Spring is officially in full swing and we are starting to see two specific outdoor trends that are definitely taking over the market place. The question of "lifestyle" vs. "investment" is driving outdoor renovations. It seems that there is an even split between homeowners who are making lifestyle choices for their backyards and those homeowners who are focusing on improving the value of their homes. This direction has even been impacting the products that we are spending money on.
Are you an investor? Although this might seem like a simple question, the answer isn't so straightforward. One way is to ask some fundamental questions about your financial decisions, what's informing your strategy and how you're putting a plan into place. In other words, think about attitude, aptitude and action.
Where once we took pride in turning out engineers, architects, doctors, accountants and lawyers who built bridges, buildings and companies and helped better and even save lives, now we venerate those whose single pursuit is great wealth. It's hard to see what purpose Wall Street quants and click-driven Web virologists serve except to further the notion that all that matters is money.
Sort through the statistics and the surprise is how consistently Ontario and Quebec now mimic the weak economic opportunities in the Maritimes instead of the bright economic opportunities available in the West. There's no great mystery as to why. Provinces with substantial private sector investment -- something the West has attracted with pro-entrepreneur policies and by simply saying "yes" to resource extraction in specific -- end up with enhanced employment opportunities, higher incomes and better prospects to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle.
Once the carbon bubble, like the tech or housing bubble, pops it would bring dramatic re-evaluation of oil companies, resulting in massive layoffs and major industry restructuring. In Canada, the oilsands represents two per cent of the country's GDP and 90 per cent of the economic benefit goes to Alberta.
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.
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.
A new report released today finds that seven of the largest publicly-traded oil companies in the world are putting billions of dollars in jeopardy by investing in high-cost, high-risk oil extraction projects. Many of the most risky ventures are right here in Canada and many of the companies named in the report figure significantly in Canadian pension plans and mutual funds.
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.
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:
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.