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  • Identify the many Myths in the financial system, including the dream of “beating the market” through individual stock selection.
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  • Help self-investors to better control their costs, what Warren Buffett calls the financial system’s friction costs.
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  • Give you access to information to help you better manage a portfolio intended to constitute an important source of retirement income.
  • Identify areas where the financial system does not adequately take into account the interests of independent investors.
  • Encourage reforms to the regulatory system.

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WELCOME to our site for the independent investor which was officially launched March 18, 2008. Become a member (it’s free) and enjoy full access to the site + receive on a preferred basis our weekly newsletters. Our site has been described as one of the few educational websites that offer the unbiased, clearly written material that busy investors need (The Globe & Mail 30 05 2008) and as a site dedicated to providing individual investors with independent, objective, free advice and information (The Gazette, Montreal 31 03 2008). See In the Media under the tab Media on our home page. MEMBERS-PLEASE NOTE: Depending on your software and internet provider, it may be necessary for you to add http://independentinvestor.info to your list of safe contacts in your spam filters. Otherwise, you may not receive our newsletters. Our newsletters notify our members in priority of our commentaries on current events and other topics of interest. If you miss a newsletter, it will eventually be filed on the site at a later date under Information on the home page. We are also on Twitter under DIYInvestor.

 

 

Tax-Efficient Investing for Canadians by André Fok Kam- a book review
News accessible to all

tax_efficient_investing.jpgIt is the net, after expenses, return on your investments that is the key number for investors. And income tax is generally the biggest, and often the most complex, of all retail investor expenses. So effective tax management is indispensable for all do-it-yourself investors. André Fok Kam, a self-described consultant to the securities industry, has recently published through the IFSE Institute an excellent book on the subject for both financial advisers and Canadian retail  investors. It gives a good overview of most of the key tax questions of interest to retail investors. Its explainations are as clear  as the subject matter permits. It  covers not only direct investing, but also investing through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. And finally, it is short enough so as to not discourage most readers.

 

 

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New models of online investment advice and services- part 3
News accessible to all

img-idema-ian-gascon.jpgNew investing offerings aimed at the mass retail investor market are gradually appearing that are based on online advice. They use online questionnaires and other technology to minimize labor costs and provide cookie-cutter advice using model portfolios, with some customization to take into account some personal circumstances. In part 1 of this 3-part series we looked at the forces behind these new product offerings. In part 2 we looked at the range of new entrants in the USA. In the final part of this 3-part series we now look at developments in Canada.  Regrettably, the Canadian scene for the moment does not offer the diversity of offerings found in the USA. Only one pure new entrant, Idema Investments(see photo of its founder, Ian Gascon) and a few businesses which are add-ons to traditional securities businesses can now be found in Canada.

Read more...
 
New models of online investment advice and services- part 2
News accessible to all
index.jpgNew models of online investment advice and services- part 2

New investing offerings aimed at the mass retail investor market are gradually appearing that are based on online advice. They use online questionnaires and other technology to minimize labor costs and provide cookie-cutter advice using model portfolios, with some customization to take into account some personal circumstances. In part 1 of this 3-part series we looked at the forces behind these new product offerings. In this part 2 we look at the range of new entrants in the USA. The US market is blessed with a wide variety of new entrants, as well as a number of traditional financial groups who have supplemented their basic businesses to offer similar competing services. (NB- photo is of US economist and indexing guru Burton Malkiel, currently asssociated with new entrant WealthFront). A DIY investor will find entrants who can help them obtain low cost, independent one-off advice and low-cost index based investment products. But the business models of other entrants are less investor-friendly, so buyer beware is certainly the operative phrase here. In the final part of this 3-part series we will look at developments in Canada. 

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New models of online investment advice and services-part 1
News accessible to all

images.jpgNew investing offerings aimed at the mass retail investor market are gradually appearing that are based on online advice. They use online questionnaires and other technology to minimize labor costs and provide cookie-cutter advice using model portfolios, with some customization to take into account some personal circumstances. Do-it-yourself investors, who have made the decision to manage their own investments, often want to get advice on a cost-effective basis focused on the key determinants of long term returns, such as the right Asset Allocation, but have had  trouble locating sources for such advice. Instead they often end up receiving recommendations based upon stock-picking or market timing techniques that are rarely as successful as a low-cost, buy and hold indexing approach. Do the new investing offerings address these unfulfilled needs of retail investors? Why are so few of them available to Canadian investors? In part 1 of this 3-part series we  look at the forces behind these new product offerings. Do you recognize yourself in some of the reasons driving investors towards online solutions? In part 2 we will look at the broad range of new entrants in the USA,  and In part 3 we will look at developments in Canada .

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Abnormal Returns, by Tadas Viskanta- a book review
News accessible to all

mhp0948viskanta300x250.jpgThe founder of one of our favorite blogs, AbnormalReturns.com, has written a book under the same name. In a clear and direct fashion, without excessive detail, he covers all the basics of the field of investing. And, strangely enough, despite its title, the book does not downplay the challenges of successful active investing. Instead, much of the book explains the advantages for most individual investors of a long term, index approach to investing.

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Passive investing site promoted by UK fee-based manager Barnett Ravenscroft
News accessible to all

sensibleinvestinglogosymbolr.pngIt is rare to find financial intermediaries who promote passive investing.  Barnett Ravenscroft is a UK based asset manager who has even gone to the length of setting up its own web site on the subject, SensibleInvesting.tv, where investors can find professional quality videos on why they should consider passive investing.

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Trading paradox- trading is bad for us, but we still do it
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paradox_images.jpgInvesting is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, usually over a long term. Trading is putting your money into something, but with the intention of quickly thereafter pulling your money out, then quickly repeating the process over successive new cycles of putting in/pulling out. Sounds obvious: investors do the former, traders the latter. Yet countless investors trade their portfolios to such an extent they come to resemble traders. In this commentary we explain why trading is hazardous to your financial health and hope to convince you to change your habits. In a subsequent commentary we explain what drives investors into trading, and what can be done by investors themselves and by regulators to cure investors of an expensive habit

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