Archive by tag "investment"

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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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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Reasonable (and Unreasonable) Rates of Return

September 16th, 2015

The Financial Planning Standards Council recently promulgated Projection Assumption Guidelines. The Guidelines help financial planners set appropriate assumptions when developing financial plans for clients. The most interesting guidelines are those for investment rates of return.

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A Lesson in Latin

June 22nd, 2015

What can Latin –a language that has been dead for centuries– teach us about mutual fund investing. Quite a bit, it turns out. A report produced by the Brondesbury Group ( sheds light on the issue of compensation for mutual fund sales. The report could have aptly been titled Caveat Emptor, Latin for “Let the buyer [...]

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CPP Decisions at Age 65

September 11th, 2014

Canadians approaching age 65 face important decisions regarding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), decisions which can have a material effect on their standard of living in retirement. The regulations do not make easy reading, so the purpose of this article is to examine the choices which are available depending on work status. Don’t Work Past [...]

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Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit Products

September 11th, 2012

Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit products (or GMWB’s) are financial products which have been developed by life insurance companies in the last ten years to respond to 3 important developments: a large number of “baby boomers”, estimated at a third of the total population, will be retiring in the next 10 to 15 years; these “boomers” have [...]

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Buying High, Selling Low

September 11th, 2012

In classical economic theory, investors always behave in their own rational self-interest. Recent research in the field of behavioural finance shows that this is often not the case. The chart (left – double click to enlarge) includes the change in the US S&P 500 Index during the bubble and the net inflows/outflows from US [...]

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The Next Step in Asset Allocation

June 11th, 2012

When you are saving for your retirement, the major investment decision you face is how to allocate your assets into equities, fixed income instruments and short term, liquid investments. This post discusses asset allocation after you retire when you enter the de-accumulation phase.

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CPP: "How Long Is A Piece of String?"

June 22nd, 2011

At a recent meeting of the Retirement Planners Association of Canada (RPAC), Willie Jack and I were challenged to calculate the effective rate of return on contributions made to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Interestingly, we used quite different approaches but came up with similar results. They must be right! Willie considered an individual born [...]

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