Timing The Stock Market

Timing The Stock MarketAs I’ve articulated before, I’m not a big fan of timing the stock market, and everything I’ve read about the efficient market hypothesis (that stocks are rationally priced at all times based on the sum of everyone’s understanding of the market) makes sense. That being said, there also seems to be a great case against selling when markets fall, or buying when markets are very bullish (going up fast). Following…

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Dividend Increase is Not a Reason to Buy a Stock

Dividend Increase is Not a Reason to Buy a StockThere are many common misconceptions about dividend investing. For example, all dividend paying stocks are stable companies. Or, a dividend from a stock will more than offset any losses you receive in share price over the long term. However, there is one that I find most persistent in both new and experienced dividend investors. It is often viewed as a reason to buy a stock, yet it should never be…

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A Time to Sell?

A Time to Sell?Recently in the comments section of a post from July 2008, titled 30% today vs. 50% tomorrow, a reader John asks the following question, “I noticed some of my mutual funds are showing a 70% return from one year ago (market low). Do you agree it’s a good time to sell some now and wait for a dip in the major indexes before getting back in? I’m of course talking about…

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Financial Bubble Still Here with Yet More to Unravel?

Financial Bubble Still Here with Yet More to Unravel?Is there such a thing as a secular financial bubble? Has the financial sector become bloated out of proportion to the economy over the last few decades and is there be a contraction in store, abrupt or prolonged, back to a smaller financial sector? Was the crisis of 2008 merely the start? I’m not sure of the answer but a couple of data points have stuck in my mind recently:…

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Segregated funds: The High Price of Security

Segregated funds: The High Price of SecurityDuring the RRSP campaign, I met one of my clients who held investments with Manulife for a while. During our meeting, he showed me his investment statements from the other company. He had invested in segregated funds for the past 10 years and wasn’t happy with the results. While I am not bashing Manulife (I still took it in my portfolio for our best 2010 stock picks contest), I can’t…

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The sad fate of labour-sponsored funds

The sad fate of labour-sponsored fundsRemember when all you heard from investment salespeople during the RRSP season was about the 30 per cent tax credits available on a labour-sponsored fund? Sometimes, they added the RRSP deduction and showed how 75 to 80 per cent of your contribution was subsidized. Sounded like a great deal, right? But did they also mention the sky high management fees or the fact that a portfolio of emerging businesses might…

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7 Warning Signs You Need to Repair Your Portfolio

7 Warning Signs You Need to Repair Your PortfolioDoes this sound familiar? The stock market has been going up significantly since the beginning of the year but your portfolio is down. That is one clear warning sign that it is time to do some work on your portfolio before things get even worse. There are a number of additional warnings signs that an investor should look for when analysing their portfolio. Each one of these warnings signs signal…

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The Index Finger Moves on – Shrinking TSX and Declining Index Effect

The Index Finger Moves on - Shrinking TSX and Declining Index EffectThe Shrinking TSX Another ones bites the dust. As I noted last year, the TSX Composite Index has been shrinking for years. That seems to be continuing, though at a slower pace. When Enerflex Systems Income Fund (EFX.UN) leaves the index next week as the result of a buyout (see Standard & Poors press release) the TSX Composite will be down to 210 companies, a third fewer than a mere…

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Best of: Worst Financial Advice Ever

Best of: Worst Financial Advice EverThe N.C.F.B.A. met on Monday night (OK we sat and watched Preet eat dinner), and as usual the discussions and commentaries were entertaining, enlightening and fun (for me at least), and one of the topics that came up was about Advice and what people do with the advice you might give them (Michael James has in fact written an excellent post on how Investment Advice Usually Reaches the Wrong People)….

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