Last updated: May-18-2018

5/21/2018 4:47:31 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 | Friday, May 11, 2018

Q –– I’ve heard the old stock market adage about selling in May. I’ve never actually done it, but I’d like to know whether it has any basis in fact. – Martha E., North York, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, May 04, 2018

Q –– Could you explain the costs and fees involved in investing in mutual funds and ETFs? I’ve seen some ads recently for investment firms that seem to offer portfolios at very little cost. Is this even possible? – Jackson T., London, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, April 27, 2018

Q –Every day I read about the importance of family financial planning. But why bother? After all, the money comes in, the money goes out. And who’s got the time? The kids have to go to some practice or other. Then there’s the grocery shopping, doctor’s visits, house-cleaning, yard-work, the list seems endless. Creating a “financial plan” seems just another chore. – Liz D., Brantford, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q – I’ve been looking for tax-efficient ways to save for a down payment on our first home. I’ve heard that a Tax-Free Savings Account is a good way to save for shorter-term objectives because any growth in the plan is tax-free, and so are all withdrawals. That seems almost too good to be true. Can you confirm how this works? – Kim T., Erin, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, April 13, 2018

Q – There seem to be so many different tax deductions and credits and special exemptions when it comes to filing your tax return. I’d like to make sure I take advantage of everything that’s available. Do you have any tips on tax breaks that are most often missed by taxpayers filing their returns? – Monica D., Thornhill, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, April 06, 2018

Q – I have a successful practice as a medical practitioner, and my practice is run through my incorporated operating company. I’ve been shopping around for a suitable pension plan arrangement that goes beyond what an RRSP has to offer. I’ve heard that an Individual Pension Plan can be a good option, but I’m not sure what’s involved. Can you explain? – Richard D., Mississauga, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, March 30, 2018

Q – We’ve been shopping for a new home, but we’ve heard some horror stories from friends about the mortgage market. Apparently there’s something called a “stress test” you have pass before you can qualify for a mortgage, even if you don’t have to be insured! If you don’t pass the stress test, you don’t get a mortgage. This is stressing us out even more. Can you explain what this is all about and what else I can do to make my mortgage borrowing a bit easier? – Glenda S., Whitby, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, March 16, 2018

Q – My husband and I are looking to add to the down payment for a new home we’re shopping for this spring. We both have funds in our RRSPs, and I’ve heard that some of that can be used to buy a home. Could you tell us how this works? – Ivy S., Oakville, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, March 02, 2018

Q – Stock markets have been on a roller coaster ride since the end of January. A large part of my portfolio is tied up in equities and equity funds. But after a long bull market, I’m getting very nervous, especially now that the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve indicated the Fed would continue raising rates in 2018 and President Trump said recently he would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel products, raising concerns about a global trade war. Stock markets have turned volatile. Is it time to sell stocks? How does one deal with this level of market anxiety? – Barry N., Burlington, Ontario

By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, February 23, 2018

Q – Do you have any suggestions for where to find money for RRSP contributions besides just saving something from each paycheque? – Joan C., Toronto, Ontario

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

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