Matthew Lekushoff |


Although the Canadian equity index return remains negative on the year, the Canadian economy appears to be doing much better. The May GDP growth number came in at an increase of 0.6% -----  up from April's 0.2% increase. This puts the second quarter's number on track for a robust annual increase of 3.8%, if June falls in line, leaving economists fairly excited, as growth seems to be coming from a wide range of sectors. 

Another positive indicator has been the recent surge in oil prices -----  a surge economists believe is due to Chinese demand and Saudi Arabia's indication it will continue to restrict some production.

Also riding high -----  possibly because of the above trends and the interest rate increase -----  is the loonie, which has risen to a two-year high of $0.80 USD. Although this will likely make shoppers and travellers happy, a stronger dollar isn't all good news since it usually hurts business revenues for Canadian companies that export to the U.S. and other countries.

On the security side, the markets have been fairly placid, with the exception of Canadian energy securities rising, though not to the same extent as the underlying commodities.

Potential corporate tax code changes

Many of you have likely heard about the federal government's possible crack down on those who use their corporations to reduce or defer their overall tax bill. The Liberals are soliciting feedback from tax professionals and business owners on solutions to close the perceived tax gap. The deadline for submissions is set to be Oct. 2, 2017.

Although it looks like the government will follow through on this, particularly because it involves increasing taxes, as most political observers know, intentions don't always result in actions. Having said that, if you're a business owner, it may be a good idea to reach out to your accountant or tax planner in case something does come into effect as early as January 2018.

Have a great long weekend everyone!


I'm a huge proponent of using mental models to improve thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. 

They allow me to spot opportunities, pitfalls, and connections between concepts and disciplines. I've been working on refining a series of mental models in different areas of my life, and have recently compiled a list for investing

I hope you find it as helpful as I have, and can add some more tools to your mental toolkit after reading this!


Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion  by Sam Harris: An interesting and thoughtful take on spirituality and religion that gave me a lot to think about. Recommendation: Read it, rather than listen to it, given the density of some of the text.
The Majority of the World's Population Lives in This Circle : In the West, we tend to think we are the centre of the universe. This map is a great reminder that if you go by population, this is definitely not the case.
The Weird Power of the Placebo Effect, Explained  by Brian Resnick:  Years ago, I remember being awestruck by the idea of the placebo effect actually working. This article discusses some of the new information that exists around the concept.
Crafts, Garicano, and Zingales on the Economic Future of Europe   by EconTalk: An interesting conversation between a few European economists about the economic future of Europe. Spoiler alert: It doesn't look great.
Why Bitcoin Matters  by Marc Andressen: One of my summer projects is to get my head around how bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work. This is a great starter article by the influential and well-respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andressen.
The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works  by Farnam Street:  If you haven't noticed, I'm slightly in awe of how Charlie Munger (and his business partner Warren Buffet) use simple mental models to get the most out of life. I truly believe if people heeded their advice, they'd be shocked at how much more satisfied they'd be. And I'm not even talking about the financial side of the ledger. 



Summer Travelling: The National Geographic just announced its 21 best travel photos of 2017, based on votes for the Travel Photographer of the Year contest. Some of the images are pretty stunning and will leave you in awe of the world around us! 


So if you haven't taken your summer vacation yet, why not try the Marble Caves in Patagonia, or the Japan's Forest of the Gods?

Matthew Lekushoff

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