November 2010

Why not cash?

Posted by on November 25, 2010 in Investment Strategy

A fee-only financial planner once said to me that the one strategy the financial industry rarely supports is paying down debt. No one makes money off of it.  In a semi-related observation, investing based on how economists, especially those who are employed by political masters, wants us to invest sometimes does not end well. Before [...]

Insurance as an interest rate predictor

Posted by on November 24, 2010 in insurance, Investment Information

As Riscario Insider reported recently, permanent life insurance rates are about to go up by more than 10% later this year. Permanent life insurance is an insurance policy which expires upon the death of the policy-holder, rather than a set expiry date, and has a death benefit and a savings portion. The two most well-known [...]

Dividend stock or corporate bonds?

Posted by on November 23, 2010 in Dividends, Investment Strategy

Since the credit crisis, investors have shifted their asset allocations from equities to fixed income. Over $600 billion have been invested in bond funds in the United States since 2008. It is accepted as investing wisdom that most investors should have a mixture of fixed income and equities in their portfolio. However, the large scale [...]

Is it time for a white collar court?

Posted by on November 17, 2010 in General Information

Despite several high profile arrests of people who ran ponzi schemes, ponzi schemes continue to exist because of an embarrassment factor. No one wants to report that they have been taken. A secondary factor may be that the authorities are not well equipped to deal with white-collar crime. For example, it was reported yesterday that [...]

Asset allocation of professional managers

Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Investment Strategy

The Harvard and Yale endowment funds manage literally billions of dollars of funds each. The 10 year return of 7% and 8.9% for Harvard and Yale respectively are respectable considering a 60/40 equity/bond split would have yielded an investor 2% over the same period of time (equity split is in S & P 500). With [...]

Is iron ore the new gold?

Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Investment Information

Gold prices are extremely high. While I am a believer one should hold a modest amount of gold in a portfolio (10% or less), it is a commodity whose rise plays, in large part, on structural weaknesses in currency and economies. As history shows, an economy with solid fundamentals (rule of law, productive citizens, abundant [...]

The problem with being an executor

Posted by on November 10, 2010 in estate planning

An executor of a will is not an easy job. As someone who has to carry out the wishes of the deceased, the executor has a duty to distribute the most possible to the beneficiaries. Sometimes, the beneficiaries are not so grateful to the executor, perhaps angry they weren’t chosen or perhaps believing the executor [...]

Who benefits from quantitative easing?

Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Investment Information

Congratulations to Eva who won a copy of The RESP Book. I’ll have one more draw before year end so stay tuned. Quantitative easing is economic political correctness for printing more money. After printing billions of money, the Federal Reserve has announced another round of quantitative easing last week. Specifically, the Federal Reserve will be [...]

GM IPO: speed bumps ahead

Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Investment Information

The GM IPO is expected to raise approximately $13 billion (all figures are in USD) for the company and the taxpayers of Canada and the U.S. (both governments owe a stake in the company). With pricing of a common share set to be between $26-$29/share, the GM IPO is an eagerly awaited event for the [...]

When is home bias not home bias?

Posted by on November 3, 2010 in Investment Information

Home bias describes the tendency of investors to overweight  in their domestic stock markets over international markets. In theory, home bias is poor asset allocation. By putting too many eggs in a geographic basket, a shock to a local market will cause greater damage to a portfolio than one that is more evenly weighted in [...]