A Money Coach in Canada

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The Bank of Canada, along with most banks of the western world, have done all they can to get money into our economy. They’ve lowered interest rates pretty much as much as they can, but the banks aren’t loosening up credit, and there’s no indication of when that will happen.

Until it does (and I’m just doing some armchair economics here, drawing mostly on what I hear on BNN etc), I don’t see that we’re in for inflation. On the contrary, in desperate bids for business, I suppose deals and more deals will be offered to consumers = deflation.

But once things change, look out. With all the money injected, but not yet moving, in the economy, things could change fast, and drastically.

One implication is that anyone in collective bargaining should beware of wage increase freezes. While it may be the case that this year, and next, things are pretty desperate for businesses (ergo can’t pay employees much) it could be the case that people locked into increases that don’t factor in COLA find themselves in bad shape. Ie., once inflation strikes, your salary’s purchasing power diminishes, and fast. It will hurt.

Readers, what do you think? Am I off base here? And what are other implications for your average joe/ette that you can think of?

3264811316_0182992842photo credit: Jurvetson

This year, the adverts for RRSPs have sounded a bit hollow. It’s hard to convince *anyone* that your firm is the one firm that’s got it together and will handle your money prudently.

Nevertheless, I’m excited. For the first time in a few years, I’m going to be able to really sock away some dough (last few years I’ve added, but only just. Most of my money went into my business). There are buying opportunities all over the place and by the time I retire, I anticipate my purchases over the coming months will have rebounded several times over. Either that, or we’re all going down together.

I haven’t started my serious investigations (read the financials on these, or scoured for news etc) but here are a few companies I’m planning to check out:

Denny’ as in “Grand Slam”. They had a free Grand Slam breakfast to anyone who wanted it a few weeks ago, and it struck me as ingenious: At precisely the time people are thinking Frugal, they come out strong reminding everyone that they can still afford Denny’s. I’m thinking their revenues will increase significantly if the mood remains sombre and people choose frugal options, including where they eat.

Northern Property Real Estate I have owned some units (“units” not “shares” because it’s an Income Trust, not a typical corporation) here for a while, and think it may be worth buying some more. The north continues to have an exceptionally low vacancy rate, plus, diamond-mine slowdown notwithstanding, it looks to me like the economy is going to carry on strong up in the north.

Some kind of front-loading (laundry) washer – makers. I suppose they are all owned by a company that makes many products, but I’m going to suss this out. Why? Because that’s the direction we’re all heading, they’re eco-friendlier, and by all accounts people love them.

So those are going to be some starting places for me to start investigating.
NOTE: NOTE WELL: NOTE BENE: NB: These are not, repeat not, recommendations. I’m simply pointing out what I plan to investigate. Please do your own research or meet with a qualified financial planner (I’m not one. See my header).

READERS: Do you have any companies you are investigating? Care to share your plans for your RRSPs?

2090171272_4ce1516f42Photo Credit: preciouskhyatt This is a photo outside my work building, on a warmer day.

H-Frack -30 is cold! Those of you who have lived in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Minnesota, I bet you know what I’m talking about. The kind of cold where you unconsciously walk-run. The kind of cold where you go a block out of your way just to cut through a mall to get the quick reprieve you need. The kind of cold where your forehead feels seized up, your eyes glisten and your legs get numb before you realize you’re cold. For a brief moment I even considered walking through a car’s exhaust just to warm my legs!

My darling daschunds refuse to even step outside. Full stop.

Thankfully, I was gifted with a beautiful fur coat. I wouldn’t normally wear fur for all the usual reasons, but this is something very special. It was handmade by an Inuit woman in Tuktoyuktuk back in the 40s or 50s. It’s stunning, and it keeps me toasty. I feel honoured to wear it.

Yep, it’s cold. But then there’s the northern lights. The vast silence of miles of snowy land. The brave, brave ravens, those characters, who fluff up and squawk at you from the lamp posts which warm their feet. There’s lots to love despite the cold.

Many things have struck me in my first four days, but none more than how active this community is. How’s this for my social schedule?

Saturday, my first evening – coffeehouse fundraiser for Amnesty International
Monday – open-to-public planning meeting for Yellowknife’s 75th Anniversary celebration this summer
(remind me to tell you the stories of the first barges of the spring bearing beer, back in the 40s).
Tuesday – shrove Tuesday community pancake supper at the United Church
Thursday – cinema politica, “screening truth to power”
Friday – live concert, baroque music

politics. arts. food. It’s all good 🙂

If the rest of the week’s events are like the events I’ve gone to so far, there will be a healthy turnout to these events.

So, that’s my first post from Yellowknife, NWT!

My next posts will go back to money coaching, and my header image will change, but I wanted to relay my initial impressions.

Readers: Any Canada-Cold stories to share? How did you survive?

At the Edmonton Int’l Airport enroute to Yellowknife, and want to give a quick shoutout to Westjet.

Anyone with pets will understand my anxiety – my 2 goofy, beloved weinerdogs were travelling with me in a crate, plus I had 3 big suitcases, plus 2 carry-on bags. Since Westjet and First Air don’t have an agreement, I would have to collect my luggage then check in again with First Air- with a 4.5 hour wait here between flights. Of the entire move, this little segment was the most anxiety making.

Would the dogs be freaked out? Well treated?
And how was single Nancy going to navigate 4.5 hours, 2 dogs, 5 pieces of luggage and a dog-crate?

Westjet staff were fabulous without me even asking them. My dogs were well-cared for, with an attendant waiting by the crate for me to pick them up. Somehow word had gotten out, and I kid you not, another westjet employee had collected all my baggage and put it on a cart. The employee then accompanied me to First Air (making kind commentary about the cuteness of the weinerdogs, always a good way to win my heart), ensured I got my luggage checked in to First Air even though it was 3 hours early, and warmly wished me a good flight up to Yellowknife.

Is that above-and-beyond, or above-and-beyond?

Westjet, thanks for knocking my socks off!

1451038457_e9f2a06106Photo credit: RBerteig
I remember in my right-wing days smugly stating that if there wasn’t work where a person lived, they should just move to where the jobs were. Just like that. I was young, and had little concept of community, extended family, roots. “Just pick up, and move,” I thought.

This question of moving for work may become increasingly relevant to all of us. As jobs are eliminated and new ones created in new locales, Canadians may need to contemplate uprooting for the sake of a job.

I’m doing it. I’m moving from Vancouver to Yellowknife. The new job is exciting and personally relevant to me, but it’s hard leaving 20 years of experiences and networks, close friendships and my gastown neighbourhood (not to mention my little loft itself!).

So readers: here’s a question for you: Under what circumstances would you consider a move, for a job? Would you ever do it? Have you done it? Regrets or glad you did so?