- Canada is eliminating the penny. The cost of minting the coin has risen to 1.6 cents or $11 million a year. Australia and New Zealand got rid of the penny about 15 years ago and the whole world is moving closer to a cashless society.
- Higher gas prices are angering many Canadians, but can you share in the profits? CBC News: Can you invest in rising gas prices?
- Alex Avery, an analyst with CIBC World Markets Inc. predicts REITs (real estate investment trusts) will generate total returns (that is, dividend payouts and capital gains) of between 15% and 25% during this year and the first half of next.
- U.S. discount retailer Target arrives in Canada next year and plans to hire 25,000 employees, but the real winner may be RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Target’s largest Canadian landlord with 24 of its stores.
- Individual REITs can be bought just like stocks, or you can buy a diversified basket of REITs through an ETF (exchange traded fund) which is a type of low-cost mutual fund that trades on the stock market. Learn more: Canadian REIT ETFs… is now the time?
- Apple Inc., already the world’s most valuable company, hit the $600-billion (U.S.) level for the first time Tuesday. Only one other company has been worth $600-billion — Apple’s old sparring partner Microsoft Corp.
- Also this week, the U.S. Justice Department took Apple Inc. and two major publishers to court for conspiring to push up the prices of e-books.
- Vancouver’s Lionsgate Entertainment hit the jackpot with its Hunger Games franchise. Hunger Games opened to a staggering $214-million global debut weekend (the 3rd biggest opening weekend ever). The stock is rated a “buy” and has more than doubled in the past year.
- Vancouver’s Thunderbird Films announced Sea to Sky Entertainment, a partnership with Lionsgate to create television programming for broadcast and cable networks. Days later, Thunderbird opened a new office in L.A., followed a week later by Thunderbird picking up a Digital Emmy in Cannes for the TV show “Endgame”.
- On Tuesday Spanish bond yields approached their highest levels this year, raising concerns that the country is headed toward a financial crisis. Stocks were hit hard for a fifth consecutive day, sending Canada’s benchmark index into a loss for the year and marking the worst losing streak for U.S. stocks since November and their biggest one-day declines of the year.
- Fortunately, a good start to first-quarter earning season has seen a major rebound for North American markets the past two days.
On Thursday Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the new Federal budget in Canada. There is too much information in it to fit in a blog post, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of it and add some links so you can do some reading.
One again I want to remind you to read and learn as much as you can about saving and investing. It is my opinion that by the time we retire, there will be very few government benefits to draw on. The cost of an aging population is weighing heavily on our country and people are now living longer, so they are withdrawing benefits for an extended period of time.
In 2011 the cost of the Old Age Security Program was $38 billion. In 2030 the cost of the program will hit $108 billion. This has forced the government to increase the eligible age for old age security from 65 to 67 and offer a 7.2% bonus for each year that you delay receiving benefits (for up to 5 years).
Ottawa will start making the adjustments in 2023, and phase them in gradually over six years. That means anyone over 54 won’t be affected. People in their early 50s will see moderate changes. And people under 50 will feel the full force of the new policy.