red is hot

one of the most beautifully designed gts out there, the continental gt. this one in red is really hot, with 22" wheels. for some reason, i feel that the beautiful teardrop shape of its design is simply awesome to behold. right next to it, also drop dead gorgeous in red, a merk cl65 amg, with a v12 bi turbo. the top of the line coupe, right before the slr. both are about 180000 USD. i understand the reason for the bentley, but why the heck would mercedes come out with the 65 amg line of cars for the sl, cl and s classes when they already had amg spec 55 cars for those lines. the 65 amgs have about 100bhp more than the 55 amgs, are about 50000-70000 USD more. probably because of the bmw m5. i guess they simply had to top 500 bhp.

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investment bankers – hedge fund managers

really interesting article on newyorkmetro about the investment bankers from goldman and sachs and how they carve up their 11 billion dollars in bonuses at the end of last year.

another one on how the richest people in finance are hedge fund managers and how they get there.

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lost, or the art of loosing a good show

i loved the first season of lost. very peculiar, interesting, mysterious. i am disappointed with the second season. it seems to me that the season is filled with filler episodes. not a lot happened. and its frustrating. i wish they would just cut out the boring bits, and make time pass and let the mystery evolve, instead of almost 24-like day to day following of what the castaways are up to now.

i was reluctant at first to watch desperate housewives, but my wife asked me to, so i did. i enjoyed the first season, and stopped watching the second 10 episodes in.

in both these instances, i believe that a lot can be said into planning out the whole season in advance. it seems to me that in the case of lost, they start showing us the stupide bits, foregoing the evolution of the characters and the plot.

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2005 ferrari F430

the ferrari f430 is one of the best cars out there right now. even if some people comment on the styling, i think its gorgeous, beautiful lines. you can get a modena 360 for about 130000 CAD right now i believe. the modena has been out since 1999. production ended at the end of last year. jeremy clarkson commented on how he prefered the f430 over the enzo any day of the week. personnally, haven't had the privilege myself. though i would point out that some supercars make excellent investment. the problem is to find out which. hot rods have become really a good investment, some sales and auctions going into 6 figures. i think the enzo (399 where built), the murcielago 40th anniversary in verde artemis (50 where made), the bugatti veyron, maybe the carrera gt (1500 where made and production ended this month) are modern collectors items.

i have to say that the veyron is somewhat of an ugly brute. it reminds in of the philosophy behind the design of the vw phaeton. "Volkswagen has registered 100 patents on various innovations in the Phaeton. One interesting patent is for the 4-Zone Climatic Air Conditioner, which allows a separate temperature for each quarter of the vehicle, and is draft-free." from wikipedia.

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maja ivarsson, feist

the sounds singer has a very raw, trashy and nice accent when she sings. another swedish blonde bombshell. reminds me of nina persson from the cardigans. though their voices are not at all the same. reminds me of leslie feist. she's got a new disc out of remixes and remakes. i think that inside and out is one of her best songs (on let it die), even if she didn't write that one. the bee gees did.

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memoirs on a rainy day

the title of this blog is from my journal that i started at age 15. i think this blog will be more diverse than my journals, maybe somewhat less personal, but hopefully entertaining.

still listening to the sounds – dying to say this to you – running out of turbo.

swedish bands. my favorites, kent, the cardigans.

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active vs passive managed

there always will be a debate whether an active managed fund is better than a passive or non managed fund. a non managed fund, like barclays iUnits exchange traded funds, are funds in which the stocks and titles which constitute it are not sold on under performance. etf's follow the indices of the stock market. an active managed fund, like jarislowsky's funds generally perform above the indicies and actively sell and buy stocks and titles which are included in the fund.

in these questions, the main thing is to do better than the current inflation rate, which is at 3%. if the tsx index did 12 % last year, inlation was 3%, and the Management Expense Ratio was 0.45%, the net gain was 8.75%. if the fund is actively managed, MER are a lot more, between 2.4%-2.8%. the important thing is to do consistenly better than the index. and remember past gains are not a guarantee of future gains.

i think the important thing to remember is to always think about diversification in your portfolio. this way, you can always reap the benefits of both strategies.

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the smith manoeuvre

continuing on my financial musings, the smith manoeuvre is simply a financial manoeuvre to make your mortgage tax deductible in canada. this is not a problem in the US where you can already deduct the interest on a mortgage. in canada, this is not possible. a portion of the interest can be deducted if you work from home or are self employed. most of us end up paying our house or condo 2-3 times its actual worth. the way to do this is to use the equity built up in your home to invest in the markets, in your own business or in real estate. this loan toward an investment is tax deductible in canada. for any money you pay off on your mortgage, your reborrow this money for investment purposes and end up with what we call only good debt. good debt is debt on which the interest is tax deductible. bad debt is where the interest is not.

the smith manoeuvre is used to convert bad debt into good debt. for most families, the smith manoeuvre can substantially reduce the interest payments. and using an all in one product like manulife one, you can save even further. an all in one product combines a credit line, a mortgage, a savings account, a chequing account and a credit. the main philosophy is to save as much as possible the daily compound interest that you pay on your mortgage.

though i would not suggest to invest the whole equity directly in the stock market, i do think that as long as the interest gained on the equity is higher than the interest on the loan (minus the deductible interest since this interest is deductible and you will get a refound from the CRA in proportion to your marginal tax rate) you are in good shape.

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capital protected structured notes

its been a few years since structured financial products have been on the rise. structured notes protect the capital that is invested for a number of years, caps the maximum interest each year. a good alternative to bonds, since canadian bonds have not been doing so well due to higher interest rates. structures notes enable the investor to expose his portfolio to the stockmarket without too much risk. for example, one captial protected structured note from citigroup follows 8 different stock market indicies all over the world. it has compound interest capped out at 10% each year, a 2% MER at the purchase of the note, no other MER later on, and a vibrant secondary market where notes are sold 6 months to a year after purchase at 103% to 127% over stock price.

one of the negative aspects is that if the markets are negative, the interest will be negative, so clients will have to wait until the note matures before cashing in only the guaranteed capital. still, not a lot of investments guarantee capital, so this might be a nice alternative to stocks and bonds.

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dying to say this to you cover photo

since listening about the sounds and hearing their album – two tracks were on csi miami a few weeks ago, i got the album dying to say this to you. i thought that leslie feistbroken social scene, was the girl on the left. actually new york misshapes dj leigh lezark is on the left and her friend alexis paige is on the right.

technobubble36.gif the sounds

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