Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Official: Inflation is Back! (And it may be worse than you think)

Inflation is back. It's official, and you can blame costlier gasoline and other fuels. The tab for common services like a hotel stay and garbage removal are jumping too, as is the sticker price on packaged foods and many other household items. Companies are finding that they can pass on part of their soaring raw-material costs. There is a general consensus among American economic circles that interest rates are on the rise. And this concern is beginning to spill across the border into Canadian economic circles as well.

Typically there is an inflation that the government measures and the 'other' inflation that we are all used to feel but cannot see. Inflation that we all feel but can't see comes in many forms. For example, real estate prices have gone through the roof, so cash buyers are paying through the nose. Borrowers are increasingly resorting to floating-rate and interest-only loans, especially in the U.S., which all but guarantee that they will pay more over the life of their loans. But Canadians are poised to follow suit with the spread of the ever more popular 'Powerlines' and credit cards secured by real estate which, once again, have the deleterious effect of keeping you into debt for the rest of your life.

We all face notoriously soaring insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays as employers shift more of the burden onto employees. Here in British Columbia, for example, Strata insurance premiums have more than doubled in the past year, with strata corporations - especially the financially weak - having no choice but to allot the extra cost to individual property owners.

Even Alan Greenspan, the once revered and now outgoing Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, is coming under fire. Once known as the 'Maestro' for his impeccable talent at predicting economic behavior, and after being treated like royalty for presiding over the longest economic boom in the nation's history, Greenspan is now being accused by a small but vocal group of economists of presiding over the U.S.'s high consumer debt, low personal-savings rates, declining dollar and potential real estate bubble. And all this comes at a time when the U.S. is dependent more than ever on foreign money to sustain growth.

The dependence on foreign capital, Asian in the West and European in the East, is a great source of concern for Canada as well. As China is becoming a major economic player and is fueling its own economic growth, and as Europe is coming to grip with the reality of an oversold, overstrong, overvalued Euro compared with the relative weakness of many European economies, the worry is that this foreign injection into the Canadian economy will soon evaporate, thus leaving domestic growth without fuel .... the typical Mercedes without gas.

So where does all this leave mundane folks like you and I? All I can tell my readers and real estate aficionados of my blog is:


Luigi Frascati

Luigi Frascati is a Real Estate Agent based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics and maintains a weblog entitled the Real Estate Chronicle at where you can find the full collection of his articles. Luigi is associated with the Sutton Group, the largest real estate organization in Canada, and is based with Sutton-Centre Realty in Burnaby, BC.

Luigi is very proud to be an EzineArticles Platinum Expert Author. Your rating at the footer of this Article is very much appreciated. Thank you.

An Introduction to Currency Correlation

Global currencies dont ride the trends in isolation. The apparent technical movement between two currencies in a pair may cause an effect in the behaviour of each separate currency. A third currency will also have some bearing on the rise or fall of a seemingly unrelated pair, in the view of an intermediate or beginning trader. Even seasoned trend cowboys may miss the odd significant event that results in a trade loss.

Technical analysis often comprises the bulk of the independent speculators trade decisions, but some attention to fundamental news must be included for a complete overview of what is happening in the market at that particular moment. Neither weather, beetles, drought, hostile takeovers nor indicted CEOs have much real bearing on currency values, but the timing of the release of economic reports should determine if a trade is viable or not.

A rising tide raises all ships, but the trading ocean is made of waves, with deep troughs and high crests. A rising ship may have a tether to another that is dropping down the other side of the swell. As one currency in a trade pair rises, it may pull another currency up with it, or just the opposite. A drop in the Euro may allow an increase in the value of the GBP, which will certainly have an influence on the USD/GBP spread.

So when considering the merits of a good trade, also take into account the activity of each currencys most closely related cousin. When trading the Canadian dollar, you must certainly consider the relative movement, or lack thereof, in the US dollar. Canadas largest trading partner is the US, so fluctuations in the US economy may or may not have an effect on the Loonie, depending on the gravity of the news.

The UK maintained their own currency, the British Pound, but the economic business of Europe can still influence the directional trend of the Pound Sterling. The French Franc will also be swayed by the enterprise of the communal Euro. As you analyze your charts, take care to make a quick examination of any volatile activity in any similar currency.

The average day trader and individual speculator cannot possibly keep up with all the economic news released each day and still have time to trade and eat lunch, and old news has already shown itself in the charts. One must pay attention to important published economic developments, and generally avoid trading on report days. But the trend will indicate market sentiment, and great profits can be made by keeping the major focus on technical analysis.

International bankers and currency houses have developed complex mathematical models to track currency correlation, but these are beyond the scope of this article. In summary, just check how related currencies are trending, when preparing a trade. Another quick analytical tool for the traders arsenal is always a good thing. May your winners run long.

Kelly Archibald is a serious student of Technical Analysis Strategies. To discover techniques to target the trends with laser-like precision, visit his website at

How To Get Tax Sale Lists for Free

Once you know when the tax sale is coming up in your area, you need to get the list of properties that are in the sale. I use to find tax sale property lists online for tax lien and tax deed sales. This only works for counties that have this information online. For counties or states that do not have this information online, you can either call the tax collector and ask how to get the tax sale list or you can buy the tax sale list from a tax sale list provider. To find out which counties have tax sale information and tax sale lists online, you can consult my State Guide.

To go to the countys web site, first go to and click on the link to find a county. This will bring you to a page with a map of the United States. Click on the state that you are interested in and youll be taken to that states web page with a list of all of the counties in the state. Find the county that you are interested in and click on that link. You will be taken to the NACO page for that county. Click on the link to the county on the top of the page and you will go to the countys web site. Note that this will only work if the county has a web site.

Once youre on the countys web site, look for a link to the department or county office that is responsible for conducting the tax sale. For most states, this will be the county treasurer or county tax collector. If youre not sure who is responsible for the tax sale in your state, then consult my State Guide. Once you get to the web site of the person or department that conducts the tax sale, look for a link to a list of tax sale properties. For larger counties, you can usually find this online. The exception to this is the counties in the Northeastern states. A lot of the Northeastern states do not have county tax sales. Instead the tax sales are conducted by the municipality, so instead of looking for the county web site, in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, look for the municipal tax collectors web site not county web site. New York has both county and municipal sales in some counties.

If you cant find the tax sale list that you want online, you can always buy a list from a tax sale list provider. Even if you can find the tax sale list online for free, you still may want to purchase the list from a tax sale list provider. Thats because the list that you get from the tax collector does not always have the information that you need. Frequently it will only have a parcel ID number, owner name, and amount due. What you want to know is what is the address of the property, what is the assessment and value of the property, what type or class property is it, and how big is the property. All of this (and sometimes even more information) is included in the detailed list that you can get from tax sale list providers. I talked about some different tax sale list providers in the last podcast episode, How to Find Out About Tax Sales. You can listen to that episode to get the names and urls of tax list providers for different areas of the country. Purchasing a detailed tax sale list from one of these companies will save you a lot of work in doing your due diligence.

Joanne Musa is a Tax Lien Investing Coach and Consultant who works with investors who want to learn how to buy profitable tax lien certificates and tax deeds. She is the president of Tax Lien Consulting LLC, a consulting firm for tax lien investors. She is the author of the e-books: Tax Lien Investing Secrets and Tax Lien Lady's State Guide to Tax Lien and Tax Deed Investing, available at

For more tips on investing in tax lien certificates send an e-mail to