To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

0 Comments I Don’t Want To Jinx It

Article written by on the 31 Jul 2013 in Canada,Economy,Ontario

Do my eyes deceive me? Is there a plethora of solid economic news? Let’s see, there aren’t any new weather disasters or heat waves to be concerned about which would impact housing. Well, that’s a start. Add that to some positive economic news and I’m almost afraid to continue on with the blog. What the hell, I’ll tempt fate. There’s some positive news coming out of Canada and also for our neighbors south of the 49th parallel.

Dear America, “spend for the love of your country and your most appreciative neighbors to the north.”

The results of the most recent Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index has reached the highest level since 2007. Given what happened in 2008, the near collapse of the global economy, these results are significant. The strength and weakness of the U.S. economy is dependent on consumer spending. After 2008, American consumers did something awful – they stopped spending and started to save. Their levels of individual savings reached record highs, and it was a convenient statistic for doomsayers in this country to point too. The soapbox rhetoric sounded something like this: “look how responsible the Americans have become. We should learn from them.” Saving money is wise but we have also learned that if the U.S. consumer doesn’t spend, we feel it. Like right in the derriere. Our economies are intertwined so any good news south of the boarder, as it relates to consumer spending, is good news for us. We have lots to sell them and with the falling loonie our products and services are more affordable. So come on American consumers, be patriotic. Dip into your savings accounts and don’t be embarrassed about having a larger credit card balance. Spend for the love of your country and your most appreciative neighbors to the north.

The good news here at home is the average Canadian net worth is on the rise. For the first time ever we’ve topped the $400,000 barrier. Okay, most of that is real estate equity but I don’t think we should have to apologize for that. Having a balanced portfolio mitigates risk, but wealth is wealth. Kudos to the people living in Ontario. The province which proudly claims that it’s “Yours to Discover” has discovered that paying down debt is not a bad thing. Ontario was the only province to lower non-mortgage debt, resulting in Ontario having the largest percentage increase in average net worth in the country. Saskatchewan is climbing the net worth charts given their newfound riches, due in large part to natural resources and real estate value. B.C. still holds the distinction of having the highest net worth at $662k. When it comes to B.C. we all know that if you own a home, you’re a millionaire. Unfortunately, to realize any gain, British Columbians would have to sell their home and move to Nunavut. Sure, the average temperature in Nunavut in January is -48, but you would have all that cash to throw into the fireplace to keep yourself warm.

All in all some good news across the country. I don’t want to push the “good news” stories too far. The law of averages dictates restraint. I may have gone too far already. So I’ll apologize in advance if a meteor hit’s the earth (the apology only applies if the meteor actually lands in Canada) and ruins everyone’s week.

Until next time,


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1 Comments Game 7: You Gotta Be Kidding

Article written by on the 15 May 2013 in Canada,Current Events,Hockey,Ontario,Personal,Sports

One of the byproducts of getting older is perspective.  Gone are the days of being emotionally invested in a professional sports franchise.  What happens on the ice, the court, the diamond or football field will not alter my life one iota. Irrespective of what happens during a game the same responsibilities await me the next morning.  I don’t get worked up over million dollar athletes who get to extend their childhoods by playing a game for a living.  But I must confess that the historical meltdown by the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night brought back memories for me.  It’s been a long time since I yelled at the TV, wondering if my flat screen TV was going to be functional by the end of the game.

“Maybe I should start watching Dr. Phil. I suspect some Leaf fans might be making an appearance on the show.”

Alas, sanity prevailed.  As soon as the game came to an end I went back to being my dispassionate self as it relates to the local hockey “heroes”.  I’ve long since stopped being an apologist for the Leafs.  Don’t get me wrong, I go to games but I go more so for the experience.  So now when people, usually those who reside in other parts of the country say to me, “Leaf suck”, my answer is, “agreed”. That usually stops the conversation. Now, there was no stopping the conversation about the Leafs colossal collapse Monday night.  Leaf nation is stunned,  numb and frankly I worry about some being suicidal.   Everyone in Toronto is talking about the Leafs blowing a three goal lead with only ten minutes to play in the seventh and deciding game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.  The analysis by the sports media is, and will continue to be, unrelenting.  This is way too much fun for them.  One radio station found a creative way torture Leafs fan by interviewing a statistician who calculated the probability of the Leafs winning that game from a historical context.  Kid you not, the stat’s geek looked at every game seven played in the NHL since 1918 to determine the probability of the Leafs winning the game.  For example, when the Leafs made it 3-1, based on history the probability of the Leafs winning was 95%, when the score was 4-1 it was 98%.  I laughed out loud in the car when I heard this.  This exercise was nothing more than plunging the knife a little deeper.  Poor Leaf fans, maybe the team should change the saying The Passion That Unites Us All to The Therapy That Unites Us All.

The only impressive thing about the game was the press conference with Leaf coach Randy Carlyle following the game. To have to face the media and answer questions why he and his team failed so spectacularly cannot be easy.  Like in business a leader’s character is measured by how they deal with adversity.  A hockey coach is the leader of the team.  Most teams take on the coach’s personality, and if that holds true for the Leafs it will serve the players well.  Carlyle made no excuses.  Someone in the media asked if the officiating worked against his team and he refused to be drawn into that debate, he simply said his team ran out of gas.  He was calm, leveled headed and waited until there were no more questions to be answered.  I couldn’t help but admire the dignity and accountability he exhibited under the most trying of circumstances.

So now that the Leafs have gone down in the hockey chocking history, I’ll have to change my TV viewing habits.  Maybe I should start watching Dr. Phil.  I suspect some Leaf fans might be making an appearance on the show.

Until next time


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0 Comments Canadian Job Market: When Seeing is Not Believing

Article written by on the 15 May 2012 in CAAMP,Canada,Current Events,Economy,Ontario

Not long ago CAAMP’s Chief Economists, Will Dunning, said to me that economists base their forecasts on their personality.


All of us at some point have said, “I can’t believe what I just saw”. One example is if the Toronto Maple Leafs ever win the Stanley Cup. The conscious mind would not to be able to accept something so outrageous and beyond the realm of possibility. It is so much easier to believe in something that you never see – like all things religious. Religion is purely based on faith and actual scientific evidence is, well, scarce to say the least. Yet, people believe. So how is it that something as simple as economic data makes some economists disbelievers? That’s exactly what’s happening today; they see the data but they don’t believe it.

I find it fascinating that economists are saying Canada’s job creation numbers should not be taken at face value. Over the last two months, Canada has added more jobs than in any other two-month period in the last 31 years, with approximately 140,500 jobs added in March and April. Also, more full time permanent positions were added, meaning more Canadian workers will benefit from employer healthcare benefits. That’s fantastic news! It’s reason to celebrate! But no, economists are suggesting the employment numbers are not sustainable and our job numbers are uneven. As for sustainability, no kidding! But I guess if they say that often enough they’ll eventually be right. As for the numbers being uneven – Alberta, for example, has the hottest job market today, while Ontario lags behind the rest of the country – that’s another debate all together. Ontario’s most recent numbers are clear evidence that the province needs real leadership. What was once the economic engine of Canada has now been reduced to the nation’s punch line. Ontario aside, there’s great news for the rest of the country. Quebec? Everyone was under the impression that the province was headed for another recession. Low and behold, the job numbers in Quebec are rising. Companies are looking for experienced workers – evident in the fact that more people aged 55 and older are being hired. Youth unemployment is still an issue, and Canada’s jobless rate ticked up a bit to 7.3%. That being said, Obama would kill for those numbers heading into the presidential elections.

Canada’s job figures appear to have caught many economists by surprise. The question is why? How can those in “the know” now claim that these numbers came out of nowhere. Of course, they can make that claim, but if they continue to get caught off-guard, their future predictions will fall on deaf ears.
Not long ago CAAMP’s Chief Economists, Will Dunning, said to me that economists base their forecasts on their personality. They’re either optimists or pessimists, and their forecasts will reflect their normal disposition. Based on their recent track record, maybe there should be a third category –Illusionist.


Until next time.


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0 Comments The Big Yawn

Article written by on the 29 Sep 2011 in Canada,Current Events,Ontario,Politics

ontario provincial election

That seems to be the reaction for  voters in Ontario.   There’s a provincial election on October 6, and I can’t recall an election where there’s been so little chatter, buzz, debate or general interest.  Sure, the media is doing its part but the voters don’t seem to care.  My conclusions are not based on any data or polling results.  My hypotheses is based on simple interaction with co-workers, neighbors, friends and family.  No one really seems to care or is that interested. (more…)

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1 Comments Was That a Chain Gang I Just Saw?

Article written by on the 09 Jun 2011 in Current Events,Ontario,Politics

Thoughts on Chain GangsFor those of you who reside outside of Ontario, you may not know this but we here in Ontario get to exercise our democratic right one more time.  Then again some of you who live in Ontario may have forgotten that we have a provincial election coming up this October.  Who could blame you for wanting to suppress the idea of yet another election.  In the last 12 months, the good residents of Toronto endured a municipal election, and the voters in Ontario cast their ballots for a needless federal election. Could voter fatigue be setting in? I suspect the incumbents, the provincial liberals, hope so.

During our municipal election, candidate Rob Ford ran on a very simple campaign. The message was clear and to the point, “the gravy train stops here”. I’m not kidding, that was his campaign slogan.  His message was that days of wasteful spending was over.  It was time to be fiscally responsible, and do what was right for the citizens of Toronto.  I know what you’re thinking, sheer lunacy.  Being fiscally responsible was the complete opposite of what everyone in Toronto had became accustomed to under the previous regime. The spend first and think later cabal that used to run city hall were flabbergasted that Rob Ford’s message resonated with the electorate. So much so that the incumbent mayor, David Miller,decided he wouldn’t run for re-election because he wanted to spend more time with his family.  When a politician says he’s not running because he wants to spend more time with his family, it really means that we just did a poll and the results say if I run again I’m going to get my ass kicked. I digress.  Rob Ford won overwhelming majority, and the citizens of Toronto have spoken.

The federal election is still fresh in everyone’s mind.  The conservative party finally got their majority.  Why? Ontario put them over the top. The only way the torries could gain a majority was to do well in the 416 and 905 are code, and that’s exactly what happened. What was the message that resonated with the voters in Ontario? Fiscal responsibility, cutting wasteful spending and lowering the deficit. I’m not a Rhodes Scholar by any stretch of the imagination but I think I see a pattern here.

This brings me to the upcoming provincial election. I’m going to let you take a wild guess what Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario PC Party, platform is for the upcoming election. You’re so smart, you’re not just another pretty face.  Tim, you had me at lowering taxes.

The fact that you want to bring back chain gangs makes me school girl giddy. That’s not a joke. The issue has been getting a lot of air time in Ontario, and it appears the idea is gaining a lot of support. As a voter I’m a buyer of a politicians vision. Every four years I buy what a politician is selling by casting my vote. Political parties share similarities with private enterprise. If you don’t give consumers/voters what they want, if you think you’re smarter than the consumer/voter, if you suffer from hubris, you do so at your own peril.  But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask David Miller and Michael Ignatieff

Until next time.


Image Source: McLeans Magazine, July 27, 2001 

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