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 »

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 »

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

You’d probably be surprised to learn how many investors don’t fully understand their investments. By that I mean accurately, and equitably, evaluating returns, costs and benefits of different investments as well as measuring the true value provided by investment advisors.

Knowledge is an investor’s best friend; and it is for this reason that the industry, namely IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) has begun makingRead More »

How Meaningful is a Fund’s Past Performance? A Recent Study Might Hold the Answer.

It’s a debate that’s been raging forever:  Who’s more successful?  Active managers who strive to outperform the market or their more passive counterparts.  What’s right?  What’s wrong?  The truth is, the jury’s still out.  There’s been nothing conclusively pointing in either direction.

Until now, perhaps.  Until S.&P. Dow Jones Indices conducted a study that delved into it, 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 »