The 2013 federal budget was delivered by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty just over two weeks ago. Usually we like to get something out that summarizes the budget very quickly, but in this case there were some directives in the budget that we required some clarification on before posting our thoughts.
… Bungee Jumping Anyone?
Based on a number of conversations I’ve had recently, there appears to be a disconnect between the prevailing thoughts on recent market performance and the reality of what has been happening. If I told you that, as of October 3rd, US Markets (using the S&P 500 as an example) have outperformed the TSX in Canada by 12.38% year-to-date, would you believe me?
Most people recognize that they require life insurance, whether it will be for their short-term liabilities, mortgage debt, final expenses, etc. However, the question that frequently comes up is "How much life insurance do I actually need?"
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." - Yogi Berra
Over the last year as equity markets have become more volatile, primarily on the heels of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, a number of new investment opportunities have been crossing my desk and I wanted to address the risks associated with these, sometimes opaque, products.
A couple of months ago we published a blog titled “Spring Fever”, which drew the analogy of the economic issues of early 2011 having a sort contagious effect in the markets similar to what we faced the previous year. Now, as we have rounded out the summer, some of the contagious elements that were breaking out in the spring have turned into full blown viruses.
After experiencing the largest single day correction since early 2009 last Thursday, markets have continued to fall in the wake of the downgrade of the US credit rating by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and rising concerns over slower growth in the global economy.
The number one buzz word over the past few months (years?) has undoubtedly been ‘debt’. Sovereign debt, consumer debt, debt to GDP, etc. However, the most common term in recent weeks has been debt ceiling, which needs to be increased in order for the US to service their existing debt and ongoing operating obligations (such as military, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.).&n