Holiday Giving at Retire First

22-Dec-2016 | kate | Uncategorized

It is not surprise to anyone living in Central Alberta that 2016 has been a difficult economy.

Throughout Central Alberta agencies looking to support families affected by the low oil prices are finding increased needs for support.

Retire First is pleased that for the 10th year, we are spreading the Christmas cheer by adopting a local family for Christmas. The staff of Retire First takes great care to make sure the children have the presents that they desire for Christmas morning along with money for groceries and a gift for their parents.

Doug Allan, President of Retire First, is pleased of his staff’s commitment to giving back to the community. “It is fun to be a secret Santa. Giving smiles to children and expecting nothing in return is the true meaning of Christmas.”

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

Is Paper Money a Thing of the Past?

22-Dec-2016 | kate | Australia Banks Economics Uncategorized

Australia is considering removing the AU$100 bill from circulation. The AU$100 bill is the largest circulating bill in Australia and there is 3 times as many AU$100 bills in circulation then AU$5 bills. Australia’s $50 and $100 bills make up 93% of all currency in the country.
Australia, like many developed countries, has seen an increasing reliance on digital transactions; credit card transactions for example increased 7.3% per annum since 2009. The task force in charge of analyzing the decision says that removing the AU$100 bill would reduce crime, increase tax revenue with few cash transactions and reduce welfare fraud.
Australia has a problem with mass welfare fraud by the elderly who use the $100 bills as a store of value. Instead of depositing their money at the bank, they withdraw the funds and store them in their cupboards so that they can qualify for discounted council rates, insurance, and phone rentals. The task force claims that the removal of the AU would reduce tax and welfare fraud$100 bill.
Last month, India suddenly withdrew their 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes to shut down a massive market of untaxed transactions.
As an investor, this just once again proves the growing need to watch out for investment opportunities in financial companies that facilitate cashless transactions.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

The Pounds Drops to Weakest Level since 1848

13-Oct-2016 | kate | Uncategorized

The pound has fallen to its weakest level since 1848 (effective exchange)
Yesterday, the pound fell to its 168 year low. Compared to is peers, the pound is at its lowest record price falling below the introduction of free floating exchange rates of the 1970’s according to the bank of England.

(source: Financial Times)

Yesterday, the pound effective exchange rate (a weighted number to reflect UK trade flows) hit a low of 29.27 an exchange rate not seen even during the financial crisis, ejection from the European Rate Mechanism (1992) and leaving the gold standard in 1930.
The reality of a hard exit from the EU looks like it is starting to hit home. Since the Brexit vote, the effective exchange has dropped 18%. The dropping pound affects everyone in Britain; for example, the price of imported food, raw materials and other goods is beginning to rise because of the pound’s deprecation. Ultimately, the increase will be passed on to consumers. The Bank of England believes inflation which currently sits at 0.6% in Britain will increase to 2.5% over the next year.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

Pound Crashes to 31 year low in 2 minutes.

07-Oct-2016 | kate | Currency Economics Europe FX International Investing Market Outlook

Last night while you were sleeping the British pound value plunged 6% in less than two minutes. The pound dropped to $1.18 against the USD crashing through its support levels which lead to a sharp selloff. The event created a new 31 year low for the pound after it leap past the previous three decade low.
The entire event took place over 2 minutes and 6 seconds. And changed the entire nation of Britain value by 6% in mere seconds. While the currency did eventually recover the question becomes how did this happen?
There are several scenario’s floating around to what could have caused the currency drop from a fat fingered trader, a wise trader taking advantage of low liquidity, option expiration dates, stop loss orders or the a statement by the French President Francois Hollande.
1) The first belief is that computer algorithms or fat finger trader resulted in big consequences. What most people believe happened is that a trade entered the wrong number or that a glitch in a trading algorithm resulted in the trade. This is not uncommon and occurred back in the flash crash of 2010. Usually, the trades are wiped from the records within hours as if they didn’t occur. Since this has not yet happened does make this less likely.
2) Low liquidity- If you look at the time that the trades occurred it was at an intersection of markets. New York traders had gone home for the day while the biggest markets in Asia were just drinking their coffee’s. If someone wanted to do this deliberately, this would be an ideal time. This, again, does seem unlikely, but is being talked about on the news.
3) Option expiries- Friday is the day that forex options tend to expire and can cause trading moves if the writers (banks) need to cover themselves. If you look at the option expiring last night, the majority was at 1.25 with a small amount at 1.23. What this means is that when the pound dropped below 1.25 it triggered a scramble of traders trying to sell the pound to protect themselves from losses.
4) Stop Loss orders- We have talked about this before- stop losses can cause unintended events. Stop loss can lead to unexpected trades that can drive a down day into a sharp drop. While you think a stop loss at 1.25 would sell your position at 1.25 the reality is it triggers selling as soon as it hits that level. This means you could be filled at the next buyer prices far below 1.25. Traders use stop losses to mitigate losses at pre-agreed levels when the markets move or when they are asleep like last night. It is possible that there was a large volume of stop loss orders that were executed last night.
5) The final theory is that an article by the French President on their stance of Brexit was published at 7:07am Hong Kong time. Because computer algorithms are made to find news regarding breaking stories and interpret them as negative or positive it Is possible the computer traded on the article. The publishing of the article occurred seconds after the pound started moving.
Uncovering the source of the pound’s sudden drop will be difficult as forex markets cover many trading systems and time zones with no single repository for information. As a result, it will be difficult to flag what exactly happened.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

Breaking Down Canada’s Carbon Taxes

07-Oct-2016 | kate | Commodities Economics Government Mining The Wise Investor

A major topic of conversation in Alberta over the last week has been the proposed carbon tax. In question period on Wednesday, Justin Trudeau briefly mentioned a carbon tax (instead of the liberal preferred word ‘carbon pricing’) as the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The federal program would impose a carbon price (tax) in the provinces that do not currently have one. The price would start at $10 a tonne in 2018 and rising by $10 per year until reaching $50 per tonne in 2022.
Currently, there are four provinces that have carbon taxes- Alberta, BC, Ontario and Quebec. The programs are designed to work by setting a high enough carbon tax that there is an incentive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s take a closer look at the existing pricing mechanisms.
In Alberta, the NDP has set a 15% reduction on large emitters by 2016 and 20% by 2017. For producers that emit over the thresholds they will have to pay $15 a tonne in 2016, $20 in 2017 and $30 by 2018.
BC has had a carbon policy in place since 2008 and was initially set at $10 per tonne and set to rise to $30 tonne by 2018.
Ontario is set to put a cap and trade system in place by 2018. A cap and trade works by setting a limit on the overall level of carbon an industry is allowed to emit and reduce that cap each year to get to their overall target. As the cap decreases, some existing companies will not be able to produce at the new levels and are forced to buy excess carbon quote from companies whose outputs are below the target. When equated to a carbon tax, the cap and trade system sets an equivalent price of $19.40 per tonne.
The cap and trade system is also used in Quebec. Their existing system has an equivalent price of $16.40 per tonne and should rise to $19.40 in 2020.
Whether a carbon policy, tax or cap and trade system, five industries are mainly affected by the policies- auto manufacturing, manufacturing, mining, oil/gas/refining and agriculture. Some industry players in mining may be able to utilize hydro power helping to reduce their emission numbers and some agriculture business might be able to sell carbon credits. The Canadian refinery industry is expressing concerns regarding the added increase pricing might lead to customer buying from international suppliers instead. Critics also add that buying lower cost product also allows carbon to emit into the atmosphere.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.