May 2009

Why do suck-ups get ahead at work?

Posted by on May 28, 2009 in Jobs

Every work-place has at least one: the worker who laughs just a little too hard at the boss’ jokes, the employee who is shocked-just shocked- you would say something remotely negative about the company or the big ole’ suck-up. For the silent work-place majority, they are, to say the least, annoying but even more galling [...]

Is the stock market rally premature?

Posted by on May 27, 2009 in Investment Information

Even with a slight short-term correction, the stock market has been on an extended rally this spring. Yesterday’s news that the May consumer confidence numbers leaped unexpectedly has the bulls giddy that we will head into the summer with surprisingly positive news on the stock market front. But is this all premature? President Obama admitted [...]

Anatomy of a scam

Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Investment Information

Bad times bring scams. Lately, I have heard of the return of the prime bank instrument fraud now draped under the banner of the bad bank paper being sold in the United State. The lawyers’ insurance company has also circulated warnings of a scam occurring where someone hires a lawyer to paper over an equipment [...]

What the proposed new credit card rules mean to you

Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Credit Score, Investment Information

Canada’s Department of Finance issued proposed new regulations on credit card rules which are aimed towards: (i) targeting certain abuses of the credit card industry; and (ii) providing better transparency for all credit card users. Since the regulations are subject to consultation, they are not final but here are a few proposed changes to be [...]

Should dividend investors be worried about too many preferred shares being issued?

Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Dividends

Along with quality fixed income instruments, the preference or preferred share are the issuance du jour in the markets. Paying a set dividend of well above the  prime rate (most recently issued bank preferred shares are now paying between 6- 6.25% per annum until their reset date) and not as prone to wide variation in [...]

Are leveraged ETFs for me?

Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Investment Products

You know you have made it as an investment product when people starting demanding that you provide greater disclosure. As Jonathan Chevreau reported, a lobby group has demanded greater disclosure on the risks involved in purchasing leveraged exchange traded funds (ETFs), of which several ETFs now consist some of the most traded stocks daily on [...]

Investing in a low interest environment

Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Investment Strategy

With high interest savings accounts paying below 2% and one year GIC rates at below 1.5%, one could be earning nominal or no after-tax return if your high interest savings account or GIC is held outside of a tax-deferred account. For those holding a large part of their retirement portfolios in cash or GIC, they [...]

Personal Finance Clinic

Posted by on May 15, 2009 in Misc.

Union rules prohibit me from posting on Fridays (especially on a long weekend). Thus, in case you have not read about it,  Canadian Capitalist, Money Gardener and Triaging My Way To Financial Success are hosting a personal finance clinic. More details can be found here. Good luck.

Is it your fault or your investment advisors?

Posted by on May 14, 2009 in editorials, Investment Strategy

Even though the market is beginning to pick up again, a lot of investors still have recent negative experiences with their investment advisor. Some members of the investment community counter that any relationship is not a one way street and some degree of personal responsibility needs to be taken by the client themselves. Who is [...]

Why am I denied insurance coverage?

Posted by on May 13, 2009 in insurance

There has been a lot of focus lately about insurance. Particularly, there has been  focus on post-claim underwriting (Ellen Roseman addresses the post-claims underwriting and the banks, Canadian Capitalist’s guest writer addressed post-claims underwriting in discussing mortgage vs. life insurance, and Four Pillars wrote  an editorial about post-claims underwriting). This raises a much larger issue [...]