May 2010

Will the Porter IPO fly?

Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Investment Information

Porter Aviation Holding  is a niche airline that flies out of Toronto’s island airport. Founded in late 2006, it has turned an operating profit in one quarter to date. At the very least the company is gutsy. It flew out of the island airport despite fierce opposition from the city and, recent market turmoil be [...]

Are we all bound to be DIY investors?

Posted by on May 27, 2010 in Investment Products

It is easy to find victims of bad or unscrupulous investment advisors and write articles about how the industry is stacked against the individual investor. While the financial industry has its fair share of bad apples (and which industry does not?), what is often not reported on is the business of being an investment advisor [...]

Should I buy an absolute return mutual fund?

Posted by on May 26, 2010 in Investment Information

A traditional mutual fund works on what is known as a relative return basis; its return is relative to some benchmark or its industry peers.  The result is that a mutual fund could have acceptable relative performance but a poor absolute performance. For example, if the S & P 500 falls 5% in a year [...]

Thinking of buying gold?

Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Investment Products

Why do people buy stocks? Fundamentally, it is because they believe in the underlying future value of the business being run. Why do people buy gold? This is a much more difficult question to answer since gold is not a business but a commodity and a small portion of its price can be attributed to [...]

Why do some stocks get more attention than others?

Posted by on May 19, 2010 in Investment Information

Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: REF.UN) contains a diversified real estate portfolio, a low payout ratio and a stellar track record of increasing distributions. Yet, why does it receive less publicity than Calloway REIT which relies primarily on one tenant (albeit a great one in Walmart) and has a high payout ratio? This is [...]

How do I determine an appropriate savings rate?

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in General Information

The word “de-leveraging” came and went in about 2 months during the credit crisis. An initial upswing in the household savings rate seemed to be a blimp and not a pattern. After a short period of  frugality,  Canada’s savings rate fell to 4.6% in Q1 2010 according to Statistics Canada (it was in the 6% [...]

Is more financial disclosure really the answer?

Posted by on May 17, 2010 in Investment Information

One of the questions arising from the credit crisis was how to improve the financial literacy of the average consumer. One of the common threads in addressing this problem is to improve the amount of disclosure in financial products. The theory is that a fully informed consumer would more likely make better choices or, knowing [...]

The growing similarities between ETFs and mutual funds

Posted by on May 12, 2010 in Investment Products

Hozizon Alpha Pro is offering a product called the S&P/TSX 60 130/30 Strategy Index which is basically an exchange traded fund (ETF) which tracks the TSX 60 but with an overweight in 10 stocks and an underweight in 10 stocks (trades under the symbol TSX: HAH). In other words, this is an ETF tracking broad [...]

Where will all the jobs come from?

Posted by on May 10, 2010 in entrepreneur, Jobs

Despite the fact both Canada and the United States have posted job gains, many of the jobs are part-time positions and the unemployment rate among younger workers (15-25 years old) continues to be quite high (over 15% in Canada), causing a larger structural problem since it is this group of workers who need to fund [...]

Summer job interviewing tip: concentrate on fit as well as skill

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Jobs

We have considered hiring a summer student to help in some general office work; as anyone who runs a business knows, half of it is really keeping up with the paperwork and filing it so you can find it later on.  I worked a number of different summer jobs but this is the first time [...]