How to Avoid the Next Dividend Disaster

How to Avoid the Next Dividend DisasterThe protracted slump in crude and the ongoing weakness of commodities over the last two years triggered a dividend crisis for Canadian investors. A raft of dividend darlings in the energy patch slashed or even terminated their dividends as they battled to shore up over-levered balance sheets and protect diminishing cash flows. This wasn’t only restricted to energy stocks. Dividend cuts occurred across the TSX as companies sought to rein…

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Why You Should Ignore Share Prices

Why You Should Ignore Share PricesIt’s easy to get caught up in stock prices as they move up and down, especially when there are large swings. However, focusing on share prices can actually be hazardous to your portfolio’s health if you end up overtrading due to emotion. Here’s why you should ignore share prices and focus on other things that are more telling. Why share prices don’t tell you much The share price doesn’t tell…

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The 5 basic Rules to Avoid Investor Pain

The 5 basic Rules to Avoid Investor PainWe’ll try to round up some scary things in the market for our column in two weeks, just in time for Halloween. In the interim, let’s go back to some more basic investment rules and guidelines that all investors should pay attention to. There is never just ONE dividend cut When a company’s fortunes change enough to require a cut in the dividend, the board of directors — almost always…

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Why Stocks Are a Better Investment Than Mutual Funds

Why Stocks Are a Better Investment Than Mutual FundsThe stock market continually garners a considerable volume of sensational headlines that fuel nervousness among investors. This coupled with the heavy-handed marketing of fund managers and financial planners creates the illusion that mutual funds offer superior and more accessible means for small investors to access the market. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Direct stock investing is still one of the best and possibly the easiest means of achieving…

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When Picking a Hedge Fund, Bigger isn’t Always Better

When Picking a Hedge Fund, Bigger isn’t Always BetterFor many years the question of whether the size of a hedge fund affects its returns has been hotly debated. Although there is ample evidence that a few legendary funds are able to manage billions of dollars and consistently deliver outsized returns to investors over the long term (especially on a risk-adjusted basis), there is mounting evidence that, at least in the world of hedge funds, smaller can be better….

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5 Lessons that will Help Protect Your Portfolio

5 Lessons that will Help Protect Your PortfolioOne of the fascinating things about the market is that, no matter how long you invest, or how much you think you know, there can always be new lessons learned. For a lot of investors, losing money — unfortunately — is often the cost of tuition for these market lessons. But, no investor is going to bat 1.000, and if you can at least learn from your mistakes then your…

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Investing in Group RESPs?

Investing in Group RESPs?Quite possibly one of the greatest things you can do for your children’s future is to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for them.  This specialized registered account carries several benefits that ultimately help build money towards your child’s college education. Such benefits include being entirely tax free and the ability to receive government education grants to boost your balance.  Because the cost of college is always rising it…

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The 5 Hot Sectors To Invest In

The 5 Hot Sectors To Invest InInvestors, it seems, are always looking for the “next great thing.” Since individual stocks are so hard to pick, though, some investors look for investment “themes” instead. They figure if they can latch onto an emerging or hot trend, then it matters less what stock they actually buy within that trend — since they all might do well. This can, in our view, be a dangerous exercise. Usually “hot” themes…

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Markets and Impacts from Terrorism

Markets and Impacts from TerrorismA wave of violence has been gripping the world for the past few months, including the most recent one in Nice, France on Bastille Day where 84 (and counting) had been killed from a lone truck driver whereby early reports are conflicted if ISIS was involved.  And then there was the killings in Orlando back in June that took 49 at the Pulse nightclub. And the incident at Istanbul’s airport…

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The ETF Landscape in Canada Is Getting a Lot Harder to Traverse

The ETF Landscape in Canada Is Getting a Lot Harder to TraverseExchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Canada recently broke through the $100 billion mark in assets under management. And with more than 400 ETFs trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, it’s getting a lot harder for self-directed investors to build consistent, easy-to-maintain portfolios without a bit of outside help. In the early days, it was simple enough: the classic “Couch Potato” ETF portfolio would have consisted of about four broad-based, low-cost ETFs….

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