It’s that time of year again,… time to pull the hair out trying to find just the right gifts for my clients, and to sign cards with meaningful messages. In my search for gift ideas I came across this essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson (yep, lived and died in 1800’s), called “Gifts”. The very first sentence amazed me in a way we’re usually surprised to find that people in the past had lived through, and felt similar things as we are:

It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay, and ought to go into chancery, and be sold.

Everything happens in cycles within cycles, and humanity keeps on ticking. We keep on living. That is my gift to you for the holidays 🙂 – hope that no matter how crazy things seem right now, know that you will prevail.

~ Happy Holidays ~

P.S. Still accepting suggestions for business gift ideas

Merry Christmas


I’m writing a long post on a niche topic – I hope you’re in that niche – and in the meantime, here’s a few links and bits that caught my eye:

  • Extreme Saving: Setting a retirement goal of age 35 — the comments are pretty interesting, but then, I’ve been living under a rock for a couple of years, shunning both mass media and most online forums.
  • 5 reasons investors can’t set it and forget it — this is about the dangers of stop-losses. Funny comments, again. Like this one: “Obviously Hodson didn’t believe in stop loss orders when running a growth fund in 2008 he was down over 70% at one point in 2008…shouldn’t be allowed to give advice to anyone about running money…..brutal.” Always, consider the source.
  • Simple Savings — the slogan here is “Learn to save money on just about EVERYTHING!”. Frankly, I find the look of the website daunting although it has a huge following and probably a plethora of awesome savings tips. Despite keeping the page open for a couple of weeks, I haven’t gone beyond the front page. From time to time, I just like to glance at the shocking cost of skincare on the opening page. That fact alone is worth a visit.
  • Back in March, Questrade IQ was updated to allow mini options trading. Here’s more info on that.
  • “President Obama and his family will be going to Africa later this month. But the trip won’t be cheap; it’s expected to cost American taxpayers $60 to $100 million, according to the Washington Post.” Mmmmmkay…


I have survived a very intense tax season and can now return to stocks.

Here’s a few random news items and links of interest:

  • Tax havens explained: How the rich hide money – an interactive guide to offshore tax havens. Hope to need this one day, ha!
  • Dividend Detective – recently rediscovered this website. A lot of the lists are available for free. With some elbow grease and charting, great picks can be found.
  • – I was very reluctant to share this, it’s such an awesome website, lol. Every market-related statistic you may wish to see, all inflation-adjusted since 1880’s to present. On paper everything is really pretty bad and getting worse – S&P dividend yield, US Real GDP, US Median Income Growth, US Income Per Capita… S&P Earnings are rising though, hmmm. Could it be due to the accounting changes? A lot can be done with that, you know… And apparently inflation is at 0% now. If true, then why are the banks now offering 1.35% to 1.55% on term deposits, GIC’s and other savings accounts?
  • Google Reader will be shut down on July 1, 2013. What are you switching to?