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November 2008

January 24, 2022

Starbucks to serve beer and wine at some U.S. stores

Let’s brainstorm together: if there is one place on earth where people linger too long, where is it?


Indeed, there are few social meeting spots as cliché as the coffee chain, yet still it persists, Starbucks being the  place you want to be if your desire is to be seen in public typing on your laptop, studying for an exam or wearing a cashmere scarf with glasses absent prescription frames.

Business-wise, having people spend incredible stretches of time in your outlets is a big money maker for Starbucks, though in the U.S. the franchise has found a way to lure customers in for even longer.

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November 27, 2021

So there really is no free lunch

Marketsblog112798 by Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Buried in this Canadian Press item about soaring fund redemptions, there’s a brief mention of the $1.4-billion in “involuntary” sales recently triggered by principal protected notes providers switching into survival mode. 

What this really means is that thousands of investors are only now realizing that there’s no chance of them realizing a profit on the PPNs they bought, even if markets take off like a rocket in the coming years. 

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November 26, 2021

Rock the vote

Voteblog112508_edited1by Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance

In the aftermath of the recent federal election, there's been a lot of musing and muttering about the low voter turnout - especially among young Canadians.

A couple of points worth considering for context:

1. In the U.S., for all the fuss about how Obama inspired a nation, only 52 per cent of Americans voted. Roughly the same number that voted for Richard Nixon.

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Bridges to nowhere?

Harperblog112508by Deirdre McMurdy, Sympatico / MSN Finance

The "economic update" tomorrow is going to be a test of many things: not the least of which is the conviction of a political party that believes less is more when it comes to government. Now that central governments have essentially socialized key international social markets, it will be a severe test of the Tories - to say the least.

Despite the campaign promise that a deficit would never be tolerated, that's essentially what we're going to be looking at tomorrow. Still, there are deficits and deficits. Canada is most likely looking like something along the lines of one per cent of GDP - nothing like the eight per cent shortfalls we ran consecutively in the past. And nothing like the deficits the U.S. is facing.

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Bright lights, big city

Nyccitycabs by Dawn Cuthbertson, Sympatico / MSN Finance

At 27 and still fresh in my career, my financial position can be summed up as “month-to-month.”

I don’t have a money-making portfolio (does anybody these days?) and certainly can’t tell you what stocks to buy now or how to obtain better tax breaks. I can, however, bring you on my journey as I try to turn my modest savings account into a down payment on a home.  I don’t want to rent forever!

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...