Matthew Lekushoff |
Canada's recession | Consumer Delinquency | Thoughts from Dubai
It's official-Canada ended its mild recession resuming growth in the third quarter (in the three months ending in September), according to Statistics Canada. However, there are signs this rebound may already be faltering. Although the economy expanded at an annual pace of 2.3% in the last three months, September contracted by a bigger-than-expected 0.5% month-over-month.
This report by Statistics Canada was released just ahead of the Bank of Canada announcing it will keep its rates unchanged for the third straight time, at 0.5%-the Federal Reserve prepares to raise U.S. rates this month. Both the Canadian dollar and U.S. index futures were down ahead of this announcement. Many economists don't expect Canadian rates to change much until late next year.
On the personal finance front, consumer delinquency rates dropped to their lowest levels in more than six years. However, national figures may be masking substantial deterioration in the oil patch with Alberta and Saskatchewan delinquency rates soaring to 13.4% and 8.4%, respectively.
Where has the year gone? As we're winding down on another year and the holiday season is almost in full swing it's important to remember to keep your long term goals in mind. Holiday exuberance can cause people to forget their financial goals, setting them back several months before they get back on track.
If you need some help staying vigilant this season, my website is filled with a variety of resources on how you can stick to your guns (read: goals), beginning with investment strategies for financial success and ways to buy happiness .
Back from Dubai
After an incredible trip to Dubai, I'd like to share some of my reflections about the trip-I'll delve deeper in an upcoming blog post.
Dubai is still growing-and growing fast. Having spent 10 days in the UAE I was fortunate to meet a number of entrepreneurs in construction, sporting events, and finance. Although they acknowledged things in Dubai aren't perfect, they all commented on the rapid pace of life. Basically, when Dubai's Monarch, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum or Sheikh Mohammad as he is often called, wants something done, there is virtually no red tape to slow things down.
There is however, an obvious downside to this lack of democracy. The political expression we take for granted in the west is virtually non-existent and the press provides a fairly sanitized view of how things really are. On the justice side of things, flogging and stoning, for example, are legal punishments in the UAE as it is subject to Sharia law.
Dubai is a region of immigrants. The population is comprised of roughly 90% expats from foreign countries with the remaining 10% being the local Emirati. And yet, it's one of the few places where you will not be granted citizenship if you were born there-even if your family has been in the UAE for several generations. You're only eligible for citizenship if you are of Emirati descent. Perhaps most amazingly, residents need to re-apply every few years to stay in the country and are put through a process that includes medical exams in part to ensure residents are healthy enough to stay in the country.
On the personal finance side, there are no income or sales taxes in Dubai. When I mentioned to several people that the top tax rate in Ontario will likely increase to over 50%, my comments were greeted with shock, horror, pity, and sheer incredulousness. One of the successful businessmen I talked to pointed to taxation as a key reason why he left Canada for Dubai.
On the whole my biggest take away was that as Canadians we often don't think big enough. In Dubai things happen fast, relatively efficiently, and on a large scale. It's a growing place in a hurry to become bigger and better as fast as it can. It is obviously not perfect by any stretch. Its lack of democracy and rights while denying citizenship to immigrants is something we in the west would and should not tolerate.
Although I'd never want Canada to be run as extremely as the UAE, we are in an increasingly competitive world where capital and people can and will move for better opportunities. I believe we'd be wise to consider any options to improve to ensure Canada remains one of the best places in the world!
In other news...
Ontarians paid $37-billion above market price for electricity over eight years
Oil near $40 a barrel as OPEC rolls over policy
What it was like to let Google answer all my emails for a week
Going viral
Amazing things you'll only see in Dubai
Video seeks to ease hatred against Muslims

Matthew Lekushoff, CIMA

Financial Advisor 

Raymond James Ltd.


T: 416-777-6368 | F: 416-777-7020


Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   Like us on Facebook




This provides links to other Internet sites for the convenience of users. Raymond James Ltd. is not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor does Raymond James Ltd endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other Internet sites. Users cannot assume that the external sites will abide by the same Privacy Policy which Raymond James Ltd adheres to.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Raymond James. This article is for information only.  Raymond James Ltd.  Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund