The Recession is Over 
Markets are rising yet again. It's good news for all of us with seriously depleted retirement funds. Perhaps the end is not so nigh afterall.

With that in mind, I am officially declaring the recession as over. You heard it here first.

In more interesting news, Kyle Busch dominated the field yesterday to win at Bristol in what turned out to be a reasonably entertaining race. If last year was any indication, then next week's race at Martinsville should be even better, and I can't wait. Hooray for short tracks! Let the pushing and shoving continue!

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More info on Ontario Energy Scams 
I just saw a link to the energyshop.com site from a news article, and remembered a previous post here.

Someone anonymously replied linking to that same site.

I went and checked it out, and can't help but to feel like they're trying to pull a fast one on me.

They list a bunch of the energy retailers (scammers) and their prices. Then, toward the bottom, they list quite separately the "Regulated Residential Rates", which is what you pay Enbridge.

The chart for the scammers shows only the gas supply rates. The cheapest (and I assume the one this site is associated with) is Canadian RiteRate Energy, at 35.8 /m3 for a 5 year contract or 38.8 /m3 for 3 years.

The very different chart, for the market supplier, has completely different headings. I'll describe it here:

First it says the gas supply is 30.36 /m3. Then it mentions a -3.96 /m3 adjustment. They don't do the math, but that tells me the supply rate is actually 26.4 /m3, a number not mentioned at all on the chart.

Note, at this point, that the very cheapest rate offered from a retailer is a full 36% higher than this market rate.

Next on the chart is the 14 /m3 delivery charge that you have to pay no matter who you're paying for your gas. That's not mentioned anywhere on the previous chart for the retailers, but you have to pay that when you're buying from them as well. Finally, it lists a "Total /m3" of 40.39, which has every indication of being more money than you'll pay a retailer, even though it's far less. That's followed up with some mention of a monthly fee and an estimated bill amount of nearly $1400.

Is there an estimated bill amount listed for the retailers? Nope.

Are you feeling like they're trying to deceive you? You should, because they are.

For what it's worth, I'm going to do the math for you and toss out my own estimated billing number here.

Based on 31,000 m / year, at the very best rate they're offering I estimate you'll pay $15,449.95. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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Where's My Insurance Discount? 
For years now insurance companies have been giving discounts to people for having taken driver education classes.

This is the driving reason behind many people taking them, or perhaps buying certificates saying they've taken them.

Now there are statistics showing that those who have taken a driver education course in Ontario are 62% more likely than those who have not to get into a collision. That's no small statistical potatos!

So with that in mind... should I not be getting a discount based on the fact that I have not taken such a course? Isn't that how insurance companies come up with these sorts of things? Aren't they based on the evaluated risk determined from these sorts of statistics?



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Everyone wants to be me! 
It's been fraud week in NotWeaselLand.

My credit card was stolen over the weekend and whoever took it apparently tried to spend a few grand on Monday. Visa didn't let it go through, so all is well, but the whole thing has been quite an inconvenience.

To top it off, I've also found out that somebody back in June got a cell phone in my name and now they seem to think I'm going to foot the tab for it.

*sigh*

Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if everyone was honest and earned their own keep?

Perhaps it's time to bring back public flogging.


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Don't Trust the Energy Retailers! 
I found this amusing.

The CEO of one of North America's largest energy retailers has this to say about the price of electricity.

Taken from here: http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/191105

King has long argued that Ontario electricity prices are too artificially low and that conservation campaigns will have limited success unless users of electricity start to pay its true market value. It also constrains the growth of distributed generation, including renewables such as solar and geothermal. "If centralized generation (such as coal, nuclear and natural gas) continues to be subsidized, it's very difficult to make those distributed generation products competitive and compelling for households."


Now consider what his company does. His company charges users a fixed rate that is higher than the going market rate for power. They lock their customers into this higher rate for terms of several years based on powerful threats that the price of power is going to go through the roof and they will not be able to afford it.

Until now, it's my understanding that this has always been a losing proposition and that the market rate for power has always been lower than what people pay with these retailer contracts. If that is incorrect, some please cite a contradicting source.

Now consider what would happen if this guy were to be taken seriously on this.

If the price of power were to rise, like he wants it to, he would finally after all these years be able to claim that clients of the energy retailers had actually saved some money. Then they'd be able to sign up countless more suckers for these plans, showing that someone had actually benefitted in some way.

For him to position himself as an environmentalist is laughable. What he is, is a scam artist and this is just another ploy in his scheme to cheat people out of their money.

Allegedly.


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