“Prejudices Are What Fools Use for Reason” -Francois-Marie Arouet, aka Voltaire


TSX Little Changed As Greece Secures Bailout Extension

The Toronto stock market closed little changed Friday amid relief that Greece and its eurozone partners had agreed to extend by four months the bailout loans that have kept the country afloat. The S&P/TSX composite index declined 8.09 points to 15,172.24. In return for the extension, Greece committed not to pursue any “unilateral” measures that might affect the country’s budget targets. Greece has committed to provide a list of reforms based on its current bailout program for assessment on Monday. The Canadian dollar moved down 0.3 of a U.S. cent to 79.71 cents as Statistics Canada reported retail sales slid 2.1 per cent in December to $42.1 billion, the largest decline since April 2010. New York’s Dow Jones industrials jumped 154.67 points to 18,140.44, the Nasdaq gained 31.27 points to 4,955.97 and the S&P 500 index was up 12.85 points to 2,110.3. Oil prices continued to lose ground on data showing high supply levels in the U.S., down $1.02 to US$50.81 a barrel.


Working Canadians Worried About Running Out of Money in Retirement

More than half of working Canadians are uncertain whether they have the knowledge to plan for retirement, according to a Sun Life Financial Inc poll. While 47% of Canadians surveyed feel they have the knowledge to plan their retirement, 53% are unsure of whether they know enough to plan for their retirement. People have doubts regarding retirement, with 41% feeling they lack sufficient knowledge regarding how much retirement income they will need. Also, 37% are unaware of how taxes will affect their retirement savings and income. Only half of Canadians are able to state how many years of retirement they expect to have. Despite this lack of certainty, only 22% of Canadians have a written financial plan and only 33% work with a financial advisor. More than one-third of working Canadians believe they risk running out of money in retirement, as opposed to one in seven retirees who feel the same.

For the first time since Sun Life Financial began the survey, the number of Canadians who expect to be working full time past the age of 65 has now surpassed those who believe that they will be fully retired. This number has grown over the past seven years as three out of five Canadian workers now expect to work either full time or part time when they retire. When working Canadians were asked the top reason as to why they expect to be working past traditional retirement age, 21% said it was to earn enough money to pay basic living expenses; 18% of Canadians, don’t believe that government pensions will suffice and 16% would like to earn enough money to live well. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid between Dec. 5 and 22, 2014. A sample of 3,000 Canadians between the ages of 30 and 65 were interviewed online.


Market Update as of February 20 2015

The TSX closed at 15171, down -99 points or -0.65% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 2.83%.

The DOW closed at 18140, up 121 points or 0.67% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 1.72%.

The S&P closed at 2110, up 13 points or 0.62% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 2.53%.