CBC News tonight: Investors Beware!

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CBC News tonight: Investors Beware!

Postby Springbok » 10 May 2009 22:02

Just watched Sunday Newsworld. Last 1/2 hr was about the investment business. Well worth watching. Should repeat at 10:30pm EST on CBC.
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Postby BRIAN5000 » 10 May 2009 22:45

Thank you watching it now.
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Postby steves » 11 May 2009 02:23

I was surprised by all the "declined to be interviewed" senior executives they mentioned. It certainly did not make the industry look good.
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Postby Springbok » 11 May 2009 08:47

steves wrote:I was surprised by all the "declined to be interviewed" senior executives they mentioned. It certainly did not make the industry look good.


For those who missed it, it is available here:

http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/2009/04/041209_3.html

I wonder what CIBC thought about the program!

Interesting audience comments about program on above site.
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Postby sayhey » 11 May 2009 11:50

Very well done I thought. All of us here are aware of the high fees, but too many are not. We need a program advising seniors and near seniors the pitfalls of being entirely in equities.
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Postby Springbok » 11 May 2009 15:10

sayhey wrote:Very well done I thought. All of us here are aware of the high fees, but too many are not. We need a program advising seniors and near seniors the pitfalls of being entirely in equities.


Not just seniors.

I see my kids making the same mistakes that we did. They wait until last minute to contribute to RRSP, then go to their bank and get sold some type of bank mutual fund that has high management fees and will never make them any money.

I sent them the link and just hope they watch it!
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Postby blonde » 11 May 2009 15:25

What happened to BUYER BEWARE?

What happened to STUDY the SYSTEM?
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Postby Springbok » 11 May 2009 15:35

blonde wrote:What happened to BUYER BEWARE?


They covered that in the program. Did you watch it?

Who advises young or old people to beware?

Well I guess it turns out that the CBC does.

We need more programs like this that will get through to the masses.
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Postby blonde » 11 May 2009 15:51

We need more programs like this that will get through to the masses.


The masses do not understand...drawing a picture for 'em does not help one iota.

as an aside...CBC can air the same program next year and the response from the masses will be the same 'Surprise'.

Why support and reinforce WASTE...Pure-WASTE?
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Postby FinEcon » 11 May 2009 19:28

IMO this segment did a rather lousy job of making any distinction between what are fraudulent activities and what is nothing more than 'business risk'. A halfhearted attempt to tie together common sales practices with a hefty dose of principal agent problem and then linking it with outright fraud and regulator impotence does not do anyone any good, including the people a segment like this is supposed to help (the real guppies). Just my 2 cents but highest MER's in the world and the FA disappearing with the guy's 3M are not related. One is a matter of onus on the consumer to shop around and ask questions and the other is a crime.

As a sidenote, why does it seem that financially non savvy entrepreneurs who hit the jackpot (positive Black Swan owing entirely to luck in all but a few cases IMO) feel the need to gamble their 10M, 20M or 100M on something they don't understand? I'm not talking about understanding complex financial products.....I'm talking about street smarts 101 as in understanding how not to get completely ripped off. You think one would learn that being an entrepreneur. I guess it is easily explained away with Taleb's if your so rich how come you're not so smart?
You can get paid generously for perceived risk, but you don’t necessarily get paid for taking real risk

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Postby zinfit » 11 May 2009 21:21

The focus was on the banks. Real problem is with equity mutual funds and all of the salesman out there pushing their funds. The problem with banks is how they screw the retail investor on bonds. Not a word on this issue. I am over 60 % bonds. Globeinvestor has corporate bonds with a yield of 9%. I deal with RBC discount broker and they are selling the same bond for a yield of 6%. Who is raking in the cash these days? Thank goodness Flarety is looking at a national registry and full transparency on bond pricing. I don't believe in a big central government except for a central securities regulator
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Postby Clock Watcher » 11 May 2009 23:46

What I find interesting is that even if it is outright fraud, you cannot expect the bank or the regulator or the police to help you recover that money. If there is no assistance with outright fraud, then what chances do you have with anything less serious?

What I take away from watching that segment is that - it is every man (or company) for himself. The regulators are there to protect the industry, not the investor.
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Postby NormR » 12 May 2009 01:20

Clock Watcher wrote:What I find interesting is that even if it is outright fraud, you cannot expect the bank or the regulator or the police to help you recover that money. If there is no assistance with outright fraud, then what chances do you have with anything less serious?

What I take away from watching that segment is that - it is every man (or company) for himself. The regulators are there to protect the industry, not the investor.


Fraud is big business in Canada and enforcement lacking.
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Postby stardancer » 12 May 2009 10:22

FinEcon wrote:IMO this segment did a rather lousy job of making any distinction between what are fraudulent activities and what is nothing more than 'business risk'. A halfhearted attempt to tie together common sales practices with a hefty dose of principal agent problem and then linking it with outright fraud and regulator impotence does not do anyone any good, including the people a segment like this is supposed to help (the real guppies). Just my 2 cents but highest MER's in the world and the FA disappearing with the guy's 3M are not related. One is a matter of onus on the consumer to shop around and ask questions and the other is a crime. [/i]


I agree; although the segment did contain valuable information, as usual for this kind of reporting, it was sensational and designed to instill fear. It always amazes me at how people can turn over control of their $$ to someone else, then cry when they get taken to the cleaners. I have a financial advisor at TD Waterhouse, and he has always deferred to my choices. Yes, he chooses TD funds, but in the sectors that I am comfortable with. Now that we have been with him for a number of years, I can see how his long term planning is coming together. I do NOT blame him for the recent losses; those are out of his control just as they are mine.
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Postby Norbert Schlenker » 12 May 2009 11:16

I was a little disappointed with it. Of course people should keep their eyes open for thieves. Of course ass covering by brokerage management is going to occur. However, I think way too much time was spent on the Elford/Kyle/Buell/Urquhart complaints about ten or fifteen year old frauds.
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Postby newguy » 29 Jun 2009 05:28

Don't know if it's a repeat but an expose on cbc news sunday last night (but I'm just watching it now).

newguy

edit : repeat, I got fooled when they talked about Canada's new financial literacy program.
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/657537
Sounds like a good idea......in theory.
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Postby kcowan » 29 Jun 2009 09:38

newguy wrote:repeat, I got fooled when they talked about Canada's new financial literacy program.
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/657537
Sounds like a good idea......in theory.

Like every other thing they taught us in high school. Caveat emptor (from my grade 10 latin class). Ipso facto. Et cetera. QED. :roll:
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Postby patriot1 » 29 Jun 2009 10:54

zinfit wrote:Thank goodness Flarety is looking at a national registry and full transparency on bond pricing.

You know the bid/ask spread which is all the transparancy you need to have IMHO.

The problem is that the spread is too high. The only real solution I can see is exchange trading.
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Postby Mike Schimek » 29 Jun 2009 16:26

Sounds like a good idea......in theory.


Sounds like a great idea, improving folks financial literacy in any way benefits the country as a whole. Things like this and the TFSA somewhat erode the anger I feel at Harper for running us into deficits.
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Postby parvus » 29 Jun 2009 21:21

Norbert Schlenker wrote:I was a little disappointed with it. Of course people should keep their eyes open for thieves. Of course ass covering by brokerage management is going to occur. However, I think way too much time was spent on the Elford/Kyle/Buell/Urquhart complaints about ten or fifteen year old frauds.

What, take away the entertainment value? :twisted: (BTW, did Joe Killoran put in an appearance?)
newguy wrote:edit : repeat, I got fooled when they talked about Canada's new financial literacy program.
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/657537
Sounds like a good idea......in theory.

Let's think this through. Greater financial literacy (through taxes supporting public education, among other things) may not lead to lower spreads, as investors instead opt for GICs (with embedded spreads), fixed-rate mortgages (with predictable spreads) and so on. That's fine, and perhaps retail investors should not be participants in wholesale capital markets for bonds, IPOs and secondary offerings.

After all, they're not bearing the pre-market risk of bringing an issue to market, be it a bond, an IPO or a bought offering for a secondary issue, or a new issue of prefs, that dealers are going to shop, and shop as fast as they can, in the broadest possible quantity. Retail investors want the best price; institutional investors want the best execution of a trade. The two are not the same.

It seems to me that stock and bond markets are not quite utilities, deserving of regulated prices — and prescribed markups. But I may be wrong.

On the other hand, intermediaries in financial markets, unable to earn a profitable spread between fixed GICs and riskier long-term bonds (including corporates) or between variable mortgage rates and Libor, might simply stop. Again, there is no free lunch.

All we get, then, is the daily money market rate, less fees, for investment purposes, and for debt purposes, pay the daily money market rate plus 3% (representing the real cost of money). So risk capital dries up, or retreats from public markets.

It's reminiscent of
the old banking saw was the 3-6-3 rule: pay depositors 3%, lend the money out at 6%, and be at the golf club by 3 o'clock.


Just some thoughts. By political persuasion, I'm a socialist; as a student of the markets, I can see their role in funding innovative research, intermediating risk, overcoming inefficiencies that stand in the way of economic growth and, thus, by fostering productivity, contributing to improved living standards.

Do unregulated markets misfire? Do regulated markets misfire? Do dirigiste markets misfire? I would suggest all do.

Which redoubles the need for financial literacy, recognizing that it has move from placebo to inoculation, when it comes to risk.

There are, at best, three options for risk reduction (of various sorts): the family (extended or not), the state, or the markets. Nor are these perfectly separable. Both families and states rely on markets to finance day-to-day money needs.

Again, just some thinking out loud, not really responding to anything here but more to recollections of investor advocates who seemed to have wanted it both ways: high returns without any risk (or taxes). Sigh.
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Postby newguy » 30 Jun 2009 07:45

Parvus wrote:Let's think this through. Greater financial literacy (through taxes supporting public education, among other things) may not lead to lower spreads, as investors instead opt for GICs (with embedded spreads), fixed-rate mortgages (with predictable spreads) and so on. That's fine, and perhaps retail investors should not be participants in wholesale capital markets for bonds, IPOs and secondary offerings.
Parvus, just how smart are your friends? If I read that to the majority of my coworkers they wouldn't have understood a word let alone cared. To me financial literacy is just the basics. Yoy guys have to get among the masses to see what they are thinking.
Some examples for greater literacy;
Credit card balance insurance, an informal poll of my coworkers over the last few years >50%
CSB's by payroll deduction are the only non pension investment that all of my gf's coworkers have. (maybe ok)
Extended warranties, virtually everyone, including any gift I've received.
RRSP's, the few friends I have with these are all at IG except a few who use the bank wrap funds.
Taxes, no one does their own, (except one CA friend).
One employee was crying because she didn't know how to write a check (19yrs).
Nobody keeps the minimum balance in checking to avoid fees.
I could go on and on so just my favourite
paluwagan A scheme to save money.
Oh one more 6/49 is not a retirement plan.

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Postby Springbok » 30 Jun 2009 10:13

newguy wrote: Parvus, just how smart are your friends? If I read that to the majority of my coworkers they wouldn't have understood a word let alone cared.


Couldn't agree more. Never mind the general public. Even here it would help if posts were in plain English. The forum may attract a larger audience.

I happened to see two job ads in the local paper the other day. One was for an electrical technician.

Part of the ad read "As a key member of our reliability team, you will lead root cause analysis processes to solve reliability problems and drive the implementation of long-term solutions to improve asset availability"

Shoot time flies, must run - As a key member of our household reliability team I must go out and find the root cause of an environmental problem with one our mechanical transportation assets with a view to implementing a long term solution that will improve asset availability.

IOW, go out and check the darned oil leak on my old diesel.
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Postby blonde » 30 Jun 2009 10:16

Never, Ever, ignore the 'WIIFM Factor'.

It is ALL about Mega Money, folks.
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Postby Nemo2 » 30 Jun 2009 11:44

Springbok wrote:Part of the ad read "As a key member of our reliability team, you will lead root cause analysis processes to solve reliability problems and drive the implementation of long-term solutions to improve asset availability"
In Saudi our 'Buildings Department' produced an instruction booklet aimed at low paid TCNs, (Third Country Nationals), whose English, if they possessed any at all, was mega-basic.

The section on mopping a floor began with "In order to facilitate the distribution of the cleaning fluid..."
Exit, pursued by a bear.
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Postby kcowan » 30 Jun 2009 12:20

newguy wrote:...To me financial literacy is just the basics. Yoy guys have to get among the masses to see what they are thinking.
Some examples for greater literacy...

Yes I agree. It is likely to be more like bringing back Home Economics 101,
viz:
as a curriculum area that facilitates students to discover and further develop their own resources and capabilities to be used in their personal life, by directing their professional decisions and actions or preparing them for life

The biggest concern I would have is how to train the teachers to adequately cover the material. But wait, maybe they just need to invite the friendly guy from Investors Group! :roll:
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