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 »

Concentration is Key

In the investing world, the topic of diversification often arises. As money managers, we advise clients on their stocks, bonds, mutual funds, hedge funds and real estate funds, among others. The intellectual stimulation of this job is hard to beat. We do believe portfolios should be diversified across asset classes. But, when it comes to owning simple common stocks, concentration is the way to go.

My friend David Kaufman recently published an excellent article in the Financial Post on the merits of owning a concentrated portfolio of stocks. David writes for all readers, regardless of their familiarity with high-tone investment language, and his column is worth reading. You can find it here.

David makes a simple point. With the proliferation of exchange traded funds and, I will add, the number of smart people that have flooded into the investment business, it becomes difficult to outperform the stock market.
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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 »

Investing isn’t only about the numbers …

There’s no question that every investor, myself included, has the same goal: to make sure we have enough to fund our dream retirement, to see us through to the end of our days; and, also, to leave something behind for those we love.

Which is where Investment Advisors come in, to offer sound, objective advice based on knowledge, experience and skill — ours and the experts and specialists who are part of the extended team.

What’s interesting, though, is that when we consider our relationships with our Advisors, we tend to 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 »