February 2009

Money Matters by Mom2KG

Posted by on February 26, 2009 in Mom2KG Columns

Our regular columnist, Mom2KG, checks in this month with a slightly wet edition of her blog. You know that moment in horror movies when the main character realizes something is wrong, horribly wrong? And then there’s a few moments of suspense, while the character has to find out what’s up? Let me tell you, those [...]

The costs and benefits of graduate studies

Posted by on February 25, 2009 in Jobs

Someone once asked me why I went to law school and my response was “I was 22 and had no idea what to do with my life so I went to law school to prolong the decision by three years.” Some people who go to law school don’t major in the law; some, like me, [...]

Is dividend payout ratio a better indicator than yield in down-turns?

Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Dividends

I have always been a follower of dividend payout ratio (the percentage of earnings paid out as dividends) as a yardstick of present and future performance in a dividend stock over dividend yield (annual dividends paid per share/price per share). Why? Fundamentally, my worst case scenario is that I am paid the same dividend no [...]

Credit Balance Insurance: Is it for you?

Posted by on February 23, 2009 in insurance

CBC recently ran a story on hidden charges on credit cards and highlighted a new insurance product on the market called credit balance insurance. As the story indicates, part of the issue with this insurance is the dubious sales techniques engaged by the credit card companies; specifically, credit card holders are being charged for this [...]

Fact or fiction? The media, the big D word and you

Posted by on February 20, 2009 in editorials

One of the competing tensions being played out in this downturn is the media’s reporting versus bloggers/main stream perception of what is happening. I have noticed lately that usually mild-mannered bloggers have begun to criticize explicitly a certain irresponsibility in media report. Witness the Financial Blogger questioning whether reporters are reporting facts or giving us [...]

5 signs you are a pushover with your financial advisor

Posted by on February 19, 2009 in Investment Advice

I usually pre-write my posts Sunday morning. Thus, in a completely unplanned companion post to Canadian Capitalist’s comments on this article about the investment industry not being empathic to a retired investor, I look at whether financial advisors are truly the enemy or whether we have seen the enemy and it is us.  Canadian Capitalist [...]

Is this a renters’ market?

Posted by on February 18, 2009 in Real Estate

If you were to drive through downtown Toronto on any given day, you will notice a lot of construction cranes. Call it the last gasp of the real estate boom. Many of these cranes are for condo projects launched 18-24 months ago which are finally being finished now. In cities like Toronto, where a lot [...]

Audit Defence Plans. Is it for you?

Posted by on February 17, 2009 in Taxes

As previously reported by Michael James and Canadian Capitalist, QuickTax is offering this year “Audit Defence Services” for $39.99. The company is part of a growing trend in the tax, book-keeping and accounting fields to offer this option to traditonal tax prepartion and filing services.  What exactly is the nature of this service and is [...]

Are ETF’s contracting Mutual Fund-itis?

Posted by on February 12, 2009 in Investment Products

Million Dollar Journey had a great summary on international dividend etf’s earlier this week. What struck me more than anything else was the fee creep in certain ETF’s. Three of the ETF’s he listed had MER’s equal to or greater than 0.60%. I also noticed that one of Claymore’s newest ETF’s- the NYSEArca Airline ETF [...]

Severance pay: what am I entitled to? Part II

Posted by on February 11, 2009 in Jobs

Today is the 2nd part of a post on severance pay. Yesterday’s post on severance pay is found here. The usual disclaimers apply: this is a non-exhaustive informational post and not to be considered advice of any kind whatsoever. As usual, please consult a qualified legal expert if you have any severance related questions. What [...]