Blogs & Comment

Amusing guru appearances

Ive been having a blast viewing the 1979 to 2009 media appearances of some of Canadas best known financial gurus, as stored in the CBC Digital Archives on the CBC website. Eleven clips are available in a section entitled Canadian Financial Forecasters.
The first clip, from Jan. 26, 1979, shows Brian Costello on CBC television in his three-piece business suit, advising people to invest in themselves by being smarter shoppers. Check the grocery ads in the paper, he says, to see whats on sale because when you buy at 20% off, you are in effect earning 20% on your money. He had the interviewer gasping in amazement at some examples of items that could be bought at 70% to 90% discounts by combining coupons with in-store specials. He was almost, dare we say, spellbinding he probably had the most impact of the assembled gurus. Of course, in 2003, Costello ran afoul of financial regulators and had to rein in his financial advisory service.
The next clip was an Oct 24, 1981 CBC radio interview in which Costello gave investment advice to children. He told them to put their dimes and quarters into Canada Savings Bonds (CSB) instead of bank accounts because the latter were paying only 17% while CSBs were paying 19% (yes, at that time interest rates were that high).
In one clip, Garth Turner is being interviewed on CBC television on Oct. 19, 1987, the day the stock market crashed by about 20%. He explains the sell-off was due to sheer panic (LM – thats pretty insightful, huh?). He goes on to say we could see some banks collapsing in the United States . and the market has more distance to travel down. His investment advice was to go into safe vehicles like CSBs and government treasuries. Stay out of the market. I wouldnt go near it, he concluded. Of course, the crash of 1987 turned out to be one of the best times ever to buy stocks.
There are other clips of Gordon Pape, David Foote (Boom, Bust and Echo author), Sherry Cooper, David Chilton, and a svelte Gail Vaz-Oxlade making an appearance in 1992.
Chilton is in two clips, one in 1992 and the other in 2009. The contrast in demeanor is striking: in the early interview, he rather dour; in his most recent interview, just a few months ago, he is relaxed and mirthful. In the 1992 piece, he discusses investing for retirement and briefly mentions people near the edge of death (likely unaware that his interviewer, Barbara Frum, is to die 6 weeks later from leukemia). In his 2009 piece, he reveals that his mother still does his laundry and he lives in a 1,300 square foot home.
Check it all out for yourself, if you like, at Canadian Financial Forecasters.