A 2×4 to the Housing Market?
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced steps to cool the housing market by (1) reducing the maximum amortization to 25 years from 30 years (2) lowering the maximum refinancing amount to 80 percent and (3) reducing the ratios used to calculate mortgage affordability and (4) limiting mortgage insurance to homes priced under $1 million. You can read the news release and links to more information here.
Concurrently, the OSFI announced that the maximum Loan-To-Value of Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) will be lowered to 65 percent (from the current 80 percent). HELOCs will continue to remain revolving lines of credit and will not require amortization. If you currently have a HELOC and are close to the 80 percent limit, do not worry (though you may want to think about paying it down to a comfortable level): the HELOC rules will not apply retroactively.
The Biology of Risk Taking
John Coates, the researcher behind these findings also shared his views in an interview with the CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti.
Buy-and-hold dies again
Gordon Pape says that “to a degree, it’s true” that buying-and-holding index funds is a dead idea. So, what should investors do? Mr. Pape suggests looking at stock charts, companies with “industry leadership”, strong balance sheets, good dividend record and relative strength in bad markets. One wishes picking winning stocks were so easy.
The Importance of Rebalancing
Interest Rates may not go up afterall
Conventional wisdom holds that interest rates have nowhere to go but up. Jason Zweig explains why conventional wisdom may be wrong and low, low interest rates may be here to stay for a long time.
The 1% writes back
A one-percenter makes the case that the very wealthy, even those who speculated with other people’s money and brought the world to the brink of disaster, deserve the riches because their innovations is bringing vastly more benefits to the other 99 percent.
And finally, on a non-related subject, NASA has made available some spectacular video and images of the transit of Venus across the sun on June 5, 2012.