Debt to Continue Rising in 2016

Debt to Continue Rising in 2016Canadian households will close out 2015 carrying thicker layers of debt after worrisome gains over the past 12 months — extra padding that’s expected to get even fatter in the new year. But even with the borrowing binges, many experts still believe the finances of most Canadians remain in decent shape. This assessment comes as the country shows worrisome signs linked to consumer spending. It has a record-high debt-to-income ratio…

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Five Things Investors Should Not So in a Bear Market

Five Things Investors Should Not So in a Bear MarketMost markets, and certainly most currencies and commodities, are now officially in a bear market. That’s the arbitrary term for anything that is down 20 per cent from its peak. Of course, many stocks are down 40 or 50 per cent or more, so we might need a new term to describe them — zombie market? That is, dead but still moving? Many investors fear a bear market, because it…

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What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?

What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?The U.S. Powerball lottery and its “world record” US$1.5-billion jackpot (or thereabouts) certainly caused quite a stir over the past few days. Even Canadians, apparently, were scrambling to get in on the action, flocking to American border towns to buy tickets. Jeesh. I don’t want to be a party pooper, and 1.5 billion is a lot of shekels, but really, you’d probably have been better off putting the price of…

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The Weekend is Over And the Markets are Falling Again

The Weekend is Over And the Markets are Falling AgainAn office worker walks past an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) window. World markets are open for Monday trading, and they’re down. US futures are in the red with Dow futures down 120 points and S&P 500 futures down 13 points. Asian markets are also set to trade in the red. All this follows last week’s bloodletting, which saw the S&P 500 fall 6%. It was the worst first five trading…

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3 Smart Ways to Use Your Holiday Bonus

3 Smart Ways to Use Your Holiday BonusMore than half of employers (54%) said they planned to give holiday bonuses in 2015, up from 47% in 2014, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. (Sadly, only 14% plan to give more than last year.) If you happen to be one of their lucky employees, perhaps you’re wondering how to put that cash to use. Fortunately, we have some ideas. 1. Sock It Away Study after study highlights…

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Canadian Dollar Could Sink as Low as 68 Cents

Canadian Dollar Could Sink as Low as 68 CentsWhere the price of oil goes, so goes Canada’s dollar. No other major currency is as closely tied to the value of its key commodity export as the loonie is to crude right now. The correlation between the Canadian dollar and the benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil price is about 0.56, meaning the two have a strong positive relationship. That’s the closest association among 16 of the world’s most-traded currencies…

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Loonie on Track For 2nd Biggest Decline Ever

Loonie on Track For 2nd Biggest Decline EverThe Canadian dollar is on track to experience its second-biggest decline on record against the U.S. dollar, and analysts forecast the currency could go lower before it bounces back next year. The loonie is now down nearly 17 per cent against the greenback for 2015, the biggest drop since 2008, when it lost 18.6 per cent against the U.S. dollar due to a collapse in commodity prices. With nine trading…

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3 Value Picks for 2016 and Beyond

3 Value Picks for 2016 and BeyondIf you’re looking for a value play for 2016 and beyond, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve scoured the market and found three stocks that are trading at inexpensive valuations compared with their five-year and industry averages, so let’s take a quick look at each to determine which would fit best in your portfolio. 1. Canadian National Railway Company Canadian National Railway Company (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) is the largest rail network…

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5 reasons it’s Still Too Early to Buy Commodities Stocks

5 reasons it's Still Too Early to Buy Commodities StocksMany contrarian investors are wondering if the time is right to start loading up on commodities in anticipation of the next big rally. Certainly, stocks in the sector are cheap, and we would expect many of them to double if and when a commodity recovery occurs. Stocks of smaller, riskier companies could triple or more. Alas, we need to throw some cold water on such thoughts. It is still far…

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Time to buy Canada?

Time to buy Canada?Canada’s stock market has been among the worst performing in the world this year, with many global fund managers selling Canadian equities and foreign short-sellers targeting everything from resource companies to the country’s banks. Being negative on Canada has certainly been a profitable play. The S&P/TSX Composite Index is currently down eight per cent for 2015, compared with a 1.46 per cent gain for the S&P 500. If that trend…

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