Smart Money Blog

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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Track your Progress

About a year ago I started to get serious about my health. As a younger man I used to be exceptionally fit, and I could get away with all sorts of things. I could eat junk food all day and drink beer all night. But I was also working out like a madman, with the…

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Don’t take anything for granted

Recently I was one of the first people on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident. I was the one who called it in to 911 so I remained on the scene waiting for the first responders to arrive, but there was nothing that could be done. It was clear that the driver had…

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Focus on what counts

It bewilders me why people have a fascination with matters of little consequence, simply because they are easy to measure. What is it with this obsession with comparing investments to benchmarks? It’s misplaced at best, not to mention potentially playing a dangerous game. The first point, which is no small matter, is that an investor…

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Why I don’t send quarterly investment reviews anymore

I used to mail quarterly investment reviews to clients, but I stopped doing that. There were a number of reasons for making the decision to stop mailing quarterly investment reviews. I’ll be honest, it was a considerable expense and time commitment, that was a small part of the decision. And we weren’t really providing that…

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Falling Gas Prices

Given that the energy sector is the lifeblood of Fort St John, the declining prices for oil and gas are on the minds of a lot of people. I can’t tell you where the price of oil and gas is going – nobody else can either, by the way – but I wanted to share…

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The Value of Face to Face

I do quite a bit of travelling, and while it can be a grind, I think it is enormously beneficial to have face to face contact. Let me tell you what I mean. A couple years ago I took in a Manulife mutual funds due diligence conference in New York. Part of the reason that…

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