GFM Network News


The difference between an investment and a speculation

Speculations are often described as investments because that word has a more positive connotation

Differentiating between investments and speculations is more nuanced than distinguishing investments from expenses. Speculations are often inappropriately referred to as investments with the main similarity being both are purchased with the intent of profiting. The allure of speculations is their potential for quick and dramatic profit, but quick and dramatic losses are more probable. Let’s […] Read more

Why investment is one of the most overused words

To be a true investment, the purchase must meet three criteria

Our city cousins almost unanimously believe a house is likely to be the biggest investment they will ever make. We have all heard this and many believe it to be true. Then, after purchasing a house, they often invest in renovations to increase its value, and, of course, they must invest in furniture to make […] Read more


Not only are the rules complex and professional fees potentially high, but the programs change often.

Farm Financial Planner: COVID-19 farm relief programs

Programs are blessings in bureaucratic disguise, valuable and complex

Federal relief programs for economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic including job losses, business interruption, nonpayment of wages, unemployment and illness are being addressed by a web of federal and provincial programs. Farmers can benefit from several plans, provided they can document losses and, in some cases, pay back some part of subsidies. What […] Read more

Growth stocks have outperformed value by a wide margin … but will it last?

Slow and steady wins the race

Market action this year has confounded and perplexed. Meaning, it has been pretty much business as usual, although with more exaggerated swings. The action should demonstrate more than ever that short-term market gyrations are completely unpredictable. Anyone who in late March publicly said the market would hit new records by summertime would have been promptly […] Read more


How to pass on and preserve the family farm and generate retirement income

A couple puts an equitable plan in place for their children, only one of whom will continue to farm

A couple we’ll call Harry, 53, and Martha, 50, farm 5,500 acres in Manitoba’s Interlake region. They have three children ages 19, 20 and 24. Only the eldest, who we’ll call Bruce, is interested in taking over the farm one day. The other two see their destinies in what could be called town jobs. The […] Read more

Value versus growth company valuations

Being viewed as a growth versus a value stock is one reason why stock prices can be significantly more volatile than underlying earnings or cash flow

Companies are broadly divided into two categories: value stocks and growth stocks. Value stocks generally pay higher dividends, have slower growth rates and sell for lower valuations based on traditional metrics like earnings yield (the inverse of the more popular but less easily understood price/earnings ratio), cash flow yield and price-to-book ratios. Growth stocks exhibit […] Read more


Retirement income and inheritances

How to create a retirement plan and leave a legacy for your children

In central Manitoba, a couple we’ll call Jack, 57, and Susie, 54, have found themselves in a crisis. The couple left active farming and now rent their land to a neighbour. Sixteen years ago, Jack got a city job and sold 480 acres of the farm, half its original 960 acres, to pay debts and […] Read more

Money held in mutual funds dwarfs the rapidly growing exchange-traded funds industry.

Utilizing exchange-traded funds in an investment portfolio

Buy broad indexes and hold for long periods of time

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) came into existence in the 1990s in response to the high fees of the mutual fund industry. They provide broad diversification and are traded like stocks. The original premise of ETFs is because the vast majority of mutual fund managers fail to outperform the market, it’s best to simply invest in the […] Read more


Precious metals play a role as they generally move in opposite direction to the stock market.

The place for precious metals in a portfolio

Even though it’s the worst-performing asset class, gold has a purpose

Over a 210-year period, the after-inflation value of a U.S. dollar was a nickel. A dollar invested in gold became $4.52, in T-bills $281, in bonds $1,778 and in stocks $704,000, making stocks the runaway leader. (Jeremy Siegel: Stocks for the Long Run) Despite this long-term track record, gold has a place in our portfolios […] Read more

Farm Financial Planner: Estate planning with an out-of-date will

Passing the farm to the next generation when Dad’s will doesn’t mention the kids

A woman named Ruth, 65, and her late husband Max, who recently passed away at 66, farmed 1,600 acres in Manitoba’s Interlake region for the last four decades. Ruth continues their mixed farming operation with 800 acres of grain and the remainder in pasture and hay for what was, before they sold them, a small […] Read more