If it was 1950, would you pick IBM or Exxon?

I was reading Jeremy Siegel’s book “Stocks for the Long Run” and it asked whether IBM or Standard Oil (now Exxon) would have been better investments in 1950, assuming all dividends were re-invested. From 1950-2012, IBM had better sales, earnings,… Continue Reading

Wrestling with a Scary Investment Environment

The stock market carnage of the past few months has had me thinking long and hard about investing, to the point that I went to the library looking for advice. What I am wrestling with is the value investing side… Continue Reading

Real Estate Can Make a Challenging Gift

A colleague asked about handling a will with a clause saying to “pay or transfer” a piece of real estate to a charity. This sounds quite straightforward but raises some complications about whether the executor could just sell the property and give the proceeds to… Continue Reading

DH Corporation — expensive cheques but might be a good stock to buy

After looking at the ludicrous prices for business cheques, I decided to invest in the company that makes them for all the banks, D+H (formerly Davis and Henderson, which is about 140 years old). The set up fee for cheques… Continue Reading

Why Airline Points Programs Aren’t So Great

Over the years I’ve grown increasingly disenchanted with Aeroplan. Once upon a time a free flight was a free flight, but not anymore. I have run into lots of issues trying to redeem once I had the points because of… Continue Reading

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

When we got our poodle Henry about 8 years ago I thought it made sense to get a pet insurance policy in case he needed extensive veterinary care. These policies are fairly new and I thought if I signed him… Continue Reading

Derek Foster’s “Money for Nothing” Theory is Not for Me!

I have learned a lot about investing from Derek Foster’s books and wanted to like his strategy of making money relatively risk-free on the options market. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem worthwhile to me. The strategy is quite simple: you… Continue Reading

What is in a Simple Will?

Someone asked me what gets included in a basic Will. The first thing a Will sets out is who is to be the executor to handle all the matters of the estate and make sure the tax filings are done, and… Continue Reading

Why We File Wills Notices

Whenever I complete a Will for a client, I file a notice with the provincial government. The Will itself isn’t filed, the notice is just to provide details of the place and date a Will was signed. The first reason… Continue Reading

Is a Costco Membership Good Value for Money?

There are two things I regularly buy where Costco saves me a bundle: office paper and contact lenses. Those are the only items that keep me shopping there, as I am not a fan of paying a membership fee in… Continue Reading