Time to get a little picky on REITs?

Time to get a little picky on REITs?The threat of rising interest rates slammed the real estate investment trust sector in 2013. For 2014, with that threat still there, it may be time to get selective when it comes to your REIT picks because double-digit returns are going to become more difficult to achieve. “We believe the Canadian REITs are at the end of a 20-year era of exceptional returns driven by declining interest rates,” said Alex…

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The Investors Guide to Rate Hikes

The Investors Guide to Rate HikesRising interest rates are bad — very, very bad. That’s the prevalent message being made loud and ominously clear to investors as markets brace for the inevitable end to the ultra-loose monetary policies south of the border and elsewhere around the world. The warning, while important to heed, doesn’t quite add up. It’s true that many investors will take a hit from interest rate increases down the road — and,…

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Passive Investing Still Takes Work

Passive Investing Still Takes WorkThe dream of passive investing is to build a portfolio so that you no longer have to do anything active to get a steady return. But it takes some work to make it come true, especially now when interest rates are low and markets are volatile. The goal is to find the kind of stable assets that will eventually do all the work of earning money for you. When you…

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Canada – A Nation of Debt, A Nation of Prosperity

Canada - A Nation of Debt, A Nation of ProsperityCanadian now owe almost two-thirds more in debt than they use, or have available, for available income according to Statistics Canada.  For 2012, the rise in debt was higher in every category with mortgage and consumer debt surpassing a combined $1.6 trillion. As Canadians continue to enjoy spending without restraint or apparent interest in saving the debt rose 5.5% higher int he last three months of 2012.  Not all is…

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Best Times to Make an Extra Mortgage Payment

Best Times to Make an Extra Mortgage PaymentPeople need to realize that the behaviour in the real estate market in Canada in the past 10-12 years is not normal, nor sustainable. Housing, historically, has risen fairly close to the increases in real incomes (income adjusted for inflation) during 1950-2000. In the past decade real incomes have moved very little (if at all) while home prices have appreciated to staggering levels increasing the amount of debt individuals and…

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Real Estate Becoming More Affordable

Real Estate Becoming More AffordableOwning your own home became slightly more affordable in the third quarter of 2011 thanks to continuing low interest rates, according to RBC’s latest study on housing affordability. The affordability measure captures the proportion of pre-tax household income that would be needed to service the costs of owning a certain type of home. In the third quarter, that index fell for all categories of housing. “Housing affordability levels are quite…

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Investor Sentiment Declines In Canada

Investor Sentiment Declines In CanadaAccording to a national poll released today for Manulife Financial that measured how Canadians say they felt about investing in 11 different categories and vehicles, the survey recorded declines in all categories and vehicles, showing the largest quarterly drop for stocks, which fell back 15 points, coming to rest at 3 after a 23 point jump in March. The overall Manulife Investment Sentiment Index declined eight points in June to…

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Common Real Estate Misconceptions

Common Real Estate MisconceptionsLast week I shared why I felt that real estate isn’t the greatest investment. Once I was finished with the article I realized that I a lot more left to cover as it pertains to real estate. Today I wanted to address some of the common misconceptions that young people believe when it comes to real estate: Renting is throwing money away. Just because you rent it doesn’t mean that…

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Should I Start the Smith Manoeuvre?

Should I Start the Smith Manoeuvre?As this blog has quite a bit of content regarding the Smith Manoeuvre, I often get reader questions regarding how to start the Smith Manoeuvre, and when is a good time to start.  I have answered the “how” in the past, but what about the “when”? What is the Smith Manoeuvre Before we get started, lets take a couple steps back and explain what the Smith Manoeuvre is to newer…

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