INVESTMENTS – BAD and GOOD

BAD INVESTMENT

As said before, one of the worst investments is condominium ownership, more to the point – purchasing a unit in an older condo building or one that is badly built, or worse – not situated in a good location.

Why ? Depreciation. Buildings always over time depreciate in value, while land appreciates. [Not always, but hopefully so]. The older a condo building gets, the more its needs repairs, maintenance costs are increasing, and eventually large projects need to be done to the building. Most financial operations – unless massive increases in owners’ fees are practiced – do not have sufficient funds to pay for large construction projects. That’s where SPECIAL LEVIES come in. The money collected cannot appreciate in those accounts. Especially now, with interest rates being so low. In addition, more condo corporations than not are likely to mishandle funds (using money for projects that are not necessary, while others are neglected.)

In summary: Unless an investment into a condominium is purely based on speculation (quick buy, quick sell in a hot market), owning and living at length in a condo can become costly.

GOOD INVESTMENT

Whether an investment turns out good or bad is purely dependent on the current economy, situation, location. [Of course, one can always ‘wait it out’ – “don’t wait too long and pass away over it, though”.]. Almost seems, that good investments – now and for a long while into the future – are DONATIONS, DONATIONS – mostly online.

I thought, I saw it all, but there is daily some other scheme popping up of how to sift money from unsuspecting media users. What we call : “auf die Tränendrüsen drücken” – meaning: During bad times, getting worse by the minute, develop a website – or use a tech to write one up for you or buy one ready made – and invent some event that could make users cry hot tears – and collect money through your website. NOW IS THE TIME, Folks !

INVESTMENTS – online portfolios

A reliable way to invest is first and foremost – do your homework. Research: which companies to trust, which investments are stable, and the older you get, how to avoid losses, and how to look forward. From a certain age on, I cannot possible look forward to over 2 years (fixed investments) – and to over 10 years – for secured holding. After years of now managing my own portfolio via a direct brokerage pension account, I have learnt how to make the best of my investment mix at an average return rate of 4%. But working on it regularly, and follow world events which always influence portfolios.

BONDS – I had various excellent bonds, in the past, they all expired, and that market does not hold up anymore with returns of over 6%. GUARANTEED CERTIFICATES – I have a few, one pays 3.6%, not so bad, average expected by all big Banks is now from 0.6% to 2% (past, for 3 years). All such instruments need a minimum of $5,000 investment. The older you get, the shorter the term investment period. STOCKS and EQUITIES – I found a good way to invest in Sectors: ETF – Exchange Traded Funds. A good way buying units in a sector. Examples: MINING & MINERALS, HIGH DIVIDEND, BONDS, REAL ESTATE, HEALTH CARE. For 2020 – good choices. For 2021 also INFRASTRUCTURE.

Because of my low pension income, and the need to rely on my own RRIF portfolio, therefore look for ETFs which pay monthly distributions and also have a low MER (Management Expense Ratio). I never speculate, never have and never will. The best, yet, when I trade online, it costs a minimum – ETFs do not cost commission. Last, not least, markets – what goes down, must come up again. Thanks to the speculators and global politics.

ON BANKING

Your Return on Investment. == FOOD FOR THOUGHT ==

Basically there are two ways of loosing money in a Bank: (1) The Bank gets broke and has not enough capital to pay out all of its customers (remember world-wide banking crisis), once the big run for it starts. (2) You buy an investment and receive a little bit of interest. And it adds to your overall income and bumps you up into a higher tax rate.

Usually at the time when you buy – be it bonds, or GIC’s or any other instruments – the promised interest rate is typically higher than the actual rate, once you have deposited your cheque into your Bank.Then of course, the Bank cannot promise any rate of interest to you, because of changing bank rates.

Here in Canada we have another type of instrument – that is the Tax Free Savings Account TFSA. Depending on your Bank, the interest rates paid to you are typically low. If many are taking advantage of this TFSA, then the Government has some money to work with. In fact, it helps the Government more than it helps you because the interest paid is negligible. Other investments are usually more subject to losses, such as Mutual Funds, Trust Funds. Or, be careful, buying any IPO’s – Initial Public Offerings. Wait a little until their value drops.

I did my homework. Had some money in one of those Mutual Funds, a big fund, which in fact is a ‘Fund of Funds’. Dangerous stuff, because one cannot easily find out what type of companies, corporations, financial institutions this fund invests in. I spent one day to get to the bottom of it and found: Several obscure banks – of unknown origin and country – that did not even exist. Now I knew why I lost so much in this FUND OF FUNDS (which by the way had been solicited). One year I decided to sell out a big chunk of my money (in my retirement fund) that was invested in mutual funds.After that I could sleep much better.

Per contrast: How safe would it be to stuff your money – in cash – under your mattress, providing you live in a save neighbourhood, and your housing does not burn down. What are the chances of that ?

And my advice to investment advisors: Try not to sell mutual funds to clients who are into their 70s, because those funds are for the long haul.

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