November 2009

Tips on organizing your estate

Posted by on November 30, 2009 in estate planning

Canadian Capitalist recently wrote about the issues of settling an estate where the details of the deceased was not easily findable.  This post expands on the topic by addressing how you should physically organize your affairs so that your family and/or executor can settle or administer your estate easily.  The same tips are equally applicable [...]

Is my severance tax deductible?

Posted by on November 26, 2009 in Saving Taxes

Being paid severance is bad enough since it means you have lost your job. Being taxed on it with perhaps no prospects of other employment in the near term is even worse. Are there ways to save tax on the severance you received? Are the expenses of looking for a job tax deductible? What tax [...]

Why regulatory solutions fails

Posted by on November 26, 2009 in Misc.

If you want another reason why a reliance on regulatory solutions alone will not fix what’s wrong with our financial system, take the case of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a stinging rebuke by the Government Accountability Office, a non-partisan audit arm of U.S. Congress, an audit of the SEC found  the [...]

Are fortress level of capital good for dividend investors?

Posted by on November 24, 2009 in Dividends

Manulife Financial, one of the world’s largest insurers, surprised the investing world last week by announcing it was raising $2.5 billion dollars in a common share issuance less than a year after raising $2.5 billion of common shares. The new CEO of Manulife has long maintained that it seeks a “fortress” level balance sheet; whether [...]

Holiday gift giving: how much is too much?

Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Misc.

Yes, it is not even December but I thought I would get in a holiday gift giving post before everyone started planning their holiday spending (if you have not already). My family has an easy rule when it comes to gift-giving: cash only please. I believe this policy was born out of the fact we [...]

Job hiring tales from the trenches

Posted by on November 19, 2009 in Jobs

I have had to hire a lot recently. This is not because I have a ton of jobs that need to be filled. Instead, I am replacing employees who do not make it past probation (a future post altogether once I have some time to digest what each side did wrong) or departing employees. It [...]

What does dividend yield tell us about the economy?

Posted by on November 18, 2009 in Dividends

Chasing abnormally high dividend yield is typically seen as a sign of imprudent dividend investing. Since dividend yield is ratio of annual dividend payment to share price, an abnormally high dividend yield generally indicates the share price has collapsed or the dividend paid is quite high, leading to questions about sustainability and future growth. But, [...]

Can you make money in multi-level marketing?

Posted by on November 17, 2009 in entrepreneur

A funny thing happens during recessions. The number of people enrolled in multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses spikes even as the revenue of MLM companies (at least those publicly traded) decreases. For example, Pre Paid Legal Services, Inc., traded on the NASDAQ exchange, reported in its last quarter that membership revenue decreased 3% but associate services [...]

Is there a relationship between savings rates and real estate values?

Posted by on November 16, 2009 in Money Saving Techniques, Real Estate

To paraphrase the words of the SteadyHand blog, is this a financial crisis well wasted? Last week, ING in Canada and the UK warned of the possibility of a real estate bubble in the residential and commercial real estate market spurred by the low interest rate environment. Beside the obvious bubble and double recession concern [...]

Is my hand-drafted will valid?

Posted by on November 12, 2009 in estate planning

In 1948, Cecil Harris, a farmer, found himself trapped under his own tractor. Knowing that the end was near, he carved onto the fender of his tractor: “In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris.” Mr. Harris later succumb to his injuries. The will was duly accepted [...]