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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Five Things to Look for When Buying A Mutual Fund

Five Things to Look for When Buying A Mutual FundThere are plenty of reasons that show how very bad mutual funds are for investors: weak performance, high fees, closet indexing, you name it. But mutual funds can serve a purpose and, yes, there are some good ones out there. Such funds can still be a good place to start investing, as minimums can be low and diversification can be instantly achieved. Instead of highlighting some top funds (which will…

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The Five Investment Rules You Should Follow in 2015

The Five Investment Rules You Should Follow in 2015Most investors would likely agree that 2014 has been an unusual year for stock market activity. A lot of investors got whipsawed and plenty of mistakes were made. There was a ton of confusion and, more recently, panic. It seems, at least to us sitting independently on the sidelines, that a lot of Canadian investors simply forgot the basics. With that in mind, here are five simple investment rules to…

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GICs – The Problem With Playing It Safe

GICs - The Problem With Playing It SafeThe Problem As a 59-year-old training administrator for a mining company, Heather is a member of her company’s defined contribution pension plan. She’s also mortgage-free. But in 2008 she suffered a 40% loss in her stock portfolio and has since slowly sold off all her high-fee mutual funds, putting her 100% in cash. “I have to pay more attention,” says Heather, who has started managing her own finances. After reading…

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Know What Fees You’re Paying and How to Minimize Them

Know What Fees You're Paying and How to Minimize ThemFew things in life are free. Sure, there are free samples of protein bars at grocery stores and free hand-me-downs from grandma, but it costs you time to wait in line for the snack and effort to drop unwanted items off at donation centres. So it should come as no surprise that it costs you money to manage your money — whether it’s banking fees, ATM fees or mutual fund…

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Why its time for investors to take some chips off the table

Why its time for investors to take some chips off the tableOn Dec. 6, 1941, while Europe was engulfed in a war that saw Germany control all of Western Europe except Britain, Americans were spending an ordinary Saturday, wrapped in their collective isolationist blanket. Whether getting some Christmas shopping done, listening to game shows on the radio, or taking in a movie such as Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon or Dumbo, the battles being fought on the far sides of the Atlantic…

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5 More Reasons Mutual Funds Stink

5 More Reasons Mutual Funds StinkEarlier this year we penned a couple of columns that, more or less, beat up the mutual fund industry. We will add one more now, with a bit of an extension to highlight what’s wrong with the investment industry in general as well as mutual funds. Then we’ll give our friends and former colleagues in the business a break, but until then here are five more things we don’t like…

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Using Dividend Stocks to Build Income

Using Dividend Stocks to Build IncomeHow did you get into investing?After finishing post secondary, I visited my local banker to get some investing advice and was pointed towards one of their mutual funds that was selected based on my risk tolerance at the time. I set up an automatic withdraw plan and watched as my net worth began to slowly grow in size. It was a good feeling! After reading copious amounts of literature on…

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Dollar Cost Averaging Helps Investors Manage Risk

Dollar Cost Averaging Helps Investors Manage RiskPeople are always looking for the best time to buy when investing their money. Ultimately, no one wants to pay too much for an investment that they know will fluctuate in value from one day to the next. It doesn’t matter how smart or experienced someone may be, no one can tell you with any degree of certainty where interest rates will be from one day to the next and,…

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Reining in Canada High Mutual Fund Fees

Reining in Canada High Mutual Fund FeesMutual fund fees are higher in Canada than elsewhere. And despite efforts to beef up disclosure, buyers are still in the dark about what they pay. Industry critics have talked about inflated fund ownership costs for years. Now there’s a discussion paper by the Canadian Securities Administrators that bolsters their case. This 50-page paper, posted at the Ontario Securities Commission’s website under News, can be a tough slog to get…

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