Archive by tag "Uncategorized"

Control and risk in retirement

July 10th, 2017

People with defined contribution pension plans or group RRSPs may face a “good news, bad news” situation when they retire. The good news is that many people will receive 6-figure (and sometimes even 7-figure) cheques from such plans. The bad news is that this money has to fund their lifestyle for the rest of their [...]

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Toronto Under Ice

June 22nd, 2017

An actuary is someone who uses statistics to determine the probability of risks and the financial consequences of those risks. The viability of our insurance and pension systems depends on the advice of actuaries. Actuaries have a deserved reputation as a sober, fact-based profession.

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Automation and Deaths of Despair

June 12th, 2017

On Monday, June 21, 1965, the day The Byrds released their hit single “Mr. Tambourine Man”, I began my career as an actuarial student. I have seen many profound demographic changes in the intervening fifty-two years, but nothing prepared me for the change which is the subject of this article.

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Ford Trucks vs. the Large Hadron Collider

June 1st, 2017

Automation is not just affecting how things are made. Increasingly, automation characterizes the things we buy and use daily.

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Dying Without a Will

January 18th, 2017

When I ask clients whether their wills and powers of attorney are current and up to date, many answer yes, some answer no and a few tell me that they have no will or POA’s.

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Stop Thief!

January 18th, 2017

In fee-based investment accounts offered by major financial institutions, clients are told they’ll pay a fee based strictly on the size of the account and they are NOT supposed to pay any sales commissions or trailer fees. In reality, it turns out that some clients of major financial institutions were paying both fees and commissions [...]

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Automated Vehicles, Police & Farmers

January 18th, 2017

In December, my wife and I traded in our 2011 Malibu for a new one. The differences between the two vehicles were startling. The most obvious changes were the new features to improve the safety of people in the car and in the vicinity of the car. These include things such as adaptive cruise control [...]

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Does Your Advisor Add Value?

January 18th, 2017

Several years ago, I wanted to find out how much I was paying my investment advisor. After several months of research, I concluded that it was just about impossible to determine what I was paying my advisor based on the information provided to me by the financial institution.

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Interest Rates and the Black Death

September 19th, 2016

For the last 18 months, I have been volunteering with the Financial Planning Standards Council on the awkwardly-named Projection Assumption Guidelines Committee. This committee publishes, annually, projected rates of return for fixed income, equities and other investments. These projections are guidelines for financial planners building models that demonstrate clients’ financial situation for the next 25 [...]

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Elevators and Self-Driving Cars

September 15th, 2016

Self-driving cars are very much in the news today, as technology companies and automakers race to make them a reality.

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