February 2008

More Property Tax or Higher User Fees?

Posted by on February 29, 2008 in Misc.

I live in the City of Toronto which is in an urban region of 5.5 million people. In other words, it is big. And it is plain B-R-O-K-E. Some of the financial woes are self inflicted and others structural. However, our local fiscal issues are common throughout large urban region. Chicago has its own fiscal [...]

Real Estate Investing: Do you watch the cash flow or chase appreication?

Posted by on February 28, 2008 in Investment Information, Real Estate

Several months ago, I entertained investing in a rental property. After much thought, meetings, spreadsheets and more meetings, we decided to take a break from looking for a rental property (I don’t use “we” in the royal sense; I had several potential partners; if you are one of my American readers, lest you think I [...]

How to Profit from A Tax-Free Savings Account

Posted by on February 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today’s federal budget introduced the concept of a tax-free savings account of up to $5,000 per year. Canadian Capitalist described the tax-free savings account in his usual eloquence.  Being the entrepreneur that I am, I am going to look at the tax-free savings account in a different manner- how to profit from its creation (and [...]

Budgeting: Beyond the Numbers

Posted by on February 26, 2008 in Money Saving Techniques

I have spent most of this year emphasizing controlling costs than relying on the appreciation of investments. With the stock market the way that it is, I best to pay more attention to something which I can control than that which I cannot.  I do a budget on fixed costs but I have been worried [...]

Is there such a thing as a bad dividend increase?

Posted by on February 25, 2008 in Investment Strategy

It may be too early to call it but 2008 is quickly becoming the year of the dividend increase. Look at the big names that have increased their dividends this year: Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kimberly-Clark, Abbott. These blue chip companies typically have annual dividend increase so it is not that surprising that the dividend train [...]

Scam or Not? The Anatomy of “Alternative” Investment Products

Posted by on February 21, 2008 in Misc.

As a follow-up on an earlier post about scams, I wanted to dig a little deeper and give you an example of some common sales approaches for investment products which seems to be more prevalent when our stock investments and real estate investments are not performing that well. Given how a lot of our investment [...]

Stock Investing based on Demographics: Betting on a Baby Boom?

Posted by on February 20, 2008 in Investment Advice

One school of stock investing has always been invest in trends you see around you. Recently, I started noticing how many of my friends were having kids (I am told that women have physical urges to have kids once they reach a certain age which is around my age- umm… “urges” eh? My face loses [...]

Is Your Investment Advisor an Advisor or a Salesperson?

Posted by on February 18, 2008 in Investment Information

This tends to be one of those times of the year where we collectively do a lot of navel gazing into our financial lives. Will we have enough for retirement? What do I invest in now? How come my mutual funds perform so badly? Undoubtedly, as part of this internal dialogue, those of us with [...]

5 Investment Products I Avoid

Posted by on February 15, 2008 in Investment Products

You know this is the prime selling season for the investment industry. All the silly products are being sold on the street promising great returns, no risks, early retirement and the utterance of “trust me, its a good product…” in brokerage offices all over the land. What has made this frenzy greater is that the [...]

One Family’s Personal Finance Tale, February Edition

Posted by on February 13, 2008 in Mom2KG Columns

Last month I introduced a guest blogger, Mom2KG who is writing about her family’s quest to take control of their finances and become better money experts. Mom2KG is posting once a month and updating us on how her and her family are doing. January’s post can be found here. I am passing along her request [...]