More growth for Canopy

Canopy Growth Corp. has been getting a lot of attention lately between Constellation Brands buying a 10% stake and the news that the company is likely to gain a listing on Nasdaq in the second quarter.

Their next move is quite aggressive:

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Canopy was one of a trio of companies pursuing Alcaliber SA, a Spanish company that produces raw narcotic materials used to produce Morphine and Thebaine.


The acquisition of Alcaliber would almost certainly accelerate Canopy's move onto a senior exchange. While the company trades in Canada under the ticker LEAF, and it is listed on OTC Markets under TMWJF, trading on Nasdaq or the NYSE would give the company exposure to more investors.

Seriously? It has been 48 hours and that stunning mistake is still there! Canopy doesn't trade under the ticker LEAF -- that would be MedReleaf Corp. The ticker for Canopy is WEED.

The old canard

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canada must do better in closing the gender gap in pay and workforce participation for the health of the economy.

Speaking to the Calgary Chamber on the recently released federal budget, Morneau says the numbers are startling as women still earn on an hourly basis 88 cents for every dollar earned by men.

It's strange how the profit-driven businesses have no issue paying men 14% more for the same work. Maybe, this is plain bullshit.

Maybe, this might be a factor for higher male earnings:

“Ninety-seven percent of workplace deaths are men,” says Bilsker. “We just take this for granted—‘Oh, men are naturally risk-takers.’ ” But why should the notion that men will take on dangerous jobs and suffer the consequences be socially acceptable? If chambermaids suffered the same on-the-job death rate as truck drivers or loggers, there’d be a terrific outcry and immediate action, he observes: “We simply wouldn’t let it happen.”

For every $1 made by women, men make $1.14. Outrage!

For every 1 woman killed at the workplace, 32 men are killed. Silence.

Fake hypothetical!

What's funny is that the NYTimes wanted to create a hypothetical couple to showcase the misery of the Trump tax cuts. They failed quite spectacularly. It just goes to show how the media manufactures news instead of reporting it.

Fortune favors the bold

CBC News:

As thousands of entrepreneurs scramble to make a buck off legalized marijuana, six CEOs leading Canada's largest cannabis companies have already put their plans for global domination into action.

Among them are two American venture capitalists who decided cannabis is the next big thing. There is also the longtime CEO of a vitamin company, an investment banker who was in charge of business development at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, and a hockey dad who started out as an electrician.

What they share is a belief that the regulated system in Canada gives them a competitive head start as marijuana laws around the world evolve and new markets open up.

It's amusing how, just five years ago, the relatives and friends of these CEOs were trying to talk some "sense" into them.

Hey, why do you want to ruin your life and reputation by going into this shady and obscene business? Go the safer and respectable route and don't waste your talents!

Five years ago, only four countries were considering federal legalization of marijuana -- at least for patients. Today, that number stands at a staggering thirty nations.

A to Z

Goliath has a voracious appetite:

Banks have been warily watching Inc. for signs it would threaten their world. The tech giant's latest move looks more like an opportunity.

Amazon should enter the Canadian banking market and offer zero-fee chequing accounts. The Big 5 Banks in Canada could use a little competition.


Amazon is in talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. about the product, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The target is younger consumers and people without checking accounts, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The strategy could help Amazon lower fees it pays to financial firms and give it a bigger window into customers' income and spending habits.

That's quite the achievement for a firm that started off as an online bookstore.

The misery of Uber

Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are delivering pitiful levels of take-home pay to the hundreds of thousands of US independent contractors providing their own vehicles and driving skills to deliver the core service, according to an MIT CEEPR study examining the economics of the two app platforms.

Fuel, insurance, maintenance eat a lot of the revenue, and then Uber takes its monster cut. The minimum wage in Ontario will be $15 per hour next year. Few Uber drivers could match, let alone exceed, that.

The researchers found profit from ride-hail driving to be “very low”. On an hourly basis, the median profit was $3.37 per hour, with 74% of drivers earning less than the minimum wage in the state where they operate.

Here's the puzzling part: why do they do it? If 3 out of 4 Uber drivers are earning less than minimum wage, then shouldn't they simply stop and get a low-end job that will put more money in their pockets?

Uber is sensible for those who drive to work and back and pick up customers along the way. Those few dollars don't hurt. However, being a full-time Uber driver is almost always a losing proposition in the long run.

Canopy Growth on Nasdaq

Financial Post:

Cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp. is considering listing on the Nasdaq, CEO Bruce Linton told a meeting of the Economic Club of Canada on Thursday.

It would be quite something if Linton got the listing on April 20.

“I think Nasdaq is doing a great job because they’re not allowing people to list who break (U.S.) federal laws, and so I think it’s a place we should list in due course, because we like to follow all the rules,” he added.

That's a burn for Aphria -- one of the top marijuana producers in Canada which had made investments in the US. That was a big and dumb mistake by Aphria. Now, they are in the process of having to sell off those investments.

“There are 29 countries, either who have adopted or are adopting the (medical marijuana) public policy framework that Canada has led. If you add the people in those countries, it’s way more than 10 times the number of people in our country.”

This will the big growth story for many years.

WEED on the Nasdaq soon

Canada’s largest weed producer has expressed interest in listing on the Nasdaq at some point in the future. The announcement comes on the heels of another Canadian licensed weed producer Cronos Group, which became the first-ever weed company to list on a major U.S. stock exchange earlier this week.

According to a note by Beacon Securities analyst Vahan Ajamian, Canopy Growth Corporation CEO Bruce Linton made clear his intention to list on the Nasdaq at an Economic Club of Canada lunch Thursday afternoon in Toronto, adding that Canopy had in already been preparing to list on the exchange since October 2017.

Excellent. This means that Canopy and Constellation will be ready when marijuana is legalized on the federal level in the US. This will also give Americans easier investment options when it comes to the shares of Canopy. I think that many retirement accounts there can only trade in US-listed securities. So, this will bring billions of dollars of extra liquidity.

Lacking perspective

Most Westerners don't comprehend the meaning of poverty. Someone who buys an Android device instead of an iPhone is often classified as "poor" by young Millennials.

Timmies gets a virus

The employees of Tim Hortons are having a miserable time:

An association representing Tim Hortons franchisees is threatening legal action if parent company Restaurant Brands International refuses to meet with store owners to fix a computer virus that recently knocked out cash registers at an unconfirmed number of locations, inflaming an already-tense relationship between head office and frontline workers.

I went to a local shop last month. There was just one guy placing his order in front of me. I thought, "Great, this should be fast."

It took nearly 10 minutes for his order to go through. He had a coupon which the cashier couldn't input correctly. She got her supervisor who was also stumped. Finally, they brought out a folder which detailed the complex procedure of entering the discount code.


Plus, the atmosphere in the place was that of a morgue. The employees looked very depressed.

Some store owners have complained of draconian cost cutting by the company’s new owners, resulting in lower-quality products, a damaged brand and weaker profits.

After months of recriminations and multiple lawsuits, the situation reached a boiling point last month when some franchisees scaled back benefits and cut paid breaks for store staff in response to Ontario’s minimum wage increases.

The franchisees accused Restaurant Brands of refusing to raise menu prices to offset the added labour costs. In response, RBI said the reduced perks were the work of a “rogue group”.

What a clusterfuck.

Average real wage falls

Ontario’s minimum wage increase is showing up on restaurant menus.

Prices for food purchased at the province’s eateries rose 1.9 per cent in January from a month earlier, Statistics Canada reported Friday from Ottawa. That coincides with legislative changes that saw the minimum wage increase more than 20 per cent at the start of this year to $14 an hour.

Of course, the negative effects of the minimum wage spike aren't limited to restaurants.

Ontario outpaced inflation in other provinces and territories for other categories as well.

Child-care and housekeeping services in Ontario, for example, increased 9.9 per cent in January compared with the same month the previous year, according to Statistics Canada, while Canada-wide that service increased 5.8 per cent.

Those are stunning increases in just one year. Soon, the prices will catch up and then the drum beats for $20 or $25 minimum wage will start. The only question is: how soon?

The joys of socialism

Ontario, the powerhouse province of Canada, has a GDP of $800 billion. It has accepted tens of thousands of Syrians in the past few years. It has given these so-called refugees millions of dollars in accommodations, food, education, and cash. Keep that in mind as you read the following story about a Canadian man from the city of Hamilton in Ontario:

After breaking his pelvis, back and arm in a fall in a Central American jungle, a Hamilton man and his wife say they are now stuck in Costa Rica — because there is no hospital bed for him to come back to in Ontario.

Kristen Ronald says she and her husband David are shocked at the state of the province's overcrowded health-care system, and just want to go home.

That magical, socialist, "fair" health care is nowhere to be found when a physically broken Canadian desperately needs it.

While they are lauding the care they've received in Costa Rica, they are now desperate to get home, Kristen said.

"He's ready to travel, they have an air ambulance, and they're ready to bring him home," she said. "Sometimes I wonder if he'd even get the level of care he's gotten here in Ontario."

How do dumbass politicians respond?

Provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath denounced the situation at a Wednesday morning press conference, blaming the couple's plight on "decades of health care cuts" by the Liberals and Conservatives.

The Ontario government debt stands at $312 billion dollars. Think about that. The government doesn't have any money. It, if you believe that NDP gal, has cut down health care. Yet, this same government has set aside tens of millions of dollars for foreigners who loath the West!

David has paid taxes all his life and he believed that the Canadian health care system would be there when he truly needed it. That's the problem with socialism. It sounds so nice but eventually the money runs out and then not a single bed is available in a hospital of a province with over 14 million people.

"Free" health care is quite expensive.

Insufficient Vaginas Mystery

Though their numbers are growing, only 27 percent of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United States are female. The gender gap only grows worse from there: Just 18 percent of American computer-science college degrees go to women.

Peculiar phrasing. These degrees just happen to "go to" women. It's like women didn't choose or earn those degrees.

Meanwhile, in Algeria, 41 percent of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math—or “stem,” as its known—are female. There, employment discrimination against women is rife and women are often pressured to make amends with their abusive husbands.

A few other nations are mentioned as well.

So what explains the tendency for nations that have traditionally less gender equality to have more women in science and technology than their gender-progressive counterparts do?

When women have more freedom, they choose more comfortable fields. In the West, there's no need for most women to go into computer science and bash their heads against a keyboard. Meanwhile in poorer countries, most women are under tremendous pressure to get degrees that pay higher salaries. This isn't rocket science. Of course, this goes against the whole Men are Evil and Oppressive Narrative in the West. Some people have even lost their jobs for even suggesting this logic for the "gender gap" in various tech companies.

Gender gaps are normal in a free society. The ideology that enforces equality is evil.

BC Tweed is on

Canopy Growth Corporation announced this stunning joint venture last October and just four months later:

Under tight security, 100,000 marijuana plants arrived at Vancouver International Airport Saturday to be cultivated in a network of greenhouses in Langley, B.C. that’s being touted as the largest licensed cannabis production facility in the world.

That Metro Vancouver facility is run by BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., which involves a B.C. greenhouse operator and cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp., whose marijuana production license was just approved on Feb. 16.

So, Canopy got their cultivation license for this British Columbia facility on Friday. The very next day, they fly in 100,000 plants from another province! That's insanely quick. Assuming good yields, they'll get 10,000 kilograms of weed by early summer. That's $50 million at $5 per gram.

Q3 of this calendar year will provide them with some serious cash.

The Weed King

Newfoundland, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Quebec and Manitoba. These are the provinces of Canada which have already signed deals with various marijuana producers for recreational legalization later this year. These five provinces have only one company in common: Canopy Growth Corporation. The combined deals call for 25,000 kilograms from Canopy in the first 12 months. That's $125 million of revenue assuming the wholesale price is $5 per gram. Also, that's more weed than what Canopy has produced in its entire four years of existence. The logistics and labor demands must be crazy intense.

Anyway, five more provinces to go. The Ontario MOU should be mammoth.

Public Mobile stupidity

Public Mobile (PM) is a low-priced phone carrier which is owned by Telus. PM had an amazing deal in late 2016: $120 for 12GB of data for 90 days. The major benefit was having all that data spread around 90 days. The downside? It's prepaid. Not a big deal for me. So, I switched.

Yesterday, I got a text from PM. It informed me that new pricing will be coming into effect in mid-March. Instead of $120, it'll be $150 for 12GB of data for 90 days.

  1. That's a giant 25% increase. This will make customers angry.
  2. The plan is prepaid for a 90-day period. Yet, PM gave its customers a 30-day notice!

The reactions at Red Flag Deals were scathing. Usually there are about 15-20 comments for an average post. This PM debacle got over 1,800 1,900 2,000 comments! People started to send in their thoughts to Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS).

The complaint numbers were staggering:

Based on the incident numbers from yesterday and today, it seems like there has been an increase in incidents by over 2500. Most, if not all, have got to be about this whole Public Mobile situation. Just to put it into perspective for you, the CCTS got around 9000 complaints last year. This entire Public Mobile fiasco has basically given CCTS 28% of their total complaints from last year in a span of 24 hours lol

So, finally, just a little over 24 hours later, I get another text from PM. Surprise! We won't be moving ahead with that price increase. (Laughs.) Seriously, Telus, how can you be this stupid? If you had set a price increase of $3-4 a month and given a reasonable notice (prices go up on June 1), then most people would have shrugged it off.

The definition of "failure"

No love for the Oracle:

‘Warren Buffett should not be celebrated as an avatar of American capitalism; he should be decried as a prime example of its failure, a false prophet leading the nation toward more monopoly and inequality.’


“The path to solving America’s inequality crisis goes through Omaha and the cuddly billionaire whose love of monopoly is contributing to national desperation.”

Buffett started working before he was even a teenager. He saved, read details, learned, and invested. It took him roughly 18 years to make his first million dollars. Today, after a total 75 years of being in the market, he has over $85 billion.

It's irrelevant if you disagree with his personal or political opinions but to use the term "failure of American capitalism" for Buffett is utterly asinine. He didn't create the system; he's simply good at profiting from it. The average person could benefit a lot by copying his style. It's not like his investments are a secret.

Canopy Growth

And now for something different:

Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth on the marijuana producer's latest earnings

Check you the full video.

The most stunning statistics from their recent report were:

  • Harvest: 7,961 kilograms.
  • Sold: 2,330 kilograms.

So, in just one quarter, Canopy saved 5,631 kilograms of cannabis for future sales. By the way, that harvest was up 91% from their previous quarter.

Let's compare that to the second-largest firm -- Aurora Cannabis:

  • Harvest: 1,204 kilograms.
  • Sold: 1,162 kilograms.

Aurora saved 42 kilograms for future sales. So, Canopy put in their vault 134 kilograms for every 1 that Aurora kept. When Canada legalizes recreational sales in the summer, Canopy will have an absolutely monstrous quarter. They will sell over $100 million worth of cannabis from their inventory in a few weeks. The revenue gap between Canopy and everyone else will be staggering.

Bonus: four metrics for future growth and success.

  1. No scandals! Genuine accounting and clean cannabis.
  2. Total $1 billion revenue in four quarters combined.
  3. Get listed on an American stock exchange.
  4. Partner with a pharma company.

Life in a socialist paradise

Parents can't even feed their children in Venezuela today:

Maria del Carmen is 6 years old and weighs 6 kilograms — just over 13 pounds. In her home, eating is no longer routine. Her family is hungry, and it shows.

The last time the girl was put on a scale was in December. Her relatives say she weighed 10 kilos in November but then dropped to six and suffers from severe malnutrition.

The entire family is suffering:

The house where the girl lives — in a suburb of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second largest city — has three rooms. Twenty-one people live there — 11 children and teenagers and 10 adults.

The tin roof has holes so big that the place floods when it rains. There's a 14-inch TV set that doesn't work all that well, and no fans or refrigerator — real problems because temperatures can hit more than 100 degrees.

It's not just Maria del Carmen who is hungry. The rest of the family eats only every other day, and then only one meal that day.

This isn't something new. This wasn't unpredictable. The worst example in history:

Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.

Roughly 40 million people in China starved to death because of pure socialist policies. These socialist or communist societies wanted to match and then surpass capitalist systems. They couldn't even fulfill the basic task of producing sufficient food.

It doesn't matter when it's tried. It doesn't matter where it's implemented. Socialism taken to its logical end results in the starvation and destruction of people. The innocent children of Venezuela are paying the price for this corrupt ideology.

Smaller brains

It's strange that with such a profound reading gap and a shrinking mathematics gap, women still suck at making money. Look at all the rich investors and entrepreneurs; can you think of even one woman?

Education is wasted on most women. The most prestigious mathematics award is the Fields Medal. 56 people have won the award in the last 82 years. 55 of them were men. The averages might be close but almost no women are part of the cerebral elite.

Every single time

Not so long ago, Nelly Osorio used to drive a newish car, drink a glass of whiskey every Friday night and get a manicure at least once a month. But today she is waiting outside a pawnbroker’s to sell off her jewelry.

Like many members of Venezuela’s dwindling middle class, Osorio, 60, has seen her life change drastically over the past two or three years.

The country’s minimum wage is 797,510 bolivars a month – about £2.40 at a black market exchange rate. Osorio still owns an apartment in the eastern part of the capital and as a chemical engineer, she earns 10 times the minimum wage. But every day, she feels poorer.

That's the way to combat income inequality: destroy the wealthy and the middle class.

When her youngest son’s university fees were due, neither Osorio nor her husband had enough in their bank accounts. So she headed to the pawn shop to sell off a gold ring.

“It’s humiliating,” she said, as she waited outside.

Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela is today facing the world’s worst inflation crisis. The IMF projects inflation will reach 13,000% this year and the economy will shrink 15%.

After a century of death and carnage, people still vote for socialism.

The impact has been felt across the social spectrum: one recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families carried out by the country’s leading universities found that 93% of the respondents had insufficient money to buy food.


Crooked economists and banksters

The Canadian economy shed a surprising 88,000 jobs in January, with the losses concentrated in part-time work, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

The drop in employment — the biggest one-month slide in nine years — pushed the national jobless rate up by 0.1 percentage points to 5.9 per cent.

The smart economists didn't see that coming.

The weak employment report for last month was worse than economists had been expecting. The market consensus was for a loss of roughly 9,000 jobs.

What could possibly cause such a huge drop in employment?

In Ontario, which increased its minimum wage in January, employment fell during the month, due to losses in part-time work. The unemployment rate in the province was little changed at 5.5 per cent as fewer people participated in the job market.

"The concentration of the job loss in Ontario and the focus upon lost part-time jobs in that province will no doubt feed debate on whether large minimum wage hikes took a toll on employment, but proving causality may remain contentious," Derek Holt, Scotiabank's head of capital markets economics, said in a commentary.

Yeah, it's just an unremarkable coincidence that tens of thousands of people lost their jobs when the minimum wage hike went into effect.

Here's another story with the same narrative:

“Canadian employment suffered its first setback in 16 months in January — and it was a hefty one,” said BMO chief economist Douglas Porter. He said Ontario was notably soft, with a drop of 50,900 jobs — all in part-time, and a record for the province. The biggest declines were in retail and wholesale trade, “although there is no way one can draw a straight line from the (wage) hike to one month’s job move,” Porter said in a research note.

Of course not. That would make the Liberals look bad.

Hundred years of quality

I bought my first pair of L.L. Bean winter boots in the previous century. One day one of those boots ripped. I was holding 20% of it in my hand while the remaining part was on the floor. It was my fault; I hadn't fully untied the laces. Too much stupid force!

So, I ordered a new pair from L.L. Bean. They're still going after ten years!

Of course, some people abused the generous policy of L.L. Bean:

L.L. Bean's generous return policy is going to be a little less forgiving: The company, which has touted its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for more than a century, is imposing a one-year limit on most returns to reduce growing abuse and fraud.


On a recent day in the returns department, Dawn Segars recounted the story of a family that cleared out their grandfather's attic and returned a pile of 20- to 30-year-old clothes. They ended up walking away with a $350 gift card.

Costco is going to be next ...

Old and broke


Do we have a retirement crisis looming when, according to a new CIBC poll, 32 per cent of Canadians between 45 and 64 have nothing saved for retirement?

Don't be silly! These Canadians might not have any cash but they do have a big, delicious house which they'll eat in retirement.

I’ve come to realize people rarely talk about how much money they will need in retirement. Instead, the focal point of most conversations is on what they hope to do in retirement.

This may help explain why 53 per cent of Canadians polled by CIBC say they don’t actually know if they are saving enough. For many people, the amount of money required to fund maybe 30 years of retirement is a secondary consideration.


Like other studies before it, this CIBC report also highlights how fewer women than men have a formal retirement plan - 22 per cent compared to 32 per cent, respectively - while 43 per cent of women nearing retirement (age 55 and older) said they don’t have a formal plan at all.

Dumpster diving is their, de facto, plan.

Goals for success

Jack Ma provides excellent advice on expectations and thinking ahead. Unfortunately, that's not what YOLO people want to hear. They want to get rich today by winning the lottery.

I had a surreal conversation with a colleague about two years ago. This guy had some cash in his investment account and he was thinking of buying a few shares. He was hesitant. Understandable because of risk. He said something quite shocking.

"I only want to invest in stocks that go up 50% in a year."

Some of the greatest investors in history manage just a little over 20% compound annual growth rate. Mortals can get 10%. But, nope. He wanted 50%!

I talked to him last year. He had invested in ... nothing! His timidity and foolishness had earned him 0%.

The delicate gender

The wrath of the SJWs will be upon Indra Nooyi soon:

Are you a woman who’s always wished you could indulge in a nice snack, but you’re just too darn ashamed of eating something so loud that you may repulse potential male suitors? If so, you’re in luck, because PepsiCo is working on a new project that absolutely no one asked for: women-only snacks.

In an interview with Freakonomics, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said that while women “would love” to lick their fingers and pour Doritos chip crumbs into their mouths, they “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public” and “don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”

Also, Pepsi will be branching out into the fainting couch business.

Poor snowflakes

Higher education has been watered down to allow more women and non-Whites to enter universities. These students are paying astronomical tuition rates for an increasingly useless piece of paper. Too many people graduate to only work at a minimum wage job. It's worse if they went into debt for their worthless credential.

The government cares

Start working in your early 20s and pay lots of taxes. Gain weight, become obese; doctor gives thumbs up. Drop dead from a heart attack in your early 50s. I guess that's one way to control costs in a socialist health care system.

A small taste of MAGA

The Trump economy is going to boom:

The Atlanta Fed upgraded the US first-quarter GDP growth to above 5%.

To put this in perspective — Barack Obama never pulled off a single year ABOVE 3% GDP growth.

People who obsessively focus on what Trump says forget to look at what Trump is doing. Decreasing any of the following would help the economy: regulations, corporate tax rate, and income tax rates. Trump has cut all of them!

Trump won 30 states in 2016. He'll pick up a few more in 2020. If he builds THE WALL, then he's guaranteed a landslide.

Canadian Cannabis LPs

A fellow at Reddit makes a useful list.

Like it or not. Here is a list of the total production capacity with a completed harvest by July 1st 2018.


  1. Aphria (APH.TO)
    Diluted Market Cap: 3,763,000,000
    Harvested for Rec: 34,500 KG

  2. Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO)
    Diluted Market Cap: 7,593,000,000
    Harvested for Rec: 31,000 KG

What!?! Canopy has the largest foot print of all cannabis firms in Canada. How can it not be #1 in five months?

I take that back. Not so useful.

And the very next day, Aphria acquires Nuuvera:

Another day, another near-billion-dollar deal in Canada’s marijuana industry.

Aphria Inc. agreed to buy Nuuvera Inc., a global cannabis company based in Brampton, Ontario, for about C$826 million ($670 million) in cash and stock. The offer of about C$8.50 a share is 21 percent higher than Nuuvera’s closing price on Friday.

Damn. The battle between The Big Three -- Canopy, Aurora, and Aphria -- has become epic.

Financially clueless

Many Americans are sorely lacking in knowledge when it comes to basic financial terms, according to new research.

A recent study of 1,000 Americans over the age of 30 found less than half of participants could confidently explain what a 401(k) is.

The research examining people’s grasp of financial terminology found many struggled to define common terms such as understanding what interest is (48 percent), the concept of bankruptcy (48 percent) or how inflation works (34 percent).

It's not just an American thing. Many Canadians don't know about finance as well.

Here, in Canada, if you've never studied finance and you're looking to save money for the future, then these are the basic terms to learn and understand:

  1. Chequing account
  2. Savings account
  3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
  4. Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  5. Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  6. Mutual Fund
  7. Exchange-traded Fund (ETF)
  8. Management Expense Ratio (MER)

That's it. I've met more than one married adult with children who is spooked by the stock markets. So, these people keep significant amounts of cash locked in GICs but since they don't really understand how TFSAs work, their meager interest is taxed.

For example, a woman goes to a bank and locks $20,000 for a 5-year GIC. The interest rate is 3%. Five years later, she gets $3,000. This income is taxed at her marginal rate which is, let's say, 25%. So, the government gets $750.

Had she simply spent thirty minutes to open a TFSA and then locked her GIC within it, she would have kept that $750. Note, there is zero additional risk in this scenario.

Canadians who don't bother learning those eight things lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in their lifetime. Ignorance is very expensive.

The Heavyweight Battle for Weed

The largest dollar-value deal in the marijuana industry:

Canada’s second-biggest marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc has agreed to buy smaller rival CanniMed Therapeutics Inc for C$1.1 billion ($852 million) creating the world’s largest weed producer by market value.

It's strange to see such a, er, high valuation for Aurora Cannabis.

Aurora + CanniMed:
Total number of patients = 40,000
Total revenue (previous reported quarter) = $13 million
Total shareholder's equity = $326 million
Total construction in Canada = 1.1 million sq. ft.
Total market cap = $7.7 billion

Canopy Growth Corp:
Total number of patients = 70,000
Total revenue = $17.6 million
Total shareholder's equity = $693 million
Total construction in Canada = 5.5 million sq. ft.
Total market cap = $6.7 billion

Canopy has greater future capacity but Aurora's market cap is higher today. That's very odd. Anyway, the future revenue and market share should sort this out. We'll know for sure who's the real leader in two years (Feb. 2020) when the 2019 financials come in.

Not all Millennials are idiots

The Trump stock market boom should get some credit:

Millennials are pushing back against the stereotype that their money management skills are lacking, as 16% now have savings of $100,000 or more, double the amount of young people who had socked away that much in 2015, according to a new Bank of America survey.

A more healthy indicator would be savings per work year. If an "old" Millennial started working in 2000 and only has $18,000 saved, then that's mediocre. If a "young" Millennial started working two years ago and already has $18,000 saved, then that's quite impressive.

Also, considering that roughly 10% of the rich inherit their wealth, that 16% number isn't that amazing.

Unacceptable levels of stupidity

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.

Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said.

Oxfam said its figures - which critics have queried - showed a failing system.

How is it failing?

"However you look at it, this is an unacceptable level of inequality," he said.

So, what would be the "acceptable" level of inequality?

Jeff Bezos has total wealth of over $100 billion. I could dedicate the rest of my life to making money. It would be a huge success if I got to a total of $100 million. However, my wealth wouldn't even amount to 0.1% of what Jeff Bezos has. Is this, somehow, unfair, unjust or unacceptable?

Cruel, grinding poverty is decreasing in the world. The poor aren't getting poorer. Just because we have more billionaires doesn't mean that the rest are somehow worse off.

The crypto madness

Cryptocurrency company BitConnect said it’s closing its lending and exchange platform after receiving cease and desist letters from Texas and North Carolina.

The move has helped spark a big selloff in the virtual currency linked to the company, BitConnect Coin, also known as BCC. It was recently down 97% to $6.09, according to data. BCC had traded as high as $322 on Tuesday.

Tuesday the price was $322. Two days later, it's $6. Next week, it could be $900.

How does one do fundamental or technical analysis with such hyper-volatility and legislative uncertainty?

Lower taxes, stronger engine

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO 0.82%) says revenue grew by five per cent to $1.71 billion from $1.64 billion and earnings per share rose 159 per cent to $6.77 in the fourth quarter compared with the same period a year ago.


It says earnings were bolstered by provision of $527 million to account for deferred income tax recoveries thanks to U.S. tax reforms enacted in December which more than made up for tax increases by Saskatchewan and B.C. governments.

Read that again. The Trump tax cuts are so grand that they help offset the provincial tax increases for a Canadian company!

The Weed King

Canopy Growth Corporation did a deal with Constellation Brands last year for which they got $245 million in cash. Last night, BMO jumped on the cannabis train by agreeing to buy $175 million worth of shares from Canopy.

So, that's $245M plus $175M which equals ... oh, Bruce Linton has a sense of humor. Let's see what these guys do with their mountains of cash.

They've already locked down supply deals with three small provinces. Still waiting to see how much the Big Three (Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia) want to buy. A two-year, billion dollar -- wholesale price -- MOU with Ontario would be quite nice.

White babies are okay

I have met many Asian students who didn't have siblings. They, of course, got all the attention in the family but they missed out on the education of child rearing. One can learn a lot about human relations by watching how a young, clever sibling almost always wins any "debate" with the parents.

The reality for too many Canadian couples is worse. They don't have any children! Usually pets fulfill the role of kids. What's astonishing is that they think of themselves as virtuous for being childless. More often such people are ardent Leftists. The irony of supporting socialist policies -- generous welfare, single-payer health care, and mandatory pension plans -- while simultaneously assuring its failure by not having kids doesn't seem to occur to these noble beings.

Human nature

What exactly do rich people do with their tax cuts in the US?

Option #1: Spend the money on goods or services.

For example, they can buy a new car or a helicopter. Perhaps, a fresh new private jet! Well, who do you think is going to design and build those items? Maybe, the rich might go on vacation, stay at a glitzy hotel, and dine in fancy restaurants. Again, more money for airline pilots, waiters, etc.

Option #2: Reinvest in their businesses.

Expand by building new stores and hiring more workers.

Option #3: Do the same as the last two options but outside the US.

This is the only case which would not benefit the average American. This is why it's vital that tax rates are low. Otherwise, the rich will move their extra capital to more generous jurisdictions. Fortunately, Trump understands this basic truth. Barring any natural disasters or attacks, we should see the strongest US GDP growth rate of this century in the next few years. Obama's record will look even more mediocre.

Canada vs. Tim Hortons

The Liberal scheme to pit businesses against workers is succeeding quite well:

Protesters rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Ontario Wednesday to show support for employees after some franchisees made benefits and break cuts after a minimum wage increase -- but many gatherers stopped short of committing to a boycott.

The clueless opine:

[...] labour groups who gathered outside stores in cities including Toronto, Ottawa and Coburg, Ont. Wednesday describe the company as "wildly profitable" and argue Tim Hortons and its parent company can afford to pay employees at the new rate without taking away previous perks.

Strange that more people aren't opening coffee shops considering how it's so "wildly profitable."

Anyhow, Tim Hortons is suffering:

Organizers said they hope such rallies will send a message to Tim Hortons and its parent company, Restaurant Brands International. The parent company has denounced the actions of some franchisees, who have said they have been left with no choice because RBI, which controls product pricing, has not committed to a price hike.

Basically, it's either cut benefits or fire a few workers. Pick your poison.

The State of Education

In a recent article for American Thinker, “Why I Quit Teaching,” I listed three reasons that prompted me to abandon the teaching profession: unscrupulous administrators, degenerate teachers, and incompetent students. Of these, the latter was the most determinant. Annually grading some 2000 term papers, which chiefly consisted of the most arrant drivel imaginable -- unintelligible grammar, stunted vocabularies, bovine inattentiveness, mental stupefaction, and monumental ignorance -- I had come to fear, if not for my sanity, for my continued intellectual viability. How many years could I go on without cerebral rot setting in? I knew the time had come to flee the cortical gulag of modern education.

I know a few high school teachers who talk about the lowered standards in Ontario. The quality of students deteriorates every year but the grades have to stay high. End result? Mediocre education. One older teacher was given a talking to by her department head for "expecting too much" from her students. She had little choice but to concede and then spoon feed her seniors. She's also retired now.

Where was one to start trying to educate an adult student who thought the Great Depression began in the 1960s; who was unable to distinguish between the First and Second World Wars; who thought that Moscow was the capital of Missouri [...] who claimed that Christ’s parables were about “betting and gamibeling and explaining differently in alot of discussion”; who asserted that “analising a book one must lick your way to the center of the Tootsie Roll-Pop”; who reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose declared “This book is all about mid-evil times and the monk-persons in ministories”; who thought that Canada separated from the United States during the Civil War [...]

There's not much one can do in these mid-evil times ...

I've noticed this with increasing regularity: Millennials and Generation Zyklon have given up on spelling. It's not unusual to see multiple typos in just one tiny sentence. The weird thing is that we've got automatic spell checkers. So, why don't these young people simply fix their errors? I can't understand that level of laziness.