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    Announcing our ‘Classifieds’ section:

    OK so we already announced this last week – but here’s the spiel since no one took us up on it:

    We’re always looking for ways to raise $ to pay our volunteer writers – and we’re so grateful for those who have contributed directly to our Buy Me a Coffee page.*

    So we’re launching a trial classifieds section, now that we’re well over 1,000 subscribers. If you wanna advertise your tutoring biz, your graphic design skills, or your self-published Bridgerton erotica, throw us 30 bucks through the buy me a coffee and we’ll place an ad in our next newsletter. DM us or email for more info.

    * Today’s subject line brought to you by monthly contributor Colin



    Everything you need to know about the GameStop Saga (So Far)

    What. A. Week.

    Claire Porter Robbins 

    Let’s get started: GameStop (GME) is an American video game and consumer electronic store, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s had a rough couple of years, as brick and mortar retail stores decline, and more people buy videogames online.

    Enter r/WallStreetBets, a subreddit with now 6 million users and self-described as the  “4chan found a Bloomberg terminal” (read: predominantly day trader bros). They found out that Wall Street hedge funds were shorting GME and decided to have a bit of fun with that.

    What does shorting mean? 

    Basically, these hedge funds were betting that GME would drop in the near future. So, they borrowed stock, with an expiry date, assuming that by that date, the stock would have dropped and they would profit. A bit complicated, but if you want to learn more, here’s an in-depth explanation.

    Using retail investor apps like Robinhood, redditors from r/WallStreetbets rallied and decided to buy up a massive amount of GME, in addition to Blackberry and AMC, an American movie theatre company Wall Street firms were also hedging against (think nostalgic companies).

    GME stock soared — from a low of around $18 in early January, GME hit $483 on Wednesday, and became the most traded stock in the world. Wall Street hedge funds that had betted against GME teetered on the brink of collapse. The entire stock market seemed to be more volatile. Cue the David and Goliath comparisons.

    What happened next? 

    First came the memes. Second, the politicians and corporations got involved. The New York Stock Exchange temporarily paused trading of some stocks, like GME and AMC, discussed on r/wallstreetbets.

    RobinHood, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and a couple other retail investment platforms also temporarily restricted certain trading activities — which p*ssed a lot of people off.

    What does it all mean? 

    Ok, so there’s a lot going on here. But it all boils down to the fact that a lot of young people who struggled through the 2008 and COVID economic crises (hi!), have watched as Wall Street has seemingly continued to run, unfettered, in a “winner takes all” system. Yet the ‘winner’ never seems to be the everyman. Then this week, the ‘everyman’ had a win — and within 48 hours, it seemed corporate America had mobilized to restrict those wins. Inquiring minds want to know: If it’s so easy to enact swift regulation and order, why is Wall Street operating like business as usual?

    Canada’s 2020 Gross Domestic Product looks, well, pretty gross.

    Erin Fiell

    Friends, 2020 was a tough year for our national Gross Domestic Product.

    As a quick refresher – as defined by Investopedia, Gross Domestic Product (or GDP for short) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. It’s a commonly used measure to evaluate the overall health of a country’s economy.

    According to preliminary estimates from Statistics Canada last week, the country’s GDP shrunk a whopping 5.1% on the year, basically entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the biggest drop Canada’s GDP has ever seen.

    TBH, this is hardly surprising news. However, despite this grim-looking figure, it’s not all bad.

    Following a steep drop in March and April, GDP slowly rallied upwards for the remainder of the year. In fact, November saw growth in GDP of 0.7%, with preliminary results showing that GDP also grew by 0.3% in December due to positive news on COIVD-19 vaccines.

    It might not sound like much, but considering the majority of the country was riding a second wave of COVID-19 in nearly full lockdown, we’ll take that as a win.

    Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note: “Canadian GDP ended 2020 on a much firmer footing than broadly expected, albeit after a brutal year.”

    Don’t get us wrong – it’s very relieving to know that the country is in a decent position following the huge economic crash brought on by the pandemic. That being said, Canada’s economic activity still remains approximately 3% lower than what we experienced prior to COVID-19.

    Overall, not great news, but we’re still holding out hope for better days!

    Hungry scammers on the rise?

    And how to keep yourself safe…

    Sabrina Dotsch

    What’s happening?

    TD customers across Canada, some of whom don’t even have DoorDash accounts, are seeing charges on their debit cards from $40 all the way up to $200+.

    How did that happen?

    Here’s the thing — no one knows who is behind the attacks or how they got the information.

    Experts say since the pandemic began there’s been a surge of financial scams. In 2020 alone, Canadians lost more than $37 million dollars to scammers.  From fake CERB emails to Canada Post delivery notices, hackers are taking advantage of the increase of people using the internet to do things they normally would have in person.

    This isn’t the first time TD has been a target for these types of attacks. Back in 2019, some customers were seeing random charges from Spotify on their debit cards. Cybersecurity experts claim that with the recent advancements in debit cards enabling online purchases, situations like this are likely to continue happening.

    Unfortunately, because the charges are on debit cards, claims must be investigated before money can be returned — which can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to process.

    How to protect your ca$h

    You work hard for your money, don’t let some hacker delay your financial goals! See below for 3 easy tips to help keep your money safe.

    1. Place a zero limit on your debit card for online transactions to prevent fraudulent charges.

    2. Check your statements weekly so you can catch any suspicious activity early.

    3. Stay alert btchs – don’t click on unknown email links or give out financial info over the phone to unknown numbers and be cautious of porch pirates.

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