Saturday, 19 December 2015

Understanding Investment Risk - Read Howard Marks' post and reread it over and over

Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital has written the best explanation of investing risk I have ever come across in one of his Memos - Risk Revisited Again (the title revealing that he has refined and revised and expanded his exposition over many years and much hard reflection with much hard experience to inform him). The point of view is very practical as opposed to the academic theoretical approach and the writing is very readable for the DIY investor. That means he looks at risk in all its many facets and subtle but important nuances (24 different kinds of risk!), as opposed to the single volatility measure academics and regulators so love.

I sure wish regulators like the CSA and the OSC would come to grips with this stuff instead of lazily opting for the misleadingly simplistic use of price volatility for classifying the riskiness of mutual funds.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

TFSA Contribution Limit Petition

Keep the annual TFSA contribution limit at $10,000 per year. That's the goal of the online petition on the official Parliament of Canada website. The Liberal government has announced the intention to reduce it back to where it was before the previous Conservative government increased the limit earlier this year. There is no good reason to do that. For those in lower income groups the TFSA is a better retirement savings vehicle than the RRSP and the TFSA is a simpler more flexible tax-free savings account in general. I don't see the government proposing to reduce RRSP contribution limits. I encourage readers to sign the petition like I already have done because it's the sensible thing to do to protect the TFSA (as I have previously written in dissecting the type of wrong-headed arguments criticizing the TFSA that misled the Liberals into proposing the contribution cutback).

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