Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. We spent Christmas with our family in Vancouver. And you know what... Vancouver is not colder than Edmonton!!!

I always hear "Oh it's a damp cold it feels colder." I can say for a fact that a damp 8C is still much, much warmer than a dry -20C!

We're off again for a few days to relax in the Rockies. Everyone have a very prosperous and healthy 2011. It's going to be a great turnaround year!


Todd and Danielle Millar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Save the date - Alberta All Day Workshop

Attend REIN Private 2011 Kick-Off
Workshop as a Guest...

Get a Rare "Inside Look" on
 REIN Members Will Make 2011
Their Best Year Ever,
Dramatically Increasing Their Record

 Positive Cash Flow Real Estate

When you attend the January 15th Alberta REIN™ "closed-door" All-Day Implementation Workshop as a VIP Guest, you'll discover all you need to invest in the right area!

Click HERE to get to the REIN site.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CBC Turkey Drive Results

A big Congrats! to CBC Radio 1 raised over $80,000 for the Edmonton Food Bank. What a great way to give this year! Visit the Turkey Drive site here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

When Is The Alberta Economy Going To Kick It Into Gear Anyways?

Pretty darn soon, judging by the Suncor, Total $1.8 Billion Oil Sands deal....

What was originally thought to be a cyclical downturn, turned into a much deeper and widespread recession. However, the turning point falls in step with the cyclical upswing that was earlier projected. From the Billions of dollars that has been sat on in Alberta, we can start to see signs of life. 2012-2016 will be another growth period, although more tempered than the boom and 'bust' you've seen before. I suppose you can't accurately call it a 'bust' if it does, in-fact, keep going. The meat of this article is the MASSIVE and progressive deal that Total/Suncor have struck. This isn't a tentative toe in the water, it is a big a** cannon ball jump.

"A new partnership between oil sands giants will pour tens of billions of dollars into new bitumen projects over the next decade, as the world’s biggest energy companies increasingly train their attention on northern Alberta’s massive reserves."

PARIS (Reuters) - France's Total said on Friday it would spend C$1.75 billion ($1.8 billion) to forge a partnership with Suncor Energy in Canada's oil sands, the latest foreign push into a booming new source of oil wealth.
The French oil giant and Canada's largest energy company announced deals encompassing three projects in Alberta, where Asian investors have already been pouring funds into tarry deposits which have opened a new frontier in oil supplies.

Read more here and here

Giving the Gift of Shut Up

Dear Friends and Partners,

Get ready for an awesome New Year 2011 as we move forward with an investing period akin to the early 2000's. You'll see; steady economic growth, modest property prices, low mortgage rates, ample supply of residential buildings, positive in-migration and increasing rents.

These key indicators among other factors, put you in the right position to be for the next 5-7 year cycle, which will start showing momentum from 2012. If you feel the fear, challenge and uncertainty of the times, take a big chunk of Steve Chandler's advice along with you into the New Year.

This will be the first Christmas that we've had together with our Canadian family in well over 10 years, and I envision it being very special. My main goal this holiday season is to shut up. That's right, shut up.

I want to be 'in the moment' and really connect with my family and friends, and I think the way to really, truly do this is by listening to all they have to say and then some.

If your gatherings are like mine, you might find yourselves good-naturedly talking over one-another. I know I do. We all have busy, creative lives and feel the biting urge in sharing them with each other; we enjoy the banter and wit of joking together. And that'll still happen, but my goal is to really 'hear' what is going on with my loved ones this holiday season, so shutting up is what I'm going to do. (Yes, me zipping it will also be a precious gift to some family and friends ;)

Looking to do a little more? You can help a hungry family have a better holiday season by donating to CBC's 15th Annual Turkey Drive right here.

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues TODAY, let me help you build upon it.

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each year find you a better man." -Benjamin Franklin

Have a wonderful Holiday Season. Thank you for allowing us to serve you for the past 8 years and counting!

This will be your last Newsletter of 2010. Newsletters resume from January 15th, 2011. Glenn Simon Inc. will be closed for the holidays from December 23rd 2010 until January 4th, 2011. Happy Holidays!

Warmest Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar

5 Ways to Save Money This Holiday Season - EPL

I've always been a huge fan of the library and now I'm a huge fan of their newsletter. It's got so much great information, recommended books and interviews with your local librarian. Great job Edmonton Public library!

This month they've given 5 ways you can cut your holiday spending:

1. Make your own egg nog at home. And cookies. And gingerbread houses. Pick up the how-to guides free at your local library.

2. Make your own decorations and Christmas cards at home instead of buying them at the store.

3. Give loved ones a Library card for Christmas - at only $12/year for adults, you'll be helping them to save money all year. Pick up a gift card at your local branch.

4. Don't rent - borrow. Music, movies, video games and of course books. EPL carries everything you care about, so avoid the high rental fees by picking up fun for free.

5.5. Avoid the high-priced enterainment options - and the cold - by staying home. Pick up a sing-along video game from EPL and find out if the next Justin Bieber is in your living room!

What great practical ideas! I'm going to make a vat of eggnog- I forgot how addictive that stuff is.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This and That

Home sales rise for fourth month - "In particular, Great Vancouver posted gains of 11.3%, while Montreal was up 8.2%, Edmonton rose 6.9% and Toronto increased 6%. Ottawa saw gains of 4.2% and Calgary advanced by 2.6%."

Edmonton market is currently a strong buyer's market. The prices are soft due to the amount of product on the market and seasonal effects. Even if it wasn't a buyer's market December and January are great times to buy.

Industry touts benefits of Canadian oil sands -
"Canadian oil sands development is some of the best energy and economic news America has heard in years," Cindy Schild, the institute's refining issues manager, to reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "Americans will continue to consume a lot of oil, and oil sands have the potential to supply much of what we will need while also creating many new U.S. jobs."

The Canadian oil sands produce the safest, friendliest oil in the world. Alberta and oil sands producers are constantly looking for innovative and environmentally friendly ways to extract this incredibly huge source of oil.

Moving oil across B.C to thirsty foreign markets - "...the proposed Enbridge pipeline project. It would stretch more than 1,000-kilometres from the oil sands near Edmonton to the northwestern B.C. coastal town of Kitimat, before crude would be loaded onto tankers for export across the ocean.

Proponents of the pipeline make a persuasive case. Without tankers being allowed on the North Coast there is no pipeline. No pipeline, no way to take Alberta’s oil to thirsty Asian markets. And with that, tens of billions of lost investment and lost jobs for Canada."

This article is about a fascinating idea to build a train line to move oil rather than the heatedly debated pipeline. The idea and spin off uses such as tourism are very compelling.

Listen in to CBC real estate interview

Click here to hear Realtor Rod Thompson give an update on Edmonton's real estate market.

He confirms it's a buyer's market but points out that selling and getting your price takes a lot more skill in these times. Buyer's take your pick because it's a great time for you. I'm buying now too!

He also touches on the importance of staging, the new listing rules and 2011 market forecast.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alberta Best to Invest in Canada

You know I feel like I've written this blog before like here and here and here.

There are so many similarities between now and when we started investing in 2002. The soft real estate market prices, the low interest rates, the Alberta economy being praised as a star and the in-migration of workers to jobs in Alberta.

"With Canada's lowest corporate and personal income taxes, most flexible labour market, smallest government and relatively low level of red tape, Alberta continues to offer an investment climate that is the most attractive nationwide," Charles Lammam, senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute. Read more

I've noticed a lot of people coming from B.C, Ontario and the States - I get their calls all the time looking for rentals. 2011 really is going to be a turnaround year.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

R.S.P and Second Mortgage Financing

You may hear about this investment strategy this is what it means:
  • Hold A Mortgage – YOU are the Bank
  • You Have Control On Investment Selection, Direction and Return On Investment (ROI)
  • Truly A “Self Directed” Sophisticated Investment
  • You Can Physically SEE Your Investment
  • Invest in REAL Property ..not Ideas!

Why would you hold a mortgage?
  • “Solid Secure Superior Investment Return”
  • Gets You Into The Real Estate “Investment”Game Easily & Safely
  • Guaranteed Returns Not Available From Mutual Funds & Stocks with Less RISK!
  • Cash In On Alberta's Real Estate and World Leading Economy
What are your options?
  • “2nd Mortgage” Investing
  • Cash And Savings Investments
  • Create Financing For Well Selected Superior Properties
  • Short and Long Term Investments
  • 1, 3 or 5 Year Terms
Contact Todd or Danielle for more information.

Boxing Day Comes Early To Real Estate Investors

REIN™ Blowout Sale 2010

Take advantage of the REIN "Blowout Sale“ all the programs, books, kits and other resources produced by Canada's #1 real estate investment education company are on sale at 20 -50% off regular prices.

For example, you can get $200 off the regularly-priced $587 A.C.R.E. Homestudy kit, the incredibly effective introduction to real estate investing in Canada.

Whether you're interested in getting started, or adding a more sophisticated strategy to your bag of investing tricks, or perhaps looking for that perfect Christmas gift for a family member or friend,

Click Here to see the list of discounted products. Increase your savings with free shipping on all products during the REIN Blowout Sale!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

7 Factors That Affect Your Home's Value - Canada Realty News

I've been going over old newsletters that I get from a score of industry leaders. The Bett's article outlines that the price of your home is determined by more factors that you might think. They list:
1. Location
2. Features
3. Condition
4. Home Improvements
5. Market Conditions
6. Seller Motivation
7. Marketing

In a buyer's market, in the middle of winter, you need to look at all the aspects and excel at them all. Trying to sell now is what we call motivated - that means you'll need to allow you MAY get less than you expect.

You can't change the location but you can make a lot of changes and renos that will increase the perceived value. Try HGTV's list to get the most bang for your bank.

The most important in my opinion is marketing. A little pokey sign on your lawn won't do anything, you need an incredible marketer working for you.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Financially Frostbitten - Warm up Today

If you're like me, over the next few weeks you won't just be checking your Christmas list - but your goal list for '10 and '11. What works best for me is to track and measure my progress in a 90 day format, breaking goals down to weekly and daily targets. At the end of the year Danielle and I sit down and plan the New Year goals we have, both business and pleasure.

I read an interesting interview about a South African band that I like. Upon finally getting their 'big break' in the U.S., the interviewer asked the band what had happened to lead to that break? The singer replied that he'd been watching an old video where Deborah Harry of Blondie fame was being interviewed by the director, and at one point, the frustrated director snapped "Stop making these clever jokes and say something real that people can connect to emotionally."

And from that point the South African singer committed to 'connecting emotionally' with his audience and then 'got his break', which he pays credit to his new-found authenticity.

What will you be more or less of in 2011?

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues TODAY, let me help you build upon it.

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." -Benjamin Disraeli 

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar

We have a new family member!

Yesterday was Edmonton Humane Society's famous Wish Upon a Whiskers Wednesday . In the spirit of Christmas/ the holidays all cats with white markings were up for fee free adoption. We went but fell in love with a beautiful black cat so we paid but it's for a great cause!

I looked at their site today and they hit an all time adoption record of 124 animals! What a huge success. We barely made it out of there with only one new friend (some chincillas were beckoning).

"124 animals were adopted out of the Edmonton Humane Society on Wednesday, December 1 setting a new adoption record for most animals adopted in one day. 45 cats, 72 kittens, 6 dogs and 1 puppy found their forever homes....

The previous adoption record of 82 was set on December 26 (Boxing Day) in 2008."

I can't find my camera to showcase our new kitty cat so I've put up another little guy that needs a home.

Please call The Edmonton Humane Society to donate or give a beautiful animal a home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Japan's Youth

I've obviously got very strong ties to Japan. We've only been out for 6 months so I'm still closely drawn to Japan's economic situation.

When we left things were looking dire. All the close friends we keep in contact with say they are getting worse. It looks like the Japan's economy is stuttering and may not ever start again.

The power is shifting to China and many young Japanese people will have to change drastically how the are educated and expect to live. The current economic structure is so archaic and aged heavy that young people must wait years to advance.

Here is a really interesting story of the power of choice in Japan.

Monday, November 29, 2010

This and That

Cage Match - Ethical Oil vs Enviro Disaster Bringers - "The event was a reprise of sorts of the recent throw-down in Calgary between Levant and Andrew Nikiforuk, author of "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent."

The writer of this article is clearly on the side of the Enviro Disaster Bringers, and admits it. I feel for Ezra Levant yet see his willingness to go and speak in a clearly hostile environment a growing trend amongst oil sands supporters.

Oil Wealth cushions Alberta from soaring loonie - "Alberta's oil wealth is somewhat cushioning the provincial economy against the hard knocks from a soaring loonie, but 2011 will still be a slow ride, says the head of Export Development Canada."

The global demand for oil is down thus limiting the growth that Alberta will experience. Even so our oil wealth will help us make it through the slightly bumpy ride 2011 is showing to be. Alberta's only limit is demand and when demand increases - from China and other growing economies so will our economic health.

This means we can repeat our real estate cycle of buying in the current low market (winter is the best for deals) and sell when the global economy ramps up.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Food4Fines -Today ONLY All EPL Locations!

Are you scared to show your face at libraries in Edmonton because of huge fines? Today November 27th, and today only, you can take a food donation to any Edmonton Public Library and decrease your fines to a max of $25.

It's a great way to reduce that nagging fine and help the Edmonton Food Bank.

Go here to watch the video JUMP!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wow - That's cold!

Edmonton's temperature is a fun -34C with the windchill, it's around -26C without. That's pretty darn cold. I took my son outside this morning and he started crying "Mommy it's too cold!" "Go that way to the house!" I totally agree.

It's freezing and frankly we aren't acclimatized. Luxurious lows of 5C in Japan in the dead of winter have made us soft and weak. I realize all my winter clothes are actually just warm fall day clothes and don't cut it out here. The fun part - buying more winter gear!

Our plan this year was to spend the whole year in Canada rediscovering the country we left a decade ago but frankly I'm lured by the ads of $345 to Cuba.

Now, if only I can talk Todd into it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lessons from the Great Recession - Edmonton Sun

Gary Lamphier of the Edmonton sun recounts 10 Lessons to Learn from the Great Recession. It's focused reading and informative and he does a great job of summing them up.

I have 5 things I learned from the global recession of 2008:

1. Keep a cash reserve - you need a reserve that can be accessed whenever you need it. Hopefully it will be large. A line of credit is the obvious choice it should be set up long before you need it because we all know banks don't give out money to the needy. You have to prove you can pay it back.

2. Keep your costs as low as possible - Don't spend on anything superfluous. Unless it's improving property value or reducing tenant turnover - you don't need it. I think this way for my own home too! It's comfortable but I'm not getting into consumer debt without seriously thinking about it.

3. Expect to pay more than you are - We ride the variable and can handle the thrill. Mortgage rates went to historical lows but if I buy my properties expecting to pay 5, 6 or 7% they are able to survive any rate fluctuations and consistently produce cashflow. These low rates are not here to stay bank on them being higher and give your portfolio an excellent buffer. Do this with every expense you have related to your investment - build a buffer (see number 1)

4. Never over leverage - Leverage is what makes real estate an incredible investment but if you get too leveraged you're on thin ice. You can easily find investments that will produce well with 80% loan to value. Sure it's great to save some cash and get a 90% or 95% LTV but if rates go up and your mortgage payments are higher than your rental income you'll have some serious trouble with negative cashflow.

5. This too shall pass - You might get wiped out - it does happen but what are you going to do? Give up? Robert Kiyosaki said 9 out of 10 businesses fail. Be prepared to fail and try again. The knowledge you learn in a economic crisis is what makes you an expert. You'll know how to protect yourself in the future. Failure is the best education you can get.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Travel Agents, Stockbrokers - next Real Estate Agents?

There is a very good article on Yahoo Finance on real estate agents being the next to go obsolete. New interim rules introduced by the Canadian Real Estate Association allow members to offer basic services, including only posting properties on the - leaving the seller to show the property, field offers and close the deal may be a step in the "we don't need you anymore" direction.

I'll be the first to say that I don't like paying such high commissions for our sales. We've been thinking of listing with a flat rate brokerage recently too. The things I worry about are the quality of marketing being done and the response from the buyers representative when they notice our Realtor is flat rate - who will pay them and how much?

An sad example- the owner of one of the first discount real estate agency received death threats from other Realtors. Their fear of what the flat rate /discount fee trend would mean for the future of their livelihoods led to an outburst of dangerous irrationality.

There is a big change coming in the way people sell houses. For me having a savvy Realtor frees up my time so I can work on other things. However, if a savvy Realtor realizes that serving many cheaply is better that serving a few at a higher rate then I know who I'm listing with. As with any service provider I would ask for references and see what kind of work the Realtor you're looking to hire has done.

At any rate the most important thing is a whole new world of options is coming to the Canadian real estate market and sellers will be saving a lot of money.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Edmonton Real Estate Market Report

The Edmonton Real Estate Board reports that Edmonton market's key word would be stability. Although prices are the same as October 2009, meaning we've seen little appreciation in our investments, the market is moving and houses are selling. With many of our investments the fact the mortgage being paid is one of the three ways you profit. If one way falters you still have the other two:
1. Cashflow
2. Mortgage pay down (forced savings account)
3. Appreciation

There is no huge inventory like we saw last year. As the inventory decreases prices will increase. Probably not this winter but from spring 2011. So if you want to sell you're not going to get a price that is way out of line with the market but if you want to buy you can probably find some great deals. Everybody else stay tenanted and keep your property looking great!

There is something in the market for everyone great starter homes, investment properties and cash-flowing multi-family buildings. We're currently looking at multi-family units around Edmonton.

Click HERE to see some of the buildings we're looking at!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hay house Events - I Can Do It Conference Vancouver 2011

As a treat to ourselves we've bought two tickets to the I Can Do It Conference in Vancouver 2011. This is going to be such a powerful weekend. with speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and Caroline Myss you know you're going to end the weekend a much different person than when you entered the conference hall.

It's the first time I Can Do It will be held in Vancouver. Here is a list of the featured speakers:

featured authors

Louise L. Hay Robert Holden, Ph.D. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer Brian L. Weiss, M.D. Doreen Virtue Geneen Roth Cheryl Richardson Caroline Myss Marianne Williamson

It's going to be unreal!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ideas to build on

 I was in Calgary a few weeks back attending the Buildex Show which had some cool ideas. Dark chocolate tones, granite counter-tops, and blended-stone exterior facades are all beautiful to look at, but can be tough to extract the reno-rent ratio reward out of. For personal homes, executive rentals and commercial face-lifts - yes. For blue collar rentals, no.

There were two booths that I found especially interesting. The first was Cubeit personal storage. Essentially it is a moving container that comes to your property where you load it, then it is shipped away and stored for you. I like that. It's easy, fast and relatively economical.

The second booth I liked was equally glamorous... Waterproof roofing. Yes, sexy, I know. Peddie Roofing specializes in commercial roofing and they waterproof using modified bitumen, among other materials. They are not unique as roofers nor for the products they use; what is unique is how they evaluate the cost/life of the roofs they build and implement a targeted maintenance program. This is helpful when you are budgeting for a major roof overhaul.

I like to take away one or two ideas from a show and apply them; perhaps offering a Cubeit incentive will attract long-term renters who are relocating?

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues TODAY, let me help you build upon it.

“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” - Donald Trump 

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2011 - Looks good from here.

Next year looks to be the year when Edmonton's housing market really starts returning to balance.

"Modest," "moderate," "stable" were all words used to describe the Edmonton housing market in 2011 at a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. conference Tuesday."

If you been driving on a road full of 6-foot potholes then a road with small ones seems like a smooth ride. Even though the real estate market may be better than the last few years there are still some bumps ahead. Some bumps are bigger than others - like if the US economy doesn't kick into gear. It will drag many sectors in Canada down including employment, energy and retail.

As a buyer it's a good chance to pick up properties as prices aren't set to increase until 2012. However, if your selling, that is one bump that will rock you if you need a certain price because it's a buyer's market and looks to be one until late 2011.

Read more HERE

Thursday, November 11, 2010

REIN Carl Gomez Interview

If you aren't a REIN subscriber then you are missing out on a lot of excellent resources and forums relating to real estate investing in Canada. It's free so why not go over and check it out?

Here is an example of what you could (and should) be listening too!

A REIN™ Exclusive Economic Forecast from a World-Class Economist - Carl Gomez.

All myREINspace subscribers are in for a special treat. Last week I had the privilege to interview Carl Gomez, Vice President of research with Bentall Capital, and we spent an hour on the phone discussing some very in-depth topics surrounding the Canadian economy and real estate markets.

Carl is a nationally-recognized economist with over a decade of experience analyzing and researching the Canadian real estate market, not to mention a trusted resource for media outlets across the country.

In this interview, discover:

Future of interest rates fixed and variable
What economic sectors are at most risk in Canada
What economic sectors have the most promise
Is it a good time to be investing in Canada?
If the Canadian Housing market will follow the direction of the U.S.
What will happen to the Canadian economy if the U.S. economy continues to struggle?
Quantitative easing... what is this and how will it impact Canada?
What are the 5 most important economic fundamentals to follow, and why
Are we headed for a double-dip recession?
Canadian job market: what are the short-term, medium term and long term prospects for both the job market and the income levels?
Inflation, is this something we should worry about?
The Canadian Debts level... is this a cause for concern?
The #1 rule that all investors must follow... no exceptions!

... and much more

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Conflict Resolution - Elaine Allison Interview

I went over to Don R. Campbell's blog and found a great piece of life wisdom in the form of an interview with Elaine Allison.

Elaine Allison is the author of "The Velvet Hammer" and PowHERful Leadership Lessons for Women Who Don't Golf. She is also an international corporate speaker on Resolve and has worked with Deepak Chopra.

Russel Westcott interviews her on resolving conflict with grace and elegance. It goes without saying that conflict isn't limited to any area of life. This conference call, which you can download here, is just under an hour and well worth the time you'll invest listening to it.

Some of the topics covered:
The 4 ‘never fail’ techniques to resolving any conflict.
The secret word you have to eliminate from your vocabulary, to successfully resolve conflicts
What is conflict.. Is it good, bad or indifferent?
Can you use conflict resolution strategies when dealing with your tenants, Joint Venture partners, contractors and even your spouse?
How long does it take to learn conflict resolution skills?
How do you keep calm during the heat of a conflict… keeping all parties moving forward
Some fail safe methods of ‘broaching’ a topic that may result in conflict.
All this and more…

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mortgage Rates

We've been locking into many of our variable rate mortgages because the rates are so incredible right now. I was offered 3.69% for a 4 year rate the other day at the TD.

While riding the variable is always a good way to increase the cashflow a property produces there comes a time when you have to determine how high your variable rate threshold is. Everyone is saying mortgage rates are going to start rising. If you can withstand that then keep going with the variable.

Rates like this remind me of the early 2000`s when we moved our investment focus from Winnipeg and Hamilton to Edmonton. With the lower prices and low interest rates it's a perfect time to purchase in Edmonton.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This and That

Oilsands Dirty Secret: They Add Billions Of Dollars To Our Economy

By Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun October 21, 2010

A call by a trio of environmental groups for Ottawa to apply a legislative sledgehammer to Alberta's oilsands ignores economic reality. The groups -- the Pembina Institute, Equiterre and Environmental Defence -- united on Wednesday to call on the Harper government to start strictly enforcing environmental laws and respecting aboriginal treaty rights in relation to Canada's largest industrial development.

Their 19-page report, titled Duty Calls: Federal Responsibility in Canada's Oilsands, asserts the oilsands are on track to derail any and all of Ottawa's stated targets for greenhouse gas reductions. GRAB THIS STORY

City Should Follow The Money, Mandel Says
Now's The Time For The City To Promote Cutting-Edge Technologies

By Andrea Sands, Edmonton Journal October 15, 2010

The city must foster economic development in areas positioned to become big money-makers such as agri-food, advanced technology, green industries and medical devices, Mayor Stephen Mandel said Thursday.

The mayoral candidate visited Concordia University College, where he talked with students and outlined the economic vision he will pursue if re-elected Monday.

 Edmonton needs to focus on progressive areas of the economy to take advantage of business opportunities here and in the surrounding region, Mandel said later.

Downtown 'Champion' Moves In

Stantec To Become First Tenant Of Rebuilt Devonian Building

By Bill Mah, Edmonton Journal October 16, 201


EDMONTON - The redeveloped Devonian Building is getting engineering consulting firm Stantec as its first tenant.

The 10-storey tower at Jasper Avenue and 112th Street has been vacant for about 18 months since it was rebuilt in 2008.

Stantec has leased two floors, or about 35,460 square feet, in the building, said commercial real estate firm Colliers International, which handled the leasing for owner Canterra Developments Corp. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

How to Win This Winter

We're getting ready to have a chilly winter here in Edmonton according to the Farmer's Almanac and the local paper. One headline read "Winter fit for a devil" and a witty reader commented, "Does that mean Hell's going to freeze over?" Whatever the case, we had our first sprinkle of snow last week and it has since melted.

This can be a blessing or a curse. If you have vacancies, the start of November is the big PUSH to get everything tenanted as many folks tend not to move in December, and January can be too cold and awkward to move. Imagine lugging that big screen TV up a frozen flight of stairs in minus 40 weather. Of course there are exceptions, and working with relocation services can aid in winter tenanting.

If tenanting is the curse, then what is the blessing? Seller's become more motivated in the winter, especially if they have a vacant property that they are paying a mortgage on. Less people are shopping for real estate due to the weather; it is difficult to assess landscaping and certain aspects of foundation and roof quality.

Fixed rates in 1-3 year terms are incredibly cheap from 2.5% and longer terms of 5-7 year rates are competitive. Unfortunately the media-spin on dead ducks puts a damper on the renewed growth of the oilsands. But, then again that can work in favour when buying properties in this climate - both politically and seasonally.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joint Ventures Give Small Investors a Chance

Recently we did a great interview for Canadian Real Estate Magazine. They wanted to show how Joint Venture benefit investors who want to get into real estate but don't have a lot of time or knowledge.

" Typically, joint-venture partnerships bring together veteran players who know local markets with investors who want a piece of the real estate game...That is where Todd and Danielle Millar a husband and wife team who established Edmonton based Glenn Simon Inc come in."


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The European Perspective

I spent Wednesday night at the REIN workshop listening to Don Campbell, Barry McGuire and others speak. Don had been traveling in Europe and the U.K. for 3 weeks this summer and he said it was interesting to see so many articles about Alberta (firstly) and Canada (secondly) in the news.

Approximately 90% of the stories highlighted the stability and growth of Alberta and the oilsands. The remaining 10% were focused on environmental concerns/conflicts around the oilsands.

The core of the story is how appealing Canada is as a safe, conservative, resource abundant place to put investment money into, both on individual and governmental levels. The Japanese and to a lesser degree, Chinese, have known this for a while too. That is why both countries have been quietly investing for years. 

In Europe it seems more of the media have focussed on the mechanics and drivers of economy rather than North American media that tends to focuses on the hype of say, James Cameron visiting the "Tar Sands" to expound his expert opinion on what we're doing right and wrong. Now, I would put more weight into Cameron's visit if we could get William Shatner to go and watch the two debate on BNN.

(I use the phrase "Tar Sands" in sarcasm as they are not tar sands at all. 'Pundits' choosing to use that phrase often do it out of ignorance or with intent to manipulate and sway opinion to the dirty image the phrase gives. -Hey, its not quite a perfect world.)

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth. 

Your success continues TODAY, let me help you build upon it.

"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less and stop watching ourselves live." -Chamfort

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar

Friday, October 15, 2010

Put your money to work - special fixed return offer.

Tired Of Poor Returns In Your RRSP? Would You Like To Put Your Money, Home Equity and Cash To Work...?

If the idea of making a safe, steady and guaranteed rate of return over the next 2 years appeals to you, then read on.

Would you like to generate a consistent 7.5% per year from your RSP or Cash funds?

How about securing your money against a quality property with a Loan To Value rate of under 80%? - making your money very secure.

Do you like 'easy set up and easy pay outs' ? - we've got them

You can invest in increments of $25K or larger - convenient and manageable!

Currently There Are 4 Positions Available:

1. Two positions of $25K RRSP or Cash investment secured as a 2nd mortgage are available, returning 7.5% simple interest per year. That means your $25K earns you $1875.00 per year. You can turn $25,000 into $28,750 safely and easily over your 2 year term.

2. Two positions of $50K RRSP or Cash investment secured as 2nd mortgages are available, returning 7.5% simple interest per year. That means your $50K earns you $7,500 over 2 years or a total of $57,500.

What is a second mortgage? 

A second mortgage is when a property has a first mortgage arranged up to a set amount, say 65%. Then a second mortgage is added, say 10% to equal a total mortgage of 75%. The remaining 25% forms the down-payment or equity in the property.

Example: A home is purchased for $100K. TD Bank issues a first mortgage of $65K. A 2nd mortgage is then placed by a private lender for $10K (75% total loan to value: LTV). The remaining $25K is formed as a down-payment, or equity in the property if it is being refinanced.

How does a second mortgage investment work?

A second mortgage investment is when a lender (you) agrees to lend a set amount of money at a set rate for a specific period of time. The loan is secured against the property, meaning that if the loan was defaulted upon, the sale of the property would cover the repayment of the first and second mortgages, in that order. Holding a 2nd mortgage on a property that has equity, is in a good area and in good condition provides a very safe and reliable investment vehicle.

The second mortgage positions that we have available are on properties in our portfolio that have a proven CASH FLOW positive track record, are in excellent areas and offer a reliable way to grow your money over a set period of time.

Ok, I want to make 7.5% on my cash or RRSP safely and securely. What do I do now?

Please complete this quick and easy questionnaire putting 'SECOND MORTGAGE' into the comments field and we'll give you a call to discuss the steps involved. If you prefer to call us, simply dial 1-888-780-5940.

Making your money work has never been so easy...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Avoid the Three Biggest Obstacles in Real Estate

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend. Did you get to enjoy the leaves and the warmth of time well spent with loved ones?

Let's keep 'giving' all year long.

Please remember Get ALIFE next weekend...


“Don’t allow obstacles to become excuses! No matter where you are on your real estate investment path, sooner or later you will encounter at least one of the three most common obstacles faced by investors. In order to learn how to avoid and overcome these obstacles, you should attend the;


Get A. L.I.F.E." Workshop

(Advanced Landlording and Investing Fundamentals Expo)

Oct 16 and 17, 2010 Calgary, Alberta

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here is great advice to get your price at sale

I've done a lot of ad posting for rentals in the last six month and the worst thing you can do besides not knowing your price is not putting up great pictures. If they look bad, under-lit or just messy you won't get the tenants you want.

I found a great article from the Canadian Real Estate Magazine on getting the premium price for a premium property. I dare say these tips would help you get the price you want for anything you've been trying to sell.

Basically if you don't....
*Price it right
*Show it in a great light (great photos)
*Fix what matters - know what improvements have the biggest payout
* Advertise where your buyers are

... you're not going to sell for the price you want.

You can read a portion of the article here or get the whole piece in October's issue of Canadian Real Estate Magazine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top 10 Things I Learned About Edmonton

Dear Friends and Partners,

Our friends and partners Steve and Leigh Anne suggested we do a 'Top 10 List' of the things we discovered since moving to Edmonton, and we thought 'Hey, what a cool idea!' so here it is in no particular order.

Top Ten Things I Learned Moving To Edmonton:

1. Edmonton is truly a vibrant and lively city - There are tons of festivals to see, music events, food fairs and outdoor entertainment. You've got everything from Dragon Boats to the Fringe Festival to The Grape Escape. Early this summer I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Italian Rudi Macaggi perform in downtown Edmonton.

2. Its tough to find a great restaurant - I can enjoy a good meal prepared and served along a dirty side street stall in Saigon or a posh Tokyo eatery. But, I admit I have had a hard time finding an all around decent restaurant here. I'm sure that there are lots, I just haven't found the 'right' one for me. I've had plenty of pretty good meals, but nothing mind blowing yet. The theme seems to be a more corporate style of restaurant and that's ok. I often go to places like these for lunch meetings. It is when I'm searching for the creative soul and palate of an artist that I've run into challenges.

3. Summer is hot! I heard this year's summer was pretty chilly but we enjoyed many days in the sun, barbecuing and swimming in the lakes. The days were long, hot and for the most part, dry. Yeah, I know what you're thinking.. But wait until winter. I'll tell you about that in a few months time.

4. There is an abundance of nature within the city - We were surprised to see big jack rabbits hopping about, the odd coyote and lots of prairie dogs all within the city roads and parks. In fact Edmonton has the most green space for a city this size anywhere in North America. Folks are active running, cycling and rollerblading all about. There are even a few magnificent buildings with classic brick and stone architecture to be seen. Ahh yes and the prairie sunset - a thing of unique and extended beauty.

5. Multiculturalism - I enjoy picking through baskets of fresh fruit at my local produce store. My fellow shoppers chat away in a variety of different languages and you can always learn a new way to cook eggplant while getting a different viewpoint and insight into other cultures.

6. The economy IS booming - Driving around I see more and more help wanted signs. The roads are busy with new construction and improvement. I get plans in the mail for proposed LRTs and see the upscale elegance of new neighborhoods like Rutherford, Summerside, Brintnell and Griesbach.

7. Friendly people - Albertan's are quite forthright and generally pretty genki, as we say in Japan. The general 'feel' is that of the entrepreneur with signs on trucks and lampposts coaxing potential customers to try the services for hire. People here also say 'Mnn-Mmn Bye' and 'Mnn-Mnn Thank you' here.

8. Coffee drinking - Well, not just any coffee, but Tim Horton's coffee. Folks line up everyday in the early morning to buy the stuff and scoff down the delicious donuts. This is more of a cult like appreciation than any Starbucks trend. Tim's makes some tasty sandwiches too.

9. Hot Deals - If you know what to look for you can always find a good deal. I'm talking about real estate mainly, but there is also an abundance of opportunity for those willing to create a business or service to a niche clientele. There are many potential customers here ready for you to serve.

10. Cheeses with names I can only pronounce when gesturing wildly - Yes, the Italian supermarket has an awesome variety of cheese along with meats, coffee and pastas. A great place to meet people for an espresso or black tea.

That's my 'Top 10' for better or worse. I'd like to hear your additions, so email them away!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Love Getting In My Car

"There are no optimistic or pessimistic personalities. There are only single, individual choices for optimistic or pessimistic thoughts." Steve Chandler

For the last 5 years driving long distances in my car is an absolute pleasure because I'm a member of In fact sometimes I'm sad when I have to park because I'm so captivated by the audio book I'm listening to.

Right now I'm into Steve Chandler's The Story Of You it is such a GREAT book. Basically the only one writing and telling your story is you and you can change it - to anything at anytime like now.

Your story is whatever the monologue you have in your head or the reasons you give for why your life is a certain way.

It's that simple. The book really sticks with me for a strange reason. I really admire Arnold Schwarzenegger - I read his biography once and basically he sets his mind to do something and does. Top body builder, A-list actor (with a thick clunky accent!), now Governor of California. It's clear this is a guy who knows how to achieve things that many people tell him are impossible.

Anyway, I saw an interview where he a reporter asked him a question about his alleged womanizing and if his wife was going to leave him. His response " That's your story not mine."

I couldn't figure this out FOREVER. Finally with this book I see that Schwarzenegger's story doesn't include a wife that will leave him or maybe some other interpretation I'm not privy too. All that matters is it's not his story and he's not getting sucked into someone else's story about him.

That's powerful!

Check out Steve Chandler's blog here

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Define Your Success

Wow! What a hectic few weeks. Ronan and I got to spend a delicious week with our family - what fun! He actually took the picture I've used for this blog - not bad for a two year old...

The only downside of holidays is the amount of work you come back to after one. I'm busy catching up still.

Yesterday as I was driving I heard Andre Agassi on CBC radio. I was only able to hear a short clip but what I heard was wonderful. Andre was asked how young people can be successful and he said by defining what your idea of success is.

Before you take any step in any direction you must decide what YOU require to feel successful. Not your mom, not your dad, not what anyone else says is success but what you determine. By doing so you will save yourself a lot of frustration, disappointment and perhaps feelings of failure.

What great advice!

So what is your definition and have you reached it? Maybe you're there and you don't even know yet.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

This and That

Harper Government Strengthens Canada's longterm economic plan - "Our government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,"

"This significant investment will help develop, attract and retain the world's best researchers at Canadian universities while strengthening Canada's long-term economic competitiveness." Minister of State Goodyear

"Tomorrow's prosperity depends on our ability to compete within a diverse, global economy — to get there, we need to start with competitive infrastructure," "World-class facilities are a magnet for global talent, and these funds make a tremendous difference in researchers' capacity to conduct leading-edge interdisciplinary research and discovery learning." Dr. Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta

Our government's efforts to attract the best and the brightest will not only improve our economy but also quality of life through research and discovery.

Alberta deficit predicted at $4.7 Billion - "The province says faltering markets, a stronger Canadian dollar, lower prices for natural gas and fluctuating oil prices continue to be factors contributing to the deficit.

"There is some good news," Morton said. "Canada is doing better than any other Western nation. Alberta is doing better than any other province.

"But we are an export-based economy, so what happens in the global economy affects us here at home."

That is good news that even with a deficit we a poised and ready to excel when the world economy regains it's balance. The one thing you will hear over and over again is that Canada and Alberta are in the best shape of the western world. Where else in the world would you put your money?

Fifteen Edmonton Districts Picked for Upgrades - "Fifteen Edmonton communities are scheduled to get new sidewalks and roads over the next five years, a city report shows."

"Initially, when we mapped this out, costs were still rising very quickly because of the boom"

“The good news was that costs have come in lower, because the economy slowed down and because we have a dedicated pool of funds we know will be there in future years, so we can enter long-term contracts” at a lower price. Councilor Don Iveson

Everywhere in Edmonton I see road work and improvements to infrastructure all this commits to a city growing for the future.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

3 Days of Head Stretching

Dear Friends and Partners,

This past weekend was the opposite of spending time in the jungle getting your head shrunk, it was investing your time in the city getting your head s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. I was at the REIN Multi-family investing event with many of you and had a fantastic time. For those that didn't get a chance to attend, you missed out seeing many dynamic speakers and some timely information.

We took a bus trip around Edmonton, St. Albert and Beaumont where we heard the local mayors speak about the economic fundamentals of the towns. Even if these areas aren't your targets, it is always good to hear what is happening and get your feet on the ground.

As the bus weaved its way through Edmonton, there were many neighborhoods we passed where our properties are within a minute's walk away- a testament to the diligence and system we use to select our properties for you.

Highlighting Saturday's event for me was Derek Lobo's presentation. Derek is North America's leading multi-family lease and marketing specialist. He touched on methods he uses to scour the market and pluck investment nuggets from. Thomas Beyer of Prestigious Properties (owner of a 1200 unit portfolio) also shared his insights into determining value and the stress involved in owning real estate. 

Topping of the weekend was Terry Paranych - one of the most engaging, dynamic and off the wall folks in the real estate industry. Terry is a phenomenal marketer and salesman. He has created a portfolio of Edmonton properties that generate in excess of $100K positive cashflow per month. Read that last line again if you didn't catch it.... $100K per month positive cashflow. Terry gives back a lot and is a great guy to boot!

North East Edmonton: Cashflowing 6-Plex In Gentrifying Neighborhood

Turbo charge your portfolio. In the slow and steady neighborhood of Eastwood you'll find a good mix of suites in this apartment building. There is 1 X 3 bedroom suite, 3 X 2 bedrooms, and 2 X 1 bedrooms. Suites have had new flooring and some upgrading. Each apartment is separately metered and there are six individual, energized parking stalls. The suites are legal, conforming and well located near shopping and the LRT. There is a shared coin laundry down generating extra revenue. These pictures show the front and side of the building, with additional care the curb appeal and value can be increased. 

Comes fully tenanted making this a totally turn-key property for you. Convenient North East area with easy access to LRT, Downtown and Ring Road. Working class neighborhood that is desirable for renters and potential re-salability value. HUGE upside potential due to the great purchase price, strong economic fundamentals and the proximity of this property in relation to Edmonton's improving North East-side.

Produces $1665 positive cash flow per month using an investor's mortgage plan - taking advantage of current low rates.

Poised for massive growth. These 6 suites rent for top dollar and have everything arranged, including financing structure and incredible tenants. Your investment includes: financial analysis, professional inspection, insurance, financing set-up, legal fees, basic accounting, reserve fund, CMA, bi-annual statements, strategic market planning to ensure successful entry and exit, plus much more!

Purchase price: $650K Total Investment: $161K. Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $117K. Your pre-tax Total ROI is 72% or 14% per year + $1665 Cash Flow in Your Pocket Every Month

“Get into action and realize secure, long-term profits” 

Already producing a great RETURN. Visit for the full FEATURE sheet and call 1-888-780-5940 to get started.

-Please remember: All investments carry RISK. Be sure to seek your own independent legal advice-

"Begin today, so that tomorrow you are no longer dreaming you are achieving" -Don Campbell

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What do you fear?

Watch this quick video by Philip McKernan (there is a bad word! don't watch if you don't like them)

In Case You Missed This...

Isn't August an amazing month? I hope that you're feeling as energized as I am. There is so much to do; festivals to attend, BBQs to have, lakes to swim in and great properties to invest in!

As you know this month we take a little time off to reconnect with ourselves, our family and the great outdoors. I'll be doing a canoeing trip in the Rockies with a wonderful friend that Danielle and I traveled throughout India with 12 years ago. In addition to that, my Mom will be out visiting for a few weeks. But enough about me... What will you be doing?

Never underestimate the value of taking time away from the usual to sit quietly and reflect, or to live out loud a wild adventure. In these moments you'll be fully engaged with yourself... And that is a precious and valuable thing indeed. So, enjoy August and we'll resume our newsletter September 1st.~

PS: I hope to see you at the REIN Event later this month. Here's what you have to look forward to: 

The Real Estate Investment Network, Canada's most trusted source for real estate investing information, research, and strategy, invites you to attend an exclusive 2-day event...

“Investing in Multi-Family Property”, August 28-29 in Edmonton, AB

Find out exactly how the really successful investors harness the power of multi-family investing for explosive results. The secret is buying in bulk... which means greater profits and more wealth, with less work per unit!

If you really want to accelerate your returns, then multi-family units are the fastest, safest way you could make it happen. Our goal is to teach you everything you need to know so that it actually DOES happen!

Click Here for your personal invitation.

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth. 

Remember, the time IS now... 

"From now on, I'll connect the dots my own way." -Bill Watterson

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar


P.P.S. Find out what you need to know to invest on your own. Join REIN's ACRE Event LIVE June 12th and 13th in Vancouver. This event always sells out. Get your discounted tickets NOW.

P.P.P.S. Don’t forget to visit our website and take advantage of the Resource Tools and product section including REIN's #1 real estate books and Quick Start homestudy sets at a discount.
Get your copy of the Canadian Success Stories book and the 2010 Top Ten Investment Towns of Alberta and Ontario.

Want to invest in Multi-Family property? Then you MUST attend this REIN Event "Investing in Multi-Family Property" August 28th-29th in Edmonton, Alberta.

Duped or the Real Scoop

Danielle wrote a great blog about Nutella and of our perception of the things around us. I'd add on to say that sometimes 'ethical' marketing can educate and aid to making better informed decisions. Of course the flip side is that unethical marketing or marketing that simply dupes us with information that isn't true, can trick us into buying, using or supporting somethings that we normally wouldn't. 

There is a real shift in client testimonials and word of mouth stories - and they're great, when they're true. We want to identify with folks like ourselves and generally trust our friends suggestions because we assume that they come with an added layer of due diligence.

When you see the anti-oilsands ads, what do you think? When you get emails for dirt cheap, cash flow properties in the US do you want to rush out and invest? It is powerful to use your network of connected friends when they have the same or greater level of quality, taste, knowledge, caution as you do... but it's never wise to let all the thinking be the responsibility of someone other than you when it comes to your health and money.

South Central Edmonton: Cashflowing Tri-Plex Near Whyte Ave.

Turbo charge your portfolio. Stylish 4 bedroom 3 bath Tri-Plex. There is one 1000 sqft 3 bedroom upper suite featuring hardwood flooring and bay windows. Separate entry to the two lower suites leads down to a 750 sqft 1 bedroom with plenty of windows and hardwood. The other 600 sqft bachelor suite is fully furnished and very stylish. The suites are legal, conforming and have passed safe housing. There is shared laundry down and an oversized double detached garage generating extra revenue. These pictures show the detail and care that went into building this home. 

Comes complete with great tenants making this a totally turn-key property for you. Convenient South Central area with easy access to LRT, Downtown and Ring Road. Excellent neighborhood that demands high resale value and rents. HUGE upside potential due to the great purchase price, strong economic fundamentals and the proximity of this home in relation to Edmonton's sought after South-side. 

Produces $250 positive cash flow per month using an investor's mortgage plan - taking advantage of current low rates.

Poised for massive growth. These 3 suites rent for top dollar and have everything arranged, including financing structure and incredible tenants. Your investment includes: financial analysis, professional inspection, insurance, financing set-up, legal fees, basic accounting, reserve fund, CMA, bi-annual statements, strategic market planning to ensure successful entry and exit, plus much more!

Purchase price: $450K Total Investment: $103K. Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $49.8K. Your pre-tax Total ROI is 50% or 10% per year + $250 Cash Flow in Your Pocket Every Month

“Get into action and realize secure, long-term profits” 

Already producing a great RETURN. Visit HERE for the full FEATURE sheet and call 1-888-780-5940 to get started.

-Please remember: All investments carry RISK. Be sure to seek your own independent legal advice-

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Husky to grow production in Alberta - MORE JOBS!

More production means more jobs means higher incomes means more spending! In the end it all means rents increase and so do property values. Great if you own rental real estate - so why don't you again? Click here to fix that!

"While we have emerged from the recession in a very strong financial position, we are seeing that impact on the current production levels,"

Husky CEO Asim Ghosh

"Husky said it expects its 2010 production will be between 285,000 and 295,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. That's a cut from an earlier estimate of 306,000 to 330,000 barrels.

Ghosh said Husky is looking to grow its "bread and butter" operations in Western Canadian heavy oil and is open to strategic acquisitions that would fit well with what it already has.

"You won't see us going off to Afghanistan or offshore India," Read More

Monday, July 26, 2010

The $B's are coming back Alberta!

This should make you smile if you have invested or are thinking about investing in Alberta:

"A Chinese state company is investing big money in the Peace Country, a move that will likely provide more jobs in the oil industry north of High Prairie.

Calgary petroleum company Penn West Energy Trust signed a $1.25-billion deal with China Investment Corp. to finance operations in the Peace River oilsands area, the town said Thursday.
"It'll be doubling or tripling the (oil) production in the next little while," said Hilary Foulkes, Penn West's senior vice-president of business development.

Over the next 18 months the company will spend between $150 million and $180 million to develop its Seal Lake field operations, about 60 kilometres north of High Prairie.
It expects production to ramp up during this time, depending on factors such as licensing and government applications, Foulkes said." READ MORE

Friday, July 23, 2010

Now I didn't know that....

This blog is not only selling the sizzle and the story but giving facts. Everyone knows Nutella I've never really bought it but I have an idea about the product. I've always thought it was a very processed chocolate spread that couldn't be good for you.

Well today I found out I have Nutella all wrong. I learned that it's made from real hazelnuts, it has skim milk in it and only a little cocoa (not hyper sugar chocolate junk) AND that it has no preservatives.


Well not me. If I had known this I would have been a loyal Nutella customer for years. It's only because of a marketing campaign that promotes these virtues that I even heard about this. Now Nutella has moved from a junky chocolate spread I don't want to eat to something I would feed my son as part of a healthy snack. I'm a sneezer too so I'll tell a lot of people about it like I am now.

Why didn't I know? Because nobody told me and I didn't bother to check. It makes me wonder what my clients don't know about my business that would benefit them.

For example
1. I offer cashflow properties a lot - Do they know that means they can get a cheque every month?

2. I often talk of money partners - Do they know that means they only fund the account and then three to five years later they get all the initial investment back PLUS 50% of all profits?

3. I use the term "hands-free" a lot - Do they know that means that they don't do ANYTHING but fund the account and we do all the work?

4. I talk about leverage all the time - Do they understand the value of the banks lending money toward our investments and how that allows them to invest multiple times?

Maybe they don't. So instead of flashy ads and confusing terminology it might be best to just straight out tell clients what you do and how that positively affects their future income/wealth.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Investing in Multi-Family Properties

The Real Estate Investment Network, Canada's most trusted source
for real estate investing information, research, and strategy, invites
you to attend an exclusive 2-day event...

Investing in Multi-Family Property, August 28-29 in Edmonton, AB

Find out exactly how the really successful investors harness the power
of multi-family investing for explosive results. The secret is buying in bulk...
which means greater profits and more wealth, with less work per unit!
If you really want to accelerate your returns, then multi-family units are
the fastest, safest way you could make it happen. Our goal is to teach
you everything you need to know so that it actually DOES happen!

Click Here for your personal invitation.


Click for more information on Investing in Multi-Family Properties

Edmonton Streetfest

Todd and I were lucky to be in Edmonton to see the Streetfest this weekend. There were some amazing performances. We saw local hip hop dancers, a sword swallower and an juggler/acrobat named Mr. Spin.

However, the most amazing of them all was Rudi Macaggi and Lea McGowan, whose acrobatic, balletic performance was truly amazing. They were so impressive that even my 2 year old son gave them a resounding round of applause!
Read about their show here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Sizzle and Sales

Dear Friends and Partners,

I trust that you're enjoying your summer as much as I am. It's turning out to be a busy one as we take advantage of the long days to get the most out of renovating and upgrading units. You'll see a lot of home repair specials at stores like Rona and Home Depot now.

Danielle bought a very economical, high efficiency, low flush toilet for only $119 for a basement suit. It worked out cheaper (this time) to buy the toilet on special, rather than using the contractor discount that we have. Wait a little longer and you'll start to see all the specials on BBQs and lawn furniture too.

We're in the process of upgrading a newly acquired 4-plex in the Prince Rupert area. One of the first jobs is to switch out the galvanized pipe to PEX tubing. You're probably thinking that that is a costly job, and you're right. But you know something? Having to do larger repairs is actually a good thing, especially when negotiating a deal. If you are sharp with your numbers and have a competent reno team in place you can turn turn-offs into turn-ons and a nice profit along the way.

I was able to negotiate a nice good price for the property, align my plumbers for the upgrade, improve the value of the property and reduce the cost of insurance all in a deal that others may pass on. Embrace "problems" so that they become solutions for everyone involved.

I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you take your next step towards building real wealth. The time is now....

"The real winners in life are those who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better. - Barbara Fletcher

Kind regards,

Todd and Danielle

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Problem Fear and Solution

Depending on where you make your home as an expat, you may be pleasantly oblivious to North American news. But, like a bad case of malaria, the negative world of English news can come back and sucker punch you when you least expect it. Don’t let their fear paralyze you-use it to empower you.

What you’ve got to do is decipher what is ‘real’ and what is ‘imaginary’. Sober yourself by separating the truth from the fiction.

By doing this you’ll be able to free yourself from day-trader mass market psychology and its rollercoaster ride of gut-wrenching twists and turns. READ MORE

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

2011 is Alberta's year - TD Bank

"Alberta’s economy will lead the nation next year, according to a report released today by TD Economics.

The bank’s Canadian Economic Outlook report said the province’s real Gross Domestic Product growth will be 3.5 per cent in 2011 after a 2.8 per cent hike in 2010.

In 2009, during the recession, Alberta’s economy contracted by an estimated 4.9 per cent from the previous year.

TD Economics is forecasting real GDP growth of 3.6 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2011 for the entire Canadian economy.

In 2009, Canada’s economy contracted by 2.9 per cent."Read more

You are your friends

I was listening to CBC the other day and heard about a study done on how a person's chances of getting a divorce increase if a peer gets divorced. The percentage? 147% increase in likelihood. Unbelievable.

There have been studies showing how your friends and their friends can make you obese, influence your emotions and keep you smoking.

An old adages applies here ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do”. Dr. Nicolas Christakis says, “It’s spreading through ideas about what appropriate behaviors are.” In other words, “If I see you gaining weight, and I respect you, and want to emulate you in other ways, that changes my ideas about what is an acceptable body size.”

I can attest to the power of positive influence. You’ve heard “Your Network = Your Net worth”, this is very true. Not just about money but health, life and ideas.

Sure it’s easier to commiserate the trials of life (and even a way to bond) with friends. But, real progress happens when your peers and associates keep aspiring to do better and you jointly push to reach higher goals- that’s where real, healthy growth occurs. Mastermind groups and Focus Partners enable an excellent source to support, share ideas and experiences that propel you all forward.

Imagine Trump, Kiyosaki and Bransons' inner circle of inspiration and support.

It’s essential to have a partner, group or team to pull you up the ladder be it health, wealth or spirit. That includes being accountable for your own actions.

Alberta is set to lead Canada in economic growth make certain you have the right network to support your growth and success in this outstanding market.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

How much will that cost?

Ah home repair... It's costly and intimidating. Property management introduces you to a variety interesting things that can go wrong with a house. My "guesstimates" never ever seem to match those of the repair guys. I've found a website that gives you a better batting average when estimating your repair costs.

Click here to see it.

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada's 143rd Birthday and Danielle and I have got a great selection of meats marinating. We are all set to fire up the BBQ this afternoon to celebrate our wonderful country. Ronan has his wee pool filled and will take an icy dip to Canadianize himself.

I spent the last few days up in Fort McMurray visiting suppliers to the Suncor, CNRL and satellite oilsands projects. Many projects are gearing up for a busy Q3 and Q4 that will pick up speed in 2011. Drilling of new wells starts when the muskeg freezes up, so summer is a bit slower as projects are in the prep stage. There are 40 new wells going in South of Ft. Mac, too. 
And how about Edmonton? We're busy here with lots of development and opportunity, especially as interest rates remain low.

Moving forward I see the sweet spot (or should I say sweeter spot?) to be in niche multi-family properties. We've gradually been moving our focus towards these properties and our partners have been sharing the large cashflow rewards.

Give me a call and I'll fill you in on what we've got coming up. But for now this hot summer day beckons, have a good one eh

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This and That

Alberta in Growth mode says RBC - "Alberta's economic rebound is gaining strength this year amid stronger construction activity and a busier energy sector, according to a forecast by RBC Economics."

"The recovery now looks to be taking shape, with a sharp rise in home building activity and renewed interest in the oil and gas sector combining to fuel growth in the province," RBC chief economist Craig Wright.

You can feel "it" in the air in Edmonton. I talk to people everyday that are moving here for work and looking for a place to live. Everything points to a great year!

Tarsands Output Set to Double - "Canada will produce more than twice the amount of crude derived from tarsands by 2025 compared with what experts predict the bitumen-rich zones will churn out in 2010.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers expects the tarsands to produce 1.5 million barrels of oil per day this year, and 3.5 million barrels per day by 2025."

Conventional oil drilling peaked a long time ago and off-coast drilling is not favorable the only thing left is tarsands like reserves. Alberta's reserves are safe, getting cleaner and already putting out.
It's not rocket science to see where the oil spot of the future is going to be.

NEW - Alberta Economy at a Glance pdf now available June 25th, 2010.

Most notably:
*unemployment rate down
*weekly wages up still highest in Canada
*retail spending increases
*housing prices up slightly

Monday, June 28, 2010

I had an average day.

Every Monday I take a piece of paper draw 6 equal boxes on it and write Monday to Saturday into each box. Then I fill it with all the things I need to get done in that week. They are ranked from A+ to C in importance. I know to do this thanks to Brian Tracy.

The biggest problem has always been the frenzied way I attacked this list. The pressure is immense. I start many tasks at the same time intending to be able to finish more quickly and often end the day with a few tasks finished, some half done and a lot of papers moved around my desk .

Then I listened to Michael Neill (Super Coach) the other day. He said we just have to try to have a normal day. Just do your best in day you have. You'll be happier and more successful.

I was. I crossed off all my A+ and they aren't easy things to finish! So from now on I'm having average days.

People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. Brian Tracy

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A quick memory of South Africa

Todd and I went to South Africa in 2006 we had a great time. I just wanted to share some beautiful photos we took there.

The best was the Ceres valley where they make the best guava juice and the Stellenbosch wine region. We bought a glorious red and a kicky white that we still haven't opened. I'll probably give them to my son when he graduates or drink them when I finally get him out of diapers whichever comes first!