Insights & Media

Insights & Media2019-12-18T09:46:52-05:00


You get what you pay up for

By |October 23rd, 2020|

How many times have you gone with the cheaper product or service, only to regret it later? In other words…You get what you pay for.  Don’t feel bad, we all make this mistake. The other day, I was looking for a charge cord for my Apple AirPods, and instead of paying $40 to buy the quality product from Apple, I bought a cheaper knock-off from Amazon for a quarter of the price. Not surprisingly, I threw the crappy knock-off cord into the garbage a few days later.

Fun with numbers – should you realize capital gains and pay taxes early?

By |October 20th, 2020|

Before 1972 there was no tax on capital gains in Canada. In that year, as part of a major overhaul of the tax scheme, capital gains taxes were imposed. The inclusion rate for capital gains (the percentage subject to tax) has varied over the years from the present level of 50% to as high as 100%, with stops (both in the year 2000) at 75% and 66% along the way. There is currently much speculation that the federal government will increase the inclusion rate in order to help finance the enormous budget deficit being rung up due to the COVID-19 crisis. Some accountants we know have urged their clients to realize existing capital gains now, before the rates go up. Is that a smart idea?

What happens If Biden wins?

By |October 7th, 2020|

Many of our clients have asked us what the impact of a Joe Biden victory would be on the stock markets and the American economy. In the short run, say the first few weeks after an election, we just don’t know. It is worth remembering that on the night Donald Trump was elected in 2016, the futures market indicated that American stocks would open the next day down by as much as 4%. Instead, by the end of the day there were solid gains. So we will make no predictions about the very near term. However, in the medium term, we expect that a Biden administration, particularly if coupled with a Democratic majority in the Senate, would be good for the US economy. Here are six reasons why.

An Ernest Opinion

The future of Canadian Telecoms 

By |October 19th, 2020|

In early September, US cable provider Altice USA and Rogers Communications made a joint bid to acquire Cogeco Communications and its parent Cogeco Inc (I will refer to both as Cogeco). The proposed deal would have Altice acquiring Atlantic Broadband, the 9th largest cable provider in the US, and Rogers, Cogeco’s largest shareholder, acquiring the Canadian assets, mainly a cable footprint in Ontario and Quebec and giving Rogers an entry into Quebec. The deal was quickly rejected by Cogeco with President Louis Audet stating Cogeco was definitively not for sale. Despite this categorical rejection, the would-be buyers increased their bid by about 10% to $11 billion in mid-October. Not surprisingly, the increased offer was again summarily rejected by the Audet family.

Why we still love our FAANGs (+ Microsoft)

By |September 29th, 2020|

Despite falling in recent weeks (a confirmatory “told ya we were in a bubble!” moment for many investors), the sharp rise in the share prices of major technology companies over the past six months has understandably caused many people to claim we are in a repeat of the 1999 tech bubble.

Media Appearances

Barry Schwartz on BNN – There are good reasons to be bullish on stocks

By |October 20th, 2020|

Barry Schwartz says investors are not very good at articulating the positive and he believes the positives are very significant. Schwartz says low interest rates, potential for further stimulus, improving economic conditions and rising earnings have him feeling good about the direction of stocks over the next three-to-five years, and that includes such names as Live Nation and Vail Resorts.


Monthly Newsletter – September 2020

By |October 2nd, 2020|

Paul Martin was Canada’s Minister of Finance in the mid to late 1990’s, when Jean Chrétienwas Prime Minister. When he came into office, Canada’s public debt had reached the dire and unenviable level of 100% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a level only previously seen in the aftermath of World War II. 

Monthly Newsletter – August 2020

By |September 2nd, 2020|

While we will never have all the answers needed for investing, the answers to three key questions will have a significant impact on the investing world. In this monthly update, David outlines these questions, the impact each will have, when he expects to have answers, and what investors should be doing as we await the outcomes.

Monthly Newsletter – July 2020

By |August 7th, 2020|

Understandably, people are concerned that the market is going to go down. The impact of the pandemic has created a high level of uncertainty and we do not know what will happen with this horrible and persistent disease in the remainder of 2020 and beyond. However, what we do know is that trying to time the market is not the answer. In this monthly update, David outlines the steps we are taking to protect your portfolios.

Wealth Management

The Spread and Your Head

By |September 30th, 2020|

An eternal question in the world of personal finance is “should I use available cash to invest, or should I use it to pay down debt”? Particularly in the time of COVID, when those lucky enough to continue working are often spending less and accumulating cash, it’s an important question. It’s also one that can be answered in a straightforward manner with a framework of questions to answer.

How valuable is the dividend tax credit really?

By |May 20th, 2020|

Tax minimization is one of the most important pillars of wealth management. The more you pay in taxes, the less money you have to spend and save. As a result much ink is spilled and many dollars spent in the effort to pay less tax. But when trying to optimize one part of the equation, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees.

This is where your plan shines

By |April 28th, 2020|

Major market corrections are scary. If you are close to retirement – or already retired – seismic shifts in the market can feel like the world is ending and your ability to meet your financial objectives is evaporating. If you have a financial plan, now is the time to review it, consider the impacts it has had on your portfolio, and assess in a non-emotional way whether your goals have been affected.

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