Leading a Horse to Water

It’s a classic saying, yet never more appropriate than when it’s applied to professional advisors in any field. Be it medical, legal, counselling or financial. All professions that deal with the public can relate to this expression. In the beginning I used to cringe when good advice fell on deaf ears. But as I matured and raised a family, I learned to let things play out.

Failure is good. We forget about that. I’ll borrow a line from Batman and use these lines as a great reference;

“Why do we fall down Master Bruce?” “So we learn how to get back up Alfred”.

Our culture and especially our families have become too protective over failure, to the point of stifling effort. In sports the score does matter. It provides a clear indication of ones reward or effort and also spurs reflection and drive for those on the wrong end of the scorecard.  Life is similar. It owes you nothing. Sooner or later you will learn its harsh realities. The longer you prolong or protect individuals from these lessons, the harder it will be for them to learn from them.

Parents, Teachers, Counsellors, Lawyers, Doctors and yes Accountants, are all there to help us make good decisions. As professionals, we must also understand that not taking our advice is also sometimes necessary for the greater good. I know I have learned the hard way several times, and wish I had just listened the first time. I also know that these consequences made me who and what I am today.

Rick Barbosa

 

Unintended Consequences…You get what you vote for.

Canada’s push to legalize pot is running into more opposition, this time from a realtor group that says home cultivation could cause property damage. In testimony to a Senate committee in Ottawa, Michael Bourque, head of the Canadian Real Estate Association, flagged risks associated with cultivating cannabis plants, such as the spread of mould and…

via Growing four pot plants inside is still enough to wreck your house, realtors warn — Financial Post

How to fight Internet Price Increases from Rogers and Bell

Recently, there was an article that mentioned Rogers and Bell were increasing monthly internet fees by between $5-$8 a month. That roughly works out to be a 10% annual increase for the average user. Of course the standard response is that they will be using these excess funds to further research and improve service. I call B.S

The next gen internet technology has already been developed (li-fi) and the infrastructure to harness the higher bandwidth is already in place. The real reason is that they are offsetting hundreds of call centre hourly wage increases that came into effect this year. Thank you Kathleen.

What makes it worse is that no one can really compete against the 2 biggest providers. They even collaborate on investments (MLSE). So what can you do?

  1. Buy their stock. I know how this sounds, but they both pay good dividends and it’s nice to have them pay you for a change.
  2. With Netflix and other services inching their way past the CRTC, you need to do your homework and decide what you can live with. I am downsizing my package to the basic one next month in protest and save 30.00/mth or 360.00/yr.

Stay frugal my friends…

Rick Barbosa

 

 

 

 

Toronto home sales plummet almost 35% in February as new mortgage rules bite — Financial Post

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 34.9 per cent in February compared to the same month a year ago as buyers adjusted to new mortgage rules and government policy interventions, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said. Prices tumbled too, with the average sales price for all housing types falling 12.4 per cent…

via Toronto home sales plummet almost 35% in February as new mortgage rules bite — Financial Post

What to do when idiots run the world?

When you combine Trudeau’s Selfie politics with Morneau’s silver spoon trust fund mentality, you get ongoing budget deficits, careless spending on wasted programs and social agenda’s with no economic merit. Couple that with Trump’s war on everybody, and our lack of true leadership, and voila. Stock market downturns, investors pulling out of Canadian projects and infighting between provinces for political gain without consideration for economic fallout.

So what’s a person to do? Well if you’ve invested using time-tested fundamentals you weather the storm. When deploying new capital, go for fixed income instruments that have low volatility and meager returns. Now is not the time to bet the Farm.

Stay Calm and Build your Cash reserves.

Rick Barbosa

 

Wait for the clouds to clear

Traditionally, the end/beginning of the year sees billions in new cash poured into RRSP’s and TFSA’s. If you’re anything like me you want to put those funds to work right away. Unfortunately there is too much going on right now to warrant a knee-jerk investment. Stocks in general are fully priced or overvalued, and both short-term and long-term bonds are not offering substantial returns. The best advice for those out there looking at deploying capital is to wait it out. The following issues need to work their way through the system:

  1. Interest Rate Hike
  2. Mortgage Rules
  3. NAFTA
  4. Ontario’s Minimum Wage Change

We at BBT see a negative or Bear Market on the horizon. Once all or a majority of the uncertainty has cleared we believe there will be a good buying opportunity. Good companies will always adjust and thrive in a hyper-competitive marketplace. Our job is to pick the ones that do this consistently and invest when the time is right. And that time is not now.

Rick Barbosa

 

 

 

 

Royal Bank pulls ahead in Electronic Banking Options for Business

Full disclosure, I use Royal Bank and own Royal Bank stock.

Recently Royal Bank did something that changed the game for small to medium-sized businesses alike. Very quietly they installed two brand new features that automates the electronic collections process previously only available through standalone software.

The first feature is Interact Collections, yes collections, not just payments. You can now issue requests for payment to registered “payee’s” and have them pay you using the familiar Interact System. It allows room for Invoice numbers and comments to provide detail to the recipient.

The second feature is the introduction of Wave to produce invoices and send them with the built-in option to pay via various means. This is a great tool for mom and pop businesses, allowing them to send professional looking electronic invoices to their customers and get paid.  I still would not recommend using Wave to handle your bookkeeping for a few reasons. The main one being that you still need an Accountant to work with you and your business to handle the various remittances, payroll and tax issues that go along with it.

That being said, I have tried both and liked them. There is a free trial period for both options, and available upgrades for various Wave features, but the free version does the job.

Good work Royal.