Canada Investing

How Smart is Smart Beta, Really?

Bob Stammers | Posted 08.14.2014 | Canada
Bob Stammers

It has been said that in investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable. This perhaps explains why the investment landscape is littered with novel and sometimes unsuccessful money making strategies.

When it Comes to Pensions, Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best

Tim Paziuk | Posted 08.08.2014 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

I always tell people that those who plan ahead stand a better chance than those who don't. Don't risk being blown off course by a sudden change in the wind. As sailors say, "plan for the worst and hope for the best."

Throw Away Your Bond Ladder

Coreen T. Sol, CFA | Posted 08.03.2014 | Canada Business
Coreen T. Sol, CFA

The first step is to devote just enough funds in short-term vehicles or ones that mature when you need specific payments. Pension funds have been using the strategy of liability matching, for generations where they meet liability payments with specific investments coming due at that same time.

Get Ready For a Completely Different Kind of Phone Call From Your Investment Advisor

Coreen T. Sol, CFA | Posted 07.16.2014 | Canada Business
Coreen T. Sol, CFA

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.

Stock Market Highs: What to Watch Out For

Sheldon Dyck | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada Alberta
Sheldon Dyck

Beyond the goofy hype and hyperbole, the silly alliteration and the abundant capital letters, headlines like "Market's Sizzling Spike Sets Seventh Record High in 2014" are actually something we need to take seriously.

Risk Tolerance Is Nothing to Take Lightly

Coreen T. Sol, CFA | Posted 08.17.2014 | Canada Business
Coreen T. Sol, CFA

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.

Don't Invest in Worries

Tim Paziuk | Posted 08.13.2014 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

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.

Would You Trust a Robot With Your Finances?

Bob Stammers | Posted 08.10.2014 | Canada Business
Bob Stammers

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."

How to Remove Emotion From Your Investments

Coreen T. Sol, CFA | Posted 08.06.2014 | Canada Business
Coreen T. Sol, CFA

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:

Be Tax-Savvy With Your Investment Dollars

Sarah Twomey | Posted 08.04.2014 | Canada Business
Sarah Twomey

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?

What Kevin O'Leary Gets Wrong About Business

Jason Clemens | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Business
Jason Clemens

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.

Are You a Zombie Investor?

Tim Paziuk | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

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?

A Money-Saving Secret the Taxman Doesn't Want You to Know

Sarah Twomey | Posted 06.24.2014 | Canada Business
Sarah Twomey

Want to know a secret? There's another tax-free way to save for retirement that the Taxman doesn't really want you to know. It's called universal life insurance, a special financial security portfolio that gives you life and health insurance coverage and a tax-deferred saving component.

Don't Use Your RRSPs To Invest in Private Companies

Tim Paziuk | Posted 06.05.2014 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

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.

How Being a "Tax-Wise" Investor Can Improve Your Nest Egg

Andrew Sheppard | Posted 05.17.2014 | Canada Business
Andrew Sheppard

Clients often ask me how high of a return can they expect from the portfolios I recommend. While I understand why they are focused on the potential returns, I always start my answer with my favourite rule when it comes to money: It doesn't matter what you make, it matters what you keep.

Five Steps To Help You Avoid Investment Fraud

Bob Stammers | Posted 05.11.2014 | Canada Business
Bob Stammers

When the conversation turns to fraud, investors can sometimes forget that tried-and-tested investment management principles still need to be applied. Even though diversification is one of the most fundamental and enduring investment principles, many investors forget to ensure their assets are diversified widely enough.

The Difference Between a Mutual Fund and a Seatbelt

Tim Paziuk | Posted 03.30.2014 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

Like seatbelts, when it comes to public safety, the Federal Government can intervene. So why ban on Deferred Sales Charges? Quite simply, it's an issue of public safety. There is nothing beneficial to the consumer about a DSC. As a matter of fact, it's nothing more then a legalized trap created by companies that produce and market mutual (and segregated) funds.

Startup Franchise Brands: Inadequate Disclosure and Irrational Decisions

Ben Hanuka | Posted 03.24.2014 | Canada Business
Ben Hanuka

All Canadians have a stake in reducing franchisees' drastic losses in startup brands. Franchising is an integral part of Canada's economy, particularly the retail sector. Canadian franchisee investors and consumers are drawn to franchise brands based on their potential to offer proven business systems, consistency and recognized goodwill.

How Market-Linked GICs are Offering False Promises

Sheldon Dyck | Posted 03.15.2014 | Canada Alberta
Sheldon Dyck

The ProForm Ab Glider is amazing and remarkable and stupendous, and not just because it looks like a wheel-less tricycle crossed with a banana. It's because it promises six-pack abs in just "three minutes a day!"

Taking Your Finances Into Your Own Hands

Bob Stammers | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Business
Bob Stammers

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. With self-directed investment accounts, discount brokers, free online financial tools and an overabundance of online personal financial advice, it may seem like consumers today are well positioned to manage their own financial path. But access to tools doesn't necessarily mean one has the skills to use them properly.

Don't Let Money Mistakes Define You

Anita Saulite | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Anita Saulite

When I first started investing my money, I bought a penny stock (highly speculative investment) and didn't conduct the necessary due diligence (aka research) to really learn about the company and its potential. A well-meaning friend had recommended the stock. Thankfully I only invested a small amount of money, but lost every penny (excuse the pun). It stopped me dead in my tracks. I avoided investing for a short period of time until I regained my confidence. It took a while. I had never experienced a financial loss to this point. It was a powerful learning experience that reframed my approach to investing.

The Pot of Gold at the End of Your Internet Cable

Bob Stammers | Posted 11.12.2013 | Canada Business
Bob Stammers

There may be no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but how about at the end of your Internet cable? As gold prices continue to underwhelm, the emergence of the virtual currency Bitcoin has raised the stakes in the world of commodity investing.

Financial Advice from Germs

Jason Tetro | Posted 10.03.2013 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgThere are a number of human financial gurus working to help you become wealthy, and their advice is based on years if not decades of knowledge and experience. However, there are a number of microbial economic geniuses who have centuries of expertise developing "economic" success. Germs seem to have knowledge to keep economies solid.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Investing

Bob Stammers | Posted 09.30.2013 | Canada Business
Bob Stammers

Investing should always be highly rational; humans on the other hand rarely are. Emotion creeps in, leading us to make choices that are often misaligned with our overall financial needs and goals. It's forgivable to make an occasional mistake every now and then, but striving to avoid the seven deadly sins of investing can help you dodge costly bundlers and help put you on a sound financial footing.

38 Ways to Make Boards Better

Richard Leblanc | Posted 08.08.2013 | Canada Business
Richard Leblanc

What follows is a series of recommendations that could apply to any public board to: make it more focused on value creation; to strengthen real director independence, including from management; to strengthen management accountability to the board; and to strengthen board accountability to shareholders.