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Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Real Estate Is A Best Investment :" i.e Your Home"

We all have to live somewhere so why not a detached house that you can buy at a reasonable price which will appreciate in time. For those in the U.S. it looks like there's some great bargains available now.

My wife and I did that in 1996 when we bought our first house (a townhouse) near the bottom of the market. We then sold the townhouse for a "so-so profit" a few years later and bought a detached house in central Brampton for a decent price. Through the next five years, we renovated our house throughly: This includes a new roof, vinyl siding, renovated washrooms(3 of them), renovated bedrooms, new furnance, new A/C, etc. 

From the time we purchased it to now, I'd say our house appreciated by $90,000. That's not great, but it's a reasonable rate of return. When we sale our house at some distant future time, we'll get every penny out of it. There are no taxes owing when you sell your principle resident in Canada.

Right now, we want to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible, so we have more funds for travel, the stock market and fancy renovations like a new kitchen.

A paid off house is equity and freed up cash. Even in the U.S., you could start with a 40 year mortgage, but whittle it down with time by putting extra payments on it.

If you had the money, you could buy two places. One to live in and the other to rent (maybe to some foreigners). Many people in Canada do that as an investment.

As for the stock markets, there's always a bull market somewhere. Seek and you shall find.


Posted by qualteam at 1:05 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008 2:53 PM EST
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Sheep Racing: Are You Into It?

Back in the old days, the biggest betting sport was "Horse Racing" than the Greyhounds came along and it was "Dog Racing". Gamblers have even bet on frogs and turtles.

Today, the biggest game in town is "Sheep Racing". These are bets on where sheep will move their money. Usually, they move their cash into or out of certain stocks with the help of "financial experts" who are riding them. In a bull market, they're chasing "the next big thing", "the flavor of the month" and "the bubble in front of them" that keeps getting bigger.

In a bear market, they're just trying to avoid getting killed after they've been "fleeced".

There are those who watch where the smart money is going rather than what the sheep are doing.

You can also start your own party or get to the party early.

If you don't do the above, you'll probably end up in a sheep race and someone will be betting on you to go one way or another.

The Race Is On

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Posted by qualteam at 10:34 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008 9:56 PM EST
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Rays Of Shunshine In 2008 For The Global Economy

  • The U.S. Housing Bubble has burst and housing is becoming more affordable to lower income workers (with good credit).
  • Multinationals on the Dow like "Johnson and Johnson" "Coca Cola" and "General Electric" are doing well internationally because of a lower American dollar.
  • Millions of speculators have lost billions of dollars moving in out of global markets over the last six months. Kiss the "Get Rich Quick Hustlers" goodbye.
  • Green techology companies are the fastest growing businesses in the world.
  • There's a strong possibility that a democratic president and a democractic congress will intervene to soften the effects of a recession or slowdown.
  • Millions of delinquent debtors will receive credit counselling from social agencies in many states.
  • Thousands of bankers and financiers in the U.S. and the world will receive a crash course on "Risk Management 101".
  • The stock markets of North America are coming under the control of experienced investors rather than erratic speculators.
  • The Olympics in China this year will not only bring athletes of the world together, but deal making business leaders as well. 
  • The Federal Reserve will lower interest rates quicker in 2008.
  • The TD Bank of Canada will be used as a example of good banking and investing policies.
  • More and more banks will get into "microfinancing" which helps small time entrepreneurs. This is also a job creator.

More Opportunities For Investing In Green Technology

Big Time Operator


Posted by qualteam at 5:34 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008 2:59 PM EST
Monday, 21 January 2008
Fear Mongering On The Stock Markets

FDR stated back in the depression "that we had nothing to fear but fear itself." He could be talking today about the markets.

More than anything bear markets seem to feed on baser human emotions like fear, hopelessness and depression. Mankind can't advance if they think they're going to be eaten alive.

We survive because we step back from a situation (even a world war) and see what can be done about it. We use our heads, our rationality. We solve problems rather than being a problem.

On the stock market "bubbles" burst all the time. In 2001, there was the "tech bubble", in 2007, it was the "credit/subprime bubble".

However, the bottomline is not everyone that has money invested in  mortgages, the stock market or anything else is stupid or nuts.

If fact, most of the companies in the U.S. are more value priced then other companies in the world. Most of them like G.E., Microsoft, Caterpiller are in good shape with good profits.

We all have to live within our means and I believe most people in the U.S. and elsewhere try to do so.

Affordable housing is beginning to appear in the U.S. and that's good. People will buy to live there rather than flipping the property because of inflated prices.

Green technology is coming on the scene and within a few years it will be driving the stock markets. The investment sheep are always chasing the next big thing.

My advice is to do what Warren Buffett does "buy good stocks at a value price and hold them a long time".

Posted by qualteam at 11:26 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 11:35 PM EST
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
The Most Influential Man Of The 1960s Is...

Gene Roddenberry, of course. How many other writers have spawned a TV series that lasted more than 40 years?

From the frontiers of science to the end of our galaxy, Gene opened up the universe more than any other sci/fi writer in history.

I remember well my top ten favourites of all the episodes:

  1. The Squire Of Gothos
  2. Metamorphosis
  3. City On The Edge Of Forever
  4. Spectre Of The Gun
  5. Encounter At Farpoint
  6. Best Of Both Worlds
  7. Measure Of A Man
  8. The Offspring
  9. Remember Me
  10. All The "Q" Episodes

The whole medieval/religious concept of "heavens above" and "hell below" changed with Gene's viewpoint of high tech civilizations in a high tech universe. Our loss is the future's gain.

Posted by qualteam at 10:45 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 11:23 PM EST
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Living Under The Threat Of Nuclear Destruction In The 50s And 60s

The threat of a nuclear attack was very real during the 1950s and 1960s. The weapons became bigger and bigger with each test and there were enough of them to wipe out mankind many times.

The only time I really felt a sense of doom was during the Cuba Missle Crisis (October/1962) when President Kennedy confronted Soviet Premier Khrushchev over the deployment of missles in Cuba. Fortunately, the crisis was averted but most of the boomers felt that nuclear war could happen at anytime.

Many felt that they had to experience love, success and enlightenment very quickly or they wouldn't experience it all. In the 50s and 60s, we found outlets for our youthful feelings in rock music, alternate life stylescivil rights movements, anti-war protests and new age religions.

Personally, I feel, the emotional intensity/creativity of this time was brought on not only by the threat of massive global destuction, but the subconscious memory of it in a previous lifetime.

We know that information can be compressed into tiny bits and bytes on a hard drive. In a human being, I believe that pictures and sounds can contain our memories. This is "subatomic memory". Within my own subconscious, 50s and 60s rock songs brought back memories of an ancient civilization destroyed by nuclear weapons.

Why did this destruction happen? Perhaps, the answer lies in the song "One Tin Soldier".

Posted by qualteam at 8:21 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 January 2008 9:24 PM EST
Friday, 11 January 2008
Great Songwriting Duos Of The 20th Century

In discussing the roots of today's popular music, I couldn't leave the subject with Carole King and Gerry Goffin. There were other marvelous  songwriters that I should mention here like Lennon and McCartney, Leiber and Stoller, Elton John and Bernie Taupin and my personal favourites, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The picture above was them from the 1960s.

Barry and Cynthia are almost pure songwriters who have written hits for Tony Orlando, The Drifters, Dan Hill, Dolly Parton, James Ingram, etc. They've written almost 50 hits over four decades.

Below is a rare B-side recording by Barry called "Love True Love". The A-side was his only hit  Who Put The Bop?

One of my all time favourites was written by Barry and Cynthia. It's "Bless You" by Tony Orlando. Enjoy.

Posted by qualteam at 10:35 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008 11:33 PM EST
Thursday, 10 January 2008
A Great Musical Performance Of All Time: This Chick Rocks
Mood:  a-ok

This is Carole King doing her own version of Locomotion(note that Slash from Gun And Roses is on lead guitar).

The song has been covered multiple times. It is notable for making the Top 5 in the USA three times: for Little Eva(its original release in1962; went to #1); for Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 (US #1); and for Kylie Minogue in 1988 (US #3). It is not a well known fact, but yes, it was written by Carole along with Gerry Goffin.

Below is my favourite Carole King song:

Will You Love Me Tomorrow?/The Shirelles

Posted by qualteam at 5:15 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008 5:33 PM EST
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Running Bear: The Video And Song

I discovered this video of "Running Bear" on YouTube and it's just beautiful.

It's a real tribute to North American Native Peoples.

I believe Sony James sings the vocal in this one. Below the video is the original Running Bear by Johnny Preston.

The Original Running Bear/Johnny Preston

The Journey To Katimavik, The Sacred Burial Grounds

Posted by qualteam at 10:19 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008 10:27 PM EST
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Starting 2008 Off Right With Some Great Rare Oldies
Mood:  cool

It is very doubtful that you might hear the songs below on an oldies radio station. They come from the lost period of music from 1958 to 1964. Most of the tunes are very romantic but not in the style of Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett. They move with their own groovy beat.

This is a sample of the young music of the time. Mostly young teenage girls and boys listened to this music.

Nothing like this existed before or after this time. Please enjoy.

  1. Sandy/Larry Hall
  2. Ginny Come Lately/Brian Hyland
  3. The Girl Of My Best Friend/Elvis
  4. Cradle Of Love/Johnny Preston
  5.  Robbin' The Cradle/Tony Bellus
  6.  Dreamy Eyes/Johnny Tillotson
  7.  Cinderella/Paul Anka



Posted by qualteam at 9:49 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 August 2009 6:07 PM EDT

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