Smart Money Blog

What Happens Backstage

Think about going to a theatrical production. What you see if the front-stage element – the performers, the polished production. But in order for that to occur there is a lot of things that first need to happen back-stage – the preparation. Generally speaking, clients only see the front-stage production. They sit with me, and…

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Would you like to give your kids a meaningful head start in life?

Being a parent can be like being a juggler trying to keep a bunch of tennis balls in the air at the same time. Between kid’s activities, and work, and running a household, and all of it costs money, and nobody is getting enough sleep… Okay, it’s more like juggling chainsaws than tennis balls. Blindfolded….

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Nobody Likes Surprises

I have had an interesting last few months. We have been moving in a direction that will put us on the leading edge of the delivery of financial planning products and services to clients, and probably about two years in front of the pack. But, to my surprise, we have found pockets of stubborn resistance….

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Groundhog Day

2016 – Fears of China’s economy slowing, the fall of the Canadian dollar, the collapse of energy prices, left leaning governments that seem to be guided by political agendas rather than economics… Folks, it’s super scary out there, if you let it be. Of our troubles, no man can see the end. Which is –…

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The Anti Alarmist

Hey fortune teller: How’s your crystal ball looking for 2016? Here’s a piece I wrote four years ago about predicting the future. No need to update it. It’s still exactly correct.   One of my friends is a financial journalist. Recently he said “I am of the strong belief that 2012 will bring as much…

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A Better Way to Look at Your Investments

It’s common for people to get perturbed about short term developments with their long term investments. That’s dangerous because it leads to emotional, knee-jerk reactions, and often this hasty response is to events of no lasting significance. We just went through a short bout of apprehension a few weeks ago. The question is, as concerning…

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Revisiting Past Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meetings

I was tidying up a little recently and I came across an old notebook that happened to have my notes from the both the 2009 and the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings in Omaha. I’ve been to 10 BRK meetings, so my Berkshire notes are going to differ from a Buffett neophyte. I would have…

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Buying Rollerblades at 75% off

Did the August 2015 market volatility make you nervous? If you are still accumulating investment assets, maybe you need to rethink how you perceive opportunity.  

Beware the Self-Appointed “Guru”

Something interesting is happening right now. We have lost some accounts. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t ever lost an account before; sometimes people move away, sometimes they want to go in a different direction, sometimes one of us figures out that we are not really the best fit. But lately we have lost…

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The Next Bear Market

I can’t tell you when the next bear market will happen, but I can tell you for sure that we will have one. And we might even have one sooner rather than later. Going back to 1956, the average length of bull markets in Canada is 49 months, and the average gain during those bull…

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