Legend of the Touchstone

A poor man once bought an old book at an open market for a few coppers. Between its pages he found something very interesting indeed: a thin strip of parchment on which was written the legend of the touchstone.

The touchstone, according to the document, was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold.

The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles on a beach. The real stone would feel warm to the touch, while ordinary pebbles are cold.

The man sold his few belongings, set out for the seashore, and began testing pebbles. He realized if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might inadvertently pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, each time he felt one that was cold, he threw it far into the sea.

He spent days at his search, picking up a pebble— cold —then throwing it into the sea… then, picking up another… and throwing it into the sea…

One day, after months and months, the man picked up a pebble and threw it into the sea. As it left his hand, he realized that the pebble had been warm. It was the touchstone!

However, by then, he had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away without taking time to feel its warmth.

Don’t let your habits trick you into throwing away your opportunities.

Think Fast!

Last month was Women In History Month. Did you pick up any new facts about women who changed the world? Well, now is your chance to take this fun quiz and learn something about the role of five particular women in history:

1. Which mother led a 125-mile march of child workers from the mills of Pennsylvania to President Theodore Roosevelt’s vacation home on Long Island?

2. What did Dolores Huerta do for farm workers in the United States?

3. Which Asian-American physicist disproved a fundamental scientific law?

4. Who led the movement to improve conditions for poor immigrants?

5. What singer drew a crowd of 75,000 to the Lincoln Memorial for a 1939 Easter Sunday Concert?

—— Think you know the answers? Flip this page upside-down to check!

Take Time For Hobbies

A famous art professor who had lost his interest in work went to a life coach for help. The coach asked what interested him at museums, galleries and other art displays.

“Well,” the professor said, “I look around and try to find the most brilliant painter of my time. That’s what I really want to find out: who is the best?”

 The coach smiled, then pointed to a lady walking by outside “See that woman right over there? That’s the one.”

 The professor frowned. “But I know that woman and she’s not an artist! How could she be the best artist of my time?”

 The coach shook his head sadly. “Oh, she could be, just like everyone could be, if only they picked up a brush and tried to paint.”

Canadian Retail Sales (Nov) – January, 2021

Canadian retail sales rose for the seventh consecutive month in November by 1.3% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, defying Statistic Canada’s preliminary estimate of no change. Sales were up in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 53% of retail sales. The increase was led by higher sales at food and beverage stores. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 7.5%.

Sales were up in all provinces except for Manitoba. In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 0.8% ($8.0 billion) and by 1.4% ($3.7 billion) in Vancouver. Contributing the most to the increase were sales at electronic and appliance stores, while sales were down at auto dealers and gas stations. Compared to the same time last year, BC retail sales were up by 11.1%.

In November, Canadian e-commerce sales totaled $4.3 billion, accounting for 7.4% of total retails sales, which is up from 5.4% in the previous month. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales were up by 76% from a year ago. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.

November was a pleasant surprise in retail sales, as consumers likely pulled forward their purchases in anticipation of the holiday rush, as well as promotional events such as Black Friday. Early estimates from Statistics Canada are showing a December decline, as COVID-19 cases increase and multiple provinces implement stricter lockdown measures. Growth in retail sales is expected to slow until the vaccine becomes more widely available.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-nov-january-22-2021

Mortgage Rate Forecast (December 2020)

• Bank of Canada actions have pushed mortgage rates to record lows
• Canadian economy bounced back in the third quarter, but the second
wave looms
• Bank of Canada on hold, but when will quantitative easing end?

Download (PDF, 255KB)

Click here to view the December 2020 Mortgage Rate Forecast.
For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.