Blog2019-05-16T12:45:55-04:00

A Cottage Romance

By |June 21st, 2021|

Our family owned a cottage for 12 years. Our kids were little and we used it a lot, four seasons a year. Then, as happens, our kids grew up. They started going to camp in summer and had hockey or swimming or other activities in the other seasons. By the end, I was going up by myself to cut the grass in summer and get the snow off the roof in winter. We sold out more than twenty years ago.   Do we miss it? Sure. The sunsets over the lake, the joy of jumping into the cool water, the pure pleasure of canoeing on a windless day. Can’t beat it. But things have changed. We paid less than $100,000 for our place. Now, the same property would likely go for close to $1 million. Would it still make sense to buy?  Here is some advice I gave to a client who asked us just this question. 

Does value still matter?

By |March 11th, 2021|

In the early 1720’s, exactly 300 years ago, all of England was overtaken by a surge of stock market speculation which we now know as the “South Sea Bubble”.  Ignited by a monopoly granted by Parliament to a company to trade in South America, all manner of companies suddenly were brought to the market, and their shares were purchased with wild abandon by all and sundry. Two strong emotions ruled; today we call them “FOMO – fear of missing out” and “YOLO – you only live once”.  No idea was too bizarre and no scheme too outlandish.

The kids will be all right – How to save for your kids’ and grandkids’ futures

By |March 5th, 2021|

Generous parents and grandparents frequently look for the most beneficial ways to give their descendants a head start, often by putting funds aside in an investment for their benefit. This has perhaps become more common during the pandemic, as those who have been fortunate enough to have continued employment, and retirees, have seen their expenses decline with a corresponding rise in their savings. There are a number of different approaches available, each with its own pros and cons, and this article will expand on each.

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.

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.

What I learned about investing from baby monitors

By |August 31st, 2020|

Benjamin relates how the baby monitor for his 11-month-old son, which provides a plethora of information on his sleep habits, compares to the almost infinite amount of information available to investors to allow them to treat their portfolios as restless babies, in need of constant monitoring, and yet this does not always lead to the best outcome.

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