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Filed under: Perspective

Tax Season Ahead

Well I’m sure everyone is thrilled to be reminded that tax season is ahead, and a flurry of T3s, T4s and T5s will be sent in the mail over the next 10 weeks or so.

To help you prepare, I have attached a useful summary from our Head Office at Leede, Jones, Gable, outlining which slips are which, and when they might be expected to show up in your mailbox.

YEAR END TAX Slips from Leede 2016

In addition, I have provided a few links below that might help you understand how gains (or losses) are calculated in your taxable investment accounts. Confusion often arises over how the purchase, or book cost of an investment is calculated, and I admit it can be rather confusing. If you are unsure what this all means please give me a call. In most cases I will advise that individuals with taxable events to report in an account should seek assistance from a professional tax preparation service.

Driverless Car Revolution

When sitting with clients to discuss investment ideas, I try to zero in on long term disruptive technologies. Not fads, but mega trends. These are ideas and concepts that will be sustainable beyond our lifetimes.

No doubt by now you have heard talk of driverless cars, but perhaps you haven’t considered the incredible ramifications of this technology. So take a minute if you will to read the following report from the Financial Times, and perhaps sit through the excellent accompanying video.

Here’s a little snippet from the link below…

“Driverless cars could allow cities to cut vehicle numbers by about 90 per cent while transporting the same number of people. They will bring us enormous benefits:

• Driverless cars will reduce accidents by around 90 per cent, predicts Pascal Demurger, director-general of French insurer MAIF. That’s big — the annual death toll on the world’s roads is about 1.2 million a year, or double the toll from armed conflict and homicides combined.

• Pollution and carbon emissions will drop, because urban driverless cars will be electric.

• The old, the disabled and teenagers will suddenly gain mobility.

• People will save fortunes by ditching their cars…”

Financial Times Link: driverlesscarrevolution

Market Turbulence

In case you blinked, global stock markets swooned badly this week, taking us back to levels last seen two years ago. The decline is rather typical of market behaviour and the ongoing tug of emotions between fear and greed.

Since the vast majority of my clients hold substantial cash and bond positions, you likely only experienced about ¼ of the 10% downdraft. Markets bounced back somewhat towards the end of the week, which should provide some degree of confidence. Please call me at your convenience at 250-898-9973 if you would like specifics for your own accounts.

By remaining focused on the long term aims of your investment portfolio events of the recent week should cause you little or no concern. I have been doing some buying for my own accounts, and see this as a chance to deploy some of the cash that I have had sitting on the sidelines.

Of course not knowing what the next move in the market will bring, I hesitate to invest all of my money, and am happy to own some high interest cash and bonds that provide stability to my portfolio. I am not a big risk-taker with my family’s savings, and strive to treat your savings the same way.


The best article I read on the markets this week was entitled “Don’t read this!” written in acknowledgement of the tremendous amount of ‘noise’ that accompanies a market down draft like the one we have experienced.

Of course I read it anyway, because I feel it is my duty of care to sift through the cacophony for some gems of wisdom. Those often come from our Canada Pension Plan managers, or the top economic advisors to President Obama.

Here is my one ‘take-away’ from the past week, courtesy of Mohamed El-Erian, chairman of President Obama’s Global Development Council. He says that the evolution of global market turmoil has been “…quite traditional so far. What may be different this time is whether longer-term stability can be restored with the policy tools that were available in the past.”

To paraphrase his technical analysis, he suggests that better distribution of global wealth would go a long way towards creating the demand upon which businesses can grow. This is the aim of global leaders – for better or worse – to create billions of new consumers from among the world’s less advantaged.

How the world achieves these economic benefits, and the extent to which this growth supports local communities, will be crucial to the well-being of our environmental and social fabric and by extension, the stability of our financial systems.

Who said what?

There is an old story about the physicist Niels Bohr. Noticing a horseshoe hanging over a door at his home, a visitor asked the Nobel laureate in physics if he believed in luck. “Of course not. But I understand it works whether you believe in it or not.”

It is now widely accepted science that in order to keep the globe from warming more than another 2º C, in other words to avoid the worst case scenarios associated with climate change, then over 80% of fossil fuel reserves will have to remain in the ground. This reality gives rise to the notion of ‘stranded assets’ and a whole new set of risks to evaluate when formulating a long term investment plan, whether you are an individual with a small RRSP, or a public pension fund with hundreds of billions of dollars under management.

Green bonds to finance new North Vancouver Island hospitals

I was interviewed by Bloomberg News  and The Comox Valley Record on the subject. Click on the links for more background.

The bonds are called green because the hospitals will be built according to rigorous environmental standards. The BC Government can finance this project a little more cheaply by mandating these environmental standards for the project. Green bonds are becoming increasingly popular with investors around the globe.


The changing face of capitalism 1

This article might surprise some in the ‘all-corporations-are-evil’ camp.


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