August 2010

The value of advice

Posted by on August 25, 2010 in Investment Advice

There’s been a certain movement in financial circles to re-examine compensation models of investment advisors.  One of the central proposals to such reform includes moving from a commission based model, with connotations of the hard sale, to a hourly and fee based model, which has a more advisory undertones. Yet, the legal industry, built on [...]

The return of renting?

Posted by on August 23, 2010 in Real Estate

Fortune Magazine recently pointed out that the new normal of our economic lives includes a return to renting rather than owing. A 2010 Harvard study showed between 2004-2009, the number of renters has increased 10%. With real estate values continuing to show no steady acceleration trend in the U.S. and the theory that those with [...]

Tough times for life insurance companies

Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Investment Information

There has been some musing lately that much battered insurance company Manulife Financial may be becoming a value play. Manulife’s declining share price may partially have to do with self-created issues caused by the selling of variable annuities which were not hedged to drops in the stock market. However, one of its larger competitors, Sun [...]

The value of investing in yourself

Posted by on August 18, 2010 in Investment Information

Economist Moshe Milevsky’s book, Your Money Milestones, addresses the interaction between your employment income and your portfolio investment. Among other things, our employment income has equity like or bond like returns and our investment decisions should account for the characteristics of our employment income. In essence, human capital- the ability to generate economic value through [...]

How active and passive investors end up in the same place

Posted by on August 17, 2010 in Investment Information

After several years off, I have been dragged back into playing golf this summer. I am a hacker and, although some of my friends won’t admit it, so are they. If you play golf for any period of time, you probably have noticed the following pattern if your golfing buddies are hackers. Someone in the [...]

Paying more for less auto insurance

Posted by on August 11, 2010 in insurance

If you live in Ontario, you may have received a mailing recently from your auto insurer announcing new changes to the new standard auto policy commencing September 1. Alternatively, if your auto insurance is up for renewal, you may have noticed that your premiums have dropped- unfortunately, it is not solely due to your stellar [...]

Why do ebooks cost so much?

Posted by on August 10, 2010 in Misc.

Remove the costs of binding, packing and shipping and you would think that an e-book would be a relative bargain wouldn’t you? Although an e-book priced at between $12.99-$14.99 is a significant savings over a conventional hardcover retailing over $25, it is not exactly super cheap either since you have to factor in the cost [...]

How short is too short in investing?

Posted by on August 4, 2010 in Investment Strategy

Canadian Couch Potato recently responded to a reader’s comment that her investing strategy based on purchasing exchange traded funds did not seem to be working. There are some very insightful comments from readers but what struck me was the reader was already questioning her investment strategy a mere 3 years after starting it which is [...]

Can a product deliver both safety and high yields?

Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Investment Products

The holy grail of investment products for many investors would be something that delivers both protection of principal and delivers high yields/returns (I would define high yield as over 5-6%. The demand for these types of products always exist but tend to increase greatly during time of market uncertainty. The issue is that, while some [...]