January 2011

Is paying down debt the only option for the young?

Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Investment Information

Rob Carrick wrote an interesting article recently pointing out that young people placing paying down debt as a financial priority over contributing to retirement may not be such a bad thing. The story was in response to a recent bank commissioned survey indicating that paying down debt was the highest priority, contributing to retirement 7th [...]

Are advisors any closer to a fiduciary duty?

Posted by on January 25, 2011 in Investment Information

In the aftermath of the credit crisis, there was a movement to regulate all investment advisors and brokers under a standard of care known as a fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care in law requiring the fiduciary (the advisor or broker in this case) to exercise a high degree of [...]

Book giveaway: How to Profit in Gold

Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Misc.

The good folks at McGraw Hill have graciously given a copy of Jonathan Spall’s How to Profit in Gold to be given away. Unfortunately, I am a bit behind in a review. From the inside cover, the books is described as “How to Profit in Gold is a comprehensive tutorial on making gold a profitable [...]

The growing problem with Canadians owning U.S. property

Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Taxes

The recent extension of the Bush area tax cuts seems to have solved or at least provided some much need clarity to Canadians owning U.S. property (the original problem with Canadians and U.S. estate tax summarized by Canadian Capitalist). The quick and dirty being starting in 2011, the basic exemption on the estate tax will [...]

What you can tell at a job interview

Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Jobs

Why was one job a great experience and the other you would rather forget? I have often thought about why employee experiences are unsatisfactory for all concerned having had my share of them from the employer side. Let’s take as a given that there will always be an inherent tension between employer and employee- the [...]

Use your credit card points to contribute to your RRSP

Posted by on January 13, 2011 in Investment Information

I generally do not like spam but I was pleasantly surprised last week to be spammed by RBC.  If you are a holder of a RBC issued credit card, you can redeem your points for vouchers to contribute to your RRSP, RESP, TFSA or to pay down a mortgage. There are two downsides to this [...]

Avoiding ETF duplication

Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Investment Information

Canadian Couch Potato beat me to the punch by listing sector exposures of various stock exchanges. The point of my now unwritten post was essentially the same as his- an ETF tracking a broad based equity index may not provide sufficient sector coverage depending on the exchange. Buying into a relatively small and industry concentrated [...]

Can an investor predict dividend increases?

Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Dividends

Academics have spent the better part of 50 years attempting to analyze factors that go into a dividend policy. The result has been an articulate and highly mathematical “I don’t know.”  In 1961, two academics named Miller and Modigliani theorized that, in a perfect capital market, paying a dividend to a shareholder would not affect [...]

Lessons learned

Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Investment Information

Happy New Year! Hope everyone has a happy, safe and prosperous year. During my absence from the blog, a friend of mine asked what, if anything, I had learned about personal finance during my years of blogging. The advantage of not doing something everyday is that it gives you perspective on a subject matter. As [...]