Should you manage your own investments?

Yesterday, when confused, scared, Vanbaby Suzi asked for some guidance with her forty grand, I said yes. After all, if investor virgins stick with the few simple tenets I proposed, they’ll probably be okay. Just avoid the bank sharks, self-direct your TFSA, harness ETFs, understand balance and diversification, buy low and keeping reading a pathetic financial blog written by a bearded guy with epic abs. And a Harley.

But this approach ain’t for everyone. Some people have actual lives. They go to work, have babies, commute, play with the dog and lack the time to research securities, absorb tax laws, rebalance a portfolio or understand why bonds mature when men don’t. Or, they have more money than Suzi and don’t want to screw it up. Or no pension. Or a looming retirement.

So for them getting professional help is a viable option. But how do you find a trustworthy and competent person in a world where salesguys, bank tellers, insurance floggers and daytraders call themselves ‘financial advisors’? Carefully. The danger in Canada is not so much being ripped off by a scammer (we have way tougher regs than in the US), but hooking up with a guy more motivated by a trailer fee than your success.

So here are a few things to remember.

First, find out how an advisor is paid, which is a good clue to what to expect. A person selling mutual funds, for example, is paid by the companies whose products he peddles, and not by the client. So, guess who he works for? Plus, he doesn’t manage your money, giving that job over to fund managers you’ll never meet. Also remember that fund fees (usually embedded) aren’t tax-deductible.

A fee-for-service advisor is paid by the hour, or by the plan. He or she will interview you, come up with a strategy, collect your cheque and be gone. It’s great to have a roadmap, but then you need it implemented – and the buying, selling and rebalancing of securities at the wrong moments can seriously derail even a masterful scheme. But for some people who are skilled and have the time, this is a great option. Trading fees are extra.

In contrast, a fee-based advisor will create a plan and also implement it, plus monitor and manage the portfolio. This person charges you a fee based on the amount you invest. Because there are no commissions earned or collected, the potential for conflict-of-interest is vastly reduced since the relationship is more akin to that which you’d have with a lawyer or accountant.

How much does an advisor cost? The mutual fund guys are free, which is nice, but management fees often chew the hell out of your returns. Planners can collect a hundred or two for an hour, or by the plan (from $350 to $3,000 depending on the complexity). Fee-based advisors charge up to 2% annually of the money you invest, but I think anything over 1% is too much.

By the way, wear protective gear when you approach ‘advisors’ who sell insurance. They are the ultimate salesmen, enjoying the sweetest of commissions. They also traffic in guilt. No wonder we have too much of the stuff.

Find an advisor who knows the tax code, because it’s not how much money you make, but what you keep. Find one who asks you about not only your spouse and kids, but your aging parents, idiot BIL who owes you money, your real estate, company pension plan plus your goals and fears and how you first met your mate. Integrated, holistic, personal – that’s the best approach.

The right candidate should actively manage your accounts, not farm them off to a baby advisor or a third-party manager. He or she should lay out clearly how you will connect. Get live, online access to your accounts. Insist on a plan before you start (at no cost). Find out how often reviews will occur (every three months at first is reasonable, fewer when your trust builds). Does the advisor have regular conference calls with all clients? Will you have access to private phone numbers 24/7 if you need help? Are the accounts protected and insured? (CIPF gives a minimum of $1 million in coverage in case of insolvency.)

Mostly it’s about trust, loyalty and connection. Money matters because it gives freedom and choices. It allows you to make more of the one thing you can never replace – time. Other than that, wealth is just a pile of stuff. But you need it. Don’t let suspicion, mistrust, fear or hubris keep you back.

Not everyone needs help. The geniuses who come here obviously do not. But the rest of us wonder.


#1 Josef on 06.18.13 at 9:48 pm

FIRST!!! Oh Yeah BABY!!! Yeah!!!

Don’t start this again. — Garth

#2 TREB numbers and Biding wars debunked on 06.18.13 at 9:50 pm

Forget about my own stats, the TREB nubers do not make sense by themselves
However here are my observations. I think that the whole thing is starting to slide downward in Toronto

Here are my stats published yesterday

And here are the sales heat maps for today

Condos GTA

SFH #Toronto

SFH GTA (Toronoto excluded)

#3 Smoking Man on 06.18.13 at 9:54 pm

The Slave Rises !!!!!!!

I am going to need an advisor.

Garth in a short while I will hire your expertise re investing, my business plan is projecting 10 to 15 million a month, that will add up fast, I want it protected and growing. Why you,
I think you’re just as insane as I am, we are both prolific writers even though I can’t write, writing has nothing to do with writing.

Why would a Zillionaire(ME)give up early retirement, daily golfing and boating to go to the tax farm every day. Why would he wear slightly wrinkled shirts, live in a small house in the city, go low profile.

Get up at 5am, power drink a pot of Tim Horton coffee, trying to crash the hangover of previous night of wine inducted tour of the universe trip. Work for absolutely ridiculous low rate while having one of the most responsible IT gigs in the world. mistakes cost millions.

It was the force my friends, The little Voice inside my head said “old grass hopper go by way of the dog my son, you must do this, you must take your lumps as a huge prize will emerge and land at your feet. “
He’s never been wrong before. Being a curious bastard I had to play this out just to see what it was. So I listened and had many talks with the voice these last few years, just hope no one saw my lips move.

He told me to

So I did, didn’t know it’s significant at the time. About a month ago voice said make it better make it so the number representing a Character changes every time you make a key. I did it.
Then comes the head line
Mr. Snowden,— NSA. Spying on everything
Ha the voice was right again…
Now, If a Bank, a Hedge Fund, The Canadian Govt, CSIS and know that some pimple faced kid at the NSA can see everything your type and transmit over the web. Would you be happy with that. Would you trust them with your secretes?
Cha Ching ………..Cha Ching…………Cha Ching……KeysMe no longer free…..or called that.
I will leave copy on line a few generations ago for you dogs, coming down tomorrow night, never to be free again.
My apps encryption Algo written by a drunken loon who didn’t take the course, who doesn’t think human, the only one that can crack it is Yoda and I’m going to make him a partner. Needs one more piece done and Yoda is the man.
Below text = (Fool-The-Machine) actually first word is a bit harsher, same # of letters and starts with an F To read this after you download pin is 000000

40479262697806824670532717216982072426649388299874 321697266445879880688037494670422671

#4 CalgaryGuy on 06.18.13 at 9:58 pm

Hi Garth: Can you tell me if you are in favour of Canadian Shareowners Association for self-directed RSP? I like the fact that it has DRIP accounts and reinvests fractional shares but the list of available investment ETFs and stocks is somewhat limited. Thanks.

#5 Ralph Cramdown on 06.18.13 at 10:04 pm

#149 Alex K — what about Nasdaq in March 2000 ? was at 5132, lost my calculator what’s the gain to date?

An education.

#6 Jeff on 06.18.13 at 10:07 pm

When I started my first grown-up job many years ago I did what everyone else my age was doing. Specifically, I walked into a bank and signed up with a commissions-based advisor. I simply did not know there was an alternative. I was loaded up with mutual funds, received a nearly illegible paper statement once a quarter, and just assumed everything was A-OK. Well, it wasn’t. My portfolio grew but nowhere near as quickly as it should have. I later learned how mutual fund fees were chewing into gains. So, after doing this for 15 years I made the switch to an excellent fee-based advisor. He meets me face-to-face, is completely upfront with fees and expectations, and knows the market inside-out. I’m much happier knowing my hard-earned money is being managed to maximize my gains and not just to generate commissions off trading churn. The peace of mind and sounder sleep was worth the hassle and uncertainty of making the switch.

#7 TurnerNation on 06.18.13 at 10:08 pm

” The equities market isn’t going to get any help from investors leaving the bond market any time soon.
That’s the finding in a new report from Greenwich Associates. The Stamford, Conn-based consultancy wrote in its latest report, “U.S. Equities: Five Reasons Why the Great Rotation Might Not Be So Great,” that the institutional shift out of domestic equities will continue and keep pressure on trading volumes, despite the expected rotation out of fixed-income products and into equities as interest rates are expected to rise.

As interest rates rise, fixed-income products see their values erode whereas equities don’t lose their value as interest rates rise. Interest rates are expected to rise either later this year or next as the Federal Reserve curtails or “tapers” its current bond purchasing program designed to stimulate the U.S. economy via low interest rates.

At about 6.3 billion shares, Q1 2013 daily trading volume in U.S. equities is down by a third from the 2009 market high of roughly 9.3 billion. It is not expected to bounce back much in 2013, Jay Bennett, consultant at Greenwich told Traders Magazine.
“The buyside said in our interviews they don’t expect volume to bounce back this year,” Bennett said. “Most are skeptical or optimistic this shift to equities from fixed-income will happen.””

– Bonus: map of Turkey Israel oil pipeline:

– On today’s wire: “Libya’s Oil Production Bounces Back to 1.3 Million B/D -Deputy Oil Min”
(What we fight for/We know he has WMD/Little girls going to school yada yada.)

#8 not 1st on 06.18.13 at 10:17 pm

Ask your adviser “Why are you still working?”

Any advisor worth his weight would have managed his own investments into a tidy sum and left the business. The rest are all just churners and product salesman.

Ever phone up RBC and discuss a several hundred thousand dollar transaction with them, then only to have them tell you they can save you 75 cents a month if you get VIP chequing or some such concoction. Thye get paid more to hawk cheesy products than to help you with your biggest financial decisions. Your financial adviser will be doing the same thing.

There are ethical, wealthy advisors who truly enjoy helping people. Well, most people. — Garth

#9 Advice — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate | The Affluent Boomer on 06.18.13 at 10:17 pm

[…] via Advice — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate. […]

#10 AK on 06.18.13 at 10:19 pm

#1 Josef on 06.18.13 at 9:48 pm
“FIRST!!! Oh Yeah BABY!!! Yeah!!!”

#11 Kurt on 06.18.13 at 10:21 pm

#1 Jospeh:

It always seems a bit premature to write “FIRST!!!” in a posting. I’m surprised that Garth hasn’t made more of it. Like being early in certain other things, coming up with a “first post” is nothing to be proud of – it’s certainly not something you want to advertise. Posting first always leaves the rest of us somehow unsatisfied, as though you were totally focused on taking care of your own needs. Perhaps you should focus more on making your posts better instead of sooner. Your wife thanks us too!

#12 AK on 06.18.13 at 10:29 pm

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”

Source: Warren Buffet

#13 Arshes76 on 06.18.13 at 10:29 pm

I just keep my RRSP’s in Streetwise Funds at ING. Easy Couch Potato type portfolio that is automatically rebalanced and has a low 1% fee.

#14 AK on 06.18.13 at 10:37 pm

#149 Alex K on 06.18.13 at 8:02 pm
“what about Nasdaq in March 2000 ? was at 5132, lost my calculator< what's the gain to date?
Please let me know LOL"

So, Nortel was $120.00 back then. What's your point?

#15 Inigo Montoya on 06.18.13 at 10:40 pm

Hello Smoking Man.


#16 Ralph Cramdown on 06.18.13 at 10:45 pm


Some of them, I suppose.

A little turd from Edward Jones got my elderly relatives right out of those investment grade bonds they’d owned since before interest rates crashed (previous advisor, left the business) and into some of MFC’s funds with a fat MER, DSC and trailer. He had to change their risk profile to do it, and their compliance department was OK with that, the skunks.

I did better owning IGM.TO and MFC.TO than their customers did.

#17 KommyKim on 06.18.13 at 10:45 pm

RE: #1 Josef on 06.18.13 at 9:48 pm
FIRST!!! Oh Yeah BABY!!! Yeah!!!
Don’t start this again. — Garth

I think the solution is simply just to delete these posts. No comments, no nothing. Into the bit-bucket with them.

#18 Bobbo on 06.18.13 at 10:46 pm

Fantastic info. I have a question regarding the threat of rising interest rates. I don’t understand why preferreds went down more than common shares last week. Why wouldn’t investors be more comfortable staying with the higher dividend rate? Why wouldn’t common shares paying much less sell off first?

Rate speculation. If you hold preferreds for yield, ignore it. — Garth

#19 HockeyNightInAmerica on 06.18.13 at 10:50 pm

The TSX is still down 3000 points since it’s 2008 high 5 years ago. What will happen to the Cdn Economy and Cdn financial markets when the real estate market corrects or even worse when the China bubble bursts? When all the wealthiest Elites are majority in cash right now, isn’t that usually telling us something?

It tells us you just made that up. — Garth

#20 Cory on 06.18.13 at 10:58 pm

Trailer fees should be outlawed. If there is to be a fee for an advisor/brokerage, it should be a flat one time commission not ongoing fees. When a salesman sells a car he/she is paid for the sale, same with these overpaid realtors.

I am definitely not a fan of ETF’s. They are built for the banks providing them. Yes you pay a lower management fee but are these managers really watching the basket they have put together? are they watching financials or simply buying say the highest yielding stocks and jumping in for example?

You are going to pay for service one way or another. I am not a fan of mutuals either although I do have one through Sentry but I waited a few years and followed them before buying what they were selling.

Get an advisor at 1 or 2% and add the ETF ~.5% and you’re in mutual fund territory for fees. So, as I said, either way you pay. It is not all bad to pay for service as long as it is a good service, then it is justifiable.

#21 Ronaldo on 06.18.13 at 11:09 pm

#11 AK – havn’t you figured out yet that Josef is a Garth creation?

#22 HockeyNightInAmerica on 06.18.13 at 11:09 pm

Not making it up Mr. Turner, Warren Buffet is sitting on a record $49 billion in cash right now. Insiders selling stock has hit record highs (vs buying). Millionaires are sitting on record amounts of cash with only 16% surveyed who are willing to invest it in the markets over the next few months.

#23 Harry Wilson on 06.18.13 at 11:19 pm

Hello Mr. Turner; can you tell us what the requisite ‘wealth thresholds’ are, to talk to these various levels of financial advisors? I know that [email protected] will talk to me for free, but if I have $20-30K, $60-70K, or $90-100K to invest, would the others want me in their office?


#24 will on 06.18.13 at 11:23 pm

Should you manage your own investments? YES. But you have to make a bit of an investment in your own education first. I said a bit. Don’t need a ton. Don’t need to feed the education industry.

Focus on the liberal arts first. Doesn’t matter which – art history, literature, music, whatever. Then a couple university courses in economics (micro and macro, but especially micro). Statistics is also useful. Take the Canadian Securities Course. Then you have to read Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett’s letters to shareholders.

Can’t afford the liberal arts degree? Of course you can’t. Nowadays fewer and fewer people can. So forget about it. Just take 2 years off and read Dante, Tacitus, Homer – all the big stuff you can fit in. No essays required, and its cheap. You can do all this while being in the labour pool. Yes you can. And don’t ever stop reading the classics. And finally, don’t ever stop reading the classics.

I apologize to the blog if this sounds platitudinous or condescending. But when financial virgins are about to be raped, we all have to do our part in repeating the basics, ad nauseam if necessary. Not just for our/their own financial well being, but it’s the best way to keep the financial “industry” in check. Not to mention the RE “industry.” Garth’s got us looked after there.

#25 Ronaldo on 06.18.13 at 11:26 pm

#8 Shawn – sounds like you work for Investors.

#26 Donald Trump on 06.18.13 at 11:28 pm

Re: AK

…………. is the sphincter of truth

Thus is it rendered via coffee in the morning, or high fibre in evening.

AKa Depends or Kopectate?

#27 AK on 06.18.13 at 11:31 pm

#22 Ronaldo on 06.18.13 at 11:09 pm
“#11 AK – havn’t you figured out yet that Josef is a Garth creation?”
LOL. Anything is possible, but I doubt it.

#28 Retired Boomer - WI on 06.18.13 at 11:32 pm

Watch out for those FEES!! A 2% fee will eat over 60% of your nest egg over an investment lifetime. Don’t believe me? Just do the math on it big boy.

Garth’s advice once again is precise, accurate, and honest.

This from a former political winner, and investment advisor.

Were you available in my country, I would give serious consideration to engage your firm. No wonder this blog is so highly respected.

Quality dude here folks.

#29 charlie harper on 06.18.13 at 11:32 pm

What ever happen to real estate prices in Toronto that were suppose to crash according to this bearded fool ? I see he stopped pumping that crap ,his foot is in his mouth again I guess!

Learn to read better and you will note this blog never forecast a ‘crash’ in Toronto prices. It’s all moving ahead as anticipated, and I suggest angry realtors like you explore a career change. — Garth

#30 Sideline Sitter on 06.18.13 at 11:35 pm

1% per year… so, if I put in $100,000 in year one the fee is 1% or $1,000. what about the second year? Assume no gains, no losses, and no further investment – is it another 1% or $1,000?

Makes sense, but want to confirm.

#31 KommyKim on 06.18.13 at 11:35 pm

RE: #19 Bobbo on 06.18.13 at 10:46 pm
Fantastic info. I have a question regarding the threat of rising interest rates. I don’t understand why preferreds went down more than common shares last week

As far as interest rate changes are concerned, preferreds behave like bonds. When interest rates rise, their price goes down. The most sensitive to this are perpetuals, then rate-resets….. Floating rate preferreds will most likely rise in price as interest rates rise. You won’t find many floating rate preferreds out there and they are thinly traded and therefore are not very liquid.

#32 caseysman on 06.18.13 at 11:47 pm

So……isn’t there anybody who will take his/her lumps if the portfolio fails by taking only a minimal sum? Performance based bonuses? Say the portfolio beats the market/index by 5%, he/she earns a higher percentage than if it underperforms by that amount? Now there is a REAL incentive…

#33 Wally on 06.18.13 at 11:48 pm

Garth: As I’ve mentioned before, I think 40% in income-yielding stuff (like a bond index ETF and one full of preferreds) and 60% growth-oriented (an ETF containing the major REITs, one pacing the TSX 60, one mirroring the S&P 500 and one for emerging markets) is about right.
Wally: Yes, nicely diversified there Garth. But YTD, all of those sectors are flat or down, except the US S&P which is up 10.5%. Overall the above portfolio, if weighted as described, would be down 0.5% for the year.

But it yields about 3%, so including distributions, it would be net up 1.0% for the year to date.

A comparison, Teranet Canadian house index is up 1.3% YTD.
Garth: You can’t count too well. — Garth


Wally: No counting errors Garth. Here are the calculations.
Assume portfolio is as you outlined above.

20% bonds, YTD = -2% *
20% pref shares. YTD= -2%
15% REIT, 15% YTD= -5%
15% TSX YTD=0%
15% S&P YTD=10.5%
15% EEM YTD= -3.5%

* For the YTD return, I used the largest trading ETF for the sector.

Overal return = a blend of those above, which works out to
=-0.5% (as stated in previous post)

Add in the distributions for a half year’s yield (yeild of 3% annual), and we get -0.5+1.5= 1.0% return for this portfolio YTD.

You can add but you don’t know much about investing. The yield on the FI portion alone should be about 4.6%. The weightings are incorrect. The bonds should be varied. REITs overstated. Equities askew. And the balanced portfolio is doing just fine. You have no point. — Garth

#34 timmy on 06.18.13 at 11:57 pm

60-80 percent equities among blue chip dividend paying stocks, with 20-25% international exposure and hold for the long term. Follow a reputable investment newsletter. You will do better than most financial advisers, as most are incompetent. They have to sell to get clients, and they have to sell them products. Most can’t even match the market averages. If they were successful investors, they wouldn’t need to work as advisers.

You pay for generic advice from a newsletter and are 100% in stocks? No wonder you’re bitter and defeated. — Garth

#35 valleyrenter on 06.19.13 at 12:01 am

BC Ctv news has a poll on their website ‘are condos a good investment in Vancouver?’ Get out and vote . VillageWhisperer also has a link to site.

#36 Little Help on 06.19.13 at 12:14 am

Could someone recommend a great fee-based advisor in the lower mainland?

#37 rcmf83 on 06.19.13 at 12:49 am

Where are fee based advisors that charge 1%?

#38 Alex K on 06.19.13 at 12:50 am

#5 Ralph Cramdown
you missed the point all together, time to go to bed

#39 prairie person on 06.19.13 at 12:56 am

After around a year on the market, the house next door finally sold. When I bought in the area, there was nothing under 600k. His asking was 458,000. Don’t know what he took. Out today and saw sold signs everywhere. Houses are moving. I expect people in Victoria are taking a hit on price but houses are selling. Garth has probably scared the owners into lower prices. There have been some big drops.

#40 MEANWHILE IN EUROPA on 06.19.13 at 1:21 am

Good advise. Less RE centric topic. I like it.
Personally I have a good feeling that the US is on an upswing as high as their last cliff drop, if not higher.

People saying W.Buffet et al are selling read the wrong Blogs.

#41 Alberta Ed on 06.19.13 at 1:27 am

We have been relying on a major Canadian financial group, which has been around for nearly a century, for about 20 years. Yes, there are fees, but they are reasonable, and also laid out in excruciating detail if you care to read the various prospectuses. Our financial advisor, who is professionally certified, bonded and regularly audited, is available 24/7. He meets with us annually and is available any time. He has structured our portfolio so that it is diversified, balanced, and subject to minimum taxes. We certainly did not have much to begin with, but we were able to build over the years, with his advice. We sleep well at night.

#42 East Van on 06.19.13 at 1:32 am

Great Post Garth.

Thanks for giving so much of your time to educate and entertain all us fools. It is much appreciated.

#43 cynically on 06.19.13 at 1:42 am

#126 Canadian Watchdog on 06.18.13 at 4:21pm . I think the first speaker you referred to meant population not popularity as Toronto has replaced Chicago as the fourth most populous (not popular) city in N. America after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles. Looks like gold has become a Snowbird as it heads south for the summer, as well as the winter.

#44 g on 06.19.13 at 1:42 am

Hi Garth,
My GF went and bought a good sum in mutual funds 2.5 years ago and was losing 8 % of her investment until last Oct ,when I told the advisor not to re-balance the account any longer.I did the re -balancing myself and recouped the loses plus a moderate gain.I would like to transfer the RRSP account to another institution,(where she can do online transactions the same day versus waiting 2 weeks for paperwork to go through)but there is a 5 % penalty(they locked her in for 7 years).Should she take the loss now and be done with it,or wait it out?She currently can transfer out 10% annually with no penalty. (I know stupid move to lock in but I wasn’t there when she got duped)

#45 Canuck Abroad on 06.19.13 at 1:55 am

8 Shawn – that is really sad. My eyes welled up a little, thinking about the poor abandoned mutual fund salesguy trying to scrape by on 2% of a lousy 10k.

Seriously though, anyone paying over 1% is being robbed. And at many places that 1% will include all your trading fees and administration and reporting, so the 1% advisor of a small portfolio is also working for a pittance in the hope the portfolio will be bigger one day.

Once upon a time there was a position called encyclopedia salesman. Or how about the Amway guy, remember him? Your mythical mutual fund housecall-making mutual fund salesguy is doomed to the same future, and should maybe be looking for a career change. Just sayin…

#46 Vangrrl on 06.19.13 at 2:01 am

Cyclist (yesterday):
haha, I’m with you!! I was thinking who are these incredibly out of shape morons who think riding a bike a few km causes one to sweat profusely? Clearly those who only drive their oversized, money guzzling vehicles everywhere. 3 mill for bike lanes is a drop in the bucket, given the millions spent on things like a new roof for the stadium. One of the best things about this city is the fact a person can bike yr round. People with kids bike yr ound. Biking is NOT a fringe element in Van; it’s very common. Less driving = more health, better fitness, and more cash to throw in investments!
Love Van for its bike lanes… dependent car culture is a sickness!!

#47 Dean Mason on 06.19.13 at 2:28 am

To Arshes #14

ING has 4 Streetwise Funds and their inception date is January-10-2008.Their website shows the following performance of each mutual fund since inception and period ending May-31-2013.

Balanced Income Portfolio 3.93%

Balanced Portfolio 2.90%

Balanced Growth Portfolio 2.38%

All these balanced and income funds are poor performers as on January-10-2008 5 year GIC rates were 4.50% to 4.75% and longer term provincial bonds and strip bonds were the around the same yields.

The Equity Growth Portfolio at 13.79% is the only fund that has an inception date since November-21-2011

The only outperformer if comparing to the S&P/TSX composite was 11,784 on November-21-2011 versus 12,650 ending May-31-2013 means only a total gain of 7.348%. The 13.79% per year return that the ING Growth Portfolio ending May-31-2013 is the only one that got a total gain of 21.043%.

The main problem is that this fund only exists 1.52 years and not 5.38 years like the others.You need at least a 10 year track record to know a longer term perspective of mutual fund performances and real comparisons.

#48 Rob on 06.19.13 at 2:31 am

For those with less than the 500 grand that is really needed for a proper advisor I’d suggust Millioniare Teacher book or Canadian Couch Potaoe web site. Both are great.

BTW Garth is a great advisor, actually had a short meeting but honestly didn’t have enough assets to make it worthwhile.

You do not require $500,000 to engage a fee-based advisor. — Garth

#49 aggie on 06.19.13 at 2:45 am

Thanks Garth, for the last two articles, just what I needed, as I’m halfway into a 4-month coaching plan. I’ve been reading a fair amount, especially Money Road, keeping notes. But I know I won’t really absorb and grasp it all, speak the lingo, comfortably read charts and numbers, until I’m actually “working it” for myself. And that will be soon, finally!

@Harry Wilson: I approached my fee-based advisor/coach with less than 25K RRSP and a bit of cash, and she seemed very keen to help me. Given my ability to earn an income (and pay her fee lol), she projected optimism that it’s not ‘too late’ for me, even though I’m almost old enough to start collecting CPP.

I’ll decide at our next meeting whether this coaching was a wise investment, as my money’s still sitting in bank accounts. At least I’ve started a small tfsa!

She was also trying to set me up with CI insurance through a broker she referred, suggesting I close my whole life ins policy to help pay for CI instead. I reminded her that my priority is to get help with starting up my self-directed investments and learning how to monitor them, and how to rebalance when needed. (CI seems okay for healthy youngsters, a bit ridiculous at my age!)

Which reminds me. Did I miss a blog about insurances? Coach has just the (another) broker for me, for tenants coverage…

#50 T.C. on 06.19.13 at 2:55 am

“…keeping reading a pathetic financial blog written by a bearded guy…”

Ben Rabidoux has a beard?

Oh wait, you mean this blog?

#51 Sasquatch on 06.19.13 at 2:56 am

Again, thanks for the article. A lot of us young noobs, that are not drowning ourselves in mortgage debt, really don’t know even the most basic ways to invest our money.

There really should be a high school class about economics 101. teaching what money is, how money works, and the hows and whys of different investment options.

#52 Paul on 06.19.13 at 3:02 am

#24…Harry, I am a well experienced advisor that works still because he loves what he does. I know many high quality, ethical and intelligent advisors with vast experience in many areas that would gladly take on smaller accounts. I do myself, as I seek “engaged” clients. It is the desire to create wealth, not necessarily having wealth already that gets me jacked up. I am not a good “order taker”, but I am a great advisor. There are a lot of idiots, morons, commission pigs and many of the prototypes Garth describes in his blog. But, this is no different than any industry. Go on and find the incompetent doctors. They exist. Interview several advisors. If you find a good one, their value will be greater than you might think. The saddest thing I see with many DIY investors is they don’t even know what they don’t know. They are too full of themselves or jaded or untrusting of anyone. By the way, a trailer fee is no different in theory than a fee. On a non-registered account the fee would be deductible, whereas the trailer fee is not. A fee is transparent, trailer fees are embedded. I know advisors whose fees are higher than the trailer fees they trash talk, but it is in vogue to trash commissions and trumpet fees lately. At the end of the day, it is dollars and percentages. Just ask how your advisor gets compensated. They should tell you without a doubt. Remember for many DIY investors, there is a COST to FREE, that is why I don’t build my own house, fix my own car or do my own medical diagnosis….sometimes things are a bit more complex than Google and Wikipedia….sometimes.

#53 alex grant on 06.19.13 at 3:25 am

Fourth paragraph down – The danger in Canada is not so much being ripped off by a scammer (we have way tougher regs than in the US) – pure crap! Scammers don’t go to jail in Canada unless they have a homocide charge attached and then they might beat that too. Usually they are suspended or banned and fined by the provincial securities commission so they just move on to the next province for more pickings. However if they get real greedy they cross the line to the US and usually get caught, get a stiff sentence and ask to do their time up in Canada (I wonder why). Ottawa and the TSE would like to have a national securities commission like their counterparts in the States have, the SEC, but some of the provincial commissions don’t want to give up their power and influence and high salaries. Remember this is lotus- land.

#54 Tony on 06.19.13 at 3:42 am

Re: #5 Ralph Cramdown on 06.18.13 at 10:04 pm

The NASDAQ will once again drop back to around the 1,000 level only this time from the present day value. As for the DOW in around 50 years’ time it will finally crack the 15,000 level to the upside again.

#55 Kalergie on 06.19.13 at 4:24 am

Hi Garth,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your last two posts. I have one concern. If I give my advisor 1% of my portfolio, he would work for 2000$/annum. How much service quality can I expect for such a measly salary? Or in other words, how much is enough to get an advisor itchy to manage my portfolio? Thanks!

#56 Dienekes on 06.19.13 at 4:30 am

#23 hockey night
Birkshire is sitting on record cash due to record profits, and its a drop in a bucket to there holdings.
And what millionaire sits around doing surveys? Do you actually believe that crap? C’mon

#57 bigrider on 06.19.13 at 7:03 am

#8 Shawn.

Very fair and well said.

#58 pbrasseur on 06.19.13 at 7:38 am

I manage about half of what I have myself including my TSFA which is now worth over 34K, so I can’t be doing too badly!

My strategy? Buying when the cost seems rigth the best companies is the world and keep then forever. Great companies make growing profits and grow, their intrinsic value grow, and although it may take a while value will follow.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Probably you should’nt…

Find someone honest and competent to do it for you.

Most people have almost all their worth in RE, in fact they do manage their finance themselves…

#59 AK on 06.19.13 at 7:42 am

#27 Donald Trump on 06.18.13 at 11:28 pm
“Re: AK

…………. is the sphincter of truth

Thus is it rendered via coffee in the morning, or high fibre in evening.

AKa Depends or Kopectate?”
It appears that you missed your last appointment.

Therapy is very important for somobody with your condition.
I will rebook your appointment with DR. Wayne.

#60 Buy? Curious? on 06.19.13 at 7:57 am

Hey Stupid People! Beware of financial advisors promising “Too Good To Be True” returns! Here’s a documentary about some someone getting scammed.

You just posted a vid about a scam in Australia and Bangkok. Why? — Garth

#61 pbrasseur on 06.19.13 at 8:07 am

What’s the matter Garth you don’t allow to post links to the competition?

This is not a commercial site. No ads allowed. — Garth

#62 NoName on 06.19.13 at 8:24 am

#8 Shawn on 06.18.13 at 10:09 pm

Zombies were people too.

#63 jerry on 06.19.13 at 8:50 am

No “Smith Maneuver”, no mortgage, its different…(to me at least).

Not the Smith Maneuver after all but “investment line of credit” to buy house making interest payments tax deductible and after 31 days putting investment principle back into conservative CRA approved investments generating after tax investment return greater than after tax interest costs.

Investment portfolio is the security. I could pay off line of credit any time should the spread take a dump.

Sounds too good. Get a house and get to keep my portfolio intact.

#64 TurnerNation on 06.19.13 at 8:58 am

The TTC is hiring. Why not work full time and pursue an ‘Obedience Certificate’ on the side or part time online at your leisure?

Starting wage is $50,000, full benefits! Took me years post University to get that. By the way I was earning 30k before I began school. 4 years earlier…
No employer has ever asked what Ob. Cert I got or my marks.

Pay and Benefits:

The TTC offers competitive wages and benefits including: Healthcare and Dental plans, Group Life Insurance and a Pension Plan. As per the Local 113 ATU Collective Agreement, the starting hourly wage rate for this position is $24.06 (rate after successful completion of training).

#65 not 1st on 06.19.13 at 8:58 am

Most advisers are still working away cause they haven’t figured a way to get themselves rich let alone you.

Any successful adviser has long left the world of client relations and went on to start a hedge fund or something.

Each comment makes you seem more out of touch. Maybe you should try golf. — Garth

#66 moving to saskatoon on 06.19.13 at 9:23 am


my friend just bought a 400,000+ average house in saskatoon.

are things over-valued there?

#67 Red Gixxer on 06.19.13 at 9:48 am

Harleys suck, get a sport bike. Like my gsxr-600. You should see how the chicks look at me when I rev to 15000 rpm.

#68 Cyclist on 06.19.13 at 10:01 am

47 Vangrrl – I live about 8k from work. Today I will put my bike in the back of my F150 and take it to work. Have a ride arranged with friends for later today. Not very logical and even a bit hypocritical of me.

#69 TurnerNation on 06.19.13 at 10:03 am

Advice or avarice – that is the problem.

Advisor or client? — Garth

#70 Daisy Mae on 06.19.13 at 10:33 am

#9 Not 1st: “There are ethical, wealthy advisors who truly enjoy helping people. Well, most people. — Garth”


When you stop to think about all the crap Garth puts up with from us very day except Sunday — FREE advice — you must know that he really does enjoy educating people.

#71 jess on 06.19.13 at 10:43 am

Cross-border leasing
“value ” advisors


19 June 2013

Deloitte gets one-year New York ban

……..New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

“When tasked by government agencies to undertake regulatory work at financial institutions, it is critical for these consultants to remain autonomous and avoid conflicts of interest. Our homeowners, investors and economy are protected when independent consultants are truly ‘independent’.”

#72 Daisy Mae on 06.19.13 at 10:44 am

18 KommyKim: “RE: #1 Josef on 06.18.13 at 9:48 pm
FIRST!!! Oh Yeah BABY!!! Yeah!!!
Don’t start this again. — Garth

I think the solution is simply just to delete these posts. No comments, no nothing. Into the bit-bucket with them.”


I agree. It becomes quite tiresome not to mention, stupid.

#73 jess on 06.19.13 at 10:54 am

Does Detroits declining fortune join the ranks of many German municipalities that had lost vast sums of money in complex Wall Street deals?

Source: City of Detroit Proposal for Creditors 2013
In numbers 2008 2012

912,062 684,799

15% 18%

Property tax collection rate

76% 68.3%

Budget deficits

$217m $652m

#74 TheCatFoodLady on 06.19.13 at 11:19 am

The Main Squeeze & I have always lived on the wrong side of the poverty line. We were both fiscally foolish growing up & knew squat about money. When we got together over a decade ago after bad marriages & all the usual life baggage, we had squat. We learned you CAN live on love, sunshine & ODSP & yes, I use the word LIVE. Our lives are simple & we’ve learned to enjoy the small things in life. How small? An item on my bucket list involves a fantasy of Garth roaring up on his Harley & giving me a ride. If I’m gonna take my first motorcycle ride, it might as well be on the best.

Joking aside – the proverbial windfall out of nowhere arrived a year & a half ago – a smallish inheritance from a relative he had & had forgotten about. For most here, the amount would be laughable. It’s the most money WE have ever seen in our lives. I was surprised how scary that was.

Under ODSP rules, he had to put it in trust. Our expensive shark said there was no reason I couldn’t be trustee – it was legally arms length enough. He told me I had it in me to learn what I needed to, that no one would be more motivated to protect our little pile than me & to read, learn, think hard & move slowly.

I went from terror to finally realizing I COULD do this. Our bank didn’t think so. I got the full “Allow us to know what’s best for ya, little lady.” treatment from them. I went in with the attitude that the bank was going to do what they do best – look after their own interests. They tried to talk me into every manner of investing idiocy possible. GICs were safe, a GREAT long term bet. Wrong – I parked money there temporarily until I figured out how I was going to start.

I wish I’d read Garth before investing but I haven’t lost money – just not made as much as I could. Our bank doesn’t like me very much. I try to do what I think is best for us – period. I need to rebalance. Garth is right – I have 3/4 of our stuff in Canada & the more I read, the more I see how idiotic that is. Working out our rebalancing now.

We treat this money as though it doesn’t exist – it’s for our future so we DON’T have to eat cat food. We took a small part & paid off our small amount of debt. If anyone doesn’t think consumer debt is a drag on family finances – boy, are they wrong. Our dollar amount of debt may have been small but it meant we lived to whittle it down & had no options for anything in life. Our bank loved us when we were in debt & because we were boring, reliable bill payers, we had access to a ridiculous amount of credit on our income. Never stupid enough to access more than a small bit of it but even so…

I learn more every day. To my surprise, I find this is a fascinating world & frankly, fun. And yes, some days I’ve seen scary paper losses & still find this fun. I have a ton left to learn but am loving the process of learning & applying lessons learned.

Neither one of us have ever felt like we had breathing room – until recently. We still get calls from our bank, encouraging us to talk to them about ‘this, that or the other’. Managed portfolios is the favourite – snort! We eliminated all bank fees by making sure we have the required minimum balance. After 2 months of that, we got a ‘concerned call’ – did we not think we had too much in chequing? How about a sexy savings account! Sure – if you can offer me one that pays over 4% interest because NOT paying bank fees equated to that. Short conversation.

It took until this winter to be fully out of debt – family medical emergency led us to decide to bail a kid. We got used to that. Now, we’re getting used to saving – even on our income. We’ve opened a TFSA – it contains the equivalent of a night on the town for most people but… it’s OURS.

The psychology of money continues to surprise. Money is EMOTIONAL. Some days, I want to join the lemming stampede. I don’t & I’ve never regretted it. Everybody & his dog will try to convince you to make stupid decisions or decisions that benefit everyone but you. Ignore them.

If this dumpy, middle aged, always poor, spouse & caregiver can learn this stuff – anyone can. And man, it’s empowering. There’s tons of good advice out there – free. I’ve read all manner of stuff, old material, new material. Learn your risk tolerance – I’ve learned it’s not what I thought it was. If something you’ve put money in keeps you up at night, it’s not for you. Me, I don’t put money in anything I can’t easily explain to a 12 year old. So far, so good.

And it’s going to get better.

#75 Daisy Mae on 06.19.13 at 11:22 am

#26 Ronaldo: “#8 Shawn – sounds like you work for Investors.”


He does, doesn’t he? :-)

#76 TurnerNation on 06.19.13 at 11:22 am

Client, Garth.
Gold diggers and the like.

#77 Craig on 06.19.13 at 11:45 am

#66 not 1st on 06.19.13 at 8:58 am

Most advisers are still working away cause they haven’t figured a way to get themselves rich let alone you.

Gates, Buffet and Jobs (right up to the end) – all worked.

Dumbass statement

#78 Craig on 06.19.13 at 11:47 am

FBI says no remains found in latest search for Jimmy Hoffa, but the case remains open.

Have they nothing better to do?

Gezzz, tax dollars hard at work!

#79 Paul w on 06.19.13 at 11:57 am

RE: #1 Josef on 06.18.13 at 9:48 pm
FIRST!!! Oh Yeah BABY!!! Yeah!!!
Don’t start this again. — Garth

I think the solution is simply just to delete these posts. No comments, no nothing. Into the bit-bucket with them.

I agree 100%, Nuke em…

#80 saltpony on 06.19.13 at 12:01 pm

I like you Garth
You are smart and kind.

#81 Beach Bum on 06.19.13 at 12:02 pm

Was chatting with the boys over a beer after hockey last night. One guy works for a large construction materials company. Said at the start of the year they were projecting this to be the best year yet with huge amounts of orders for the summer. He said it went dead in the last few months, contracts cancelled, “All Condos”.

#82 Buy? Curious? on 06.19.13 at 12:09 pm

*See the rebuttal below*

#61 Buy? Curious? on 06.19.13 at 7:57 am
Hey Stupid People! Beware of financial advisors promising “Too Good To Be True” returns! Here’s a documentary about some someone getting scammed.

You just posted a vid about a scam in Australia and Bangkok. Why? — Garth

Not everyone possesses financial Gandalf-like wisdom like you do. This poor guy got sucked in by some smooth talking “advisor”. Now I’m not painting the whole industry with the same brush, I’m just saying being a victim of fraud is much more devastating then people believe, how easy and common it’s being done and how even getting caught is minimum, if any, punishment.

Today’s post:

Buy? Curious? – 1, Garth – 0
(victory dance!)

You are beyond weird. — Garth

#83 RichHill - RichVale girl on 06.19.13 at 12:14 pm

How about finding a trustworthy real estate agent? Are there any honest agents out there or all are liars???

#84 Canadian Watchdog on 06.19.13 at 12:42 pm

#44 cynically

Population, popularity whatever. Keesmaat and her cronies are destroying Toronto for profit. Follow her ideas and proposals and you’ll quickly realize she’s a developer’s high-heeled puppet that likes dressing up for every photo-op she gets.

#85 jose on 06.19.13 at 12:44 pm

should be a percentage of the return, not the amount invested. i’d agree to that, even if it’s a higher percentage. and withe negative returns they should pay me (they should buy insurance to cover them)

By paying a money manager out of profits you incentivize that person to take risks and gambles. Hardlly a smart startegy. — Garth

#86 TurnerNation on 06.19.13 at 1:06 pm

What will the Fed bring us today? Thinking: punishing savers; dovingly-mouthed platitudes, while hawking up future hikes.

Good old Ben Burn-a-yankee!

#87 Love this Blog on 06.19.13 at 1:08 pm

Well, the wor has turned. Coffee talk in the small town I live near (Watrous, Sasktachewan in Potash Country ) is now about interest rates rising, and how housing prices have started to drop and houses are no longer selling. Seems we have reached the pinnacle and the downhill slide begins. Public perception is what counts, and it has turned.

#88 TurnerNation on 06.19.13 at 1:09 pm

#74 TheCatFoodLady

That’s funny. A Garth-o-gram – new business idea. Great franchise opportunity here.

#89 not 1st on 06.19.13 at 1:38 pm

#77 Craig on 06.19.13 at 11:45 am

Gates, Buffet and Jobs (right up to the end) – all worked.

I guess you don’t know the difference between working and running a company. The two are night and day but I guess you only have experience being a worker and cannot relate.

#90 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.19.13 at 1:41 pm

@ #75 Daisy Mae on 06.19.13 at 11:22 am
#26 Ronaldo: “#8 Shawn – sounds like you work for Investors.”


He does, doesn’t he? :-)


I thought he was just the “investor’s friend”?

#91 Ralph Cramdown on 06.19.13 at 2:13 pm

Compensation models, let’s review:

Old days, it was a % of cost, every trade, with a minimum ticket. Encouraged broker to suggest excessive trading, and shut out the little guy.

Solution was mutual funds. Problem: Fees too high, managers encouraged to do anything to avoid underperforming (i.e. encouraged to take too little risk) because it would lead to withdrawals. Problem: Retail investors would buy last year’s hot fund (buy high, sell low), stay invested even when the star manager had been lured away elsewhere, or pay active management fees for closet indexer performance and portfolios.

Solution: ETFs. Pay minimal fees, own the index. Don’t outperform but don’t underperform either. Problem: ETFs become fashionable and a plethora get created with HIGH active management fees — just like mutual funds, but traded intraday.

Solution: Hedge funds. Can be long OR short, and run by the smartest guys on the planet, for a mere 2%/year+20% profits, subject to a hurdle. Problem: Demand for hedge fund managers was greater than supply of smartest guys on planet. Managers who couldn’t meet hurdle shut down and started other funds with new! lower! hurdle.

What’s next?

Did I not just write about that? — Garth

#92 TJ on 06.19.13 at 2:20 pm

Poloz: “Not seeing evidence of overheating in housing market”

Hahaha, hasn’t even started and his credibility is down to zero already.

#93 Craig on 06.19.13 at 2:32 pm

90 not 1st on 06.19.13 at 1:38 pm

I guess you don’t know the difference between working and running a company. The two are night and day but I guess you only have experience being a worker and cannot relate.

Dumbass statement beyond belief.

#94 Smoking Man on 06.19.13 at 3:05 pm

Holy mother of bond sell offs..

Gartho will be writing tonight like a proud peacock who’s just had a 3 some, and bought an new Hog.

He has earned the bragging rights today..

That’s fir sure

#95 LP on 06.19.13 at 3:11 pm

#74TheCatFoodLady on 06.19.13 at 11:19 am

Lady, you are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing so much of your journey. Good on ya!

#96 zorik on 06.19.13 at 3:13 pm

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Chris Rogers
To: “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “[email protected]” ; “go[email protected]” ; “[email protected]
; “[email protected]

Sent: Saturday, June 8, 2013 1:50:47 PM
Subject: Foreign Worker Influx


Honorable Members, Press and concerned parties.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am deeply concerned about the future of our engineering community in Alberta. I am writing this letter to you, pleading for your intervention in this issue, which will escalate into a crisis if not acted upon soon. Engineers, Designers, Technicians, Construction workers, are unsure of their jobs, because of the influx of foreign workers and work-sharing.

At the start of the new year 2013 we were erroneously led to believe that the engineering jobs have been going downhill, when the truth of the matter is that many engineering companies like Jacobs, Fluor, WorleyParsons, and Saipem are sending 70% of their engineering and design work overseas leaving our Canadian unemployed. A NEW engineering company to Calgary, SK Engineering has sent 100% of their engineering work to Korea.

There are even engineering companies in Calgary that ONLY employ key staff from their native countries and these staff are paid a salary that is around 30% less than the legal rate. Saipem, SK Engineering and Toyo are some of the companies employing foreign workers for cheap labour. These foreign workers are employed under a work permits but still get the benefits of being fully employed. Work permits are renewed at an alarming rate without caution. How can the LMO and MOP allow this current issue to continue? Are these positions currently held by the work permit holder being advertised?

Jobs from Alberta in Piping Design and Piping Engineering, Civil Design and Engineering, Electrical Design and Engineering, Procurement, Accounting, IT, EDS (Engineering Design Systems) just to name a few, are being taken from the citizens of Canada. Canadian has educated themselves to acquire employment in these fields and working towards the future progress and enrichment of their country.

Citizens from India, China, Korea and Italy are the preferred work force, for the overseas engineering and design work. There is no consideration or care for the quality of work, language barriers, time difference, salaries or work ethics, which are deeply comprised when employing overseas companies. No consideration was given to how this will reflex on our country’s reputation. The only positive side for using foreign workers is cost which can be reduced by 25 to 35 percent for the company that is doing the hiring overseas.

Operating companies, example, Suncor Energy Inc., Husky Energy Inc., Nexen Inc., Cenovus Energy Inc. and Dover now Brion has engineering work done outside of Canada. Canadian citizens are being bypassed for the foreign workers all in the name of acquiring a cheaper work force.

Suncor signed on a Korean company for a 3 billion dollars contract and Husky Energy has given the same Korean company similar work. The Korean company and Suncor have an agreement to employ 90% of the work force needed, from Korea in a secured work site in Fort McMurray.
Suncor is training staff in Korea for the project presently. Canadian jobs are being sacrificed!!

Our government seems to sit idle as Canadian jobs are being sacrificed for the multinational Oil Giants and Engineering Companies. Every week scores of engineering personnel are being laid-off, with no jobs to provide for their families.

Everything we have worked for is at risk. Our mortgages, family, way of life and our future are being dictated by operating and engineering companies whose only aim is self-interest.

Steven Haper, Alison Redford, Joan Crockatt, Tom Mulcair and Danielle Smith will you be happy if a citizen from one of these countries replace you, just because they will accept a lower salary than what you are paid? Will this foreigner work towards the growth and upliftment of our country? Who will replace the tax revenue that will be lost when these jobs disappear? When all the middle class jobs are gone what would our consumer spending be like? If you all are in complete agreement with these uncaring, money grabbing, selfish Multinational companies, then we surely can save a lot of money by hiring a person from a communist country to do your jobs also.

Take heed that if this is allowed to continue, people of this country who have lost their jobs and can no longer provide for their families, pay their mortgage, pay their bills, kids’ education and general livelihood will be led to a life of crime. Do you want that on your conscience? We have given much for our country, isn’t it about time you take care of your own people?

Our way of life and our future are in your hands and also your future is in our hands, because in the long run life is like a domino effect, what affects us will eventually affect you.


Chris Rogers

#97 Post Haste on 06.19.13 at 4:07 pm

Garth – could you give a description of capital ranges that the noted advisors would seriously take you on – if you held $40K – is that not worth their time –

Beach Bum noted about the construction trade – my Super A-Hole neighbour is in new home construction – his hours this year seemed to be cut back as he gets home by 4pm when last year it was 6pm — I wake each morning and hope the new home sales falls flat so this piece of *&*^ will sell and move his trashing family with him — besides that – everything else is awesome!!

Excellent post once again G

#98 Devore on 06.19.13 at 4:16 pm

#33 caseysman

Say the portfolio beats the market/index by 5%, he/she earns a higher percentage than if it underperforms by that amount? Now there is a REAL incentive…

Real incentive for what?… taking unnecessary risks?

#99 Devore on 06.19.13 at 4:19 pm

#31 Sideline Sitter

Yes, 1% every year. Investment expenses like these are also tax deductible for you (while mutual fund fees are not), and if you’re swinging enough money even the 1% is negotiable.

#100 Smoking Man's Old Man on 06.19.13 at 4:25 pm

I’m a pretty budget conscience individual. Definitely live a simple life, but trying to save 1 percent management fees on investments by doing it yourself is false economy unless that’s your specialty.

#101 Devore on 06.19.13 at 4:35 pm

#23 HockeyNightInAmerica

Really? And Warren Buffett himself told you this? This is surprising, because if he was $49B in cash, that means he’s all in cash, except for his houses, cars, personal belongings, and a modest amount of gold under his mattress. An unlikely proposition.

And some “millionaires” who answered a survey hardly qualify as “all the wealthiest Elites”.

So, yeah, you totally made all that up.

#102 zeeman1 on 06.19.13 at 4:41 pm

The TTC is hiring. Why not work full time and pursue an ‘Obedience Certificate’ on the side or part time online at your leisure?

Starting wage is $50,000, full benefits! Took me years post University to get that. By the way I was earning 30k before I began school. 4 years earlier…
No employer has ever asked what Ob. Cert I got or my marks.

Pay and Benefits:
#65 Turner Nation:

” The TTC offers competitive wages and benefits including: Healthcare and Dental plans, Group Life Insurance and a Pension Plan. As per the Local 113 ATU Collective Agreement, the starting hourly wage rate for this position is $24.06 (rate after successful completion of training).”

The only problem with working for the TTC is that you’d be working at the TTC.

#103 JohnTHEmanInGold on 06.19.13 at 4:49 pm

Garth, what do you think of Gold companies who might be considered undervalued, such as Brigus I found their drilling update here:

Are they doomed just as much as Gold investors? or do you see an upside?

No. — Garth

#104 Craig on 06.19.13 at 5:17 pm

Interesting read.

Over the past thirty years, increases in Canadian mortgage rates have not tended to trigger a decrease in houses prices. In fact, more often than not the reverse is true. Before I get into the numbers, let me start by citing my sources. I took the average five-year residential mortgage lending rate (from Statistics Canada) and compared it to the average selling price of a Canadian home (provided in a report by the Canadian Real Estate Association), on a month-by-month basis from January, 1980, up to June, 2010. I used the five-year fixed-mortgage rate because it is by far the most common term chosen by Canadians, and I went back to 1980 because that was as far back as the CREA stats went. The only tweak I made to the data was to compare interest rate changes to house prices two months hence, because I reasoned that higher rates would immediately impact offers to purchase, which take about two months to become transactions. Here is what I found:

Simplistic, and wrong. — Garth

#105 Canadian Watchdog on 06.19.13 at 5:20 pm

A great WSJ post for parents to read about what kind of world central planning and sustainablity sociopaths are leading your kids into.

Millennials are redefining adulthood, putting off milestones like getting married, buying a home and having kids.

#106 espressobob on 06.19.13 at 5:25 pm

Advice is a funny animal. Newbies are always looking for a hot stock or commodity play. The results can be devastating! I’m sure many here get the picture. Even trusted fund managers lead clients down the road to ruin all in the name of self gain!

Educating oneself on this subject is paramount! Get a handle on this subject and quiz that prospective advisor! I’m sure he or she will respect you more for your effort!

#107 Cautious on 06.19.13 at 5:44 pm

The markets closed nearly two hours ago and still no comments around today’s losses? REITs and emerging markets were hammered.

Tapering of QE implies an improving economic situation, yet the market reacts to Ben’s words with panic. Looks like there may be buying ops in the next days.

#108 jess on 06.19.13 at 6:03 pm

Canada’s G-8 Action Plan on Transparency of Corporations and Trusts
18 June 2013


#109 Craig on 06.19.13 at 6:06 pm

The imminent housing crash and substantial rise in interest rates will not happen.

You folks can post 1000 internet articles stating that it will, to make you feel good but a simple reality check will tell you it’s not.

You can post charts that show a collapse in the US and imply it will happen here, but sorry to say, it will not.
House prices are correcting as I said they would but interest rates will not go to 6%.

Anything that hits new all time highs is always ready for a correction – Anything. So to call a correction in housing that is at it’s all time high is a pretty basic call. Just like my call on the hot record setting DOW.

Oct., you watch.

#110 Mikey the Realtor on 06.19.13 at 6:09 pm


#111 Devore on 06.19.13 at 6:26 pm

#108 Craig

So he looked at 1980-present, a period where rates went from historical highs to historical lows, and concluded rising interest rates lead to higher prices? Amazing.

Maybe if he made a graph of the two metrics spanning the entire time period, the trend would become apparent.

#112 Harry Wilson on 06.19.13 at 6:28 pm

Thanks Mr. Turner, Aggie (50), and Paul (53)

I’m in the unique situation of being unemployed as of 2010, just over seven years from Old Age Security, too gimpy for anyone to want ot hire me, but not gimpy enough for any government handout (i.e. I look worse than I am).

I’m hoping to make my $90-100K last until I hit 65, so I’d have to find an advisor with the dichotomy of being conservative (as in any loss is disasterous) but having a spirit of adventure (as in there’s no bragging rights in having a client retire with $5K in the bank, although that would represent success). Maybe I’m the one guy that GICs are meant for.

P.S. Good luck, Cat Food Lady; it’s a great feeling when your head comes above water.

#113 george soros on 06.19.13 at 6:48 pm

Bernanke is now “puzzled” at the dramatic rise in interest rates

lol garth what do you think must be from the economic improvement not from the “Tapering comment ” cant be from the world dumping treasuries can it
dont bet against america the ultimate empire

#114 Nodebt on 06.19.13 at 7:15 pm

Contact Garth if you want to know about finding a fee based advisor! If u live in Vancouver , you can still hire an advisor that is in another province.

#115 Nodebt on 06.19.13 at 7:23 pm

#49 Rob

So if you don’t have 500k it’s not worth hiring a fee based advisor like Garth? But if you have 500k it’s worth it? I must be dumb, 1% of 100k is a 1k, so 1% of 500k is 5k, so I’m confused why you would make that comment? Oh I forgot your the dumbass!

#116 Dean Mason on 06.19.13 at 7:24 pm

#96 Smoking Man

You call these still low bond yields today a major bond sell off.Bond yields and interest rates are still a joke.The U.S. 30 year bond was 6.74% in 2000 when U.S. unemployment was 3.90%. Today almost double that and if the fed is right when we reach 6.50% U.S. unemployment rate we will lucky to see a 4.00% to 4.25% U.S. 30 year bond.

Only idiots would of bought U.S. 30 year bonds at 2.35% last year around July-2012.It’s a bond sell off from the bottom of the barrel bond yields bond market.When are we going to see 6.74% U.S. 30 year treasuries.Even better oct-28-1987 U.S. 30 year treasuries were 9.09% over 25 years ago.

Today the U.S. 30 year Treasury bond rose to 3.42%.In June-2007 the U.S. 30 year hit 5.55% and dropped again.We are in a protracted lower than average bond yield cycle for at least 10 years.

#117 AK on 06.19.13 at 7:31 pm

#114 Craig on 06.19.13 at 6:06 pm
“Just like my call on the hot record setting DOW.

Oct., you watch.”

Is that where the dart landed?

#118 Really? on 06.19.13 at 7:33 pm

Never knew that an anti-Garth blog even existsed! Surprised to find one…

Perhaps it is an angry realtor that you pissed off?

Anyhow, keep up the good work, Gartho, I love your blog & comments!

#119 LifeXpert on 06.19.13 at 7:34 pm

Speaking from experience as an active adviser and an insurance broker I can state that there are tons and I literally mean 90% of small time “advisers” who do more harm than good to clients portfolios. Starting with DSC plans where you locked in in a laddered charge plan for 6 years to “guaranteed” payout plans (discontinued, thanks God) with 4% MER fees. Won’t even go into structured land development deals and other elaborate investment miracles.

After seeing all that and fixing mistakes and issues on almost daily basis I have decided to move strictly to insurance (both life and P & C), find it less of a headache, more fulfilling and at least the outcomes can be relatively fully controlled. Still offer clients free advice on investments and investment options but no longer manage anything myself or place them into anything remotely related to mutual/seg funds. Different ball game now, I can tell them how things work (honestly), reveal who gets paid, how much and for what, and let them make decisions or refer to a trusted fee for service manager.

In all honesty as mentioned most advisers are struggling to make a decent buck and willingly/desperately push clients into whatever produces higher commissions. In order to make it in this business you either partner up with a larger firm (tons of pushing bs to anyone that walks through the door) or stay on your own and promise unachievable returns.

Your best bet is to locate someone who is established in the business, financially stable, good references and as Garth said no more than 1% on accounts over $250,000. Between $50,000 and $250,000 expect to pay 1.5% for a full service package.

That’s it for the rant!

#120 Smoking Man on 06.19.13 at 7:36 pm

Teacher in BC duck taps 3 students mouths.

Now in the chat section of the stories, most favorable are people chirping the kids…

Go read those post, I will show you people that will always work for the machine, will always be slaves, will always be the f-ee rather that the f-rr.

What did the kids do,

Ask a question
Callanged the teachers opinions
Have a tee shirt with a dreaded gun on it.

Now they are trying to figure out how to punish teacher.

I got a good one, let me teach for a day, while teacher is ductaped, and forced to listen, while I humiliate them.

#121 Smoking Man on 06.19.13 at 7:39 pm

#121 Dean Mason on 06.19.13 at 7:24 pm

Just trying to fire up the bearded peacock, I like it when he has the occasional win, when he puts on boast feast, his writing is amazing..

I taught him that.

#122 dienekes on 06.19.13 at 7:42 pm

#103 Devore
I think idiotnightinamerica, oh sorry, hockeynightinerica is referring to Berkshire Hathaway, and not to Warren Buffets personal wealth which is tied up in Berkshire.
Berkshires capitalization in BRK-a= 270 billion and BRK-b= 260 billion for a combined cap of over 500 billion, but he seems to think its notable that Berkshire has 49 billion sitting in cash.
Big Deal. It’s just profits.

#123 Craig on 06.19.13 at 7:45 pm

This may come as a shock to some but we are living through and witnessing the END of the American Empire.

No different then the British, Spanish, Roman Empires…etc…etc, that came before us.

Greed, power, expansion = debt = collapse.

Regardless of how big your economy is, you cannot continue to print money relentlessly, without any fiscal accountability. It will all come tumbling down at some point.

Question is, who takes the baton.

I have a plane to catch. :)

#124 Craig on 06.19.13 at 7:48 pm


James Gandolfini, 51, who won three Emmys for his portrayal of Tony Sprano on “The Sopranos”, has died, according to HBO.

As useful as your last post. — Garth

#125 Smoking Man on 06.19.13 at 7:54 pm

As useful as your last post. — Garth

I’m sensing aggression, puffed out chest, an your face realtors post tonight. :)

#126 45north on 06.19.13 at 7:59 pm

Zorik: I am deeply concerned about the future of our engineering community in Alberta.

There is no vision of developing a Canadian centre of expertise based on Canadian engineers and workers.

Zeeman1: The only problem with working for the TTC is that you’d be working at the TTC.

pretty funny

#127 THOUGHTS on 06.19.13 at 8:01 pm

There will be no American empire collapse. Not in our lifetime. Good luck with that. Hopefully you have better luck with your other predictions.

#128 Craig on 06.19.13 at 8:08 pm

There will be no American empire collapse. Not in our lifetime. Good luck with that. Hopefully you have better luck with your other predictions.

That’s what the Spanish, Brits and Italians said….lol

#129 happy renter on 06.19.13 at 8:47 pm

Xre looks like a good buy under $15 and short japanese bonds.

#130 blokexistentialist on 06.19.13 at 8:50 pm

#47 This is a ‘sweaty out-of-shape moron’ who still thinks 3 mil for bicycle paths in Vancouver is bullshit. Said moron won an icbc media award for a series of articles suggesting bicycle paths in Vancouver back in the 90s. And said moron does 15 chins in the first set, 10 in the second and eight in the third … without sweating (though my mother always said that animals sweat and people perspire).
I object to the cost to all taxpayers for the benefit of a few and I object to all the perspiration. Fitness doesn’t have much to do with perspiration level. Some people just naturally perspire more than others.
But you green Vancouverites might as well enjoy the bicycle paths and your sweaty co-workers for as long as you can … you’re all going to slide into mother ocean along with your ludicrously-priced homes (why you can only afford a bicycle) anyway.

#131 Unpoovvio on 06.20.13 at 1:45 pm

#134 @happy renter on 06.19.13 at 8:47 pm
Xre looks like a good buy under $15 and short japanese bonds.
Ya…still too much complacency…tells me downwards move is still only 50% done…