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Carrick on money

Get rich in real estate, Toronto-style Add to ...

There was a Real Estate Wealth Expo in Toronto earlier this month. According to Toronto Life’s account, people who paid between $50 and $2,500 packed the city’s convention centre to hear from motivational speaker Tony Robbins, the rapper Pitbull and others.

Seminars on getting rich are nothing new or remarkable. People are always looking for short cuts on wealth building. Making money the old fashioned way – by saving and investing diligently over time – is too slow for some. This brings us to Toronto’s incredibly hot real estate. Increasingly, we’re hearing about the sort of speculative buying of homes that suggests a bubble.

Outsiders looking at the Toronto market certainly have that impression. One investor newsletter recently followed some guidance on investing in the Trump era with a quick take on what the Wealth Expo in Toronto says about a bubble in the city: “Suffice it to say, you can’t really ring a bell any louder than this.”

Another cutting take on the event comes from an investing blogger with experience as a securities trader in Toronto and New York. “Bubbles are largely psychological,” he writes. “This crowd was tangible proof of that.” (Note: There’s a bit of profanity in this post.)

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Ask Rob
The question: “I’ve read a few times that bond prices are at risk due to higher interest rates, but that it’s still worth keeping them as a hedge against market shocks. Given that bond values would decline as interest rates rise, what do you think about just holding cash in a high-interest savings account?”

My reply: “Good thought. For now, you can get comparable returns from some high interest accounts, with zero chance of losing money to market fluctuations. Bonds are better in an environment of falling rates, though.”

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

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