Thursday 23 May 2013

Ontario Securities Commission Wants to Hear from Us Retail Investors

The OSC will be holding three sessions in June to seek retail investor input on some significant current issues: mutual fund fees, crowdfunding aka investing in small and medium size companies and advisor fiduciary duty.

The OSC's webpage here has time/date and location details as well as some excellent background papers on the issues. Even if you cannot attend, express your opinions to

There are encouraging signs that the OSC is starting to pay more than lip service to retail investor issues, what with sessions like these, the appointment of folk like Stan Buell and Ken Kivenko to the OSC's  Investor Advisory Panel and the recent creation of a new internal full-time Office of the Investor headed by Eleanor Farrell (see this article on what she aims to accomplish).

Goodness knows change is required, given such evidence as the failing grade given to Canadian mutual fund fees by Morningstar.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

How to tell if you will be fine financially in retirement

Never mind all those complicated calculators, spreadsheets, assumptions about stock returns, interest rates, asset allocation models, taxes, risk tolerance questionnaires, longevity assumptions etc etc. Nope, all you have to do is to be able to answer these three questions correctly and you will do fine in retirement!

1) If the chance of getting a disease is 10 percent, how many people out of 1,000 would be expected to get the disease?
2) If 5 people all have the winning number in the lottery and the prize is 2 million dollars, how much will each of them get?
3) Let’s say you have 200 dollars in a savings account. The account earns 10 percent interest per year. How much would you have in the account at the end of two years?
Who says so? Professor Olivia S. Mitchell of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in Implications of the Financial Crisis for Long Run Retirement Security. According to the paper "... these three financial literacy questions turn out to be incredibly good predictors of whether middle-aged people plan for retirement, save for retirement, and do well at retirement".

Those who can, do, and those who can't, don't.

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