COMMENTARIES ARCHIVE

Portfolio Insurance

February 07, 2020

People purchase insurance to protect against the financial loss of a contingent event. Every insurance policy has an identifiable risk and premium, or cost, associated with it. For example, a working parent purchases a $1 million 10-year term life insurance policy in order to support her surviving spouse and children in the event of her death.

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The St. Petersburg Paradox

October 25, 2019

I was recently reminded of a classic decision theory problem involving the following hypothetical casino game.

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Standoff

August 09, 2019

China’s economic transformation over the past fifty years is an incredible success story. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty since the country moved from Mao’s socialism to China’s unique brand of state capitalism.

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Pulling the Goalie

May 31, 2019

Tiny Thompson holds the record for the best winning percentage by any goalie in the NHL. Thompson’s performance between the pipes, however, was not the most remarkable thing about his career.

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Retirement Savings Vehicles

February 22, 2019

The purpose of this QV Update is to articulate some of the similarities and differences between the RRSP and the TFSA from a tax perspective.

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Reap What You Sow

September 21, 2018

In 1935, the government of Australia introduced a foreign toad species to stop grey-backed cane beetles from ravaging the country’s cane fields. It turns out these cane toads weren’t very good at hunting the problematic beetles but were prodigious breeders.

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Sovereign Risks

June 01, 2018

Italy’s political drama escalated this week as the populist coalition of Five Star Movement and League failed to form a government. On Sunday, Italy’s president vetoed the coalition’s choice for finance minister, angering the coalition leaders and raising the possibility of new elections.

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Cryptomania

February 02, 2018

I met a hypothetical client, Frank, for lunch. I thought I would share some of our dialogue.

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Million Dollar Prediction

October 27, 2017

Warren Buffett recently predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) will reach 1 million within a hundred years. "That is not a ridiculous forecast at all, if you do the math on it," Buffett said.

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Probabilistically Thinking

March 03, 2017

The famous 17th century mathematicians Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat made significant advancements in our understanding of probability. Their important work gives us the ability to compute complex probabilities involving games of chance.

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Investing for the Long Run

November 25, 2016

The fresh air, green trees and singing birds can all be savoured just a few strides from our office (well, in the summer that is). The rhythmic motion of ten thousand steps erases the cares of just an hour ago.

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Defensive Investing, by the Numbers

August 19, 2016

To use a baseball analogy for investing, a high percentage of singles and doubles provides a better result over time than the low probability strategy of swinging for the fences.

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Finding the Balance

June 03, 2016

Have you ever descended a staircase at night anticipating the arrival of the floor one step too early? That brief moment of terror must be endured for what feels like ages until you are finally back on firm footing.

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Money Making Performance

March 04, 2016

Some of us arrived at the office a little late Monday morning. Each one of us had our favourite moment from the most riveting entertainment event of the year.

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Consistently Different

December 04, 2015

The Globe and Mail recently published an article entitled, “Revealing the closet indexers among Canada’s mutual funds.” The author reveals that many actively managed mutual funds sold in Canada fail to sufficiently distinguish themselves from their benchmarks.

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