November 2008

To the media: get a grip

Posted by on November 28, 2008 in Misc.

Normally, I don’t quote sports columnists on this blog but I am a regular reader of Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback on ESPN. Gregg mostly writes on football (and very well at that- too bad he didn’t help me draft my fanatasy football team. Oh the humanity!) but he’s also an astute observer of the [...]

Returns on investment: a historical approach

Posted by on November 26, 2008 in Misc.

I do not believe anyone is taking what is happening in the economy lightly. But there also needs to be a matter of perspective and context factored into the equation. If nothing else, what appears to be unfolding is actually a return to historical normalcy after a decade of bubble economies, unrealistic expectations and an [...]

One family’s personal finance tale: November edition

Posted by on November 25, 2008 in Mom2KG Columns

My regular columnist, Mom2KG, returns this month perplexed about her financial advisor. You have any advice? Please feel free to share. If you are new to this blog, please visit the Mom2KG section to catch up. Thanks. It may not come as a surprise to anyone that the market meltdown has paralyzed us with fear. [...]

Of Canadian banks and dividends

Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Dividends

Last week was a pretty bad week for the Canadian banks. Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust, viewed by most as two banks least tied up to bad assets in the credit market, both reported larger than expected credit losses in its last quarter (a credit loss is a loan that cannot be collected). This has [...]

Top 5 mistakes in starting investing (and a business)

Posted by on November 20, 2008 in entrepreneur

In a previous life, I use to meet a lot of people with start-up businesses. They are absolutely great people to meet because they possess so much energy and passion. It is like having a bolt of energy walk into your office.  But, alas, you also become good at figuring out which start-up businesses will [...]

Advice for the young worker

Posted by on November 19, 2008 in Jobs

I have recently switched jobs/businesses and, with that, I have shifted from supervising middle-aged and experienced employees to younger employees (under 30).  Coupled with that, some of my former employees were owner-managers, which attaches with it pride of ownership, and my new employees are plain-old 9-5ers. I freely admit I am having a hard time [...]

Would you bail out GM?

Posted by on November 18, 2008 in Misc.

Imagine you worked with a co-worker named Roger. Roger runs a small fiefdom at work with a lot of employees under him. But, Roger has been unproductive for a very long time. His work-product is generally mediocre. He can’t motivate his employees; even worse, they cause a lot of trouble every 3 years about his [...]

Should I invest in a REIT?

Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Dividends, Real Estate

My friend, a commercial real estate agent, insists that real estate investment trusts (REITs) will be the next pillar of the real estate industry to correct.  And, sure enough, in one of those “I told you so” moments, H & R REIT, who are constructing Encana’s new HQ in Calgary (aka the Bow), announced last [...]

The role of dividends in stock returns

Posted by on November 13, 2008 in Dividends

A lot of my friends ask me what I think of this credit crisis and my reply has been, over time, it will mean a return to some level of normalcy in the economy. Cheap money allowed a lot of unfavorable things to happen: unnatural appreciation in real estate, a lot of businesses survived that [...]

Effective negotiating strategies: never throw out the first number

Posted by on November 12, 2008 in Negotiations

I use to be in a fantasy basketball people. One of the other fantasy owners was the son of a lawyer and was destined to be a lawyer (and he actually did become one during my 5 year stint in the pool). He never ever made the first trade offer. He would always start with [...]