GFM Network News


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

Managing ourselves in times of crisis

The reality is that we are in uncharted waters

Since my last article was written, the economic situation has deteriorated significantly. Our stock markets have been in freefall with the U.S. market recording its fastest ever 30 per cent decline. I use U.S. market history rather than Canadian because the data is readily available and the United States is the largest, most diversified market […] Read more


Year and decade financial review: Part 3

The best market predictions are based on probabilities calculated from past performance

The last two columns reviewed Canadian and U.S. decade-long economic and investment performance. Successful investing takes a long-term approach; understanding the underlying reasons for the macro picture is important. Let’s look more short-term. What happened last year, how did our portfolios perform, and what is likely to happen in 2020? I concluded my 2018-19 New […] Read more

U.S. average stock market returns, 1925 to 2018: U.S. stock market average returns have been 40 per cent or higher in five years. Only six of the 94 years have seen losses of 20 or more. In most years, average returns cluster between 30 per cent.

Why the odds are in favour of investing in stocks

Over the past century, the stock market has vastly outperformed “safer” forms of investing

Annual returns from the U.S. stock market have averaged 9.4 per cent since 1900. Over these 119 years, inflation has run 2.9 per cent, so long-term after inflation returns have been 6.4 per cent. Stocks exhibited significantly better real returns than bonds at 1.9 per cent, T-bills at 0.8 per cent and residential real estate […] Read more


A good financial investment can return 10 times in a decade or two.

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

Stock investing isn’t possible without a few failures.

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


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

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


2019 SMART Investing Goals

Setting personal financial goals for the upcoming year is a good way to make sure you grow your portfolio

2018 has been a challenging year for stock and bond investors around the world. Virtually every asset class, in every country is down year-to-date. Following is a sampling of stock market declines (not including dividends) around the world as at mid-December, 2018: China is down 22 per cent, Germany 16 per cent, Canada 10 per […] Read more

Fear is easier to market than facts

Despite the potential stability of a well-structured portfolio, stock-phobia abounds

A phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear. I Googled phobias. There is a fear of money officially called chrematophobia, but no official fear of stocks so I will just refer to it as stock-phobia. Why are so many individuals afraid to invest in stocks when they represent one of the best wealth […] Read more