Fossil fuels remain key to energy future, according to report

The U.S. is eager to grab new business, which underscores the urgent need for Canada to secure access to offshore markets for our oil and gas

Fossil fuels remain key to energy future, according to reportBy Jock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of British Columni The International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2017, released in early November, provides a useful update on the shift to a lower carbon global energy system. The stepped-up deployment of clean energy technologies and moves toward electrification continue in many nations. At the same…

Looking backward to predict future investment performance

Be sure to read the fine print if you see a variable-rate investment such as an ETF or a mutual fund advertising what looks like a promised future return

Looking backward to predict future investment performanceLong-term investors need to be concerned about personal annualized return – the return on their money over the entire period of the investment. When investing in guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), your annualized return is known when you make your investment. For example, you buy a five-year GIC that pays three per cent so you know…

A tax turnaround that punishes the risk-takers

By targeting small business owners, the federal government is undermining the very essence of economic growth

A tax turnaround that punishes the risk-takersThe federal government has proposed significant changes to the Income Tax Act that would harm small business owners. We've seen this kind of tax turnabout before and it's both ugly and unfair. Some politicians and much of the media are describing these business owners as tax cheats, and have demonized them. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation…

Gender diversity doesn’t guarantee higher returns

While gender diversity is a good idea, management should remain focused on how to adapt to new opportunities or potential hazards

Gender diversity doesn’t guarantee higher returnsA few months ago, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the self-described "third largest asset advisor in the world," celebrated the first anniversary of its creation of a new specialty exchange traded fund. Its name is a mouthful: the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE). An exchange traded fund, or ETF, is a basket of…

Diversifying your portfolio in one neat package

An ETF is a low-cost mutual-like fund that trades on the stock market, with a significantly different fee structure

Diversifying your portfolio in one neat packageExchange-traded funds (ETFs) seem to be all the rage. There are more than 600 ETFs traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and it seems like new ones are being created almost every day. An ETF is basically a diversified investment pool that’s very similar to a mutual fund, with the exception that they’re sold or…

Comparing investment returns is a tricky task

Each investor is unique in their goals and personal risk tolerance, so their investment portfolio should be customized to their situation

Comparing investment returns is a tricky taskYou worked hard for your money and, in turn, your money should be working hard for you. However, when comparing returns, you need to be sure you’re making a fair comparison. Investors often compare their returns to that of a published benchmark such as the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), or to the returns their friends…

Hidden or visible, you’re paying investment fees

Be smart, shop around and make sure you’re aware of the total fees you pay and what you're getting for them

Hidden or visible, you’re paying investment feesSome fees for investments are hidden, some are visible. But there’s always some type of fee or cost involved in investing. Some people will disagree with my broad use of the word fee, but I believe that any money paid out, regardless of how it’s paid, is a fee. Every business sets out to make…

Managing your investments over the short and long terms

Investors often purchase investments that don’t suit their intended time frame. Do your homework, know your risk tolerance and be clear on your expectations

Managing your investments over the short and long termsWhen it comes to comparing your investment returns to others, make sure you’re comparing the exact period and investment transactions. Published returns for any investment are based on a single investment over a given period. This isn't the way most people invest, so their returns are often much different than the published numbers. The timing…

Debt doesn’t always have to be a four-letter word

Using debt in your financial planning is a good strategy, but exercise caution and discuss all the risks and rewards with your accountant and planner first

Debt doesn’t always have to be a four-letter wordDebt is often a four-letter word – but, when used correctly, it can be a real benefit to your financial planning. Most of us use debt when we buy a home, a second property, automobiles and other large purchases. We simply don’t have enough cash available to do otherwise. Many people are very comfortable using…

The financial road less travelled still offers a trustworthy route

Control your own financial destiny by doing your homework, finding boutique advisers and using your TFSA to its maximum potential

The financial road less travelled still offers a trustworthy routeMost people spend more time mowing their lawn than they do managing their money. That may sound harsh, but the majority of people have ceded their investment decisions to the army of financial advisers employed by big banks. Employees in Canada's big banks “are pressured to up-sell, trick and lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets…