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Finding a professional financial advisor: a process-driven approach

By Dan Hallett on October 13th, 2021

How can you find a great financial advisor – a true professional? This age-old question has long been answered with suggestions of requesting referrals from friends, doing internet searches, and asking standard questions of prospective advisors....

Resolve to improve your financial and investment life in 2021

By Dan Hallett on January 8th, 2021

The rollercoaster that was 2020 has slipped into the rear view. So many of us are looking forward to a happier and healthier 2021 and beyond. The turn of the calendar is also a time of resolutions for many. Once the financial planning basics are...

Fund & ETF risk ratings didn’t prepare investors for the bear

By Dan Hallett on July 31st, 2020

Risk may be top of mind for many people these days – with public health, the economy, and financial markets challenged. Given my focus on due diligence, I think a lot about where risk lies in waiting, how to measure it, and how to communicate it...

Clarifying the Book Value mystery

By Dan Hallett on May 25th, 2020

The biblical figure Methuselah and the “Book Value” or “Book Cost” shown on investment statements have something in common. Maybe all of this distancing is getting to me; but stay with me. Methuselah was said to have lived to the age of 969...

When rebalancing, don’t try to catch the bottom

By Dan Hallett on April 13th, 2020

Rebalancing an investment portfolio involves occasionally selling better recent performing investments to buy more of those investments that have performed poorly. This usually happens during bear markets for stocks (i.e. when prices drop by at...

Is the old 60/40 portfolio dead?

By Dan Hallett on February 25th, 2020

There have been many large proclamations in the investing world over the years. Perhaps the most famous – or infamous – is Business Week’s August 13, 1979 magazine cover declaring “The Death of Equities”. Others emerged during the late...

Bank loan funds’ mislabeling masks increasing risks

By Dan Hallett on January 16th, 2020

Razor-thin interest rates have motivated investors to reach for extra returns for years. Accordingly, many investors have invested in investment funds holding bank loans – a.k.a. senior secured loans, leveraged loans, term loans, floating rate...

Lessons from the Past Several Years of Private Markets

By Dan Hallett on December 16th, 2019

Skinny bond yields have prompted investors to replace high-quality but low-yield bonds and to sometimes expect too much from their chosen bond substitutes. But increasingly, investors are also responding to low yields by stepping further out on the...

Cryptocurrency: A Tool for Speculation, Not Investment

By Dan Hallett on December 5th, 2019

I have often criticized the investment industry for pumping out products designed to sell, rather than build, wealth for investors, and have worked to raise investor awareness of how gimmicky products destroy wealth. The battle against such products...

Do Dividend-Paying Stocks Offer Bear Market Protection?

By Dan Hallett on September 12th, 2019

There is a lot to like about dividend-paying stocks. Dividends generally follow earnings, and are cold hard evidence of earnings’ existence. In Canada, this infatuation with dividend-payers is compounded by our love of bank and utility stocks, and...

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