Jan. 4, 2019

SAVING FOR RETIRMENT IS NOT TOP PRIORITY FOR CANADIANS (Investment Executive)

  • 6% of Canadians have saving for retirement as a priority vs 7% prioritizing saving for a vacation.
  • 12% said growing wealth is a priority.
  • 26% said #1 financial priority was paying down debt.
  • 29% have taken on more debt to cover daily expenses, new cars or home renovations.
    • Top sources of debt: 45% credit cards, 31% mortgages, 23% car loans, 22% lines of credit and 11% personal loans
  • 28% of Canadians say they have no debt.
  • Canadians are most concerned about: inflation (64%), low loonie (34%), rising rates (31%).

IMPORTANT DATES AND CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR CANADIANS

  • RRSP contribution deadline is March 1, 2019
    • 2018 contribution limit $26,230
    • 2019 contribution limit $26,500
  • TFSA contribution limit $6,000 (Need to be 18 and a Canadian resident to start a TFSA)
    • Cumulative limit (2009 – 2019) $63,500

UNITED STATES – DEMOCRATS TOP PRIORITIES

  • Democrats took control of the US House of Representatives on January 3rd while Republicans control the Senate and the White House.
  • Top democratic priorities are:
    • Minimum wage increases
    • Protecting US health care under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)
    • Immigration reform for Dreamers
    • Require presidential nominees to release their personal tax returns for the 3 most recent tax years

DECEMBER NORTH AMERICAN EMPLOYMENT DATA

  • Canada added 9,300 jobs vs 10,000 expected;
    • Unemployment rate stays at 5.6%
  • Alberta lost 16,900 jobs (lost 36,200 full time and gained 19,300 part time);
    • Unemployment rate 6.4% vs 6.3% M/M
  • United States added 312,000 jobs vs expected 184,000;
    • Unemployment rate 3.9% vs 3.7% M/M
    • Average hourly earnings up $0.11 M/M ($0.84 Y/Y) to $27.48

TIDBITS

  • Pro-pipeline protesters are planning a truck convoy to Ottaway in February to protest against federal actions that make building pipelines more difficult (ie: Bill C-69 to revamp the National Energy Board and Bill C-48 banning oil tanker traffic on BC’s northern coast).
  • CN has developed bitumen pucks than can be shipped in open rail cars and float in water. Construction on a $50 million pilot plant is expected in 2019.
  • Russia is considering constitutional changes to allow President Putin to remain in power.