Current Affairs

Welcome To The Used Car Bonanza

Increased demand, combined with low interest rates and a major semiconductor shortage, has caused prices of both new and used cars to skyrocket to the point that you might end up paying a new car price for its used counterpart.

The price change is particularly noticeable with used cars that have suddenly gone from depreciation to appreciation.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that one two-year-old Toyota model with a $29,000 sticker price now goes for more than $33,000. Even dealers are willing to pay almost $1,000 more than sticker price just to get their hands on more inventory.

According to CarGurus, values have gone up 30% on average compared to the last year, and 17% just since January this year.

CarGurus’ data shows that 11 brands have seen used car prices go up more than 30%, year over year. The list is led by Ram whose used vehicles are 40.5% more expensive than last year, followed by Aston Martin, Ford, GMC, Chevrolet, Dodge and VW–all up between 35% and 38%.

Last year, the pandemic caused auto manufacturers to suspend operations, with everybody predicting a slowdown in car sales to last. However, new car sales picked up in a hurry, causing a growing shortage of semiconductors, a key component of many computerized electronics.

As a result, new-vehicle inventory was down 25% compared with this same time last year. Experts are now warning that unless the semiconductor shortage improves, inventory could be down by as much as 40%. Click here to read full article.

Warren Buffett Resigns from Gates Foundation, Donates $4.1 Billion

Warren Buffett said he is stepping down from his role with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, noting in a statement that he has been an “inactive” trustee of the organization. His decision to step down comes at an uncertain time for the foundation as the Gates last month announced they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

“For years I have been a trustee — an inactive trustee at that — of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG),” Buffett wrote in the statement. “I am now resigning from that post, just as I have Click to read full article.

A Royal Caribbean International cruise ship left from PortMiami with 600 passengers on board Sunday evening — part of a test sail trip as the cruise industry gears up for a grand restart later this summer.

The two-day trip on the Freedom of the Seas is a simulation with volunteer passengers, many of whom are Royal Caribbean employees, set to test whether cruise ships are safe. It’s a major milestone for the cruising industry after it came to a sudden halt last year during the COVID-19 pandemic and has not sailed with passengers for 15 months.

The ship, which left the South Florida port at 7 p.m. Sunday, will stop in CocoCay, the Bahamian island owned by the major cruise line.

“It’s been a long 15 months, and we’re really excited to get back to cruising again and get started. This is a great way for us to do that with a simulated sailing, to work with our employees and volunteers and guests to really try out all of our protocols to make sure that they’re working and ensure kind of a seamless transition to revenue voyages,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, senior vice president of Shared Services Operation at Royal Caribbean Group.

The test ship is departing in the throes of a rocky restart for the industry, just two days after a federal judge in Tampa issued a 124-page ruling — throwing out regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that dictated what safety rules cruise lines must comply with to set sail. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis challenged the rules in court, arguing the regulations were unfairly targeting the cruise ship industry and cruise companies should be allowed to operate without any federal oversight.

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BLUE ORIGIN FOUNDER Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson have been working for the past 20 years to get their companies’ rockets built and launched. Now both are preparing to suit up and ride their own spacecraft. Bezos announced on Monday that he’ll blast off July 20 on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, riding to the limit of Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, Branson is expected to fly this summer on the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity rocket plane to the same zone.

The rich-guy space race between Bezos and Branson (SpaceX’s Elon Musk is the odd man out for now) may convince other well-heeled space tourists who want assurances that a rocket ride is both fun and safe. But experts note that space travel is always risky, even when spacecraft have undergone years of testing. Blue Origin’s flight will be its first launch with human passengers; previous flights have only carried a mannequin. For Virgin Galactic, it will be only the second time the rocket plane has carried people.

“When you’re flying humans, it’s always one step more complex than just flying an uncrewed mission, and that’s because you have the lives of six people that you have to worry about,” says Laura Forczyk, an Atlanta-based space industry consultant who has flown several times with NASA on zero-g research flights. “Blue Origin has no reason to fear that something will go wrong, but you never know. Space is a risky business.”

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Canadian Investors Now Eligible for Greg Weldon’s Money Management Service

Greg has been a valued contributor to MoneyTalks, The Inside Edge and the World Outlook Financial Conference for over 15 years, and we are very pleased to let you know that Canadians are now able to directly access his Managed Money services. How pleased? Well, since his now famous Age of Aquarius speech, live in Vancouver at the World Outlook Financial Conference on Feb 6th 2020, clients have seen a total return AFTER FEES of 47.1%.

  • Clients open their own accounts, in their own names, NO money is commingled, ever, nor does Weldon have ANY access to  the client’s money.
  • Clients has open access to a FULL reporting and accounting every morning, TOTAL transparency as to profits, losses, positions, exposure, cash.
  • NO “Lock Up” … if the client is not comfortable they can close the account and take their money
  • Weldon derives NO income from ANY source other than management and incentive fees, with ZERO compensation from clearing brokerage or execution of trades
  • Minimum investment is $1 million, a number derived from the math linked to the risk management overlay. Fees scaled to size of investment
  • For more information or to explore opening an account please contact Katelyn Ellis at