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  Bear market for bonds? Just remember why you own them in the first place
ROB CARRICK  

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Inside the StreetwiseMarket I saw red the last time I looked at my wife's RRSP account online.There it was when I checked the individual bonds that make up a five-year ladder in the account. Two of them had fallen in price lately and the brokerage firm showed the loss in red ink. My reaction? I just shrugged, clicked out of the account and checked the score of the Blue Jays game. I suggest you do likewise if the bonds, preferred shares, real estate investment trusts or dividend-paying common shares you own have fallen in price.
FULL STORY


A housing market heritage moment
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, June 29, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comIf George Orwell had written a dystopian novel about Canada's housing market, it might have been called 1981.That was the year mortgage rates reached levels that now seem like a plot of some oppressive force designed to terrify the population into submission. For several months, both one- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages were in the high teens and even, for a while, above 20 per cent.
FULL STORY


Economic recovery: the miserable truth
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, June 26, 2015

A lot of people are going to hate the economic recovery.Where we are now is the economic sweet spot - low interest rates to support our consumption of houses, cars and such, plus reasonably solid underlying fundamentals. A gauge of economic stress called the misery index now sits at its lowest point in 35 years for Canada.
FULL STORY


FINANCIAL LITERACY: THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, June 22, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comNo wonder it's such a struggle to raise the level of financial literacy. Current efforts to teach people about money are boring and a turn-off to kids, says Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at York University's Schulich School of Business and author of a new book called King William's Tontine: Why the Retirement Annuity of the Future Should Resemble Its Past. In a QandA we did to coincide with the recent introduction of the federal government's financial literacy strategy, Prof. Milevsky offered some blunt talk about the challenges of making Canadians smarter about money. Here's an edited transcript of our conversation:
FULL STORY


The information gap in fee-based accounts
ROB CARRICK  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comOnly on Bay Street would they push something called feebased investment advice and then treat actual fees like classified information.In fee-based accounts, investors pay a percentage of the value of their account to cover the cost of advice. Sit down with a fee-based adviser and you will certainly be told what fees you'll pay. But finding out what other firms charge so you can assess the competitiveness of your own fees is pretty much impossible. You'll sooner crack the Caramilk secret, or turn the Toronto Maple Leafs around.
FULL STORY


THE FINANCIAL FITNESS TEST FOR PARENTS
Rob Carrick  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

1. The most important rule of personal finance is: A) avoid debt B) invest early and often C) live below your means D) never carry credit card debtAnswer: C Living below your means means spending less than you make and having money left over to save. All good things in personal finance flow from this.
FULL STORY


Take advantage of early mortgage renewal
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, June 19, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comThe call display on your phone says it's your bank calling.If you have a mortgage coming due in the next six months, pick up. Banks can be intrusive with their client calls and telemarketing, but talking to them about an early renewal of your mortgage can save you a lot of money.
FULL STORY


Should retirees stay put or sell their home and rent?
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, June 15, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comSeniors across the country should be asking the question that David Renegar tossed my way recently.Mr. Renegar and his wife, Helena, are in their 70s and they wonder if it's time to sell the Toronto house they've owned for 32 years and rent. They like their home a lot - it's a Victorian-style house with great transportation links, a lively urban scene and a backyard and nearby park for their dog, a 70-pound Berger Picard named Harley, to run around in.
FULL STORY


An investment pro's take on housing market
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, June 12, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comThe people I listen to most on the state of the housing market are in the investment industry.Not in the housing sector.Investing people have a better understanding of a few basic facts about houses. One, they're financial assets like any other, and that means there are cycles of both rising and falling prices. Two, today's prices are high in some cities after a long run-up. Investment people believe the housing market is vulnerable to a pullback, and you should consider their arguments.
FULL STORY


The spectator's guide to bond market mayhem
Rob Carrick  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The investing world is having one of its periodic freak-outs about the bond market.Bond prices have been falling on anticipation that signs of strength in the global economy signal the beginning of the long journey back to interest rates that approximate the levels prior to the financial crisis of 2008-09. We've had scares like this before and they've melted away amid continued economic sluggishness. This may be the real thing right now, or not. Either way, Rob Carrick says, everyday investors should mind these four lessons about living through bad times for bonds.
FULL STORY


Financial literacy is a ticking time bomb
ROB CARRICK  

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Jane Rooney should be driving up to the release of Canada's national financial literacy strategy on Tuesday in the Batmobile.That's the level of urgency that will be in play as the country's financial literacy leader heads to a Toronto YMCA to explain her plan to help people make better financial decisions. Ms. Rooney and her federal government contact, Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson, have the benefit of working on a file that is practically ticking, time-bomb style.
FULL STORY


Save more or save longer to retire
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, June 08, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comThe work of saving for retirement will take a little more out of you in the years ahead.Returns from stocks and bonds are widely expected to shrink, and that calls for a review of your financial thinking. If you're already using conservative return estimates, then you're fine. If you're projecting high single-digit returns or more, then you need to recalibrate. Saving more or saving longer may be required.
FULL STORY


Time to get real about retirement planning
ROB CARRICK  

Saturday, June 06, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comRetirement planning's flaw is that it's often based on generalities, with too few numbers reflecting the spending of actual retirees.You know you need to save long and hard for retirement, that the right approach is a diversified portfolio with a long-term focus and that longer lifespans mean you should be thinking about having enough money to last into your 90s.
FULL STORY


Seven things to know for the CPP debate
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, June 05, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comWe should get a few things straight if we're going to debate how to use the Canada Pension Plan to help people save more for retirement.
FULL STORY


Segregated funds may be on the rise again
ROB CARRICK  

Saturday, May 30, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comThere's a back story if your investment adviser suddenly starts talking up the benefits of segregated funds.A seg fund is a mutual fund with insurance guarantees. Seg funds are a valuable estate planning tool, and they may have something to offer business owners who want to protect investment assets from creditors. But using them as the building blocks of a diversified, mainstream investment portfolio makes little sense.
FULL STORY


Investors need more ETF options
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Inside the Market A reader of my column - a high net worth reader - wants to switch some money from his advised account to exchange-traded funds bought through an online broker.
FULL STORY


One family's plan to live within their means
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, May 29, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comDetermined to live within their means, the four members of the Bell family made a drastic move about a year ago.They went from a rented 1,400square-foot townhouse in their town of Guelph, Ont., to what the 25-year-old Brianna Bell describes as an above-ground, twobedroom, 1,000-square-foot basement apartment in a house. ''It's really nice,'' she says of her home. ''People think when you say basement apartment that it's going to be really dark and dreary, but it's not.''
FULL STORY


Canada Pension Plan expansion would be big win for investors
ROB CARRICK  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The federal government is on its way to eliminating half the agony of saving for retirement.Sorry, finding money to save for retirement remains strictly your problem. But choosing the right investments for your retirement savings would be radically simplified under the government's proposal to allow people to voluntarily contribute additional money to the Canada Pension Plan beyond the required amounts.
FULL STORY


Are you overpaying your investment adviser?
ROB CARRICK  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comPeople ask me all the time if the fees they pay their investment advisers are fair. I'd rather address whether they're getting fair value for the fees they pay.
FULL STORY


Home ownership unwise for young adults
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, May 25, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comA veteran Bay Street entrepreneur wants to demolish the idea that it's smart to buy a house as soon as you can after graduating and starting a career.
FULL STORY


A more realistic take on projected returns
ROB CARRICK  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comSome of the country's top financial minds think you should expect to make 6.3-percent a year in Canadian stocks over the long term and 3.9 per cent in bonds.
FULL STORY


How to choose a travel rewards program
ROB CARRICK  

Friday, May 22, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comNow's the time to start planning your 2016 summer vacation.There's no rush on the destination, but you'll do yourself a favour by picking the right credit card travel rewards program now and then using it for the next 12 months to rack up points. People sweat the details on which specific card to get, but there's a bigger question that has to be addressed beforehand. Do you want a card that gets you reward flights, or one that offers generic points you can use for any travel at all?
FULL STORY


We may be paying off our debts, but we're not saving
ROB CARRICK  

Monday, May 18, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comWe're drunk on debt. It's impaired the judgment of even our stars of personal finance.As part of our series on debt, we built an online debt diagnostic tool that shows people how their finances are bearing up under their debt loads and allows them to compare their situation with others (tgam.ca/debttool).
FULL STORY


Gen Y savers: Some clarity amid volatility
ROB CARRICK  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

rcarrick@globeandmail.comGen Y investors are confused about the stock market and it's not their fault.Meet a woman we'll call ''Jane'' - 26 years old, working full-time and saving like a machine. She's thinking of buying a house in five years and looking for some suggestions on how to invest roughly $80,000 already set aside for a down payment.
FULL STORY


Why it isn't time to dump bonds
Rob Carrick  

Friday, May 15, 2015

The problem with the great years we've had as investors lately is that we're getting greedy.We have become accustomed to having both stocks and bonds make money for us at the same time, and we get squirrely at times when they don't. Like now, for example.
FULL STORY

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