Home Economics aims to help Canadians navigate their personal finances in the age of social distancing and beyond.
Bank of Canada sees low interest rates until 2023
During its latest policy decision this past week, the Bank of Canada reiterated its commitment to keep interest rates at historical lows over the next few years to support the country’s economic recovery out of the COVID-19 pandemic. By the bank’s forecast, rates will likely stay near-zero until 2023. “The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the two per cent inflation target is sustainably achieved,” Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said Wednesday. Sustained low rates may be good news for those who need it, according to CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid. However, she adds the temptation to borrow more could spell trouble for a nation already hampered by historic levels of household debt.
30% of Canadians fear they won’t ever financially recover from COVID: Poll
About one-third of Canadians polled on behalf of FP Canada feel they won’t ever recover financially from the pandemic. Those in their 40s and 50s may be in the worst financial position, according to the findings, which showed 36 per cent of that age group not believing they will recuperate. Meanwhile, the survey suggests the worst may be yet to come for Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34, over half of which have taken advantage of government programs such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Half of younger Canadians polled said they’ve already borrowed money to make up for financial shortfalls as aid winds down.
Beware of falling into a fee trap when seeking investment advice
Market volatility and economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have sent stressed-out investors flocking to advisors. A recent survey commissioned by Manulife Investment Management shows 63 per cent of respondents plan to seek investment advice in 2020 compared with half in 2019, and over half of Canadians want professional advice about retirement planning. While seeking help from a professional is a positive step, personal finance columnist Dale Jackson warns decisions driven by fear can lead investors into fee traps as many popular investment products – such as mutual funds – carry hefty fees that ultimately eat away at potential returns.
Many Canadians have no financial plan for when financial aid ends
Some Canadians who have relied on financial support from the government, or took advantage of deferral programs, are turning to alternative forms of aid as support measures wind down. But two-in-five surveyed by Credit Canada have no plan for when government aid runs out. One-in-10 respondents said they will turn to traditional forms of borrowing such as family loans or credit cards, and only two per cent will seek bankruptcy of credit counselling. The good news: almost half of respondents who were receiving financial assistance say they will no longer need it once aid programs have ended.
“Canadians who plan to stay in their existing home for the long-term might consider a 10-year fixed rate, which is available at around three per cent and would guarantee their mortgage payment for an entire decade” – James Laird, co-founder, ratehub.ca
U.S. stocks rebound following rout, bond yields dip
U.S. shares rebounded on Thursday after falling for three consecutive days and benchmark Treasury yields dipped, as investors snapped up technology stocks and shrugged off worries about rising prices, for now.
After posting their biggest slump in at least 11 weeks on Wednesday, U.S. shares bounced back as cash-flush investors looked past concerns that accelerating inflation may prompt quicker interest rate hikes, and deployed their funds once more.
So intent were investors on leaving inflation worries aside that financial markets barely responded to Thursday’s data, which showed U.S. producer prices posting their biggest annual gain since 2010 in April.
“It’s rebound Thursday,” said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank, which manages $20 billion. “Given the money on the sidelines, investors are going to be coming back in.”
Still, Augustine said investors should re-deploy their funds in a measured way because “inflation concerns are not going away”.
By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had added 1.4%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite narrowed earlier gains to be up 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively.
The MSCI world equity index, which includes 50 countries, also bounced slightly, gaining 0.2%.
U.S. stocks had tumbled earlier this week after data showed U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly jumped by the most in almost 12 years in April.
Some investors now worry that quickening price pressures could lead the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected, and reduce its supply of cheap money that has been propelling financial markets higher.
For now, however, inflation woes took a backseat.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields, which had spiked 7 basis points overnight in the biggest daily rise in two months, edged down by more than 3 basis points to 1.6625% as investors took a breather.
Benchmark two-year Treasury yields also pulled back to 0.1589%.
Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar was steady at 90.727, holding gains eked out on Wednesday when expectations of rate hikes burnished the currency’s appeal.
A firm dollar capped gains in the euro, which edged up 0.1% to $1.20875. [USD/]
The pull-back in Treasury yields helped gold to recoup some of Wednesday’s losses, when the jump in bond yields dampened the allure of non-yielding bullion. Spot gold climbed 0.7% off a one-week low to $1,825.61 per ounce.
A recent rally in oil prices also paused on Thursday as investors turned their attention to the coronavirus crisis in India, and as a key U.S. fuel pipeline resumed operations.
Brent crude slumped 3.5% to $66.93 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 3.8% to $63.53 a barrel.
Among cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, which tumbled 13% overnight when Elon Musk said Tesla would stop accepting it as payment because of its high energy use, fell below $50,000 again on Thursday following reports that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating crypto exchange Binance.
By midday, bitcoin had dropped 2.2% to $48.314.
(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Marc Jones in London; Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing Nick Macfie, Dan Grebler and Cynthia Osterman)
Dogecoin dropped after Elon Musk calls it a ‘hustle’ on ‘SNL’ show
By Alden Bentley and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) -The value of dogecoin dropped sharply in early U.S. hours on Sunday, after Tesla chief and cryptocurrency supporter Elon Musk called it a ‘hustle’ during his guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show.
Dogecoin was quoted as low as $0.47 on crypto exchange Binance, down 28% from levels around $0.65 before the show.
The billionaire Tesla Inc chief executive hosted the show at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday (0330 GMT on Sunday).
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts had for days been eager to see what he would say, after his tweets this year turned the once-obscure digital currency into a speculator’s dream.
Asked ‘what is dogecoin’, Musk replied, “It’s the future of currency. It’s an unstoppable financial vehicle that’s going to take over the world.”
When a show cast member Michael Che countered, “So, it’s a hustle?”, Musk replied, “Yeah, it’s a hustle.” And laughed.
Musk is the rare business mogul to have been asked to host the venerable comedy TV show. The timing puts Musk back in the spotlight just as Tesla’s stock is losing steam following last year’s monster rally.
The unconventional CEO has posted numerous comments about cryptocurrencies on Twitter and criticized regular old cash for having negative real interest rates.
“Only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere,” he said in February.
His cryptic tweets “Doge” and “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto” that month kicked off a rally in dogecoin – created as a parody on the more mainstream bitcoin and ethereum.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted: “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!” with a video clip attached in which he said, “it should be considered speculation at this point. And so, you know, don’t don’t go too far in the crypto speculation …”
But he also said, in the video, that cryptocurrency has a “good chance” of becoming what he called “the future currency of the Earth.”
On crypto data tracker CoinGecko.com, dogecoin has jumped more than 800% over the last month and is now the fourth-largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of $73 billion. It hit a record high Thursday above $0.73.
It has overtaken more widely used cryptocurrencies such as litecoin and tether.
Tesla said in February it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment for its electric cars, a large stride toward mainstream acceptance that sent bitcoin soaring to a record high of nearly $62,000.
Tesla shares closed 1.3% higher at $672.37 on Friday.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Alden Bentley in New York, and Noel Randewich and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco Additional reporting by Joe White and Vidya RanganathanEditing by Matthew Lewis & Simon Cameron-Moore)
Wealthsimple hits $4 billion valuation on funding from Ryan Reynolds, Drake
(Reuters) -Wealthsimple said on Monday it has raised C$750 million ($610.40 million) in its latest funding round, which more than doubled the Canadian fintech company‘s valuation to C$5 billion.
The latest funding round included participation from celebrities Drake, Michael Fox and Ryan Reynolds, according to the company.
The Toronto-based company that has helped make stock trading, peer-to-peer money transfers and tax filing easily accessible, said it will use the amount raised to further expand its market position, product suite and team.
The latest funding round, led by venture capital firms Meritech and Greylock, also includes investments from iNovia, Sagard, TSV and Redpoint.
The funding consists of C$250 million primary fundraising by Wealthsimple and a C$500 million secondary offering by holding company Power Corp of Canada, its largest shareholder.
Wealthsimple said it has seen rapid growth in the past 14 months as Canadians took an interest in stock trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, the company said it plans to grow revenue by adding premium features for its clients.
($1 = 1.2288 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta)
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