Is the Bank of Canada considering an interest rate hike in May?

“Does the OECD know something that Canadian economists do not? The simple answer: Not likely.  In recent global forecasts, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has predicted the Bank of Canada would begin hiking its key interest rate earlier than private-sector analysts in this country would have ventured,” wrote Gordon Isfeld for the Financial Post on Tuesday.

Isfeld continued, “The Paris-based group did it again on Tuesday, stating matter-of-factly in its twice-annual Economic Outlook that the central bank’s policymakers would begin bumping up borrowing costs “in late May of 2015” — many months ahead of when economists here had penciled in for the first rate move in more than four years. Read the full article here | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

Former NHL coach Pat Quinn dies at 71

“Pat Quinn, who spent more than four decades in the NHL as a player, head coach and general manager, has died at the age of 71,” CBC Sports posted online this Monday. The article continued, “The Hockey Hall of Fame and the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants on Monday confirmed that Quinn passed away Sunday night at Vancouver General Hospital after a long illness.  Quinn was a co-owner of the Giants. He was the Hall of Fame’s chairman of the board as well as a longtime member of its selection committee, but was unable to attend the annual induction ceremony earlier this month.” Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

Travel insurance fine print can lead to unforeseen expenses

“However much you agonize over your mortgage and investments, double that effort level when buying travel medical insurance.  Paying an uncompetitive interest rate on a mortgage can cost you thousands, and bad investment decisions can be harmful, too. But travel medical insurance is special in the way it can produce expensive surprises,” wrote Rob Carrick for the Globe and Mail this Monday.

Carrick continued, “We’re reminded of this by the case of the Saskatchewan couple that were charged $950,000 (U.S.) for medical services rendered after the wife gave birth nine weeks early while vacationing in Hawaii. As reported by CBC, their travel insurance provider, Blue Cross, denied coverage.  We seem to have absorbed the message that travel medical coverage is mandatory in all situations where someone crosses the border into the United States. But there’s work to do in ensuring that people buy policies that will actually cover their bills.” Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

U.S. Federal officials stay focused on possible drop in inflation expectations

“Many Federal Reserve policy makers last month said they should be on the lookout for signs of a decline in expectations for inflation, minutes of their meeting show. “Many participants observed the committee should remain attentive to evidence of a possible downward shift in longer- term inflation expectations,” according to a record of the Oct. 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released today in Washington. “Some of them noted that if such an outcome occurred, it would be even more worrisome if growth faltered.” Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues last month focused on improvements in the labor market when they announced an end to their stimulative bond purchases. They also said that the risk of inflation remaining persistently below their goal had ebbed,” wrote Christopher Condon and Jeff Kearns for Bloomberg News and published in the National Post this Wednesday.

Condon and Kearns continued, “The minutes show the members “continued to expect inflation to move back to the committee’s 2% target over the medium term as resource slack diminished in an environment of well-anchored inflation expectations.”  Consumer prices as measured by the Fed’s preferred gauge have slowed to a gain of 1.4% in September from a year earlier and have remained below the target for 29 consecutive months.”   Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

The connection between sleep loss and diabetes

“David Lombrozo was never a good sleeper. “Then I started my own company, and it got worse,” said the Marietta, Ga., owner of an information-technology management company. “I got to bed later, got up earlier, wasn’t eating well. I gained 15 pounds, which made me snore and woke me up even more.”  As a result, Type 2 diabetes, which had been lurking in his family genes, caught up with him. Now Lombrozo must give himself a daily insulin injection and test his blood-sugar levels several times a day to keep the disease in check,”  wrote Leslie Mann for the Chicago Tribune and published in the Toronto Star on Tuesday. Mann continued, “Like the millions of other North Americans afflicted with Type 2 diabetes, Lombrozo learned that sleep deprivation and diabetes feed on each other: Diabetes symptoms disturb sleep, while sleep loss contributes to diabetes. Add obesity and stress, and you have a vicious circle.” Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

Bank of Canada Governor’s comments mean challenges of Gen Y may finally garner attention

“The best thing to happen to jobless young adults in ages might be last week’s comment from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz that unpaid work is better than no work,” Wrote Rob Carrick in a Globe and Mail article on Monday. Carrick continued, “The central bank chief was not at his rhetorical best in handling this subject at a news conference. He sounded like an out of touch old geezer, and he’s neither. Still, he did manage to break the unofficial embargo on people of influence talking about the problems of Generation Y.  Earth to Ottawa, and all the provincial capitals: It’s tough out there for young adults who are graduating from college or university and trying to build a career. Employers are taking advantage of their leverage over young workers by withholding permanent work and offering contract jobs or, worse, unpaid and semi-paid internships. High schools are graduating students with minimal guidance on how to best navigate the job market and parents are digging into their savings to help their 20- and even 30-something kids.” Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Markets riled by Japan’s stimulus announcement

“The Bank of Japan sent shock waves through financial markets by announcing it will increase its bond-buying economic stimulus program, the biggest development on a day that put an exclamation point on a volatile month for global markets,” David Parkinson wrote in a Globe and Mail article last week.

Parkinson continued, “The central bank’s surprise move was in stark contrast to this week’s decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to end its own bond-buying program (known as QE3) in light of the strengthening U.S. economy. Japan’s move sent investors flocking to the U.S. dollar, causing ripples through other financial markets. Stocks rallied, with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 indexes reaching record highs. But commodity prices tumbled, with gold falling to a four-year low and oil dipping back toward $80 (U.S.) a barrel. Other currencies slumped, including the yen, the euro and the Canadian dollar.”

Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


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