Monday, January 12, 2009

Money, Money, Money


Press title for the money money song!
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"For money you can have everything it is said. No, that is not true. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money."
-Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924)


I've never believed in accumulating, for it always tells you what you don't have. Accumulation is like a fix to a gambler in that it is always about the getting and never the having.

Because I'm in the business I'm in I'm often asked for financial advice. I can only pass on what I do myself and that is:

Become your own financial advisor. Read the business news, spend the time.

And hey no one wants to do that. They'd rather turn the whole responsibility over to a stranger who is making commission on every transaction.

A wise Jewish shaman of my acquaintance told me 30 years ago that if I were ever invested in the stock market, whether through mutual funds, financial advisors, brokers, etc. I was to dedicate 2 hours a day to monitoring my investments carefully and also paying attention to what my money was invested in. Clean investments yielded clean returns and investments in Big Tobacco or the military industrial complex or Big Pharm is not clean money in my opinion.

I’ve been burned a few times when I threw my money into schemes at which I didn’t look closely enough or have felt dirty when I looked at my complete portfolio of holdings many years ago.

But I bailed out of all of that and settled for small annual interest returns on the bit of money I do have. And even then, I know I’m not completely clean as I know my banks are invested in sometimes unsavoury enterprises: check out who invests in those slimey payday short loan houses with their usurious interest rates.

Two years ago I said to closest friends and family – a big step for me as I do not like to expound advice on the private affairs of others or meddle in any way - I truly believe in personal responsibility – to please get any holdings out of the stock market or mutual funds. Not many listened. Very few in fact. I am appalled at what has happened to their retirement funds now. They are very, very scared with the added burden of their real estate holdings turmbling in value.

They ask me what should they do now (one of my closest friends with a former portfolio of $250,000 is looking at the still shrinking $50,000 value of what’s left of it).

I say: I can only tell you what I did before this predicted collapse. I liquidated everything I had, bought a small holding with some good farm land and good fishing and hunting nearby, paid cash, and threw what was left into GICs at 2% annual interest.

I don't believe I'm particularly smart or prophetic, but all the signs were there then of the financial tsunami of what was coming - if one was reading alternative news sources and not sedated by the presstitutes.

And this is only the beginning of the meltdown, I tell anyone who asks. We ain't seen nuttin' yet. Take care of yourself. No one else is going to do it.

20 comments:

  1. You were obviously very sensible to put your money into a smallholding and get out of dodgy investments. Interest rates on savings in the UK have plummeted, they're heading for zero.

    Jenny and I are planning to put our cash into a bigger house, which may have crashed in price recently but will gain value again over the years.

    We have some cash in the Co-operative Bank, which only invests in ethical businesses and avoids all the grubby ones.

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  2. Some have it, Nick, that the days of buying a house for investment are over.
    I think buying a house because we love it and can afford it easily and it will enhance our lives should be the only reason to acquire it. Then no one is disappointed when equity doesn't budge or plummets.
    Good for you and your banking. I wish such banks were here.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. I feel very lucky to have had a good government job for long enough to get me a second pension to go with my UK state pension.
    The value of these has dropped recently with the pound to dollar exchange sliding, but it was good while the boom of two for one lasted!

    I feel for those in the USA with no such advantages. My income isn't huge, but it's at least reliable, and we won't starve.

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  4. Yes T:
    I feel for all who were so hookwinked in the past few years and are now left destitute and homeless.
    I feel very fortunate also.
    XO
    WWW

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  5. RBC Bank President Gordon Nixon - Salary $11.73 Million


    $100,000 - MISTAKE (FISHERMEN'S LOAN)


    I'm a commercial fisherman fighting the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Bank) over a $100,000 loan mistake. I lost my home, fishing vessel and equipment. Help me fight this corporate bully by closing your RBC Bank account.


    There was no monthly interest payment date or amount of interest payable per month on my loan agreement. Date of first installment payment (Principal + interest) is approximately 1 year from the signing of my contract.
    Demand loan agreements signed by other fishermen around the same time disclosed monthly interest payment dates and interest amounts payable per month.The lending policy for fishermen did change at RBC from one payment (principal + interest) per year for fishing loans to principal paid yearly with interest paid monthly. This lending practice was in place when I approached RBC.
    Only problem is the loans officer was a replacement who wasn't familiar with these type of loans. She never informed me verbally or in writing about this new criteria.

    Phone or e-mail:
    RBC President, Gordon Nixon, Toronto (416)974-6415
    RBC Vice President, Sales, Anne Lockie, Toronto (416)974-6821
    RBC President, Atlantic Provinces, Greg Grice (902)421-8112 mail to:greg.grice@rbc.com
    RBC Manager, Cape Breton/Eastern Nova Scotia, Jerry Rankin (902)567-8600
    RBC Vice President, Atlantic Provinces, Brian Conway (902)491-4302 mail to:brian.conway@rbc.com
    RBC Vice President, Halifax Region, Tammy Holland (902)421-8112 mail to:tammy.holland@rbc.com
    RBC Senior Manager, Media & Public Relations, Beja Rodeck (416)974-5506 mail to:beja.rodeck@rbc.com
    RBC Ombudsman, Wendy Knight, Toronto, Ontario 1-800-769-2542 mail to:ombudsman@rbc.com
    Ombudsman for Banking Services & Investments, JoAnne Olafson, Toronto, 1-888-451-4519 mail to:ombudsman@obsi.ca

    http://www.corporatebully.ca

    http://www.youtube.com/CORPORATEBULLY

    http://www.p2pnet.net/story/17877

    "Fighting the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC Bank) one customer at a time"

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  6. Oh, I didn't mean we're buying a house as an investment. We're moving into it (hopefully) because as you say we can afford it and it's a lovely house. But I think house prices are bound to go up again because demand always greatly exceeds supply. I don't know about Newfoundland or Toronto but in the UK there's a big rise in new households because of divorce, couples living in two houses, people wanting to live alone etc.

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  7. I enjoyed the quotation about money, it gave me new food for thought. Over the years, I have invested heavily in self awareness and spirituality. Now it is paying dividends, because I do have peace of mind.

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  8. I always loved that Arne Garborg quotation. Like you I think we are a long way from bottoming out.

    At least we older folk remember lean years and will put the experience to good use.

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  9. Oh and I meant to say, loved the quotation. I've never come across it before.

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  10. You are indeed a wise woman. Unfortunately, we did get caught in the tsunami; but we're debt-free and own our house, so we'll survive. I fear terribly for so many of my friends, especially in Ireland, who kept re-mortgaging as their house values sky-rocketed. A few years ago, I remember a Dublin taxi driver telling me that it was only a matter of time before they all woke up to find that the wolf was not at the door, but in the kitchen having pups.

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  11. I've never been too aggressive or much of a risk taker so I haven't been overly burned. Seems like the old Irish habit of stuffing the money under the mattress was wise after all

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  12. Welcome CB!
    I have clients that were treated shamefully by RBC and sympathize with you.

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  13. Nick:
    I think with the jobless rate climbing by the week there will a corresponding slump in the RE market.
    I can't see a "correction" happening any time soon!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Hull:
    Me too, the best investment one can make!
    XO
    WWW

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  15. GM:
    Like you, I was brought up in a house of very few luxuries and was taught how to make do with very little. Those skills will see us through, unlike the young of today (and some not so young).
    XO
    WWW

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  16. Nick:
    yes it is something to reflect on, isn't it? Thanks
    XO
    WWW

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  17. Tessa:
    I know what you mean, one of my cousins in Dublin is taking in boarders.
    That taxi driver was very very wise.
    XO
    WWW

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  18. QR:
    Or converting to gold bars might be even better! I wish I knew how!!
    XO
    WWW

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  19. I am planning to quit my job at the end of summer and use my pension fund to travel the world for a year. I'm sure nobody would recommend this but I can't help thinking iot's the right thing to do :-)

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  20. Conor:
    Oh I think you are doing the right thing. If not now, when? I hope your pension fund isn't invested in the stock market?
    XO
    WWW

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