Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is this a good trade-Long USD, Short Alberta Real Estate?

The loonie has fallen by more than 15 per cent from its top that was reached last November. Alberta real estate prices have fallen by an almost similar amount since reaching their peak last summer. I expect that loonie and the Alberta real estate prices will continue to fall for a while.

So for all those ‘bitter renters’ who have been saving their money and putting it in GIC or some other investment vehicle, would the following trade be a good idea:

- Convert your GIC into USD and wait for loonie to fall further.

- In the mean time, the Alberta real estate prices are likely to fall as well.So while there is no explicit 'shorting' of Alberta real estate, the waiting itself is good enough to get the benefits.

Of course, I was so consumed by other things that I didn’t have time to do the conversion of any of my Canadian dollars into US dollars in the days of parity and beyond. The net result will be a possible double gain.

Of course, the above will go against the conventional wisdom that says US dollar is toast

But our currency is strongly tied to the price of crude and in face of clear demand destruction and recession in pretty much the entire developed world, the prices could tumble even further in the short to medium term.

Of course, with conversion to USD, you’ll likely earn less interest rates and lose the CDIC insurance benefits.

What do you think?

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