Monday, April 29, 2013

A missed opportunity at freedom - Super 7 crash and burn

I read the story not long ago about Sharon Tirabassi and lottery Super 7 win.
Back in April 2004 she won $10,500,000! Then managed to squander it all in under nine years! The mind boggles how you can burn through that much money and have little to show for it, not even a house!

This storey just reeks of a giant missed opportunity. One can ponder why she failed to use this money wisely, but ultimately that is her responsibility and her problem. She had received this great windfall, this great gift and chose not to take full advantage of this opportunity.

This missed opportunity is what I want to discuss. I read this story and thought of what could have been.

My thinking is in stark contrast to the bank account withdrawal mentality that this woman held.  My first thought upon getting this windfall would be to set aside $500,000 for a dream house and other expenses related to spoiling my family.
I would then have bought a few sound blue chip dividend paying stocks, but for the sake of simplicity I chose to buy BCE(Note: I currently hold BCE in my personal portfolio).  Now back in April 2004 BCE was going for $27.59 a share in April 30th.  With $10,000,000 I would have bought 362,450 shares.

Now comes the fun part!  Here is a little table of the dividends I would have received every year since.

2004 = $434,940
2005 = $478,434
2006 = $478,434
2007 = $529,177
2008 = $529,177
2009 = $558,173
2010 = $608,916
2011 = $728,524.50
2012 = $804,639
2013 = $844,508.50

So for ten years I would made a nice $5,994,873.  That alone is about a 50% return on the investment and a VERY healthy amount to live on.  I can't even imagine being able to spend all that!

Now I get to the real kicker of this scenario.  The current share price for BCE is $46.48, this April 29th.  That would mean the value of these shares would be $16,846,676.00

Now you can understand why I feel sick and irritated by this HUGE error in judgement.  This life changing event could have been really life changing.  What a waste.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Real estate listings on the Internet

Here in Canada we are subjected to an incredibly slow moving monopoly of real estate listings called the MLS.

Information is basic and not uniform. Often frustrating on its incompleteness.

Today we learn that a court challenge to the Toronto real estate board was refused due to a technicality. So the real estate boards stranglehold on real estate data is further lengthened.

Interestingly, I've also learned today that royal lepage and google are in a joint venture for a new website. I dared to visit the site wondering if some nugget of data might be on offer, but I was overwhelmingly disappointed. It's just a prettier version of MLS with a google map for finding schools and gas stations! Nothing more! All this and you only see royal lepage listings!

What an epic fail.