Is Gold a Store of Value?

The U.S. dollar used to be backed by gold. Anyone could exchange their paper currency for a certain amount of gold (e.g. $35 per ounce). That changed on August 15, 1971 when President Nixon ended convertibility by “closing the gold window”.

Since 1971, the U.S. dollar has not been backed by gold and it has fallen to less than 17 cents in 1971 dollar terms. One dollar today will buy only 17 cents worth of “stuff” versus one dollar worth of “stuff” Read More »

You’re Not Warren Buffett

As Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force, “A man’s got to know his limitations”. Warren Buffett is perhaps the wealthiest and most famous investor of all time. Therefore many have tried to emulate him – including professional money managers – without much success. The fact is, very few could ever duplicate the process and the success he and his partner, Charlie Munger, have achieved at Berkshire Hathaway.

First, Buffett has over 75 years of investing experience, having bought his first stock at age 11. As well, except for a few hands of bridge with Bill Gates, he spends all of his time evaluating investments. His wealth and ownership of Read More »

It Can Pay to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Managing emotions is an important part of investing. An experienced Investment Advisor can help with that. We work with clients to prepare a financial plan and help them stick with it over the long term, regardless of market fluctuations.

In recent years, a whole new field of study has evolved called “Behavioural Investing”. It explains why people react the way they do and points out Read More »

It’s a Business …

If you invest in securities that trade in the markets, you have to expect price fluctuations. Markets can be volatile over the short term. It goes with the territory. But never forget that shares represent part ownership in a business.

Many people are fascinated by the stock market, especially “hot” stocks that are moving up sharply. It is an old adage in our industry that you can tell theRead More »

A Different Point of View

Sometimes it’s all in your point of view. With investing, people tend to focus on the performance of the capital markets. As Investment Advisors, we are often asked what our performance has been. With the focus being on the markets, that question is about whether or not we have out-performed “the market”. If capital markets were the only focus, that would be the logical wayRead 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 »

The Importance of Compounding

For those readers who know me well, this is a familiar topic. I am a major advocate of encouraging young people to start investing early. The principal reason being that if you start early enough, the prospect of becoming rich is almost guaranteed.

A little known fact is that over the course of the 20th century, every $1,000 invested in the S&P 500 stock market index, with dividends reinvested, would have become about $19 million. What is even more impressive is that over most of that time, no real work was required by the investor. You could have beenRead More »

A Brief History of Stocks

My mentor in this business often tells me that to be successful, knowing some financial history is essential. Many people would argue that it’s always good to know more about the world we live in but, in a more practical sense, being well informed on history is very helpful to the investment process.

Market Fluctuation — Not As Uncommon as You May Think …

We have all been reminded, recently, that the stock market is a volatile beast. This is a fact investors often forget, especially in the good times. Some of you may be surprised to learnRead 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 »

Why it Takes More Than Just Results to Determine an Advisor’s Value

Fact: Losing teams don’t fill stadiums and arenas. Everyone knows ours is a results-obsessed culture. But when it comes to investing we actually do ourselves a disservice when we evaluate Advisors solely on returns.

To begin with no Advisor, not even the most knowledgeable, experienced, talented and successful among us, can be right 100% of the time. In our business there are no crystalRead More »