This is a cautionary tale of what happens all over Canada during the previous holiday season and throughout the year: People opted to use credit cards to make purchases they could not afford, which ended up costing them more due to interest charges than they had anticipated and left them with bills they reluctantly had to pay.
The biggest lessons I've learned about investing have come from the biggest mistakes I've made. I bought a pre-construction condo unit in a popular Toronto neighbourhood. I forked over a 20 per cent deposit to make the purchase. That was four years ago, the property still hasn't been built so I can't sell it or rent it out.
Finding "the right one" these days can be very complicated, and by the one I mean the right financial advisor! Searching for an advisor that is the perfect match takes time, effort and plenty of research. Finding the right financial advisor is not necessarily a simple task but it can be straightforward if you follow some basic guidelines.
No one likes permanent loss of capital and no one seeks to have a drop in the value of his or her assets. What we need to understand is if you can sleep at night when your monthly statement value has dropped by some amount. More importantly, will it impact your ability to enjoy your life and meet your personal financial obligations, if this were to occur?
The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) has become the most underused, yet indispensable tax shelters designed to make post secondary education more accessible to children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, many of us don't use the RESP and if we do, we typically don't maximize the benefits available.
Let's face it: many people work better on a deadline. This is the same mindset that leads perfectly reasonable adults to the conclusion that saving for retirement can wait until tomorrow, until they get a raise or have taken the next vacation, or until they turn 30, 35 or 40. If you are approaching 40 and have procrastinated, it's time for a gut check.
Transparency is ultimately a useful tool and a move in the right direction: the more we know, the better. Of course, if you've hired a portfolio manager who charges a monthly or quarterly inclusive fee, you have already been enjoying full transparency, long before these regulations came into affect.
Every time you sit down with an investment professional, you are asked what your risk tolerance is. Regardless of the method for defining the risk you'll accept in your investment portfolio, you are wise to define the meaning at the outset with the person administering your money. It will save you a lot of sleepless nights.
If you're an average Canadian, you probably own a principal residence and have a few dollars invested or saved somewhere. If you have money invested in stocks, bonds or real estate, you may be concerned about losing your money. This is a reasonable thought; although, depending on what you're invested in, your concern (read: worry) is probably a waste of time.
Investing and managing money might seem like one such task that requires a large amount of personal attention and professional advice. However, an increasing number of investors have started looking to technology to help manage their money. This trend has seen the rise of a new breed of wealth manager -- "the robo-advisor."
Coupled with the outside noise of market emotions, our individual ability to justify decisions based on sometimes irrelevant and biased information, makes the seemingly simple axiom, 'buy low, sell high' difficult to execute efficiently. Luckily, there are 3 easy ways that you can create and manage an emotional firewall between you and your investments:
You survived the debt temptations of the holiday season, achieved your personal best in RSP contributions and only had to pay a small amount in additional taxes for the last year. Now you can relax until the whole headache starts again in a few months. But what if you could avoid the hassle by setting up a plan that could help reduce your next end-of-year tax bill?
Kevin O'Leary has created an entire persona around a sort of modern-day Gordon Gekko. O'Leary is fond of and famous for employing phrases like "it's all about the money," "people only care about money," and "money makes the world go round." To put it mildly, this is a superficial, even one-dimensional understanding of markets.
Whenever I think about zombies, my mind immediately creates a picture of a group of blank face dead people walking around with no thoughts of their own. When you make an investment decision, are you basing that decision on facts gathered through a due-diligence process? Or are you mindlessly following the crowd?
It is extremely easy to buy into private companies; they will be more than willing to use your money to fund their ideas and aspirations. It is very difficult for the average investor to successfully "invest" in private companies, since success requires some type of return. I'd rather sit back, enjoy a beer as a customer, and consider some other investment options.