Helping you make wiser investment decisions


What is a market-linked GIC?

If you like the safety of GICs but also want exposure to the stock market, there’s a type of investment for that: market-linked GICs. These investments guarantee the return of your principal along with a minimum interest rate, while also providing limited exposure to stock market movements. How market-linked GICs work Unlike a traditional GIC, […]

Book Review: Plunder | CFA Institute Enterprising Investor

Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America. 2023. Brendan Ballou. PublicAffairs. People stop in their tracks when they see the cover of the book I’m reading — Plunder — with its frightening depiction of skull and crossbones. “What are you reading? It must not be happy subject matter!” Private equity investing is not everyday talk […]

Making sense of the markets this week: November 26, 2023

Source: Google Finance In a report full of positive figures, perhaps the most impressive highlight was that data centre revenue (mostly from cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon and Microsoft) was up 279%, to USD$14.51 billion. Only a few years ago, Nvidia was basically known as a fairly simple (albeit still profitable) company that made computer […]

How to tell friends and family you’re doing “no gifts” this year

Yes, gift-flation “‘Gift-flation’ is a term we coined to describe the expectation that gifts—along with many other items this year—have increased in price due to factors beyond Canadians’ control,” says Roshan Jhunja, head of retail at Square, which offers a tool for small businesses to process credit card transactions. “What we saw in our survey […]

The tax implications of buying a second home in Canada

Primary residences vs. secondary properties The tax treatment of real estate in Canada depends on its use. The home you live in—your primary residence—is normally exempt from capital gains tax upon sale due to the primary residence exemption. This exemption can even be used on vacation properties, so long as it is “ordinarily inhabited.” While […]

Toronto housing bubble: Is it ready to pop?

As an example, someone who considered themselves fortunate to secure a 5-year variable rate mortgage at 0.9% in early 2022 may have seen their interest rate soar to 5.4%, leading to a significantly higher required payment. For some, this situation is painful, and for others, it becomes unmanageable. In extreme cases, selling the home they […]

Infinite banking in Canada: Should you borrow from your life insurance policy?

Now, after a fair bit of research and a few interviews with experts on infinite banking, I feel I know enough to pass on the basics—plus what you should think about before signing up.  What is infinite banking? According to a useful primer from independent insurance firm PolicyAdvisor, “Infinite banking is a concept that suggests […]

Do-It-Yourself High-Dividend Strategies | CFA Institute Enterprising Investor

Introduction What do business development companies (BDCs) and covered call and preferred income strategies have in common? Most obviously, they all offer dividend yields well above those of the S&P 500 and are especially popular among yield-hungry retail investors. Less obviously, all these strategies have underperformed the S&P 500 on a total return basis over […]

Is Canada in a recession? A look at the state of our economy

When will the Bank of Canada lower interest rates? Soon, said Donald, soon. She went on to suggest the BoC will cut interest rates in early 2024. “Probably in Q1 or Q2, and we’re ahead of the pack on that one. The [U.S. Federal Reserve] could be cutting interest rates by mid-year.” Those of us […]

Making sense of the markets this week: November 19, 2023

Target shareholders finally avoid slings and arrows The big headlines in U.S. retail this week centred around Target shares seeing a massive 18% spike, while Walmart shares came down over 8% after Thursday’s earnings announcement. However, we look behind those headlines to the context of those moves to get the real story. U.S. Retail earnings […]

Book Review: These Are the Plunderers

These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs — and Wrecks — America. 2023. Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. Simon & Schuster. In 1970, Milton Friedman penned an influential editorial in The New York Times stating that business had one social responsibility: to increase profits. The Friedman doctrine focuses on managers in their role as […]

Better Inflation Forecasters: Economists or Consumers?

Forecasting inflation is a notoriously difficult business, which means we have to set expectations. After all, if I were a good inflation forecaster, I would probably be investing on it not writing about it. Modern economic theory posits that actual inflation depends on expected future inflation — that what inflation will be is in part […]