February 2011

Severance Pay: a crash course

Posted by on February 24, 2011 in General Information

I have been receiving questions about information on severance pay (I use the term in its generic sense rather than the legal one). Rather than reinventing the wheel, I would reference readers to my previous posts about severance pay. Specifically, Severance pay: what am I entitled to? Severance pay in bankruptcy situations. If you are [...]

Has the REIT preferred share flood begun?

Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Real Estate

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust made a small piece of history last month by being the first Canadian issued real estate investment trust (REIT) to issue preferred shares at an annual 5.25% yield on the first 5 years with the rate re-setting to a rate equal to the Government of Canada bond yield + 2.62%. [...]

The return of an old collection agency trick

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Investment Information

The Government of Ontario tracks the top 10 consumer complaints. Year after year complaints about  collection agencies comes first by a staggering margin. Collection agencies most likely obtain this dubious distinction partially through pursuing debtors who legitimately owe money but feel upset by the process and partially through their aggressive and, in some case, dubious [...]

Updating wills and beneficiary designations

Posted by on February 15, 2011 in estate planning

Do wills need to be updated? What is the interaction between the beneficiaries of a will and the beneficiaries of a life insurance, RRSP and/or TFSA? The answers to the questions tend to be “yes” and “it is not as simple as you think.” A will is essentially the wishes of the will-maker (known as [...]

Is the identity theft protection industry the next consumer protection nightmare?

Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Investment Information

Identity theft is a growing industry and so is the identity theft protection industry. The identity theft industry basically sells two services: (i) identity theft insurance which reimburse the expenses a victim of identity theft may incur (typically legal bills, phone bills, lost wages and whatever is covered under the policy); and (ii) identity theft [...]

Do ETFs face a liquidity risk?

Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Investment Information

Bogan Associates LLC made a name for itself in the passive investing community by warning about an ETF collapse. The argument is pretty technically but, at its simplest, it argues that an ETF which has (a) a large number of short positions; and (b) is subject to a large number of sale orders could not [...]

The problem with GAAP (or IFRS)

Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Investment Information

Congrats to James who won the draw for a free copy of How to Profit in Gold. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and international financing reporting standards (IFRS) are the two most commonly used accounting standards in the world for publicly traded companies (the U.S. still uses GAAP and most of the rest of the [...]