October 06, 2021

New service allows investors to rate and review advisors

As anyone with university-aged kids can tell you, Rate My Professor and Rate Your Prof are popular online services that allows students to anonymously rate and comment on the professors teaching at their schools.

Just by browsing the rankings, you can find out everything you ever wanted to know – and maybe some things you didn’t – about current or future profs.

Now there’s a new Canadian research tool, called Know Your Financial Advisor, that’s built on a similar principle.

Although still in its infancy, a number of hungry advisors have signed up with the service in recent weeks, hoping to be discovered by potential clients.

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August 25, 2021

Advisors face same rules as telemarketers: CRTC

Pretty much everyone views telemarketers as annoying pests. But do financial advisors fall under the same umbrella?

Seems so, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. It's decided that the rules governing unsolicited telemarketing now apply to financial advisors and insurance agents as well, rescinding an exemption for advisors granted back in 2008.

Instead of extending the exclusion to the insurance sector, as industry lobbyists had hoped, the CRTC went the other way, removing the exemption for financial advisors.

In its decision, the CRTC said that while both groups clearly have an obligation to communicate with clients, there’s nothing to say they have to do it by telephone.

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July 26, 2021

10 investing myths that simply won't die

Remember the scene in “Jurassic Park” where the guy who was so sure a T-Rex couldn’t see him if he held still ends up getting eaten? Later in the book, some naïf asks what killed the man. The wry answer: “He was misinformed.”

I’ll say.

When it comes to investing, misinformation can be very costly and it comes in many forms, including phony business rumours to spur stock activity, bogus quotes attributed to public figures, vengeful flames against companies from disgruntled customers or employees, and so on.

And sometimes the problem lies in commonly held beliefs that simply don’t hold water even though they’re repeated frequently, particularly when markets get choppy, writes Brent Arends in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal.

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July 13, 2021

Outlook for stocks dim but gold may shine: survey

Canada's investment managers are getting antsy about stock market returns, according to the latest quarterly survey from BetaPro Management.

Rather than anticipating some relief after the most recent slide, those people entrusted to make decisions about your money are growing increasingly discouraged as to whether they can make any headway in the coming months.

The June survey polled nearly 200 advisors, who collectively oversee an estimated $20 billion in client assets, on their outlook for various asset classes.

Those claiming to be "bullish" about the S&P/TSX 60 fell to 39 per cent in this latest go-around, down from 58% three months ago. Those considering themselves to be "bearish" on the Canadian market rose to 45% from 30%.

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May 31, 2021

Mistakes people make when hiring advisors

Here we go again: Another high-profile advisor who turns out to be a crook.

Kenneth Ira Starr, a New York investment adviser with a roster of celebrity clients, was charged by the U.S. government of orchestrating a $30 million fraud.

According to the federal complaint, Starr allegedly used his clients' money to buy luxury items for himself, including a new $7.5 million apartment in Manhattan.

In addition to Hollywood VIPs like Martin Scorsese, Wesley Snipes, and Uma Thurman, Mr. Starr's other clients included lawyers and hedge fund managers.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...