My Advice To Switch Out Of Mutual Funds Draws Ire Of Industry Group

In a recent Toronto Star column, I wrote that mutual fund fees in Canada are some of the highest in the world and because of these fees the vast majority of actively-managed funds lag behind the market.  I said that switching to low-cost index mutual funds or ETFs will cut your investment fees to the bone while likely increasing your overall returns.

Joanne De Laurentiis, President of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), a mutual fund lobbyist group, apparently took issue with my column.

How to save money at Starbucks

There is no doubt that if you are a Starbucks lover you already have some of these tips down pat but if you don’t know your way around the Starbucks menu you will do after reading this post. These hacks are designed to save you money on your Starbucks drink yet still allowing you to enjoy your favorite drinks by switching up your drink requests at the till.

This guide to saving money at Starbucks shares drink hacks, tips on ordering, stretching your coffee budget, and unveiling some secret drinks. Enjoy!

How To Make Your Own Pension Plan

With some financial discipline, in many cases, making your own pension may work out to be even better than the corporate pension or forced government pensions like CPP.  If you really do it well, you can build your own pension and get the regular income for life along with some of the extra benefits that a traditional pension can’t deliver.

So how do you build a really strong pension? Here are five steps to getting it done:

Ideal Portfolios?

That is one of the questions that I have been asked by many folks, and as most of my regular readers know, I am not that sophisticated when it comes to investing, so I borrow ideas from folks who seem smarter than me.

The first sample portfolio I started with and the one I base a few of my Investment Vehicles on, is the Sleepy Mini-Portfolio which I first read about on the Canadian Capitalist. This is an easy enough portfolio to start with, but you need to open either an account with TD/Waterhouse or an E-Series Mutual Fund account with TD….

James Surowiecki: The Costs of Working Too Much

For decades, junior bankers and Wall Street firms had an unspoken pact: in exchange for reasonably high-paying jobs and a shot at obscene wealth, young analysts agreed to work fifteen hours a day, and forgo anything resembling a normal life. But things may be changing. Last October, Goldman Sachs told its junior investment-banking analysts not to work on Saturdays, and it has said that all analysts, on average, should be working no more than seventy to seventy-five hours a week. A couple of weeks ago, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that analysts are expected to have four weekend days off a month. And, last week, Credit Suisse told its analysts that they should not be in the office on Saturdays.

Another Case For Indexing – Asset Class Returns in 2013

In reading My Own Advisor posts you know I’m following a two-pronged approach to build my retirement portfolio for financial independence:   I invest passively in the market (indexing) and I also buy and hold and hold blue-chip companies that have consistently rewarded investors (dividend investing).

In reading this post over at Canadian Capitalist recently I reflected upon my own portfolio and specifically how my small basket of U.S. blue-chip stocks might have fared against the Dow or S&P 500 index this past year.  Let’s look at some of the starting and finishing prices in 2013 for some popular blue-chip U.S. stocks held by many dividend investors, including myself:

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