreed if we are awash in debt then we must also be awash in savings. (Though it could be a small number of people holding a hugely disproportionate share of the savings). Bank deposits created in the lending process are initially owned by the borrower. As soon as she spends the loan the deposit moves to someone else. It is never, even for an instant owned by the bank, deposits are liabilities of the bank.

Taking out a bank loan creates money, paying back a bank loan reduces the money supply.

Your definition is good though it might be broader to say savings is stored value and debt is owed value. Most value in 2019 is created by capital (machines, buildings, software) not by labour, though it might be said that labour initially created the capital.

And the yes the system would break down if more than a small fraction of borrowers default on the obligation to repay the debt via labour or some kind of value.

I his book Homo Deus, Yuval Harari (author of Sapiens) explains how the invention of credit led directly to growth and the productivity explosion. Credit and debt requires trust in the future. See around page 236.

You will also be interested to know that he described how Vampire Bats lend blood to one another but they don’t charge interest because they (unlike humans) did not invent a way to grow the blood (food) supply through investing.

#23 Doug Rowat on 01.26.19 at 9:15 pm

#16 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.26.19 at 7:20 pm

Interesting discussion once again Mr Rowat.

As for REIT’s

Do you think moving forward the “Brick’s and Mortar” retail might be dying a slow internet/amazon delivery death?

Yes, ‘bricks and mortar’ is doomed. I’ve noticed it in my own shopping behaviour, but Credit Suisse estimates that online sales will grow from about 17% of total retail sales currently to 35% by 2030.

But it will be a slow death as there’s still a tremendous consumer preference to buying many things, such as groceries and home improvement supplies, in-store. And many of these sorts of businesses are mall anchors.

And real estate is not going away. The decline of bricks and mortar retail just means that other types of REITs–residential, office, industrial, etc.–will move up the food chain.

Consider, for instance, new warehouse build. All those online purchases have to come from somewhere.

–Doug

#24 Doug Missed It on 01.26.19 at 9:46 pm

What was yesterday’s big party splash in Toronto and elsewhere? Or could it be you were not invited because it only comes once a year.

#25 SP on 01.26.19 at 10:13 pm

Vanguard’s VRE and iShares XRE are heavily dominated by RioCan and H&R, too much concentration in two companies perhaps?

BMO’s ZRE is an equal weight REIT ETF with each company maintaining a weight ~ 5%.

ZRE = MER of 0.55%
XRE = MER of 0.55%
VRE = MER of 0.35%

For small portfolios not sure if they are worth it, just another moving part to consider.

For larger portfolios I agree with Avocado Latte, unbundle the ETF and save on fees.

Great discussion as always Doug, thanks.

#26 Time is #1 on 01.26.19 at 10:22 pm

HMMJ has rewarded investors greatly. And the top four holding have rewarded even more. TGOD is a company worth doing your due dil over. Start with TGOD.ca Investor Deck.

#27 Salutations Sally on 01.26.19 at 11:21 pm

thank you for this great post.

#28 Leo Trollstoy on 01.27.19 at 1:14 am

Are millenials poor because they’re irrelevant or are they irrelevant because their poor?

#29 Smoking Man on 01.27.19 at 1:32 am

Garth, when does the new bald guy get a Sat post.

I like Ryan and Doug, but they are a bit too polished for my liking. I like bald guys opinions. They have no one to empress so I find them a bit more real.

Nice job on my deleted posts you prick, I get it. If you allowed them through the comments would have gone to 400 and I know you spend a lot of time with a bandit. He’s an old dog that you love dearly. I should not do that to you. I Blame it on drunken insensitivity.

Being a life long shit disturber, you can’t bend what you cant offend. It’s an old habit that I should be more aware of.

I don’t take the deletes personally, Its the only way to know where the line is. You know I gamble. Sucking up not in my DNA.

Davos update.
Senile Soros bitch slaps the guy running China. He responds.

Soros attempts to turn black into white is a distrustful mental case. No need for a rebuttal. He’s not worthy.

Dear God. He and Trump finally found something in Common. Perhaps a bromance is brewing.

I call the equity markets to go orbital If I’m right about this.

DR Smoking Man
Phd Herdonomics.

#30 David on 01.27.19 at 6:00 am

Insightful and informative. And free!
Thanks.

#31 expat on 01.27.19 at 7:12 am

This is an excellent article about concentration in ETF’s.

I find that every 3 months I have to check the components of my ETF’s as they are adjusted.
Even unmanaged ETFs seem to move their percentages.

As we slide into recession here one must watch this carefully.

I’m on the sidelines right now anyway after 10 years of huge profits.

The long term bull isn’t over in opinion but a secular recession seems very possible. Sales are shrinking, inventories are rising, interest rates are rising….

Also, the USD looks very weak, which could very easily create massive monetary inflation if it calves

I’ve always stood back at these times after 45 years and waited for signals…..

One doesn’t need to be 100% invested 100% of the time.

Contrary to what it taught here. FOMO is not a strategy, it’s bagholder proven.

#32 jess on 01.27.19 at 9:25 am

and read how russia and usa spar over extradition

“Russian cyber-espionage group known as Fancy Bear was among BTC-e’s clients, according to the blockchain forensics company Elliptic, and US prosecutors allege Fancy Bear in turn used bitcoin to fund hacking the Democratic National Committee. ”

BTC-e’s alleged association with Fancy Bear raises the question of whether Vinnik may have material knowledge of Russian involvement in US election interference,

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/us-and-russia-spar-over-accused-crypto-launderer

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/russian-national-and-bitcoin-exchange-charged-21-count-indictment-operating-alleged


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Russian National And Bitcoin Exchange Charged In 21-Count Indictment For Operating Alleged International Money Laundering Scheme And Allegedly Laundering Funds From Hack Of Mt. Gox
Defendant Alexander Vinnik Was Arrested in Greece to Face Charges in the United States; Bitcoin Exchange Alleged to Have Received Deposits Valued at Over $4 Billion”

#33 dharma bum on 01.27.19 at 9:41 am

#23 Doug Rowat

But it will be a slow death as there’s still a tremendous consumer preference to buying many things, such as groceries and home improvement supplies, in-store.
——————————————————————–

True.

And keep in mind that people (aka: humans) lead vacuous, empty, meaningless lives. The vast majority fill the void with mindless shopping.

People are so incredibly unimaginative and lazy.

After working for 5 or 6 days in a wage slave drudgery job that they detest and dread but have to keep doing because they sold their souls to consumerism and owe someone every penny they earn and more, what do they do on their day off?

Go SHOPPING!

Yes, they walk around like mindless zombies in malls, wearing Canada Goose coats, sipping Grande Lattes, carrying shopping bags filled with overpriced designer clothing, stupid gadgets, upgraded smart phones, perfume, make up, high-tech electronics, sous vide machines, jewelry, watches, new cars, furniture, and cool power tools (that’ll be used once, if ever).

Oh, and don’t forget, while spending an exhausting day doing all of that wandering around and shopping, they just gotta stop for lunch at one of the mall restaurants for an overpriced dosage of sodium, grease, and chemical additives. Mmmmmmmmmm good.

Then it’s back to work for another 5 or 6 days to earn some coin to keep paying off the perpetual debt that keeps getting racked up by the mindless shopping at the “bricks and mortar” facilities that will never disappear, because these edifices are the only things that sustain the illusion that the lives of the masses have any meaning whatsoever.

Most people can’t think of anything else to do with themselves.

Look around. The landscape is replete with malls, big box stores, shopping plazas, strip malls, retail centres, car dealerships, outlet malls, outdoor malls, stand alone specialty stores, massive grocery stores, markets, Starbucks, McDonalds, Dollaramas, Canadian Tires, The Gaps, Home Depots, Structubes, Ikeas, Costcos, Walmarts, Nordstrums, and on and on AD NAUSEUM.

Humanity has NO IDEA what to do with themselves, besides aimlessly browse around, eat out, drink expensive coffee, buy stuff, watch movies, seek external entertainment and excitement, drive around from mall to mall, and work at shitty jobs to keep the vicious cycle going.

Bricks and Mortar are here to stay.

They are the economy. They are society.

They are our short, pathetic, meaningless lives.

So invest in REITS and you’ll do just fine.

#34 MF on 01.27.19 at 10:07 am

#26 Time is #1 on 01.26.19 at 10:22 pm

…HMMJ is basically what the Nasdaq was in 1998. The difference is that the Nasdaq is composed of stocks in real industry whereas HMMJ isn’t.

Next ETF: LSD.to or CRACK.to..

What a joke it is watching the financial media try to push this worthless industry, along with its worthless companies.

Doug is right. Stick with REITS.

MF

#35 Fish on 01.27.19 at 10:18 am

Ford government aiming to slash size of public service through voluntary departures

Move comes as part of plan to address ‘fiscal challenges,’ says memo obtained by CBC News

CBC News · Posted: Dec 12, 2018 7:26 PM ET | Last Updated: December 12, 2018

27 ://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/public-service-voluntary-departures-ontario-1.4943754

The Ontario government is aiming to cut the size of public service in the province through voluntary departures, CBC News has learned.

In a memo obtained by CBC, which was sent to 60,000 public sector workers Wednesday afternoon, the head of the Ontario Public Service, Steve Orsini, said cabinet has approved an extension to a voluntary early retirement program offered to workers from several unions since 2013, and a new voluntary exit program.

The voluntary exit program is a new offer to the approximately 8,000 managers who were not previously entitled to the severance package that has been been offered to unionized employees since 2012.

“As part of the government’s comprehensive plan to address its fiscal challenges, the government is exploring measures to manage its compensation costs in a way that ensures vital services to citizens are not compromised while avoiding involuntary job losses,” Orsini said in the memo.

“To help streamline the size of the Ontario Public Service (OPS), the current focus is on leveraging available programs that will allow employees to exit the organization on a voluntary basis.”

The offers apply directly to people who work for provincial government departments.

The Ford government previously put public service under a hiring freeze as part of a series of measures meant to limit spending.

With files from Mike Crawley and The Canadian Press

CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices|About CBC News

#36 TurnerNation on 01.27.19 at 10:39 am

#14 Shawn allen, first, it’s Deadmonton. The place no one goes.
Second that mall is a warm and FREE venue to family with kids (and homeless people), which walk around and admire the stuff. You’d better poll the movie theatres, sports and culture venues – the ones with Paid admission, to see who’s got the Green.

#37 Shawn Allen on 01.27.19 at 11:44 am

What is Money, Savings adn Debt?

Further to 18 and 22 above:

Vampire studies said:

So what is debt, and what is savings? The simplest definition I have is owed labour and stored labour respectively. When does the system breakdown? When the owed labour is not produced.

I agreed and offered:

Your definition is good though it might be broader to say savings is stored value and debt is owed value.

************************************
The criticism here might be that the savings are not actually stored in the bank. It just seems like they are to any individual depositor since we can usually withdraw / spend our savings from our bank account instantly.

Given that the savings are not all stored in the bank perhaps a better definition is that:

Savings (bank deposits) represents value owed to a person or company while debt represents value owed by a person or company. The value is measured and tracked in dollars.

Even cash money has no intrinsic value. It represents a claim check on valuable goods and services that can be instantly collected upon in an exchange with any person or business.

It all amounts to a fantastic system. Money and credit greatly facilitate the process of incenting people to create goods and services and all things of value.

#38 Ronaldo on 01.27.19 at 11:47 am

#21 NoName

Check this out. Just wait til USPS increases the shipping rates on Amazon since Trump claims USPS is losing millions each year due to low rates charged to Amazon. Then we’ll see if any difference in on-line shopping when buyers have to start paying the higher rates. Bozo and Trump are not exactly good buddies either.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/12/05/president-trump-amazon-should-run-the-u-s-postal-service-heres-why/#77ebebe5167e

#39 Doug Rowat on 01.27.19 at 12:34 pm

#25 SP on 01.26.19 at 10:13 pm

Vanguard’s VRE and iShares XRE are heavily dominated by RioCan and H&R, too much concentration in two companies perhaps?

Yes, heavy weightings to both. The key is making sure as an investor that you have awareness of this. An investor might recognize that both REITs have diversified assets and be comfortable with the concentration. They might further hedge risk by keeping the overall weighting to either of these ETFs modest.

My main concern is that investors fail to investigate their ETF purchases at all and get blindsided. HMMJ, as I mentioned, was down 24% last year even though Canopy did very well. If investors have done their homework then they would know that the success of even a large holding might not matter with specialized ETFs because other heavily concentrated positions, such as Aurora, which absolutely tanked, can easily offset this success. It’s simply a question of doing proper research, which eliminates most surprises.

–Doug

#40 Irwin on 01.27.19 at 12:40 pm

I paid close attention to the Roy Green Show segment on “being homeless” because, well, you never know.

In my mind, homelessness and REITs are connected in a word-association sort of way. Can’t explain it.

If interested, see: Being Homeless in Canada – Jan 26

https://globalnews.ca/national/program/the-roy-green-show

#41 NoName on 01.27.19 at 1:13 pm

#38 Ronaldo on 01.27.19 at 11:47 am
#21 NoName

Check this out. Just wait til USPS increases the shipping rates on Amazon since Trump claims USPS is losing millions each year due to low rates charged to Amazon. Then we’ll see if any difference in on-line shopping when buyers have to start paying the higher rates. Bozo and Trump are not exactly good buddies either.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/12/05/president-trump-amazon-should-run-the-u-s-postal-service-heres-why/#77ebebe5167e

Here is video about amazon prime, you might find it interesting.

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

#42 karma's a bitch on 01.27.19 at 1:27 pm

@#33 dharma bum on 01.27.19 at 9:41 am

And keep in mind that people (aka: humans) lead vacuous, empty, meaningless lives.

People are so incredibly unimaginative and lazy.

Yes, they walk around like mindless zombies in malls, wearing Canada Goose coats, sipping Grande Lattes, carrying shopping bags filled with overpriced designer clothing, stupid gadgets, upgraded smart phones, perfume, make up, high-tech electronics, sous vide machines, jewelry, watches, new cars, furniture, and cool power tools (that’ll be used once, if ever).

Most people can’t think of anything else to do with themselves.

______________________

Nice diatribe.
with the amount of time you spend posting here,
vacuous, empty, meaningless might better apply to you.
But you aren’t ‘most people’ are you?
You’re better/know better than everybody else.

#43 mike from mtl on 01.27.19 at 3:24 pm

On TSE there’s only 18 publicly traded REITs anyway, so any ETF can only contain these in differing amounts.

The vast majority of REITs are either private or quasi-government so getting exposure to those would mean non-exchange PE (if any are willing).

#44 I like cookies on 01.27.19 at 8:53 pm

Thanks Doug, I’m going to sell my TFSA which is all in XST (iShares Consumer Staples ETF) after checking it and seeing that it’s gone from 17 holdings to just 10 this year, with the top holding at 25% of the index and the next two holdings at 16% each! That sure isn’t worth paying a 0.50% MER for, which comes out to nearly $500 a year! I think I’m going to just buy some shares in Metro and Loblaw and then put the rest into VCN and VRE.

#45 dharma bum on 01.28.19 at 8:24 am

#42 Karma’s a Bitch

But you aren’t ‘most people’ are you?
——————————————————————–

Correct.