GarthFAQ

Introduction

So you’ve been reading Garth Turner’s blog for a few weeks and you’re still not sure of the difference between the Boomers and the Doomers, what squirrel recipes have got to do with anything, or why Garth’s got such a downer on gold? Well, here's the GarthFAQ for you or anyone else who's puzzled by one of the following terms or feels the need to ask a few common questions.

Glossary

416 -  The city of Toronto.

905 -  The suburbs of Toronto

Amazons -  Beautiful warrior women, living with Garth at the Bunker to type articles, get things ship-shape, throw out troublemakers, run his bath, and generally keep him happy.

Bandit -  Garth's faithful hound.

BitCoins - Pretend gold for geeks

The Big Owe - Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Finance

BPOE -  The Best Place On Earth, as it's known to some of its residents. The rest of us just call it Vancouver.

Blog Dogs -  Garth's faithful followers.

Boomers -  Anyone over the age of 50.

B.R.A -  Buyer Representation Agreement.  Optional contract between you and your real estate agent that you will pay him even if he proves to be unable to find you a house.

Bunker -  Garth's home and refuge for the time when civilisation collapses.

C -  Mark Carney, ex-Governor of the Bank of Canada.

Cat Food - Special Sunday treat for all those who reach retirement with no savings except the equity in their house. The rest of the week it’s dog kibble for them.

CMHC -  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation which insures mortgages for the banks. Not for you.

CREA - Canadian Real Estate Association, an organisation dedicated to informing the Canadian public whether it is a good time to buy real estate or a really good time to buy real estate.

Depends -  Adult diapers.

DH - Dear Husband

DOM - Days on Market. The length of time it takes to sell your house.

Doomers -  Anyone who thinks that civilisation is about to collapse, hyperinflation is just around the corner, house prices are going to crash, the Leafs are about to lose a game, etc.

Dorothy -  Garth's wife and Queen of the Amazons.

DRiP - Dividend Re-investment Plan which uses the dividends from your shares to buy more shares automatically

ED - Erectile Dysfunction. Inability to maintain a strong interest rate. See Orange Guy’s Shorts.

The Elfin Deity - James Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance, 2006-2014.

EFT -  Electronic Funds Transfer.

ETF -  Exchange Traded Funds.

F -  The F- word. See Elfin Deity.

FASTPGFBDCParty -  The First Annual Sunnyvale Trailer Park Greater Fool Blog Dog Christmas Party, a shindig which is rumoured to have been the wildest event of 2011.

First Rule of Purchasing - Always buy the worst house on the best street.

Frankenumber -  A number created by stitching together other less desirable numbers. For instance, the HPI created from house price averages by the CREA to disguise drops in prices.

G -  Garth Turner

GFC -  Global Financial Crisis.

GIC - Guaranteed Investment Certificate. Investment in which you charitably lend money to a poverty-stricken bank for at least a year at a rate of interest possibly lower than is offered by that same bank’s High-Interest Savings account.

G-man -  Garth Turner

Gold -  Magical material which, it is rumoured, will protect you from poverty when civilisation collapses, hyperinflation arrives, house prices crash, the Leafs lose a game, etc. Warning! It is alright to like this metal but if you find yourself licking it, you probably like it a bit too much.

Greater Fool -  The person who is willing to buy your 500 sq ft condo from you at an even more ridiculous price than you were stupid enough to pay. Caution! Such a person may not exist.

GTA -  Greater Toronto Area.

H -  Stephen Harper, Prime Minister.

HAM -  Hot Asian Money, allegedly ill-gotten gains used by Asian immigrants to buy property.

Harley -  Garth's favourite brand of motorcycle.

HELOC -  Home Equity Line Of Credit, bank loan backed by house as collateral. Payable on demand. In other words, unlike a mortgage, the bank can ask you to pay it back in full at any time. They normally won’t unless you start causing them problems but...

Horny - Desperate to buy a house.

HouseAgeddon -  The time when house prices fall.

HPI -  House Price Index

Hummer -  Garth's main mode of transport.

The Jar Lady - Gail Vaz-Oxlade, who used her magic jars on “Till Debt Us Do Part” to save people from out-of-control spending.

K - Karma. The idea that Greater Fools will get what they deserve. Eventually.

Lawn Asians - See Lawn Ornaments

Lawn Ornaments -  People hired to look like eager buyers at an Open House or other house buying event.

MIL -  Mother-in-Law.

MOI -  Months of Inventory. The number of months it would take to sell all the houses listed for sale right now, if people keep on buying at the current rate.

MPAC - Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. The company which ensures that everyone in Ontario knows how much their land is worth for tax purposes.

MSM -  Mainstream Media. Television, radio, newspapers, books and websites controlled by The Powers That Be.

Orange Guy's Shorts - ING Bank's high interest savings account.

OSFI -  The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.  The government’s bank cops, charged with keeping Canadian Banks, Insurance Companies, etc. on the straight and narrow.

Porn -  Films or articles or pictures intended to make people want to buy houses.

POS -  Power of Sale or Piece of Sh*t.

Peckerettes -  Civil servants at the Department of Finance. F’s minions. Or possibly his minders. No one’s really sure.

Peekaboo mortgage - Mortgage with the option to miss a payment every so often in order to ensure that you don’t pay it off too quickly and thus deprive the poor bank of all that lovely interest.

Preferreds -  Preferred shares in banks (or other organisations). They give a higher dividend than common shares.

REIT - Real Estate Investment Trust, an organisation which rents out buildings and pays the rent to its shareholders.

Rocks - See Gold.

Rule of 90 -  The principle that you shouldn't have more than (90 - YourAge)% of your net worth invested in residential housing. And that includes the roof over your own head.

QE -  Quantitative Easing. Roughly speaking this is when the government borrows, using low-interest short-term debt, to give it enough cash to pay off its high-interest long-term debt. Similar to a homeowner borrowing from a low-interest HELOC to pay off high-interest credit card debts or car payments.

SASTPGFBDCParty -  The Second Annual Sunnyvale Trailer Park Greater Fool Blog Dog Christmas Party, a hootenanny which promises to be even wilder than the FASTPGFBDCParty.

SFH -  Single Family Home.

SMA - Simple Moving Average. A stock market term for an average calculated by taking the last 10 days (or 20 days or 30 or whatever) of prices for a stock and averaging them then doing the same thing again tomorrow (and the next day and the next day). Graph the result and you will have a SMA curve.

Squirrel recipe -  It is important to be prepared. Some people are better prepared than others. Those who are well prepared have a month's supply of canned beans. Those who are really well prepared own a Bunker. Those who are perhaps a little too well prepared have already googled for and printed off their squirrel recipes, Just In Case. See Doomers.

SS&G - Stainless Steel appliances and Granite countertops without which no kitchen is complete. God may forgive you for installing White appliances and Wooden countertops but the property virgins won’t

TH - Townhouse

Tin Foil -  Magical material which, it is rumoured, will protect you from mind control rays when made into a hat. Recommended by those who believe that The Powers That Be are out to get us. Apparently works against all TPTB except Mothers-in-Law (who it seems “don’t need rays to control anyone”).

TNL@TB -  The Nice Lady At The Bank.

ToM - Time on Market

TPTB -  The Powers That Be. Those who shape society and attempt to control it. Includes the Government, the Bankers, the Corporations, the Communists, the Illuminati, the Lizardmen and Mothers-in-Law.

Track 5er - Person who goes against the flow to gain an advantage. Refers to the behaviour of commuters on track 5 (or more accurately platform 5) in Union station, Toronto.

Track 6er - Person who goes with the flow because “everyone else is doing it”. See track 5er

VanCity - Vancouver.

VI - Vancouver Island or Vested Interest.

Virgins -  People who do not yet own a house.

VRM - Variable Rate Mortgage.

VTB - Vendor-Take-Back mortgage. Mortgage offered by house seller to house buyer. Recommended for sellers who like pain.

Vultch -  Wait while house prices drop to the bottom like a vulture waiting for a wounded animal to die. Or buy at that point like a vulture feeding.



Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Garth hate Gold? -  Garth does not hate Gold. Garth loves balanced diversified portfolios. He used to advise that Gold should be between 5% and 10% of a person's net worth on the basis that anything more was too risky. In fact since late 2012 he believes that gold is so risky that it should not form part of anyone’s portfolio. See Doomers, Gold.

Why does Garth hate Real Estate? -  Garth does not hate Real Estate. Garth loves balanced diversified portfolios. So he advises that Real Estate should be no more than 60% of a 30 year-old's net worth and no more than 30% of a 60-year-old's assets. Anything more is too risky. See Rule of 90.

Does Garth write the emails, he says that he receives from the general public? -  Are you kidding? Garth’s inbox gets so many messages, he has to have five Amazons working all hours just to filter out the trivial stuff. He doesn’t need to make up any more.

Why does Garth love balanced diversified portfolios? -  Garth knows that prediction is very difficult, particularly if it involves the future. Since predictions will not necessarily come true, he advises that people do not put all their eggs in one basket, or all their investments in one asset. When investments are made in more than one asset, a drop in the price of one asset may be balanced by an increase in the price of another asset. In particular the price of bonds tends to drop at the same time as the price of shares tends to rise. And vice-versa. So a portfolio of assets needs to include a balance of bonds and shares in order to reduce the risk of the owner predicting the future wrongly.

Why does Garth hate GICs? - Garth doesn’t hate GICs -- well, maybe he does just a little bit. But it’s nothing personal. He hates all low-yield, illiquid, tax-inefficient investments. And that’s what GICs are. Low yield? They don’t give much interest. Illiquid? You can’t cash them in early if you need to. Tax inefficient? You always pay your maximum rate of income tax on them unless you put them in a TFSA -- and that would be a waste of your TFSA contribution allowance.

Does Garth believe that Renting a House is always better than Buying a House? -  The simple answer is "No". The complicated answer is "Garth believes that it depends on how much the house costs when you compare the total cost of renting (which includes rent, contents insurance and possibly utilities) to the total cost of buying (which includes mortgage interest payments, property taxes, reno/repair costs, building insurance, contents insurance, utilities, opportunity costs on the house equity, changes in local house prices, and the cost of buying and selling the house)". At the moment in Canada's major cities, owning a house costs much more than renting it, particularly in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. However there are a few cities and some rural areas in Canada where Buying is still better than Renting. It is unlikely that you live in one of those places. In fact at the moment the chances are extremely good that you live in a part of Canada where Renting is better than Buying. But read what the G-man has to say on this himself. He wrote a great article on the topic for Victoria Day, 2013, ”Victoria's Secret

How does Garth feel about buying a house in partnership with a friend or relative? -  This is hardly ever a good idea. If something goes wrong over such a large purchase, you may end up never speaking to your friend or relative again. If you can handle that possibility then go ahead. Otherwise don’t.  The only exception is when you’re intending to marry him or her but even then you should think very carefully about it. In short, if you like them but you aren’t sleeping with them, you shouldn’t buy real estate with them.

When does Garth think the crash is going to happen? - Garth doesn’t think that a crash will happen. He thinks that there will be a correction followed by a multi-year melt. The correction will be large in places like Vancouver or Toronto and small in places like Moncton. But it will not be a crash.

When does Garth think that the US will collapse? - Not in our lifetime. Don’t bet against the US, he says.

Does Garth believe that the U.S. dollar will still be the reserve currency of the world during our lifetime? - Yes, of course.  And for some time thereafter.

Does Garth own any real estate? - Garth has owned much real estate in the past. He still owns a Bunker in the Maritimes but rents his digs in Toronto.

Hey Garth, I posted a comment and now it’s disappeared. What gives? - There are two reasons that a comment can vanish. Reason number one is that you broke the rules on commenting. Garth is pretty lenient but if you break the rules too often or too badly, your comment will be deleted. However a deleted comment is more likely to appear with the word “DELETED” (or “BANNED” if you really annoyed him) rather than just vanish. The more common reason for “vanishing” is a technical one to do with the entries in the Name: Mail: Website: fields. If these no longer contain anything or contain something other than you originally typed, your comment will become invisible until Garth gets round to checking it. However it will still exist even though you won’t be able to see it while it’s awaiting moderation. Just be patient. It will show up when Garth gets round to it or when you post another comment with the same Name: Mail: Website details.

My real estate agent keeps on showing me her BRA. Now she wants me to sign it. Should I? - Not unless you really love her. Garth explains the problems with these agreements in his post, The trouble with BRAs, and why signing it would be great for the agent but probably not so great for you

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Blog Topics

April 2014

20140414 The heartbroken - A property inspector’s view of buyers and estate agents

20140413 Treats - How to combine RRSP tax refunds and the TFSA to best advantage

20140411 Safety first - Young people are opting for “risk-free” investments

20140410 Finale - Eulogy for James Michael Flaherty (1949 - 2014)

20140409 Choices - Advice if you’re 50+ with a paid-off house, some TFSAs and some RRSPs

20140408 Detached - Latest housing figure are detached from reality

20140407 The slush fund - Why the TFSA contribution limit will likely rise to $10,000 p.a. soon

20140406 Bite me - Buying a house won’t make you rich any more. So don’t believe the hype.

20140404 'It's not just a house...' - Bidding wars and RBC’s latest mortgage adverts.

20140403 Flying blind - The lack of clarity in real estate statistics.

20140402 I am yours - An estate agent who offers more than just real estate.

20140401 Canukistan - Canadians have less income, more spending and more debt. Oh dear.

March 2014

20140331 Real men invest - What Garth means by rebalancing a balanced, diversified portfolio

20140330 Risk on - Millennials are extremely risk-averse. Too much so

20140328 Live with it - Despite even lower mortgage rates, it’s still not a good idea to borrow

20140327 Race to the bottom - The new finance minister blinks. 22 reasons RE is near a top

20140326 Rick's house - A Yank in Calgary shares his experience of the US and Canada

20140325 The empty middle - Poor people with big incomes and big expenses

20140324 What fire? - Bidding wars, bubbles, and the Conference Board of Canada

20140323 Money for nothing - Why an index-linked GIC is good for the bank but not for you

20140321 Why I suck - the median Boomer is not about to inherit a bundle from his/her parents

20140320 The epiphany - Real estate is great but here’s ten reasons not to buy just yet

20140319 Baby Doomers - Baby boomers aren’t saving enough for retirement

20140318 F - Jim Flaherty’s resignation, reminiscences

20140317 Yahoo - Calgary real estate and its link to oil

20140316 Out of control - Example of misleading incentives to borrow from mortgage broker

20140314 The big R - Risk and debt

20140313 Eau de mal - Desperate realtors;misleading adverts; the Eau de Soleil development

20140312 The deniers - Denial of our house-rich, cash-poor society; Avery dumping on Carney

20140311 Swan song - Quebecois independence and Etienne’s rent-vs-buy calculator

20140310 Not so fast - Not a good time to jump into the Canadian property market

20140309 Gen why? - If your house is your retirement fund, you need to act now

20140307 Snowflakes - Things are getting better in the US; and worse in Canada

20140306 A little respect - Real estate agents are still best for buying and selling houses

20140305 Save me - Dodgy stats: Garth receives a letter from the CREA about trademarks

20140304 Why life's unfair - How much tax you pay on different kinds of income

20140303 Roll over - Lots of people think the Canadian RE market is over-priced

20140301 Plan B - People can’t afford RRSPs and TFSAs because of the cost of mortgages

February 2014

20140228 Happily ever after - Carl and the expensive mortgage

20140227 The big news - Speculation on what CMHC might be announcing tomorrow

20140226 You're _ _ _ _ _ _ than you think - StatsCan’s “wealth” report is out to lunch

20140225 Out there - News of markets where prices are dropping

20140224 Animal instincts - Why do people lust after houses?

20140223 Who can you trust? - More dodgy real estate board figures

20140221 Temptations - Eschew debt; build a diversified, balanced, liquid portfolio

20140220 The followers - Don’t believe the doomers: the future’s not that bad

20140219 Jim - Sad tale of a man who died house-rich but income-poor

20140218 Tell her - Renting beats buying in Calgary at the moment

20140217 Troubles - Various graphs showing economic troubles ahead

20140216 Coming clean - Real estate round-up with Ross Kay

20140214 How to be a hero - What a balanced portfolio consists of and how it performed

20140213 How to uninvest - Real estate is a bad investment right now

20140212 R.I.P. HAM - Flaherty announces the death of the Immigrant Investor Program

20140211 Smarts - People are still daft enough to prefer a mortgage to financial assets

20140210 What pig? - Canadian debt is still rising; but it can’t go on much longer

20140209 Spring - Readers letters on HAM, spring listing, bankruptcy, and Bandit

20140207 Family planning - Why the Bank of Mom and Dad is a bad idea for all concerned

20140206 Oblivion - We’re headed for oblivion because we’re still investing all wrong

20140205 Poor Jason - Year-on-year drop in January sales

20140204 The drug - Real estate addicts come to a sad end

20140203 $803,649 - Why a hovel can sell for big bucks when economists are worried

20140202 The accident - Update on Garth’s leg

January 2014

20140131 Screw it - The oncoming retirement crisis - how people will fund the big R

20140130 The obvious - Job losses and the outlook for the CAD and the economy

20140129 'Trust me' - Jimmy’s predicament and co-owning property with siblings

20140128 Bombs away - Technical analysis and the slide in the Canuck dollar

20140127 Six cool things - Tips on using an RRSP effectively

20140126 Loaves and fishies - Turning a $35,000 taxable GIC into a $45,000 tax-free portfolio

20140124 Camenomics - Misleading real estate investment advice.

20140123 The wars - The ethics of bidding wars

20140122 Surprise! - Unemployment, disinflation and the mortgage Trigger Point.

20140121 The head fake -  Fixed rate and variable rate mortgage outlook

20140120 Oh, sh… - Emergency savings? Bad idea. Emergency LOC? Good idea.

20140119 Americans - Americans think Canada is going down. They’re not wrong.

20140117 Faux chateau - An amazing story of realtor spin plus update on Garth’s leg.

20140116 Walking The Dog - Garth’s leg, visit to emergency, Never Waste A Day.

20140115 Meeting K - Lower prices, lower dollar, higher interest, fewer jobs, lying realtors

20140114 ‘You should worry’ - Pressure from desperate realtors, boat shows as indicators

20140113 The disconnect - Rising unemployment, the drop in consumption and the economy

20140112 The road ahead - What might happen in 2014

20140110 What were we thinking? - The 2014 economic outlook is worse than Garth thought

20140109 Too scary - Reasons why the young are scared to invest in the market

20140108 Ant talk - Ant and cicada behaviour in modern Canada

20140107 The fat landing - Will there be a soft landing or a hard landing for real estate?

20140106 The new normal - Low interest rates, high house prices and high debt

20140105 Rutting - Case study - Mike and renting versus owning

20140103 Stunned - Why the TFSA is so amazing

20140102 The hug - Strategy for TFSA, spousal RRSP and bonds versus bond ETFs.

20140101 Leverage - Comparing owning a house against owning investments.

December 2013

20131231 Rules - How to buy a house for beginners

20131230 Stay tuned - Outlook for real estate and stock markets in 2014

20131229 Garth vs 2013 - Review of real estate and stock markets in 2013

20131226 How to worry - REITs, the housing correction and interest rates

20131225 It’s a date - Investments, RRSPs, TFSAs and end-of-year deadlines

20131224 Blessed - Christmas greetings

20131223 The iStorm - News of ice storm, and the economy

20131222 Redemption - Dr Devon and the bubble

20131220 The hedge - A US hedge fund manager’s view on the bubble

20131219 Suck it up - The pension situation and proposed changes to the CPP

20131218 Tapering - Effects of reducing the US bond-buying program

20131217 Knockoffs - Why FSBO is not a good idea, especially for buyers

20131216 The blame - Causes of high house prices

20131215 Realtors - Bidding wars, fake offers and a change in the rules for realtors

20131213 Choices - Seven actions to take to defend your investments against deflation

20131212 Really? - The risk of deflation

20131211 Lost - Jim, the realtor outlook on house prices and the Deutsche Bank outlook

20131210 Down - Deflation and job losses at Kellogs, Heinz, etc.

20131209 Up yours - Hedge fund manager’s view on Canadian debt

20131208 The bad idea - Jane, CMHC rules and rule changes

20131206 The contrarian - VRMs are best just now as BoC rates are lower than bond rates

20131205 The warning - Wen, Patrick, Ross Kay and the risk of high house prices

20131204 The end of normal - Risk of job losses, slackening economy and Poloz’s dilemma

20131203 Risk on - Jake, Penny, job losses, the slowing economy and risk

20131202 Stressed out - Carmen, Pat, the media and “buy now or buy never”

20131201 Whacked out - The iniquities of land transfer tax

November 2013

20131129 Can’t buy me love - BitCoin is digital gold, not money

20131128 Simple lives - Real estate prices are high because of Canadians

20131127 The enabler - House prices don’t always go up, Motley Fool says they’re too high

20131126 The indebted - Julie Dickson, mortgages, debt, jobs

20131125 Writing history - Young Lisa and lessons from the last housing crash

20131124 Crash course - Advantages of a TFSA in 2014

20131122 Market update - Real estate summary for late 2013 around Canada

20131121 I confess - Garth owns a house but he follows the rule of 90

20131120 It happens - Investments, inheritance and estate planning

20131119 Disorderly - Bad behaviour on flights and in the mortgage market

20131118 Ambition - Debt is rising but the government is tackling it in an odd way

20131117 Finding balance - How to build a balanced, diversified, liquid portfolio

20131115 Disorderly - The housing market is up and down simultaneously

20131114 Conservatives - Housing obsession, NIMBYs, and the ownership-and-jobs link

20131113 Choices - Byron’s question and VRM and Manulife One is the way to go now

20131112 The hero - The 0/40 mortgage was a big mistake by the Conservatives

20131111 The obvious - CREA data is wrong and the housing market is segmenting

20131110 Little monsters - The correct use of RESPs

20131108 Unfair - Paying rent by credit card is a bad idea

20131107 Rate limp - Deflation, ECB interest rate cut

20131106 What the rich know - Firms are doing well even though the economy is struggling

20131105 B of M - The effect of the Bank of Mom on the real estate market

20131104 The cowboy gene - Advantages of ETFs over stocks

20131103 Scrubbed - Why Frankenumbers are bad

20131101 The shedsters - Very small houses and land availability

October 2013

20131031 Pooched - Real estate porn in Victoria

20131030 Why we suck - Most Canucks are abusing GICs, Mutual Funds, TFSAs and RRSPs

20131029 Recycled virgins - More MLS relisting shenanigans

20131028 Hit & run - CREA twisting of statistics, effect on ordinary folk like Betty’s parents

20131027 How people think - Why housing is still overpriced

20131025 Wasted - Real estate roundup from around Canada, another Wicked review

20131024 An awkward romp - Real estate deathwish, bidding war and Wicked reviews

20131023 A new lesson - The Canadian economic outlook isn’t good right now

20131022 Riding with the stars - Rockstar realtors, cars and Vancouver prices

20131021 How to buy - Jim, Linda and the rules for buying a house if you must

20131020 Carrion - The downfall of the League group of companies

20131018 Game-changer - US gov shutdown and balanced, diversified portfolios

20131017 The .85% club - Investments beat real estate

20131016 Truth & trust - CREA manipulation of real estate statistics

20131015 Expert opinion - Real estate roundup around Canada, CREA sunshine and lollipops

20131014 What to really worry about - Jenny, why mutual funds don’t do well

20131013 Dinks - The US default won’t happen but will provide opportunities

20131011 Thank you - Thanksgiving, Bandit’s birthday and things to be grateful for

20131010 I was wrong - Why Canadian debt keeps growing

20131009 Kids - Bidding wars and overpayment, condos and freebies

20131008 The rock star - Mark Carney’s effect on the Canadian real estate market

20131007 The end - Likely US government default effects

20131006 How much is enough? - The lowdown on pensions

20131004 Careful - Real estate roundup around Canada, Brad Lamb’s a fighter

20131003 Surprise! - The outlook for pensions

20131002 What could go wrong? - The Canadian economy

20131001 Data dinks - Petition to clean up real estate statistics

September 2013

20130930 Breaking bad - The real estate situation is worse than it looks

20130929 Trust - Banks overselling mortgages

20130927 Investing 101 - Investing for beginners

20130926 Y & E - The madness of buying an unbuilt condo on Yonge & Eglinton

20130925 Dog fight - The CREA defends its dodgy statistics by attacking Ross Kay

20130924 Juiced - Bill, Evelyn and the inadequacy of most people’s retirement funds

20130923 The wall - New condo sales are dropping off a cliff

20130922 The flipper king - Ryan Coyle makes amazing promises on condos

20130920 Wasted - Blackberry layoffs and Kitchener-Waterloo real estate

20130919 The F-house - Why a house is not forever

20130918 Rock bottom - Condo sales are in trouble

20130917 The horny ones - Sales are up - or down - depending on who you believe

20130916 Manipulation - CREA spin on the latest numbers

20130915 The changeup - Review of what happened and what’s coming up

20130913 The bounce - Why sales are rising right now

20130912 The yield curve - and its effect on bonds and mortgages

20130911 The masses - Personal debt and mortgages are still rising

20130910 Who can you trust? - Ross Kay describes dubious RE statistics

20130909 Barato - What the bank means by affordability

20130908 Incredulous - More investing hints

20130906 Longevitis - Why people are jumping into fixed term mortgages

20130905 Happy, happy - Mortgage rates are going up again

20130904 Integrity - The economy is slowing as house prices rise

20130903 Die Hard - Swelling risk

20130902 Losing it - Renting is better than buying

20130901 The slaughter - Bond yields and mortgage rates

August 2013

20130830 Divine guidance - Readers letters

20130829 Lessons - Condo flipping ain’t what it used to be

20130828 The shill - Canadians aren’t saving enough for retirement

20130827 Be bold - Best way to borrow just now - fixed rate or VRM? The latter.

20130826 Bankers - Will mortgage debt ding the banks? Nope.

20130825 What could go wrong? - Big developer inventory of new housing

20130823 Rubbers - Tapering will start in before end of year, slight because of housing news

20130822 The shock - Mortgage rates rise

20130821 The real thing - Mortgage rates rise

20130820 We’re different - Effect of mortgage rises on house prices

20130819 Worries - The housing market is segmenting. Some parts up, some down.

20130818 For better or worse - Financial implications of marriage

20130816 Why not? - Dodgy RE stats and dodgy “financial” advice

20130815 The sure thing - Mismatch between MSM reports and RE reality

20130814 Too real - State of the housing market just now

20130813 Renting - How to work out whether renting is cheaper than buying

20130812 Bad advice - Credit squeeze, Vendor-Take-Back mortgages are a bad idea

20130811 It’s hard to be soft - Soft landing or hard landing for RE. Which is it to be?

20130809 What they know - Reasons why the outlook for RE is grim

20130808 Bad dogs - Why REITs are good, Why America is recovering

20130807 Careful what you believe - State of the RE market just now, Bimmers

20130806 F-bomb 2 - Tapering announcement and Flaherty’s bubble pricking

20130805 Facts - The MSM and the truth about real estate

20130804 Shame list - Abusive comments and how much real estate is enough

20130802 Honest! - Ross Kay, dodgy real estate figures

20130801 Nosty - Garth ain’t Nostradamus. Just a dude trying to help out Ray

July 2013

20130731 Crazies - Dropping out, downsizing, and the quieting economy.

20130730 Happy bidding - Flipping houses, potash and Saskatoon

20130729 Delivered - Donating winnings to charities for High River and Lac-Mégantic

20130728 Failure to launch - Adult children living at home

20130726 Open for offers - Property porn, rising interest rates and US Real Estate

20130725 Lousy endings - Calgary floods and mortgage renewals, time to exit BC RE

20130724 Whoopee - Greaterfool wins the financial blog contest, Toronto condo market

20130723 Aliens - Do immigrants cause high house prices? Nope.

20130722 Dear Garth - Readers’ letters answered

20130721 Surprise - Calgary floods and their after-effects on real estate

20130719 Humans - Emotional investment versus rational. Recency and the rule of 90

20130718 Consequences, part deux - International opinion on RE

20130717 Consequences - June RE sales across Canada and deception

20130716 All hat. No cattle. - Calgary floods viewed as a marketing opportunity

20130715 Hosernomics - International opinion on Canadian RE. Bubble

20130714 Go long - Why mortgage rates will be rising.

20130712 How to pick a realtor - Advice on picking a good realtor and why it’s a good idea

20130711 Learning to read - Interest Rate Differential penalties  and unfair mortgage fees

20130710 Eat the rich - Income inequality in Canada is getting worse.

20130709 The cataclysm - Rift between reality and RE spin 2, Ross Kay

20130708 Yup. - Rift between reality and RE spin

20130707 Muppets of fear - Fear and investments don’t mix, effect on the market

20130705 Little nibbles - Bond rates will cause mortgage rates to rise.

20130704 The manipulators - Things that realtors don’t want you to know

20130703 Stats - Debt up, mortgage rates precarious

20130702 How sad - Calgary floods, realtor response, Garth’s advice

20130701 Bad attitude - John’s predicament. Last minute retirement savings. Garth’s advice

June 2013

20130630 Our Day - Garth loves Canada, so Happy Canada Day, everyone!

20130629 Canadians - Canadian economy versus American economy

20130628 The chill - Canadian job losses and US real estate gains

20130626 Yellow fever - Collapse in the price of gold and silver

20130625 Savers - Savers are still getting the sharp end of the stick

20130624 The deluge - Effects of Calgary floods and drop in the bond market

20130623 OMG. Normal - Mortgage rate increases

20130621 Good thinking - Don’t buy a cottage with your relatives

20130620 Blogonomics - Mortgage rate rises and the effect of cheap money on house prices

20130619 Seriously. - Rising interest rates are on the way

20130618 Advice - How to hire a financial advisor

20130617 Emotional baggage - Advice to Suzi on how to build a portfolio

20130616 Real men go long - Reasons a 10-year fixed mortgage is the right choice right now

20130614 Suck it up - Banks desert mortgage brokers; Okanagan house price losses;

20130613 Too human - Stock market fall; Condo market spike; fear and greed

20130612 Useless - Real Estate is local; National market numbers are useless

20130611 Not even close - Interest rates are rising because of the bond market

20130610 Hold on - REITs are for income; latest job numbers

20130609 Wasted - Renting versus owning for Axel; Victoria housing drops

20130607 Mr. Market spanks - Mortgages are going up; spring RE market not good

20130606 Stagnant, expired & terminated - Misleading reports on the RE market

20130605 Too late? - Mortgages and Bank safety; the CDIC insurance limit for investors

20130604 Surprise - Misleading RE investment advice from realtors

20130603 Almost there - Real estate round-up

20130602 Fear, greed & risk - How they affect the Stock market and the RE market

May 2013

20130531 Smoky hole - Drop in demand for housing; Darren makes a case for renting

20130530 Of men & bonds - Low interest rates will go up because of bond yields

20130529 'The day it died' - Ross Kay says the RE market has topped

20130528 Mr. Wonderful - Don’t bet against America. Round-up of Garth’s predictions.

20130527 Woody - New BoC governor, Stephen Poloz

20130526 Junkies - Effect of interest rates on house sales

20130524 The rest of us - We should prepare for a downturn by having higher liquidity

20130523 Just say it - Flaherty says there’s no bubble; the evidence says otherwise

20130522 Common denominator - Money is cheap so people run up debt instead of saving

20130521 Too good to be true - Mortgage payment vacations are a seriously bad idea

20130520 Duty of care - RBC defends a misleading rent-versus-buy comparison.

20130519 Victoria's secret - Killer Arguments Against Renting - Not!

20130517 Star 3, truth 0 - Toronto Star rent-versus-buy editorial piece for RBC is misleading

20130516 Soft landing, part deux - Spring sales are lower than predicted

20130515 Soft landing - Everyone says soft landing for house prices -- except Ross Kay

20130514 Why life isn't fair - Immigrants find it easier to qualify for a mortgage

20130513 The man who loved short - It looks like Flaherty is about to kill 30-year mortgages

20130512 Investing with James - A mortgage broker gives misleading RE investment advice

20130510 Anticipation - Sales and prices remain high in some markets but fall in others

20130509 Busting the banks - 30-year mortgages are still around but not for much longer.

20130508 Protection - The Buyer Protection Plan for houses

20130507 The sure thing - Canadian millionaires don’t all own million dollar homes

20130506 Not again - Condos are going down. Top Canadian Finance Blog round two

20130505 Hicks - Life in Nova Scotia is great

20130503 The gospel of buy - House sales figures for April

20130502 Star 2, truth 0 - Puff piece about mortgage broker in the Toronto Star

20130501 Choices - Garth is right; the Doomers are wrong.

April 2013

20130430 Gen Homeless - Canada is repeating the USA’s 2006 mistakes

20130429 Race to the bottom - Flaherty, mortgage rates, and the need to buy

20130428 The trouble with shorts - How to short real estate - sort of…

20130426 All in this together - The MSM’s approach to real news ain’t what it used to be

20130425 Fake - KLM is not who she seems to be

20130424 The new Eden - Garth discusses RE with investment bank dudes from NYC

20130423 Seriously? - Two graphs: US and Canadian RE prices; Stock market flash crash

20130422 Ant talk - The economic outlook isn’t good

20130421 Rate roulette - %-year loans; 10-year loans, interest rates  and the mortgage act.

20130419 Feelings - Readers letters; how feelings lead them astray.

20130418 The perfect Canadian - Loves debt, loves buying houses, can’t say no.

20130417 How to rock - Fewer people have plans to buy houses

20130416 Cheatin - Tax issues with buying condos before they’re built

20130415 What matters - Deflation is what we should worry about -- not inflation

20130414 Trendy - Those who are sceptcal about buying houses have friends here

20130412 Chain of fools - Bitcoins crash, real assets down, financial assets up

20130411 Ready? - You should sell and rent right now; keep it liquid

20130410 Doomer update - Bitcoins, no -- balanced, diversified, liquid portfolio -- yes

20130409 As predicted - House prices are slowly falling nationally. 5 year fixed is best

20130408 The fix - If you’ve overbought, your best option might be to go bankrupt

20130407 Fatal attraction - The economy is changing; unemployment is up as a result

20130405 Silent spring - Staging; the lack of sales

20130404 Be very afraid - Fear that the banks will steal your savings is unfounded

20130403 When bulls croak - Canada sales round-up -- down.

20130402 Lemming nation - The S&P 500 rises, as does Canadian debt. Be on the right side

20130401 Offer like a man - Sarah hates Garth. So if you gotta buy, follow these 10 steps.

March 2013

20130331 Now or never - Buying now or never is a bad idea. Prices are dropping slowly.

20130329 Renaissance - The stock market is doing well as the American recovery continues

20130328 Hysteria - Why bank bail-in provisions won’t allow them to steal your cash

20130327 The trouble with old people - Why an old age funded by a sale won’t work for all

20130326 Rex F - Flaherty’s war on low mortgage rates; evils of the peek-a-boo mortgage.

20130325 Cypriotitus - Fear, people, banks and Cyprus

20130324 Good thinking - It is possible to make more than 4% per annum from investments

20130322 Race to the bottom - Banks vie to offer low mortgage rates

20130321 Ethics - Today’s unadjusted RE figures compared to last year’s unadjusted figures

20130320 Royal Jelly - Comparing renting versus buying -- an example

20130319 What F knows - The unholy alliance of teaser bank rates and lying estate agents

20130318 Self-inflicted - With markets Greed makes us blind; Fear makes us fools