Matthew Lekushoff |


As of September, the average Canadian owes $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income. This debt load is often cited as one of the biggest risks the Canadian economy faces moving forward.

Although unlikely, should interest rates increase to anywhere near historic levels, this would dramatically affect homeowners with large mortgages. Many young Canadians would also find it almost impossible to buy property without significant help from family members.

A generation of Canadians have been lulled into expecting low interest rates for the rest of their lives. I can only hope this to remain the case, but should global economic conditions put pressure on interest rates the way they did in the '70s and '80s, many find themselves in an ugly predicament.


Most equity indexes around the world have had a strong start to 2018. Hopefully this continues, but, as always, we're prepared for whatever may come.
On the home front, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates last week for the third time since last summer. This recent hike-----  to 1.25%-----  is the highest level since 2009. Some economists expect further increases later this year, however, NAFTA negotiations, low expected GDP growth, and high personal debt levels suggest a dramatic increase won't occur in the foreseeable future.  


With the turning of the calendar year, you can now make an additional $5,500 contribution to your TFSA. This brings your lifetime contribution allowance up to about $57,500. The RRSP deadline is March 1. 
If you aren't sure what your limits are for either account, contact Revenue Canada or  set up an online account  with them to find out. Alternatively, you can check your RRSP limit on your most recent notice of assessment.


  "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."  
----- Anaïs Nin
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."
-----  Richard Feynman


On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction   by William Zinsser: Perhaps the go-to book for improving your writing. If this is one of your goals, William Zinsser's book should be on your shelf.
Who is Richard Feynman? The Curious Character Who Mastered Thinking and Physics  by Farnam Street: A great introduction to brilliant physicist Richard Feynman. Most popularly known for determining the cause of the space shuttle explosion and his work on the  Manhattan Project , Feynman was as equally interesting a person as he was a brilliant scientist.
Why Are More Boys Born Than Girls?  By Natalie Walchover: I've always assumed the frequency of male births was exactly the same as females. This article points out the natural ratio is about 105:100 in favour of males (excluding cases of gendercide). This ratio is fascinating because it compensates for the naturally higher mortality rate in males-----  a phenomenon found in species where males are larger than females, commonly referred to as a  tournament species . I could go on-----  trust me-----  but I've either lost you, your interest, or you'll begin wondering what this has to do with finance...
Canso Market Observer (January 2018) :  I read Canso's newsletter as soon as I get my hands on it. This month's opines on what they and many others consider a bubble in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space. Both will be a big part of our future, but the question is, which, if any, of today's popular ones will stay relevant?
Elon Musk: The World's Raddest Man  by Tim Urban: I'm a huge fan of Tim Urban's website,  Wait But Why . This essay is the first of a four-part series on Elon Musk and his many projects. Like most of his posts, it's a long read, but you hardly notice given Urban's humour and signature illustrations. If you're interested in learning about what goes into the creation of his essays, his interviews  with Kevin Rose  and  Tim Ferriss  are fun and enlightening.

  • Falcon Heavy: SpaceX rocket lights 27 engines, conducting a key test ahead of its maiden flight. Depending on the results of this test, lift-off can occur in the next two weeks.

Matthew Lekushoff

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