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Brexit? Trump? The Dow? Climbing the wall of worry

The market will fluctuate – get used to it! Stock markets seem to be reaching record highs every day. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index is the top-performing market in the world so far this year. Yet endless storm clouds seem to be gathering permanently on the...


Should you borrow to invest?

The lure of low rates can lead to a risk trap With interest rates so low, and stock markets hovering around all-time highs, many investors are looking to borrow for investment purposes, especially since the interest on an investment loan is tax deductible. While...


Stocks at record highs: time to buy?

How to avoid the market timing trap In a post-Brexit bounce over the past few weeks, the major North American stock markets have touched record highs. That blindsided many small investors who had bought in to the end-of-the-world style of media hype right after the...


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%...


Are Canadian stocks safer?

Why geographic diversification still matters Given all the volatility that’s been occurring in world markets after the Brexit vote, I’ve been asked whether it would be better to stick to Canadian stocks? After all, Canada is economically and politically stable, and...


Is it time to sell stocks in the wake of Brexit?

Acting on the media frenzy is a big mistake Should I sell my stocks and ETFs now? Is a major financial crash (like 2008) in the works? Not necessarily. First of all, don’t panic! Remember that markets are creatures of herd mentality, and are driven largely by...


Build a winning relationship with your advisor

What all financial advisors should deliver When our financial affairs achieve a critical mass, we’re often advised to “talk to a financial planner” or “consult a financial advisor.” But what we’re not told is what to expect when establishing a relationship with...


How novice investors can start building a portfolio

All about risk and robo-advisors Novice investors looking for better returns than low-interest savings accounts have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to investment choices – ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. But where do you begin? Here are a few tips...


Should investors worry about inflation?

In a word, yes One of the factors to take into account when deciding on a target rate of return for your investments is the rate of inflation. But according to Statistics Canada, inflation was actually down -0.5% in December. With inflation rates low or declining...


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...


Do you have enough eggs in your basket?

The danger of under-diversifying your portfolio How can you tell if your portfolio is properly diversified? A prospective client asked me to review an investment portfolio of several hundred thousand dollars consisting of two big holdings: iShares Canadian Growth...


They’ve handled one surprise. Could they handle another?

Robyn Thompson is regularly featured in The Toronto Star’s “Money Makeover” series by Deanne Gage. Money Makeover takes a look at Zachary and Diana, both 50; and five years ago, Diana was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The couple worries about their future once...

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