February 2, 2018 (Groundhog Day) noon eastern

At minus 20 or so here in the Edmonton area any talk of an early end to winter is certainly premature.

Stocks are down today. In the case of U.S. markets that seems like a bit of overdue sanity.

Boston Pizza Royalty is down 4.7% to $19.55. That may be due to predictions that they had a poor Q4 and are facing more competition. Or it may be due to higher interest rates. I grabbed some at $19.60 this morning. I figure a 7.0% yield where I believe the distribution will rise (albeit very slowly) over time and where I believe it would at worst decline slightly is going to be a pretty good yield in any likely future interest rate environment. Of course, if rates really soar, these units will fall. And they may fall due to deteriorating business at BP if that occurs. Or they can fall simply due to fears and unpopularity of yield investments. Those are always risks. In any case I was attracted to the lower price today and added to my position. BP reports earnings, I believe next Thursday.

Declining markets always have their silver lining. It’s clearly better to buy at a  lower price today than applied yesterday. As for whether tomorrow will be lower yet, time will tell.

Getting back to the minus 20 degree temperature in Edmonton: Luckily the cost of home heating in Alberta is almost minor compared to some areas of the county. Natural gas is particularly cheap at the moment $2.13 per Gj on my latest bill. And I used all of 19 GJ despite cold weather and running a furnace and running a fireplace in a Sunroom. Natural Gas is so cheap that the delivery charges are quite a bit more than the gas commodity charges. All told for the gas plus delivery plus administrative charges and even the carbon tax and GST my heating bill for a month in the coldest part of winter was $166.11

I am pretty sure the heating costs in Ontario are quite a bit higher. And I KNOW that the costs in the Atlantic provinces where fuel oil or electricity is widely used for heat are FAR higher. I don’t think $500 to heat for a month would be particularly unusual in the coldest months.