Latest Blogposts

  • Your kids will be just fine, says Warren Buffett

    Buffett rejects pessimistic political rhetoric about America's future

    Back in December, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. He has since campaigned for her, but that isn't to say he takes any pleasure in the rhetoric that comes along with the current presidential campaign cycle.

    In the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) end-of-year shareholder letter in February, Buffett made a point about the election cycle that he has made before, and that he will almost certainly make again, in some form, at the shareholder meeting on April 30 in Omaha.

    "It’s an election year, and candidates can’t stop speaking about our country’s problems," he wrote. "As a result of this negative drumbeat, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they themselves do. That view is dead wrong: The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history."

    Why is it such a good time to be a baby in America?

    Buffett says it's because the GDP is so much higher than it was back when he was born. While many pundits

    Read More »from Your kids will be just fine, says Warren Buffett
  • Tens of thousands of people are descending upon Omaha, Nebraska, gearing up for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting. Those attending the events this weekend (or viewing them online through Yahoo Finance’s live stream) are in for a big treat. Not only will they get advice from two of the greatest investing and business minds of all time, there’s a good chance they’ll hear a few surprising comments as well.

    Each year, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, along with vice chairman Charlie Munger, spend hours participating in an extensive question-and-answer session. The two leaders talk with the audience, addressing questions that neither Warren Buffett nor Charlie Munger have any prior knowledge of.

    Of course, it’s nearly impossible for an event so big in size to go off without a hitch. When asked about any big gaffes from previous Berkshire Hathaway meetings, the Oracle of Omaha told Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer that while there have been "some,"

    Read More »from Warren Buffett shares the biggest gaffe at a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting
  • There are a lot of Tesla (TSLA) enthusiasts, but also some determined skeptics. Anton Wahlman is one of those with major doubts about the innovative electric car company.

    Wahlman, a former equity analyst who’s now a private investor in Silicon Valley, recently ordered 20 Model 3 sedans using Tesla’s online order form. The Model 3, due in late 2017 or early 2018, is supposed to be the company's mass-market car, starting around $35,000, that will finally give Tesla the volume it needs to become definitively successful. Up till now, Tesla has wowed customers and critics but failed to turn a profit.

    The Model 3 seems well on its way to becoming a huge hit, given that customers have placed orders for more than 400,000 of them, according to Tesla. If all of those orders turned into sales, the Model 3 would outsell perennial favorites such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

    But some skeptics feel those 400,000 pre-orders may be misleading—which is why Wahlman ordered 20 Model 3s. Tesla

    Read More »from This guy ordered 20 Tesla Model 3s – but not to buy them
  • [Jamie Shaw, spokeswoman for the B.C. Compassion Club, displays two different varieties of medical marijuana available at the East Vancouver dispensary in East Vancouver, British Columbia, June 5, 2015. / Reuters]

    Starting today, unlicensed Vancouver compassion clubs and cannabis dispensaries could be hit with $250 fines or even court injunctions forcing closures as a result of a new bylaw.

    The city has promised “boots on the ground” visiting the cannabis dispensaries after 162 of the 176 applications for licenses failed due to being within 300 metres of each other, schools, community centres or youth facilities.

    While some prospective pot peddlers have thrown their names in the hat – 230 applicants according to the city’s last count –  other dispensaries, which can rake in $10,000 or more a day, say they plan to eat the city’s fines in the short term while they wait for the Federal government’s much-anticipated recreational marijuana legislation to come into play next April.

    Zach

    Read More »from Marijuana dispensaries in B.C. embrace fines to keep making a profit
  • Shareholders tour Bombardier's CS300 aircraft in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, April 29, 2016. (Reuters)Shareholders tour Bombardier's CS300 aircraft in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, April 29, 2016. (Reuters)

    Does your mood swing up and down with the TSX? What’s your opinion on the price of gold? Do you get twitchy if you can’t follow business news like a hawk? Perfect, this quiz on the week’s top business stories should be a breeze. Find out how savvy you are about Canadian and international financial news.

    Read More »from QUIZ: This week in business news, April 23-29
  • Uber is just the tip of the iceberg: The gig economy is leveraging the human cloud

    Breaking down the gig economy: talent on tap

    We've all heard of Uber and Airbnb, but those companies are just a fraction of the new gig economy, which is made up of part-time workers and freelancers.

    A study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute reveals that the number of current gig workers has grown 10 times since 2012 and that 4% of adults in the U.S. have at one time worked in such a capacity.

    Source: Yahoo Finance

    Talent on tap

    According to Mike Wachholz, president of Pontoon Solutions, there is a dramatic transformation underway in how we think about work. “What we’re seeing is the unprecedented rapid change in speed, complexity, and transparency in the job market … Both companies and job seekers are seeking ultimate flexibility in their engagement model with each other,” says Wachholz.

    The gig economy is about flexibility. Employers can access the type of talent needed on demand in various markets and various regions. Workers no longer have to work onsite as full-time employees. Wachholz says, "You have the ability to leverage part-time workers,

    Read More »from Uber is just the tip of the iceberg: The gig economy is leveraging the human cloud
  • While a small pocket of contrarians argues that climate change is phony, a lot of others are trying to look around the corner and figure out how to adapt to it—and even profit from it.

    The market, in fact, seems to be betting that the carbon economy is in long-term decline, with coal stocks especially battered and coal mining giant Peabody Energy declaring bankruptcy recently. Oil firms are reeling as well, thanks to the low price of crude and new efforts in many countries to regulate carbon-based energy and spur cleaner alternatives.

    Some well-known alternatives to carbon, such as wind and solar energy, have been attracting investor interest for years. But there are now some emerging investing opportunities that come from a little deeper in the crystal ball. “If you accept the premise of climate change, where does that lead you to? To sustainable agriculture investing,” Matthew Weatherley-White, co-founder of the Caprock Group, tells me in the video above. “Perhaps longer-term and

    Read More »from Why the smart money is eyeing "farmland in Siberia"
  • After the NFL Draft, players will need NFL Finance Camp

    Saving your money in the NFL is even harder than playing in the NFL

    For a player entering the NFL Draft, which is happening this weekend on ESPN, the most important thing in the world is getting drafted. After that, the priority becomes actual play time—not every player drafted will see the field in a regular-season game.

    But their next priority should be figuring out how to manage their money.

    To that end, the NFL just wrapped up its second annual Finance Camp. The program isn’t just for rookies (veteran quarterback Brady Quinn, currently an unsigned free agent, attended this year), but any current player looking to bone up on money management. And these guys need it: 16 percent of NFL players eventually file for bankruptcy after they are done playing football. In most cases, that is either due to making foolish investments (restaurants and car dealerships are the most common mistakes) or simply not knowing how to save their money, because no one ever told them.

    “I always say I wouldn’t know if the sky was blue if someone hadn’t told me it was blue

    Read More »from After the NFL Draft, players will need NFL Finance Camp
  • Taking the long view is one of those easier-said-than-done propositions, right? For instance, while you might think that the economy has pretty much recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, one prominent financier thinks the problems that caused that big meltdown have been papered over and will come back to hurt us again. And then there’s the little issue of China’s economy surpassing ours soon. John Thornton, the former president of Goldman Sachs (GS), who likes to take the long view, says he’s “feeling uneasy” about the global economy right now and thinks we’re living on borrowed time.
     
    “After the events of 2008, really since then, the central banks either collectively or individually have tried to implement policies which would, in effect, buy time for individual governments to take the actions they should take to put their houses in order,” Thornton says.
     
    “By and large, the governments have not done that. So I feel as though we're sitting in 2016 with many of the same problems

    Read More »from Former Goldman Sachs president says our economic situation 'will end in tears'
  • Stocks end rough week on a down note

    Stocks end a rough week on a down note, as big tech earnings from Facebook and Amazon can't buoy the market. We break down the week that was on The Final Round with Jen Rogers, Rick Newman, S&P's Erin Gibbs, and Bloomberg Gadfly columnist Mike Regan.

    Winners and losers

    Stocks ending the week on a down note include drug maker Gilead on a revenue and profit miss, Valeant falling after issuing its delayed annual report, and MDC Partners getting hit after short-seller Daniel Yu at Gotham Research issued a report questioning the company's accounting practices. MDC says the accusations are misleading and false.

    On the flip side, stocks bucking the tape on a down day include Expedia on a profit and revenue beat, Genworth Financial on a big earnings beat, and Tivo jumping as it agreed to be bought out by digital guide and technology provider Rovi.

    Looking ahead

    • On Monday we'll get a big read on the manufacturing sector with ISM's manufacturing index for April. The Street's hoping to see a rise
    Read More »from Stocks end rough week on a down note
  • Tax scammers may think they can get the better of you, but you'll show 'em who's boss.Tax scammers may think they can get the better of you, but you'll show 'em who's boss.

    Attention last minute tax-filers: the Canada Revenue Agency will now accept payment for your back taxes in iTunes gift cards – or so scammers will have you believe. 

    A Calgary woman was swindled for $20,000 from a man claiming to work for the tax agency last week. The fraudster called her cellphone and said an arrest warrant had been issued for her due to unpaid taxes. He ordered her to purchase iTunes gift cards and give him the activation codes.

    But it’s not an isolated incident. As the May 2 tax deadline looms putting extra stress on last minute filers, scammers line up to prey on Canadians.

    According to the Calgary Police Service’s Economic Crimes unit, scammers claiming they were from the CRA have duped 131 Calgarians for close to $600,000 since February last year.

    As of Tuesday this week, the RCMP in Saskatchewan say they’ve fielded more than 200 reports of people getting suspicious calls saying they’re from the CRA.

    ALSO READ: Ontario woman conned out of $12,000 by iTunes gift

    Read More »from No, you don’t owe the CRA $20,000 in iTunes gift cards
  • Petroleum storage tanks at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Reuters)Petroleum storage tanks at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Reuters)

    When Warren Buffett puts his money on something, people listen. So as a savvy investor you may be wondering if you should follow his lead and buy up shares of one of Canada’s largest energy companies.

    Even with the volatility of oil prices, an investment in Suncor Energy Inc. is, by and large, a good thing for many Canadian investors, say financial experts.

    “It’s uncertain where oil prices will go,” says Scott Clayton, a senior researcher with TSI Network, a Toronto portfolio manager and newsletter publisher. “Oil will remain volatile—it could drop further or rise up. But we feel that most investors should have some oil and gas exposure in their portfolios and the best way to do that is with good dividend-paying stocks such as Suncor.”

    “One thing we really like about Suncor is that at 3.2 per cent, Suncor has a high yield dividend for an oil and gas stock.”

    As arguably the world’s savviest investor, Buffett beefed up his position in Suncor late last year boosting his share in the

    Read More »from This Canadian energy company is one of Berkshire Hathaway's biggest holdings
  • Clubber, what's your prediction for the market fight? "PAIN"

    We're up against a wall, with some big kid going through our pockets

    By Stephen Guilfoyle | @Sarge986

    Good afternoon,

     

    It's the last day of the week, my good and tired colleagues. Did you take one in the teeth yesterday? Of course you did. That's why we diversify when we allocate, right? Well, we are at one of those points where we have to make an allocation decision.

     
    Discipline is the key to victory, and sticking to a plan is one of the keys to discipline. But this one is not so easy. If you are a regular reader, then you are well aware that our physical gold (GCM16.CMX) allocation currently stands at 7.5% of the model portfolio—and it has ever since we took it there from 5%. The yellow stuff was still below $1,100 when we did that in late December.
     
    In the late March re-allocation, we made the stipulation that if gold hit $1,275 with momentum, we would add 2.5% to that allocation—making it 10%. Then, we would withdraw that portion from cash, dropping that number to 25%. This price action is an obvious reaction to sudden dollar weakness via the
    Read More »from Clubber, what's your prediction for the market fight? "PAIN"
  • Warren Buffett just laughed off Carl Icahn's dire predictions

    Midday Movers streams live at 12:00 p.m. EST. Today we discuss, Bezos' windfall, weakness in energy, and a billionaire battle of words

    Stocks (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC^RUT) are down midday after a nasty close Thursday. Healthcare (XLV) is the worst performer, with tech (XLK) close behind. Consumer discretionary (XLY) is modestly up.

    Joining Jen Rogers to discuss some of the other big stories of the day are David Nelson, Chief Strategist at Belpointe Asset Management and Kevin Mahn, CIO, Hennion & Walsh Asset Management.

    Amazon's Jeff Bezos just made $6 billion in seconds

    After Amazon's (AMZN) huge beat Thursday, Jeff Bezos' fortune skyrocketed to $60 billion. Things weren't looking that great in the tech sector until Facebook's huge beat earlier in the week. Are we seeing a turnaround in tech?

    Oil sector looking weak

    First quarter results from oil giants Exxon (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) disappointed. Exxon posted its smallest profit in over 15 years, while Chevron posted a much wider-than-expected loss. Oil prices are now up from Q1, so will things look better in Q2.

    Billionaire battle of words

    Hedge fund mogul Carl Icahn

    Read More »from Warren Buffett just laughed off Carl Icahn's dire predictions
  • Inside the ultra-competitive world of professional chess

    Even the top players in the world struggle to make a living

    Even though 600 million people in the world know how to play chess (according to the British polling firm YouGov), the vast majority of people these days probably couldn’t name a current pro chess star. They might remember, or have heard about, when Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972 (the “Cold War of Chess”), or when Garry Kasparov played the IBM (IBM) computer Deep Blue in 1997. If they can name a current chess star—and that’s a big “if”—it is likely only one young man: Magnus Carlsen, who is 25 years old, models for fashion companies with a trademark scowl, and is the No. 1 player in the world.

    But beneath Carlsen are legions of players who have built their lives around chess, are extremely skilled, and still struggle to make much of a living competing in the sport. (Yes, it’s a sport—players have to be in top physical shape to compete for six hours straight; international grandmaster Maurice Ashley compares playing in a top chess tournament to taking two college

    Read More »from Inside the ultra-competitive world of professional chess

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