June 2007

Buying a New Home? Watch Out for Those Hidden Costs

Posted by on June 29, 2007 in Real Estate

(as a brief editorial note, the last week of the Supermarket experiment and a final analysis will run early next week. Thanks for your patience.) I have never been a supporter of buying a new home. Why? Firstly, workmanship in many new homes and condos is poor; I visited a friend’s new condo earlier this [...]

Contribute to Retirement or Pay Down the Mortgage- an update

Posted by on June 28, 2007 in Investment Strategy

Just an update on a previous post about contributing to retirement or paying down the mortgage. I am contributing to retirement this month even though mortgage rates are generally going up. Why? I am self-employed and my income fluctuates from month to month. For whatever reason, this month’s deductible expenses are unusually low meaning that [...]

Who Really Needs Insurance?

Posted by on June 27, 2007 in insurance

(excuse the appearance, we are under construction) Last week, I received a notice from my potential disability insurance company that I had not completed all the pre-requisites for obtaining disability insurance and my pre-approval had expired. I would once again have to apply for insurance. What happened was that my doctor did not complete the [...]

Has the Condo Market Collapsed?

Posted by on June 26, 2007 in Real Estate

Next to “my taxes are too high,” a frequent saying I hear among all people (regardless of investment acumen) is that “the condo market is over-built” or “don’t invest in a condo- the market is going to collapse!” One of the local news-stations is running a series on whether Toronto has too many condos under [...]

Saving Money- what items are you saving for?

Posted by on June 25, 2007 in Money Saving Techniques

Someone commented recently that I should be spending more time attempting to save money on big-tickets items, such as house-hold appliances or a car, than on smaller items such as groceries (this comment was made as part of the supermarket experiment). I believe that saving money on the small items many times over will save [...]

Saving Money at the Supermarket- Week 3

Posted by on June 22, 2007 in Money Saving Techniques

Here are week 3 results of my little experiment at the supermarket. The rules are stated here and week 1 and 2 results here and here respectively. As a weekly experiment there hasn’t been too many changes from week to week. I did hit my first sales item in tissue but it doesn’t seemed to [...]

Personal Finance Lessons from the Business World

Posted by on June 21, 2007 in Investment Advice, Investment Strategy, Misc.

Someone asked me the other day what lessons I learned advising entrepreneurs/businesses which could be applied towards personal finance. As the book The Millionaire Next Door states, an entrepreneur has a higher chance of being a millionaire than employed individuals; thus, the lessons I have learned from my successful clients about business are fundamentally rooted [...]

The Most Over-Looked Part of Your Portfolio is…

Posted by on June 20, 2007 in Investment Advice, Investment Strategy

Cash. For the last five years or so, a lot of financial advice has been about investing your money into product- whether it be a mutual fund, stock, GIC, ETF etc. Now that the market is going sideways, it may be time to assess your cash position. First and foremost, cash gives most investors an [...]

Investment Returns- Unrealistic Expectations?

Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Uncategorized

[as a post-script to yesterday's post on Leveraged Investing, please read Canadian Capitalist's thoughts on the same issue] I once remember an investment counsel friend of mine who met a potential client with a high net worth who wasn’t happy with her current investment advisor. When he asked her what she expected him to provide [...]

Leveraging to Increase Investment Returns- walk before you run

Posted by on June 18, 2007 in Investment Strategy

After the pay down the mortgage vs. contribute to retirement debate, one of the more contentious issues in the financial blogging world is whether to use leverage in order increase investment returns. To be clear, I am using the term “leveraged investing” to describe borrowing against assets and using the proceeds of the loan to [...]