Canada has NO Gold but a Mountain of Debt… Things Will End Badly

While other central banks have been busy increasing their gold reserves, Canada sold off all its gold reserves in 2016. The Bank of Canada ranks last globally out of 100 major central banks.

There is precedence in a central bank selling off its gold, and it didn’t work out very well. In 1999, when the price of gold was low at $282.40 an ounce, the United Kingdom sold half of its gold reserves, worth approximately $6.5 billion. The sale raised $3.5 billion. By 2007, the price of gold had risen to $675.00 an ounce, and the UK had lost more than £2 billion. This financial disaster, known as Brown’s Bottom, did not work out well. And Canada appears to be following in its footsteps.

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With many uncertainties globally, Canada’s gold sale could have serious consequences.

In this age of fiat currency, many people forget that gold is actually money, and has never stopped from functioning as a reliable store of value. Gold is a relatively liquid currency and one of the most highly traded.

According to Canada’s senior Finance Department economist Morneau, the reason for the gold sale was the cost involved in storing the gold and the fact that gold offers a poor return. That seems like strange logic since gold has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2000. The price of gold went from $35.00 an ounce in 1967 to over $1,300 today.

Can the ideal equity portfolio beat inflation substantially?

Central banks have been big buyers of gold since 2010. The prime buyers have been Russia and China, but most other central banks have scrambled to follow suit.

On the other hand, Canada has now joined developing countries such as Angola, Belize and Tonga that have no gold reserves at all.

Is Canada headed for disaster?

Canada’s current reserve position of $10,412 billion in the IMF entitles it to 2.26 percent of votes within the organization. It has reduced its reserve position by $1.2 billion. With the sale of gold, Canada is greatly reducing its voting power in the IMF.

Is Canada’s financial power gradually diminishing along with its gold reserves? It seems to have created a mysterious scenario of “ … and then, there were none.”

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Following the sale of its of gold, Canada’s market debt has surpassed $1 trillion in a historic milestone.

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This debt is mostly due to the uncontrolled borrowing made possible by the Bank of Canada’s easy lending policies. Canada has a current debt ceiling of $1.168 trillion, and it is anticipated that Parliament will have to increase that ceiling in the near future. According to the government, it has the power to borrow to refinance its massive debt. But borrowing will only serve to increase the already existing mountain of debt further. Canada has become one the leaders in global debt, and its solution appears to be to continue adding to it with new borrowing. Canada household debt now equals 101 percent of its GDP.

Canada is not situated in a good financial place. Any shift in the global economic wind would leave Canada in a very precarious position.

Ironically, Canada’s record debt comes at a time when economic growth is at 3% (2017) which was the highest in six years and many economists expect this to continue.

Gold Vs Equity Return ( Image and Video )

That optimism, however, is misleading. Canada’s economic growth comes at a time when its total deficit spending has increased to beyond $18 billion. Outstanding corporate credit reached a historic high of $803 billion in 2017.

In addition, Canada is facing a mortgage bubble, with homeowners who bought lavish houses on easy credit now finding themselves unable to afford increased interest rates on their mortgages or being unable to sell a house they can no longer afford.

Canada’s financial policies has been a puzzle to many. While other countries are amassing gold, it has deliberately sold off all its gold reserves, while other countries are attempting to reduce massive debts, Canada appears to plan on increasing its own.

Countries that have historically valued gold have been or have strived to be global powers. The mere ownership of gold has always been a sign of authority. Canada, on the other hand… is flying solo, and might be heading for a crash.

 

Source : Gold Telegraph

10 things I have learned about investing

Following these simple yet indispensable investment insights can save you a lot of regret and sleepless nights.

You don’t make money by watching TV:

There are many business-news channels now which claim that they help you make money. Ever wondered why they never advertise the track record of the recommendations they make? Or why they only seem to talk about the winning recommendations and not the losing ones? Or why they seem to talk about ‘global cues’ driving the stock market all the time?

Most of the business news TV is best for understanding things in retrospect. In fact, when the business TV wallahs don’t have a reason for what is driving the stock market, they say, ‘global cues’. Also, the short-term orientation of TV channels will essentially make your broker, and not you, rich.

You don’t make money by reading newspapers either:

All the business newspapers these days have a strong personal-finance as well as a stock-market section. But a lot of the analysis on offer is full of hindsight bias, i.e., they come up with nice explanations of things after they have already happened. Further, newspaper reporters can get analysts to say things that fit in with the headline that has already been thought of. Analysts are more than happy saying these things in order to see their name in the newspapers. And it is worth remembering that newspapers have space to fill. So they will write stuff even if the situation doesn’t demand it.

Kirang Gandhi

SIPs work best over the long term:

If you were to ask a typical fund manager about how long one should stay invested in an SIP, the answer usually is three to five years. Honestly, I think that is too low a number. I started my first SIP in December 2005. And more than ten years later, I am actually seeing the benefit of having invested for so long. Also, it is worth remembering that SIPs over the long term are about a regular investing habit which gives reasonable returns than the possibility of fabulous returns that one might earn by choosing the right stock. This is an important distinction that needs to be made.

EMI VS SIP ( Be controlled or take control )

Don’t chase fund managers:

I did this during the 2007-2008 period and lost a lot of money doing it. I think it’s best to stick to investing in good large and mid-cap funds which have had a good track record over a long period of time, instead of chasing the hottest fund managers on the block. The funds with the best returns in the short term (one to three years) keep changing, and there is no way you can predict the next big thing on the block; the point being, investing should be boring. If it is giving you an adrenaline rush, you are not doing the right things.

Endowment policies are not investment policies:

Endowment policies sold by insurance companies are a very popular form of investing as well as saving tax. One reason for this is because they are deemed to be safe. But have you ever asked how much return these policies actually give? If I can be slightly technical here, what is the internal rate of return of an average endowment policy in which an individual invests for a period of 20 years? You will be surprised to know that such data are not available. But from what I understand about these things, endowment policies give a lower rate of return than inflation. So why bother? Endowment policies are essentially a cheap way for the government to raise money, given that most of these policies end up investing the money raised in government bonds. That is all there is to it. If you want to finance the government, please do so, but there are better ways of earning a return on your investment.

LIC Jeevan Labh Plan : Reviews/Features/Return Sheet

What are ULIPs? I am still trying to understand:

ULIPs are unit-linked investment plans, essentially investment plans which come with some insurance. The trouble is if they are investment plans, why are there no past returns of these policies available anywhere? But what are ULIPs? I have put this question to many people, but I am yet to receive an answer. What is the best-performing ULIP over the last five years? No one has been able to give me that answer. This is not surprising, given how complicated the structure of an average ULIP is. Hence, if you want to invest indirectly in equity, it is best to stick to mutual funds.

Sensex/Nifty forecasts are largely bogus:

Towards the end of every year or even around Diwali, all broking houses come up with their Sensex/Nifty forecasts for the next year. Usually, these are positive and expect the index to go up. At the same time, they are largely wrong. You can Google and check. Hence, treat them as entertainment but don’t take them seriously. Stock brokerages bring out such forecasts because it is an easy way to get some presence in the media. Both TV and newspapers, for some reason I don’t understand, are suckers for Sensex as well as Nifty forecasts.

Don’t buy a home unless you want to live in it or have black money:

Much is made about excellent returns from property. The trouble is there are no reliable numbers going around. It’s only people talking from experience. But when people calculate property returns, they do not take a lot of expenses into account. Also, when people talk about property returns they talk about big numbers: ‘I bought this for `20 lakh but sold it for a crore.’ This feels like a huge return, but it doesn’t exactly take into account the time factor as well as loads of expenses and other headaches that come with owning property. Further, these days there are other risks like the builder disappearing or not giving possession for a very long time. This leads to a situation where individuals end up paying both EMI as well as rent. Also, property returns have been negative in many parts of the country over the last few years. And given the current price levels, I don’t think buying a home is the best way to invest currently.

Real estate rental yield is below one percent

Gurus are good fun:

In my earlier avatar as a journalist, one widely followed stock-market guru told a closed gathering of investors that Sensex would touch 50,000 level in six to seven years. He said it very confidently. Confident stock-market gurus make for good newspaper copy. I wrote about it and the story was splashed on the front page of the newspaper I worked for. It was October 2007. Nearly nine years later, the Sensex is at half of the predicted level. The point is that gurus might be good. They might have the ability to predict things in advance. But then, why would they give their insight to the media, and in the process, you, dear reader, for free? Remember this, next time you see a guru making a prediction.

Low interest rates on loans also mean low interest rates on your fixed deposits:

This is something that many people don’t seem to understand. People want low interest rates on their loans, but they are not happy with low-interest rates on their deposits. Banks fund loans by raising fixed deposits. They can’t cut interest rates on their loans unless they cut interest rates on their deposits. It’s as simple as that. Nevertheless, I wonder why people can’t seem to understand this basic point.

 

By Vivek Kaul

Want to invest your FD proceeds in mutual funds? Here is how to do it

Most individuals can’t think beyond bank deposits when it comes to deploying their savings. However, fixed deposits do not pay much, and the interest is added to the income and taxed as per the Income Tax slab applicable.

This is the main reason why many investors investing in debt mutual funds instead of parking money in bank deposits. Debt mutual funds may offer market linked returns, which could be marginally higher than bank deposits.

If invested with a horizon of more than three years, debt mutual funds may offer better after-tax returns. Investments in debt mutual funds held over three years are taxed at 20 percent with indexation benefit. The indexation helps to bring down the actual taxes to a single-digit in an inflationary scenario.

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If you are investing for less than three years, both bank deposit and debt mutual funds are taxed similarly. Returns or interest would be added to the income and taxes as per the income tax slab applicable to the investor.

If you would like to explore debt mutual funds, here is some help.

Point to note: there are several kinds of Debt mutual funds. You should choose a scheme that matches your investment horizon and risk profile.

Liquid Funds are very low-risk funds. They invest in highly liquid money market instruments. They invest in securities with a residual maturity of upto 91 days. Investors can park money in them for a few days to few months. These funds may offer marginally higher returns than bank deposits.

For eg. Portfolio of Aditya Birla Sun Life Floating Rate ST

Download (PDF, 113KB)

Floater funds are mostly invest in floating rate instruments. These schemes will invest at least 65 per cent of the total asses in floating rate instruments.

For eg. Portfolio of Kotak Floater ST
 

Banking and PSU funds are predominantly invest (80 percent of assets) in debt instruments of banks, public sector undertakings and public financial institutions.

For eg. Portfolio of ICICI Prudential Banking PSU Debt

Manage your portfolio and enter into the next level of your financial status

Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs) are a good alternative to fixed deposits for investors in the higher tax bracket. These are closed-ended debt mutual funds with defined maturity. FMPs usually invest in securities which match their tenure and follow buy and hold till maturity strategy. This makes it free from interest rate risk. An FMP may match the yield offered by its portfolio constituents with minute deviations. FMPs also have credit risk, which means that its returns will be hit ..

For eg. Portfolio of Reliance FHF XXXV S16

Download (PDF, 116KB)

Short-Term Funds invest mostly in debt securities with an average maturity of one to three years. These funds perform well when short-term interest rates are high. They are suitable to invest with a horizon of a few years.

For eg. Portfolio of Franklin Templeton Franklin India Low Duration

Download (PDF, 116KB)

Dynamic Bond Funds have an actively-managed portfolio that varies dynamically with the interest rate view of the fund manager. These funds invest across all classes of debt and money market instruments with varying maturities. They are ideal for investors who want to leave the job of taking a call on interest rates to the fund manager.

For eg. Portfolio of IIFL Dynamic Bond

Download (PDF, 88KB)

Income Funds are highly vulnerable to the changes in interest rates. These funds invest in corporate bonds, government bonds and money market instruments with long maturities. They are suitable for investors who are ready to take high risk and have a long-term investment horizon. The right time to invest in these funds is when the interest rates are likely to fall.

For eg. Portfolio of Baroda Pioneer Dynamic Bond

Download (PDF, 82KB)

Mutual fund Strategy: Time to invest in accrual and short-term bond funds

Credit Opportunities Funds are the debt funds which invest in corporate bonds and debentures of credit rating below AAA. The idea is to invest in low-rated securities with strong fundamentals which are expected to see a rating upgrades in the future, benefiting the portfolio and investors. These funds involve high credit risk. A default or a downgrade in a rating of the scheme’s portfolio holdings may hit the returns badly. Their portfolio consists government securities and T-Bills ..

For eg. Portfolio of IDFC Credit Opportunities

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Gilt Funds invest in government securities. They do not have the default risk because the bonds are issued by the government. However, these funds are highly vulnerable to the changes in interest rates and other economic factors. These funds have very high interest rate risk. Only investors with a long-term horizon should consider investing in them.

For eg. Portfolio of HDFC Gilt Short Term

Download (PDF, 82KB)

Debt-oriented Hybrid Funds invest mostly in debt and a small part of the corpus in equity. The equity part of the portfolio would provide extra returns, but the exposure also makes them a little riskier than pure debt schemes. Investors with a horizon of three years or more can consider investing in them.

For eg. Portfolio of Tata Retirement Savings Conservative

Download (PDF, 96KB)

 

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Note: Past performance of fund does not guarantee the future returns.

Mutual Fund Investment are Subjected to Market Risks, Read all Scheme Related Document Carefully.

Disclaimer: No financial information whatsoever published anywhere here should be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities, or as advice to do so in any way whatsoever. All matter published here is purely for educational and information purposes only and under no circumstances should be used for making investment decisions. Readers must consult a qualified financial advisor before making any actual investment decisions, based on information published here.