The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management is a team of trained and proven investment professionals who are dedicated to providing customized wealth management solutions to our clients.

The Woo Group Hong Kong USA: Royal Bank of Canada bekjentgjør ansvarlig debenture problemet

RBC Wealth Management Newsroom Review


Royal Bank of Canada (RY på TSX og NYSE) kunngjorde i dag et offer av $1 milliard av ansvarlig gjeldsbrev ("notater") gjennom kanadiske Medium Term Note Program.


Notatene bære renter med en fast rente på 3,45 prosent per år (betalt tidsskriften) til September 29, 2021, og tre måneders Bankerens aksept Rate pluss 1.12 prosent deretter til deres modenhet på 29 September 2026 (betalt kvartalsvis). Forventet avsluttende dato er 29 September 2014. RBC Capital Markets opptrer som agent på problemet.


Banken kan, etter eget valg, med forhåndsgodkjenning av kontoret til Superintendent av finansielle institusjoner Canada, løs notater på eller etter den 29 September 2021 til pålydende, helt til enhver tid eller delvis fra tid til annen, på ikke mindre enn 30 dager, og ikke mer enn 60 dagers varsel til registrerte eiere.


Lånene denne transaksjonen vil bli brukt til firma.


Notater vil er ikke og ikke bli registrert i USA under den amerikanske verdipapirloven av 1933, som endret ("Verdipapirloven"), eller lovene i noen stat i USA og kan ikke tilbys, selges eller levert, direkte eller indirekte i USA eller til eller for kontoen eller fordel for, en "amerikansk person" (som definert i forskriften S under Securities Act) fraværende registrering under Securities Act eller gjeldende unntak fra slik registrering. Denne pressemeldingen innebærer ikke et tilbud om å selge eller en oppfordring til å kjøpe verdipapirer i USA eller i andre jurisdiksjoner hvor slikt tilbud om eller oppfordring vil være ulovlig.

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Hong Kong USA: Jacynthe Côté nimittää hallituksen ja johtajien ja Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada (RY TSX ja NYSE) on ilo ilmoittaa nimittämisestä Jacynthe Côté hallitukseen, tehokas 1 päivänä syyskuuta 2014.


Ms. Côté oli presidentti ja Chief Executive Officer Rio Tinto Alcan 2009 kesäkuussa 2014 ja toimii edelleen opastajina kunnes hänen eläkkeelle 1 päivänä syyskuuta 2014. Sitä ennen Ms. Côté toiminut puheenjohtaja ja toimitusjohtaja Rio Tinto Alcan perusmetalli liiketoimintaryhmä, Rio Tinto hankinnan Alcan Inc. lokakuussa 2007 jälkeen. MS Côté liittyi Alcan Inc. vuonna 1988 ja hän palveli monenlaisia asteittain ylimmän johdon tehtäviä uransa 26 vuoden myös kantoja henkilöresursseja, ympäristön, terveyden ja turvallisuuden, liiketoiminnan suunnittelu ja kehittäminen ja tuotanto/johtotehtävissä Quebecissä ja Englannissa.


Ms. Côté on kandidaatin tutkinto kemian Laval University Québec. Hän toimii neuvottelukunnan Montreal neurologinen instituutti ja hallituksen ja hallituksen ja École des Hautes Études Commerciales Montreal jäsen.




Tietoja RBC

Royal Bank of Canada on Kanadan suurin pankki ja yksi maailman suurimmista pankeista, perustuu markkina-arvo. Olemme yksi Pohjois-Amerikan johtavista monipuolisia rahoituspalveluyrityksiä, ja tarjota henkilökohtaista ja kaupallinen pankki, varallisuuden hallinnointipalvelut, vakuutus, Sijoittajapalvelut ja pääomamarkkinoiden tuotteita ja palveluita maailmanlaajuisesti. Palveluksessamme on noin 79 000 koko - ja osa - aikainen työntekijöitä, jotka palvelevat yli 16 miljoonan personal, liiketalouden, julkishallinnon ja institutionaalisten asiakkaiden läpi toimistot Kanadassa, Yhdysvalloissa ja 40 muussa maassa. Lisätietoja rbc.com.

Source: http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/news/2014/20140822-board.html

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Hong Kong USA: Markets Brace for ECB Move

Global fixed income markets are pricing in yet another round of unconventional monetary policy from a major central bank. Expectations are high the European Central Bank (ECB) will pursue extraordinary monetary policy intervention when it meets on June 5. The ECB possesses a broad range of options, and global fixed income markets have already re-priced in anticipation of a major policy initiative.


At the security-selection level, the implications differ for each geographic market. Yet this is the latest reminder that unconventional policies in any one jurisdiction can affect global markets, given how intertwined the global financial system and economy have become.


In Europe, we believe fresh monetary stimulus will fuel a rally in peripheral government bonds and a modest sell-off (higher yields) in core-Europe. We continue to see select opportunities throughout the corporate market, and note issuers from the financial sector would likely benefit the most from stimulative monetary policy. In the U.K., the looming risk of changes to the Bank of England’s bias could create volatility and higher yield levels across the U.K. Gilt yield curve.


Higher relative yields in the U.S. versus Europe led to a recent rally in Treasury securities. We caution that complacency appears to be rising at a time investors should be more vigilant with regards to interest-rate risk. The real yield of a 10-year U.S. Treasury has fallen nearly 50 basis points (bps) this year and sits nearly 200 bps below the historical average. We prefer intermediate maturity bonds with fixedto-floating rate preferreds as attractive ways to enhance portfolio yield within the corporate sector.


Canada has not been immune from the rally on government bonds and tighter credit spreads. We believe investors should reduce the term of their bond ladders in acknowledgement of a worsening risk/reward trade-off. Within the preferred share space, investors should sell some preferred shares, in our view, given recent strength attributed to a supply-demand imbalance in the market that will likely prove temporary.



The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo| Insurance make sure you are covered: Great tips and tricks to get the best deal

HOME insurance prices can vary widely depending where and even when you buy it, so it makes sense to take the time to shop around to ensure you get the best deal and the right cover.


Comparison sites are a great place to start, but the cheapest deal might not give you the right cover and leave you high and dry when it comes to making a claim.


My insurance survival guide should give you some great tips and tricks which you should always consider when buying your insurance cover. 

1. Don’t make assumptions. You might think some features of home insurance are standard but you should always ask the right questions and even read the small print, for example:


  • accidental damage – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically cover you for damage you cause yourself, by accident


  • home emergency cover – fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically provide help for home emergencies, and more than half don’t offer this as an option at all


  • Items over £1500 aren't always covered automatically, anything costing over this amount is usually classed as a valuable item and needs to be listed separately, so not just jewellery,  you will need to list that expensive new TV and possibly that designer handbag too.


2. Comparison sites. Around eight out of ten people use these to search the market for the cheapest home insurance quote. If you use at least two sites you’ll see many of the best options, but each site has pros and cons so make sure that you look at the details, don’t buy insurance just because a Meer Cat in a smoking jacket told you it was a good deal.


3. Increase Home security. You might get a reduction for joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme with some providers. Some insurers will only insure you if you have BSI approved locks on all outside doors and windows, and a good quality alarm system always makes good sense.


4. Build your no-claims discount. If you don’t claim for a few years you might get a discount, It’s not just car insurance that offers this so it’s always looking to see where you can do this, not everywhere does so check before you buy.


5. Do you have kids at university? If you do its worth checking to see if they are covered too in their accommodation, if they are this can work out much cheaper than buying a separate policy, but watch that no claims bonus if you have a clumsy teenager.


6. You can cancel your home insurance any time within the first 14 days, this is the cooling off period that all insurance companies must give, according to the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. But there might be a penalty. A lot of people don’t realise this when they buy, but many insurers charge a fee for cancelling within the 14 days. However, this fee should only reflect the cost of the service that you've received. They also deduct the days of cover you’ve already had before giving you a refund.


If you cancel after the 14-day cooling off period you may not get the full amount of money back for the days of cover you haven’t used yet.


Cancellation terms and conditions vary by policy – always read the terms before you buy.


By: Richard Fenton


 SOURCE: http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/475520/Insurance-make-sure-you-are-covered-Great-tips-and-tricks-to-get-the-best-deal

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/475520/Insurance-make-sure-you-are-covered-Great-tips-and-tricks-to-get-the-best-deal

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo | Color of Money: ‘Good Advice from Bad People’ and the Financial Tips ‘they’ Give

By Michelle Singletary



Who are “they”?


That’s the question I often ask people when they want my opinion about some financial advice they’ve heard. Here are some of the things “they” say:


● Getting student loans is a good thing because it’s an investment in your future.


● Now’s the time to get a home because interest rates are low.


● Never pay off your mortgage, or you should keep a mortgage for the tax break.


● It’s better to pay off the debt by borrowing from your 401(k) retirement savings account because you will be paying yourself back.


My question about who “they” are often solicits chuckles because people realize that in their effort to help themselves, they’ve picked up pieces of advice from biased individuals or without doing the work to figure out if it’s prudent.


Millions of consumers have been duped by people — many once touted as icons — who turn out to be charlatans or who gave advice that they themselves didn’t follow, says Zac Bissonnette, a personal finance writer.


Time and again, we learn that self-help authors have become wealthy not by following their own advice but by selling the concept of a certain life or financial enriching strategy. We’re reminded that politicians, corporate and religious leaders, entrepreneurs, sports figures and relationship experts are not practicing what they preach.


It’s these folks that Bissonnette criticizes in “Good Advice From Bad People: Selected Wisdom from Murderers, Stock Swindlers, and Lance Armstrong” (Portfolio/Penguin, $15). It’s my pick for this month’s Color of Money Book Club. The murderers include cult leader Jim Jones and Gary Shawkey, who was given a life sentence for killing a 71-year-old investor he bilked out of $1.2 million. Shawkey’s self-published book was titled “If I Can . . . Anybody Can . . . ”


I couldn’t stop shaking my head as Bissonnette took me down memory lane, starting with the financial arena.


Remember the Beardstown Ladies?


They were part of an investment group from Beardstown, Ill., who wrote the bestselling “The Beardstown Ladies’ Common-Sense Investment Guide: How We Beat the Stock Market and How You Can Too.”


Along with some recipes for stew and chicken, we were told that from 1984 to 1993, the ladies had an average annual investment return of 23.4 percent. Their book sold almost 800,000 copies.


But some number-crunching from journalists and an eventual audit found the ladies hadn’t beaten the market or most money professionals. Their actual return during the time period had been 9.1 percent, compared with the 15.7 percent average annual return on the Dow Jones industrial average.


The women said it was a miscalculation. Their publishing company was sued. There was a settlement and now we have a good lesson about the importance of vetting people’s investment claims. While you can learn a lot in an investment club, “the ladies would probably be better off if they’d just put their money in time-proven mutual funds,” Bissonnette writes.


In the not-so-distant past, we had the falling of another “they” in Bernie Madoff. The once-prominent member of the securities industry and former chairman of Nasdaq is serving a 150-year prison term for bilking investors out of billions.


“And yet, when he actually took a moment to give personal finance advice after his fall from grace, he provided wisdom that everyone should follow: low-cost index mutual funds are the best option for most investors,” Bissonnette writes.


Bissonnette also introduces Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide Financial. Although the company was approving risky home mortgages, in an e-mail that Bissonnette points out, Mozilo wrote that the no-money-down subprime loan is “the most dangerous product in existence and there can be nothing more toxic.”


But many borrowers listened to the “they” who said homes would increase in value exponentially so that they could refinance out of the risky loans Mozilo and others were peddling.


Then there is the story of Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the former Democratic congressman from Illinois who is serving prison time for using $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including buying Michael Jackson memorabilia.


Bissonnette pulls out this quote from a book Jackson wrote with his father, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson: “Living above your means is financial sin.” Their book was titled “It’s About the Money! How You Can Get Out of Debt, Build Wealth, and Achieve Your Financial Dreams.”


Says Bissonnette, “All too often, America’s smiling, inspirational prophets turn out to be comically — and sometimes darkly — horrible at following their own leads.”


I’m sure plenty of people might take issue with some of Bissonnette’s selections of “bad people.” But his book will at least make you pause before you start a sentence with, “They say.”


I’ll be hosting a live online discussion about “Good Advice From Bad People” at noon Eastern on May 29 at washingtonpost.com/discussions. Bissonnette will join me. Let’s talk about the advice you took that turned out to be bad.



Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or singletarym@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to http://wapo.st/michelle-singletary.



Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/color-of-money-good-advice-from-bad-people-and-the-financial-tips-they-give/2014/05/01/d595a33e-cf21-11e3-b812-0c92213941f4_story.html

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo: 5 Investing Tips from Hedge Fund Titans


Some of the world's most successful hedge fund managers gathered in Manhattan on Monday to share their investing strategies on everything from the U.S. housing market to when to do business with Vladimir Putin.


Many attendees at the 19th Annual Ira Sohn Investor Conference plopped down $4,000 a piece to hear tips from these titans of finance. Here are five top tips you can follow in case you weren't able to swing that ticket price.


1. Einhorn still hates tech stocks

Billionaire David Einhorn isn't backing off from his recent claim that soaring tech stocks are in bubble territory.


The founder of Greenlight Capital sought to illustrate his point by focusing on athenahealth (ATHN), whose shares have skyrocketed 120% since November 2012.

The provider of technology services for medical practices is "caught up in a bubble and could easily" plunge 80% or more from its recent peak, Einhorn said.


The hedge fund giant draw laughter by showing a series of video clips that poked fun at Jonathan Bush, the animated athenahealth CEO and a cousin of former president George W. Bush.


Einhorn said athenahealth's lofty valuation doesn't match up with its disappointing financial results, and he knocked Morgan Stanley for overly optimistic expectations for the stock's performance.


"This is what passes for conservatism during a bubble," Einhorn said, whose call sent athenahealth tumbling 12%.


2. There's money to be made in Russia

While many investors are slashing their exposure to Russia, James Grant believes there's good reason to kick the tires of Gazprom, Russia's state-owned energy behemoth.


In a decidedly contrarian call, the founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer told the crowd: Gazprom "may or may not be a bad company," but low valuations suggest its "many imperfections seem to be priced in."


Geopolitical concerns have hammered Russian assets, with investors fearing punishing sanctions from the U.S. and an escalation of violence. But Grant quoted from Baron Rothschild, who famously said "the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets."


Related: 3 Risks from the Ukraine Crisis


Grant knocked Gazprom's corporate governance structure, which gives Russia's government control of 50% of the London-listed company.


"There is no more reviled business than Gazprom," Grant said, calling it "Herbalife without Carl Icahn" and suggesting it's the "polar opposite investment" of Tesla Motors (TSLA).


Still, he noted Gazprom is the world's largest gas producer, it owns 17% of global gas reserves and trades at a hefty discount to average analyst price targets.


3. Oil prices are heading South

Surging U.S. oil production should send crude oil prices sharply lower in the coming quarters.


That was the message from Point State Capital's Zach Schreiber, who believes U.S. crude will continue to trade at a sharp discount to global prices.


"U.S. crude oil is being drilled for by the same cast of characters that oversupplied the U.S. natural gas market. We just saw this movie.Why should we expect a different outcome," said Schreiber.


He noted the bullish oil bet has become awfully crowded, with a $33 billion net long position in U.S. crude contracts.


"If you're long, I'm sorry for you. Maybe this makes you comfortable. At least you've got friends," Schreiber said. "Or it could make you feel scared. I'm sure it will be a very smooth exit when all these clowns get out of the Volkswagen."


Schreiber said he's bullish on Valero (VLO) and Marathon Oil (MRO) because refiners should benefit from the wider spreads between U.S. and global crude prices.


4. Housing market bouncing back? Think again

Jeffrey Gundlach believes housing prices are set to tumble to new lows because affordability is a myth, borrowing costs will spook potential home buyers and young people may continue to rent instead of buying.


"This is a generational preference. Young people were shocked and scarred by the housing collapse," said Gundlach, founder of Doubleline Capital.


He pointed to the high percentage of people who moved back in with their parents amid the poor job market and high levels of student debt.


"The kids aren't alright," he said. "There are no first-time buyers. Where are they?"


Related: Housing still a Weak Investment


Gundlach also cited the large amount of homes that have been purchased with cash by investors and other speculative buyers.


"This is not exactly indicative of organic growth in the market from real buyers," said Gundlach.


Gundlach urged investors to short the SPDR S&P Homebuilders exchange-traded fund (XHB), which he believes "looks very tired." He said this ETF should correlate very closely with lumber prices, which have tumbled.


5. Ackman's still likes Fannie and Freddie

Bill Ackman took a break from his campaign against Herbalife (HLF) to make the case for keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alive despite their enormous crisis-era losses.


Related: Bill Ackman takes another swing against Herbalife


Instead of unwinding Fannie and Freddie, Ackman believes it would be far wiser for Congress to reform them. He suggested jacking up required capital ratios, forcing the entities to exit risky businesses and improving corporate governance.


Fannie and Freddie have an "80-year track record, global market acceptance for their paper, a workforce that knows the business and earnings stream that generates capital even in bad times," he said.


Ackman said Fannie and Freddie are conservatively worth $23 and could be valued at as much as $47, compared with just $4 now (these two do trade, but only "over the counter," not on a national stock exchange).


"It's time to get off our fanny," said Ackman, whose hedge fund owns about 10% of Fannie and Freddie's common stock.

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo : Could 'fire ice' fuel the future?


During their three-day meeting last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again asked US President Barack Obama to speed up exports of American natural gas to help his beleaguered and energy-poor economy. But the big energy revolution that could ride to Tokyo's rescue may not come on tankers from US ports, but rather from deep underneath the sandy seabed off Japan's own shores.


Methane hydrates, which are chunky packets of ice that trap huge amounts of natural gas in the form of methane, are looming ever larger in Japan's plans to meet its needs for energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and skyrocketing bills for imported fuel.


Other Asian countries facing an energy crunch, including South Korea, India and China, are also hoping to tap into the apparently abundant reserves of methane hydrates, also known as "fire ice." That could help fuel growing economies - but it could also fuel further tensions in regional seas that are already the stage for geopolitical sabre rattling and brinkmanship over natural resources.


Totally unknown until the 1960s, methane hydrates could theoretically store more gas than all the world's conventional gas fields today. The amount that scientists estimate should be obtainable comes to about 43,000 trillion cubic feet, or nearly double the 22,800 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable traditional natural gas resources around the world. The United States consumed 26 trillion cubic feet of gas last year.


That raises the possibility of an energy revolution that could dwarf even the shale gale that has transformed America's fortunes in a few short years. It could also potentially have big implications for countries, including the US, Australia, Qatar and even Russia, which are banking on unbridled growth in the global trade of liquefied natural gas. The trick will be to figure out exactly how to profitably tap vast deposits of the stuff buried inside the sea floor.


Enormous potential


"There's no doubt that the resource potential is enormous," says Michael Stoppard, managing director, global gas, at energy consultancy IHS. "I think it's the ultimate rebuttal to the peak oil and peak gas concept, but of course that's not much good unless you can develop it."


To that end, this month a 499-tonne survey vessel nosed out of the port of Sakai, once home to fabled gunsmiths and the finest makers of samurai swords in medieval Japan and today the prospective launching pad for a new technological revolution.


For the next two months, the Kaiyo Maru No 7 will survey the sea floor off Japan's west coast, the first step in a years-long process that could end with significant production of natural gas in Japanese waters. A promising methane hydrate site off the southeast coast was the subject of earlier surveys.


Japan is the epicentre of methane hydrates today not because it has so much of the resource - quite the opposite, most methane hydrates appear to be in North America - but because it needs the resource so badly and is working faster than any other country to make fire ice a commercial proposition.


The US and Canada are awash in methane hydrate resources, found both under the seabed such as in the Gulf of Mexico and in sub-Arctic permafrost. But both countries also have huge reserves of conventional and shale gas, dampening industry enthusiasm for a complicated, lengthy research process.


Although some companies, such as Chevron, work alongside the US government on methane hydrate research, "there's a little less space in the industry for enabling field experiments and data collection than there was 10 years ago," says Ray Boswell, technology manager for methane hydrates at the US Energy Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Not so in Japan. This spring, researchers in Japan reached a technical breakthrough, figuring out exactly how the gassy bundles of ice release 160 times their volume in methane as they are taken out of low-temperature, high-pressure environments. That could make commercial extraction, which experts estimate is at least 10 to 15 years off, an easier proposition. Continue reading…

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo on continues aging of Japan's population


Japan's population continues to age as number of children hits new low


The number of children in Japan has fallen to a new low, while the amount of people over 65 has reached a record high as the population ages and shrinks, the government said.


There were an estimated 16.33 million children aged under 15 as of 1 April, down 160,000 from a year earlier, the internal affairs and communications ministry said on Sunday. It was the 33rd straight annual decline and the lowest level since records began in 1950.


Children accounted for 12.8% of the population, the ministry said. By contrast, the ratio of people aged 65 or older was at a record high, making up 25.6% of the population. Jiji Press said that, of countries with a population of at least 40 million, Japan had the lowest ratio of children to the total population – compared with 19.5% for the United States and 16.4% for China.


Last month, the government said the number of people in the world's third largest economy dropped by 0.17% to 127,298,000 as of 1 October 2013. This includes long-staying foreigners.


The proportion of people aged 65 or over is forecast to reach nearly 40% in 2060, the government has warned.


The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo on Asian early trading ahead of US jobs

Asian early trading subdued ahead of US jobs data


TOKYO -- Asia was quiet in early Friday trading, ahead of a release later in the global day of key U.S. jobs data, with the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange standing almost unchanged in the morning session.


The Nikkei slid 0.2 percent to 14,460.30 in early trading, while the Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 1,963.04.


Market moves were cautious in anticipation of the release of U.S. government nonfarm payrolls report for April, which could show signs of an economic recovery.


The figures, which often set the market tone for a week or two after their release, may have a big impact as they come in the wake of significantly lower than expected U.S. economic growth in the first quarter and the Fed's ongoing reduction in its monetary stimulus.


Thursday's manufacturing survey from the Institute for Supply Management echoed other findings showing that the U.S. economy rebounded strongly in March and April. Most economists expect Friday's payrolls data to be solid too, with about 220,000 jobs created during April.


Overnight on Wall Street, share prices did not keep rising after three straight days of gains, as players took a wait-and-see attitude.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,883.68. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21.97 points to 16,558.87. The Dow had closed at an all-time high on Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite rose or 0.3 percent to 4,127.45.


Much of the world was on holiday for May Day Thursday.


In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was the only major index to be traded, and it closed 0.4 percent higher at 6,808.87.


The euro was trading virtually unchanged from late Thursday at $1.3861 and the dollar was also unchanged at 102.33 yen.


In the oil markets, a barrel of benchmark crude was down 10 cents at $99.32.


The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo on China Steps Up Bitcoin Battle


Beijing is at war with bitcoin. The digital currency has become so popular with speculators that the Chinese government seems intent on stopping its rise.


Although only one official bitcoin ruling has been issued, which approves some trading by individuals but bans local financial institutions from dealing in it, the government has been working behind the scenes to undermine the industry before it becomes too big to handle.


“This is the winter of bitcoin in China,” said one local industry professional who has already felt the effects of government attempts to curtail the currency's growth and who wished to remain anonymous due to current sensitivities around the issue. “It could last a few months or maybe a few years but bitcoin is here to stay; it’s not going away.”


China’s bitcoin fuss started in December when regulators said they were banning local financial institutions from using bitcoin, causing the value of the virtual commodity to halve during the last few weeks of 2013. Despite a brief rally in January, the bitcoin slump has continued (prices diverge across multiple different exchanges but the peak value was roughly $1,100 compared with less than $500 today).


Some industry participants were happy the Chinese government stopped short of banning bitcoin altogether and still allowed individuals to buy and sell them freely. “That’s a win for us,” Dave Chapman, co-founder and chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange ANX, said in March.


But then the government disallowed third-party payment companies from servicing payments between the exchanges and perceptions shifted again last week when state-owned China Merchants Bank said it would no longer allow customers to transfer money to the bitcoin exchange BTC China.


There are no explicit rules requiring financial institutions to impose such a ban but if other banks were to follow suit then bitcoin exchanges would be forced into cash-only mode — a significant impediment to doing business. 


“We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place as an industry in terms of what the government will allow and will not allow,” said the industry source who declined to be named. "The rules don't have to be logical or internally consistent. In other countries there is recourse but in this case there's not much people can do given the government structure."


Loss of control

The government has four main concerns about bitcoin, according to industry insiders: money laundering, capital controls, its lack of fundamental value and the wild swings in price.


However, such concerns are not serious enough to warrant prohibition. The real issue is the lack of central control.


After all, officials in Beijing could easily impose know-your-customer and anti-money laundering regulations on the bitcoin exchanges, as well as controls on foreign-currency transactions, if they wanted to. Indeed, ANX in Hong Kong already uses banking-style identity checks to approve its customers.


The problem for China is that it already struggles to enforce such controls in the non-virtual economy — illegal renminbi flows are plentiful even without bitcoin. So rather than deal with the additional headache of an underground economy running on a decentralised digital currency, however unlikely that might be, China would like to "cut bitcoin off at the knees before its popularity gets too big to contain", according to the source.


That is not a death knell for bitcoin but certainly makes life very difficult for Chinese bitcoin companies.


“People are much more scared about buying and investing and holding on to bitcoins now,” the source said. “But the value is still there. Compared to a year ago, bitcoin is still five or six times the price and exposure is now widespread in both the media and the public's mind. I'm still hopeful.”


So it now seems more likely that the main bitcoin action will happen outside China. In the US, retailers such as Zynga, Overstock and TigerDirect have recently started to accept bitcoin and more are joining them. CoinMap, a website that claims to map retail outlets around the world that accept bitcoin and litecoin payments, lists more than 150 stores in Asia — and close to 4,000 worldwide.


The next step, which ANX’s Chapman is confident will happen this year, is for a major online player such as Amazon or Google to start accepting them.


“This would naturally result in much wider appreciation of bitcoin as a payment technology — and it would most certainly increase the demand for bitcoins,” he predicted.

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo on China’s Looming Debt Bomb


China’s looming debt bomb: Shadow banking and the threat to growth


Caofeidian lies a three-hour drive east of Beijing, a Chinese industrial dream jutting into the sea. A decade ago, it was a pretty coast whose shallow waters were dotted with fishing vessels. Today, it’s a manufacturer’s paradise in the making, its eight-lane roads connecting sprawling factories to a vast port. Named after a former imperial concubine, it was a place of feverish fantasy, where borrowed money fuelled a vast reclamation effort to create 200 square kilometres of land and build something new.


When former Chinese president Hu Jintao came here in 2006, he called it a “treasure of a location” and likened it to “a piece of white paper, and the best and newest pictures ought to be drawn on it.”


What he likely did not envision: a giant money pit, half of whose debt seems unlikely to be paid back.


Caofeidian was to be home to a million-person eco-city, a massive steel factory, a power plant, an oil refinery and a panoply of apartments, bus makers, warehouses, lumber plants, a Sino-Japanese business park, even an “exhibition centre of strategic new industries.” A decade of spending poured $100-billion into the soil here, the equivalent of the annual budgets of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan combined.


But the loans that allowed all that spending have just 50 per cent odds of being paid back, says an independent research group that has spent years studying Caofeidian. The stakes are enormous. Caofeidian was a project of national importance for China, a “flagship,” according to Jon Chan Kung, chief researcher at Anbound, a Beijing think tank.


“If this project fails, it proves that the major model driving China’s development has also failed,” he says.


Debt now stands to undo at least some of what China’s spending has accomplished. Some of the country’s major projects have done little more than strand vast amounts of invested capital. Debt is just one of the ticking time bombs in China today. China must also cope with the fallout from slowing spending in a place where social stability has been largely defined by one thing: the non-stop accumulation of wealth.


“There will be a financial crisis. And I feel that the financial crisis is in the near term,” says Anne Stevenson Yang, co-founder of Beijing-based J Capital Research. “There will be a recession and then a long period of very, very slow growth. That’s my definition of collapse. I’m not talking about people running through the streets with torches. That may or may not happen.”


China has, for years now, become the engine of global growth. Its building sprees have kept afloat thousands of mines, its consumers have poured billions into the pockets of car manufacturers around the world, and its flush state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have become de facto bankers for energy, agricultural and other development in just about every country. China holds more U.S. Treasuries than any other nation outside the U.S. itself. It uses 46 per cent of the world’s steel and 47 per cent of the world’s copper. By 2010, its import- and export-oriented banks had surpassed the World Bank in lending to developed countries. In 2013, Chinese companies made $90-billion (U.S.) in non-financial overseas investments.  Continue reading…


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The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo Managing Your Legacy


Preserve And Share Your Wealth

You may have ideas for how you want your assets to be shared during and beyond your lifetime. It’s never too early to think about the legacy you want to create on behalf of the people and causes you care about. Your RBC Wealth Management financial advisor can help you protect the assets you’ve built up over a lifetime and distribute them according to your goals and values.


When you’re ready to explore your options, you’ll receive personalized guidance regarding the most effective strategies to help you:

- Minimize the effects of inflation and taxes — including income taxes, capital gains taxes and estate and gift taxes

- Provide for the future well-being of loved ones

- Make charitable contributions

- Transfer money and property to your heirs


Achieve your goals for creating a meaningful legacy:

Being smart about funding education

- Contributing where it counts

- Making gifts in your lifetime

- Designing your estate plan

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo Diversity and Inclusion


A Core Value, Business Priority and Key Strength

"Diversity for growth and innovation" is one of RBC's values and part of our business strategy. We know that understanding and drawing on the strength of diversity means meeting the needs of our clients, building strong relation­ships in the communities we serve, and fully engaging the talents of our people. 


RBC Wealth Management is committed to building a diverse workforce which includes race, gender, ethnicity, physical and mental abilities, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion and socioeconomic status. In addition to these differences, we also welcome the full range of employees’ thoughts, opinions, perspectives and backgrounds, including military veterans.   


Our active Employee Resource Groups and involved executives are evidence that diversity and inclusion truly are a way of life at RBC Wealth Management.


Learn more about how we actively support diversity all around us:


Strategic vision: creating tangible outcomes

The enterprise-wide RBC Diversity Blueprint conveys RBC’s view of diversity and outlines our priorities and objectives. The three priorities of the Diversity Blueprint are:


Talent and the Workplace: Increase the diversity and inclusion of our workforce globally, with a focus on increasing representation of women and minorities in senior management levels.


Marketplace: Offer customized and accessible services and products to diverse client markets and support supplier diversity programs in North America.


Community: Support the economic and social development of our communities through leadership in research, strategic partnerships, donations and sponsorships.


Tactical approach: unifying our efforts throughout the firm

In support of the RBC Diversity Blueprint, RBC Wealth Management’s goal is to:


- Define diversity and inclusion through a “wealth management lens,” refining the business case and assessing our current representation.

- Attract, develop and retain the best client-facing professionals to reflect the diverse communities we serve.

- Increase the representation of women and minorities in management roles in order to access the best available talent.

- Establish measures of success and delivering a quarterly RBC Wealth Management scorecard to track progress.


Equal Employment Opportunity

RBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to creating an inclusive workplace made up of people with various backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and abilities.

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo Stewardship

Our Commitment to Responsibly Managing Our Clients’ Assets


Our first priority is responsibly managing the financial assets you entrust to us — helping you more effectively manage your wealth and achieve your financial goals. As a client of RBC Wealth Management, you can expect to be treated with the honesty and respect you deserve by a firm you can depend on.


Our stewardship commitment extends beyond helping you manage your wealth to something CEO John Taft calls the Second Golden Rule: leaving the world a better place than you found it. This deep sense of duty to our clients, communities, employees and the environment is part of a larger corporate value system that drives every decision we make and guides every action we take.


Learn more about how we act on our stewardship values:


Clients: Our commitment to the people we serve

Our clients can expect personalized service and financial advocacy tailored to their needs and objectives. We pledge to:


- Hold ourselves accountable to transparency.


- Advocate strongly for a national fiduciary standard of care.


- Offer strength and stability through our parent company — Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) — a global leader in diversified financial services.


Communities: Our commitment to the places where we do business

Communities can expect a partner who invests in improving the quality of life in the cities where we do business. We pledge to:


- Provide sponsorship support to events that enrich people culturally.


- Provide financial support to non-profits serving youth education, human services and the arts.


- Promote employee giving and volunteer work to support local charities.


Employees: Our commitment to the people who work for us

Employees can expect a welcoming and inclusive work environment where they can contribute and grow. We pledge to:


- Attract and retain the most talented financial advisors and professional support staff available.


- Promote a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we do business.


- Create an inclusive culture that allows people from all backgrounds to make a difference, both in our business and in their own careers.


Environment: Our commitment to preserving natural resources 

Current and future generations can expect an environmentally sustainable business. We pledge to:


- Initiate environmental objectives to promote environmentally responsible business practices and reduce our environmental footprint.


- Encourage employee involvement in environmental policy, provide environmental education and tools to employees and promote environmentally responsible behavior.


- Support the RBC Environmental Blueprint and adapt policies and programs to coordinate with Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) environmental efforts.

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo Offers

World-Class Capabilities


RBC Wealth Management financial advisors have the flexibility to offer a comprehensive menu of products and services. Together, you can personalize our solutions to help accomplish your unique wealth management goals.


Alternative investments

- Private equity       

- Managed futures

- Hedge funds

- Exchange funds


Cash management

- Cash management accounts

- Cash Sweep Options 

- Electronic funds transfers (ACH)

- Online bill pay


Corporate executive and business owner solutions

- Retirement accounts for business owners

- Employer-sponsored qualified and non-qualified retirement plans

- Institutional consulting services and fiduciary services

- Deferred compensation and insurance solutions

- Full employee stock option and purchase plans

- Restricted securities, Rule 144 and Section 16, 10b5-1 plan creation and administration, stock buy backs (10b18)


Education savings

- 529 plans

- Custodial accounts (UGMA and UTMA)

- Coverdell education savings accounts


Estate planning

- Professional trustee services

- Revocable and irrevocable trusts

- Generation-skipping transfer trusts

- Business succession


Insurance and annuities

- Life insurance

- Disability insurance

- Long-term care insurance

- Fixed and variable annuities



- Mutual funds

- Stocks and bonds

- Managed accounts

- Alternative investments

- Options



- Margin lending

- Mortgages

- Lines of credit

- Commercial and small business lending



- Equity

- Fixed income

- Money manager

- Mutual fund


Retirement solutions

- Individual retirement planning

- Retirement income planning

- Employer-based retirement plans

The Woo Group RBC Wealth Management Tokyo Strength and Stability

A Firm Foundation for Your Financial Future 


Through our association with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) — one of North America’s largest and healthiest financial institutions — RBC Wealth Management offers the strength and stability you require in a financial partner. 


- RBC mantains consistently high credit ratings: S&P: AA-; Moody’s: Aa3; Fitch: AA; DBRS: AA (as of January 31, 2014).


- Based on market capitalization, RBC is the 15th largest bank in the world and the sixth largest in North America. (Bloomberg as of January 24, 2014).


- RBC employs more than 79,000 full-and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries.


RBC’s financial strength, sound risk management policies, strong balance sheet and diversified business mix have enabled it to withstand many of the market shocks and pressures. RBC’s performance relative to global competitors has been and should remain a source of confidence for shareholders and clients —and a source of pride for employees.