June 2009

Effective negotiating strategies: give some to get some

Posted by on June 30, 2009 in Negotiations

Men’s Health has an excellent article on negotiating the best deal for a wide variety of goods. One of the broader lessons in the article is that good negotiation requires both sides to feel some pain whether its buying food in bulk with a short shelf life or spending 45 minutes chatting up a salesperson to [...]

How to invest in bank stocks

Posted by on June 29, 2009 in How to invest series

I am honored to have been included in the annual Globe and Mail’s Best Money Blogs. Special thanks to Canadian Capitalist for nominating me. If you are a first time visitor, please feel free to check out the blog and, if you enjoy the content, please subscribe to my feed. I am pleased to start [...]

How to pick the right business partner

Posted by on June 25, 2009 in entrepreneur

Ever consider buying a house with a friend to flip? Starting a hobby or full-time business with a colleague?  Co-coaching a children’s sports team with a neighbor? We often are presented with opportunities to partner with someone whether it be a formal business venture or something a little more recreational. No matter what you want [...]

The “hail mary” school of investing

Posted by on June 24, 2009 in Investment Strategy

I have been asked several times in the last six to nine months about investing in some down and out company (Citigroup, GM, Nortel) on the thinking of  “what’s the worst thing that happens? I lose a few pennies/dollars a share. If the company turns around, I can double or triple my investment!” What scares [...]

Social media and your privacy

Posted by on June 23, 2009 in Misc.

One of things that drives me crazy is how we give businesses mountains of private information about ourselves and ask for relatively little in return. Many retailers now have loyalty cards that give you discounts in return for your personal data and the ability to track your purchasing patterns and, in return, you get $20.00 [...]

The trouble with high household debt

Posted by on June 22, 2009 in Investment Information

Household debt is the amount of debt any household carries and typically comprises of mortgages and consumer debt. As an absolute figure, it does not mean much. However, household debt measured as a percentage of disposable (i.e. after tax) income gives a good perspective debt loads; the easiest figure to keep account of is 100%. [...]

The downside of investing in emerging companies

Posted by on June 17, 2009 in Investment Information

One of the theories emerging about the bailout is that the Obama administration is trying to reshape American industrial policy towards an economy that makes stuff again, as opposed to merely trading securities, and to make it greener and more environmental sustainable. The real litmus test will be market reaction to the launch of  GM’s [...]

Can your employer force you to take vacation?

Posted by on June 16, 2009 in Jobs

With the summer right around the corner,  some employers are thinking of shutting down their businesses and going dark since it is a slower season. A reader in a such a situation was given the choice of either taking leave without pay or being forced to take a vacation (I understand that this is a [...]

Are stocks still a good investment?

Posted by on June 15, 2009 in Investment Products

For many months, investors have debated whether stocks are still a good investment. After all, at the nadir of the credit crisis, an investor who invested in the S &P 500 10 years ago would have received negative return. For some, it appeared that the Siegel-esque belief that investing in stocks for the long run [...]

5 questions you need to answer when starting a business

Posted by on June 10, 2009 in entrepreneur

Studies  show that the number of people starting businesses is largely insensitive to economic cycles even though the circumstances of why people start businesses tend to change. For example, recent studies of entrepreneurship reveal that the largest demographic starting businesses are in the 55-64 age group, perhaps suggesting older workers would rather control their own [...]