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Archive for the ‘Top 10’ Category

TOP 10 Double-Edged Benefits of Spring

After a very tough winter, slowing ebbing away this week officially but not in evidence, let’s remember that some expressions shift to another side of their connotations…

  • ‘White out conditions’ refer mainly to the need to correct typos
  • ‘Bundling up’ means trying to combine services for a cheaper rate
  • ‘Skating on thin ice’ focuses on one’s status in the workplace or relationships
  • A ‘Blanket of snow’ reverts to its rightful place as a soft assessment of political bafflegab
  • ‘Breaking the ice’ relates to reducing the size of ice cubes for drinks
  • The ‘tip of the iceberg’ alludes to the gradual rise of problems not previously evident in a project
  • Dealing with a ‘cold snap’ means handling a number of people feeling weakened by a virus
  • ‘Putting something on ice’ becomes a desirable option for diluting the effects of heat
  • Being ‘left out in the cold’ becomes more hurtful, because it’s not dependent on temperature
  • Feeling ‘snowed under’ identifies the emergence of projects put on hiatus during the winter

 

 

 

Maybe an ETF

As a category of options for individual investors, ETFs have become increasingly popular since the dawning of the new millennium.

An ETF, or Exchange Traded Fund, offers opportunity to be exposed to a vast array of segments of the marketplace, including uncommon and emerging.  Part of their flashy appeal comes from availability at relatively minimal cost, i.e. management fees.

There is greater transparency than with traditional mutual funds, concerning both fees and underlying holdings.  As much of financial reporting emphasizes, lower costs to the investor (other things being ‘equal’) translates to a higher compounded return over time for a given investment profile.

As with other categories of investments, such holdings are eligible for tax-preferred treatment, such as in TFSAs (Tax Free Savings Accounts) and RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans) in Canada.

While numerous ETFs provide index-type returns for common asset types, such as stocks, bonds, and balanced portfolios, with the ever-expanding spectrum of niche markets has come an expanding horizon of specialty ETFs.

For example, one Canadian provider offers ETFs focused on companies fitting themes of innovation, cyber-security, and even gender diversity.

You would think that, with such cutting age savvy, ETF marketers would be leaving few marketing stones unturned.

But, in a world of ever widening market niches, what about the following potential openings for ETFs…

  • Recycling of non-recyclable materials
  • Superhero endowment control centres
  • Abandoned facilities restoration guilds
  • Emotional baggage storage facilities and rental agencies
  • Devices for the head providing both virtual reality and gravitational resistance
  • Mirror image replacement technology
  • Unclaimed mint quality memorabilia, produced for championship runner-up teams
  • Static and outdated bricks and mortar locations
  • Advocacy groups for entrepreneurial pitches
  • Agencies specializing in esoteric collections
  • Climate resistance qualified, road structure contractors

Perhaps ETFs should also be an acronym for Everything That Fits (somewhere).

TOP Benefits of Trades to Local Fans

Whenever in sports there is a purge of talented performers, or even when one beloved player switches to another team, fan support is tested.

When such moves occur around a ‘trade deadline’, such actions likely guarantee disappointment in the home team’s chances of getting into post-season play; moreover, any expectations for witnessing first-rate performances, leading to a ride into playoffs, seem pushed into the murky future.

If it seems to be a pattern for a certain sports community, maybe there’s something in the water.

Sometimes these happenings parallel larger societal issues, addressing their own contributing debacles and seriously needed updates.  Financial trade-offs involving infrastructure come to mind.

What many fans may wind up neglecting are the obvious upside benefits in the near-term:

  • No long-term planning is required to get good seats for games
  • One doesn’t have to leave as early as previously to allow for parking line-ups, nor for line-ups at facility concessions
  • Young fans learn the important life lessons of being let-down and of delayed gratification
  • No need to wonder about it being worth the extra cost of getting jerseys with players’ names on them
  • Less likelihood of interest in the games interfering with other entertainment options
  • We connect more quickly to the circle of life
  • That proposed trip to visit out-of-town relatives becomes increasingly appealing
  • No health concerns arise, due to stress levels in following local team fortunes
  • Hey, with all those cable channels we’re paying for, there really is something else on
  • Watching paint dry or the grass grow doesn’t seem so bad

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to feel better…

TOP 10 ‘Practical’ Valentine’s Day Gifts

In less than one week another of those often pressure-packed, gift giving days arrives: February 14th, AKA Valentine’s Day.

I can recall as a child in elementary school filling out sweet and simple cards to be given to classmates.  Starting even at such a young age, the message sinks in: this is a day to try to treat at least one other person in a special way.  Of course, as one gets older, effort and expense become more integral parts of the equation. (more…)

Wishful Tax Deductions & Credits

As we move into another February, it’s getting to that time for many of us to look at our income tax status for the previous year. 

We can pat ourselves on the back for the good actions we took to help lower taxes (such as make regular tax-deductible contributions to a retirement savings plan or contributions to charities eligible for tax credits).  We may also have some time left for catch-up opportunities, such as the 60 days grace period for contributions to an RRSP (in Canada). (more…)

TOP 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

The last year of the second decade of the new millennium is upon us; goals both new and refined remain to be clarified & charged up…

  • Lose weight by carrying fewer heavy memories and hefty resolutions
  • Cut and paste pictures of yourself on scenes of faraway places to reduce the size and expense of your bucket list
  • Resolve not to worry about stock market volatility by focusing instead on using more coupons
  • Promise yourself that the next time a fork in the road appears, you’ll take the tines necessary to consider what lies ahead
  • Establish a time capsule business for multi-generational inheritances
  • Discover a new species and become its trusted advisor in multilateral negotiations
  • Memorize the first and last lines of classic books so you sound like you are well read
  • Develop a new social networking site which functions to pass judgement on other social networking sites
  • Start up a Fisherman’s almanac with multiple choice weather predictions allowing the reader to act like a paid forecaster
  • Take a study at home course on how to interact more proactively with others

Objectives like these should set the stage for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

TOP 10 Ways to Improve Elections

With the Canadian provincial and municipal elections earlier this year and recently, plus a major biennial election south of the border earlier this month, one cannot help wondering what can be done to make the process, impact, etc. more interesting(more…)