GFM Network News


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


Farm Financial Planner: Farm transfer could lead to “hobby farm” status

Passing on an unprofitable farm can raise tax challenges for the next generation

A couple we’ll call George and Mary have farmed in south-central Manitoba for the last 35 years on a third-generation family farm. Each is 60 years old. Their dilemma is generational transfer. Their issue is the fundamental low level of profitability that could, if not handled properly, cause the farm owner to lose their ability to […] Read more

Year and decade financial review: Part 2

Can Canada rise from the ashes and generate profitable returns on our investments?

My last column painted a picture of the dire state of the Canadian business and investment climate. Layering in consumer data makes the picture look downright depressing. Canadian consumers are more indebted than ever. Household debt is the highest amongst the G7, about 175 per cent of disposable income. The U.S. has gone in an […] Read more



Is your farm doing cash, accrual, or no budgeting?

Farm Management: Budget planning hasn’t kept pace with today’s farm value, size, or complexity

Our firm, Stark & Marsh, uses benchmarking as a tool to compare farm financial performance. The average southwest Saskatchewan incorporated farm we benchmark is 4,000 acres. Between inputs, machinery and land, costs can meet and exceed $300/acre. Costs of $300/acre multiplied by 4,000 acres equals an annual expense budget of $1.2 million dollars. This number […] Read more