Matthew Lekushoff |
Panama Papers | Taxes | The Black Swan

This week has been abuzz with the leak of the Panama Papers, 11.5 million documents taken from the files of Mossack Fonseca, the fourth largest offshore law firm in the world. The articles stated that nearly 215,000 offshore shell companies, linking 143 politicians to the use of tax havens to hide their wealth.
So far, there've already been several repercussions-the prime minister of Iceland resigned, Swiss authorities raided headquarters of the Union of European Football Associations, to name a few. Many have also speculated the impact this unprecedented leak will have on global markets. It's bound to lead to more regulation and taxation, particularly for global banks, and more bank regulatory scrutiny. It's definitely a story to keep following.  

In terms of investment news, the last couple weeks have seen most financial markets fall off a bit, although thankfully, they have been considerably less volatile than the first two months of the year. The exception to this has been gold. Although not back at its year to date high, it has shown its value as an investment with a low correlation to most markets.
This week saw the US dollar fall to it's weakest level against the yen since October 2014, while February's U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected. Although in itself this can be taken as a sign of weakened growth in the first quarter, data shows it could improve in months to come.

Taxes, taxes, taxes!
Even though you might be fooled into thinking it's still January with this crazy Toronto weather, you can bet the government isn't. So, unfortunately, that means it'll still be expecting your personal tax returns to be filed by the end of the month.

With the torrent of tax prep and paperwork bound to be hitting accountants' desks this month-gives a new meaning to April Showers, doesn't it? Given that, I thought I'd write a couple of blogs (with a third to be posted soon) on the subject. 
The first blog outlines some of the biggest adjustments this year given the recent government change and federal budget. Check out the second post for tips on how to reduce the amount of tax you pay this year and moving forward. Make sure you're writing off all that you're entitled to!
Under review

As you well know by now, The Black Swan is one of the best books I've read in the past few years. I enjoyed it so much I found the newsletter format inadequate to contain all the thoughts and ideas I wanted to share. So I decided to write not just one review, but two of them!

The second review is more in-depth than the first, but satisfied my craving for a deeper analysis of the book. If you're interested (and I hope you are), but prefer a shorter version, I would recommend the first summary . Hope you enjoy them as much as I did writing them!

What's on the bookshelf/in the podcast queue

For variety, I've taken a short break from nonfiction and recently finished 
A Storm of Swords , the third book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (what Game of Thrones is based on). As many of you may be reading the series or watching the show, I won't give too much away, other than to say none of the characters seem to be sacred to Martin. It's definitely an emotional rollercoaster, keeping you on your toes!
I also just finished two great podcasts. The first was an interview with conductor Alexander Shelley by Shane Parrish of the Farnam Street Blog. I was fascinated by Shelley's multidisciplinary background and how complex the role of a conductor is. Having said that, I re-listened to it with my girlfriend who has a strong background in music, and she found it to be mostly a review about the complexities and workings behind classical music.

The other podcast was Tim Ferris' second  interview with Joshua Waiskin . If that name sounds familiar, he was the subject of the 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fisher . Beyond his prowess at the chessboard, Waiskin is a former "push-hands" world champion and a black belt in Ju-Jitsu. This fascinating two-hour conversation ranges from topics on meditation, learning techniques, parenting and coaching experts in finance. If you're interested, check out the  first interview  with Waiskin or his great book  The Art of Learning .

Going viral
  •  Panama Papers: An unprecedented leak of millions of confidential files from the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world's fourth biggest offshore law firm
  • Melissa McCarthy kills it when she faces off against Jimmy Fallon in the Lip Sync Battle 


Matthew Lekushoff, CIMA

Financial Advisor 

Raymond James Ltd.


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


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