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Posted on February 7th, 2012 by David Baskin

When I studied economics in university, we were taught that people are rational, fully informed, and always act to optimize their self interest.  This being the case, certain assumptions could be safely made, and thus projections about how the economy would perform.  Over the past almost four decades since I graduated, economists have demonstrated a […]

Posted on January 27th, 2012 by Barry Schwartz

After languishing in $60 range for most of 2011, CP Rail’s stock exploded higher in December on news that activist hedge fund, Pershing Square, acquired a material position in the stock. Pershing’s goal is to shake-up the management at CP, by installing Hunter Harrison as CEO. Hunter is a legend in the railroad business. As […]

Posted on January 19th, 2012 by Rob McDonald

With the Toronto Stock Exchange down 11.1% in 2011, few investors made money last year. It would have been much worse without the strong appreciation from dividend-paying stocks in the Utilities, Telecom, and Real Estate sectors. After all, almost half the exchange is comprised of Materials and Energy companies. Because clients at Baskin Financial Services […]

Posted on January 12th, 2012 by David Baskin

An unusual thing happened in 2011 – at least unusual for the last decade. The US stock market outperformed the Canadian one. That makes twice since 2000. In the past twelve years, Canadians who kept their money here have done much better than those who bought US stocks. There are two reasons. Canadian stocks have […]

Posted on December 21st, 2011 by Rob McDonald

The “butterfly effect” isn’t difficult to understand. The phenomenon states that a change of circumstances in one region can disproportionately create a much greater change in another. Illustrating its proof through deriving academic formulas is possible but unnecessary. One need not look any further than the European debt crisis and its effect on domestic stock […]

Posted on December 21st, 2011 by Barry Schwartz

1) I will try to consume less financial news media. A steady diet of CNBC, BNN, WSJ, FT, FP, G&M and lots of unhealthy blogs has left me bloated and sluggish. I will try to remember that the scary daily headlines and ramblings of those who don’t know any more than me are just noise […]