Leading a Horse to Water

It’s a classic saying, yet never more appropriate than when it’s applied to professional advisors in any field. Be it medical, legal, counselling or financial. All professions that deal with the public can relate to this expression. In the beginning I used to cringe when good advice fell on deaf ears. But as I matured and raised a family, I learned to let things play out.

Failure is good. We forget about that. I’ll borrow a line from Batman and use these lines as a great reference;

“Why do we fall down Master Bruce?” “So we learn how to get back up Alfred”.

Our culture and especially our families have become too protective over failure, to the point of stifling effort. In sports the score does matter. It provides a clear indication of ones reward or effort and also spurs reflection and drive for those on the wrong end of the scorecard.  Life is similar. It owes you nothing. Sooner or later you will learn its harsh realities. The longer you prolong or protect individuals from these lessons, the harder it will be for them to learn from them.

Parents, Teachers, Counsellors, Lawyers, Doctors and yes Accountants, are all there to help us make good decisions. As professionals, we must also understand that not taking our advice is also sometimes necessary for the greater good. I know I have learned the hard way several times, and wish I had just listened the first time. I also know that these consequences made me who and what I am today.

Rick Barbosa

 

What to do when idiots run the world?

When you combine Trudeau’s Selfie politics with Morneau’s silver spoon trust fund mentality, you get ongoing budget deficits, careless spending on wasted programs and social agenda’s with no economic merit. Couple that with Trump’s war on everybody, and our lack of true leadership, and voila. Stock market downturns, investors pulling out of Canadian projects and infighting between provinces for political gain without consideration for economic fallout.

So what’s a person to do? Well if you’ve invested using time-tested fundamentals you weather the storm. When deploying new capital, go for fixed income instruments that have low volatility and meager returns. Now is not the time to bet the Farm.

Stay Calm and Build your Cash reserves.

Rick Barbosa

 

Can you sit still?

Recently, we’ve increased our positions in a few key holdings including CIBC, Genworth Mortgage Insurance and Blackberry. Initially the returns were positive, lately, based on the news cycle or lack thereof, their values have decreased somewhat. Nothing materially has changed for either one of these holdings, including Blackberry, which made an unexpected profit even when you back out the Qualcomm payment.

Analysts are paid to overreact, we do not. These businesses are sound, make money, and will make more money.

Our Criteria for investing is simple:

  1. Good or Service is Vital (Need)
  2. High Barriers to entry (Financial moat)
  3. Good Management
  4. Strong Balance Sheet and Cash position

The true mark of an investor versus a trader is how long they can sit still when things are not going in their favour at the moment. If you panic and “limit your losses” you are a trader, if you believe in your analysis and see these swings as temporary, then you are an investor. Limiting your losses also means wiping out future returns.

Stay Calm and Carry on.

Rick Barbosa

 

4 Pillars of Building Wealth

Believe it or not, the manner in which you can build your nest egg hasn’t changed since the dawn of the 20th century. The tools may have improved but these foundational pillars still exist.

  1. Discipline – Stay true to your purpose and never lose sight of your goal.
  2. Save – Learn how to keep and grow your money
  3. Research – The best results come from the most informed decisions.
  4. Plan – Anticipate life, surprises, retirement, and set out to meet these obligations.

Contact us to learn how to use these tools and start building your wealth.

Rick Barbosa

 

Best Financial Calculators

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We’ve just updated our resource page with some of the most useful and easy to use financial calculators to assist you in making these common decisions or analyze your financial situation.

  • Lease v Buy
  • Rent v Buy
  • Net Worth
  • Accelerated Mortgage payment savings
  • RRIF payment Calculator
  • Financial Fitness Score
  • Break Even
  • Financial Ratios

Financial Tools made easy

Click on the link above to try them out today.

Rick

 

Really Smart People “Buy” when the “Smart” money is selling

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If you’ve ever gone to my “Rick’s Picks” tab you probably have noticed that my picks rarely change. That’s not laziness on my part. That’s just me doing my homework. I like to lump myself into the “Investor” group rather than be labelled a “trader”.  Investors know that market volatility is part of the landscape, especially these days. What gets people into trouble is following the crowd and panicking when numbers start to move. Those who sold their investments after 9/11 , Black Monday and as recently as last week are those that will miss the inevitable rebound once the “Smart Money” moves back in.

Investing is simply putting your capital to work in a trusted company or institution, and letting them run their business. If they have done, are doing, or will do a good job, you will be rewarded with dividends, yield and capital appreciation. It’s that easy. The hard part is doing the homework to find out which companies have a good management team and a good business model that will stand the test of time. Once you or your advisor find those companies then invest and be patient. If you are not that type then consider yourself a trader.

So when you hear what the “Smart Money” is doing, think about what Steve Jobs once said.  “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

Till Next time,

Rick Barbosa