Vancouver's business-oriented newsletters offer insights to savvy investors

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      For the finance component of this year’s Best of Vancouver issue, we’re shining a light on some of the city’s best newsletters dealing with tech, real estate, and investments.

      Best weekly update on economy

      B.C. Economic Briefing

      Central 1 deputy chief economist Bryan Yu’s weekly report offers a comprehensive rundown of macroeconomic issues in an easily digestible format. The highlights are presented up top for those who don’t want to spend two to four minutes reading the document. Yu also includes a couple of charts to demonstrate where things are now compared with in the past. Then he runs through major factors affecting overall economic performance.

      From November 9 to 13, for example, he highlighted the deceleration of household-consumption growth, robust growth in services consumption, investment in residential housing, a dismal trade picture, and a huge increase in investment spending. “Rising COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter months will pause the recovery phase observed since May, but growth is forecast to reach about four per cent in 2021,” Yu wrote.

      Bravo to Yu for fitting all of this within a mere eight paragraphs.

      Best tech updates

      Vancouver Tech Journal

      Every week, writer and consultant William Johnson sends his “Sunday Briefing” into people’s email inboxes, rounding up the newest developments in Vancouver’s tech sector. It’s extraordinarily comprehensive, with links to various articles elaborating on the key points in his summaries. The November 1 issue had an open rate of 40 percent and a click rate of 17 percent, which is stellar in comparison to other newsletters.

      If you want to know what’s really going on in the provincial economy, you need to stay up with the developments in high tech—and Johnson makes this easy.

      Keep in mind that B.C.’s high-tech sector posted revenues of $34.7 billion in 2018, up 9.2 percent from the previous year, according to the B.C. government. In the same year, wages in this sector climbed an impressive 6.2 percent.

      Mark Goodman and Cynthia Jagger keep their readers up to date on the market in multi-unit apartment buildings.

      Best apartment newsletter

      The Goodman Report

      Mark Goodman and Cynthia Jagger, principals at Goodman Commercial Inc., produce an exceptionally well-written and well-edited newsletter that’s largely devoted to the apartment sector. The Goodman Report’s advocacy for less government intervention in the real-estate market might not sit well with tenants’ groups, but there’s no disputing how informative this newsletter is when it comes to sales activity, rent collection, vacancy rates, and insurance.

      Every once in a while, the Goodman Report will publish how much rents vary within a single building for a similar unit—like a one-bedroom apartment—along with the net annual profit being generated by the owner.

      Guest contributor Andrey Pavlov, a professor of finance in SFU's Beedie School of Business, also offers his insights from time to time.

      Is it any wonder that Goodman Commercial Inc. is the reigning kingpin of rental-apartment building sales in this region?

      Best residential real estate newsletter

      rennie review

      Are you a data nerd? Then this monthly publication by demographic expert Andrew Ramlo and economist Ryan Berlin is made for you.

      Earlier this year, the rennie review provided the most comprehensive analysis of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s decision to tighten mortgage-eligibility rules—and then explained why that wouldn’t have any earth-shattering impact on the housing market. Ramlo and Berlin were right.

      In the November issue, the rennie review forecasts that demand will decline toward the end of 2020 and into 2021, in part because of weak supply, which makes it harder for first-time buyers to enter the market.

      On the upside, this could lead to lower prices—finally.

      Best investment newsletter (retired)

      Linde Equity Report

      When it comes to rating investment newsletters, the gold standard is the Hulbert Financial Digest. And it ranked the Linde Equity Report as its top performer from 2005 to 2015.

      Produced by Vancouver-based Linde Equity, this newsletter achieved a 24.4 percent annualized average price gain from May 3, 2000, until May 3, 2020, with its recommended U.S. stocks and American depository receipts (ADRs).

      Unfortunate for the newsletter’s many fans, publisher and portfolio manager Teal Linde wound down the newsletter earlier this year to focus more attention on the company’s clients. But what a glorious run it had for so many years.