Five things Canadian companies need to know about U.S. tax reform

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Russell W. Crawford is the national service line leader of KPMG’s U.S. corporate tax services practice.

With U.S. tax reform appearing increasingly likely to be enacted, Canadian companies owners are wondering exactly what the impacts are going to be in their U.S. operations. Here’s a glance at where we’re headed.

What will happen in respect to U.S. tax reform in the upcoming few weeks?

The U.S. Congress has formed a joint committee with representatives from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to reconcile the two tax bills. Reports suggest that the committee has reached an agreement on a reconciled bill. We expect details to be published Dec. 15. There’s a push to have the identical bills passed through both chambers next week to be able to present 1 bill to the President by Christmas. In that case, we could expect it to be signed by the President before Dec. 31. read more

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Pier 1 Imports slumps 30%; rivals also drop as holiday optimism disappears

Pier 1 Imports Inc’s stock lost nearly a third of its value on Thursday and its main competitors’ shares also fell after the furniture and home decorations retailer warned the holiday shopping season was not going well.

Shares in the seller of wicker chairs and scented candles slumped 30 per cent and was on track for its deepest one-day drop since 2009, while rival Williams-Sonoma Inc fell 3.25 per cent, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc dipped 2.7 per cent and At Home Group declined 1.3 per cent. read more

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This Canadian fund manager doesn’t believe in Buffett and is buying ‘everything’ crypto

Mark Schmehl flouts Warren Buffett, thinks valuation is overrated and says most other rules of investing are “total baloney.”

The portfolio manager, who just completed Fidelity Investments’ most successful Canadian fund launch ever, eschews investing obsessions such as earnings, cash flow and price-earnings ratios and invests at the extremes of the market instead, including Canadian cryptocurrency stocks.

“I focus on the stuff in the tails: really cheap, broken, horrible stories that nobody wants to buy again, and stocks that everybody is excited about but their valuation is so high they can’t bring themselves to buy them,” Mr. Schmehl, 46, said in an interview at Fidelity’s Toronto offices. read more

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Morneau outlines small-business tax revisions as committee calls for Strategy to be scrapped

The Liberal government is making further concessions to small-business owners even as a Senate study has concluded that Finance Minister Bill Morneau should scrap his controversial tax plan entirely.

As members of Parliament bolted for the exits for a six-week recess, Mr. Morneau stood at the House of Commons foyer to announce his most recent adjustments to tax changes he proposed in July. The most recent adjustments consist of new exemptions for certain family situations, but the minister is sticking with his plan to have the new rules take effect on Jan. 1. read more

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Jeffrey Gundlach says investors Must add commodities in portfolios

DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said on Wednesday that his very best investment idea for the new year is commodities, against the background of increasing global economic activity and the valuation beauty of commodities relative to U.S. stocks.

“I believe investors should add products for their portfolios,” said Gundlach on CNBC, pointing to the “remarkable” inverse relationship between the total return of their Samp;P 500 and the Samp;P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index.

“You go into these substantial cycles,” he said. “The repetition of this is almost eerie. And so if you look at that graph the value in commodities is, historically, exactly where you want it to be a purchase.” read more

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How to learn from failure, why lithium stocks are hot, and all about the bitcoin buzz

By any conceivable measure, Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater Associates LP, is a wild success. The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund with $160-billion (U.S.) in assets under management is one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people; the firm he built has been called the fifth most important private company in America; his new book Principles: Life and Work is a New York Times best seller.

Given all of these accomplishments, it is surprising to learn what Mr. Dalio attributes the secret of his success: Failure. read more

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Intelex’s ultimate Assignment: Help stop global warming

The series: We look at decision makers among Canada’s mid-sized companies who took successful action in a competitive global digital economy.

Most businesses today know they need a digital strategy to help them grow, but Mark Jaine remembers when he lugged the strategy for Intelex Technologies Inc. in his car.

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“Back in 2003, we were about 15 employees selling enterprise software to corporations,” says Mr. Jaine, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Intelex. read more

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Buffett’s about to get $3-billion back from Tim Hortons owner

Warren Buffett’s cash pile is very likely to have a little bigger this week.

Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. is scheduled to redeem $3-billion in preferred shares Tuesday from Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.. The money helped the fast-food chain fund its 2014 purchase of Tim Hortons.

The payoff will take away a profitable investment for Berkshire and add to Buffett’s arsenal for investments and takeovers. At the end of the next quarter, Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based holding company had a record $109-billion in money. The billionaire has fought some on the deal this season with two big, possible acquisitions slipping away. read more

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Active funds’ great comeback of 2017 almost just blew up on them

For most of the year, trouncing the crowd in equities meant sitting on your technology stocks and waiting for the clock to run out. Over two weeks starting in late November, money managers on Wall Street got a reminder of how tough that wait can be.

While you can’t tell from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, mutual funds just endured their roughest stretch of 2017, with nerves tested by an industry rotation that punished beloved picks while lifting everything they hate. Managers watched leads over benchmarks evaporate then miraculously recover, as the market’s placid surface finally broke. read more

No Comments Categories: Plan your future

Microcap stocks: A simple strategy that has Generated 16 Decades of stunningly good returns

Architects can show stunning vistas and create stimulating environments when they place ceiling-to-floor windows in office buildings. It is something I experienced this week while pecking away at a Bloomberg terminal perched next to such a window.

Peering down at the city from 15 storeys up motivated more than a bit of vertigo. Some investors have problems with a similar kind of nausea when considering purchasing microcap stocks. It was fascination with this shunned segment of the marketplace which drew me into the edge of the abyss to perform a small back-testing. read more

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