August 2009

The limitation of relying on advisor designations

Posted by on August 27, 2009 in Investment Information

In light of highly public cases involving financial advisors disappearing with client money, multiple articles have been written recently on conducting proper due diligence in hiring a financial advisor. Many of the articles start at the same first principles: hire a financial advisor who have accredited designations issued by regulatory bodies.  While I do not [...]

Sending a child away to school? 5 tips to save money

Posted by on August 26, 2009 in General Information

School can be an expensive endeavor.  Tuition, books, room, food, spending money- it all adds up. What are some ways to save money if you are sending your kids away to school? 1. Budget Have a very candid conversation before you send your kids to school on what you are willing to spend. Stick to [...]

How long until we get back to normal?

Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Investment Information

The economy appears to be in an illusionary state of normalcy. The norm of ever increasing real estate values and cheap credit has been replaced with the norm of ever-ending government bailouts and stimulus. At some point, the capacity of governments, both political and economical, to keep pumping money into the economy will reach an [...]

Which stocks outperform in a recovery?

Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Dividends, Investment Products, Investment Strategy

File this post under “obscure personal finance reading”  or “why dividend stocks continue to be your best bet.” A Swedish undergraduate research paper written earlier this year posed the question of what quantitative measures an investor should look at in determining which stocks will outperform the market in the 12 months after the end of [...]

Are banks selling insurance a good thing?

Posted by on August 19, 2009 in insurance, Investment Products

Scotiabank became the second Canadian bank, after RBC, to begin selling insurance by building insurance retail operations next to their existing bank branches. The rather strange result of having adjoining retail frontage operated by the same business, but selling different products, is a means to circumvent rule not allowing banks to sell insurance out of [...]

Does the average investor fare better in stocks or real estate?

Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Real Estate

Over the last year, many commentators have noted that one may have been better off investing in something other than stock market given the 10 year return of a board based U.S. equities index would have returned you approximately nil. But the question arises, if not the stock market then what do you invest your [...]

Financial independence is taken not given

Posted by on August 14, 2009 in editorials

The recent discourse in personal finance has moved to, among other things, towards instituting programs to increase financial literacy or renewed demands for the government to create new retirement programs to assist the financially vulnerable. While an honest dialogue about traditionally a taboo topic is a move in the right direction, are we not missing [...]

Why raising taxes is easier than cutting programs

Posted by on August 13, 2009 in Taxes

Now that it appears that the financial system will not sink into a black hole, many of us are waking up and realizing that the government is in a lot debt.  In essence, we nationalized the bank’s sins and we are going to have to pay for it. With a much older population than the [...]

Are you as house poor as you think?

Posted by on August 12, 2009 in Real Estate

The state of Florida was one of the epicenters of the real estate bubble and crash. Valuation of real estate increased exponentially and burst painfully from approximately 2007 onward.  As an example, it has been estimated that an astounding 47% of single family mortgages in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dad counties are underwater (i.e. the [...]

Best ways to finance your small business

Posted by on August 11, 2009 in entrepreneur

Show me a successful entrepreneur and I’ll show you someone who understands how money works.  Personal finance and entrepreneurship are highly inter-related disciples. What makes one a successful entrepreneur also makes one a good manager of money. Just as improper use of credit card debt can begin a debt spiral for most people, a recent [...]