Tag Archives: Iphone

Aeroplan Sale & Cell Phone Sales

A new update on Aeroplan for the five million of us Canadians who are in the program. It turns out that your points won’t likely depreciate in value, and you won’t need to have them all cashed out next year.

The re-purchase of Aeroplan was finalized yesterday. $450 million price and assuming the ($1.9 billion) points liability the (outstanding points IF they’re all claimed…and less than 70% will be, according to Consumer Report studies). But Air Canada received $622 million from TD and another $308 million for future points. CIBC also has a card that gives you Aeroplan miles, so they kicked in $200 million and another $92 million for future points. Right now, they’re still negotiating with Amex to continue with Aeroplan.

So Air Canada paid $450 million and received over $1.2 billion. As of the purchase date, they got the whole company AND made $772 yesterday. There’ll now be a lot of competition with PC Optimum and  Esso Extra points for your business. Those two are almost immediate gratification points. A month after I signed up for Esso Extra I had a free carwash already. Aeroplan miles are more dream rewards for the long term in hoping there’ll be enough points someday way down the road for a trip to Europe.

Right after last Wednesday’s segment, the Dow dropped 660 points and this time it wasn’t President Trump’s fault, but ours. It was started by Apple announcing that iPhone sales were way down. Yesterday, Samsung announced the same thing with a 22% drop in sales.

In the U.S., as we discussed last year, there are no more two or three-year locked-in plans with a so-called free phone. You need to pay for the phone and then get a month-to-month plan. It’s increased customer satisfaction with carriers a ton and reduces your cell bill by a lot. No more being locked in for two or three years and having the almost spit on you when it comes to customer service. However, if you need to buy your phone and can’t pretend it’s ‘free’ any longer, you’ll shop around more ,and will keep your old phone an extra year or two. That’s why Apple and Samsung stock has been way down, due to less sales volume. Apple was a trillion dollar company last fall – now they’re down 40% in stock values.

It’s also why Apple started discounting the price of their phones last month! If you can’t pretend it’s ‘free,’ a thousand dollar phone is quite the shock. You can also now get an Android for under $300 and apparently the Nokia 7-1 is really inexpensive and a great phone! That trend will continue with better phones at a much lower price, and the no-contract plans will come to Canada sometime soon – so don’t be stuck in a new two or three year contract. And avoid the big marketing starting soon on 5 G phones. It’s a much faster network – way faster than your home internet. But it’ll be three years before you’ll actually have the network to use it.

Update from first January segment to try some simply your life and get rid of 100 things:

I tried the Japanese method of decluttering where you hold something in your hands and if it doesn’t bring you joy, you throw it away. So far, I’ve thrown out all vegetables, my Amex bill, the scale and a mirror!

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Two Really Smart People Gave Me Really Bad Advice

On my computers, I’m working with Microsoft Office 2007, and it was time to get current with an upgrade to Office 2016. The program can be purchased for a one-time price of $79 with licenses for three computers. Yet, buddy number one, who is actually in the computer business, suggested I should really do it as Office365 with monthly payments of seven bucks to also get the upgrades as they come out.

I have perfectly good nine-year old word, excel, powerpoint and outlook programs. $7 a month for the rest of my life on EACH of my computers? What can possibly be upgraded frequently enough to justify spending $1,260 over the next five years versus $79? No chance – that’s insane. But that’s EXACTLY how Microsoft and a ton of companies with monthly fees make their money.

Buddy number two wanted to get a newer iPhone. I just purchased an iPhone 6 for $240 two weeks ago. And for those, Apple will replace the battery for $35 to avoid a bunch of U.S. lawsuits. I offered him the name of the company in Winnipeg that sells these, as I’ve bought four phones from them.

He looked like I had three heads when I suggested that. But I can get one for free with my carrier! No, it’s  not free. To which he responded, well, with a new two-year plan… Yes, a highly intelligent man really thought he was getting a brand new iPhone for free.

Intellectually, he knew it wasn’t really free. Yet all the marketing from his carrier and that part of our brain that tricks us had him convinced enough to block out the facts and the logical part of his brain. He’ll be trapped for another two years contract at close to double what he ought to pay to get this supposed “free” phone!

Are We Gaining Ground or Going Broke?

In a recent survey, 71% of respondents felt that their standard of living would be lower coming out of the current recession.

What? I was quite shocked when I read that. But to start with, what is a lower standard of living? Is it less income? Is it less cash flow to buy all kinds of stuff? I would bet, for the majority of people, those two make up majority of the responses.

But does our standard of living decrease when we cannot buy a new iPod every year? Are we somehow deprived when we cannot afford to go out for dinner twice a week, or afford the payments on a new car every three or four years?

How many of us are confusing consumer spending with wealth building? How many would take a cut in pay, if we were assured we would have more savings, a growing RRSP, and at least an emergency savings account? All of those build wealth, whereas our spending is a wealth robber!

Is our standard of living somehow affected when we DON’T drive a new car? I would bet for most people that may be their thinking. But isn’t it exactly backwards? If we drive a new car, we now have a big payment going out the door, and our standard of living decreases exactly BECAUSE we have this new car to finance! So is someone’s standard of living better or worse when they can bank a ton of money by not having car payments?

I ran into a lady recently, who really wanted some help in getting her monthly expenses under control. When I asked her how much a month she wanted to save, she didn’t have a number in mind at all. Well, isn’t that kind of like getting into the car and starting to drive, with no idea where you want to go? In order to save money, you need a number – a firm goal of where you want to go and what you want to accomplish! After that, it’ll become a whole lot easier, exactly because you have a goal and a fixed plan.

But while I was talking to her, she was playing with her iPhone. When I asked what her monthly bill was for the iPhone, she became rather sheepish, and it took a bit to confess that it was around $130 a month. Yikes! Mine is around $25 a month, and it makes phone calls, too. Yet, that was something she just didn’t think she could ever do without, and proceeded to attempt to “sell me” on the cool features and gadgets. Nice try.

There is something economists refer to as our marginal propensity to consume. It’s a fancy term for saying: when we make more income, we spend more money right along with it. A $500 raise, and pretty soon, we’re spending to our new and higher income level. It works for us average people just as much as the rich. It’s how Michael Jackson earned around a billion dollars, yet died about $500 million in debt!

We need to be careful with the yardstick we use to measure our standard of living and not confuse “stuff” with wealth. For many people, their thinking is backwards: It is their stuff which reduces their wealth, and not the other way around.