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!

The BBQ Saga

If there is one universal love in Canada it's barbecuing. We've been caught up in the frenzy after some really tasty fare at a friend's place. So caught up that we bought a barbecue. The gorgeous assortment of meats Todd bought sat in the fridge two days as the BBQ mocked us from the box.

The thing in my relationship is I'm the one that's good at putting stuff together, filling out forms and setting up anything that comes with a instruction manual. Todd shines in other areas. Anyway even I procrastinated over this BBQ. I mean it's dangerous if I do it wrong I could blow up my house!

As with anything hard once I started it and got into the flow of the gazillion small pieces that came with it I really got into it. It was a challenge and every small accomplishment was accompanied by a new sense of, "Look at me putting together a BBQ!"

Now it's done and we're grilling fruits and meats with gleeful anticipation. I think of all the other BBQs I can now put together.

And here I bring it to investing when we started we didn't know anything we had to learn slowly sometimes painfully. Sure it's risky you could lose money but we knew that taking control of our financial future was a better move than the risky "wait and pray attitude". Nine years later we're moving into big multiplexes, a first for us. To be honest I feel that same fear filled with excitement and know this is going to be a great ride!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flipping isn't investing - Don R. Campbell

“I would never buy a property that didn’t have positive cash flow,” “A lot of people, unsophisticated investors, buy properties as if they were stocks – the only way they’re going to make money is if they rise in value.” Don R. Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network. READ MORE

Everyone says it and all investors forget. Then they learn a lesson that they never forget - negative cashflow will eat you like an alligator.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cut the cancer in your team.

Ten years abroad leaves you with a big gap of what's going on back home. I left Canada 3 months after the Y2K flop and came back weeks after the Vancouver 2010 olympics. There's a lot in between there to miss. One thing I totally missed was the birth of the reality show. They are everywhere. Some are fantastic some not so much. After 10 years of Nihon Televison I'm kind of bingeing on English T.V.

I've already professed my love for Til Debt Do U$ Part and I've grown to like the Millionaire Matchmaker because that lady's insight into the millionaires is amazing. I stumbled across one called Salon Takeover for the first time the other day.

Some Chicago salon was in danger of closing the stylists with the help of Tabatha Coffey. The show I watched the team really pulled together and made huge changes but one stylist. She fought it every which way. She swore, backstabbed and threw tantrums. Why? She had worked there five years and had some commitment to the salon. Her co-workers called her a cancer in the team.

I hazard it's her Upper Limit Problem or maybe she's one of the crabs in the barrel trying to keep the escapees down. Whatever it was she was let go and left in tears.

Like it or not these people can be in your team and I mean at work or at home. They are the first to say "It can't be done!" and do everything in their power to make sure it isn't - maybe sub-consciously. I've seen it in action and luckily have gotten rid of a lot of the "crabs" in my life but it's not over yet they always manage to come back!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This and That

Grey Cup Big Economic Boost For Edmonton

By Clara Ho, City Hall Bureau. June 8th, 2010

Edmonton could reap huge economic benefits when the Grey Cup comes to town this November, especially with all tickets sold out five months before the big event, some say. "An event like the Grey Cup has the potential to bring in a significant amount of external visitors to Edmonton. 

These expenditures of these visitors, over the duration of their stay, will stimulate and enhance the local economy," said Matt Jeneroux, of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Alberta Competitiveness On Stelmach Agenda

'Time to re-evaluate' how province fares

By Jason Fekete, Calgary Herald; Canwest News Service June 1, 2010

With its retooling of provincial energy royalties complete, the Stelmach government is launching the next step of a larger competitiveness strategy that will examine reforms in four other key sectors of the Alberta economy. Agriculture (grains and oil seeds), financial services, manufacturing and petrochemicals are in the province's crosshairs, as it looks to improve Alberta's competitive position both domestically and internationally. READ FULL ARTICLE

Total's Plan To Revive Alberta's Upgrader Back On Track

Public hearing with energy resources conservation board marks revival of projects.

By Dave Cooper, Edmonton Journal May 31, 2010

Three years after proposing a bitumen upgrader project for the Fort Saskatchewan area, French oil giant Total's Canadian arm will seek a green light on Tuesday from the Energy Resources Conservation Board. FOLLOW HERE

The World's Greatest Oil Show

Its been a busy couple of weeks since we spoke last. I attended the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary last Wednesday, and that was very impressive. Actually, my lunch at Teatro's was pretty darn good too. I was privy to a tour of the restaurant's kitchen and private dining room as well -ask for it next time you're in.

The Oil Show is touted as the largest one in the world. With huge displays, machinery and exhibits throughout, you'll believe it is. I met folks from across North America as well as from varied parts of the Middle East. There was some amazing technology and ingeniously creative devices. There is a ton of money, time and commitment being put in the Oilsands and the Energy industry as a whole.

Despite BP's massive black spot (both literally and figuratively) there are many individuals in the energy industry that care about what they do and have designed better ways to harmonize with the earth.

Here's a snippet from the show: Based on a followup survey after the 2008 show, DMG figures $25 billion in deals came together in the following 12 months thanks to contacts made during the three-day affair.

"They were selling $1-million pieces of equipment right off the show floor, so I would anticipate a very similar number," Show Organizer Wes Scott said.

I'll be up in Fort McMurray at the end of the month seeing that very same technology put to use.

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

The time IS now...

"I spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung" -Rabindranath Tagore

Kind Regards,

Todd Millar

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's heating up around here.

You can tell when the seasons are changing, not only in temperature but in the amount of for sale signs that pop up like dandelions. Everyone wants to give a shot at selling their place just to test the water.

I've seen everything from flashy fence long signs to a "for sale" hastily scribbled on a piece of cardboard. Guess which one I would call. The only problem with testing the waters is there isn't a lot of motivation to these sellers. You need to find the guy who has had his property listed since January. That's motivated.

However there are a lot of properties to look at and choose from. The only way to pick a flower and not a weed is to run the numbers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

16 Weeks of fun

I guess when your summer goes by in a blink you've got to take advantage. Alberta has 16 weeks of great festivals all available on one convenient site- Alberta Sweet 16.

The go to site to plan your short but sweet Alberta summer!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Free is bad.

I'm just cruising around the web looking for something to write about. I stumbled across this article about making University free. I'm really 50/50 on this one. Obviously everyone deserves a chance at education and leaving school burdened by debt is terrible and a hardship for certain. But if education is free where would its value lie? I'm willing to bet that a lot less people would finish or take classes seriously if they didn't feel financial pain of paying for them.

It's often true the only thing that helps people become money managers is having to deal with debt. I've become addicted to a show called Til debt do us part. It's fascinating how these couples have no concept of debt or responsible spending. By going in their homes and showing them how to live within their means Gail Vaz-Oxlade is teaching them a life lesson that will benefit them forever.

How about we have free financial planning courses in university or free budget building lessons or income expense sheet reading? Getting handouts never helps anyone. Look at our EI or Social Assistance set up. Like they say;

"Teach a man to fish...."

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sometimes we all need some alone time.

What a wonderful sunny Sunday. We spent some time downtown listening to live music at a festival. Ronan had his first experience with a water park. After picking up some incredible looking gnocchi at the local Italian grocer we took a slow walk back to the car only to see this:

Friday, June 04, 2010

Don't miss this!

“Interest Rates About To Jump... 
Housing Bubble Fears...
Post Olympic Hangover...
And Now They Change The Mortgage Financing Rules.
How Can An Investor Ever Win?

The Truth Is:

A Select Group Of Informed Investors Are
 Smiling and Excited About All Of This Turmoil...

While The Majority Huddle In Fear Confused By All The Mixed Signals

Discover How YOU Can Be Smiling (and Profiting From) All Of This Turmoil From Canada’s Most Trusted Source of Unbiased Real Estate And Economic Research

Click Here To Attend - ACRE Vancouver

Canadians get the pink goo out of your eyes!

While other countries and continents are on the brink of financial ruin Canada, yes Canada, is becoming an economic superpower fueled by natural resources. Read this:

"Canada is at the beginning of an economic transformation that could see it replace the Middle East as the primary source of oil and gas, first (as it already has) to its largest consumer, the U.S., and then, more importantly, to the rest of the world.

Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets, wonders if Canada really wants to be an energy superpower, and Neil Reynolds, columnist and former Editor-in-Chief of the Vancouver Sun discusses Alastair Sweeny’s new book, Black Bonanza, and concludes that “Even Canadians don’t comprehend what they’re sitting on."

"The numbers Sweeny quotes are staggering, and while they are more commonly known today, its the revisitation of the realization, that we now live in the best country in the world, that got my attention again. Alberta oil sands contain one trillion barrels of recoverable oil, plus a whopping two trillion more in reserves, thanks to Roger Butler’s innovation of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage.""

Read more at the Advisor Analyst

This is seriously exciting. It's like The Matrix when Keanu realizes he's naked in a pod of pink goo. Once Canadians realize what we're sitting on and the implications to our future, our finances and advances in environmental technology. They're in for a "waking up naked in pink goo" type eye-opener.

The only problem is how do you take advantage of this knowledge? This might help.

Love Thy Neighbour

Who can be everywhere at the same time? Little do you know that every rental property you own has a secret legion of protectors just waiting to help you maintain, improve and manage your investment. Who are they? Neighbours.

Your neighbours are your allies. Go talk to them ask them how the property is doing. Are the tenants noisy? Are they having parties? What's going on? Everyone living around your investment has a vested interest in your rental doing well.

Why? Because it's their home, maybe 10, 20 or 30 years of care, mortgage payments and dreams are being affected by yahoo tenants or equity building ones. For them it's serious.

I've experienced this a few times a concerned call often gives me ammo to correct a problem I might not see until the next 4 month inspection. Don't underestimate the power of those extra eyes.

However, make sure you're not asking the neighbour with the mattress and half rebuilt cars on the lawn!

I wish we had StreetAdvisor in Canada....

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June Deals

Snow in June, well almost. That was the name of a famous TV show in Japan too. These sudden changes in the Alberta weather keep you on your toes.

How about the changing market? Well, lots of action lately with multi-units being snapped up within days of being listed. There is a lot of pent up demand from both new and seasoned investors looking for the deals. One of the main reasons is the shift in attitude - folks are feeling more confident. And with confidence, comes improvement in the economy. But beyond there being just an attitudinal driver, you can start to see some of the projects coming back on track.

I know of one $26M gas project that ground is breaking on next month... and that's 2 hours outside of Edmonton.

North Central Edmonton: Cashflowing Tri-Plex In The Mature Area of Prince Charles

Turbo charge your portfolio. Stylish 6 bedroom 3 bath Tri-Plex. There is one 1100 sqft 3 bedroom upper suite featuring gleaming stained bamboo flooring and bay windows. Separate entry to the two lower suites leads down to an 800 sqft 2 bedroom with plenty of windows and hardwood. The other 700 sqft suite is fully furnished and very stylish. The suites are legal, conforming and have passed safe housing. There is individual laundry up, and shared down. There is also 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 North 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 vibrant NW center.

Produces $210 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: $415K
Total Investment: $92.6K.
Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $51K.
Your pre-tax Total ROI is 55% or 11% per year + $210
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-

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

The time IS now...

"Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering." -Paulo Coelho

Kind Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar