- the source for market opinions


September 5, 2016 | Subliminal

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.


A few Saturdays ago this pathetic blog went seven days a week. Like CNN. Or the cops. Or the over-worked, don’t-you-dare-unionize child scoopers at the Belfountain General Store. It was an attempt to add more texture and depth to the usual monotonous drivel proffered here.

Since the readers are apparently all 1%ers with Lambos and hot wives, it seemed appropriate to ask two puffed-up, overly-educated, analytical professional portfolio managers, with more letters after their names than in them, to be weekend contributors. Besides, they work with me so they come for free.

Thus, Doug Rowat and Ryan Lewenza have been contributing thoughtful, poignant pieces which many rabid dog commenters have delighted in shredding. That’s cool. I told them both to put on their Big Boy portfolio manager pants when they entered this blog site. It’s a huge departure for them, since most people genuflect when they see Doug or Ryan (or their entourage) coming off the gilded elevators on the 53rd floor of the bank tower we hang out in.

Unbridled criticism of ideas is, obviously, welcomed here. So when Ryan says the equity market is in a bull mood and will stay there for a long time, or Doug boldly forecasts interest rates will rise in three weeks, it’s fair game to eviscerate their positions. They can take it.

What isn’t so cool is when some people suggest this blog’s going corporate on them. So today I will post a few words on the subject of subliminal marketing, GreaterFool style. If you play this blog backwards, in other words, will it actually instruct you to give your money to Turner Investments? Are all the dog pix just to break down your natural defences and render you susceptible to financial plunder?

Of course. But R&L are still here to impart their collective 35 years of market smarts. So benefit from it. The blog stays free, and naked of advertising.

Having said that, I make no attempt to hide the fact I have a day job (as well as a weekend one). Seven years ago I was a financial book-writing, media-intense, lecturing little guruette. After being asked by so many people to look after their family finances and start an investment advisory practice, I did. Now it’s among the top 3% in North America, substantial enough to attract high-priced, know-it-all, infallible partners like Rowat and Lewenza. Our clients are national (about a third in BC, forty per cent in Ontario and the rest in the flat, bumpy or swampy areas).

So I decided to walk the talk. As a guy who looks after other people’s money I eschew commissions of any kind, because collecting them puts you in a conflict-of-interest position. All portfolios are balanced, liquid and globally-diversified, as I have detailed here. They don’t contain volatile stocks or ridiculously-expensive mutual funds, but modern, low-cost ETFs. It’s not just about investing either, but reflects what this blog does – the integration of tax strategies, retirement planning, real estate, budgets, risk management plus hormonal control, moister therapy and marriage counselling.

So I like what I do, especially now that I have two deified, elevated portfolio manager dudes as partners who get off on technical analysis and staring deeply into their Bloomberg terminals. It’s satisfying work helping people navigate the financial stuff so they can concentrate on their families and jobs. After all, the goal of life isn’t a house. It’s not a pile of money. It is making the most of what you can never earn, borrow or steal – time. Wealth just helps.

Anyway, asking the pontificating Rowat & Lewenza duo to give up every second weekend to come and talk to you was a blog decision, not a business one. We have enough clients. Ryan already has three Porsches (although he might have said ‘porches’). What I wished to do was make this site better, deeper and a touch less pathetic, even if is for but one day a week.

If you don’t approve, I have an app for that.

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September 5th, 2016

Posted In: The Greater Fool

One Comment

  • Avatar holly hallston says:

    Infallible, eh? You mean like Black-Scholes? I recall they had a lot of letters signifying their credentials as champion post hole diggers (PhD) suffixing their names too. Hey, they even won Nobel prizes; I’ll wager your two guys don’t (not to worry, that’s a plus). Bet the folks who lost their collective shirts banking on B-S (how apropos) were real impressed back in the day after the crash and burn. Anybody can look the part of a genius when everything is going hunky dory; the proof is how they manage when the manure wagon starts the conveyor towards the fan. Watch out where it lands.

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