For the first time ever, Canada has moved up to second place on the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index 2021, thanks to top marks in immigration and investment, and other categories.
The Nation Brands Index measures the reputations of nations around the world. This year, they measured 60 nations and derived their survey results from 60,000 interviews. In previous years, they measured results of 50 countries through 20,000 interviews.
The nations were ranked based on their perceived quality in six categories: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, and investment and immigration.
Canada got first place in immigration and investment, which measures perceptions of a nation’s ability to attract immigrants, foreign workers, and international students. It also evaluates how each country’s quality of life and business environment is perceived.
Canada also scored top marks for governance, which gauges perceptions of national government competency and fairness, as well as its perceived commitment to global issues like peace, justice, poverty, and the environment.
Thirdly, Canada held the top spot for the people category, which examines the reputation of a nation’s populace for competence, openness, friendliness, and tolerance.
Canada maintained steady rankings in the remaining three categories: exports, which measures opinions of a country’s products and services; tourism, which measures the level of interest in visiting a country; and culture, which assesses global opinions of a nation’s heritage and appreciation for its contemporary culture including art and sport.
Over the past couple of years, Canada has been in the top three overall on the Nation Brands Index. This year, however, Canada came second place after Germany, which has maintained the top spot for the past five years. Germany’s strengths are in its exports, immigration and investment, governance, and culture.
Canada overtook the U.K., which held the second-place spot in 2020. This year, the U.K. dropped to fifth place overall. It maintains a positive overall ranking for perceptions of its culture, exports, and immigration and investment. Its weaknesses are in global perceptions of its people, and governance.
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Bitcoin tumbles 5.5% to $53,436
Bitcoin plunged 5.5% to $53,435.9 at 22:04 GMT on Friday, losing $3,112.06 from its previous close.
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, is down 22.6% from the year’s high of $69,000 on Nov. 10.
Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, dropped 6.81% to $4,208.68 on Friday, losing $307.35 from its previous close.
(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)
Toys prove to be better investment than gold, art, and financial securities – Phys.Org
Unusual ways of investment, such as collecting toys, can generate high returns. For example, secondary market prices of retired LEGO sets grow by 11% annually, which is faster than gold, stocks, and bonds, HSE University economists say. Their paper was published in the Research in International Business and Finance journal.
According to a survey by Barclays, rich people invest about 10% of their wealth in jewelry, art, antiques, collectible wines, and cars (in addition to traditional investment in financial securities). Demand for such goods is particularly high (as is growth in their prices) in developing countries, such as China, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries. These alternative investments are well-studied, unlike more unusual goods whose purchase might seem less serious: LEGO sets, Barbie dolls, superhero minifigures, or model cars and trains.
Victoria Dobrynskaya, one of the study’s authors and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences
‘We are used to thinking that people buy such items as jewelry, antiques or artworks as an investment. However, there are other options, such as collectible toys. Tens of thousands of deals are made on the secondary LEGO market. Even taking into account the small prices of most sets, this is a huge market that is not well-known by traditional investors.’
There may be several reasons for the rapid growth in the price of the sets. First, they are produced in limited quantities, particularly special collections dedicated to iconic films, books, or historic events. Second, after sets are retired, the number of them available on the secondary market is not large: many owners don’t see value in them (and lose or toss parts), while others, on the contrary, value them and don’t want to sell them. Third, LEGO sets have been produced for several decades and have a lot of adult fans. It would be reasonable to assume that the more time has passed since the set was manufactured, the more it would be valued as a classic sample or a nostalgic object. However, there had been no academic studies to substantiate this assumption.
The authors of the paper looked at the prices of 2,322 LEGO sets from 1987-2015. The dataset included information on primary sales and online auction transactions (only sales of new unopened sets were selected). Secondary market prices usually start to grow two or three years after a set is retired, but there is a significant variation in returns ranging from -50% to +600% annually. Prices of small and very big sets grow faster than prices of medium-sized ones, probably because small sets often contain unique parts or figures, while big ones are produced in small quantities and are more attractive to adults. Prices of thematic sets dedicated to famous buildings, popular movies, or seasonal holidays tend to experience the highest growth on the secondary market (the most expensive ones include Millennium Falcon, Cafe on the Corner, Taj Mahal, Death Star II, and Imperial Star Destroyer). Another attractive category includes sets that were issued in limited editions or distributed at promotional events: rarity increases their value from the collectors’ perspective.
Average returns on LEGO sets are 10-11% annually (and even higher if the new set was purchased on the primary market with a discount), which is more than stocks, bonds, gold, and many collectible items, such as stamps or wines, yield.
In addition, LEGO prices are weakly dependent on the stock market (they were growing even during the financial crisis of 2008) and are relatively low in comparison to art, antiques, and cars, which makes them a reliable and accessible method of investment. However, the authors of the study say that investment in LEGO is worthwhile only in the long term (i.e., over three years) and incurs higher transaction costs (e.g., delivery and storage) than investment in financial securities.
‘Investors in LEGO generate high returns from reselling unpacked sets, particularly rare ones, which were produced in limited editions or a long time ago. Sets produced 20-30 years ago make LEGO fans nostalgic, and prices for them go through the roof. But despite the high profitability of LEGO sets on the secondary market in general, not all sets are equally successful, and one must be a real LEGO fan to sort out the market nuances and see the investment potential in a particular set,’ Victoria Dobrynskaya said.
Victoria Dobrynskaya et al, Lego: The Toy Of Smart Investors, Research in International Business and Finance (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2021.101539
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Toys prove to be better investment than gold, art, and financial securities (2021, December 3)
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Toronto index turns negative as pot producers weigh
Canada‘s main stock index erased early gains to trade lower on Friday, mirroring the mood on Wall Street, as losses in pot producers eclipsed firmer energy stocks and gains in Bank of Montreal after it reported upbeat earnings.
At 10:00 a.m. ET (15:00 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 70.91 points, or 0.34%, at 20,691.12.
Leading the declines, the healthcare sector dropped more than 2%. Losses were concentrated in pot producers Cronos Group Inc, Canopy Growth Corp, Tilray Inc, all of which fell nearly 5%.
The energy sector gained 1.0%, drawing support from a near 3% jump in oil prices after the producer group OPEC+ said it could review its production hike policy at short notice if oil demand collapsed due to new lockdowns. [O/R]
Bank of Montreal added 3% as its quarterly earnings topped market expectations and the lender joined rivals in raising its dividend and announcing a share buyback program.
The benchmark equity index was on track for its third straight weekly loss as sentiment this week took a hit from fears sparked by the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, if it (Omicron variant) worsens and if we start to see more restrictions coming and lockdowns, then that could obviously have a negative impact on the market,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
On the economic front, the Canadian economy added a net 153,700 jobs in November, beating expectations, and the jobless rate slipped to 6.0% from 6.7% in October, Statistics Canada said.
The TSX posted no new 52-week highs and five new lows.
Across all Canadian issues, there were three new 52-week highs and 31 new lows, with a total volume of 54.40 million shares.
(Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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