Why Engage The Services Of An Investment Fiduciary?

By Mark Barnicutt, MBA, FCSI, CFA

As the concept of fiduciary is being discussed more in the media and among Canadian securities regulators, we believe it is important to address this concept as it’s all about putting the investor-client interests first!

We view a fiduciary as someone acting in a position of trust on behalf of, or for the benefit of, a …

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It is time to prepare for the bear

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

All year I’ve been wanting to write an article urging advisors and individual investors to prepare for the next bear market.  When stock markets hit a pothole in late summer and early fall, it struck me as an opportune time to refresh this idea.  While markets have since quickly moved …

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Do-it-yourself investors must plan for investments after death

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

Many DIY investors act as ‘family money managers’.  Most that I’ve met are men married to spouses with little or no interest in investing.  These DIY investors often risk predeceasing their novice-investor partners.  So with many issues to deal with post-death, these DIY investors should consider how to plan the …

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Are you chasing an investment celebrity or the superior money manager?

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

So-called ‘Bond King’ Bill Gross made headlines with his recent decision to leave PIMCO – the firm he founded more than 40 years ago – to join Janus Capital Group.  How best to deal with manager changes and whether investors and advisors should follow the …

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CalPERS' hedge fund decision offers important lessons

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System – aka CalPERS - announced plans to liquidate its $4 billion hedge fund portfolio.  It’s big news because CalPERS is considered a well-run pension plan.  It’s huge – at nearly $300 billion USD – and it was one of the first pension plans …

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Beware of aggressive investment product marketing

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

Aggressive marketing of investment products is nothing new.  Throughout my career I have expended plenty of energy pointing out what I believe to be misleading or overly aggressive marketing initiatives and advertisements.  More than four years ago I posted an article highlighting one fund’s sales incentive and …

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Market-linked GIC looks good on surface but fails scrutiny

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

A prospective client recently brought an index-linked guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) to our attention – an investment that he found very attractive.  He asked for our thoughts on this product.  This GIC that pays interest linked to the S&P/TSX 60 Index performance over 3- or 5- year terms.

While it uses an …

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Illiquidity may be floating rate funds' biggest risk

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

Floating Rate Debt (FRD) is getting an increasing amount of attention.  Over the past year, several new products have been launched focusing on floating rate debt such as leveraged loans and so-called senior loans.  All pay floating rates of interest – a feature that is too heavily promoted for my …

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Expect more distribution cuts from monthly income funds

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

I have been writing about Monthly Income funds for more than a dozen years.  In my 20-year career, none of my articles or comments have generated as much feedback (or as much anger) as my critiques of Monthly Income funds.  Capital market activity has made distributions less sustainable than …

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Regulatory initiatives may not solve this fee transparency problem

By Dan Hallett, CFA, CFP

Securities regulators have a lot on the go.  Among the many proposed regulations is the requirement for financial advisors to show clients how much they pay in fees and the amount of commissions they collect from the client’s investments.  I applaud regulators’ efforts because all of these initiatives are aimed …

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