News

How are things going, you ask, during the height of the Spring housing mania?

Well, as polling day dawns in Calgary it’s a mess. Sales year/year down again, prices have fallen and sellers are lonely. So far in 2019 there have been 8% fewer deals than last year (which was a disaster). Selling prices have fallen another 6% in the past 100 days and the time it takes to find a buyer has increased 26%. Hell, wags are now saying Cowtown is one of the most affordable markets in Canada when you compare incomes (at least for those still working) to house values.

But Alberta, as we detailed yesterday, is special. Any province that swings from Conservative majority to Socialist majority to bareback barbarians in the space of just two elections deserves special mention. More on that later this week.

The rest of the nation is merely anemic and confused. Actual home sales last month, says CREA, were almost 5% below those of 2018 – the lowest in six years. That’s 12% under the ten-year average (and it was 20% under in BC and the flat provinces). Prices overall are down a couple of percentage points, and this is the worst showing since the lights went out in 2009.

National home sales dip to 2013 level

Inventory in the GTA is sparse, so good listings still spark interest and multiple bids. But the condo crush is gone and street prices are strangely lower than those the realtors like to publish. Lots of bargains in the 905 right now, a situation which will likely deepen as the summer months roll in and sales fall even further.

So prices and deals are lower at the same time mortgage rates have fallen – a reversal of the pattern seen for almost nine years. Normally any dip in rates caused a real estate feeding frenzy – even during the oil crisis of 2015-6. But now? Pffft. The cost of a home loan has tumbled, yet potential buyers shrug. It’s driving the banks nuts.

For example, a three-year, locked-in mortgage is now available all over everywhere for as little as 2.8%. That’s less than a 1.5% premium over the core inflation rate (and this will soon narrow, thanks to the carbon tax). Cheap money, in other words, and a big discount off the prevailing 5-year mortgage. Since we now know there’s a zero chance of interest rates being cut by the Bank of Canada in the next year or two, this is an attractive option. But first you have to screw up the courage to buy a house.

What does all this tell us?

The world you lived in way back circa 2017 is so gone. This is what the accumulation of debt does. When FOMO goes and fear moves in cheap rates and falling house prices mean nothing. As your fellow beavers start worrying about debt and hiking their savings rate, it’s a death rattle for realtors. (Remember those sales stats last week?)

There could be some fine vultching come August.

       

“Another random stranger from the internet soliciting free financial advice here. Gotta say, love your blog and the dog pics! I have been reading daily since 2013 (and commented once or twice under “Loonie Coder”). Is this suck up sufficient, or do you require more?.”

Nope, that’s good. Continue.

“The reason I’m writing is because I’m getting the boot from my employer. Yup, even tech has layoffs. Oh well, good thing I have been preparing for this day since I’ve started reading your blog in 2013 (and following its advice). Wife got the boot from her employer almost 3 years ago and seems to be digging early retirement. I’m thinking of joining her once I get my last pay check.  The question I have is, how do you determine if a household is suitable for what is basically leveraged investing?

“Here’s some info to perhaps help you make a recommendation, please.

“Age: 43 (both). No Dependents but we have a 2.5 year old fur baby. Location: GTA suburbs. Net Worth: ~2.2M liquid + 800-900K (depends who you believe) for our primary residence, rest is in a B+D portfolio split between 2 RRSPs, 2 TFSAs, 1 Joint Non-registered, 1 spousal RRSP and soon to be 2 LIRAs. The ETFs in each account also tries to follow your advice as closely as possible for tax efficiency. HELOC: We have a 550K unused HELOC at prime. Monthly Expenses: Average 6-7K. This includes travel budget but I’m thinking it might go up since we both have more time now. Plus with the untouchable 300K in the LIRAs, this leaves us short assuming annual 4% withdrawals from the other accounts. Hence the question for increasing cash flow via the HELOC (at least until 55).

“If you’ve gotten this far, many thanks for your time! Even if you don’t have time to respond and need to file this in your special pile for strangers from the internet, please keep blogging! I agree with some of the Noble winning economists that shows up in your comments section that says financial literacy in Canada is appalling and that your blog should be mandatory reading for the Canada high school curriculum! There, I ended this with some more sucking up – hope its enough to get a response :-) – Loonie Coder”

First, congratulations on the excellent attitude. There’s more to life than work. Second, this is a great example of getting ready for the inevitable. Hopefully this blog helped you in the past six years not only with canine management but also investing advice. Your B&D portfolio has added quite a lot over that time and you’re now a 1%er in terms of liquid wealth, if not income.

So what’s the problem with financing cash flow of just $80,000? With almost two million in liquid assets (other than the LIRAs, which have to remain locked-in until age 55), generating over $100,000 annually should be no challenge for you. With zero employment incomes and no pensions this means (for example) you can collect up to $50,000 a year in dividends alone and pay no tax. Meanwhile capital gains on growing assets can be harvested at a ridiculously low tax rate since 50% of the profits are tax-free with the remainder taxed at your marginal rate.

Meanwhile a properly-weighted portfolio has advanced about 7% this year alone, and provided a similar annual return over the last eight. Yeah, that’s no guarantee of future performance, but it’s a worthy guidepost. Despite what the doomers say, the global economy will continue to expand, good companies will make money, and careful investors will reap. Stay invested. Never exit an asset class. Keep rebalancing back to the core weightings. Trim the winners and buy the losers. Split incomes.

And no HELOC leveraging. You’ve enough assets now to satisfy your cash flow needs. Don’t walk into a pile of new debt just as you’re being punted. Besides, borrowing at almost 4% means a thin margin and increased risk. If markets do correct – and you borrowed to invest – you might get all emotional and bail, triggering a loss.

Let’s leave that to the pantywaists who read this blog. We beards know better.

102 comments ↓

#1 Big Bucks on 04.15.19 at 4:06 pm

Debt really sucks—more and more people are finally going to wake up and discover the trap.

#2 the Awakened One on 04.15.19 at 4:09 pm

Hello Garth,

Are you gonna shave / trim off your beastly beard?
Maybe your pup Bandit needs a shave too.

I just trimmed my, just to be safe.

#3 expat on 04.15.19 at 4:19 pm

I find it interesting when people refer to ETF’s as liquid..

ETF’s are only liquid when they have the cash to pay you back.

If they have to sell assets to pay unit holders who all exit at the same time they will not be liquid… And you certainly won’t get the unit value you think you will as, like in 2008, they sold at ANY PRICE!

Calling ETF’s liquid is incorrect. IMHO

Nope. No issue when you select those issued by reputable companies with high liquidity. – Garth

#4 expat on 04.15.19 at 4:24 pm

The central banks, imho, are telling markets that they are backstopped again.

It is amazing how goosing the markets always leads to a collapse as everyone is all in and there are no new buyers….

Like now for instance.
I fully expect the unexpected in the next few weeks as the sell in May crowd do so…

Thankfully Garth preaches balance, many people are ALL IN the markets and have no balance.

#5 Marcb on 04.15.19 at 4:28 pm

#140 Shawn Allen on 04.15.19 at 2:59 pm
Credit Cards – Love Hate Relationship with Merchants

#130 Marcb on 04.15.19 at 1:24 pm said

Shawn Allen – credit card acceptance fee’s are overly complex.

Interchange is set by the issuers and is posted publicly on Visa and MC’s websites.

***************************
I don’t disagree with what you say.

Point of clarification. I understand it is Visa and MasterCard and not the numerous bank issuers who set the interchange fees. So that (large) part of the fee is the same for all issuers of a particular card category and/or applicable in various circumstances no matter the particular bank or other issuer of the card?

———————————————————–

The card networks set the rates but are heavily influenced by the large issuing banks. Most of Interchange is collected by the acquiring bank and passed through to the card issuer. It’s a but of a balancing act.

On the merchant processing side, the large bulk of V and MC’s revenue comes from a roughly 10bps assessment on every transaction. These are known are card brand fee’s or base assessments. The networks publish all this stuff, but it can be a bit complex to follow.

FWIW I’m not arguing that the ecosystem is perfect but I don’t have an issue with the networks being incredibly profitable and there are new card schemes like Alipay, Wechat pay and others that will put some downward pressure on the big 2.

Payments is in a really interesting place right now.

#6 Drill Baby Drill on 04.15.19 at 4:33 pm

New king Jason to be coronated Tuesday PM. And as for the commie pinkos in Edmonton good riddance. Bring on the Carbon Tax battles.

#7 Stan Brooks on 04.15.19 at 4:36 pm

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/business-sentiment-is-softening-in-canada-bank-of-canada-outlook-survey-suggests-153538797.html

Monet flowing out, nobody interested in Poloz’s scheiße peso.

But don’t worry, some rate cuts (more of the same insanity by the dangerously insane and incompetent) will fix it.

Dangerously stupid on the loose while Rome (Notre dame) is literally burning.

#8 Red falcon on 04.15.19 at 4:39 pm

Investing rocks! Dividend growth stocks rule!

And first!!

#9 FLHTK on 04.15.19 at 4:40 pm

I hope I can end up like this guy when I’m due to retire!!!!

#10 Sovavia on 04.15.19 at 4:43 pm

Real estate prices are more volatile than inflation: they can go up and they can also go down.

They cannot be detached from incomes over the long term.

Financial literacy begins in the home, but it should also be taught in high schools (before getting a credit card).

#11 paddy twinkle toes on 04.15.19 at 4:47 pm

Sell the house and get the F%$# outa dodge. Like Garth said, up to 50k/year tax free in divys if invested in Canadian corps and you live in Ontario…other provinces are pretty generous with the DTC as well

#12 SmarterSquirrel on 04.15.19 at 4:52 pm

Garth one more bit of advice for the person who wrote. Get a lawyer to look at the severance offer. Make sure you maximize the payout from your employer when they let you go. If you live in Canada, common law entitles you to a lot more than what the statutes say you are owed. Make sure you know if you are entitled to more under common law. Get an employment lawyer ASAP.

Maybe. Within reason. A 43-year-old with a bad employment rep in an industry where people talk is toxic. – Garth

#13 JSS on 04.15.19 at 5:30 pm

There will be much celebrating among BC environmental activists should the UCP win tomorrow’s Alberta election.

#14 Brian Ripley on 04.15.19 at 5:32 pm

Hell, wags are now saying Cowtown is one of the most affordable markets in Canada when you compare incomes (at least for those still working) to house values. Garth

Yes,

Average employment earnings in Alberta are only 2% below their October 2014 $60,961 peak and are:
12% above Ontario
14% above the national Canadian average
18% above BC and
22% above Quebec (no typo)

IN THE LAST 10 YEARS AVERAGE SFD Prices are up:​
121% in Vancouver
26% in Calgary <<< !!!
125% in Toronto
WHILE
Employment Earnings are up:
22% in British Columbia
23% in Alberta
24% in Ontario

Charts: http://www.chpc.biz/earnings-employment.html

#15 Where's The Money Greedope? on 04.15.19 at 5:53 pm

Re: #63 Mike on 04.14.19 at 8:52 pm
God willing, we’ll end up with a minority gov’t, locking out the Dippers from power and Eastern born and raised, self important Kenny.

I’m disappointed by the rhetoric of BC vs AB. I have friends and family in BC as do many Albertan’s. I know of no Albertan who harbors hard feelings against BC residents, but rather their provincial government who has done a disservice to Canada as a whole, not just AB. Canadians are slowly waking up to the fact that as a people, we’ve been hoodwinked by career politicians and career bureaucrats. I’d like to see them all hang!

https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/gwyn-morgan-talk-about-collusion-how-foreign-backed-anti-oil-activists-infiltrated-canadas-government
++++++++++++++++++++++++
I believe you have been hoodwinked by the media; most Bcers want the pipeline but want to protect our environment and coast. You have to admit that Ab’s environmental dealings are far from superior. BC just wants some assurances that we won’t be holding the bag like you Ab’ers with the abondoned oil well clean-up costs, which are what, north of $50 billion. There goes the Heritage Fund and more!
We sure have been hoodwinked by the scum behind and in front of the scenes. My take is only when we make these peoples’ lives harder will anything change. So we have to organise and shut down their money pits where they spew their filth!
I suggest you do more reading about that so called “illustrious” Gwyn Morgan. This column is all well and good and I agree we have been invaded by moneyed US oligarchs…..and don’t think that his wiki profile tells the real story, his lawyer buddies at International law firm Bennett Jones LLP have seen to that.
That guy has his fingers in some very not so up and up deals, including was the Chairman of SNC-Lavalin while he knew nothing of the corruption in that company he was heading, same thing he claimed while being a backroom dealer in BC Lieberal party Christy Clark’s gang that raped BC. In fact that was one of the traits that Clark liked about him, the lawful ignorance ploy that Clark used ALL the time (the pretty buffoon played to a tee). The upcoming legal proceedings into both will decide how legal his dealings were in both places, et al.
Some reading for you:
http://rabble.ca/news/2013/04/fracking-to-snc-lavalin-truth-about-corporate-kingpin-gwyn-morgan
The long and storied relationship between the BC Liberals, SNC Lavalin that continued with Christy Clark bringing on Gwyn Morgan as her personal advisor during her transition: https://lailayuile.com/2013/02/11/friends-helping-friends-the-story-of-how-the-bc-liberal-snclavalin-connection-persists-with-christy-clark/
https://lailayuile.com/2012/10/23/a-superior-example-of-irony/
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2014/01/21/the-relentlessly-hypocritical-gwyn-morgan/

Just a few snippets in his pocket that is full of questionable behaviour and outrageous pomp.

#16 Penny Henny on 04.15.19 at 5:55 pm

#12 SmarterSquirrel on 04.15.19 at 4:52 pm
Garth one more bit of advice for the person who wrote. Get a lawyer to look at the severance offer. Make sure you maximize the payout from your employer when they let you go. If you live in Canada, common law entitles you to a lot more than what the statutes say you are owed. Make sure you know if you are entitled to more under common law. Get an employment lawyer ASAP.

Maybe. Within reason. A 43-year-old with a bad employment rep in an industry where people talk is toxic. – Garth
///////////////

Non disclosure works both ways.
AND he don’t need to work anymore.
43 and Free. Sweet.

#17 X on 04.15.19 at 5:57 pm

Under what circumstances would you recommend someone to use a HELOC to invest? (I mean of course not for a retired individual as in the example given above)

#18 yorkville renter on 04.15.19 at 5:58 pm

Dangerously stupid on the loose while Rome (Notre dame) is literally burning

______________

this tells me everything I need to know

#19 Shawn Allen on 04.15.19 at 5:59 pm

ETF Liquidity

#3 expat on 04.15.19 at 4:19 pm
I find it interesting when people refer to ETF’s as liquid..

ETF’s are only liquid when they have the cash to pay you back.

If they have to sell assets to pay unit holders who all exit at the same time they will not be liquid… And you certainly won’t get the unit value you think you will as, like in 2008, they sold at ANY PRICE!

Calling ETF’s liquid is incorrect. IMHO

Nope. No issue when you select those issued by reputable companies with high liquidity. – Garth

**************************************
I’m with Garth on this.

Retail holders of ETFs (almost?) never have to sell their units back to the issuer. They simply sell to another buyer with zero involvement of the fund management. Liquidity would vary but most big ETFs would have plenty of trading liquidity for your needs.

Well, there may be times when the fund itself is in there with a market bid to buy or sell units but that simply adds to liquidity. If buying interest drives the ETF price above its net asset value then I suppose the fund sells new units directly and can do the opposite if the fund is falling in price (below net asset value) and it has cash.

Big institutional investors can do arbitrage by trading a basket of the underlying stocks for ETF units or vice versa. In that case the fund itself is involved as buyer (trader) or seller of underlying stocks or units but this does not involve cash. This tends to keep the ETF trading at about the same value as the sum of the stocks its holds per unit.

I think I have this basically right though I won’t guarantee it.

None of it matters to a typical ETF investor. The liquidity is simply there. The technical details are not important to most.

#20 Shawn Allen on 04.15.19 at 6:06 pm

Brian Ripley said

IN THE LAST 10 YEARS AVERAGE SFD Prices are up:​
121% in Vancouver
26% in Calgary <<< !!!
125% in Toronto
WHILE
Employment Earnings are up:
22% in British Columbia
23% in Alberta
24% in Ontario

******************************
Shocking? You'd almost think interest rates and therefore payments per $100k of mortgage had come down a lot… and that the outlook for Calgary had softened…

I heard some long-term bond prices went up too even though the interest paid out per year was unchanged! Weird huh?

#21 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 6:24 pm

My take on The Sun article:

1. Dog does not look happy licking the lice off of his Masters mustache.
2. Dog does that because it enjoys:
-Jeep rides,
-Playing fetch with Hipsters,
-Walks and,
-3 square meals (and the occasional Vet sojourn to get the lice off its tongue).

Only a dog can love a Master like that.

#22 Reality is stark on 04.15.19 at 6:25 pm

Don’t forget about DIVORCE.
When housing prices fall the wealth effect disappears and there are no more extras.
You cut them off and they walk today, no questions asked.
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.
You will learn the hard way. Good luck.

#23 50 YEARS OF MAPLE LEAF INCOMPETENCE! on 04.15.19 at 6:46 pm

Yep, everything is slowly deflating in the GTA. And its pathetic sports teams are the perfect metaphor. Consider just the last 24 hours:

Rapt Whores – LOSERS!

Blow Jays – LOSERS!

TFC (like, really, who cares?) – LOSERS!

Make Believes – LOSERS, ON AND OFF THE ICE!

The Make Believes are now officially the team of Nylander and Kadri.

Nylander can’t get his act together and gives away a dumb goal to the Bruins through lack of effort, helping throw away Game 2.

Kadri behaves like a typical GTA thug, crosschecking a Bruin in the head. Now suspended FOR THE REST OF THE FIRST ROUND!

These guys remind me of how Toronto’s last two mayors have completely bungled, delayed and destroyed that city’s transit plans, now just a dream of deferred future possibility in that pothole-riddled asphalt wasteland.

Your real estate market will soon follow, GTAholes.

Your teams, your slanty semis, your McMansions, your quality of life are all circling the drain.

Enjoy “Blue and White Day”, LOSERS!!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/johntoryTO/photos/a.10150175732745495/10161934620895495/?type=3

Bwahaahaahaaahaaaahaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

#24 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 6:48 pm

A happy success story today Garth, nice.

———————————————–

Day after tomorrow, the OPEC Tidewater Dartmouth Oil Refinery will be seized by AB, same thing for La Belle Province’s OPEC Oil facilities (seizure).

As for “have your cake and eat it (too)” BC, my solution is:

1. Bring the DRAG LINES and BUCKET WHEEL EXCAVATORS down from Fort Mac, dig around the BC border and float it out to sea. Pretty sure no one will notice (or care).

2. Build a new oil and LNG port West of Banff (at the NEW West Coast) – it will look like a depopulated YVR but still with mountains, forests, valleys and no beach (YVR in practice didn’t have one either, no one swims in English Bay unless they have a death wish)…and NO TRAFFIC JAMS. Billions no longer needed to build a pipeline, or two, or three.

3. In fact, AB can have 2 YVR’s at the seaside in the making, just do the same West of Jasper.

4. Tell BC, they can keep Trudeau’s pipeline – nothing will be flowing thru it anyway, so, no worries. And other tubes, wiring, etc., protruding from AB will be capped off after BC floats away.

5. The Japanese Current will carry BC down to the US West Coast where it will MAGNETICALLY lodge itself next to SFO, kindred spirit anti-oil US buddies where they’ll feel right at home and pay less for gasoline and taxes (also, takes less time and costs less to fly to Mexico or Palm Springs in the Winter).

Everyone wins this way, including BC.

———————————————–

Buonanotte d’Italia.

#25 Yukon Elvis on 04.15.19 at 6:58 pm

I hope that the Hunchback got out ok.

#26 First time home buyer on 04.15.19 at 7:05 pm

Hey Garth, the entry level home market (talking properties 300-500k) around 905 still have a lot of demand, pretty well at peak pricing. Is that going to change anytime soon?

#27 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 7:18 pm

In all sincerity, my prior dark humor Comment aside and as a native born Albertan, I’d hate to have to pick who to vote for tomorrow.

Glad I’m in Il Paese for that tender mercy alone.

I love Rachel for just being her compassionate self (for me that admiration goes way back to when her Dad was in Politics).

I also like Kenney and his take no prisoners, tough medicine and swashbuckling style.

It will come down to how pissed off Albertan’s are about their financial situation and if they want to lash out politically about it.

It’s been a great economic engine for Canada, or was, hopefully 1 of the 2 will restore that prosperity not just for Albertan’s alone.

Still, cutting BC away and floating off to sea still appeals to me…JUST kidding.

#28 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 7:31 pm

Not to nag or 2nd guess you about shorting Canadian Banks with this singular example but it’s an OOPS for sure (workforce cut by 10% as earnings plummet in Q1):

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-laurentian-bank-announces-job-cuts-as-first-quarter-net-income-down-3/

…may be Steve Eisman has it right after all.

#29 Smartalox on 04.15.19 at 7:32 pm

So NO HELOC Leveraging in this case, but I have a question about leveraging:

You can deduct the cost of interest paid to earn income through investments, from your taxable income – but the assets that you buy have to be in a non-registered account, right?

How long do the assets have to be in the non-registered account, to keep writing off the interest? Could I borrow to buy $6000 in assets for my non-reg account, and then, after 1 year (or three), dump the proceeds into my TFSA or RRSP – and in the mean time write the interest costs off against my taxable income?

I’m looking for ways to reduce my taxable income. If I have an unsecured line of credit with a high interest rate, I may not make money on the gains (after interest) but it still might be a good deal if it can help me reduce the amounts I’d pay in taxes.

And I’d have the assets!

#30 Remembrancer on 04.15.19 at 7:42 pm

#28 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 7:31 pm
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-laurentian-bank-announces-job-cuts-as-first-quarter-net-income-down-3/

…may be Steve Eisman has it right after all.
———————————————————-
Really? What did he say about tarted up trust companies?

#31 akashic record on 04.15.19 at 7:44 pm

#17 X on 04.15.19 at 5:57 pm

Under what circumstances would you recommend someone to use a HELOC to invest? (I mean of course not for a retired individual as in the example given above)

Under dire circumstances.

Like the crash in 2008. CBs sink prime to near-zero and rebound is 101% certainty.

#32 Where's The Money Greedope? on 04.15.19 at 7:47 pm

Re: #19 Shawn Allen on 04.15.19 at 5:59 pm
ETF Liquidity

#3 expat on 04.15.19 at 4:19 pm
I find it interesting when people refer to ETF’s as liquid..

ETF’s are only liquid when they have the cash to pay you back.

Calling ETF’s liquid is incorrect. IMHO

Nope. No issue when you select those issued by reputable companies with high liquidity. – Garth
+++++++++++++++

I think I have this basically right though I won’t g.uarantee it.

None of it matters to a typical ETF investor. The liquidity is simply there. The technical details are not important to most
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Funny, Shawn and Garth’s advice was almost verbatim the spiel I got from Vancity when I bought their “Ethical Funds”, and guess what, it took almost 3 months before I gave the “sell” position to my Vancity’s dealer (Credential) that they sold, at the bottom of the market.
Lied through the whole deal and with backing from ALL regulators, OSFI, IIROC et al!
Vancity/Credential not liquid / big enough? I think not, since they were big enough to be backed by the devious regulators.
You should expect any money you give to someone else in Banana Republic Canadastan is not guaranteed to be covered by anyone in a similar crash like 2008-09.
The foxes will not give up the hen once they get their teeth embedded.
I can guarantee that!

So don’t buy mutual funds from a CU. – Garth

#33 Frank Bloos on 04.15.19 at 8:19 pm

Re:#25 Yukon Elvis…..hilarious. That is gold!

#34 IHCTD9 on 04.15.19 at 8:28 pm

There was an old man with a beard, who said it is just as I feared! A C. Diff, and E. Coli, and an Acinetobacter baumannii – have all made their homes in my beard!

#35 HoweStreet.com on 04.15.19 at 8:28 pm

Ross Kay on HoweStreet.com Radio:
Who is to Blame for Canada’s Housing Collapse?
Are Montreal Home Buyers the Latest Greatest Fools?

https://www.howestreet.com/2019/04/15/who-is-to-blame-for-canadas-housing-collapse/

#36 Ustabe on 04.15.19 at 8:29 pm

You know a lot of what ails us would be dealt with if we went back to stubby beer bottles.

Everything was great when beer came in stubbies.

#37 DON on 04.15.19 at 8:46 pm

So Kenny will shut off the pipeline to BC

Is he aware that most of that (70%) bitumen goes to 4 refineries in Washington State. Wonder what the Oil companies will say.

The remainder of bitu goes to off shore sales comprising of 30%.

Is he also aware that China picked up a lot of discount oil in last year when the price tanked and with the sanctions on Venezuela oil. China’s orders went down again in 2019.

Makes you wonder…

As for Vivian K’s article – followed her on Twitter for a bit – she’s basically a pro UCP. As for her Rockerfeller etc….DUH!

Yikes for Alberta. Oil tanked prior to Notely taking over, but Kenny will magically fix things…what happened to peak oil? Once Venezuela and Iran shake the US sanctions…oil will flood the market. Hey…just for kicks who is the number 1 Oil producing country in the world at the moment?

If Kenny shuts off the taps how many more jobs will be lost in the Oil Patch?

Kenny allegedly involved in a leadership vote scandal…YIKES!

What happens if BC separates and is no longer bound by confederation? Do I want that to happen…no. But two can play this immature game.

As BC coaster all I want is some assurances in place to immediately attend to any potential oil spill in rough seas (which is the case most of the year).

We have lots of jobs that depend on a clean thriving ocean. At this point in time _ BC should separate and join the Western US. Tell me again how many orphaned wells are there in BC and ALBERTA affecting our ground water? Yes we should re-evaluate the merit of transfer payments but that is another story.

Oil used to be the only game in town.

Now we have electric motors…as technology evolves (at a quicker pace than ever before) we just may have other options in the future. Things are usually slow until critical mass accelerates the momentum.

I betcha a cowboy riding a house dissed the first car. But then technology took hold. Too bad common sense didn’t.

Let’s revisit Kenny at the end of the summer.

#38 Smoking Man on 04.15.19 at 8:47 pm

Too funny

https://twitter.com/i/status/1117942059753771008

#39 DON on 04.15.19 at 8:55 pm

#30 Remembrancer on 04.15.19 at 7:42 pm

#28 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 7:31 pm
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-laurentian-bank-announces-job-cuts-as-first-quarter-net-income-down-3/

…may be Steve Eisman has it right after all.
———————————————————-
Really? What did he say about tarted up trust companies?

***********************
What about Laurentian laying of BANK workers? That is a fact. Deal with that first.

Then:

What did he say about tart up trust companies. The guy may be wrong but I trust he did his research on the ground. Not saying he is right or wrong – but he believes he is right to a certain degree or maybe he is looking for big capital loss to offset all the money he made shorting some of the American banks.

#40 Shawn Allen on 04.15.19 at 9:29 pm

Steve Eisman anbd Laurentian Bank

#30 Remembrancer on 04.15.19 at 7:42 pm
#28 Dolce Vita on 04.15.19 at 7:31 pm
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-laurentian-bank-announces-job-cuts-as-first-quarter-net-income-down-3/

…may be Steve Eisman has it right after all.
———————————————————-
Really? What did he say about tarted up trust companies?

************************************
Not sure about tarted up trust companies, but as for Laurentian Bank he said in the BNN interview that he was short it. He identified RBC and one other big bank and Laurentian.

#41 Jon B on 04.15.19 at 9:41 pm

Here’s something interesting for the blog dogs to chew on. I’ve been watching the West Vancouver market very closely for the past few months. Not many sales but lots of prices coming down to meet buyer expectations. This one has been sitting around at $5M for a while now.
https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/20428523/5-bedroom-single-family-house-3373-radcliffe-avenue-west-vancouver
Then suddenly the asking price went up to $7M overnight. I called the realtor® who sounded almost embarrassed to admit his client thought they could get an extra $2M for the place. At the time of leaving this comment you can still see the original asking price of $5M on the realtor’s website:
http://www.hamzehali.com/3373-radcliffe-avenue-west-bay-west-vancouver-home-real-estate/3150

#42 Tony on 04.15.19 at 9:56 pm

Re: #30 Remembrancer on 04.15.19 at 7:42 pm

The banks have raised loan provisions from last year that’s the reason.

#43 cramar on 04.15.19 at 10:36 pm

Since Loonie Coder is thinking of retiring, I don’t know why he doesn’t consider selling the GTA digs, move to a small town, rent, and he and squeeze can live on half the expenses as current. All with a $3 million portfolio financing retirement! Opportunity of a lifetime that most Canadians will never see. Nice.

P.S. Got a beard and a hound. Both are good!

#44 Oh man on 04.15.19 at 10:59 pm

@23 50 YEARS OF MAPLE LEAF INCOMPETENCE! on 04.15.19 at 6:46 pm
Yep, everything is slowly deflating in the GTA. And its pathetic sports teams are the perfect metaphor. Consider just the last 24 hours:

Rapt Whores – LOSERS!

Blow Jays – LOSERS!

TFC (like, really, who cares?) – LOSERS!

Make Believes – LOSERS, ON AND OFF THE ICE!

The Make Believes are now officially the team of Nylander and Kadri.

Nylander can’t get his act together and gives away a dumb goal to the Bruins through lack of effort, helping throw away Game 2.

Kadri behaves like a typical GTA thug, crosschecking a Bruin in the head. Now suspended FOR THE REST OF THE FIRST ROUND!

These guys remind me of how Toronto’s last two mayors have completely bungled, delayed and destroyed that city’s transit plans, now just a dream of deferred future possibility in that pothole-riddled asphalt wasteland.

Your real estate market will soon follow, GTAholes.

Your teams, your slanty semis, your McMansions, your quality of life are all circling the drain.

Enjoy “Blue and White Day”, LOSERS!!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/johntoryTO/photos/a.10150175732745495/10161934620895495/?type=3

Bwahaahaahaaahaaaahaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!
_——————————————————————

Good lord, get some help sonny.
Ranting about a sports team everyday in the comments section of a financial blog?

Honestly, you get mugged at maple leaf gardens or something? I’m guessing you’re an adult so maybe it’s time to you know, act like one.

#45 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.15.19 at 11:12 pm

#6 Drill Baby Drill on 04.15.19 at 4:33 pm
New king Jason to be coronated Tuesday PM. And as for the commie pinkos in Edmonton good riddance. Bring on the Carbon Tax battles.
————-
So you’re judging a government solely on one issue:
Carbon Tax.
What about health care, transportation, native issues, housing affortabillity, etc.
One trick pony, you are for sure.
And, commies are red not pink.

#46 Smoking Man on 04.16.19 at 12:47 am

So Freeland an T2n is doing a deal with Macron, Markel a threeway anti trump alliance.

Liberals have no clue that the tide is out, their ship ain’t sailing anytime soon.

One huge risk with our biggest trading partner. For my kids sake I hope trump will just fluff it off and wait till the October massacre.

#47 Deplorable 996ers on 04.16.19 at 12:56 am

Back to work wage slaves…

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/technology/article-in-chinas-tech-industry-the-72-hour-work-week-dubbed-the-996-has/

#48 Richard Gibbons on 04.16.19 at 1:29 am

Hey Loonie Coder,

A few years ago, I was in almost the same age and situation as you. For me, the magic number wasn’t 4%, but rather 2.5%–assets of 40 times expenses.

My reasoning is that in tech, ageism is rampant and your skills atrophy quickly. So, once you leave for a few years, the odds of you getting an equivalently well-paying job is low. Consequently, you want to be very confident that you can leave permanently.

Also, I believe the 4% rule was based on a 65-year-old retiring, and even then it had a failure rate of something like 13%. To me, this failure rate is too high. I want to be extremely conservative because being forced to work as a Walmart greeter after 25 years of early retirement would be pretty horrid.

If I’m going to err, I want to err on the “too much money when I’m old” side of things. That side doesn’t sound terrible to me.

Also, you probably know this, but arguments like “this portfolio averages 7% a year, so you’ll be perfectly fine even if your living expenses are 5% per year” are wrong. You need to be in equities for your portfolio to last 50 years and the order of returns matters. A 7% average return over 25 years could mean you’re broke at the age of 65 if years 1-3 involve a 50% market crash and you’re withdrawing 5% of the original portfolio amount each year. That’s why the 4% (or my 2.5%) rule exists.

Good luck!

#49 DON on 04.16.19 at 1:33 am

Australia – Yikes.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/property-armageddon-house-prices-could-fall-by-50-per-cent/news-story/153fd33bb438f903c70918f518a53455

#50 PeterfromCalgary on 04.16.19 at 1:54 am

Just so everyone knows Anne McGrath the NDP candidate for Calgary Varisity ran as a Communist in Edmonton Strathcona. That is right the same people who brought you Gulags, bread lines and mass starvation in the Ukraine and China are now running for the NDP!

April 16 can’t come soon enough. Go Jason!

#51 Smoking Man on 04.16.19 at 2:46 am

DELETED

#52 BillyBob on 04.16.19 at 4:25 am

#37 DON on 04.15.19 at 8:46 pm

As BC coaster all I want is some assurances in place to immediately attend to any potential oil spill in rough seas (which is the case most of the year).

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

Do you even realize that the vast majority of oil used in Washington state comes from Alaska by ship, traversing the entire BC coast? No wonder the Americans think Canadians are such rubes.

When you look at the amount of VLCC and ULCC traffic that safely passes through places like the Straits of Dover or the Straits of Hormuz it only illustrates how completed blinded by ideology BC opponents to the movement of oil truly are.

It’s almost like they don’t want to know the facts and would rather cling to the emotional arguments than the rational.

Well, that suits the Americans and the Russians I guess.

#53 Dolce Vita on 04.16.19 at 4:57 am

#30 Remembrancer

I don’t know, ask him yourself if it’s that important to you. #42 Tony has a theory.

#54 Trumpocalypse2019 on 04.16.19 at 7:43 am

Notre Dame is the future for all of us.

PREPARE

#55 IHCTD9 on 04.16.19 at 8:29 am

#45 Ponzius Pilatus on 04.15.19 at 11:12 pm

So you’re judging a government solely on one issue:
Carbon Tax.
What about health care, transportation, native issues, housing affortabillity, etc.
One trick pony, you are for sure.
___________

Don’t forget auto insurance Ponzie. My renewal for 19/20 just came in. Truck is down to 625.00/yr.

My private sector supplied auto insurance is so cheap – you couldn’t even believe it, and then you had the gall to accuse me of lying down.

One thing you can take to the bank is – if you want your costs to go blasting through the stratosphere, just ask the government to manage it.

Just ask drivers in BC, alcohol drinkers in Ontario and pot smokers everywhere. They all know it.

#56 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.16.19 at 8:37 am

@#23 50 years of Make Belief

It must have killed you when they beat Boston last night…

#57 dharma bum on 04.16.19 at 8:45 am

#16 Penny Henny

AND he don’t need to work anymore.
43 and Free. Sweet.
——————————————————————–

The ranks are growing.
Way to go Loonie Coder!

The Dharma Bum life awaits you.

Still, make sure you continue to stay on top of things. Keep reading Garth daily, and check out http://www.mrmoneymustache.com to help you with great advice on how to save cash, use your free time efficiently and productively, and be awesomely badass in retirement.

#58 Tater on 04.16.19 at 8:49 am

The Venn diagram of people with dirty beards and people who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom is a circle.

#59 Tater on 04.16.19 at 8:54 am

#12 SmarterSquirrel on 04.15.19 at 4:52 pm
Garth one more bit of advice for the person who wrote. Get a lawyer to look at the severance offer. Make sure you maximize the payout from your employer when they let you go. If you live in Canada, common law entitles you to a lot more than what the statutes say you are owed. Make sure you know if you are entitled to more under common law. Get an employment lawyer ASAP.

Maybe. Within reason. A 43-year-old with a bad employment rep in an industry where people talk is toxic. – Garth
—————————————————————
Anyone who would hold exercising your legal rights against you is not someone you want to work for. With a couple mil in the bank you can be very choosy.

And if you have real tech skills, this might be the perfect time to launch your own co. Start up costs are generally low and the potential returns are massive.

You never get a good reputation back. – Garth

#60 IHCTD9 on 04.16.19 at 9:05 am

#43 cramar on 04.15.19 at 10:36 pm
Since Loonie Coder is thinking of retiring, I don’t know why he doesn’t consider selling the GTA digs, move to a small town, rent, and he and squeeze can live on half the expenses as current. All with a $3 million portfolio financing retirement! Opportunity of a lifetime that most Canadians will never see. Nice.

P.S. Got a beard and a hound. Both are good!
____

That would be my plan too – head out to where you can hear something other than noise at night.

Where I live right now is perfect for retirement. We’re allowed to drive atv’s and sxs’s along public roads. I could pack up ice fishing gear into a sxs, and leave from my driveway and not stop till I was way out on the bay 30 km away. I could leave my driveway and take trails uninterrupted to north of Bancroft and Sudbury right through P.E.C., and Eastwards North of Kingston. I know a retired couple who put 20,000 km on their atv’s in one year (don’t try this if you own Polaris).

I guess it’s down to what Coder and wife likes best. They have allowed themselves a lot of latitude to chose!

#61 The Great Gordonski on 04.16.19 at 9:27 am

Foreign interferance with Canadian elections, politics and politicians.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JustinTrudeauisanidiot/permalink/2283612415187056/

Happening in plain sight. The culprits even wrote the skullduggary off on their taxes to get a write off in the United States.

Why is there do many Canadians expressing shock, surprise and indignation? Even if you can’t admit your ignorance. How can you dispute the facts? Aren’t tax files enough proof?

Freeland is running around saying she’s afraid that the interferance might be coming from Russia. This just proves how forcibly Americans are influencing Cabinet Members, because that’s the same smear they tried and failed to make stick against ‘Trump.

It’s proven that the foreign influence in Canada is coming from America and China.

#62 Lee on 04.16.19 at 9:30 am

Re #12, Garth,

Are you saying better for your career to not sue for a better severance? In fact, sometimes true.

Always true. – Garth

#63 Y. Knott on 04.16.19 at 9:36 am

Still catching up…

#72 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.12.19 at 8:14 am
@#69 IHCTD9


Dont get me started on my govt car insurance.
I renew next week. $1950/year with my 42% safe driving “discount”.
The ICBC fiscal “dumpster fire” that just keeps on sucking money into the vortex of over staffed, over paid slothful, lazy govt employees.

I relate a war story from “a friend” who moved from NS to Vancouver Island in 1992. “He” was perturbed that one car (under gov’t insurance) cost him nearly twice what two cars had cost in NS under not-gov’t ($720 vice $460 if memory serves). And he set-out to figger-out why:

1) “Oh we don’t age-discriminate” – great, so I’m financing accidents in the under-25 set? Not enough reason for that big a difference;

2) “Oh we don’t discriminate by location” – great, so I (out in the sticks) am financing accidents in Vancouver? Not enough;

3) “Hmmm, they’re all lazy, dull-witted gov’t employees with specified office spaces, HVAC and gov’t wages?” Not enough;

4) When ICBC came-in, it was criminally-poorly initiated; the gov’t said “Oh we’ll keep all the existing brokers, none of you will lose your jobs” and then they made it straight-gov’t. And all the independent brokers packed-up their files and left, so ICBC had no history background and had to start from a clean sheet. Not enough;

5) And then finally, “I wonder if ICBC is no-fault?” The philosophy of no-fault insurance is simple; just pay the [email protected] bill, cut the lawyers out-of-the-loop, and save 50% off the top. So our intrepid “friend” looked in the Yellow Pages under ‘lawyers’. It was scary – VERY scary. For his little city halfway up Van Isle, there were four pages of just the half-page lawyer ads, and more pages with lots of smaller lawyer ads, all of them stamped “ICBC CLAIMS OUR SPECIALTY!”.

The lawyers are into ICBC like Dracula into a throat. And Moe Sihota was strutting and declaiming “We put ‘er up this much LAST year, and we’re puttin’ er up this much THIS year, and if you keep having accidents we’ll put ‘er up EVEN MORE!”

And our young man had his answer. And “he” even got a raw chuckle out of it all; a friend was going-through a messy divorce, with a relative who was a Vancouver lawyer feeding him a few horror stories of the trade. The fashion at the time in B.C. was that as soon as your lawsuit settles, win-or-lose, you immediately turn-around and sue your lawyer for malpractice. If you lost, well open-and-shut; and if you won, well he didn’t get you a big-enough settlement.

And the really funny bit was that there were always other lawyers who’d take-on your malpractice suit.

#64 Loonie Coder on 04.16.19 at 9:37 am

Garth, I am humbled by your generosity to random strangers on the internet. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!

Same goes to my fellow blog readers, your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Lots to consider in the next little while!

#65 Smoking Man on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am

51 Smoking Man on 04.16.19 at 2:46 am
DELETED

Let’s try it this way.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/5172141/canada-joins-alliance-for-multiculturalism/amp/

#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am

Hey Loonie Coder,

You’ve got more than enough saved (way to go!) to permit yourself the indulgence of maximizing your severance. The tech industry rides employees hard, then puts them away wet. Walking backwards out of the HR office, bowing and tugging my forelock, would leave a bad taste in my mouth that no amount of Listerine could diminish. I’d go for the coin.

#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am

You never get a good reputation back. – Garth

—————————————————————–
You also never lose your reputation for standing up for what you’re owed. I work in a niche industry, everyone knows everyone, and there is never any blow back for fighting for proper severance. In fact it’s pretty much common for senior leaders, top biz dev people in my space to lawyer up.

There is so much at stake you’d be crazy to not pay the 3K for an opinion, and a lot of the time your former employer will pay the legal fees.

The advice to get a lawyer is good.

Live and learn. – Garth

#68 LP on 04.16.19 at 10:27 am

#63 Y. Knott on 04.16.19 at 9:36 am

…And the really funny bit was that there were always other lawyers who’d take-on your malpractice suit.

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

There’s an old saying: One lawyer in a small town will starve. Two lawyers in the same small town can’t keep up with the business.

#69 Ferdinand Magellan on 04.16.19 at 10:30 am

DELETED

#70 Shawn Allen on 04.16.19 at 10:38 am

Credit Card Monopolies and Sleeping Regulators

Marcb at 5 kindly reponded to me:

“The card networks [primarily Visa and MasterCard] set the rates but are heavily influenced by the large issuing banks. Most of Interchange is collected by the acquiring bank and passed through to the card issuer. It’s a but of a balancing act.

On the merchant processing side, the large bulk of V and MC’s revenue comes from a roughly 10bps assessment on every transaction. These are known are card brand fee’s or base assessments. The networks publish all this stuff, but it can be a bit complex to follow.

********************************
This is informative. Thank you. It supports my point that Visa and MasterCard together with the card issuers take highly lucrative fees from retailers and merchants and in Canada as well as most of the world the fees are largely unregulated. (There are some guidelines but little to no actual regulation)

So, the card issuers (largely the banks) who are supposed to be competing against each other “heavily influence” the fees set by Visa and MasterCard. Nothing to see here?

The merchant acquirers sign up the retailers and merchants. But I believe in Canada there are just a few dominant players. And they are largely owned by the issuing banks I believe. Just not a lot of competition.

Visa Wins, the banks win, anyone who can pay their credit card off monthly wins by collecting reward points and getting payment convenience at no cost to them.

Retailers and merchants both win and lose since they totally rely on credit card sales but face the high fees.

There is a however big group of losers paying for this. Financially strapped people who run credit card balances pay hugely through interest charges. Anyone who pays cash or does not have a rewards card is paying the higher retail prices that support those card rewards and bank plus acquire plus Visa MasterCard profits.

Yeah, it’s complex and mostly the people hurt by the system are the least powerful citizens. Regulators like the competition bureau are totally asleep on this issue. Politicians too.

I mean I benefit from it but once in a while a person has to look at what is fair and not just at their own self interests.

Thank goodness for the Interac system which is far cheaper and not a tape worm like Visa MasterCard.

#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am

#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
You never get a good reputation back. – Garth

—————————————————————–
You also never lose your reputation for standing up for what you’re owed. I work in a niche industry, everyone knows everyone, and there is never any blow back for fighting for proper severance. In fact it’s pretty much common for senior leaders, top biz dev people in my space to lawyer up.

There is so much at stake you’d be crazy to not pay the 3K for an opinion, and a lot of the time your former employer will pay the legal fees.

The advice to get a lawyer is good.

Live and learn. – Garth
—————————————————————-
I’ve personally been through this. Don’t think it hurt my reputation at all. Was never even asked about it by prospective employers.

#72 Steven Rowlandson on 04.16.19 at 10:56 am

“There could be some fine vultching come August.”

Fine vultching starts when minimum wage earners can buy a home for equal to or less than 3 years pay.

When was the last time that happened? Oh, never. – Garth

#73 Vancouver Real Estate Flip Flops on 04.16.19 at 11:00 am

Flop stopped blogging but this is another good source

Vancouver Real Estate Flip Flops
@VanREflipflops
https://twitter.com/VanREflipflops

#74 The Great Gordonski on 04.16.19 at 11:08 am

http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/college-kids-are-living-like-kings-in-vancouver-s-empty-mansions-1.1244950

Bwahahaha.

#75 Lorne on 04.16.19 at 11:52 am

#52 BillyBob on 04.16.19 at 4:25 am
#37 DON on 04.15.19 at 8:46 pm

As BC coaster all I want is some assurances in place to immediately attend to any potential oil spill in rough seas (which is the case most of the year).

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

Do you even realize that the vast majority of oil used in Washington state comes from Alaska by ship, traversing the entire BC coast? No wonder the Americans think Canadians are such rubes.

When you look at the amount of VLCC and ULCC traffic that safely passes through places like the Straits of Dover or the Straits of Hormuz it only illustrates how completed blinded by ideology BC opponents to the movement of oil truly are.

It’s almost like they don’t want to know the facts and would rather cling to the emotional arguments than the rational.

Well, that suits the Americans and the Russians I guess.
……..
We will go through this again…please follow along:
The Alaska tankers travel down the outside of Vancouver Island 50 or so miles off the coast till they get to Juan de Fuca Strait, a nice wide passageway. Not many rocks or reefs to run into out there. They then travel a well used course into Cherry Point , Washingtonto the refinery…again, a pretty straightforward trip.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline ends in Burnaby, BC in the eastern section of the Vancouver harbour. To get into and out of Vancouver harbour a vessel needs to travel through 2 “narrows” – Second Narrows under the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge and then First Narrows under the Lions Gate bridge. As the name implies, these are narrow passages of water where the tides and narrowness create whirlpools which can create problems for boats. The safest time to traverse these locations is at “slack water” when the tide is changing direction….1 hour on either side of this is generally considered safe. However, there can still be unexpected problems that arise, as they do in every form of transportation…..airplanes really should not crash, trains should not come off the tracks, there should not be any motor-vehicle accidents…but there are. There are currently 1 or 2 tankers a week leaving from Burnaby…..should the new pipeline be built there will be at least 1 a day. This creates an even bigger chance of something going wrong. Should there be an accident in Vancouver harbour with an oil tanker this would be a major catastrophe. I know you do not feel the concern in Alberta…but we in BC enjoy our marine environment and do not wish to see it potentially harmed so you can live in a province where many people feel they deserve to have no sales tax and utilize a dirty resource whose usefulness is slowly dwindling, to cover the costs of the province.

#76 Remembrancer on 04.16.19 at 12:03 pm

#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am
#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am
#64 Loonie Coder on 04.16.19 at 9:37 am
————————————————
Not looking for suck up points, and this is definitely not legal advice, qualified or otherwise, but gotta go with Garth on this one having sat on both sides of the table: multiple times with the axe, a couple with the basket…

Any company big enough to have a legal and HR dept and dealing with a relatively senior or senior employee in a calculated firing (as opposed to some spur of the moment “you’re fired” event) has already gamed out 1) what is the minimum they can get away with based on common law, employment contract / responsibilities, time there, circumstances of dismissal etc etc, 2) what wiggle room they may decide to have if you resist / start negotiating and 3) the probable legal expenses to be incurred by you if you litigate. (if they are already paying for a legal dept. its less of a cost factor to them, compared to you).
On your side, you need to look at the maximum you’re getting + the industry reputation re-employability factor along with legal costs, especially if this is a simple “they don’t want you working there anymore, probably b/c you’re older and too expensive” (though no one ever says that, its a restructuring, change in direction or skills realignment you know…).

“Sue the bastards” sounds satisfying but again, unless its a completely poisoned or illegal situation where there’s millions in damages up for grabs, the final payment is going to likely look close to what was offered less legal costs and personal impacts unless their Legal/HR is totally incompetent…

Or maybe you win the lottery in court – again, not meant as legal advice, and every circumstance is different, but remember, the lawyers (like realtors) are offering fee-based expertise & services, they get to bill and go home regardless, you reap any benefits or pay the costs, opportunity or real…

#77 Sail away on 04.16.19 at 12:31 pm

#12 SmarterSquirrel on 04.15.19 at 4:52 pm
#16 Penny Henny on 04.15.19 at 5:55 pm
#59 Tater on 04.16.19 at 8:54 am
#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am
#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am
—————————————————–

And people complain about millenials’ sense of entitlement?

Take a look at the above posters- each of them encourage blogdog Loonie Coder to legally pursue a higher settlement even though he never raised this point.

Maybe Coder has done well with the company, has been treated well, and understands that sometimes cuts are needed? Maybe he accepts that fair severance is actually fair?

I own a company and do my best to avoid people like the above posters who somehow think biting the hand that fed them is appropriate. Respect goes both ways.

#78 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 12:45 pm

There is so much at stake you’d be crazy to not pay the 3K for an opinion, and a lot of the time your former employer will pay the legal fees.

The advice to get a lawyer is good.

Live and learn. – Garth

———————————————————

I am living it. I have fought a poor severance before, settled on a fair number and walked into a better job 6 weeks later.

As a company we also are fair in how we handle layoffs – we pay 1.5-3x what is required by law, depending on the employees age, length of service, etc.

And I would love to have guys on my team that will fight for what is fair. I’m not threatened by these types, why would I want someone on my team that will take any deal?

For the record I’m not suggesting that severed employee’s get into long legal battles with their employer. You have to be an idiot to spend 50K to possibly win 75K and I’d agree that a court case can hurt future prospects.

But for most high earners getting a legal opinion and negotiation your settlement is the absolute right way to go.

#79 Y. Knott on 04.16.19 at 12:47 pm

#7 Stan Brooks on 04.15.19 at 4:36 pm

Dangerously stupid on the loose while Rome (Notre dame) is literally burning.

Ummm… you DO know that Notre Dame is in Paris… ?

#68 LP on 04.16.19 at 10:27 am
#63 Y. Knott on 04.16.19 at 9:36 am

There’s an old saying: One lawyer in a small town will starve. Two lawyers in the same small town can’t keep up with the business.

“A town too small for one lawyer, is big enough for two of them.”

And,

“After a plane crash or ship sinking in tropical waters, why do sharks never eat the lawyers?
– Professional courtesy.”

#80 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 12:49 pm

#75 Remembrancer on 04.16.19 at 12:03 pm
#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am
#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am
#64 Loonie Coder on 04.16.19 at 9:37 am
——————–
All this talk about suing for full comp when people should realize that the HR/Legal department has already checked what the legal minimum they are obligated to hand out. Some companies will tack on some extras for your service or in hopes to not piss you off to pursue legal action (whether your claim is valid or not).

By signing whatever they pass in front of you when your job is being “restructured” because it is rare for employees to get “fired” in the true sense of the word, you forgo any legal action you could have against the company.

Most people would take the severance and run as they should because in a close knit industry, you never know the paths that are crossed if you continue to work for a bit longer.

#81 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 1:04 pm

#76 Sail Away
#79 N1tro

Corporate entities spend billions to have laws reflect their interests. Would you deny workers the right to use those same laws to their own, best advantage?

#82 Tater on 04.16.19 at 1:09 pm

#79 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 12:49 pm
#75 Remembrancer on 04.16.19 at 12:03 pm
#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am
#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am
#64 Loonie Coder on 04.16.19 at 9:37 am
——————–
All this talk about suing for full comp when people should realize that the HR/Legal department has already checked what the legal minimum they are obligated to hand out. Some companies will tack on some extras for your service or in hopes to not piss you off to pursue legal action (whether your claim is valid or not).

By signing whatever they pass in front of you when your job is being “restructured” because it is rare for employees to get “fired” in the true sense of the word, you forgo any legal action you could have against the company.

Most people would take the severance and run as they should because in a close knit industry, you never know the paths that are crossed if you continue to work for a bit longer.
—————————————————————–
I never said sue. I said speak to a lawyer. The company you work for may be making you a fair offer, but you have no way of knowing that. A lawyer can tell you. What is wrong with you people that you wouldn’t seek to reverse a large asymmetry in information before you sign a contract? Or do you all read dismissal lawsuit results for fun in your spare time?

And I’m pretty sure there isn’t a tighter knit business than the one I’m in.

#83 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 1:15 pm

#75 – just so we are all on the same page the original post on this said:

“Get a lawyer to look at the severance offer. Make sure you maximize the payout from your employer when they let you go.”

I’ve also been on both sides and this is good advice. As you mention, the terminating org has an understanding on the min/max payout. They also don’t want to get drawn into a court case that poses financial and reputational risk.

No one is suggesting that you ‘sue the bastards’, just that you understand what you are owed and you negotiate your settlement.

There may be industries where people break confidentiality agreements and share details on negotiated settlements with other employers. That’s completely unethical and says more about the industry and the employers then the employee.

#84 SunnyDays on 04.16.19 at 1:27 pm

Hence the question for increasing cash flow via the HELOC (at least until 55).

No need to borrow to increase cash flow.

Here are some ideas:
1. Consider replacing some of your Canadian equity ETFs with a basket of hand-picked blue chip stocks from dividend growth companies. For example, VCN’s top 10 holdings yield about 4%, while VCN’s yield is 2.63%.

2. Increase the proportion of equities in your portfolio. Perhaps even dump your bond holdings. At age 43 your biggest risk is retaining purchasing power of your portfolio over multiple decades. Bonds will not help with this, while dividend growth equities give you a chance for capital appreciation in the long-run.

#85 Giver - AB on 04.16.19 at 1:43 pm

#139 IHCTD9 on 04.15.19 at 2:50 pm

Correct, actually 32K gov, 18K ex-hubby. Ms. IH does indeed work on our collective tax dime – but the point is she WORKS for it – she does not get to sit at home and still get paid more than the individual median income in Canada for doing nothing. I don’t owe this Woman a damn nickel to raise her kids – I’ve got my own to worry about.

I got zero problems helping out folks in need – I do quite a bit on that front on a direct basis – but paying out 32K in tax free benefits to a perfectly able to work individual is just plain stupid IMHO – she can get a damn job. What’s she going to do when her kids start crossing 18 and the gravy train ends? She’ll have a 20+ year old resume with nothing on it.
—————————————————————
Sorry, don’t comment much but couldn’t let this one slide…

I think you’re on the wrong side of this IHCTD9.

First of all, if you think being a single parent raising 4 kids isn’t “work” then I think you gotta update your definition. I was a single parent to my 10yr old for 2 weeks while my wife traveled for business and it almost killed me ;-) That was only 1 kid and she is pretty self sufficient. Additional kids adds exponential complexity in my experience.

Second, if one or more of these kids is daycare-age and depending on her education/earning potential, sending her back to work may just end up penalizing those kids.

Third of all, the idea that raising 4 kids on 50k per year so that she ‘can stay at home all day’ somehow equates to living the dream is sheer lunacy. 4 kids on 50k is gonna be a struggle no matter who you are. And, just because she isn’t working now, doesn’t mean she won’t return to work when the kids are in school to try and better life for her family.

Forth, with 37 million Canadians pitching in (lets even assume that 40% don’t contribute to taxes) the per capita cost of the 32k supporting these 4 kids is $0.002 per year. That’s right, 1/5 of a penny per year.

For a guy who has been shouting from the rooftops about his $15k tax refund and who claims to “like to help out folks in need”, I think your outrage is misplaced here. If a single mom raising 4 kids on 50k per year isn’t “in need”, I don’t know who is. Surely your household can find 3/4 of a penny per year to make life a little better for these 4 kids?

Frankly, as policy goes, I think this may top the list of the best ways my tax dollars can be spent. Better than a Bombardier bailout.

Peace.

#86 Loonie Coder on 04.16.19 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for the different perspectives on severance. The separation was amicable – no bad taste or resentment. Perhaps following this blog’s advice and being prepared helped.

Yes, tech work can be gruelling at times. Unrealistic deadlines and long hours, but the pay was good while it lasted. I believe it was a fair trade. Fortunate to have been able to bank and invest when the going was good so really just looking forward to the next chapter in life.

As our host stated, “there’s more to life than work!”

#87 Penny Henny on 04.16.19 at 2:01 pm

#76 Sail away on 04.16.19 at 12:31 pm
#12 SmarterSquirrel on 04.15.19 at 4:52 pm
#16 Penny Henny on 04.15.19 at 5:55 pm
#59 Tater on 04.16.19 at 8:54 am
#66 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 10:12 am
#67 Mattl on 04.16.19 at 10:19 am
#71 Tater on 04.16.19 at 10:42 am
—————————————————–

And people complain about millenials’ sense of entitlement?

Take a look at the above posters- each of them encourage blogdog Loonie Coder to legally pursue a higher settlement even though he never raised this point.

Maybe Coder has done well with the company, has been treated well, and understands that sometimes cuts are needed? Maybe he accepts that fair severance is actually fair?
/////////////////

Fair severance is fair enough by me.
I never suggested going for more than fair, it’s too much stress.
Keep in mind not every employer is fair.
Mine offered me 5 weeks pay for 13 years of service.
Now that was worth fighting for.

#88 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 2:19 pm

#84 Giver-AB

Well put.

Despite the fact that I’m as west coast as they come, I like the cut of your jib:>) What’s the Alberta version of that saying? Weld of your pipeline?

#89 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:24 pm

#80 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 1:04 pm
#76 Sail Away
#79 N1tro

Corporate entities spend billions to have laws reflect their interests. Would you deny workers the right to use those same laws to their own, best advantage?
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I wouldn’t deny workers the right to sue. Far from it. I’m just saying it is an uphill battle which needs to be considered if it is worthwhile. For the most part, the employer pads the payout just enough to make it worth your while to not sue. They usually have a nice HR person to comfort you saying you’ll be fine as you stare the page in front of you stating what the payout is and that it will not be honored if you don’t sign.

#90 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:35 pm

#81 Tater

I never said sue. I said speak to a lawyer. The company you work for may be making you a fair offer, but you have no way of knowing that. A lawyer can tell you. What is wrong with you people that you wouldn’t seek to reverse a large asymmetry in information before you sign a contract? Or do you all read dismissal lawsuit results for fun in your spare time?
—————————–
If the consult is free, sure. Lawyers for the most part aren’t needed as they or their profession would have you believe. All you need to know about the severance contract in front of you is that there is an offer presented, an acceptance pending, and consideration.

If that consideration isn’t to your liking or what you expect, tell the HR/legal person you will take it home to read it over as they walk you out the door.

As an at will employee, the company and their lawyers would have every right to let you go and would have drafted the reasoning for your dismissal very carefully. They will go to the extent of posting your job with all the extra criterion that they deemed you don’t have thus justifying your dismissal in case it goes to court.

As a side note, I do read a lot of contract law outcomes for fun.

#91 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:39 pm

#84 Giver – AB on 04.16.19 at 1:43 pm
#139 IHCTD9 on 04.15.19 at 2:50 pm
————-
I think IHCTD9’s outrage is that we shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes in life choices of others. Let’s pretend all the CMHC backed mortgages goes south and are made whole by tax payers. The amount is relatively small but is it fair?

#92 Sail away on 04.16.19 at 2:48 pm

#80 Sold Out on 04.16.19 at 1:04 pm
#76 Sail Away
#79 N1tro
Corporate entities spend billions to have laws reflect their interests. Would you deny workers the right to use those same laws to their own, best advantage?
————————————————-

You do know that corporate entities don’t run themselves, right? They’re run by people. You know, like you and me. And not everyone’s out to screw the employee.

If someone’s been given a fair settlement, there’s no reason to be a jackass about it.

Maybe the posters here could at least wait until severance advice is requested before eagerly urging Coder to sue for more.

#93 Lisa on 04.16.19 at 3:06 pm

A lot of bargains, but compared to what??

#94 Tater on 04.16.19 at 3:18 pm

#89 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:35 pm
#81 Tater

I never said sue. I said speak to a lawyer. The company you work for may be making you a fair offer, but you have no way of knowing that. A lawyer can tell you. What is wrong with you people that you wouldn’t seek to reverse a large asymmetry in information before you sign a contract? Or do you all read dismissal lawsuit results for fun in your spare time?
—————————–
If the consult is free, sure. Lawyers for the most part aren’t needed as they or their profession would have you believe. All you need to know about the severance contract in front of you is that there is an offer presented, an acceptance pending, and consideration.

If that consideration isn’t to your liking or what you expect, tell the HR/legal person you will take it home to read it over as they walk you out the door.

As an at will employee, the company and their lawyers would have every right to let you go and would have drafted the reasoning for your dismissal very carefully. They will go to the extent of posting your job with all the extra criterion that they deemed you don’t have thus justifying your dismissal in case it goes to court.

As a side note, I do read a lot of contract law outcomes for fun
—————————————————————-

All you need to know is whether is it fair or not. And unless you’ve read a bunch of cases and know the law, you simply can’t.

The company is doing everything they can to pay you the minimum they feel they can get away with. They’ve had their lawyers comb though cases to see what they should pay and have then adjusted down. So spend a couple grand on a lawyer to make sure the offer is fair. If you can’t swing that, then you likely don’t make enough for fighting to be worthwhile.

The lawyer should draft a letter that says we feel severance of X would be more in keeping with case law as seen in blah blah blah.

And you may want to spend less time reading case outcomes and focus on the basics. We don’t have at-will employment in Canada.

#95 IHCTD9 on 04.16.19 at 3:23 pm

#84 Giver – AB on 04.16.19 at 1:43 pm

Sorry, don’t comment much but couldn’t let this one slide…

I think you’re on the wrong side of this IHCTD9.
____

1. “First of all, if you think being a single parent raising 4 kids isn’t “work” then I think you gotta update your definition.”

Sure it’s work, never said it wasn’t, did it myself – but you don’t get a paycheque to raise your own ******* kids. They’re YOUR kids – YOU get to pay the bill. That’s how it works homie.

2. “if one or more of these kids is daycare-age and depending on her education/earning potential, sending her back to work may just end up penalizing those kids.”

Great, let her stay home – that’s the best plan.

3. “Third of all, the idea that raising 4 kids on 50k per year so that she ‘can stay at home all day’ somehow equates to living the dream is sheer lunacy. 4 kids on 50k is gonna be a struggle no matter who you are”

All I want her to do is make her own damn living and raise her own kids just like every other person since the dawn of ******* time has done.

Making 50K/yr for doing zero work is definitely living the dream. I know many young folks her age who actually WORK, and make less… She’s got it made in the shade till the kids hit 18.

4.”Forth, with 37 million Canadians pitching in (lets even assume that 40% don’t contribute to taxes) the per capita cost of the 32k supporting these 4 kids is $0.002 per year. That’s right, 1/5 of a penny per year.”

That is some startling math there mang, except there are millions of folks collecting CCB – not just one. There are also tens or hundreds of thousands more taxes, fees and programs that all cost just 1/5 of a penny. So cheap!!

5.If a single mom raising 4 kids on 50k per year isn’t “in need”, I don’t know who is.

How about all those single parents who never made anywhere near 50K, while actually working a real job; never got squat from a program like the CCB, and still raised their kids anyway?

Cliffs. Their kids? Their bill.

#96 jess on 04.16.19 at 4:04 pm

Mastercard ruling:

…”Two years ago, the Competition Appeal Tribunal threw out Merricks’s claim, ruling it would not grant an order for the case to continue to trial. In a dramatic turnaround, the court of appeal has ordered the tribunal to reconsider what has become the biggest class action in British legal history.”

“I am very pleased with today’s decision,” said Merricks. “It is nearly 12 years since Mastercard was clearly told that they had broken the law by imposing excessive card transaction charges, damaging consumers over a prolonged period.
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/16/mastercard-court-ruling-paves-way-14bn-class-action

#97 Tony Warren on 04.16.19 at 4:07 pm

The carbon tax is based upon a scientifically flawed idea; that CO2 directly correlates with increases in the earth’s temperature.

That correlation is about .6 in ancient historical terms but it does not track well, strong evidence says that there is a 800 or so year lag between changes in CO2 and temperatures.

The second flaw is in the quality of global temperature records over the past 170 or so years. The primary data set used globally is the HasCRUT IV set, and the NOA sets in the U.S. Neither of these have been audited independently. What has been shown is that the quality of the data is below ISO 8000 standards for data and would not be acceptable for use in any field as a reliable data set.

We just don’t know what drives climate, and the absurd claims we do does nothing but create bad policy directed toward making rent-seekers money and impoverishing others in the process.

This fits rather well with Dr. Carlo M. Cipolla’s theory on the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. In which he divides people into 4 groups with significant overlap between these groups. Here in the climate change industry we see what are basically bandits; people’s whose goals are to create the most gain for themselves or their group, with little concern for the harm those actions cause for the rest of society.

Bandits can lean more intelligent where they create harm only to the individual they steal from, or toward the stupid, where they create harm for the society at large with no change in the benefit to themselves.

The carbon tax is therefore merely a means to extract money from all of society and deliver it into the hands of rent-seekers. The science they claim isn’t even slightly scientific other than it uses scientific mathematical analysis tailored to fit the evil gains of the rent-seekers who gain from it.

#98 jess on 04.16.19 at 4:15 pm

Social media platforms ‘failed to counter Notre Dame fire conspiracies’

Algorithms did not prevent spread of misinformation about fire, say critics

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/16/social-media-platforms-failed-to-counter-notre-dame-fire-conspiracies-say-critics

#99 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 4:25 pm

#93 Tater on 04.16.19 at 3:18 pm
#89 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:35 pm
#81 Tater

All you need to know is whether is it fair or not. And unless you’ve read a bunch of cases and know the law, you simply can’t.

The company is doing everything they can to pay you the minimum they feel they can get away with. They’ve had their lawyers comb though cases to see what they should pay and have then adjusted down. So spend a couple grand on a lawyer to make sure the offer is fair. If you can’t swing that, then you likely don’t make enough for fighting to be worthwhile.

The lawyer should draft a letter that says we feel severance of X would be more in keeping with case law as seen in blah blah blah.

And you may want to spend less time reading case outcomes and focus on the basics. We don’t have at-will employment in Canada.
————————
You mistake “fair” with the term “legal”. All a person needs to know is if the severance package meets the legal requirements of the law in the province their ass is getting booted from. The legal requirements are the bare minimums like:

Having worked with the company for 5+ years
Entitled to 1 week of pay per year of service
Company has to manage payrolls of like $2M or more
2 weeks notice

You are right, Canada doesnt have at will employees and that is easily remedied in the employment contract that says the company is entitled to dismiss you with 2 weeks notice. Nothing really changes if the company is bent on dismissing you within the legal requirements despite how “fair” you think it is or isnt.

#100 IHCTD9 on 04.16.19 at 5:06 pm

#90 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:39 pm
#84 Giver – AB on 04.16.19 at 1:43 pm
#139 IHCTD9 on 04.15.19 at 2:50 pm
————-
I think IHCTD9’s outrage is that we shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes in life choices of others. Let’s pretend all the CMHC backed mortgages goes south and are made whole by tax payers. The amount is relatively small but is it fair
————

Frankly, I don’t even care if a mistake was made or not. Kids and divorce happen (in that order), this Woman may have had a real loser for a hubby (she did get sole custody, so likely she did).

I don’t mind paying a few hundred per month to help out with the cost of raising kids, but 32k isn’t helping raise kids, it’s covering it all 110%. CCB and Child Support payments are tax free. How much do you need to gross to put 50k in your pocket?

I looked up the median gross income of individual Canadians over 16, both male and female, all incomes, latest info (2017), and it’s 35k. A full time $17.00/hr job.

This lady has this number beat even without the child support. Without a job.

IMHO, handing out this kind of money without so much as requiring the recipient to at least hold a freaking job is a bad idea…

#101 Giver - AB on 04.16.19 at 5:36 pm

#94 IHCTD9

Alright, I’ll bite one more time. I gotta admit, your perspective on this one fascinates me. I’m kinda surprised you doubled down on this. So much outrage!

I think our difference in opinion here results from a fundamental difference in how we read this woman’s situation.

You seem to think she had 4 kids and got divorced in order to game the system and win the dream life of raising 4 on 50k a year. Maybe the evil genius even dreamed the scheme up in science class decades ago knowing full well someday a Liberal (or NDP) government would be more than happy to give away our hard earned tax dollars to anybody with kids ;-)

My read is a little different. I suspect that this woman’s life isn’t turning out quite as planned. I suspect raising 4 young kids even with her husband was rough. Doing it by herself is probably a daily exercise in not drowning.

Since the beginning of time, communities have come together to help out neighbours and friends who need help. That’s how I read this – this woman (and especially the kids) need the help of their extended community to get through a tough time.

The difference in our reads of the situation provoke very different reactions. Far from being outraged, I feel proud that I live in a country where we’re not willing to let 4 kids in our extended Canadian community fall through the cracks because of circumstances beyond their control.

Or maybe you’re right and she is an evil genius….

#102 Giver - AB on 04.16.19 at 6:09 pm

#99 IHCTD9 on 04.16.19 at 5:06 pm
#90 n1tro on 04.16.19 at 2:39 pm
#84 Giver – AB on 04.16.19 at 1:43 pm
#139 IHCTD9 on 04.15.19 at 2:50 pm
————-
I think IHCTD9’s outrage is that we shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes in life choices of others. Let’s pretend all the CMHC backed mortgages goes south and are made whole by tax payers. The amount is relatively small but is it fair
————

Frankly, I don’t even care if a mistake was made or not. Kids and divorce happen (in that order), this Woman may have had a real loser for a hubby (she did get sole custody, so likely she did).

I don’t mind paying a few hundred per month to help out with the cost of raising kids, but 32k isn’t helping raise kids, it’s covering it all 110%. CCB and Child Support payments are tax free. How much do you need to gross to put 50k in your pocket?

I looked up the median gross income of individual Canadians over 16, both male and female, all incomes, latest info (2017), and it’s 35k. A full time $17.00/hr job.

This lady has this number beat even without the child support. Without a job.

IMHO, handing out this kind of money without so much as requiring the recipient to at least hold a freaking job is a bad idea…

———————————————————————-
OK, one more. But this is the last one.

A quick google search suggest that poverty level income for a family of 3 in Canada is 38K but that is based on 2015 data. I would assume that number increases for a family of 5.

link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/census-children-make-up-one-quarter-of-4-8m-canadians-living-in-poverty-1.3587472

Again, different reads… What you seem to see as a gravy train, I see as slightly over poverty level income.