A Dog Is The Only Thing On Earth That Loves You More Than Yourself” – Josh Billings

 

TSX Ends Lower Despite BlackBerry Jump

Canada’s main stock index ended modestly lower on Friday, weighed by financial and railway companies, though better-than-expected results from BlackBerry offset some of the losses as its stock surged. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 31.01 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 15,547.75. BlackBerry Ltd, which said it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis in 2018 and nearly halved its operating costs, was one of the bright spots in the market. Shares surged 11.1 per cent to $10.30.
Wall Street fell on Friday, pulled down by Exxon and JPMorgan Chase as investors wrapped up a strong quarter and weighed whether corporate earnings reports will justify the market’s lofty valuations. Major indexes have hit multiple record highs since the election of President Donald Trump on bets that he would improve economic growth by cutting taxes and boosting infrastructure spending. The rally has also benefited from robust economic data and a pickup in corporate earnings growth. For the quarter ending Friday, the S&P 500 gained 5.5 per cent, its strongest quarterly performance since the last quarter of 2015. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31 per cent to end at 20,663.22 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.23 percent to 2,362.72. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.04 per cent to 5,911.74. Next week promises to be an interesting start to the second quarter. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Florida and the U.S. president has set the tone for a tense few days by tweeting that Washington could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses.

 

48% of Canadians Have No Will 

Warren Buffett famously noted that, when it comes to inheritances, the perfect amount to leave children is enough so that they feel they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing. Sounds like a plan for success. The only problem is, many Canadians don’t have a plan at all. A BMO report on estate planning finds that 48% of survey respondents don’t yet have wills. For those aged 35 to 54, that figure jumps to 55%. And, with family dynamics becoming more complex with multiple marriages and children, the lack of a will is sure to create problems. In fact, problems often arise even when a will is in place.
For example, almost 60% of those surveyed indicate they have received an inheritance, but nearly half feel the distribution of their parents’ estates wasn’t fair. And the survey found that leaving a fair amount to each beneficiary was important to many respondents’ parents. Better communication could have been a preventative measure, but 40% of respondents said their parents hadn’t discussed estate intentions with them.
The Oracle of Omaha addresses the problem with this wisdom, offered at the Berkshire Hathaway annual general meeting in 2013, and cited in the BMO report: “Your children are going to read your will someday. .… It’s crazy for them to read it, after you’re dead, for the first time. You’re not in a position to answer questions.”
The BMO Wealth Management survey was conducted by ValidateIt Technologies Inc. between December 7 and December 17, 2016. The online sample size was 1,003 Canadian respondents age 18 and over.

 

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Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca;