5 Ways to Avoid Outrageous Investment Fees

5 Ways to Avoid Outrageous Investment FeesMore amendments to the way investment dealers and advisers deal with their clients are coming in July and firms are very worried. The new initiatives — part of the Client Relationship Model — Phase 2, or CRM2, initiative — are meant to show clients how much money in fees they are actually paying on their investments. Specifically, they will show the annual cost and compensation (in dollars) of all operating,…

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How to Make Your Portfolio As Inefficient As Possible – Pay Down the Mortgage

How to Make Your Portfolio As Inefficient As Possible - Pay Down the MortgageThere’s been no shortage of fear-mongering about the Canadian housing market – whether that’s Deutsche Bank stating it is overvalued by 65 per cent, or U.S. hedge funds shorting the country’s banks and mortgage providers. Jerome Hass, a portfolio manager at Lightwater Partners Ltd., had similar views about the London, England, property market just under a decade ago, as well as Australian housing prices 15 to 20 years ago. “I…

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7 Ways to Simplify Your Investments

7 Ways to Simplify Your InvestmentsInvesting doesn’t have to be difficult. Eliminating complicated investments can make your portfolio easier to manage and could even boost your returns. Automating your finances can also make it easier to save money and track your investments. Here are seven ways to make investing simple. 1. Consider a robo advisor. Automated online investment management platforms or robo advisors such as Betterment and Wealthfront can make investing incredibly simple because they…

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Finally! Alternative Investments For the Rest of Us

Finally!  Alternative Investments For the Rest of UsThere’s no doubt some Canadian investors are cynical about the rise in popularity of alternative investments over the past few years. And really, who can blame them? Hedge-fund strategies and non-traditional asset classes such as private equity and infrastructure are repeatedly touted for their significant diversification benefits and returns that are uncorrelated to stocks and bonds, but they also usually come with big price tags and, more often than not,…

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5 Major Differences Between Cheap and Frugal

5 Major Differences Between Cheap and FrugalIn response to my recent post about splitting expenses with friends, one commenter wrote that there is a fine line between cheap and frugal. I happen to agree. For example, when dining in a group, I recommend that each individual calculate tax and tip based on what they ordered, but I would never dream of leaving less than a 18 percent tip on my tab, unless service was abysmal. I…

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How to Decide If You are Ready to Invest

How to Decide If You are Ready to InvestSo you want to get into the investment game and you’ve been sitting on the bench. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up around 18 percent this year through September and you’re apprehensive about getting back into the game now. Should you just run onto the field and start playing or wait for the coach to put you in at the right time? The following are three essential questions…

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10 Reasons You Are Not Rich Yet

10 Reasons You Are Not Rich YetAs a financial advisor, I have spent many years helping other people overcome financial stumbling blocks so they can become rich. Ironically, the one person I have had the most trouble helping is myself. Being “rich” can mean different things to different people, but I believe it means having the financial freedom to achieve your goals and live the life you want. I am great at giving advice; I am…

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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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