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Friday, May 15, 2015

Bond Funds are not as safe as you think!

Would you like to lose 20% on your ? How about 50%-->

Monday, May 11, 2015

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) VS Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) what to do!

RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan)or TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account)

Most people who want to save for retirement will have this argument with themselves over time, and "time" it seems is really the key to determining whether or not you should contribute to your RRSP or to your TFSA in any given year.

Firstly let me point out what should be obvious to our readers now.  These are not "Savings" accounts so much as they are "Investment" accounts.  Within both vehicles you can purchase most kinds of investments from stocks to bonds, mutual funds, ETF's and real estate in the form of REIT's

Some people believe that splitting savings between these two investing vehicles is a safe bet, but in many instances they would be wrong.

One unique aspect of the Canadian RRSP (similar to a 401(k) in the U.S.) and the TFSA (similar to a Roth IRA in the U.S.) is that there is a "limit" to the contributions you can make in any given year but that limit "carries over" to the following year should you fail to contribute.

This fact alone should tell you how to best invest your money at different points in your life and career.  For instance, when one is a young adult, say in your 20's, it is common that your income is much less than it will be later in your life, say in your 40's and 50's which are usually you "maximum" income years.

Knowing this, one simplified plan is to contribute as much as you can to your TSFA in those early years when your income is low, then, depending on your personal circumstances, gradually switch to the RRSP as your income increases later in life.

Why? Because it is better to reduce your tax burden on the higher income rather than the lower income, and the accumulation of contribution room over years, allows for a much larger RRSP deposit, thereby reducing your tax burden even further. Tuned in Canadians know that reducing your tax burden is a big part of retirement saving and planning.

If you were prudent and maxed out your TFSA during your 20's and into your 30's, "and" you invested well in that account ( It is really a tax free "investment" account, not just a savings account)
then you would have a considerable amount in your TSFA to tap into to ensure you max out your RRSP at the top end of your income earning years.

Here is a good primer on this very issue courtesy of  BNN.

Is the RRSP headed for retirement?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tiny Canadian firm, IBC Alloys having breakout year in U.S. Aerospace

Our top pick of 2015 in the Microcap Space, IBC Advanced Alloys Corp, is on a roll.
In the past six months it has signed no less than four (4) new contracts with Aerospace
companies and has many more "irons in the fire". Technicals are extremely bullish.

This small Canadian listed firm, has four operating plants in the USA and the U.S. Aerospace industry is becoming it's oyster.

Here are the headlines:

Up 30% in the past month, IBC Advanced Alloys is making great progress utilizing it's proprietary materials casting technology.  The aerospace industry is only now coming to know this technology and it's benefits.  We think the sky s the limit for this up and comer.

Remember, penny stocks are "highly speculative", and should never constitute more than 5-10% of any portfolio. They are not for the faint of heart. Money you need for retirement should not be invested in "any" speculative stocks.

Having said that, we have been following this tiny gem for over a year now and accumulating it's stock on dips.  From here on in, I doubt if there will be many dips to take advantage of, but that doesn't matter now that contracts are getting signed one after another.

With their foot in the door of U.S. Aerospace and defense contractors, and several new partners in Europe, expansion of this microcap should be astronomical in the coming year or so.  We're holding on the for what we expect will be an incredible ride.


NOTE: IBC Advanced Alloys is currently a penny stock and trades on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the symbol IB.

It also trades on the OTC in the U.S. under the symbol  IAALF.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Do you know how to handle money?

Al Jacobs has been a professional investor for nearly four decades with expertise in areas that include real estate, mortgage, securities investment and the operation of a private trust company.

investment articles author25 Signs That Show You Know How to Handle Money
The ability to master your money is not something that just happens. It takes time, training, and temperament. Whatever praise or criticism you may direct at the American public school system, one thing must be acknowledged: The handling of personal financial affairs is not a subject to which much attention is devoted. Whatever the average citizen knows about saving and investing did not come from the classroom. This is understandable, of course, if only because the typical classroom teacher is equally mystified by the world of money. Nonetheless, there are those among us who have figured out how it all works, and what it takes to prosper. 

Are you one of those persons that has managed somehow to get the hang of it? If you recognize yourself in most of the twenty-five following scenarios, then you can confidently answer "yes" to that question.

1. Your credit card bill is paid in full each month with never a penny in interest incurred.
2. You understand that the variable annuity in which your neighbor just invested will prove to be a sad mistake.
3. Despite orchestrated furor by the media, you recognize that the $30 it costs to fill your vehicle’s gas tank is cheaper in today’s dollar that the $15 it cost 20 years ago.
4. You enjoy financial talk shows for their entertainment value while knowing that 95% of what’s said is nonsense.
5. The only type of life insurance that you’d ever consider purchasing is a term policy.
6. You’re not tempted to invest in something because of a hot tip you get from a friend or relative.
7. You have serious doubts that the 3-unit course in basic English composition offered at Eleganté University for $900 is any better than a similar course conducted at Midtown Community College for $60.
8. You are sufficiently sophisticated in real estate to know that the worst house in the best neighborhood beats the best house in the worst neighborhood.
9. You owe nothing on the vehicle you drive.
10. You have a pretty good idea by mid-November how much your income tax obligation for the current year will be.
11. When hearing that the S&P 500 Index just hit an all-time high, you are not inclined to call your broker with a buy order.
12. It’s beyond your comprehension why anyone not certifiably insane would purchase a timeshare property.
13. Your checking account balance never drops below the minimum limit that triggers a monthly service charge.
14. You’re aware that an option to pay your auto insurance premium in two installments, with a "modest convenience fee" instead of a single payment, probably works out as a loan at about a 25% interest rate.
15. Although you thoroughly enjoy the home in which you live, it’s considerably less expensive than you can afford.
16. You know practically nothing about the option market—and intend to keep it that way.
17. You feel instinctively that every dollar you contribute in FICA taxes to the Social Security system is a dollar lost to you forever.
18. Whenever you’re negotiating a purchase and qualify to receive a discount, you do not hesitate to ask for it.
19. You entertain no illusions that a financial advisor will provide sound counsel merely because of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation held.
20. You make the maximum possible contribution to your retirement funds.
21. Whether your choice of wristwatch is a top-of-the-line Rolex, a fashionable Cartier, a respectable Bulova, or an economy Timex, you recognize that all are battery-operated, with a similar quartz movement, and none fail to keep excellent time.

22. You find it baffling why anyone would buy a lottery ticket.

23. You cannot remember when you last borrowed money for an unexpected emergency.

24. The newspaper advertisement offering a half-pound silver commemorative medallion from The Perfidious Mint, at the "special advance price of only 139 dollars," forces you to suppress a laugh.

25. You have no confidence in the concept of "Investor Confidence."

If the sentiments expressed in most of those situations do not reflect your thinking, you’re not in control of your financial destiny. In that case, you can use a little guidance. A visit to the Newsletter Archives on my website at might be a good place to start.

Author Details..

Al Jacobs has been a professional investor for nearly four decades. His business experience ranges from real estate, mortgage, and securities investment to appraisal, civil engineering, and the operation of a private trust company. In addition to managing his investments on a day-to-day basis, he is a featured financial columnist for both online and print publications. He is the author of Nobody’s Fool: A Skeptic’s Guide to Prosperity. You’re invited to subscribe to his financial Newsletter, "On the Money Trail," at no cost or obligation, by visiting On the Money Trail

Ed noteWhile I do not know Mr Al Jacobs, I could not help but chuckle at how close his mindset is to my own, except of course, for the 10% of my portfolio invested in penny stocks. (Sir John Templeton began his fortune investing in penny stocks)

Monday, March 2, 2015

IBC Advanced Alloys Corp - Canadian with U.S. Roots

2015 Top Picks -  IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.

IBC is an integrated manufacturer and distributor of rare metals (beryllium) based alloys and related products serving a variety of industries including nuclear energy, automotive, telecommunications and a range of industrial applications. IBC has 80 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada

IBC has four U.S. based production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Missouri. 

In March 2014,  IBC's Advanced "BEO" Nuclear Fuel exceeded critical performance factors in tests.

This advanced product, manufactured using IBC's proprietary Beryllium materials, is designed to reduce costs and increase safety of advanced nuclear fuels in the rebirth of that industry.
(see illustration on left)

The Nuclear industry predicts $1.2 Trillion worth of new plants will be constructed or started by 2030 with Asia leading the expansion of Nuclear power in the 21st century.

In Sept 2014, IBC was awarded a contract by the LockheedMartin Corp to produce the housing components for it's F35 fighter jets "EOTS" systems utilizing it's proprietary "Beralcast" advanced material, with the promise of more to come.
(see illustration at right)

The F-35 is the most advanced fighter jet ever built and for Lockheed to include this tiny manufacturer of specialty materials as one of it's suppliers ensures that IBC should punch above it's weight for years to come.

During the same month,  IBC successfully delivered several unmanned aerial system (UAS) ® technology to the U.S. Department of Defense.
demonstration articles manufactured using IBC’s proprietary Beralcast castings.

In November 2014,  IBC Partnered with two European firms to Develop and Distribute a New High Performance Alloy

Although it is still a microcap company trading on the venture exchange mostly in Canada, IBC is creating a dynamic global beryllium and advanced alloys company.

IBC's common shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "IB" and the OTCQX under the symbol "IAALF."

All indications are that IBC will be profitable in 2015 and we expect a significant turnaround in IBC's stock price.  We have been loading up on IBC Shares with that expectation.

We see it as an investment in the future.