“If You Can’t Explain It To a 6 Year Old, You Don’t Understand It Yourself” -Albert Einstein


TSX Rises Friday After Yellen Speech

Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, led by energy and mining stocks as oil and gold prices gained after a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen viewed as supportive of a U.S. interest rate increase.   Yellen said the U.S. economy has been helped by a solid job market, but stopped short of signalling any timetable for the next increase in the Fed’s key interest rates.  The case for raising U.S. interest rates has strengthened in recent months because of improvements in the U.S. labor market and expectations for moderate economic growth, Yellen said. The materials group, which includes precious and base metals, miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.2 percent, while energy stocks advanced 1.2 percent as a lower U.S. dollar also helped support energy prices. U.S. crude prices were up 1.7 percent to $48.11 a barrel.
Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 9.16 points at 14,639.88 with nine of the index’s 10 main groups higher.  Industrials rose 1.2 percent, including gains for railroad stocks, while financials firmed 0.4 percent. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.01 points at 18,395.40 and the broader S&P 500 composite index dropped 3.43 points to 2,169.04, while the Nasdaq composite increased by 6.72 points to 5,218.92.  The Canadian dollar, meanwhile, was down 0.44 of a cent at 76.92 cents US.


How Much Tax Did Your Family Pay Last Year?

The Fraser Institute calculates that the average Canadian family paid $34,154 in taxes of all sort last year, including “hidden” business taxes that are passed along in the price of goods and services purchased. The Vancouver-based think-tank estimates that the average bill for income taxes collected by governments was $10,616 in 2015. The second-biggest category was payroll and health taxes, at $7,160, followed by sales taxes at $4,973 and property taxes at $3,832. The other categories include taxes on profits, liquor or tobacco, fuel, natural resources and import duties — totalling $7,573.
The study’s authors conclude that visible and hidden taxes would have been equal to 42.4% of the cash income for an average Canadian family in 2015, estimated at $80,593. By comparison, the study estimates the average Canadian family spent $30,293 on housing, food and clothing last year — about 37.6% of the family’s total cash income.


Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;  advisor.ca,