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Let’s not forget Joy

Reviewing a January message after listening to the up coming winter storm reports, it’s -38C at my dads farm this morning, you know that is cold, and sounds like we could get a foot is snow here on the Brockville Shores starting this afternoon, now where was I, oh yes, Joy. 

Great article on the remarkable life of the author of this song Joy to the World, written in 1719, a Christmas Carol based on Psalm 98. 

Let’s be reminded to not loose our Joy, and if we have , find it.  Og Mandino reminded us to live every day as if it was Christmas. 

So in the spirit of Christmas, enjoy once again this beautiful message.

https://youtu.be/LWHXch0pd4E

 

Psalm 98 King James Version (KJV)

98 O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together

Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

 

Joy to the world! The Lord is come:
let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room
and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns:
let men their songs employ
while fields and floods rocks hills and plains
repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow

nor thorns infest the ground:
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found.

and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousnes
and wonders of his love.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Watts

Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks.
 
Our God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come; Be thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home
 
For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do.

 

 

Well, lots of reflection and research from that page on joy, feeling it’s timr to add a couple extra bales of straw to the pigs hut to enhance their day as we all hunker down for the storm. May your day be filled with joy and may you find joy if it’s not there. The world is counting on it. TLR

Seeds of Success , Og Mandino

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10930887

May every day grow from these seeds. 

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Hustle On Trees and Trucks

Interesting view of future from the folks at Hustle 

https://ambassadors.thehustle.co/

 

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Snap 20 percent on your taxes

Great article sent to me on this topic. My lady loves going to the gym, efficient, that is what she wants. I don’t go to gym very much, I prefer the actual work on something gym of life. The “Wood Splitting Club” , the “Shovel Gravel Club” , the Throw Bales Club” , the Push Lawn Mower Club” , the Garden with a Shovel Club” , lots of clubs , also the Hiking Club” , lots of options to work on your core physical fitness. Enjoy the article, learn about the business of the gym club. Alternatively, get a personal training and join some of the clubs that interest you. Have fun, and if you get to our local Snap Fitness friends gym, let us know, we decided this fall (2018) to offer a 20% discount on the personal part of your tax return. Supporting small business and our clients fitness goals in 2019.

Tim

$$$$$

Why gym memberships probably aren't worth the money

More than half of all gym members never actually go to the gym — yet year after year, they continue to pay for a service they don’t use.

BY ZACHARY CORCKETT

Shortly after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day of 2018, Josh Kline closed his eyes and vowed a resolution: He’d sign up for a gym. He’d go every day. He’d lose the paunch and reclaim his former glory.

Yes, he was 6 beers deep and full of carne asada. But dammit, things were differentthis year: He was going to do it!

A few days, and a few inspirational Instagram posts, later, the 32-year-old New Jerseyan found himself at a local big-name gym, inking a $650 annual contract. Sans the hidden fees, that worked out to a little under $50 per month — a steal, he figured, for 365 days of value.

But by early February, his commitment began to wane. “Every day” became every other day; every other day slipped to twice per week… once per week... zero times per week. At year’s end, his attendance tally looked something like this:

A little too ambitious there, Josh? (Zachary Crockett / The Hustle)

Kline’s story is familiar. “Getting more exercise” is routinely the most commonNew Year’s resolution — and every January, gyms bulk up their staff and prepare for an infusion of fresh blood.

There’s just one problem with this: Joining a gym, while admirable, is generally one of the worst investments you can make.

The reasons for this are rooted in the way we make commitments for self-betterment, the core business model of the fitness industry, and even behavioral economics. But before we get into all that, let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

Drop and give me $700

In the United States, 60.8 million people (~1 in 5 adults) have some kind of membership to one of the country’s 38k gyms and health clubs and pay an annual, monthly, or daily fee to work out. Collectively, gyms rake in $30B+ in revenue on an annual basis..

Membership fees vary widely based on your location and gym of preference, but the industry-wide average falls in at $58 per month, or $696 per year.

On top of the monthly fee, gyms often tack on an “annual fee” (paid at the start of each new membership cycle), and an “initiation fee” (a one-time dinger that can run as high as $250, due upon signing).

The main purpose of these fees is to give the gym something to reduce to make you feel like you’re getting a “special” deal. In reality, the gym’s out-of-pocket costs to sign you up ring in at a measly $3.

Gym fees vary widely on a person-to-person basis, and by location, but average around this range. (Zachary Crockett / The Hustle)

Generally, most of these fees are pretty fair.

If the average gym-goer were to use a gym 7 times a week, every week, without fail, $696 per year would work out to a measly ~$1.90 per visit. Even at 4 times per week, you’d be looking at $3.36 per visit.

But here’s the thing: We don’t even come close to 7 gym visits per week. Or 4. Or even 3. What makes a gym membership a poor investment is your lack of commitment.

Staying home and eating cake counts as leg day, right?

A study run by a pair of UC Berkeley economists found that while members anticipate visiting a gym 9.5 times per month, they only end up going 4.17 times per month. That works out to 50 visits per year.

Assuming an average session length of 1 hour, the typical gym member is suddenly paying $14.50 per workout. This stacks up pretty poorly with other things we pay a monthly fee for.

We spend 5x more on a gym membership than we do on Netflix per month — and we use it 10x less frequently! (Zachary Crockett / The Hustle)

Why on Earth is this average so low? Well, it turns out that a vast swath of people who pay for gym use just… don’t go at all.

A Statistic Brain survey[paywall] of 5,313 American gym members found that 63% of memberships go completely unused. The granular stats are even more dismal:

  • 82% of gym members go to the gym less than 1 time per week
  • 22% completely stop going 6 months into their membership
  • 31% say they never would’ve paid had they known how little they’d use it

From their data, the survey authors estimate that the average gym member “underutilizes” two-thirds of her gym dues — roughly $39 per month, or $468 per year.

And as it just so happens, our laziness and lack of commitment are the lifeblood of big-name gyms’ business model.

Gyms bank on you NOT showing up

Each January, when our ambition is riding higher than a SpongeBob wedgie, gyms experience a 50% uptick in memberships.

It’s what one fitness director once called “the perfect storm” — a time when “cold weather [and] a psychological awareness about achieving goals”  draw out lofty ambitions. But most of these new signees, like our pal Josh Kline, eventually fall off the proverbial treadmill.

It seems counter-intuitive, but big-name gyms don’t want us to work out.

"If gyms operate at more than 5% of their membership at any given time, no one can use the gym," explainsone branding consultant. "They want [people] to sign up, but they know that after the 15th of January they won't see 95% of them again."

A vicious cycle (YouTube, via Fox’s “The Cleveland Show”)

The nation’s largest gym chains often sign up 20x the number of people who can actually fit in a given location. They are well aware that most won’t show up.

As Planet Money reported, one Planet Fitness branch in NYC had a max capacity of about 300, but boasted more than 6k members. Similarly, Gold’s Gym and Life Time Fitness often ink 5k-10k memberships per location despite having only being able to house 300-500 people at a time.

In essence, the people who don’t show up “subsidize” membership costs for those who actually do go, allowing gyms to keep their prices down.

So, why do we keep signing up?

As the late economist Thomas Schelling laid out in his 1978 paper, Egonomics, we have “two selves:” The present self (who is highly motivated to work out come January 1st), and the future self (who will inevitably quit by March). These selves are engaged in a “constant conflict between immediate desire and long-term goals.”

Oftentimes, the present self will trick the future self into making good decisions by enlisting a little concept known as “precommitment:” We commit to something in advance to make it harder — or impossible — for our future self to back out.

If our goal is to save money, we might set up automatic paycheck deductions into savings. If we want to learn a new language, we might pay for classes in advance. And if we want to exercise more, we might lock ourselves into annual gym memberships.

And if your goal is to get drunk, you pre-game (Zachary Crockett / The Hustle)

As the blog Refocuser writes, by precommitting, you must “always assume your future self is lazy… you’re practically dragging your future self kicking and screaming toward the ‘right thing’ by taking away his or her alternative options.”

Thing is, this just doesn’t work — and it ends up costing most people money in the long-term.

Okay, so how do I work out for cheaper?

You shouldn’t blame any of this on gyms: They promote fitness and well-being, and, in general, are priced pretty reasonably considering mechanical upkeep, equipment costs, and employee overhead.

Still, it’s hard to justify the cost when the odds of regular attendance are stacked so unfavorably against you.

One alternative is to simply build your own home gym.

The Department of Health and Human Servicesrecommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of “vigorous” aerobic activity), in addition to at least 2 sessions of major muscle group strength training, per week. This is easily achievable without a gym membership.

While the equipment you choose to buy depends on a number of factors, including what types of exercises you want to do, and the space you’re working with, it’s possible to build a relatively space-efficient, full-body setup for the same cost as one year at a gym.

Also highly recommended (and free!): Wrestling bears (Zachary Crockett / The Hustle)

Let’s say you pay the average monthly gym fee of $58 ($696 per year). A home gym, at ~$625, will pay itself off in a little under 11 months; after that, you’re saving $58 per month in perpetuity.

Over the course of, say, 5 years, that amounts to $3,480 in savings — enough to hire a drill sergeant to berate you into working out every day. Problem solved!

 
 
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2 winners out of 12 - 2018 Market Recap

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-every-asset-class-currency-and-sector-performed-in-2018/

 

Great recap on a see saw year.  The data digs into the US markets mainly. 

The U.S. dollar was the strongest major currency, and the Japanese yen had an impressive year as well.

Energy (-20.5%) and Materials (-16.4%) sectors were the hardest hit.

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Mushroom adventures

https://www.mycocultures.com/about/

 

Decided to learn a bit more about growing mushrooms. So invested in a couple mushroom kits. 

Have had them for a couple weeks and figured I better do something with them. 

The Oyster Mushroom wasn’t waiting for me, and thus the shrooms are starting to develop, so cool. 

Anyway, it wasn’t that hard to get them ready, cut some holes in the bags, and away we go. Now don’t laugh, I was actually out looking for pieces of wood to plant my kits in. Note to self, read instructions first. That was already taken care of , thus the word “kit” . Digging a little deeper, one can purchase the serum and that will require the logs I was searching for, so not all a waste. 

The link above is actually worth a read, inspirational , background on the business that I purchased the kits from. They are out of Quebec and have resurrected a old mushroom farm. Looks like some innovative ideas percolating there. So glad I purchased there, great story.

Learning about what we eat and grow is a good investment in our health, and mental space, helps one appreciate things more, and with time, helps one become more frugal with our resources. There is a certain satisfaction about growing your own food. 

Invested in some books as well about finding and utilizing  the wild mushrooms that we see on our journeys. My favourite mushroom growing up turns out is called Meadow or Horse Mushroom. I know where to find them and when. The challenge is getting there. Next time, I plan to gather and then resettle some closer to home.  

This fall we were blessed with Puff Balls, we had fun with harvesting and eating them. 

Chaga , our fungus from the birch tree, with its healing properties is a daily addition to our hydration adventures. 

Looking forward to our next meal served with our own delectable King Oyster Mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms, both I have never eaten before. The adventure continues , “Be The Adventure” 

Also got a message from our shipper that the button mushrooms should arrive on Monday. 

Read more…

2019 P Clear

Well, it’s 2019, and the year has some challenges already. I just wrote a nice little introduction and I inadvertently didn’t save it and swiped it off my phone. It was a really good reflection, and now I have to start over ! Lesson learned, once again, save as you go along. 

So, this spot is going to be were I dump some of the tough , crappy stuff I find during my travels with the thought that I will be aware, and have the info should I need to remember and reflect on it. It will not be all negative, so the spot is half full and half empty. It will be like a well, hopefully not  a sewer, yet some sluge will seep in. I simply for awhile don’t want to spread  fear, yet do not want to be ignorant of the fact that we have some very fearful items on the world list. 

So, I will endeavour to keep it balanced , and I encourage one to run it all through a filter as there will likely be some parts that don’t sit well. 

When we were on the mountain, we had to drink lots of water. It was critical to our success and health. The water acted like a cleansing agent and it provided additional oxygen to our bodies as the higher altitudes resulted in less available oxygen to use. This extra hydration helped our brains from basically blowing up. The major side effect was one had to pee a lot , at least my personal experience and if you were not peeing clear, you needed to drink more. We would get our water bottles and water backpacks filled every night. My pack was 3 litres and I had a couple bottles so about 5 litres of clear water plus our liquid soups, coffee and teas. A lot of liquid, thus a lot of pressure on the bladder. But it was good. Frankly, I need to drink more, side note to self. 

So, my biggest problem so far this year was writing something twice, it’s a bit different than the first time, be sure and save your work as you go along. 

This article is about as bad as it gets from a global perspective . Guess that’s a good place to start. War and the threat of war. 

https://www.crisisgroup.org/global/10-conflicts-watch-2019

 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/time-new-social-contract-inequality-work-sharan-burrow/


 

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TEDx Brock Shores Idea

https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program

 

This would be a very cool opportunity should it be pursued. 

Lots of great content if you ever wanted to consider everything that should be thought about while organizing an event. 

 

If if we had a TEDxBrockShores  whatb would we have covered? 

 

What great innovative speakers would we want to present ? 

Perhaps my son Alex Ross and his work on Radon Detection systems.  

Perhaps , Greg Houldcroft and how he reaches the youth in the community

Newterra and how they have made the words water cleaner

Rotary and what it means to be a Rotarian, locally and globally 

Burnbrae Farms , innovation and family farm

Small business hero’s of our region 

Immigration and refugee 

Canada’s flag and the birthplace connection

Bruce Wylie , a community champion of philanthropy and air waves 

Bringing Ayo Home, the journey and the adoption heart

Dream Mountains Foundation, Shawn Dawson and his goal to climb the seven summits with purpose 

John Barclay, video art of the story 

Mental Health, Shelley McCaffrey 

Shelli Warren and the Leadercast local leadership dream and impact

 Mike Whitford, making the body work the way it was intended to

David Marshall, fastest snowmobile rider in the world, doing business around the world

 

 

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Climbing Memories

Coming down is the hardest part of the summit journey, things work differently coming down , that was my personal experience climbing Kilimanjaro , getting down almost killed me. I had two guides going up and five guides going down, thankfully I didn’t need the sixth. There is a lot of analogies between climbing and retirement, looking forward to reading this article. I might add, I started out with a team of twenty, due to my health, I had to do the final stretch on my own, while the rest of team had their own group experience, I was solo. It’s certainly harder. I did a memory walk in my mind as I climbed that night. I seen my friends once in awhile on that part of the journey and they encouraged me, one was a bit delusional and tried to encourage me to give up based on her experience. So life is a bit like this. The key take away, our team leader had the experience, he had successfully climbed Everest and five of the other 7 highest summits of the world and he had climbed Kilimanjaro just over two years previously, experience coaching is important. Shawn gave the advice, encouraged, guided, was there for me and the others, yet in the end you have to take the next step, what ever that step is.

http://peakfs.advisor.news/the-3-biggest-risks-to-prepare-for-as-you-retire/

 

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Homework Dec 28 2019

Let’s bring more value to our clients 

 

http://advisoranalyst.com/glablog/2018/12/27/dan-richards-how-to-be-the-most-valuable-advisor-to-clients.html/

#1 Trusted Advisor

- able to talk about the things that really matter the most 

- like, why your wealth matters

Reflecting ”it’s why we help families achieve life’s major goals”

#2 Network Access

- I have lived in this region for most of my adult life, I do have a large network of contacts in various areas that can benefit our clients should a need come up, we can connect you

 http://advisoranalyst.com/glablog/2018/12/28/dan-richards-how-to-be-the-most-valuable-advisor-to-clients-part-two.html/

 

#3  Specialization

- excelling in client segmentation is the hallmark of top advisors. Your able to demonstrate your core values in your stories that people can relate to. This brings value to the relationship. 

We have developed relationships with Family’s that have businesses. Those that have an entrepreneurial insight that in many ways flows from our tax business. We have a lot of legacy clients and referrals from this foundation built over the last thirty years. We need to get better at telling our story. We have reduced risk by providing SRI practices in our investment solutions and portfolios that use pension management asset allocation processes. Stable returns with less risk. All this reduces risk, providing confidence and word of mouth opportunities to share what we have done, all within a confidential environment. Our team continues to grow and specialize within the different areas we discover are important to Achieve Life’s Major Goals. 

 

Timothy L. Ross Family Advisor © , Since 1988

Helping Families Achieve ...Life’s Major Goals ©

OMEGA STEWARDSHIP ©
* One Stop Process Driven Approach for Retirement & Income Planning
* Personalized Tax Management Solutions for Individuals & Business Owners
* Confidential Wealth Management Solutions 

Mutual Funds  through PEAK Investment Services Inc.

 Brock Shores Financial 
#ImprovingFutures

We help families plan and implement strategies to accomplish "Life's Major Goals"

  • Tax Smart Planning & Investing
  • Worry Free Retirement
  • Education of Our Children & Grandchildren
  • Quality Care For Our Parents
  • Meaningful Financial Help For Our Loved Ones
  • Meaningful Legacy

 

Markets - Tuna is basically on sale

 

 http://advisoranalyst.com/glablog/2018/12/28/a-bakers-dozen-reasons-why-stocks-can-tactically-rally-from-here.html/

 

Things that “could” happen

http://advisoranalyst.com/glablog/2018/12/28/kass-10-surprises-which-could-spike-the-market-5-in-one-day.html/ 

 

Reviewing my farm paper, I came across this resource and encouraging place #RootedInStrength http://www.domore.ag

What greater gift than the love of a cat. ~ Charles Dickens 
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Seaganism and The Year of the Carnivore

well, I learned a new word today, seaganism ,  reading the vegetables report in my Ontario Farmer, Postmedia had a few projections, facts and figures on the business of eating 

35% of Canadians spend about 35% if their food budget on eating out 

12,157 a year spent on food for average Canadian family with a rise of 411 projected 

 

Prime rib is down 13% from January 

vegetables are up 4% this year and with food growing conditions from El Niño and rain deposits in the wrong area, expect food shortages in prime growing areas , so higher projected food costs for 2019

carnifors and seafood lovers rejoice, meat costs are going down, so good quality protein will cost less 

So, maximize your nutritional and economic value, seek out good Canadian grown, locally produced, ethically raised produce. Plant a garden, learn about your food. Eat out less, purchase less convenience food , Be The Adventure 

 

 

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A dollar five

http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4958820

 

exciting announcement. The purchasing power evidence is in once again 

One of our Christmas gifts this season 

up from a dollar 

Canada Post says the cost for an individual stamp on a letter sent within Canada will jump to $1.05, instead of a loonie, starting Jan. 14.

The money for the post office is now in delivery of packages. Email has reduced letter demands. Parcels are probably nit as profitable, but big demand on the post.

 Locally lots of work for postal workers, 7 days a week last few months, only s couple days off during the rotating strikes.

Things are better than the media would like you to think, remember fear sells 

As one of my investment guru’s puts it 

Stop The Fear 

#StopTheFear

 

and buy the way

Companies are currently on sale, approximately  20% in USA currently from their highs 

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4958332

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas 2018

Timothy Ross
1 hr
 

• ˚ •˛•˚ * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
• ˚Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas!★ 。* • ˚。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚  May this Holiday Season be filled with the love of Christ for you , your family and friends.
Merry Christmas from Tim & Megan   ♬   ✩ ★❦✵   ♘ ✄ ❂

And Thank you from all of us 
at Brock Shores Financial 
Timothy Ross, Family Advisor © 
Family Office providing Omega Stewardship © 
Www.BrockShoresFinancial.ca 
613-345-0016 Office 
613-213-4625 Cell/Text advisor@timothyross.com

Helping Families Achieve...Life’s Major Goals ©

OMEGA STEWARDSHIP © 
* One Stop Process Driven Approach for Retirement & Income Planning
* Personalized Tax Management Solutions for Individuals & Business Owners
* Confidential Wealth Management Solutions

Mutual Funds through PEAK Investment Services Inc.

Brock Shores Financial #ImprovingFutures

Learn, Engage, Develop, Goals, Enjoy, Responsible ... Join our new online community” © at www.ImprovingFutures.ca

© Copyright 1988-2018 All Rights Reserved Timothy Ross & Brock Shores Financial Corporation

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Year End 2018 from the New York Times

December 24, 2018
Good Monday morning. Breaking: An NYT examination of mass shootings over the past decade reveals how the banking and credit card industry have played a crucial, if unwitting, role in the planning of these massacres. Andrew reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports, bank records and investigator notes, and lays out how the financial industry could help to prevent future attacks.
Christmas time outside the New York Stock Exchange.
Christmas time outside the New York Stock Exchange.  Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Today, we’re going to take a look back at what happened on Wall Street in 2018. The DealBook team will be taking a break until Jan. 2, so until then, happy holidays to you and yours! (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)
This year was great for deal making. Until it wasn’t.
Companies announced a record $2.3 trillion in acquisitions through the first six months of the year, according to data from Refinitiv. That was fueled by three main factors:
A stronger economy. After almost a decade of lackluster growth globally, the American economy appeared to be at its strongest in years and business confidence was high.
A windfall from the tax overhaul and continued low interest rates meant that coffers were full and debt was cheap.
Continued fears of Silicon Valleyand its growing ambitions, particularly in areas like health care and the media, made consolidation look vital.
But uncertainty can bring an end to deal making. By the second half of the year, there was plenty of uncertainty. Plunging markets, an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, signs that the global economy is slowing and the pace of the Federal Reserve’s rate increases all raised questions about the health of the world’s economy.
That weighed on corporate minds. By the second half of the year, executives had become more cautious and deal activity slowed. Just $1.6 trillion worth of deals were struck worldwide from July 1 to Dec. 21.
So approach 2018’s blockbuster M.&.A. numbers with caution, because they’re heavily skewed toward the first half of the year. Here are two examples:
Cross-border deals hit $1.54 trillion. That’s up 33 percent from a year earlier and the highest level in more than a decade. But just $500 billion in acquisitions were announced in the second half of the year, a 50 percent drop from the first six months.
Big deals skyrocketed. Acquirers announced 123 transactions valued at more than $5 billion in 2018, worth a total of $1.5 trillion — a 70 percent increase from 2017 and the second-highest level on record. But little more than 30 percent of those deals were announced in the second half.
And one final note of caution. If history is any indicator, peaks in deal making are not necessarily a cause for celebration: There was record M.&A. activity in 1989, 2000 and 2007, and each peak was followed within months by a recession.
____________________________
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Stephen Grocer and Peter Eavis in New York, and Jamie Condliffe in London.
____________________________
What about China and Europe?
China retreated from the global M.&.A market. Chinese companies continued to slow their purchases of foreign firms after having embarked on a global shopping spree that peaked in 2016. The value of deals made beyond China’s borders slipped to $115 billion in 2018, down 45 percent from two years ago.
Europe slammed on the brakes.M.&A. activity in the region during the second half of the year tumbled 60 percent from the first six months, the steepest slowdown of any region in the world. Blame falls in part to a host of political issues: Britain’s tortuous path toward withdrawing from the European Union, the struggles of a populist leadership in Italy, and, most recently, a public backlash against the government in France. Economic growth has also slowed in several European countries.
  Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Unicorns roared onto American exchanges
This year was the strongest for initial public offerings since 2014. (That was the year Alibaba skewed the numbers with its $25 billion I.P.O.) In all, companies raised $209 billion globally through I.P.O.s, up 6 percent from a year ago, according to Dealogic.
Unicorns made waves. In the U.S., 38 companies listed on Americanexchanges each with a value of more than $1 billion — the most since the heady days of the dot-com boom in 2000, according to Dealogic. Those deals helped lift the value of U.S.-listed I.P.O.s to more than $61 billion.
The procession of unicorns going public could continue into 2019. The list of tech companies with $1 billion valuations looking to make their public market debut next year is long: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Slack and Palantir are among those set to embark on I.P.O.s. Expect many of the I.P.O.s to be in the first half of the year. But the recent market volatility and investors’ recent aversion to risk may make it difficult for some to make it out. And the window for I.P.O.s could close suddenly if a recession hits.
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But the real I.P.O. action was in Asia
The biggest I.P.O.s of the year happened on exchanges in Asia. SoftBank raised $21.3 billion floating shares of its mobile unit in Tokyo. China Tower raised $7.5 billion in Hong Kong, and Xiaomi also sold $5.4 billion worth of stock there.
But there was no shortage of Asian listings on U.S. exchanges. Tencent Music’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange this month capped a wave of Chinese companies going public in America. In total, 33 Chinese firms raised $9.2 billion through initial public offerings on American exchanges — up 140 percent from 2017 and the highest level since 2014.
In fact, China dominated U.S. public offerings this year. The three largest I.P.O.s by market value were all Chinese companies. And China accounted for four of the 10 largest I.P.O.s on American exchanges this year, the most of any country including the U.S.
Why the rush to list in America? President Trump’s trade war with China may have played a role. A slowdown in Chinese economic growth has accompanied the escalating trade tensions and has dragged down stock markets in Hong Kong and China. At the lows in late October, the Hang Seng stock index and benchmark stock markets in Shenzhen and Shanghai were down 15 percent to 35 percent for the year. By comparison, the S&P 500 was still up 2.5 percent at that point, making it far more attractive for offerings.
  Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
The year’s markets in a single world: Volatile
The stock markets were defined in 2018 by record highs followed by steep sell-offs. Investors piled into the biggest tech companies, pushing the market values of Amazon and Apple above $1 trillion. But soon investors were dumping tech shares, sending the Nasdaq into a bear market for the first time since the financial crisis. Companies handed back more than a $1 trillion to investors through buybacks and dividends. But markets were also whipsawed by fears of slowing global economic growth, rising interest rates and trade wars.
Investors had plenty of reason to be optimistic at the beginning of the year. Inflation was tame and interest rates remained low. After years of slow growth, the economy was strengthening. And there were hopes that the tax overhaul passed late last year would supercharge the economy and corporate profits.
But as 2018 comes to a close, the longest bull market in history is having its worst year since it started nearly a decade ago. Almost every major type of investment has fared poorly: Stock markets in America, Europe and Asia are all suffering from double-digit percentage losses, while commodities and bonds have tumbled.
Risks are now everywhere. The lift provided by the tax cuts has faded. The U.S.-China trade war has taken a toll on global growth. The Fed has staked out a more aggressive path to raise rates than many investors had hoped, which means the costs of borrowing are rising. And oil prices have plunged. Things look bleak.
What’s in store for stocks in 2019
Despite it all, Wall Street analysts predict that the S&P 500 will rise next year.
“The market path in 2019 will depend on investor perception of the longevity of the current economic expansion,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a note. “We expect U.S. economic growth will decelerate but remain positive for several years.”
Predictions for growth vary, but most analysts estimate that the value of the S&P 500, which currently lies at about 2,400, could reach 2,750 to 3,300 by the end of 2019. Goldman Sachs predicts that it will hit 3,000, which would be a 24 percent increase from current levels.
But there are still reasons to be pessimistic. Here’s what could spook investors next year:
The global economy looks set for a slowdown. Fifty-three percent of fund managers surveyed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch expected global growth to weaken over the next 12 months. That’s the worst outlook on the global economy since October 2008.
The Fed could tighten monetary policy too far. In 2018, concerns about the central bank bringing an end to the bull market with rate increases prompted two sell-offs. Fund managers continue to rank the Fed’s tightening among the biggest risks to the market. “The Fed should be prepared to recognize that financial conditions will soon be sufficiently tight that any further tightening might kill the very expansion it is trying to extend,” write Deutsche Bank strategists.
Peak earnings are probably behind us. Analysts expect S&P 500 companies to report average earnings growth of 8.3 percent and revenue growth of 5.5 percent in 2019, according to FactSet. By comparison, S&P 500 earnings are forecast to grow 20.5 percent this year and revenue 8.9 percent.
The Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan.
The Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan.  John Taggart for The New York Times
It was an excellent year for banks. You’d never guess.
A lot went right for banks in 2018. They were big beneficiaries of the tax overhaul enacted at the end of 2017. The Trump administration started what may become a bonanza of deregulation for them. The economy grew. Interest rates increased, bolstering profit from lending. Over all, banks’ earnings are expected to surge 34 percent in 2018. In June, Jamie Dimon, the C.E.O. of JPMorgan Chase, talked about “a golden age of banking.”
But the markets simply shrugged. The S&P 500 financials index, which measures the performance of bank stocks, is down 16 percent in 2018, compared with a 7 percent decline in the wider stock market.
Why the poor performance? Investors were clearly unimpressed, and there are two obvious reasons:
They may have simply been impatient. It will take time to tell whether deregulation will have a significant effect on banks’ bottom lines, and investors may not have been willing to wait it out.
Banks didn’t lend at the pace many had hoped. Companies that benefited from strong cash flows after the tax cuts may not have needed as much credit. And rising interest rates may have reduced demand for loans among some borrowers.
Looking into 2019, much depends on interest rates and the economy:
• If the Fed raises interest rates by more than expected and the economy slows, banks could be hit hard. Wall Street business would suffer, demand for loans would decline and more borrowers could default, causing losses for banks.
• If the Fed manages to set rates at a level that keeps the economy growing at close to current rates, and inflation is dormant, bank earnings should hold up. But as 2018 has shown, that may not be enough for investors.
  Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
The big question: Is a recession looming?
The short answer: probably. The longer answer: It’s complicated, and opinion is divided over when it might happen.
There are some early warning signs. But so far we’re mainly seeing signals flashing orange, not red:
The market slide at the end of the year was one. After ignoring trade wars, rising interest rates and a slowing global economy for months, investors finally got spooked, threatening the longest bull run on record. But markets don’t generally crash simply because a recovery has been going on for a while.
Inversion of the yield curve is another. Essentially the difference between interest rates on short- and long-term government bonds, the curve is seen as a predictor of recession. The spread between three- and five-year yields briefly went negative at the start of December. But economists view the two- to 10-year spread as a better signifier of impending recession, and even then only when it is inverted for a sustained period. So far, that hasn’t happened.
Some economic indicators point toward a slowdown. Sales of new and existing homes have softened in recent months and auto sales have been falling, suggesting that clouds are on the horizon. But unemployment is at its lowest level in a half-century, job growth remains strong, wages are beginning to rise faster and consumer spending has been growing at a healthy pace.
“It’s foolish to ignore all these thingsand say they don’t matter at all,” David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, told the NYT. “But it’s also foolish to think that there’s some sort of law of physics here.”
And if we are headed into recession, we don’t know when. Opinion among economists and business leaders about timing is torn:
• Over half of the economists polled by the WSJ expect a recession to start in 2020, and slightly more than one in four expects one in 2021. Just one in 10 predicts a recession next year.
• Economists surveyed by Reuters put the chances of a recession in the next two years at 40 percent.
• A survey of chief financial officers found that nearly half expect a recession in 2019, as did a similar proportion of business leaders at the Yale C.E.O. Summit.
In others words: Keep your wits about you in 2019.
Thanks for reading! We’ll see you in the New Year.
You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook
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Happiness report 2018

Well, the annual happiness report shows Canada in the top 10. #7 

the report shows Canada is a bit less happy then it was a year ago, no improvement, down about 5% globally making it about 100 in the improvement category, loading about 5% overall. 

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/measuring-global-happiness-countries/

What does that mean, not much, simply things are not as sunny as they were last year. Carbon taxes, failed pipeline misadventures, uncompetitive tax rates, falling oil prices and a government trying desperately to improve its leaders social opinions on the population, other than that everything is pretty good. Let’s not forget we are well positioned in case of a depression or recession the government feels we can handle a flood well. We think it’s about water, maybe he meant the proposed immigration targets of a million people over the next three years. So much going on, hard to follow it all. Let’s nit forget Cannabis is legal now and a guaranteed income for everyone is being proposed. The budget will be balanced with debt in the interim and by 2040 government taxes will match government expenses. So it’s not so bad. Future is looking like blue skies, and the morning skies are a glow, as they, sailors take warning. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and  may 2019 bring you faith, hope, health,  prosperity and the love of our Lord in your heart. 

Tim

 

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Jokes for the kid in you

http://www.fatherly.com/play/50-short-dumb-jokes-kids-love-anyway

 

50. What do you call an old snowman?

 Water!

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49. Why are ghosts such bad liars?

Because you can see right through them.

48. Why is Santa always so happy?

He likes to live in the present!

47. How do you catch a whole school of fish?

With bookworms.

6. What is a witch’s favorite subject in school?

Spelling!

45. Why didn’t the zombie go to school?

He felt rotten!

44. What did one plate say to the other plate?

Dinner’s on me!

43. What kind of shoes do ninjas wear? 

Sneakers.

42. Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

Because he felt crummy.

41. How do mountains stay warm in winter?

Snowcaps.

40. Why do artists constantly feel cold?

Because they’re surrounded by drafts.

39. Why did the pony get sent to his room?

He wouldn’t stop horsing around.

. What do you call a cow that eats your grass?

A lawn moo-er.

37. Why do fish live in salt water?

Because pepper makes them sneeze!

36. What did the Dalmatian say after lunch?

That hit the spot!

35. Why can’t a leopard hide?

Because he’s always spotted!

4. Why should you not let a bear operate the remote?

He will keep pressing the paws button.

33. What is a robot’s favorite snack?

Computer chips.

2. What did one plate say to the other plate?

Dinner is on me!

31. What does a nosey pepper do?

Gets jalapeño business!

30. Why did the banana go to the hospital?

He was peeling really bad.

29. Why did Mickey Mouse take a trip into space?

He was looking for his buddy, Pluto.

28. What are the two things you can’t have for breakfast?

Lunch and dinner.

27. Where do you learn to make banana splits?

At sundae school.

26. What did the limestone say to the geologist?

Don’t take me for granite!

25. What kind of dinosaur loves to sleep?

stega-snore-us.

24. Why do seagulls live by the sea?

Because if they lived by the bay, they’d be bagels!

23. What bone will a dog never eat?

Trombone.

22. Why did the dinosaur cross the road?

 To eat the chickens on the other side.

21. Why did the man get fired from the orange juice factory?

Lack of concentration.

20. When will the little snake arrive?

I don’t know, but he won’t be long.

19. What’s the biggest moth in the world?

mammoth.

18. What do you get if you cross a frog with a rabbit?

A bunny ribbit.

17. What type of markets do dogs avoid?

Flea markets!

16. What do music and chickens have in common?

Bach, Bach, Bach!

15. Why aren’t dogs good dancers?

They have two left feet.

14. What do you call a blind dinosaur?

do-you-think-he-saw-us.

13. What did one penny say to another penny?

We make cents.

12. What kind of lion never roars?

dandelion!

11. Why did the clock go to the principal’s office?

For tocking too much.

10. Why did the man put his money in the freezer?

He wanted cold hard cash!

9. What do you call a funny mountain?

Hill-arious.

8. Why did the man run around his bed?

He was trying to catch up on sleep!

7. Why do dragons sleep during the day?

So they can fight knights!

6. Why can’t Cinderella play soccer?

Because she’s always running away from the ball.

5. What did the zero say to the eight?

Nice belt!

4. Why is the grass so dangerous?

It’s full of blades.

3. Why is it so windy inside a sports arena?

All those fans.

2. Why did the student eat his homework?

Because his teacher told him it was a piece of cake!

1. What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?

Finding half a worm.

"Everybody I know who is funny, it's in them. You can teach timing, or some people are able to tell a joke, though I don't like to tell jokes. But I think you have to be born with a sense of humor and a sense of timing." ~ Carol Burnett

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