When it all falls apart

As a result of the recent tragic flooding in our city and province this past week (in addition to a incident involving a train on a bridge that brought traffic to a halt) and having had several conversations with people affected and not affected, I am eagerly waiting to see what the resulting effect is on both people and their surroundings.  A good friend of mine had a home that is now underwater and his family is temporarily displaced.  He shared with me how frustrated he was with his lack of control over the situation and his inability to understand what happens next.   Continue reading “When it all falls apart”

For all my talk of innovation, this Calgary company walks the talk

I attended a panel discussion breakfast earlier this week that including a senior banker, an ABL specialist and an individual who is the President and CEO of Calgary based Alaris Royalty Corp.  The discussion was around debt, the market, government regulation and the ability of companies to access the debt they need.  It was interesting having Alaris included in the mix as they are not a debt lender per se but certainly offer companies the capital they need in a very interesting structure.   Continue reading “For all my talk of innovation, this Calgary company walks the talk”

If the end was near are you ready?

Two articles grabbed my attention this morning – one from the National Post (Krugman warns Canada vulnerable to a ‘big deleveraging shock’) and one from the Globe and Mail (Electric wave jolts car parts maker to innovate).  One article points to the impeding crash that many speak of with respect to Canadians and their level of debt and the other speaks to good old fashion entrepreneurship and taking advantage of opportunities.  For some, paying attention to level of debt in their personal finances or business may not be an issue they focus on each day but there is something to be said about getting out in front of whatever impact will be had once interest rates begin to increase. Continue reading “If the end was near are you ready?”

What does a soccer game and a request for money have in common?

This weekend both of my boys, who are 8 and 7 years old, had soccer games and are almost finished their season.  As each of them played and scudded down the field as a part of a pack of other kids that all seemed to move as herd, I yelled out the moves they needed to make and where they needed to be on the field.  While doing this I began reflecting on the similarities I face when working with people and business that need money. Continue reading “What does a soccer game and a request for money have in common?”

Who makes $100,000 per year and lives in affordable housing?

Reading through an article today in the Calgary Herald title “Taxpayers group finds well-off living in housing for poor” I couldn’t help but find my way over the the City of Calgary website to learn more about the affordable housing concept (see Role of The City in affordable housing) and understand more about the challenges and opportunities that exist.  Clearly this is a tricky issue.  An investor I do some work for once mentioned “there is no such thing as affordable housing – it is an oxymoron by its very nature.”  Interesting. Continue reading “Who makes $100,000 per year and lives in affordable housing?”

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

In pondering some of the challenges that Canadian banks are facing with respect to their margins and product offering, I read an article today in the Financial Post (Canadian plants putting Detroit’s oil sands waste pile to use) that seemed to serve as a great reminder of how a problem for one person can result in an opportunity for another.  The story details how a Canadian electrical power plant is burning a stockpile of Continue reading “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”

You need a personal guarantee? No way!

Imagine for a moment that someone approaches you and asks if you would be willing to lend them money.  They proceed to tell you all about the venture and the enormous amounts of money they are going to make as a result of securing money from you in the form or a mortgage or loan.  They continue to tell you that notwithstanding nobody knows the future, their venture is a sure bet guaranteed to make them profit and riches beyond their wildest dreams and Continue reading “You need a personal guarantee? No way!”

How a small business can profit in slow times

If you believe like I do that the world economy (and to a lesser extent the Canadian economy) will continue to be mediocre at best then small businesses have an additional challenge in front of them in the form of being profitable or seeking ways to grow in the face of current economic times.  The latest news articles relative to capital, money, banking, etc. all paint a picture of shrinking margins with no real line of sight to opportunities for improvement, growth or higher profits.  As a small business owner I can relate to the current environment but unlike the news I have hope that it is in these times that real profit is found as Continue reading “How a small business can profit in slow times”

US to short Canadian banks

The following article has some interesting points in it about the Canadian real estate market and banks (see http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/news/fp-street/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com/2013/05/30/why-its-dangerous-to-short-the-canadian-banks) and their short term future. For those of us who actively work in the market with banks to get individuals and businesses money it has not been easy since the financial crash and seems each day to be getting harder. Continue reading “US to short Canadian banks”