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Investment basics for novices

Key principles to follow when starting out as an investor One of Warren Buffett’s famous maxims is to buy when everyone else is selling. This principle has helped male him, through his investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the richest men in the world....


Post-pandemic portfolio planning

Rebalancing for recovery The March market meltdown, bond market gyrations, repricing of assets, and the flight to safety over the past couple of months has thrown many portfolios into disarray, particularly those of the do-it-yourself variety. The turmoil is likely...


No, investing is not “free”

The real cost of investing in mutual funds and ETFs The way the marketing hype has it these days, you’d think investment costs have dropped to zero. What with all the do-it-yourself platforms out there hawking their black boxes and promising, at least implicitly,...


Are segregated funds worth the cost?

More popular with older, risk-averse investors Many investors, especially those facing retirement, are often offered so-called “segregated” funds by their financial advisors as a way to participate in the stock market while guaranteeing their principal. Although a...


The cost of investing in funds

Why it pays to pay attention to MERs As new fee transparency rules for advisors and money managers start to kick in, more investors have been asking me about difference between the costs of various mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. It’s a valid question, and...


Should you get active with your bond funds?

The choice between bond ETFs and mutual funds Bond yields have dropped recently, and as a result, bond values have risen significantly. For example, the passive iShares Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF has risen 3.3% since the beginning of the year, and is up 4.9%...


Coping with market volatility

How to avoid money-losing moves in gyrating markets During periods when sentiment sours and markets sell off suddenly and steeply, as has happened recently, financial advisors’ phones never stop ringing, with clients asking whether they should sell their funds or...


Options, futures, and swaps, oh my!

Is your mutual fund safe? You may have been surprised to see some mutual funds and exchange-traded funds disclose that they use “derivatives” in their portfolio management. It may have come as a surprise, because most investors acknowledge that derivatives can be...


The great ETF vs. mutual fund debate

Should you switch to ETFs for their lower MERs? The lower management costs of exchange-traded funds compared with mutual funds seem almost too good to be true. Many do-it-yourself investors are wondering whether they should switch completely to a portfolio of ETFs....

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