November 2011

Do charities spend too much of your money- an update

Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Misc.

In 2009, I wrote an article outlining how to navigate through the world of charitable giving.  Since that time, there has been a lot of coverage about charitable giving due in part to some charities involved in dodgy tax schemes and a greater emphasis on bang for the charitable buck during economic slow times. While [...]

Is justice ever rendered in white collar crime?

Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Misc.

If you read the news, there has been a renewed push by regulators to bring white-collar crime and white-collar criminals to justice. But, if we look behind the head-lines, is justice ever rendered? There is at least two ways to look at this issue. The first is monetary fines for violators should theoretically act as [...]

ETFs and liquidity risk

Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Dividends

Another day, another glut of new ETFs on the market. While there has been a correct emphasis on fees and tax effects- arguably the only two factors an investor can control-investors should also be award of liquidity risk. Liquidity risk describes the situation where a seller of an asset cannot sell it because there are [...]

Should you sell your own house?

Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Real Estate

As I indicated several weeks ago, I am looking for a new place to live. I recently visited my for sale by owner. To recap, the general public can now contract real estate agents for listing only services or full brokerage services (listing, analysis, negotiating, open houses, closing etc). I saw a condo that had [...]

Should companies pay dividends or hold onto excess cash?

Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Dividends

There has been a school of thought that the economy is in a liquidity trap. A liquidity trap, in the simplest sense, describes a situation whereby monetary policy (lowering of interest rates, increase in money supply etc.) fails to stimulate the economy. In plain English, pumping money into the economy is not resulting in it [...]

Passive vs. Active Investing: yet another take

Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Investment Strategy

I always find the passive vs. active investing debate a curious one. The tone of the debate by certain advocates on both sides mirrors the dogmatic approach of our political discourse; mainly, my way is absolutely the right way to go and if you want to want to invest another way I am going to [...]

Three keys to saving more

Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Investment Information

Is the simple act of willpower, in and of itself, all that is required to become a better saver? In a recent book entitled Willpower, Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney look at the concept of willpower in a world of indulgence and wonder if someone can indeed increase their willpower. A full review of [...]

Have you checked your home insurance policy lately?

Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Real Estate

My home insurance policy came up for renewal in September. I had a friend, an insurance broker, take a look at my insurance policy to see if he could beat the quote. He could not simply because I had bought direct through an affiliate program as a university alumni. Buying direct meant the insurance broker [...]