You Can Earn $50K in Tax-Free Dividends But There’s A Catch

You Can Earn $50K in Tax-Free Dividends But There's A CatchWhile early retirement may be a pipe dream for most of us, every once in a while I hear from readers who have pulled it off and are living almost tax-free on dividend income alone. An example is Torontonian Phil McKinley, who retired in his early 40s a couple of years ago and has been living on his non-registered dividend income tax-free. While McKinley is reluctant to divulge his full…

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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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5 Reasons the Stock Market is Just Plain Weird

5 Reasons the Stock Market is Just Plain WeirdMarkets have indeed been strange for some time now. Most investors are confused about whether to sell, or buy, or panic, or just go to cash and avoid the craziness. However, if you think more closely about things, you might come to the conclusion that markets are always strange. Investors and the market are just not … normal. Why do we say this? Let’s look at five reasons why markets…

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What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?

What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?The U.S. Powerball lottery and its “world record” US$1.5-billion jackpot (or thereabouts) certainly caused quite a stir over the past few days. Even Canadians, apparently, were scrambling to get in on the action, flocking to American border towns to buy tickets. Jeesh. I don’t want to be a party pooper, and 1.5 billion is a lot of shekels, but really, you’d probably have been better off putting the price of…

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What the Toronto Blue Jays Can Tell Investors About Risk

What the Toronto Blue Jays Can Tell Investors About RiskIt’s been a week since the Toronto Blue Jays lost the American League Championship to the Kansas City Royals. Although the sting of coming so close to the World Series for the first time in 23 years will take some time to dissipate, there are some lessons to be learned from the brand of baseball that the Jays played that can help investors understand how their investment time horizons affect…

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Why Investors Don’t Know Which Turn to Take

Why Investors Don't Know Which Turn to TakeDuring summer vacations when I was a kid, my dad and I often took a break from hanging out on the beach to go for a drive. Eventually, he let me sit behind the wheel. Big moment. Didn’t go so well. As we poked along a gravel back road, I swerved this way and that like I was trying to avoid strafing fire from a helicopter gunship. A clump of…

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Educate Yourself to Become a Better Investor and Understand Your Portfolio

Educate Yourself to Become a Better Investor and Understand Your PortfolioAs students head back to class next week, shell-shocked investors looking for a little peace of mind may also want to hit the books to beef up their financial know-how and soothe their frazzled nerves. The stock market is currently taking investors on a roller-coaster ride, meaning there has never been a better time to have an appropriate financial plan and the right investments in your portfolio.  Read More…

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3 Timeless Tips for Surviving a Bear Market

3 Timeless Tips for Surviving a Bear MarketThe financial media as of late—in both Canada and the U.S.—has been overrun with headlines talking about the potential for another bear market. It’s clear why. A 10% correction in the TSX in August followed by news that we are in a recession has put investors on edge. Is there any accuracy to claims that a new bear market is upon us? It is impossible to know for sure, but…

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Why Investors have to Adopt New Tactics From Time to Time

Why Investors have to Adopt New Tactics From Time to TimeAccording to investing pioneer Sir John Templeton, “The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.’” His admonishment, often quoted and treated as divinely inspired, refers to investors’ belief that the measurement of value changes in a fundamental way over time. Although Templeton’s essential point to invest in value rather than respond to trends or innuendo is sound, I much prefer the advice from another legendary investor,…

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Five Ways Companies Turn Investors Off

Five Ways Companies Turn Investors OffIt is pretty hard to pick a good stock: You need to find competent management, a good business, a competitive advantage, a good balance sheet, a low valuation, a good growth profile and solid cash flow, among dozens and dozens of other subjective and quantitative factors. What’s more, even when you find a good company, you need other investors to like it and push the price up, or you still…

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