Latest articles


Stacks of Canadian Coins

Secrets to sanity and success in the investment world

Buying and holding is a more solid, and sane, strategy then portfolio turnover

This article marks my 24th for Grainews. My first article, in March of 2018, had a quote: “it’s all about buying common shares in solid companies, and holding them for a long time.” I hope you are now convinced of the validity of this approach. Why is this simple strategy shunned by most market participants? […] Read more


A background of hundred dollars scattered on the table.

Long-term U.S. successes, and blemishes

Adding U.S. stocks to your portfolio brings diversification and a chance to profit

Previously, I shared examples from my Canadian portfolio that contributed to long-term investment success. The Canadian market is just three per cent of the world market and isn’t very well diversified, with financial and resource companies dominating. This makes international diversification a key success component. My longest standing stock account is an RRSP. Many years […] Read more



Long-term investment successes… and a few blemishes

Herman VanGenderen reveals the ups (and a few downs) of his stock investing history

Success through simplicity entails buying the right companies and holding them a long time. This reduces stress and workload managing investments, and leads to better outcomes. But do I follow my own advice? My first decade of stock investing was unsuccessful so when I transferred my RRSP into a stock account in 1993, I began […] Read more


Evaluating your investment performance

Are you getting your money’s worth when it comes to mutual fund fee structures?

There has been a lot of negativity directed towards the mutual fund and financial advisory industries around performance and fees, partly because of the emergence of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with lower fees. Advisors, however, rely on mutual fund fees. My bias is towards taking control with direct stock ownership. This virtually eliminates fees and, […] Read more



The folly of market predictions

For the best long-term predictions, predict that most predictions will be wrong

In a previous column, I mentioned less than half of predictions are accurate. This phenomenon has been well documented, yet market predictions continue to abound. I began making market predictions in my January 2016 newsletter, mostly to poke fun at the whole prediction process, but also to test myself against the experts. How have I […] Read more


Aerial view of farm

Thoughts on investing in real estate

Most farmers have invested in a home and in farmland. These investments are not risk free

My January 8, 2019, column titled, “Re-think what you thought, Part 2” contained a statement that a common misperception is that a house is one’s most important investment. For farmers, a house often comes with the farm, which is clearly an investment. Does this apply to those who don’t farm? I wish to clarify that […] Read more




Investment success factors

Some personal and investment-focused factors that drive investing success

In September of last year I was interviewed by the Globe and Mail, Canada’s premier business newspaper. A question that really made me think was, “What accounts for your outperformance since the 1990s?” I would like to delve into this question, dividing the answer into personal and investment factors. Personal factors for success The personal […] Read more




Down markets aren’t bad markets

A review of 2018’s market performance shows a slight gain from the sample portfolio

Down markets are great if you’re in the stock buying mood. Markets ended 2018 with a thud. In the fourth quarter there were declines of about 16 per cent in Canada and 20 per cent in the U.S., closing the year slightly off these lows. Financial headlines were dire, with many suggesting the worst December […] Read more