The Stingy News Weekly (03/20/2011)
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New Beauty Contest
"We're holding another Keynesian beauty contest to give away a second copy of the new MoneySense Guide to Retiring Wealthy."
The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2011
"As it happens, this was about an average year for our top stocks. If you had bought equal amounts of the All-Stars and rolled your gains into the new players each year, you'd now be sitting on a 19.1% average annual return over the last six years, not including dividends. By way of comparison, that's more than 12 percentage points higher than the annual return of the S&P/TSX Composite (XIC), which climbed just 6.5% a year over the same period."
The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2011
"Just like the Canadian team, the U.S. All-Stars combine the best value and growth attributes. It's a one-two punch that helped them advance 19.4% since last year, not including dividends. Meanwhile the S&P 500 (SPY) trailed the All-Stars by 6.5 percentage points but managed a gain of 12.9% over the same period."
"Do you dream of breaking free from cubicleville and visiting far off lands, exploring castles of yore, or sipping your way through wine country? Wouldn't it be grand if your stocks paid for the experience? To help launch your retirement world tour, we've ranked the largest dividend stocks in Canada based on their ability to put cash in your pocketbook. Before we reveal this year's top picks for income investors, let's check out how last year's crop fared. Our stocks have paid big dividends since the spring of 2009, with our A-grade Retirement All-Stars shooting skyward with average gains of 58.3%. That includes non-reinvested dividends which we assumed were spent on pleasurable pursuits."
The Canada bubble
"Eleven years into the bull market in commodities, it’s easy to forget just how much Canada has riding on strong resource prices. For one thing, the boom has boosted our paycheques. The rise in commodity prices was responsible for two-thirds of the 15 per cent gain in disposable income experienced in the last decade, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said in a 2008 speech. While Canada’s soaring loonie has hurt manufacturers, it’s also improved living standards by keeping inflation low. And rising commodity prices have also helped keep unemployment muted. As bad as Canadians think the recent recession was, in terms of the job market it was the mildest downturn of the last 30 years. In January, the Canadian economy added nearly double the number of jobs created in the entire U.S. economy, which is 10 times larger."
Why this value investor holds cash
"The Canadian stock market is more vulnerable to a major pullback than its U.S. counterpart, warns one of Canada’s more successful money managers of the past decade. “We think that valuations in Canada, in particular, are at a very dangerous level,” said Vito Maida, founder of Toronto-based investment firm Patient Capital Management Inc. “Equities in Canada have, I think, gone to levels that are not attractive today, and could be in for a serious correction.”"
The Crowded Restaurant Conundrum
"These restaurants have perfected the art of creating Veblen goods — items where demand increases as the price goes up. In this rarefied world, high prices are a feature, not a bug they're status symbols that alert others to the fact that the patrons can pay $26 for something as basic as a spinach salad. They also serve to keep out the riff-raff."
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