April 2010

The greatest threat to your home…

Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Real Estate

…is actually not fire or theft of property but water damage.  On August 19, 2005, Toronto experienced up to 150 mm of rain in a 2-3 hour period.  The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated $40 million of water damage claims were paid to compensate insurance policy-holders from mostly basement damage. The City of Toronto alone [...]

Banks: too big to succeed?

Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Investment Information

If the financial crisis was made into the Star Wars franchise, we are now at the Empire Strikes Back or, more accurately, the Regulator Strikes Back. However, while the world concentrates on the SEC’s fraud allegations against Goldman Sachs, a potentially more ground breaking event is happening in Europe. English Prime Minister Gordon Brown and [...]

The hidden skills of successful real estate investing

Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Real Estate

Somewhere along the way, one typically becomes a stocks/bonds person or a real estate person. I very rarely come across someone who invests large portion of their savings in both. The complexity of understanding and executing stock/bond investing or real estate investing successfully generally precludes someone from becoming proficient in both. Through a geographic accident, [...]

Is the 5 year performance of a mutual fund even relevant?

Posted by on April 20, 2010 in Investment Information

By law, mutual funds must disclose its performance for the past 1, 3 and 5 years. However, one wonders whether the 5 year, much less the 3 year number, is a relevant analytical tool. A recent survey of institutional fund managers found that the average hold period for a stock was 17 months with almost [...]

Gone fishing

Posted by on April 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

There will be no posts this week. Enjoy the week.

How to be a smart customer

Posted by on April 8, 2010 in General Information

Ellen Roseman is a consumer advocate and blogger who recently celebrated her blog’s 3rd anniversary. In her anniversary note she noted, sadly, that she believed things have gotten worse for consumers who want to resolve problems without trying to garner publicity or through legal channels.  In a world where many large companies are publicly traded, [...]

The great myth of Apple

Posted by on April 7, 2010 in Investment Information

Apple sold approximately 300,000 of the poorly named iPad (snicker, snicker) on its first day of sales. The company is universally written about as ground-breaking, cool and a leader in its field. Along with Google, Apple is the closet thing to a sexy business these days. But the great myth of Apple is that it [...]

If the economy grows, do my stocks go up as well?

Posted by on April 6, 2010 in General Information

Kevin O’Leary, host of  the television show Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, is a screaming head who never a person he couldn’t talk over. Having said that, he should be admired as a canny entrepreneur and for understanding and exploiting the modern media game well- scream first, scream loud and scream last; it will get [...]

Do you ever talk to your accountant about your investments?

Posted by on April 5, 2010 in Taxes

Most of us have a familiar pattern when we visit our accountants this time of year: drop off paperwork, call to make an appointment, attend their office, ask how much our tax refund/taxes owing are, pay their bill and go home. Repeat annually. While we do pay our accountants to minimize our taxes, how many [...]