Weekend Reading: Wall Street Edition

Wall Street is synonymous with investment firms and stock traders, but the name of the street originates from an actual wall that was constructed in the 17th century by the Dutch. The 12-foot wall was built to protect against attacks from pirates and Native American tribes, and to keep other potential dangers out of the establishment. The British dismantled the wall in 1699 but the name of the street stuck.

It’s funny, because as Wall Street evolved into the heart of the American financial sector, perhaps the wall should have remained intact as a symbol to protect investors against the dangers of investment scams, fraud and greed that is rampant today.

Wall Street Edition

Millionaire Teacher Book Winner

Thanks for the great response to our Millionaire Teacher book review and giveaway earlier in the week. We received 108 comments and entries in the contest (some great answers, by the way, to what you wish you learned about money in school). The winning comment, chosen by random number generator, is Mike Pennell, who left a comment on March 1st at 10:16 am. Congrats, Mike!

This Week’s Recap:

Air Miles was back in the news as the company issued an apology to its customers over the 2016 Air Miles expiry debacle. Sophia Harris, who has been relentless in her coverage of this story on CBC, interviewed me about this bizarre three-months-too-late apology from Blair Cameron, head of Air Miles.

On Monday I argued that if you’re expecting a robo-advisor service to simply “make you money” year-after-year then you’re asking the wrong questions about your investing strategy.

On Wednesday I reviewed Andrew Hallam’s second edition of Millionaire Teacher.

And on Friday I compared investing a lump sum of money all at once or over a period of time to see what produced the best results.

Weekend Reading:

Let’s start with a thought-provoking video on how the brain works, how we learn, and why we sometimes make stupid mistakes:

Does anyone feel like ordering a chicken sandwich after CBC Marketplace reported that the chicken used at Subway restaurants averaged just 53 percent chicken DNA?

New reporting regulations through CRM2 led investors to more low-cost investing options this RRSP season.

Do you understand your personalized rate of return? MoneySense’s Norm Rothery breaks it down.

Wealthsimple’s Dave Nugent talks about investing trends among millennials and the same low cost theme comes up.

Million Dollar Journey blogger Frugal Trader explains how to build a portfolio of dividend growth stocks.

Ben Carlson smartly suggests that having constant access to stock market prices and news may seem like an advantage but in fact it’s a big disadvantage for investors who feel the need to act on that information.

With the stock market on an eight-year run, you might be tempted to let your emotions influence your investing strategy. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Automation is coming and jobs you may have thought were immune to automation, like mortgage brokers or paralegals, may soon be replaced by intelligent software:

Here’s the full story on CBC about automation. Interesting to note that personal financial advisors have a 58 percent probability of automation. Check to see whether your career may be at risk by the rise of the robots.

The threat of technological change is one reason why I advocate for having multiple streams of income. This author agrees, saying that your salary shouldn’t be your only source of income.

After seventeen years writing an investing column for USA Today, Matt Krantz offers up his top investing lessons.

An argument to still carry around a few twenties in your wallet: it’s the considerate thing to do.

What Toronto’s average monthly rent of $1,800 gets you in cities Canada-wide.

Finally, the Canadian Securities Administrators want to warn Canadians about binary options scams and they put together a nice little website about what to watch out for.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Richard on March 5, 2017 at 10:11 am

    It’s interesting to note how the CBC article describes active managers:

    “Most mutual funds are a basket of stocks, often managed by a professional whose goal is to buy winning stocks and drop losers — actively buying and selling in an attempt to beat the market.”

    A better description would be:

    “Most mutual funds are managed by a professional whose job is to outguess other professional managers. Every client expects their manager to be the one who is right, but the manager gets paid a large fee every year at the client’s expense regardless of whether they are right or not.”

    Maybe a little more accuracy in reporting would help investors.

  2. Ian on March 5, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I have an axe to grind about the financial industry’s KYC assessment. My wife has the luxury of having a healthy DB plan and we treat that as the safe “fixed income” portion of our retirement portfolio. As such, we are free to keep our SDRRSPs entirely equity based which constantly triggers resistance from the Banks every time we put new money to work because our KYC profiles are not in line with our holdings. Thoughts anyone?

    • Russ on March 8, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Do you invest via an advisor at the bank branch? My understanding is that bank branch staff need to stick closely to KYC assessments and there are regulatory and company policy matters that guide them rather stringently in that direction. If you’re satisfied with your asset allocation and you know what you want to invest in (low-cost broad-based index mutual funds or ETFs?), then consider switching to the discount brokerage subsidiary affiliated with your bank. The investment reps there are only concerned about getting the transactions done correctly and they leave you to your own devices as far as what you invest in and the proportions.

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