Sometimes it’s best to do nothing

A week or so ago, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal that provides a great lesson to all investors:  Buy good businesses and then just hang on.  Do nothing.

I’m smiling to myself, because I’m pretty sure I can guess what you’re thinking:  “Heard this story before, Alan.  Buy and hold.  Be patient.  Value investors are in it for the long term.”  And you’re right.  You have heard it before; and you’ll hear it over and over again, for one simple reason:

Quoting from the story’s headline, “It’s a recipe for success”.

To prove his point, Randall Smith, who wrote the piece, uses the ING Corporate Leaders Trust as an example.  The 22 stocks in this $750 million dollar portfolio are all descended Read More »

Many economists expect catastrophic consequences if any country exits the euro…

When it comes to what’s going on overseas, it seems like all we hear are dire predictions like these.  But it may not necessarily be so.

Jonathan Tepper — a portfolio manager, economist, chief editor of the independent global macroeconomic research service Variant Perception, and an American Rhodes Scholar — disagrees:

In contrast to the consensus view, he makes a compelling case in favour of any country that exits the euro — combined with a sizeable devaluation of its currency — in his recently-published paper on the eurozone crisis called “A Primer on the Euro Breakup:  Default, Exit and Devaluation as the Optimal Solution”.

History is on Tepper’s side.

During the past century 69 countries have exited currency areas with little downward economic volatility.  Furthermore, according to data from the IMF, the majority of largeRead More »

How great is it to be a Canadian!

There’s no denying that we’ve been on a roller coaster ride for the last several years, and investors the world over are feeling it — financially, emotionally and even physically.  We’re weary of it; and some days it’s very difficult to believe there’s any reason to be positive about anything.

A couple of days ago, as I read a story on Bloomberg News, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my mother when I was a child.  I was feeling sorry for myself because there was something I wanted and she didn’t think I needed it; and she refused to buy it for me.

The more I moaned and complained the more she ignored me, until finally her frustration Read More »

The Federal Budget and how it could affect you

On March 29, the Government of Canada tabled its 2012 federal budget.  To help guide you through the new initiatives click here for a report that has been prepared by Jamie Golombek — the Managing Director, Tax and Estate Planning for CIBC Private Wealth Management.  Quoted frequently in the national media, and as an expert on taxation, Jamie also writes a weekly column called “Tax Expert” in the National Post.

Well worth reading, this report focuses solely on the tax proposals in the budget that affect Read More »

What men and women can agree on

I read an interesting article in The Globe and Mail not too long ago:  “What wealthy women really want:  The differing female view of financial planning” by Noreen Rasbach.  I’ve been giving it a fair bit of thought, and have come to this conclusion:

I agree with the author that many women may want more frequent contact with their Investment Advisors than a lot of men.  Many women may ask for, and will read, more information than a lot of men.  Many women may make more considered decisions than a lot of men.

But in my opinion — regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, Read More »

Stay Calm and Carry On

It was 1939. We were on the brink of World War II.  Wanting to raise the British public’s morale the Ministry of Information issued a rallying cry:  Stay Calm and Carry On.

Let’s fast forward to 2012.  The conflict we’re facing today (and have been facing since 2008) is one of global economic survival; and it’s time to pause, take a deep breath, get our emotions under control and think rationally.  Stay calm and carry on, in other words.Read More »