The responsibility for investors’ success does not rest solely with advisors

A while back I attended a seminar put on by the Rotman School of Management. The speaker was Mo Lidsky, a well known investment professional and author. One of the books he’s written, “Partners in Preservation: How to Know Your Advisor is Truly Protecting Your Wealth” is one I’ve read and recommend.

During the question period that followed his presentation, someone in the audience asked: “How would I know when I meet somebody that they’re an advisor I’d want to have?”

If you’re thinking that asking about how long they’ve been in business, their investmentRead More »

Think only the uber-wealthy need estate and trust experts? Not necessarily …

Oh, it’s a common misconception. I hear it from clients, people I know and even strangers all the time. “I don’t have that kind of wealth. I’ve made my brother or my best friend of 40 years or my accountant my Executor. I know them, I trust them, they’re perfect. It’s fine.”

And if your estate is straight forward and requires little more than distributing funds to your beneficiaries, you could be right. But if you’re worth at least $1 million, and yourRead More »

It’s The Value You Get Beyond Returns That Deserves Your Attention

I’m always fascinated when I overhear people talking about investing. Most of the time they’re strictly focused on performance. Frankly, it’s short sighted, but the truth of the matter is that’s the way it used to be.

For decades, when so many of us were enjoying consistent double-digit returns, all we talked about was performance. Ads for investment advisory firms and mutual fund companies concentrated solely on the numbers. “Performance” was how we positioned ourselves, how we Read More »

Periods of Uncertainty Don’t Have to be Stressful

As I reflect back on the year just passed, with its turbulence, uncertainty and angst — and look ahead to 2017 and what it might bring — I can’t help but think of one of my favourite quotes, from John Kenneth Galbraith: “We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know.”

2016 was one of those years that left a lot of us scratching our heads. It was a year that didn’t make sense. It started off rocky and investors were pessimistic and fearful. Yet Read More »

It Can Be More Challenging To Stay Wealthy, Than It Is To Become Wealthy

I read a very interesting blog post the other day. In it, there is a Warren Buffett quote that makes so much sense: “The most important quality to do well is temperament which would permit the control of fear and greed which have ruined many. Anyone who has become rich twice is dumb. Why would you risk what you need and have for what you don’t need?”

Excellent question.

Both the quote, and the blog post where I read it, made me think about the recent election in the U.S. and all the commotion it caused. The worrying, wondering and speculating over who would win and what the potential Read More »

Performance, performance, performance …

Recently I read an interesting article in the Globe & Mail by Rob Carrick. It was about robo-advisors and how to pick the right one. In it he said several things I’ve been telling my clients for years, long before there was such a thing as algorithm-based portfolio management.

Right off the top he wrote: “Robo-advisors are for people who want a sound, smart investing solution, not home runs.” Quite frankly, that should be every investor’s goal, because counting on “home runs” Read More »

Still nothing to sneeze at …

Why is it that, as investors, we never seem to be satisfied? That enough is never enough? Our attitude seems to be, why settle for less, even when less is more than sufficient.

As an Investment Advisor, I see it all the time, not just in my business or when talking with other Advisors, but in article after article, blog post after blog post, book after book. Investors the Read More »

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

Mortality. Our own mortality. Not something anyone ever wants to discuss. But sooner or later we all have to face it, unless someone out there has some magic potion that guarantees we can live forever. In which case I’m all ears.

A highly unlikely possibility, I’m sorry to say. So without being morbid, I think it’s important to address the issue and speak frankly about it.

Other than wanting a dream retirement, don’t we also save and invest our money so we can leave our Read More »

In a Season Devoted to Gifts, a Former Client Has Given Me One of the Best

Being an Investment Advisor comes with a huge responsibility.

Clients come to us to help them plan, and save enough, to live out their post-retirement dreams; and, also, to leave something behind for future generations. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

What’s equally true, though, is clients share that responsibility. I can advise, I can guide, I can share my knowledge and my experience. I can provide a historical perspective and provide Read More »