“Always Laugh When You Can, It Is Cheap Medicine” -Lord Byron


TSX Pulls Back on Final Day of Strong Week

A pullback in oil prices and disappointing retail sales data pushed the Toronto stock market to a lower close Friday after four consecutive advances. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX index lost 117.96 points to 12,813.40. Energy stocks on the TSX took a beating, retreating 1.67 % as the March contract for benchmark North American crude slipped $1.13 to US$29.64 a barrel.

In New York, markets were mixed, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 21.44 points to 16,391.99 and the broader S&P 500 off 0.05 of a point at 1,917.78. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite index gained 16.89 points to 4,504.43 as tech stocks strengthened. In economic news, Statistics Canada reported that retail sales dropped 2.2 % month over month to $43.2 billion in December after having advanced 1.7 % in November.

Experts said the decrease was largely due to unseasonably warm weather and lighter than usual snowfalls in December, as well as the impact of Black Friday pre-holiday sales events that led to stronger numbers in November. Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate reached 2% last month as the weakened loonie caused prices of imported goods like fresh fruits and vegetables to soar. Statistics Canada said January’s inflation figure was the highest since November 2014. “Normally, inflation is driven by solid growth, solid demand from the consumer,” said Cavan Yie, an analyst at Manulife Asset Management. “But in this case it’s driven by foreign exchange.”

The Canadian dollar lost 0.10 of a U.S. cent at 72.63 cents US.
In Europe, stocks fell as the leaders of Britain and the rest of the 28-country European Union entered a second day of a summit on the U.K.’s membership in the bloc. Talks were stalled over a series of issues, including immigration rights.  Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 %, while France’s CAC 40 and Britain’s FTSE 100 both declined 0.4 %.


Canadian Retirees With Advisors Are Satisfied Savers

Canadian retirees are finding their post-work life to be a positive experience with many declaring they have saved enough and are successfully living on reduced funds, according to a study by Toronto-based Sun Life Financial Inc. Approximately half (49%) of the respondents stated they saved enough for retirement, while 33% say they did not and 19% are unsure of whether they have saved enough, states the firm’s Retirement Now report. Canadian retirees with financial advisors are even more satisfied with their retirement savings, with 62% saying they saved enough while 38% of respondents without an advisor felt the same. Canadian retirees are, on average, living on 62% of the income they had prior to retirement, which falls within the range of income replacement ratios recommended by financial advisors and other personal finance experts, according to the report.

“This is the first time we’ve measured what percentage of pre-retirement income retirees are living on,” says Kevin Dougherty, president, Sun Life Financial Canada, through a statement. “Life in retirement is more sustainable than you might think. Despite current economic conditions, Canadian retirees are doing quite well living on just over 60% of the income they had when they were working. And this average doesn’t change much when comparing men with women or taking marital status into account.”

Retirees were also asked whether they would have money to pass on to heirs. Almost half (46%) say it is very likely they will leave an inheritance to the next generation while 31% say it is somewhat likely, 10% believe it is very unlikely, 7% declare it to be somewhat unlikely and 6% do not know.
Four-fifths (81%) of respondents say they have a will and 51% of those with a will say they have discussed its terms with all of their heirs. However, 27% have only discussed the terms with some of their heirs, while 22% have not had the conversation with any of the heirs.  This is Sun Life’s first Retirement Now report. Ipsos Reid conducted the research for the report through an online panel between Dec. 15 and Dec. 23, 2015. A total of 2,006 retired Canadians and 2,004 working Canadians were surveyed for the report.


RRSP DEADLINE is Monday February 29 





Weekly Market Wrap Up as of February 16 2016

North America
The TSX closed at 12813, up 432 points or 3.49% over the past week. YTD the TSX is down -1.35%.
The DOW closed at 16392, up 418 points or 2.62% over the past week. YTD the DOW is down -5.93%.
The S&P closed at 1918, up 53 points or 2.84% over the past week. YTD the S&P is down -6.16%.
The Nasdaq closed at 4504, up 166 points or 3.83% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is down -10.05%.
Gold closed at 1228, down 65.00 points or -0.89% over the past week. YTD gold is up 15.96%.
Oil closed at 32.09, up 3.01 points or 10.35% over the past week. YTD oil is down -13.39%.
The USD/CAD closed at 1.376765, down -0.0080 points or -0.58% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is down -0.50%.

The MSCI closed at 1544, up 75 points or 5.11% over the past week. YTD the MSCI is down -7.16%.
The Euro Stoxx 50 closed at 2871, up 115 points or 4.17% over the past week. YTD the Euro Stoxx 50 is down -12.15%.
The FTSE closed at 5950, up 242 points or 4.24% over the past week. YTD the FTSE is down -4.68%.
The CAC closed at 4223, up 228 points or 5.71% over the past week. YTD the CAC is down -8.93%.
DAX closed at 9388, up 420.00 points or 4.68% over the past week. YTD DAX is down -12.61%.
Nikkei closed at 15967, up 1014.00 points or 6.78% over the past week. YTD Nikkei is down -16.11%.
The Shanghai closed at 2860, up 95.0000 points or 3.44% over the past week. YTD the Shanghai is down -19.19%.


Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;   advisor.ca,; yahoo finance