Last updated: Feb-22-2018

2/22/2018 9:28:02 PM

Opinions expressed in articles published on this site are solely those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Fund Library, its staff or affiliates.


By Robyn K. Thompson | Monday, January 29, 2018

Q – We’re a professional couple with two children, and we’ve reached the stage in our careers where we need the help of a financial planner. But we’re not quite sure where to begin. We have a financial advisor at our bank who looks after our RRSP, but she doesn’t seem all that keen to help us out with getting our household finances in order. So we’ve been thinking about looking for someone more qualified, but we’re not sure where to start or what to ask. Do you have any suggestions. – Bonnie F., Thornhill, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Q – I would like to know more about Stingray Digital Group Inc. (TSX: RAY.A). This company claims to be the world leader as a streaming music provider and a multitude of music services. More than 80% of revenue is recurrent. Last year Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec increased its ownership, and recently the CEO/founder increased his ownership substantially. The stock pays a dividend and is increasing it. The shares keep moving up. I would certainly appreciate an opinion from you on this highly performing company. Thank you. – Pierre D.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, January 12, 2018

Q – I’ve just received my credit card bills for December, and I’m starting to think I’m still in the same financial mess I was in last year at this time. Seems I haven’t made any progress at all in organizing my financial life. Any suggestions? – Marci S., Oshawa, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Monday, January 08, 2018


Q – I have a question regarding stocks such as BOTZ and ROBO. Both are U.S. stocks involved in automation/robots, etc. My thinking is that this area is something that has potential, with everything I have read about the number of jobs that may disappear in the near future. My question was whether you had any insight on this type of stock. – Gord Z.

A Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation ETF (NASDAQ: ROBO), was the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) to specialize in robotics and automation companies. The portfolio holds 91 positions in such firms from around the world and is highly diversified – not a single stock exceeds 2% of the total holdings.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, January 05, 2018

Q – I know it’s important to look at your portfolio performance every year to see if you’ve come out ahead. But I’ve also read that conducting a portfolio review is also important. However, I’m not sure why. I thought the bottom line performance would tell you all you need to know. Can you enlighten me? – Philip K., Kingston, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Tuesday, January 02, 2018


Q – My portfolio is now about 45% cash after taking some profits. I am 75; my spouse is 65. I would like to have 25% or so in fixed income. Would you see any problem with having the entire fixed income allocation in XBB, or would you suggest diversifying among a number of bond ETFs? – Larry W., Kamloops, BC

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, December 01, 2017

Q – With year-end rapidly approaching, I’ve been going through my financial statements and slips to see what kind of investment or investment-related expenses I’ve paid through the year, and which ones might be deductible on my personal tax return. I’ve heard that subscriptions to financial publications might be deductible, as well as safe-deposit box fees. Is that true? Could you provide a summary? – Harry M., Toronto, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Monday, November 27, 2017


Q – On BNN recently, Eric Nuttall of Sprott mentioned a REIT, American Hotel Income Properties (TSX: HOT.UN). Could you have a look at it? The high yield is very appealing, perhaps too much so. – Robb H., Calgary

A – The yield of this Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) certainly is attractive – 8.9% as of Nov. 27, based on a price of C$9.21 and a monthly payout of US$0.054 per unit. The cash flow is attractive, but the unit price is down significantly from its 52-week high of $11.14, reached briefly last winter.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, November 17, 2017

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada. And this year’s theme is “Take charge of your finances: It pays to know.” That little slogan was never more true than when dealing with personal debt, especially credit card debt. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, as of December 2016, credit card debt made up about 5% of total household debt. And about 40% of those with credit cards carry a monthly balance. According to a survey last year by TransUnion, the average credit card debt in the third quarter of 2016 was $3,954.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, November 10, 2017

Q – Stock markets are feeling very “toppy” these days, with record highs being set daily and valuations soaring out of site. Do you think it’s time to commit more funds to stocks in the hope of capturing a final upside blast, or should investors sell and head for the nearest shelter? – Rick T., Burlington, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Monday, October 30, 2017

Q – I’m the owner of a successful small business. I’ve been following the attempts by the Liberal government to change some of the tax rules governing incorporated small businesses, but I haven’t seen a lot written about how this would affect Individual Pension Plans. With my RRSP maxed out, I’ve been thinking seriously about an IPP, but now I’m not so sure. What’s your opinion? – Tom L., Toronto, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, October 13, 2017

Q – I’ve been going through a particularly contentious divorce process, and I haven’t had the time or inclination to think about my own financial future. Do you have any advice for people like me, who suddenly find themselves single again? – Rhonda C., Toronto, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, September 29, 2017

Q – I’ve read about the potential benefits of using stock options as an investment strategy to generate additional income. I’ve also heard that various portfolio managers use options for this purpose, specifically something called a “covered call writing” strategy. Could you explain what this strategy is and whether there are any investment funds available that make use of it? – L. T., Toronto, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, September 15, 2017

Q – Do you have any general financial planning advice for young, single people? I’ve already been working for a couple of years since graduating from university, and I earn good money. But I’m feeling like I’m unable to make ends meet every month and still spinning my wheels financially. – Maggie G., Calgary, Alberta

By Gordon Pape | Monday, August 21, 2017


Recently, a reader wrote to ask about recent news out of India and China that could have huge ramifications for automakers and the energy industry.

Q – “I heard about the electric car targets for India and China for the coming decades, and part of the announcement indicated that Chinese companies will be legislated to be the suppliers/manufacturers,” he wrote.

“Considering that the world’s future growth is highly, if not solely, dependent on China and India, the impacts to all internal combustion engine (ICE)-dependent industries could be tremendous. Is this a game changer for several industries? How do we position our accounts to take advantage/prepare for this?” – Adolfo E.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, August 18, 2017

Q – I notice that shorter-term returns of the iShares Core Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF (TSX: XBB) have been sliding recently. I’m not sure I understand why, but I’ve been told it has something to do with rising interest rates. Are there some actively-managed bond fund alternatives that might do better? – Alan T., Barrie, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Monday, August 07, 2017

* Should he buy GIC from Oaken Financial?
* Can you transfer a GIC to a TFSA?

Should he buy Oaken GIC?

Q – I tried to convince my wife to switch from CIBC to Oaken Financial because CIBC is giving me 1.30% on a GIC for one-year non-redeemable and are insured by CDIC. Oaken Financial gives me 2.6% for one year. The inflation rate is 1.60%. Since you are an expert, what is your opinion? – George V.

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, August 04, 2017

Q – My husband and I are Millennials with a family and a growing business. We find we’re just too busy to create and actively manage an investment portfolio. But we’ve heard about certain types of portfolios sometimes called “couch potato” or “easy chair” portfolios. This sounds tailor-made for us. Could you explain what these are and how to go about settting one up? – Krista M., Toronto, Ontario

By Gordon Pape | Monday, July 24, 2017

Q – I’m an IBM retiree and bought shares through IBM’s payroll deduction plan, reinvested the dividends, and inherited some. The dividends are quite nice, but they are taxed as ordinary income in Canada, and there is U.S. withholding tax of 15%. I have a large capital gain that makes selling the shares not particularly attractive. But I wonder if that wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do?

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, July 21, 2017

Q – My fiancé and I are getting married later this summer. With all the wedding planning taking up our time, we haven’t really been able to discuss our financial situation in any great detail. Do you have any financial planning advice for newlywed couples? – Brenda T., Toronto, Ontario

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