Grab your coffee, warm up the pipes, it’s time to sing US-M-C-A.

North Americans awoke last Monday morning to reports of a signed trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada. NAFTA is dead, long live the USMCA. OK, am I the only one who wants to sing Y-M-C-A when they see those letters USMCA? It’s easy, you sing the US part real quick and you can keep the same cadence as the Village People to sing the M-C-A. Who knew that the Village People still had an official site.

Village People.PNG

There’s so much going on with this ‘story’ that the Financial Post has its own link to all things USMCA. Of course US President Donald Trump was the first to claim victory. I think the Canadians also made an attempt to claim victory or at least offer that is a ‘good deal for everyone’. Only time will be the judge on that.

I started my week with a presentation on the Canadian Robo Advisors for a lively group of CMAs; we were at the wonderful Lampton Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke. I have played golf there many times as well. It’s a great golf course and a great venue for an event. The trade deal timing allowed me to lead off the chat (warm up the crowd) with a ‘Trumpism’ or two. In robo land, here’s my latest review for BMO SmartFolio.

On the Mr. Trump front Jonathan Chevreau penned a wonderful, and wonderfully balanced piece on the many Trump books available on the left and right of the political spectrum. I don’t think anyone came ‘at this one’ from a down-the-middle perspective. For here’s How Trump policies are affecting my investment choices.

From the article …

Still, for sheer entertainment value and to prevent one from being so complacent as to stay 100% in stocks, you need to peruse or at least sample a couple of the more over-the-top Trump books. Many of these are available free at libraries, often as e-books or audiobooks. They include Keith Olbermann’s Trump is F*cking Crazy (That’s the way the title actually appears in print; it’s subtitled This is Not A Joke), which I’ve been listening to and two that I plan to: Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump and One Nation after Trump.

Yup things can get quite heated with this topic.

As I often write all things political and items that would fall into the economic-guesswork category should be quickly moved to the for entertainment purposes only file. These are all things we cannot control. As prudent investors what are the things that we can control? We can control our fees, our asset allocation (what and where we are invested), how much we invest, our investor behaviour etc. That investor behaviour mention means staying the course, aka ignoring all of the outside noise and confusion.

Where did I get that investment philosophy? Well inside Warren Buffett’s head. Here, have a look inside the brain of the world’s greatest investor.

You’ll find the thoughts and philosophies of his teacher, Benjamin Graham.

Benjamin Graham

Mr. Buffett often writes that he has never made an investment decision based on any economic guesswork or political event or speculation. That’s all short-term stuff. And on the political front, he’s not investing in President Trump or any other politician. He’s investing in Apple and Coca-Cola and American Express. And his favourite holding period? FOREVER.

On the economic front, economists (just like the ‘weatherpersons’) are paid to be wrong. Speaking of Presidents, my favourite quote on this subject was offered by President Harry Truman.

Give me a one-handed Economist. All my economists say ‘on hand…’, then ‘but on the other…”

Another great quote that pokes fun at economic prognosticators is …

Economists have predicted 9 of the last 3 recessions.

Investing is a long-term ‘game’. But don’t listen to the guy offering that up in this wonderful ‘Ask The Tough Questions’ commercial from Questrade. Invest for the long-term with a long term strategy and perspective, but don’t give away half of your investment wealth to ‘that guy’.

On the podcast front, you’ll likely enjoy more on Beat The Bank with Larry Bates. Here’s Larry on Canadian Couch Potato. Some wonderful insights and conversation between Larry and Dan Bortolotti as we are now 10 years after the start of the Financial Crisis; the most severe stock market meltdown since the great depression.

Rob Carrick from the Globe and Mail has pressed play on his podcast; here’s Young and Careless. In episode 1 Rob offers why we should start thinking about and planning for retirement, even if we are in our 20’s. Rob begins by sharing that he had bought 2 sports cars in his 20’s before ever investing a penny for retirement. Well Rob, my twitter handle is @67Dodge, so I know where you’re coming from.

For more reads, on Nelson offers The 5 Best Books I’ve Read This Year. There are some wonderful recommendations in there from Shoe Dog, the story of Nike founder Phil Knight, to Daring to Succeed …

… follows the path of Alimentation Couche-Tard, which grew from a single store in Montreal in 1980 to a 5,000+ location powerhouse with locations across North America, Europe, and Asia.

That is one of the most incredible Canadian business success stories.

And on boomer and echo Robb Engen offers his Money Bag, you ask the questions Robb will get you the answers.

And as always there are some more than helpful posts on including a wonderful offering from Jason Heath on the most-asked retirement question: how much do I need to retire?

Thanks for reading. Please offer your comments and suggestions on great reads or listens for the long weekend. Please hit those share buttons below this post. You can also follow this blog – you’ll find that Follow Cut The Crap Investing button at the very bottom of this page. Keep scrolling down 🙂 …

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