Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Imagine That!" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs

"Imagine That!." By Richard Crenian

Jan 27-09

GM, and Chrysler in Canada are looking for a bailout of $4 billion from the Feds in Canada and the Feds are saying OK, but first you need to BUT first GM Canada and Chrysler Canada you need to be more competitive and slash labour costs to “ahem”, match U.S. levels.

The Canadian Auto Workers, the Union that some of my hard working friends work for, say that they are going to fight it! My friends want to keep their jobs, but if they have their unions fight for more money, they know that we become less competitive and in the end, may lose their jobs. So what’s up with that?

The end run is they are to match those of the Japanese car makers in North America so that we can keep our jobs here and our economy flowing! No magic in that thinking.

According to the Wall Street Journal today the “U.S. home sales registered their biggest monthly jump in nearly seven years in December, as cratering prices began to draw out more buyers and several major housing markets showed some signs of stabilizing.”

Wow, houses are cheaper therefore we have more sales! Imagine that!!
My business partner Howard says that if things are cheap enough and they appear to be a good deal and have good value people will buy.

Meanwhile our biggest sermon has always been to keep your money safe, secure and growing without risk. Cash flow is King in these times. Ask Howard how he does it! 4036304544.

Richard Crenian

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"What, a Recession?" By Richard Crenian
Jan 20-09

I traveled from Toronto to Calgary last night and couldn't believe how busy the Toronto (YYZ) airport was.....and the flight to Calgary (YYC) was absolutely jammed pack.
The irony was the flight cost was substantially more at $40 Oil today than it was at $120.....what gives? How can that be?
As I pretend I'm a fly on the wall I hear the talk of all these business deals starting to happen, and I spoke to my friend Donnie who lives in Florida. He tells me sales of homes are down and prices are depressed.
Don said that you would never know it when you go out and see all the restaurants full all the people about town, shopping up a storm in the popular shopping centers.
A room at two major hotels downtown Calgary if you can in on short notice, is $300-$400 a night!!
A car rental for a full size car with taxes during the week is $90 a day.
What the heck, if this is a recession, where is the doom and gloom, why is business being conducted and why are rooms, cars and flights so expensive?
Supply and demand?
If there is high demand and low supply that's a recession? I know I slept through a lot of my Economics classes in school, but logically it still doesn't make sense.
I'm told there is a major recession but look around.......restaurants, traffic, airports and shopping centers......are busy.
In Toronto those 70 per cent off signs have come off.
The 50 percent signs are for existing product.
In Calgary, with $40 oil, the same story with restaurants and shopping centers appearing full.
Ok so who is suffering?
Realtors, Home Stores, Car Dealers, non-basic retailers.
Note to self, when buying cash flow commercial products, avoid furniture and home stores, car dealers, leasing companies and realty companies.
Stick with bread and butter businesses. You read it here first.
Richard Crenian

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Retail In Canada-09" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs
January 19, 2009

“Retail in Canada-09”

We are truly blessed to be in Canada. The attitude that bigger is better in the USA is not always true. Look at what has happened in the States.
So much competition for the products to sell and when you don’t have a good month and good cash flow coming in you are toast! Just ask the airlines. They are only a few DAYS away from going bye bye!

We have seen Circuit City and Linens and Things go, in the US, and now who else?
We did see Winn Dixie the grocery store go bye as well earlier.
Why haven’t we seen any majors in Canada go the way of the Dinosaur.

Here is why retailers I think, in Canada will survive better than the USA.

Canada has about 14 square feet of retail space per capita, while in the U.S. that is approximately 30 square feet per capita.

That means there is twice as much retail space in the USA than there is in Canada.

That also means compared to the US, Canadian sales are twice as high per square foot than the US. If that is the case, it should be obvious that the Canadian retailers are more profitable in their space that they are in, and should be in a better spot to remain liquid when there is a full sales slowdown.

Apparently that according to some retail sales in Canada are the best statistic to monitor what is happening in Canada, since there has been only one year that there has been a decline in sales on an aggregate nominal basis, ……and that year was 1934!

So do I like retail space in Canada-yes! Do I see retail space in the US becoming a problem-yes. Canadian rents are still low and therefore there may be a potential upside to the landlords as rents renew.

Rents in Alberta still have a way to go up.

We have been focused on buying non-box centres because we believe that if the box centres have failures then it will take a lot of space away from the centres. Believing in Canadian retailers is our only option.

Call Howard, and ask him how the slush is in Calgary? 403 630 4544.

Richard Crenian

"On Being Responsible" by Richard Crenian

Richard Crenian Blogs
January 19, 2009

“On Being Responsible!”

It’s amazing being in Toronto. We had the “recessionary feel” in August 08, and the stores went nuts with their 70 per cent off items in November and everyone thought that the world was going to come to an end.

The doom and gloom in Toronto was felt by everyone since we are exposed to the financial malaise of Bay Street and all its effects. The Bay Streeters were losing their jobs, commissions were now halved and how were they going to keep making their payments when their million dollar salaries were now only $500,000.00.
Surely the world was going to end.

How do you afford two million plus houses, multiple leased cars, kids in private schools and two or more nannies?

Then there were the exotic vacations and the shopping sprees that they had to consider.
The world as we knew it in November was at the end and the Toronto that we knew was over and done with.

What happened since then? Yes house prices are off, the sales have stopped and reality has set in. So no more exotic vacations and endless shopping sprees, and that’s OK.
So you have to return a car or two and the extra nanny has gone. You have negotiated with the bank to reduce your house payment and the credit cards are not being used anymore. That is being responsible, and because of that we have survived, and will continue to do so.

Ahh, there is the rub. Toronto has become more responsible and since January the 1st you can feel the doom lifted and actually see the sun peeking through. Are we out of it yet? Probably not, but we have become more responsible and enjoying our lives and the quality it produces much more.

Perhaps the next boom will teach us all how to remain sane after all.

Richard Crenian

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"It's Ponzi, not Fonzi!"

Richard Crenian Blogs
January 11, 2009

“It’s Ponzi, not Fonzi”

Wow, Happy Days are not here for the investors of sandaled Bernie Madoff accused of stiffing $50 billion from his friends, relatives and investors of a scheme that took money from new investors to pay the old investors a guaranteed rate of return of 11% from the “stock market.” It is jail time for the 70 year old Madoff , to be sure.

Obviously when it is too good to be true it usually is.

How could this happen……….? Well, Greed on the part of the investors and the belief that the securities commission was looking out for investors; Madoff being the former head of Nasdaq who until now had a great reputation, and investors believing that the stock market was a “safe and secure” haven to put their money.

Well we now know that that is not true, and that the stock market, instead of being a haven of safety and security, is a haven for crooks, rip-off artists and scammers, under the guise of working with the SEC (as Madoff used to brag), and that the stock market is nothing more than a gambler’s den; sometimes you win, more often than not you don’t. As they say, no matter what the house always wins.

In the 60’s you had Robert Vesco and Bernie Kornfield who ripped off investors, with their mutual funds, and in the last go around it was Enron and the like, now a Madoff and the Indian Computer guys who have admitted cooking their books to make their stock look better. All these guys had their BIG Five accounting companies doing their books, and the Securities Commissions looking out for the “little guy”, namely us.

Well I guess not.

I like hard core assets that I get touch and feel. I prefer to learn how to golf like my partner Howard who is an excellent golfer. While he is golfing he has ownership in real things, with real cash flow paying him. It’s simple, and he doesn’t have a big show off New York office to get people to invest with him. Just the facts and figures, nothing complicated. Howard is a simple guy, an honest guy and a down to earth guy; nothing fancy, just plain old fashion investing. Slow and steady wins the race he says! Phone Howard if you want to learn to golf or to golf with him. He will show you how a 64 year old does it! 403-630-4544.

Richard Crenian

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Naughty, naughty!"

Richard Crenian
January 9, 2009

“Naughty, naughty!”

From today’s Globe and Mail…….. “The bad news is that we are in a recession, and a fairly deep one at that. The good news is that the stock market has already discounted a depression,” said Jeff Rubin, CIBC World Markets chief economist and chief strategist.”

Thanks Jeff, tell us something we don’t know. Wait, Jeff are you saying that the stock market is a buy? Hmmmm……..Jeff read my blog on my New Year’s Resolution that I don’t trust the stock market anymore and that it is a gamble, and what you are saying, may be a gamble even though it may occur.

Let’s look…….Bernie Madoff? You are a bad man. You ripped off your friends, family, put their hard earned saved money in jeopardy and told everyone what a genius you were in the stock market. They believed you, and now they have lost their money and you Sir, go to jail! If you had stuck with hard assets, kicking off cash flow maybe, just maybe instead of jail, you could be golfing with Howard. But, you were too smart!
By the way even in Canada, (from the Globe again today)…………
“Biovail Corp. has agreed to pay a $5-million penalty and costs of $1.5-million to the Ontario Securities Commission after it admitted misleading investors in its financial disclosure.
Under the settlement, approved today by a panel of OSC commissioners, Biovail acknowledged that some of its financial filings in 2001, 2002 and 2003 were “inaccurate.” The Mississauga-based company also made false statements to the OSC during its investigation, the settlement says. The penalty is the largest ever imposed on a company by the OSC.”
Naughty, naughty……….

Richard Crenian