Will Apple Ever Bring Their Cash Hoard Home?

apple-256263_1920Apple is currently the largest company in the world by market cap, and is known to have the granddaddy of all balance sheets. For instance, Google Finance tells me that Apple had $62 billion of cash and short term investments, and $170 billion of long term investments as of June 25, 2016. This totals $232 billion…enough to buy all the shares of TD and RBC combined. Wow!

On the surface, this seems great – “cash is king” after all. But there is an issue. Most of Apple’s cash hoard is held overseas, and in order to transfer it back into the United States, the funds would be subject to the US corporate tax rate of 35%. This process of bringing foreign income back into the US is called “repatriation,” and this post will explore Apple’s stance on repatriation and potential events that might cause them to repatriate these funds.

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The Future Prospects of Tesla

car-1209912_1920Tesla is an exciting company that will change the world if they are successful in their mission. Climate change, fossil fuels, and renewable energy are hot topics that we simply can’t afford to ignore anymore.

They also have world class management. Elon Musk is a true business magnate, deeply involved with three world-changing companies: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity.

However, the company has yet to realize true financial success. They are cash-flow-negative, so a discounted cash flow model makes their stock worthless. This begs the question – where does their value come from?

This post seeks to answer that question. Let’s start exploring the future prospects of Tesla.

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Becoming a Millionaire Starts Young

clock-1516967_1920Too many people think that becoming a millionaire is a pipe dream. And often, for them it will be – because mentality is everything.

In reality, the most important factor that comes into play for long-term wealth generation is the desire to start while you’re young. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize there’s a lot of reasons why this is true. So I thought I would write a post about why becoming a millionaire starts young.

Please note that this is for your typical millionaire – the person who has a decent career, but their eventual wealth is more a result of frugal living and intelligent investing than due to an extremely high salary. This does not apply to the founder of a tech startup that goes public, or someone who wins the lottery. There are definitely lots of millionaires who found their wealth while they are older – but more typically, becoming a millionaire starts young.

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How to Demonstrate Your Work Ethic

Working hard is key to being successful. If you don’t agree with that, you may as well stop reading now.

This kid's got the right idea.
This kid’s got the right idea.
But getting people to understand that you work hard is a whole other story, and when it comes to getting respect and recognition around the office it’s just as important. 

So how do you demonstrate your work ethic? This post will explain exactly how (and how not) to do that. 

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Mutual Funds vs. Direct Investing

graph-963016_1280Nowadays, it’s hard to avoid the temptation of mutual funds.

We see advertisements for them everywhere. There’s a large billboard for a large mutual fund dealer that I pass by every day on my way home from work. And for a lot of people, the attraction is validated– it’s a managed product, meaning that you have to do little or no work, and a lot of them still generate attractive returns.

But with all the buzz about mutual funds in popular culture, I find that people often forget that there is even an alternative. In the good old days, people would go to their broker and instead of telling them to invest in a fund, they would buy shares of Wal Mart or McDonald’s.

To help my readers make their decision on whether to invest in mutual funds vs. direct investing, I’ve written this post detailing the pros and cons of each. And before you ask – I am in the direct investing camp. After reading, you’ll know why.

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The Importance of Having Your Own Investment Strategy

The Importance of Having Your Own Investment StrategyConsider a dairy farmer. What is noticeable about their life?

Farmer’s lives are dictated by routine. When I was in high school, I worked on a beef farm and my uncle owned a large dairy farm nearby. The lives of the employees were incredibly repetitive – but it’s no coincidence that their lives are mired in routine. It’s actually one of the things that enabled them to be successful. Imagine if they didn’t have a routine, and woke up every morning wondering “How am I going to farm today?” Certainly their business would be in shambles in no time.

In this regard, investing is like farming – in order to be successful, you need to have a simple, repeatable strategy that you can execute over and over without worrying about the strategy itself. Today I’ll be writing about the important of having your own investing strategy. Continue reading

Why I Wish I Invested in Google

google-485611This is my first post in a series about companies I wish I had invested in many years ago before they reached their current levels of success. One of the saddest parts of being active in the capital markets is looking back at those home-run stocks that you’ve missed out on. You know the ones I’m talking about – investing $1,000 in them twenty years ago and they turn into hundreds of thousands of dollars today. Alphabet (formerly known as Google) is a prime example – besides their business success, they impact my life every day and there’s a ton of non-financial reasons why I wish I invested in Google.

You’re likely impacted by them too. For example, you probably used their search engine to get to my blog. While Google search is likely their flagship product, they’re working on a ton of other cool projects. Overall, they’re just an exciting company with some truly unconventional management that believe in changing the world in a positive way. Hopefully after reading this post you’ll understand why I wish I invested in Google, and you’ll get a sense of the things I look for when considering whether to invest in a company.

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The True Meaning of FInancial Independence

The True Meaning of Financial IndependenceEveryone has their own definition of financial independence.

For some, it’s a certain net worth target. I’ve known people who want to be millionaires, others who want $10 million, and yet others who’ve said they won’t stop working until they’re billionaires. Others have no target at all, and would rather spend all their disposable income on Starbucks three times a day.

Another common goal is to generate a particular amount of income completely passively. This could come from investments, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, or any other source- as long as it’s completely passive. Others take a similar approach but instead of setting an arbitrary income requirement for their retirement (whether traditional or early), instead they have a  goal of retiring without reduction in their current level of income.

With all of the different definitions that are out there, my readers often ask me – What is the true meaning of financial independence? Read on to find out.

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Startup CEO Interview: Joshua Liu

JoshuaLiu-SeamlessMD-sqmedI originally came across Joshua Liu in my first year of university, as I was studying Biology with the intent to become a physician before I eventually switched to my Math & Stats double major. I stumbled upon his website MedHopeful, which provides valuable advice on winning scholarships, applying to university and getting into medical school. Joshua’s blog first showed me the power of leveraging the Internet to educate others, which contributed to the eventual creation of the Financial Canadian blog.

Joshua is currently the co-founder and CEO of SeamlessMD, a digital health company transforming surgical care. He is also Chair of the Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation Council, a Startup Advisor to Northeastern University and a mentor for the Canadian Top 20 Under 20 program. I interviewed him recently to give my readers perspective on the startup world and the lifestyle of a CEO. Enjoy!

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What if We All Sold Our Stocks?

More sellers than buyers results in the markets dropping. You can see it in this graph of the S&P 500, especially last August.
More sellers than buyers results in the markets dropping. You can see it in this graph of the S&P 500, especially last August. Photo from Bloomberg.

I was asked an interesting question by one of my friends when inquiring about ideas for future blog posts. He asked, “What if we all sold our stocks?” What a great question, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it since.

Would it be complete market turmoil, and make the 2008-2009 financial crisis look like a walk in the park?

Would large, “too-big-to-fail” companies go bankrupt (think Lehman Brothers) and destroy thousands of careers in the process?

Would trillions of dollars of worldwide wealth be eliminated in a single day, similar to the aftermath of Brexit?

Surprisingly, if you apply logical reasoning to this question, it quickly becomes apparent that none of this would happen. Instead, the inevitable outcome is much less exciting.

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