FFFA! Debt, Stats, Assets, Low Rates

Hooray! It’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Poor people make poor customers
Is a condo a debt or an asset?
Feel good now, pay later
Blame busy August for slow September
Phantom listing distort stats?
Gregory Klump: no no no
Vancouver Island Foreclosures
Low rates create false sense of security
Smiling with record debt levels

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have and excellent weekend!

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Freak show Москва шоу мастер

компании по организации праздников

Thai Skycraper

Thank you for every other magnificent article. Where else may just anyone get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such information.

GTA Pics

Damn, thanks so much for posting this! Grand Theft Auto 5 looks Super Cool! Is everyone going to wait to play online until after you complete the story? Or are you going to rip into it and not even bother?



You are so naive. Thinking you are a know it all.

Richmond will not get hit by tsunami!!! The west coast of Vancouver island may as the subduction zone fault is west of there.

Stupid bear arguments. Just stupid.


177 Underwater Says:
things seem fine here in richmond despite being in a “flood plane” as many armature geologists on this site claim.

In a fall storm like this, the flooding is localized and is often related to poor drainage/blocked storm sewers.

Richmond is in more trouble during a large spring melt which would raise the level of the Fraser River (or during a Tsunami.)


thanks randy.
i did not know about that universal life policy. no i did not get that.
mine is straight forward. I go to pick daises and my wife collects the lump sum and the same for her. i pay a fee based on medical exam.

Randy Randerson

Universal life policy basically works like this: You hand over money to the insurance company, say $5,100 annual premium. Manulife will use $100 to buy a term life insurance for say $10,000, and the remaining $5,000 is used to buy one of their own mutual funds with high MER. The mutual fund will give out dividends every year, and they’ll project that after 10-12 years, the policy will spin out sufficient dividend, ie $5,100 a year, to replace your premium. Thus you won’t have to cough up money after that, and the money will ride. They’ll tempt you by projecting that after 20 years, you’ll have a million dollars benefit, which you can use as a collateral to get a loan from the bank. All sounds great, except that the projection is never accurate, and the salesperson has incentive to… Read more »

mls watch

I told a realtor I budget $3000 – $5000 for maintenance of an old Van house . He explained to me I am wrong. His estimate was $1000. I asked around, I looked at all my landlord is spending, I search the internet… well, it seems $300 to $500 a month is more sensible. What do you see out there?


mo, no, to be honest he did not say guaranteed. just said that he has MF that in the last 3 years returned 5-6% annually.
yes it is life insurance. i dont have policy in front of me i do not know if it is Performax?

@PC Brand
yeah i noticed that about MER. the one that he was reffering were %2.69 MER!!

PC Brand

Ha ha – that manulife fraud is really optimistic he can get over his 2% MER with ease. Mutual fund sales people are such jerk offs. Mutual funds and insurance policies should not be allowed by the same “advisor”… I don’t think stock brokers should be allowed to sell insurance policies either.

Randy Randerson

Nothing an insurance salesperson sells is guaranteed. I’m assuming that it’s a universal life insurance? Manulife Performax?

If he says it’s guaranteed, have him and his supervisor sign a legally binding contract that they will grow your money 5-6% annually. Let’s see what sort of mental gymnastics they perform under pressure.

If they say the market is unpredictable, then how can they guarantee anything?

They are all total index funds, for Canada, US and international. VCN has >250 stocks, VTI >3000, VXUS >5000. This is diversification at work, unlike someone who is 100% into their own house/RE investment.


patriotz: “Since you’re totally focused on RE this may come as a surprise to you”

how can you say that when i posted at least 10 posts today looking for an answer for my RRSP portfolio?

“cash account” and “margin accounts” ???????????????????
average joe investing through RRSP does not have or know about this things. if you want show off here on forum that you are some kind of Buffet throwing these terms that is fine.


ok, randy, i wrote down your portfolio. i will have to go figure what they are about.
some good news.
had insurance guy at my place to change the coverage and he also manage investments for ManuLife. he claims that he can make me a portfolio for 5-6% return after paying the fees. will talk more next week.


Mayhem in Metro Vancouver as heavy storm causes flooding, power outages


things seem fine here in richmond despite being in a “flood plane” as many armature geologists on this site claim.


@Harvey “lets forget for the moment about the other part “opportunity cost” and etc…” Yes, lets ignore hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity in owned property. After all, it’s all just pocket change to Vancouver home owners who must be multi-millionaires to afford their houses, no? Hundreds of thousands is what someone needs to be able to even think about retiring without drastically cutting their standard of living, hundreds of thousands will provide sufficient income to rent a nice place for your family. Hardly something you want to “forget about” when “doing the math”, etc… Is this the kind of math you’re doing when making important life decisions? Owning property comes with many expenses and costs. Many many many. Opportunity cost of the equity tied up in the house is a real cost. A significant cost if you own… Read more »


Canada has long been the #1 foreign RE buyer in the US

Prior to 2008 it was Mexico and UK making up the largest portion of foreign buyers while Canada's share stood below <11% (NAR). After 2008, Canada's share sustained at 18-23% (NAR) while U.S. prices have risen back to 2008 levels.

Refinancing? NAR's latest international buyers report stated 86% of Canadian paid cash. Are you suggesting Canadians are hedging their super-bubbly properties buy withdrawing equity to buy bubbly properties in the U.S.?



Canada has long been the #1 foreign RE buyer in the US (both residential and commercial), so you don’t need any new theories to explain this. I’m sure money obtained by refinancing Canadian RE at today’s current inflated prices far outweighs any dirty capital.


U.S. Commercial Real Estate Attracts Foreign Investors (Canadians) Canada continues to dominate the foreign capital buying market in the U.S. for all commercial property types. Canada accounts for one-third of the total foreign investment sales that have occurred year-to-date as of Sept. 1, according to RCA. Other top countries that have topped the $1 billion mark this year include Singapore, China, Germany, South Korea, Israel, Switzerland and Australia. Investment strategies vary widely. Florida, for example, has seen an uptick in acquisitions from Canadians buying apartments. Canada’s multifamily investment activity in Florida rose 8 percent during the first half of the year to reach more than $163 million in sales, according to RCA. “We see a lot of people from Montreal and Toronto coming here because it is on the East Coast,” adds Stone. Investors want geographic diversity, and they also… Read more »

Randy Randerson

If and when the market crashes, it’ll be long and drawn out. So if you have savings because you’re not pumping every last dime into your mortgage, there is your spare cash to buy at the bottom.


@169: “. if your portfolio crashed where you gona find the funds to buy at the bottom”

Since you’re totally focused on RE this may come as a surprise to you, but most stock market investors carry cash holdings to take advantage of buying opportunities. Also many hold government bonds which can be easily sold and often go up when stocks go down – like in the crash on 2008.

There is also such a thing as a margin account for those who want to take on leverage to buy low.

Randy Randerson

Initially I fidget the percentage quite a bit, because I was new to index investing. Now I have an allocation that I like so I’ll stay put, so no changes every month or any tactical asset allocation. I’ll review my allocation again next year.

Here is what my allocation is like now:
10% VCN
10% VXF
25% VXUS
10% VSS
10% REIT (CAN/US/Int)
10% preferred (CAN/US)

Eventually I’ll trim back my US and Int ETF’s to buy bonds. I buy every few months, usually 2-3 ETF’s to reduce my commission.


you dont make sense. it is the same. if your portfolio crashed where you gona find the funds to buy at the bottom?


@150: “DOW crashed 4 times in the last 15 years”

And each time was a great buying opportunity. What would your return be if you bought after each crash?

Hard to buy after a crash in RE when you’re underwater on the house you already own.