We share a profession and our work space, but how two of my colleagues and I are being affected by COVID couldn’t be more different

Two days ago I shared an idea for a series of blog posts with you. And then yesterday I wrote about what I’m finding difficult about self-isolation and some of the things I’ve been thinking about. I hope you’ve found them interesting and helpful — even if it’s just taking comfort in the fact that everyone is being impacted in some way.

Today I’m turning “Observations” over to two of my colleagues — Shelly Steidman and Josh McIntyre. Like me, Shelly is working from home, although the challenges she has been forced to face are very different from mine. Josh has been working at the office and is, in effect, a front line worker. Again, his concerns and perspective are vastly different — from both mine and Shelly’s. 

First, Shelly …

For me, the timing of coronavirus couldn’t have been worse. It hasn’t been pleasant or easy for anyone, but I very recently lost my mom. Just ahead of when we found ourselves being asked toRead More »

What’s sheltering at home been like for you? Rather unexpectedly, I’m doing a lot of inward gazing

Yesterday I blogged about an idea my team and I had when we realized how many people, the world over, have taken to sharing their stories of living, struggling, learning and even triumphing in the time of COVID.

In that blog post — which you can link to here — I wrote about how inspired we were by the depth and breadth of what people are sharing and thought it would be an interesting idea to share our own experiences and also invite a couple of members of our extended community —an industry friend, and a client to join us and share their personal experiences — nothing to do with the subject that connects us — which is investing.

Turns out everyone was willing and even eager to share their “war” stories and it’s been Read More »

We may all be isolated from each other, but we’re going through this corona crisis together

It’s a strange feeling. Aside from being with my wife, youngest daughter and our dog 24/7, I’m alone — with just one or two exceptions of visits at a safe distance. My contact is limited to emails, phone conversations, online meetings and some social media.

My team and I have been comparing notes and we all feel that COVID is, in a way, changing the nature of the conversations we’re having. Even though communicating over the phone and through email is far less personal than meeting face-to-face, it feels like we are “connecting” on a much deeper level and we’re getting to know more about each other than ever before.

Feeling scared? Frustrated? Lonely? Unsettled? Confused? It’s good to know we’re not alone

It was interesting to hear that my team members and I are all having conversations that seem to start the same way, with a question: How are you doing, how are you coping, what’s the hardest for you, what are you missing? And we’re discovering that as Read More »

Hitting the Pause Button to Reflect for a Moment

There’s no denying the seriousness and uncertainty of life as we know it today. We’re concerned, all of us — for ourhealth and that of our loved ones … for our friends, neighbours and colleagues … for our communities, our country, the economy, our investments and, quite frankly, for what lies ahead. We just don’t know. No one does. No one.

But amid the chaos and News and statistics that change from minute to minute we also Read More »

You’re Never Too Wealthy to Want a Good Deal

A billionaire many, many times over, Warren Buffett still lives in Omaha Nebraska, in a home he bought for $31,000 in 1958 and is now estimated to be worth $652,6191. Sam Walton, the Walmart founder, drove the same 1979 Ford F-150 pick-up until he died in the early 90s2.

I’m certainly not in their league, not even close, but I am successful — in both my business and as an investor. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m always looking for a deal, for ways to save Read More »

What’s The Phrase Investors Should Have Tattooed on Their Souls, and Why?

The phrase, which has been around in English since about 1545 is, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It’s important for investors to take it to heart because essentially it’s a warning against rashness and impatience — which can be, as behavioural economists — and history — keep reminding us, an investor’s worst enemy.

When we react — or over-react — to short-term performance and behave impetuously, we often do it at the expense of our long-term results. On the other hand, those investors who appreciate and capitalize on the Read More »

What do Aretha Franklin, Prince, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Picasso and Even Abraham Lincoln Have in Common?

They all died without having a Will. Equally staggering are the results of a 2018 Angus Reid poll that revealed that more than half of Canadians don’t have a Will.

It’s interesting. In my line of work this is a conversation I have all the time and,over the years, I’ve come to realize two things:

First, death is not a subject most people want to contemplate, let alone discuss — even in the abstract — even though Wills and estate plans are all about protecting and taking care of loved ones — which is one Read More »

There’s a difference between managing your money and managing your wealth …

… and it’s not all your advisor’s responsibility. How effectively your money is saved and managed is up to you. Your advisor manages your wealth and while the two may be connected, they are not one and the same.

What I’m talking about is being personally investedin your own financial well-being.

There was a long article recently in the Sunday New York Times, about a wealth manager whose clients are some of the best-paid athletes in the U.S. One sentence leapt out at me: “To retain his services, eachRead More »

Wealth Is More Than Material

I have been blessed with three wonderful daughters. The eldest was married a couple of weeks ago and it was a magical day — one I will always remember and cherish. It’s a big deal when you walk your child down the aisle, knowing you’re about to step aside, leaving her and her soon-to-be husband to begin their life together.

The significance of the moment really put things — put life — into perspective. And, as I looked around Read More »

A lesson a client taught me

Not that long ago I received this note from a long time client:

“I was accustomed for 50+ years to expect to make a decent income next year, and the year after that, etc.. But after retiring, I realized that I will never again earn any income from my work. That is quite a scary feeling to adjust to. Post retirement, my sole source of feelings of safety is reliance upon you as my advisor, to look out for my interests.”

I’ve been thinking about what he said — and, most importantly, the meaning behind those words ever since; Read More »