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Roads to Investment Success
12/05/10 Stingy Investing
"I was pleased to talk to the University of Toronto Faculty Association where I made the case that novice investors should opt for low-fee balanced funds. I then discussed more advanced topics in dividends and value investing. Although the session was not recorded, here are the slides that were used..."

More articles on the same topic . . .

A better trend-following strategy
02/20/18 Stingy Investing
"The dual approach provides benefits, according to Philosophical Economics. It generated average annual returns of 12.7 per cent, from January, 1947, to November, 2015, with a volatility of 12.9 per cent. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 gained 11.2 per cent on average annually over the same period with a volatility of 14.5 per cent." [$]

Corrections come and go. It usually makes sense to do nothing
02/20/18 Stingy Investing
"the vast majority of investors should avoid market timing and follow the lead of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger instead. Broadly speaking, they buy companies at reasonable prices and hold them for very long periods. They're like collectors but instead of baseball cards they buy good businesses and rarely sell. It's a simple approach that has worked well for decades."

A simple timing strategy
02/05/18 Stingy Investing
"I've been eyeing escape pods - as an investor - for some time now. The U.S. market blasted through valuation levels seen at the 1929 market top in recent weeks. I outlined the dire situation using Prof. Robert Shiller's CAPE ratio (cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio) in early January" [$]

Asset Mixer Update
01/29/18 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include real data for 2017.

Periodic Table Update
01/29/18 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include real data for 2017.

Dogs Contest
01/29/18 Stingy Investing
"Each January, I like to create a little challenge that adds a bit of flavour to the Safer Canadian Dogs strategy. All it takes is to pick the best and the worst of Canadian dividend stocks."

Market puts investors under the gun
01/08/18 Markets Stingy Investing
"The U.S. stock market is trading at sky-high levels. So, you've gotta ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? I'll be exploring that question after I briefly apologize for appropriating Clint Eastwood's lines from his 1971 movie Dirty Harry." [$]

Three strategies for 2018
01/08/18 Dividends Momentum Investing Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Three ways to make money, updated for the coming year: The climbing cats, the safer dogs and the hot potato"

Asset Mixer Update
01/04/18 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2017.

Periodic Table Update
01/04/18 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2017.

A Hogtown carol
12/23/17 Christmas Stingy Investing
"You'll find freedom at the end of the line. Just take the train past the grey tenements of Toronto to the airport. Then you're only a ticket away from a tropical paradise where the slush-plagued streets of Hogtown are a distant memory. That is, if you can afford the trip. Get off the train a stop too early and you'll find yourself in one of the poorest parts of the city. There the landscape is littered with dollar stores and payday lenders wedged between vacant storefronts and soon-to-be demolished buildings. It's the home of the city's Cratchits who live among the fumes of the nearby railroads, highways and airplanes that usher the well-to-do to better places."

Top U.S. small caps
12/11/17 Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to present the fourth edition of the Small Cap 500. Join us as we dive into the U.S. market to find the most promising small stocks in the land. Each stock is scrutinized and ranked based on its value and growth characteristics. The firms that score highly on both tests make it into our All Star team."

U.S. vs Canadian banks
12/11/17 Stingy Investing
"The most dramatic difference between the U.S. and Canadian bank stocks comes down to leverage. All of the U.S. banks have smaller leverage ratios, and usually much smaller ones, than the Canadian banks. On average, the U.S. banks have leverage ratios (assets/equity) of 9.0, whereas the average for the Canadian banks comes in at 19.1."

Microcap vertigo
12/11/17 Stingy Investing
"If volatility makes you woozy or you're prone to panic during downturns, then microcaps should be avoided in much the same way as an acrophobe avoids sitting next to windows in tall buildings." [$]

Thinking outside the box
11/20/17 Stingy Investing
"Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's long-time partner and pundit at Berkshire Hathaway posed a tricky question. He asked for instances when the reverse was true. That is, when does raising prices lead to increased sales volumes?"

Two heads might be worse than one
11/20/17 Stingy Investing
"Money manager Lou Simpson recently talked about the negative correlation between the number of people making an investment decision and the results. He noted that if a lot of people are involved, the tendency is for the least competent person to effectively make the decision when a consensus is required." [$]

Inspired by valour
11/11/17 Stingy Investing
"You'd have done well to have followed his advice in 2013 when he recommended General Communication Inc. (GNCMA). The Alaska-based integrated telecommunication company benefited from a recent takeover offer and is on track to be acquired by Liberty Interactive. The stock was recommended at $9.76 per share and it recently closed at $40.36. Those who held it over the period gained a whopping 314 per cent, which translates into an annualized return of 43 per cent. It was a big winner for Mr. Smith who recently sold his stake in the firm." [$]

Top Stock Preview
11/06/17 Stingy Investing
"I always like to step back and look at the market as a whole before focusing in on the best names. To do so, I use median market metrics instead of averages because medians are less influenced by the extremes."

Top 200 Canadian Stocks
11/06/17 Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to say that our track record has been highly profitable over the years. Our All Stars climbed by an average of 14.6% per year since we started in 2004, not including dividends. That assumes an equal dollar amount was put into each All Star stock in the first year and rolled into the new All Stars each year thereafter. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite (as represented by the iShares XIC exchange traded fund) climbed by 4.8% per year over the same period. The All-Star stocks beat the market by an average of 9.8 percentage points per year."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks
11/06/17 Stingy Investing
"The U.S. All Stars have been on a roll since the crash of 2008. They surged 16.6% per year, on average, over the last nine years while the market (as represented by the SPDR S&P 500 exchange traded fund) gained 10.9% annually. Over the last five years the All Stars advanced by an average of 16.3% per year and beat the market which climbed 12.6% per year."

The monster portfolio
10/30/17 Momentum Investing Dividends Stingy Investing
"But if investing in solid stocks bores you to tears and you're willing to take on more risk for the slim possibility of gigantic rewards then I might have the just thing for you." [$]

Value in the soda aisle
10/16/17 Stingy Investing
"Putting a price on something holds a fascination for me. That's why I paid attention when I recently wandered into a drugstore looking to quench my thirst. I was taken aback to discover that they were selling the same brand-name pop in six different sizes and at nine different prices."

A succulent value strategy
10/07/17 Stingy Investing
Summary: Picking low multiple stocks (book value, earnings, cash flow, sales) from the S&P/TSX Composite worked over the last 15 years. Book value provided marginal gains vs the market while the others fared much better. Low-P/CF fared the best. [$]

The state of dividends
10/01/17 Dividends Stingy Investing
"find out about where the Canadian dividend stock market stands and how it has changed since last year."

Top dividend stocks
09/25/17 Dividends Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to present you with the eleventh edition of the MoneySense Dividend All-Stars. It serves up a new crop of the best blue-chip dividend stocks in Canada while harvesting a decade's worth of gains."

Strategy Lab ends
09/23/17 Stingy Investing
"What our four successful investors shared was a dedication to not doing stupid things: They didn't bet everything on one or two stocks; they didn't chase hot performers; they didn't trade frequently." [$]

Not a single loser
09/23/17 Stingy Investing
"I'm pleased to say that my crop of value stocks has gained 95 per cent since the portfolio was planted five years ago. It raked in a 14.2-per-cent compound annual return over the period." [$]

Low-P/E value
09/17/17 Stingy Investing
"The low-P/E method sported an average annual gain of 18.59 per cent and outperformed the index by a stunning 11.1 percentage points on average annually." [$]

The return of the cats and dogs
09/11/17 Stingy Investing
"The Safer Canadian Dogs and Climbing Cats are back after their brief summer vacation and are raring to go."

Dining on value
08/28/17 Stingy Investing
"The results were eyeopening. The portfolio of low multiple stocks gained an average of 19.1% annually from the start of 1999 through to June 16, 2017. The market, as represented by the S&P/TSX Total Return index, gained just 4.7% annually over the same period."

The time travelling manager
08/16/17 Funds Behaviour Stingy Investing
"Sticking to an investment strategy through adversity can be hard for investors, even if they know what's going to happen"

Stocks with room to grow
07/30/17 Stingy Investing
"The Safer Canadian Dogs provide a nice pack of large high-yield stocks for conservative investors. But some people are more adventurous and want to buy smaller stocks that have room to grow. That's why I went to the pound this week to look for some pups."

Small value stocks
07/23/17 Stingy Investing
"I recently cast my line into the pool of small company stocks in an effort to land a few generous dividend payers that trade at modest earnings multiples." [$]

Deep value
07/16/17 Stingy Investing
"The portfolio of 30 low-multiple stocks sported a compound annual growth rate of 19.1 per cent from the start of 1999 through to June 16, 2017. By way of comparison the S&P/TSX composite total return index climbed by just 4.7 per cent annually over the same period." [$]

A big dividend bonanza
07/16/17 Stingy Investing
"The 10 Safer Canadian Dogs form a nice little portfolio of large high-yield stocks. But many income investors want more. That's why I cast a wider net this week in an effort to catch a big dividend bonanza."

Top 1000 Preview
06/29/17 Stingy Investing
"Think about how you'd go about ranking all of Canada's largest stocks for their investment appeal. It's a daunting task. I've been doing it, in various publications, for more than a decade. While there have been a few bumps along the way, the overall results have been more than satisfactory."

Top 1000
06/29/17 Stingy Investing
"This year, in addition to presenting all of the raw data, we're introducing a new stock rating system that does a lot of the number crunching for you, narrowing down the field to the stocks that offer the most promising opportunities." [$]

Top 1000 list
06/29/17 Stingy Investing
"The companies listed here are the 1,000 largest publicly traded Canadian corporations, as measured by assets. You can rank them by revenue, profit, assets or market cap using the drop down menu below. Tap a company name for more data, including a live stock price look-up." [$]

The tail of the bond bull
06/26/17 Markets Indexing Stingy Investing
"As well as bond have performed since the 1980s, investors shouldn't expect much from them going forward."

Not dead yet
06/26/17 Value Inveting Markets Stingy Investing
"Dead, or just pining for the fjords? That's the debate at the heart of Monty Python's parrot sketch. In it, hilarity ensues when a pet-shop keeper tries to convince a customer that the parrot they purchased was, in fact, not an 'ex-parrot'. A similar debate is currently being held among investors when it comes to value investing. After a decade of poor, relative returns, many people figure that value investing is pushing up the daisies while others cling to the belief that it's just resting." [$]

The Safer Dogs of the TSX
06/18/17 Stingy Investing
"The Safer Dogs now appear to be relatively cheap - provided they can grow their earnings over time. If a good part of those earnings can be turned into dividends or share buybacks then shareholders will likely be a happy bunch."

A long-term return guess
06/04/17 Stingy Investing
"Afterwards I was asked what my expectations were for the market, and the couch potato portfolio, over the next 10 years, or so. It's an interesting question and one that investors would love to know the answer to - both in advance and with certainty. Alas, it is something that I'm less than certain about. But I can try to entertain you with a few wild - or at least somewhat educated - guesses."

Branching out in search of value
05/28/17 Stingy Investing
"Investors should also look up from their portfolios, from time to time, to gauge the state of the market. To do so it is useful to break down the market by sector to see which ones are faring the best and where there are bargains to be found." [$]

Chasing dividend growth
05/21/17 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Income-oriented investors love stocks that have a habit of growing their dividends. I confess to being one of them because I've done extraordinarily well by buying such stocks when the market gets a little panicky." [$]

A Hot Potato update
05/21/17 Stingy Investing
"Who says Couch Potato portfolios are boring? Norm Rothery's spicy twist on the popular strategy has been effective, but it's not for everyone"

Ben Graham MBA contest for 2017
05/07/17 Stingy Investing
"In a narrow victory, the team from Saint Mary's - and my personal favourite - got the top prize of $10,000. A big congratulation goes to Bill MacGregor, Morris MacLeod and Dev Jyoty Nath who earned the first-place award. Unfortunately for the bulls, they rated Sabre as a strong 'no-buy.'" [$]

A dividend growth downer
05/07/17 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Instead of outperforming by a large margin since 1973, dividend growers returned 12.89% annually while all dividend payers gained 12.83% per year and the equally-weighted S&P 500 climbed 12.35%. In other words dividend growth provided an insignificant edge over dividend payers more generally."

The market timing myth
04/23/17 Stingy Investing
"I found myself pondering bad behaviour after being drafted as a possible juror for a murder trial. To escape from the drudgery of waiting for the judge to make his way through the pool of prospective jurors, my mind turned to the accusation that investors are poor market timers." [$]

Fairfax Valu-palooza
04/23/17 Stingy Investing
"I was recently nominated for jury duty and narrowly avoided serving on a six week murder trial. It was pleasing to be let off because a lengthy trial would have put a dent in my income and kept me away from this year's Fairfax Lollapalooza for value investors. I'm not sure which would have been worse."

The permanent portfolio
04/02/17 Stingy Investing
"Investors rushed to rediscover the permanent portfolio after suffering from painful losses caused by the crash of 2008. It promises a soothing combination of relative safety and reasonably good returns." [$]

Bad behaviour or bad math?
04/02/17 Stingy Investing
"Wade D. Pfau, the professor of retirement income at The American College, recently fired a broadside at DALBAR's annual research study on the 'Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior.' The professor claims the study is deeply flawed."

Simple asset allocation
03/26/17 Stingy Investing
"Providing good advice to investors that have relatively little money has always been a tricky affair. After all, the price of a good adviser can be too high for those of modest means. In practice, small investors find themselves left to their own devices or paying through the nose for the little advice they can get." [$]

The Climbing CATS
03/19/17 Stingy Investing
"The Climbing CATS strategy is based on a momentum plus value combination. It starts with reasonably-sized Canadian firms and then focuses in on value stocks. Call them Cheap And Thrifty Stocks, or CATS, if you will. But it also looks for firms with strong relative momentum that have Climbed higher in recent times. Thus, the Climbing CATS strategy is born."

Valeant's rise and fall
03/19/17 Stingy Investing
"Bill Ackman recently dumped his fund's stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which ended a distressing period for his investors. While it might be tempting to use the opportunity to wallow in an ocean of schadenfreude, it's more useful to step back and to try to learn from his misfortune." [$]

Your personalized rate of return
03/05/17 Stingy Investing
"Personalized rates of return are starting to appear on brokerage statements across Canada. But the new addition might cause more than a little confusion because it depends both on the returns generated by the portfolio and the flow of money into, and out of, it."

A hard pill for savers to swallow
02/19/17 Taxes Markets Stingy Investing
"There are no sure things in this world except death and taxes but, with a little luck, medical advances will allow death to take a long sabbatical. News on the tax front isn't as encouraging because rumours are rife that the upcoming federal budget will punch savers right in their portfolios." [$]

The enemy of investment returns
02/19/17 Taxes Markets Stingy Investing
"The Federal budget rumour mill is ramping up and word has it that savers will be asked to pay more. Some pundits think that the tax rate on capital gains will be kicked into overdrive this year. Problem is, taxes already cut deeply into investment returns."

The brain-bending world
02/05/17 Stingy Investing
"A new performance measurement is beginning to appear on brokerage statements in Canada. It's called a money-weighted return and it has the potential to cause a great deal of confusion." [$]

Doing better than you think
02/05/17 Stingy Investing
"Last week the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 20,000 for the first time. The event came as a relief to newscasters who could comment on the record rather than making up a reason for why the stock market moved a little higher that day."

More wishful thinking than rule
01/22/17 Retirement Stingy Investing
"As a result, those who follow the 4% rule - or even a more conservative 3% rule - might be gambling with retirement ruin. At a minimum they should be prepared to tighten their belts should the markets turn against them."

Value by sector
01/22/17 Stingy Investing
"When it comes to fishing for stocks, value investors are skating on thin ice because the bargains they desire are disappearing as the markets warm. To find the few bargains that remain it is useful to take a step back, consider the market as a whole, and drill down into different sectors." [$]

Speculating on 2017
01/06/17 Stingy Investing
"As we head into the new year, it.s only natural to speculate about what it has in store for us. 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting one on many fronts, but my task today is to focus on the markets from the value investing point of view." [$]

Asset Mixer Update
01/06/17 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2016.

Periodic Table Update
01/06/17 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2016.

Pick winning stocks for 2017
01/05/17 Stingy Investing
"We started 2016 with a friendly stock picking contest, which means that it's high time to look at the results - and to issue a new challenge for 2017."

A word from a portly gentleman
01/01/17 Stingy Investing
"At this festive season of the year it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts."

Low P/E stocks unlock value
12/24/16 Stingy Investing
"An equally-weighted portfolio of our universe of TSX-listed stocks with P/E ratios of less than 15, rebalanced monthly, gained an average of 13.8% per year over the 20-year period. The group with P/E ratios below 10 did even better with average gains of 15.6% per year. Investors who only bought stocks with positive earnings gained 11.4% annually. All three earnings-based portfolios beat the S&P/TSX Composite's annual gain of 7.4% per year."

Long-term losers
12/17/16 Stingy Investing
"Racing to the bottom is something investors don't like to do when it comes to the markets. They tend to avoid stocks that have fallen over the course of many years. Last December, I highlighted 10 Canadian stocks that had shrivelled to less than one-tenth of their 10-year highs." [$]

A Hot Potato feast
12/17/16 Stingy Investing
"As we prepare for roast beast dinner down in Whoville, it's time to consider the Hot Potato as a side dish. When it comes to investing, the Hot Potato is a momentum-based twist on the regular Couch Potato."

Books for the holiday season
12/04/16 Books Stingy Investing
"Christmas is fast approaching and some us aren't looking forward to all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning the holiday requires. That's why, after consuming the last of the figgy pudding, you might want to settle down by the fire to read a nice book. But instead of rereading the scandalous libel inflicted on poor Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles Dickens, you might opt for some lighter fare in the form of a good book on investing. Here are three recent offerings you should try."

Slice and dice
11/27/16 Stingy Investing
"Last week, our American cousins celebrated Thanksgiving. A great many turkeys were sliced up for the occasion and each gobbler consumed their favourite bit. Similarly, stock pickers slice up the market and invest in companies they expect to provide the most succulent returns." [$]

Top 200 total returns
11/20/16 Stingy Investing
"Starting on the Canadian side of the ledger, the Top 200 All-Stars gained an average of 16.3% per year over the last five years. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 7.7% annually over the same period."

Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2017
11/17/16 Stingy Investing
"We created the MoneySense All-Star Stocks guide 12 years ago to help point you to some of the best Canadian stocks on offer. This year we have once again crammed it full the information investors love, including All-Star teams from both Canada and the U.S. We weigh up the merits of each of the largest stocks in both countries and our All-Star teams contain those with the best growth and value characteristics."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2017
11/17/16 Stingy Investing
"The 12th annual MoneySense U.S. All-Star Stocks guides investors to the best U.S. equities on offer. It compiles a buffet of facts and figures on the 500 largest stocks in the U.S. and boils everything down into easy-to-use letter grades. As with their Canadian counterparts, the stocks with the most growth potential and value appeal are promoted to the All-Star team."

The value of momentum
11/13/16 Stingy Investing
"A great chasm exists between value investors and momentum investors. The former like to hide behind huge corporate walls and deep moats while the latter take direction from the mob and go along for the ride. As a result, they inhabit very different corners of the market." [$]

MoneySense goes all digital
11/06/16 Stingy Investing
"I've received a large number of emails expressing concerns and asking questions about the recent decision by Rogers to transform MoneySense into an all-digital media brand by ceasing to print the magazine."

2 Graham Stocks for 2017
11/01/16 Stingy Investing
"If you had purchased an equal dollar amount of each Graham stock in the first year and replaced them with the new crop of stocks each year thereafter, you would have turned $1,000 into $10,140. In comparison, $1,000 invested in an S&P 500 exchange traded fund (NYSE:SPY) would have grown to just $2,090. Translated into percentage terms, the Graham stocks gained 914% (16% annualized) over the full period while the S&P 500 ETF moved up 109% (5% annualized)."

The salary class
10/29/16 Stingy Investing
"A few years ago he gave investors a second choice that proved to be even more popular. Investors in the ROMC Fund 'salary series,' pay Mr. McLean a flat annual salary for his services. As a result, the fractional fee they pay declines as the fund's assets rise, which is highly unusual. Indeed, it is - as far as I can tell - unique for a Canadian hedge fund." [$]

The price of financial advice
10/29/16 Stingy Investing
"The good news is there are several ways to cut fees, some without cutting out an advisor. Broadly speaking there are three ways to do it. You can keep the individualized advice but move to a portfolio of low-fee funds. Or you can opt to do your own planning and choose a low-fee portfolio of professionally managed funds. Finally, those with sufficient knowledge and experience can do it on their own and cut costs to the bone."

Dividend All-Stars 2016
10/29/16 Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to say that our efforts have also been highly profitable over the long term. If you had purchased an equal dollar amount of each A-graded stock in your RRSP and rolled the proceeds into the new ones each year, you'd have gained a total of 148% since we started back in 2007. Similarly, a portfolio of A and B stocks would have climbed 88%. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite ETF (XIC) logged a return of 39% over the same period while the Select Dividend ETF (XDV) advanced 50%."

Let's talk about salary
10/22/16 Stingy Investing
"He asserts that inquiring about salaries is a social faux-pas in Canada. But it is something that been doing shamelessly for many years because the data empowers rather than impoverishes employees."

The trouble with 4 per cent
10/16/16 Retirement Stingy Investing
"while simple asset allocations proved to be strong relative performers, the study found the 4-per-cent rule wanting when tested in international markets. Even worse, it did not include the corrosive impact of taxes, fees and other frictions investors face." [$]

Buyback yield
10/09/16 Stingy Investing
"Canadian investors love dividend stocks. But income seekers should look beyond a company's dividend yield to other factors that can enrich - or impoverish - shareholders." [$]

Top dividend stocks of 2016
10/09/16 Stingy Investing
"We're hard at work on this year's Dividend All-Stars, which grades the largest 100 dividend stocks in Canada. As a preview, I thought you might be interested in a few highlights and some behind the scenes data to whet your appetite for the next issue of the magazine."

Learning to live with low returns
09/25/16 Bonds Stingy Investing
"The bond market has been on a multidecade bender. But the party is close to an end and the hangover could last for years." [$]

The power of incentives
09/24/16 Munger Stingy Investing
"Wells Fargo (WFC) is mired in a scandal of its own making that revolves around the perverse power of incentives. The U.S. bank's problems reminded me of a famous lecture that Charlie Munger gave in 1995 on the psychology of human misjudgement."

Boost returns with low P/E stocks
09/11/16 Stingy Investing
"You can see that adding the low-P/E requirement boosted returns in a big way. The low-P/E portfolio generated compound average annual returns of 13.79%, which is just over four percentage points more than the annual compound return of the baseline portfolio."

The pleasures of the bargain bin
09/04/16 Stingy Investing
"Strategy Lab celebrates its fourth anniversary this month. The lab features four fundamental investment strategies and it has been my pleasure to head up the value investing effort, which is devoted to stocks in the market's bargain bin." [$]

The lost decade
08/28/16 Funds Indexing Bonds History Stingy Investing
"Bond yields remain near historic lows with long-term Canadian government bond yields hovering near 1.7% this week. That doesn't leave much room for error. If interest rates rise, bond prices will fall. Rising inflation could also wipe out the small gains. More ominously, interest rates and inflation could climb at the same time like they did in the 1970s. It's a period that older investors remember all to well and one that younger investors should learn from."

Be careful what you wish for
08/14/16 Stingy Investing
"The bond market is also caught in a drought - at least as far as yields are concerned. But you should think twice before wishing to return to a high yield era. Not only do bond prices fall when yields rise but, when yields are high, taxes and inflation can turn profits into losses in the blink of an eye."

Fixed income needs a fix
07/31/16 Bonds Stingy Investing
"The recent Ant-Man movie featured a shrinking hero. Unfortunately, interest rates have also been shrinking and are now at historically low levels. That's why it's high time to take a second look at the iShares Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF, which forms the core part of many fixed income portfolios."

Brexit-proof your plan
07/03/16 Stingy Investing
"Rather than adopting emotional cues from the market, wise investors cast a skeptical eye toward the big news stories of the day because acting on them often leads to disappointment. Instead, it is better to focus on your investment plan and process."

Tips for novice investors
07/03/16 Stingy Investing
"MoneySense's Invest for Success event brings people together with investing experts to hear their hard-worn advice. Here's advice from presenter Norm Rothery, founder of, on how to avoid first-time investing mistakes." [video]

Inflation and the 4% rule
06/19/16 Retirement Stingy Investing
"Simply taking 4% out of a portfolio annually, and not adjusting for inflation, can boost a portfolio's longevity and the payments it produces during bull markets. But it comes with the risk that the payments will shrink during down periods."

Equally weighted
06/11/16 Indexing Stingy Investing
"The idea of heading to the beach has some of us indulging in a little last-minute dieting in an effort to shave off a few pounds before hitting the water. Weight also matters to investors when it comes to how they divvy up their portfolios." [$]

Bonds bomb
06/04/16 Bonds Funds Indexing Stingy Investing
"In other words, it seems likely that bonds will barely break even or lose ground on an after-fee, after-tax, and after-inflation basis over the next little while"

The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2016
06/03/16 Value Investing Growth Investing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
"In other words, the All-Star Stocks beat the market by an average of 11.4 percentage points per year."

The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2016
06/03/16 Value Investing Growth Investing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
"We're very pleased to be able to say that the U.S. All-Stars have outperformed over the last decade - despite getting off to a rocky start. Indeed, they bested the market over the last one, three, five, seven and 10 years, with particularly strong relative gains more recently."

Retirement 100: Fall 2015
05/27/16 Dividends Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to say that our efforts have been highly rewarding since we started way back in 2007. Our A-graded stocks have gained 117% on average since then, including dividends reinvested annually. Similarly, the A- and B-graded stocks have climbed 67%. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite Index ETF (XIC), which tracks the broad Canadian stock market, logged a return of 25% over the same period and the dividend-oriented iShares Canadian Select Dividend ETF (XDV) advanced 35%."

3 Stingy Stocks for 2016
05/27/16 Stingy Investing
"I'm pleased to say that the Stingy Stocks have gained an average of 13.9% per year since 2001. By way of comparison, the S&P500 (as represented by the SPY ETF) climbed 6.4% per year over the same period. The Stingy Stocks beat the index by an average of 7.5 percentage points annually."

5 Graham Stocks for 2016
05/27/16 Stingy Investing
"If you had purchased an equal dollar amount of each stock in the first year and replaced them with the new crop of stocks each year thereafter, your portfolio would be up a whopping 898% (17% annualized) over the full period. On the other hand, index investors who bought and held the S&P 500 exchange traded fund (NYSE:SPY) gained 86% (4% annualized) over the same time frame."

Springtime for value?
05/22/16 Stingy Investing
"Gardeners are busy planting seeds in the hopes that, with a little luck and more than a little effort, they'll enjoy a bountiful harvest this fall. But, when it comes to the markets, value stocks are still locked in the deep freeze" [$]

Active vs. passive
05/22/16 Stingy Investing
"When comparing the active apples to passive pears it is better to think about four different possibilities. DIY investors can buy either active or passive portfolios while advisor-guided investors can also take either path."

Sell in August
05/14/16 Stingy Investing
"The stock market has its seasons. Bears come out in the summer and party in the fall while bulls start their run in the winter and plow on into the spring. It's an ebb and flow that can impact index investors and value investors alike." [$]

How the Hot Potato is cooking
05/08/16 Stingy Investing
"It seems like high time to provide a quick update on where the Global Hot Potato stands today."

Ready to Invest for Success?
05/01/16 Stingy Investing
"Join leading market experts, including top strategists from Wall Street and Bay Street, for a must-attend event that'll deliver practical investment advice." [Use the code SPECIAL to get a $20 discount!]

Are you ready for the Hot Potato?
04/24/16 Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"The Global Hot Potato portfolio, rebalanced monthly, gained an average of 16.7% per year from the start of 1981 to the end of 2015. It beat the classic Couch Potato by a whopping 6.7 percentage points annually."

Hot Potato Q&A
04/24/16 Stingy Investing
"I highlighted an active approach to index investing in 'Are you ready for the Hot Potato?', which appeared in the April 2016 edition of MoneySense. The article generated a lot of discussion and I'm going to address a few questions about it from readers today."

Publicis put to the value test
04/24/16 Stingy Investing
"Publicis Groupe was put under the microscope during the final round of the Ben Graham Centre's International Stock Picking Competition. Three teams of students dissected the advertising company and weighed its suitability as a value investment." [$]

A flock of value investors
04/10/16 Chou Watsa Value Investing Stingy Investing
"A flock of value investors from across North America will land in Toronto this week to hear what Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial, has to say at his firm's annual meeting. But they should think about one of the company's investments on their way there." [$]

Don't sweat the details
04/10/16 Stingy Investing
"Many investors fret about the small details when it comes to how to divvy up their equity asset allocations. But some wildly different allocations haven't mattered much to returns over the long haul."

Worth a second read
03/28/16 Books Stingy Investing
"It's time to re-examine the notion that bookstores are dead and to give Indigo Books & Music Inc. a second look." [$]

Why 10% returns are a lie
03/26/16 Stingy Investing
"Let's just say that investors are likely to achieve inflation-adjusted returns that are a good deal less than 5% in the future. As a result, they should think about saving a little more and spending a little less than they might have expected."

Dividend cut hangover
03/13/16 Stingy Investing
"Shareholders can be excused for reaching for a drink after consuming the latest report from Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd. The alcohol retailer delivered a giant quarterly loss this week and followed it up by cutting its dividend to one-third of its former level." [$]

Best balanced funds
03/12/16 Funds Indexing Stingy Investing
"Balanced funds tend to be much less volatile than stock funds, or individual stocks, because they hold diversified portfolios of stocks and bonds. The combination helps to dampen out the market's swings, which makes the funds easier to stick with through thick and thin."

A value catch
02/28/16 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Bargain hunters have profited handsomely by buying Canadian dividend stocks at low price-to-sales and price-to-earnings ratios. It's a big reason why I went fishing for such stocks this week." [$]

A history of small cap performance
02/28/16 Markets Dividends Stingy Investing
"The Small Cap 100 uses a database of U.S. firms that have annual revenues of $200 million or more. As of the second week of February, the average stock in the database had declined by 19.3% over the prior 12 months, including reinvested dividends. Stocks with market capitalizations of less than $2 billion suffered from an average loss of 25.4%. Firms under $1 billion were down by 29.5% on average. That's a whole bunch of red ink."

Stock cannibals
02/21/16 Stingy Investing
"Cannibals can be found beyond the silver screen and a few lurk in the stock market, where self-cannibalism goes down well with investors. These aren't a bunch of modern-day Sweeney Todds who grind up redundant employees and stuff them into pies. Stock cannibals simply eat their own shares."

Embrace your inner ostrich
02/14/16 Behaviour Stingy Investing
"take two deep breaths, save a little more, and stick to your long term plan."

Sky-high bond prices
02/14/16 Bonds Dividends Stingy Investing
"Overall, federal government bonds don't provide much in the way of income these days and that doesn't factor in inflation, fees, and taxes."

Asset Mixer Portfolios
02/07/16 Stingy Investing
The Asset Mixer portfolios of index funds and ETFs have been updated to reflect recent annual fee data (MER)

Asset Mixer Update
02/07/16 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include inflation-adjusted data for 2015.

Periodic Table Update
02/07/16 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include inflation-adjusted data for 2015.

The simplest way to select stocks
01/31/16 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"The stock market can act like a demented Rube Goldberg machine designed to confound investors. But clear away the complexity and it offers some simple methods that perform surprisingly well over the long run. One was revealed by the late Benjamin Graham in a 1976 article called The Simplest Way to Select Bargain Stocks. The famous money manager calculated that his method would have generated 15-per-cent average annual returns over the prior 50 years." [$]

Bears are bullish for buyers
01/31/16 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Forget expensive cauliflower, snap up some cheap stocks instead."

Simple dividends
01/23/16 Dividends Stingy Investing
"To generate an adequate income, many investors turn to dividend stocks. While they may be riskier than bonds, dividends tend to grow over time. Even better, diversified portfolios of high-yield stocks have a history of outperforming the market over the long term in both the U.S. and Canada."

2016 bank stock-picking contest
01/17/16 Stingy Investing
"As uncertainty abounds it's time to test your stock-picking prowess in my third annual big bank stock contest. All you have to do is figure out the best, and the worst, of the Big Six Canadian banks to invest in this year." [$]

The history of the low loonie
01/16/16 Stingy Investing
"Earlier this week the Canadian dollar traded below 70 cents U.S. for the first time since early 2003. The loonie has fallen significantly from where it was just a few years ago and the decline has impacted the price of imports in a big way."

Asset Mixer Update
01/09/16 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2015.

Periodic Table Update
01/09/16 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2015.

Can you pick the best stocks for 2016?
01/01/16 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Let's start the New Year with a friendly stock-picking contest. The idea is to build a fantasy portfolio using the 10 Canadian dividend paying stocks in this week's Safer Dogs of the TSX list. Each fantasy portfolio will start out with an equal amount of money in the Safer Dogs. The goal is to figure out one stock to sell and one stock to buy. After making that fateful choice, your fantasy portfolio will be fixed for the year with $20,000 in your favourite stock, nothing in the one you sold, and $10,000 in each of the remaining eight."

A value investor's view on 2016
01/01/16 Value Investing Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"While it might be easy to think that the end is nigh during a soft patch, odds are good that the markets - and value investing in particular - will fare well over the long term. After a dry spell, it's important for value investors to stick to their guns in the new year." [$]

Cash? You gave me cash?
12/24/15 Christmas Stingy Investing
"It's the time of year to put on the ceremonial Scrooge hat and dish out a little holiday merriment in the form of advice from economists for misers."

These sliders might get a grip
12/13/15 Value Investing Markets Stingy Investing
"It's almost time to pull the toboggan out of storage and head to the hills for a little winter fun. After all, there's something special about speeding downhill on a crisp winter day. But going downhill is something stock investors fear and they've been taken on an infernal toboggan ride this year." [$]

Tax-loss harvesting
12/05/15 Taxes Stingy Investing
"Tax-loss selling season is fast approaching. Yes, it's that special time of year when investors dump their losers in an effort to reduce their taxes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting tax losses in taxable accounts."

The season for tax-loss selling
11/29/15 Taxes Value Investing Stingy Investing
"We're quickly approaching the season for feasting on figgy pudding and watching Ebenezer Scrooge have a change of heart. It's also a charitable time of year for value investors who lend a helping hand to people who desperately want to sell their shares for tax reasons." [$]

Top 200 Q&A
11/21/15 Value Investing Growth Investing Dividends Stingy Investing
"We're always happy to get questions from readers about the Top 200 and Top 500. This week I'll highlight some of the answers to past questions while waiting for new ones."

MoneySense Top 200
11/15/15 Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to say our approach has weathered both good times and bad over the past 11 years. Our All-Star Stocks, which combine the best growth and value prospects, gained 15.8% per year on average since we started in 2004. That assumes an equal dollar amount was put into each All-Star Stock in the first year and rolled into the new All-Stars each year thereafter. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite (as represented by the XIC exchange-traded fund) climbed 4.4% per year over the same period." [$]

Reassurance for dividend investors
11/15/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"The spectre of rising interest rates hangs like a miasma over the Canadian economy. They're currently being warded off by an accommodative monetary policy from the Bank of Canada. But it is only a matter of time before inflation picks up and rates start to climb. If they shoot up too fast, the real estate bubble might pop and take down a large part of the financial system with it. It's a thought that's causing some dividend investors to toss and turn at night." [$]

Take advantage of the market
10/30/15 Stingy Investing
The slides from my talk at the The World MoneyShow in Toronto

Retirement 100 questions answered
10/30/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Today I'm going to address a few questions from readers about the Retirement 100, our ranking of Canada's best dividend stocks of 2015, which was recently published online and in the November 2015 issue of MoneySense."

It's time to reap the season's dividend treats
10/30/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"The high-yield group outperformed the market by an average of 2.2 percentage points annually, which represents a considerable bonus for a very simple strategy. On the other hand, the no-dividend group suffered mightily and lagged the market by an average of 7.3 percentage points annually. As a result, investors should think twice before buying stocks that don't pay dividends."

The ability to suffer
10/18/15 Value Investing Funds Stingy Investing
"The capacity to suffer for a good cause is admired in heroes. But it also happens to be a quality that money manager Thomas Russo, of Gardner Russo & Gardner, looks for when selecting stocks. He's a devotee of Warren Buffett and seeks out high-quality businesses - that can withstand a few sword fights - with the view to holding them for the long term." [$]

Investing books to be thankful for
10/18/15 Books Dividends Stingy Investing
"When it comes to investing, I'm thankful for the great investors - both past and present - who've shared their wisdom through their writings. While many authors helped me along the way, I'm going to focus today on four books that have made an impact on my portfolio over the years."

Style swapping
10/04/15 Value Investing Growth Investing Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"It's been a hard year for Canadian value investors. Those who wisely steered clear of the resource sector might be down only a little bit. But others will have to do some belt tightening this Thanksgiving." [$]

Can I have some more yield, please?
10/03/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Income investors looking for satisfactory yields from bonds are feeling like the rich relatives of Oliver Twist these days. They just want a little more, please. They can get it - and use some of the extra income to help the poor - if they turn to the admittedly riskier world of dividend stocks."

What's in it for your adviser?
09/20/15 Brokers Bonds Stingy Investing
"If you stick to a fairly conservative mix of Canadian bonds - like that offered by the Vanguard Aggregate Bond ETF - you'll likely get similar yields on a before-fee basis. Thing is, the average annual fee for the portfolio I was looking at was 2.1 per cent. Subtract the fee from the expected yield of 1.9 per cent and the investor might expect to lose about 0.6 per cent annually on the bonds. That's not much of an investment." [$]

The state of Canadian dividend stocks
09/20/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"More positively, yields are relatively high. The average yield provided by Canadian dividend stocks is 4.3% and the median yield is 3.7%. That's more than the paltry yields offered by bank accounts these days, but dividend stocks do come with a side order of risk."

Three years of Strategy Lab
09/13/15 Stingy Investing
"Pundits and analysts like to give the impression there's only one sure path to investing Nirvana. In fact, many techniques can result in bliss, as evidenced by the healthy gains achieved by all the Lab portfolios."

Retirement might be closer than you think
09/05/15 Stingy Investing
"If you live like a typical Canadian then you might not have to save as much as you think for retirement."

Keep calm
09/05/15 Markets Behvaiour Stingy Investing
"Smart investors stay on course even when the going gets tough. They fully expect to encounter hardship on occasion and can stick with their time-tested strategies over a complete market cycle. In other words, they stay calm and carry on." [$]

Absolute strength vs relative strength
08/23/15 Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"When it comes to the markets, the difference between a large wave on a fairly calm day and a huge wave on a stormy day is similar to the contrast between relative strength and absolute strength. But both momentum measures have provided outsized returns over the long run." [$]

Stick to low-fee funds
08/22/15 Funds Behaviour Stingy Investing
"Fund investors improved their market timing according to a recent study But they still underperformed their funds by an average of 0.54 percentage points annually from 2004 through 2014."

Try the hot potato
08/16/15 Inexing Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"When it comes to investing, the MoneySense Couch Potato represents the regular option for portfolios. It's not fancy, but it is effective and has been very satisfying over the long term. Investors looking for a little more spice might consider an aggressive style of indexing that has provided fiery returns without much downside. Call it the 'Hot Potato,' if you will."

Buffett's winning wager
08/16/15 Indexing Buffett Stingy Investing
"Take a trip to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon and you'll discover that all the children are above average. Similarly, most stock pickers believe they're above average, too. But the market has a habit of proving them wrong."

Dividend stocks aren't immune from downturns
07/25/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Income investors love dividend stocks and for good reason. But dividend stocks aren't immune from downturns and conservative retirees should think twice before spending all of their dividend income."

Ride out market tempests
07/12/15 Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"diversified portfolios often sail through storms in reasonably good shape. Sure, it can be hard to watch them slip underwater for a few years. But they'll likely emerge and grow again. It's something to keep in mind when you're on the beach this summer and the storms come in." [$]

Extreme saving gone wrong
07/12/15 Dividends Thrift Stingy Investing
"At some point a fanatical devotion to saving is counter productive. After all, you can't take it with you. That's why extreme savers (with more than enough money in the bank) should have a spending goal rather than a saving goal."

Check your risk
07/05/15 Stingy Investing
"It's time to put storm windows on your portfolio and sensibly prepare for what might be to come. If you wait too long, your portfolio could be caught out in the wind and rain."

How to calculate dividend yield
06/27/15 Stingy Investing
"It's easy for new investors to become befuddled with the bewildering array of data that's available online. To make matters worse, different websites calculate common facts and figures in different ways. Today I'm going to focus on some of the most popular ways of calculating a stock's dividend yield in an effort to guide you through a small part of the morass."

Timing strategies for value investors
06/20/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Conservative investors should think about following Mr. Maida's lead and pare back on stocks because the markets might be sailing into trouble." [$]

Timing can cause big losses
06/13/15 Stingy Investing
"Low-fee funds provided investors a double bonus. They generated the best time-weighted returns and the best dollar-weighted returns. It's another reason to buy, and hold, low-fee funds for the long term."

Value investing is far from dead
06/06/15 Value Investing Behaviour Stingy Investing
"'Bring out your dead!' is the corpse collector's refrain at the start of a classic scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the movie, the collector encounters a customer who wants to dispose of a body that's, well, not quite dead yet. I was reminded of the scene when reading Ian McGugan's piece in ROB Magazine on the looming death of value investing. Just like the customer in the movie, I think he was little too eager to consign the time-tested strategy to the grave." [$]

Value bears vs. momentum bulls
05/28/15 Value Investing Momentum Investing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
"Investors want to know where the markets are headed. Unfortunately, market forecasts are less reliable than weather forecasts, which in my neck of the woods is saying something."

Q&A: Mawer vs Vanguard
05/27/15 Funds Indexing Stingy Investing
"Should investors opt for low-fee active funds that have outperformed in the past. It's a good question. Here are a few of my thoughts." [video]

Index roulette revisited
05/23/15 Momentum Investing Indexing Stingy Investing
"Momentum is one of the biggest and most omnipresent forces in financial markets. Its fingerprints can be found in stock returns, across geographies and between asset classes." [$]

The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2015
05/18/15 Value Investing Growth Investing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
"Our annual All-Star stock picks, which combine the best growth and value characteristics, have climbed by an average of 17.3% a year since we started 10 years ago. That assumes an equal dollar amount was put into each All-Star stock in first year and rolled into the new All-Stars each year thereafter. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite (as represented by the XIC ETF) advanced by just 5.3% annually over the same period. The All-Stars beat the market by an average of 12.0 percentage points per year over the last decade."

The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2015
05/18/15 Value Investing Growth Investing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
"The U.S. All-Stars have performed very well since the stock market collapse in 2008. If you had purchased equal dollar amounts of them six years ago and rolled your portfolio into the new list of All-Stars each year, you'd have gained 22.9% per year on average. The market also fared well over the same period with the S&P 500 (as represented by the SPY ETF) advancing 13.6% per year."

Big asset growth = big trouble
05/15/15 Markets Academia Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"The stock market has a way of crushing the hopes and dreams of investors who buy growth stocks. Problem is, they usually pay far too much for stocks that have grown a great deal only to see them slow down. While much has been said about earnings growth, academics recently turned their attention to asset growth and the news isn.t good. They figure firms with large asset growth tend to underperform the market."

Is your asset allocation a bit askew? Relax
05/11/15 Stingy Investing
"If your asset allocation is a little askew, relax. Minor variations probably won't make a big difference to your overall results. Instead, slowly tune up your portfolio in a cost-effective manner."

Retirement 100: Fall 2014
05/04/15 Dividends Stingy Investing
"We're happy to report that our efforts have paid off handsomely so far. If you had rolled your portfolio into our new batch of A-graded stocks every year since our launch in 2007, you would have enjoyed a total gain of 142%. You'd be up a total of 91% if you had followed stocks with either A or B grades. That's pretty good, considering that the market suffered from a huge crash during that period. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite Index ETF (XIC), which tracks the broad Canadian stock market, logged a total return of just 38% over the same period. We also beat the dividend-oriented iShares Canadian Select Dividend ETF (XDV), which climbed by 58%."

Highlights from Fairfax Lollapalooza 2015
05/02/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Investors are looking forward to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting this weekend when tens of thousands will flock to Omaha to hear what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have to say. The weekend's festivities have become known as the the carnival of capitalism. But you might not know that Toronto is blessed with, perhaps, the second largest lollapalooza for value investors, which revolves around the Fairfax Financial annual meeting. It was held two weeks ago and, in an effort to encourage you to attend next year, I'm going to tell you a little bit about what this year's meeting had to offer."

The next generation of value investors
04/25/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"To the youth of today, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a movie from a bygone age. But the '80s hit came back to me when I saw three teams of MBA students advising investors to 'skip' a little-known company with a name reminiscent of the movie's main character."

Apple Watch delays findependence
04/17/15 Stingy Investing
"Given the current prices - and in my view limited usefulness - of the Apple Watch, I couldn't help but wonder how many days of financial independence, or as Chevreau refers to it 'findependence,' a young person would have to give up to buy one."

Rock stars of value investing
04/12/15 Chou Value Investing Watsa Stingy Investing
"When Mr. Watsa takes centre stage on Thursday to opine about his company and the markets more generally, it will be interesting to get a measure of his bearishness."

Dogs ready for a rebound
04/04/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Long-term reversal is just the sort of momentum effect that value investors love. After all, if a company can resolve the troubles that sent it tumbling in the first place, its stock may bounce back to its former highs."

Value picks from Francis Chou
04/04/15 Value Investing Chou Stingy Investing
"He says, in part, 'In 1981, I felt the economic conditions were such that you were set up for a huge success. You just needed the courage to load up the truck and buy everything in sight. By contrast current conditions make me feel that investors are being set up for a heartbreaking disappointment, especially for the unwary.'"

How fees, taxes, and inflation impact returns
03/20/15 Funds Taxes Markets Indexing Stingy Investing
"It is vitally important for investors to reduce, where possible and legal, investment-related fees and taxes. Those who don't might wind up taking all the risk and getting very little in the way of real returns." [video]

Consistently beating the market is overrated
03/20/15 Funds Markets Stingy Investing
"If some index fund proponents are to be believed, the only good active strategy is one that consistently outperforms the market. Or, at least, on some days it seems that way."

Problems with the Dow
03/20/15 Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"My main beef isn't with Apple but with the Dow itself. While I don't want to see the average fade away entirely, it should be retired and replaced with a more diversified index such as the S&P 500 for most purposes."

3 Stingy Stocks for 2015
03/19/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"It's worked well so far because the Stingy Stocks have gained 15.2% per year on average since 2001. By way of comparison, the S&P500 (as represented by the SPYETF) advanced only 6.5% a year over the same period. The Stingy Stocks bested the index by an average of 8.7 percentage points a year."

3 Graham Stocks for 2015
03/19/15 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"If you had purchased equal dollar amounts of the Graham stocks and replaced them with the new batch each year, your portfolio would be up a whopping 877% (18% annualized) over the full period."

A good strategy should last a lifetime
03/07/15 Value Investing Kahn Stingy Investing
"Investing legend Irving Kahn's stock holdings"

Hunting for value in the stock market
03/01/15 Funds Value Invesing Dividend Investing Stingy Investing
I was very pleased to give a talk to the friendly folk at a Canadian MoneySaver conference this weekend. Here's a copy of the slides that were used. (I'd also like to thank everyone who gave me feedback on them!)

Learn from Buffett
03/01/15 Kahn Buffett Stingy Investing
"Value investors are thinking about lives well lived this week. They're looking forward to reading what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have to say about Berkshire Hathaway's next 50 years. At the same time, they're celebrating the life of Irving Kahn who gave Methuselah a run for his money."

Testing the Dogs of the TSX
02/20/15 Stingy Investing
"While the basic Dogs strategy is simple, results can vary depending on how you calculate yield"

Rummaging through the stock bargain bin
02/14/15 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Value investors like to buy discounted stocks and they spend their days rooting through the market's half-off bin. But they have to be wary because, much like dollar-store specials, the bargains can be illusory."

Low-cost investing wins over the long-term
02/07/15 Buffett Funds Thrift Stingy Investing
"The lesson here is that active investors should be mindful of the costs they face. I'm not saying they should give up on stock picking and buy indexes instead. (Mind you, that would be a good option for many investors.) I am saying that it's important for all investors to try to reduce investment fees and costs where possible."

How Taxes Can Impact Your Investments
02/07/15 Taxes Stingy Investing
"Taxes can dramatically reduce your long-term returns. Learn what a 23% capital gains tax, levied annually, can do to stock market investors." [video]

The Impact of Fund Fees on Long Term Returns
02/06/15 Funds Thrift Stingy Investing
"A quick look at how much you give up by picking a high fee fund and holding it over the very long term." [video]

Asset Mixer Update
01/31/15 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include inflation-adjusted data for 2014.

Periodic Table Update
01/31/15 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include inflation-adjusted data for 2014.

The best of the biggest
01/31/15 Markets Stingy Investing
"Inequality also happens to be the rule rather than the exception on Wall Street. Capitalism usually produces a handful of giants firms and a slew of tiny nippers that peck away at what's left over."

5 triple play stocks to consider
01/24/15 Dividends Value Investing Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"Investors can win with dividend stocks and they do even better with value. But triple plays are possible when the two are combined and momentum is added into the mix."

Playing big-bank poker
01/18/15 Stocks Market Stingy Investing
"Last year, I challenged readers to pick the best, and the worst, big Canadian bank to buy in 2014. With only six of them to choose from, it seemed like a simple task. But no one got it quite right."

Super savers, spend your money
01/12/15 Thrift Stingy Investing
"It's belt tightening time for those facing mountains of unpaid holiday bills. But MoneySense readers often suffer from the opposite problem. That is, they save too much. They're part of a merry band of frugal folk who have bulging banks accounts. Some of them even have more money than they're likely to spend in several lifetimes. The super savers should resolve to ramp up their spending."

Asset Mixer Update
01/08/15 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2014.

Periodic Table Update
01/08/15 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2014.

Check out low-fee balanced funds
01/03/15 Funds Stingy Investing
"If you're just getting into the markets then it's best to test the water by putting a small amount of money into a balanced fund. If the ride proves to be too wild then it's an easy matter to lean more heavily on bonds and GICs. Alternately, those who don't mind the ups and downs might tilt their portfolios a little more heavily to stocks. Either way, it's a valuable lesson to learn before putting a large amount of money at risk."

Low oil prices could chill CWB
12/20/14 Stingy Investing
"As winter descends on Canada, the good people of Alberta face bitter prospects. Matters are so frosty that provincial politicians are climbing into bed with one another in an effort to warm up before the party stops."

Time to snap up oil stocks?
12/12/14 Markets Stingy Investing
"Brave buyers might try to take advantage of the lower prices. For my part, I'm in no rush to dive headlong into commodity stocks, but their prices are starting to look pretty good."

Injecting enthusiasm into millennial investing
12/06/14 Stingy Investing
"Getting a good education opens up many doors. But even after years of schooling, too many people know little about the financial markets and investing, which is a real shame. Money manager Patrick O'Shaughnessy hopes to bridge the gap with a new book called Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune. In it, he encourages young adults to invest in the stock market to take full advantage of the magic of compounding."

Stocks not for the squeamish
11/29/14 Stingy Investing
"The point being that index investors (and mutual fund investors) only see the overall return, less fund fees and other frictions. They get to eat their returns while being blissfully unaware of what goes into them. Those who invest in stocks directly have to be prepared to see how the return sausage gets made. Good investors can resist becoming overly alarmed when stocks jump around wildly. The best focus on the overall results instead."

High-flying Fairfax
11/23/14 Value Investing Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"Melding value investing with momentum investing tends to be particularly powerful. In this case, think of value investing as the meat and potatoes of portfolio construction. The idea is to stick to good companies at reasonable prices. Momentum investing represents the horseradish because it favours hot stocks that are expected to move even higher."

The Top 200
11/15/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Our annual All-Star stock picks, which combine the best growth and value characteristics, have climbed by an average of 17.3% a year since we started 10 years ago. That assumes an equal dollar amount was put into each All-Star stock in the first year and rolled into the new All-Stars each year thereafter. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite (as represented by the XIC ETF) advanced by just 5.3% annually over the same period. The All-Stars beat the market by an average of 12.0 percentage points per year over the last decade."

Grading stocks for the Top 200
11/15/14 Value Investing Dividends Stingy Investing
"Some of the tests we use in the Top 200 are particularly strict while appearing - at first glance - to be rather mild. But a large number of Canadian stocks fail to pass muster."

Cloning value
11/08/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Today I'll focus on cloning smart investors like Warren Buffett. I'm not talking about brewing up mini-Buffetts in some sort of nefarious genetic experiment, but simply copying the portfolios of the best investors in the world. The idea is to ride the coattails of their expertise - without having to pay for it."

A peek at the Top 200
11/01/14 Stingy Investing
"While I know you're eager to see this year's list of top stocks, please be patient. It'll be out soon. Until then, I thought you might like to see a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes."

Bargains in the dark corners of the stock market
10/26/14 Stingy Investing
"Warren Buffett bought a basket of cheap South Korean stocks about a decade ago. In doing so, he put the country on the map for North American value investors and a few of them have followed his lead."

Oil plunge puts dividends at risk
10/19/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"While oil consumers are enjoying the lower prices, producers are starting to sweat and their shares are wilting as investors anticipate weaker earnings in the months to come."

Cigar-butt stocks get last laugh
10/11/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"If you're a value investor or are simply interested the sort of thinking behind Mr. Icahn's latest round of activism, then you'd do well to pick up a copy of Deep Value. It'll help you become a better investor."

5 middleweight dividend stocks
10/03/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Many mid-sized companies also pay generous dividends and are worth a second look by adventuresome souls"

Deep value stocks are scarce
09/26/14 Stingy Investing
"Deep value investing is a powerful way to beat the market, but deep value stocks are an endangered species in the U.S., according to money manager Patrick O'Shaughnessy. The situation north of the border is similar. But, thankfully, there are still some bargains to be found."

Cursed dividend stocks
09/19/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"My last post was devoted to dividend stocks with pep, which highlighted dividend payers that have outperformed over the last year. Such stocks are said to have positive momentum. But momentum works both ways. On the plus side, studies have shown that top performers usually go on to do well. On the other hand, stocks that have trailed the market often continue to slide."

There's no shame in migrating to index funds
09/13/14 Indexing Stingy Investing
"There is no shame in admitting that you're not the next Warren Buffett. The vast majority of investors aren't. Those who figure it out are likely to improve their returns dramatically by following simple low-cost mechanical methods such as investing in low-fee index funds."

Retirement 100: Fall 2013
09/08/14 Stingy Investing
It's getting close to that time of year again. Here's last year's article to whet your appetite.

Dividend stocks with pep
09/06/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Dividend investors tend to be a conservative bunch. But sometimes it's worth looking for stocks with pep. That's why this week I scoured the TSX for Canadian dividend stocks with momentum."

Net-net stocks
08/24/14 Graham Stingy Investing
"Near the depths of the Great Depression, Mr. Graham wrote a series of articles that highlighted businesses that could be snapped up for less than their liquidation value. The outlook was so bleak for these firms that the market believed they were better off dead than alive. Anyone who was brave enough to buy a basket of them, and hold on, did very well indeed."

Dividend growth
08/24/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Dividend investors are particularly fond of companies that grow their dividends. If you talk to old hands, you'll probably hear about stocks they bought years ago that now pay giant dividends. But you can't blame them. After all, there's something special about owing a stock that pays more in dividends than it cost in the first place."

The Top 200 for 2014
08/13/14 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"We're thrilled to report our efforts have paid off handsomely since last time. Our All-Star stocks, which combine the best growth and value characteristics, gained an average of 55.0% since last year. By way of comparison the Canadian market, as represented by the S&P/TSX Composite ETF (XIC), gained 7.2% over the same period."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2014
08/13/14 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Last year's All-Star stocks turned out to be great buys, gaining an average 38.7%. In comparison, the U.S. stock market, represented by the S&P 500 (SPY), climbed only 23.3% since last time. The U.S. All-Stars beat the market by 15.4 percentage points, not including dividends."

Timing the market is tempting
08/10/14 Stingy Investing
"There are only a few things in this world that are as tempting as a good butter tart. When it comes to investing, the urge to time the stock market is one of them."

Just visiting
08/10/14 Dividends Real Estate Stingy Investing
"It's hard to visit cottage country without dreaming about buying a little slice of heaven. While owning a cottage has some obvious benefits, it tends to be a costly affair. Crunch the numbers and you'll likely discover the relative advantages of renting."

Dirt-cheap value ETFs
07/25/14 Stingy Investing
"Index investors are partying like it's 1999. The bull market is giving them reason to cheer, and fund companies are slashing their fees. It's now easy to build a portfolio stuffed full of dirt-cheap exchange traded funds."

Best by buyback yield
07/25/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Investors love companies that pay dividends. But dividends aren't the only way firms send money to shareholders. They can also buy back their own stock."

Top 10 dogs of the TSX
07/12/14 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Value Hunter investment blog at The focus of this blog will be on dividend investing and other conservative stock strategies. I hope it will help you become a better investor."

Relative value in the TSX
07/12/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Thirty-one of the 60 stocks passed Mr. Graham's test at the end of 2008 when the financial system was in acute distress. But that number has been getting smaller and smaller ever since. This week, only six stocks passed the test."

Diversify with Warren Buffett
06/29/14 Value Investing Buffett Indexing Funds Stingy Investing
"Berkshire Hathaway represents an interesting option for cost-conscious investors who want to pick up a diversified collection of businesses in one handy package."

Perils of too much information
06/29/14 Stingy Investing
"Investors routinely face information overload. It's easy to find hundreds, or even thousands, of data points on stocks with just a few clicks of the mouse. Only a small amount of which is actually useful."

How much can you safely withdraw?
06/14/14 Retirement Stingy Investing
"Following the 4-per-cent rule is sure to lead to a happy retirement. That's how much an investor can extract from a balanced portfolio when they retire without having to worry about running out of cash before running out of time. At least, that's the theory."

Valuation and timing
05/30/14 Markets Stingy Investing
"It's relatively easy to figure out when the stock market is expensive. Profiting from that knowledge can be much harder."

You'll love momentum investing
05/30/14 Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"Our propensity to spot patterns in almost anything is one reason why I give short shrift to technical analysis. But the surprising universality and persistence of momentum investing is winning me over."

Don't succumb to their charms
05/18/14 Markets Stingy Investing
"The tulips are in bloom in Toronto and the entire front yard of a house on my street is devoted to them. The flowers were originally planted by the owner's parents who passed away some time ago. But their memory lingers in the glorious blanket of red and yellow that appears each spring. As it happens, tulips and stocks have a sordid history that dates back to the 1600s, when the Dutch were afflicted by tulip mania."

Recap: rich at any age
05/18/14 Stingy Investing
"A recap of the MoneySense 15th anniversary event"

Don't pay for liquidity you don't need
05/10/14 Markets Stingy Investing
"The lesson seems clear: Small investors can benefit by avoiding highly liquid stocks. It might not make them the next Warren Buffett, but it should help their returns over the long term."

Meet Francis Chou
05/04/14 Value Investing Funds Chou Stingy Investing
"It's a pity more money managers don't follow Mr. Chou's example. But investors would be wise to follow him."

Liquor Stores NA is no bargain
04/27/14 Stocks Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Alcohol beverages represent one of the joys of university life. But three teams of savvy business students didn't show Liquor Stores NA Ltd. much love when they evaluated it this month."

Index funds trade too much
04/19/14 Funds Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"The problem is, most index funds are too active. Sure, specialty index funds must trade stocks frequently in an effort to track small segments of the market. But some of the biggest and most beloved indexes trade too often."

Newspaper stock, really?
03/28/14 Watsa Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Flint knapping was an important skill many years ago and then technological change made it obsolete. But, in a strange twist of fate, it has been making a bit of a comeback thanks to the Internet. It's now easy to learn how to knock out an arrow tip the old-fashioned way. While the Internet is a great boon to hobbies such as flint knapping, it's knocking the stuffing out of some businesses. Newspapers are a case in point."

A big day for value investors
03/28/14 Watsa Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Value investors are set to descend upon Toronto for the Fairfax Financial annual meeting. They're making the trip from all over the world to hear Prem Watsa, the firm's CEO, talk about strategy and investing in early April."

Is Berkshire Hathaway too big?
03/15/14 Buffett Stingy Investing
"My biggest worry is related to the firm's size. Berkshire Hathaway is the fifth-largest stock in the U.S. by market capitalization and the fourth-largest by revenue, according to S&P Capital IQ. Problem is, it is extraordinarily difficult for giant companies to grow at above average rates for a long time."

Glidepath to oblivion
03/15/14 Stingy Investing
"The stock market regularly makes a mockery of reasonable strategies and smashes them to pieces like a deranged bull rampaging through a china shop. Its latest victim is the idea that investors should invest heavily in stocks when they're young and then gradually move into bonds as they prepare for retirement."

Benj likes gold
03/08/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"When you think about the sort of people who grow up and go into the investment business, you might imagine characters such as Alex Keaton from the 1980s TV series Family Ties. Michael J. Fox brought the role to life and played a straight-laced conservative kid who was a little too obsessed with money. But it's best to ignore such stereotypes, because more artistic souls can also become great investors, and Benj Gallander is a prime example."

3 Stingy Stocks for 2014
03/03/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Over the last year the Stingy Stocks have climbed by an average of 37.8% while the S&P500 (as represented by the SPY exchange traded fund) advanced only 29.7%. Both fared well but the market trailed by 8.1 percentage points."

4 Graham Stocks for 2014
03/03/14 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"If you had bought equal dollar amounts of the Graham stocks and replaced them with the new batch each year, you would have gained 830% (or 19% annualized) over the full period."

Take a vacation
03/02/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"The mood is glum in Valueville these days. Conditions are so depressed that its inhabitants can be spotted packing up their Bloomberg terminals and heading off on extended vacations."

Glamour tech stocks not tempting
02/16/14 Stingy Investing
"When it comes to the stock market, glamour stocks are much like marshmallows. They're exciting, fired with rosy growth prospects, and offer the dream of riches. While they might provide a speculative sugar rush, their long-term prospects tend to be quite poor."

Survivorship bias
02/16/14 Funds Stingy Investing
"Focusing solely on the winners can lead to a dangerously skewed view of the world. It's a particularly acute problem in the markets, where luck often plays an important role. Problem is, the market tends to bury its failures, which slip out of both sight and mind. Investors who don't account for them may find their decisions swayed by survivorship bias. It's a factor that fund investors should be particularly wary of."

Disappointing balanced index funds
02/16/14 Indexing Stingy Investing
"New investors should think seriously about opting for low-fee balanced funds like those offered by Mawer, Steadyhand, and PH&N. They represent good picks for active investors. Regrettably, there are relatively few balanced options that are worth recommending to index investors."

Market timing by indexers
02/08/14 Indexing Behaviour Stingy Investing
"The investing world is awash in simple mechanical strategies that promise prosperity. But they all suffer from a fundamental problem: They're well suited to robots, but humans control the cash. Finding a sound strategy is less than half the challenge for most people. If they can't stick with it, then it's not very useful."

A bargain from Tweedy
02/01/14 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"These days more than a few famous value investors are selling stocks and allowing cash to pile up in their portfolios."

Three easy ways to mimic the best
01/18/14 Stingy Investing
"Thrift is a rare virtue in the investment world, and it tends to go unheralded. Instead, hordes of salespeople try to lure in investors with the possibility of big returns, while charging a pretty penny. But you don't have to pay up. I'll walk you through three ways to benefit from the wisdom of the best investors in the world without paying a fortune."

Don't let envy ruin your returns
01/18/14 Stingy Investing
"With the markets making new highs, I know the temptation to run headlong into stocks is strong. But it's far better to stick to a good long-term plan than it is to succumb to return envy."

Asset Mixer Update
01/12/14 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2013.

Periodic Table Update
01/12/14 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2013.

Don't play the prediction game
01/05/14 Markets Stingy Investing
"With a spectacular 2013 in the record books, stock market forecasters have been busily looking forward to what 2014 might bring. You should avoid listening to them."

Bank stock contest
12/21/13 Stingy Investing
"The idea is to choose one of the bank stocks to sell and one to buy. After making the choice, the fantasy portfolio will start 2014 with $20,000 in your favourite stock, nothing in the one you want to avoid, and $10,000 in each of the remaining four." [Enter over in the G&M comments section]

Where value investors are donating
12/18/13 Christmas Stingy Investing
"A sleigh full of holiday cheer was brought to a West Coast pancake house this month. The well-aged regulars were treated to flapjacks by an anonymous benefactor who picked up the tab. He had the staff wish them a merry Christmas and asked if they could pay it forward."

Hewlett-Packard may finally compute
12/08/13 Stingy Investing
"When it comes to stocks, I take a different tack and look for the long-term losers. It might seem counter intuitive, but such stocks tend to be inexpensive based on various measures of financial merit and they've had time to make improvements. Both factors are positives."

Why a stock screen is only a first step
12/02/13 Stingy Investing
"Take Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. as an example. The ladies' wear specialty apparel retailer, based in Montreal, ran into trouble over the last few years."

Still beating the market after 9 years
12/01/13 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Finding the right Christmas gift can be difficult and some people are particularly hard to shop for. The combination can, on occasion, make the holiday season feel like an exercise in passing the proverbial brown sweater back and forth. Investors suffer from a similar problem when looking for good stocks. But, in some ways, they have it even worse because they have to wait for months, if not years, before finding out whether their picks turn out to be duds or stars."

Who needs Wall St.?
11/24/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Many people go to New York to try to make a fortune on Wall Street. But value investors often thrive in smaller cities, where they're insulated from the groupthink that can infect those in the big city."

Markets are partying like it's 1999
11/17/13 Markets Stingy Investing
"As a buyer of stocks, my preference is clear. I would like to buy stocks at more reasonable valuation, which should enable them to achieve good returns in the years ahead. That means I would prefer to see the market come crashing back down to earth sooner rather than later - provided it doesn't cause too much collateral damage along the way."

Companies that lower their share count
11/10/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Most investors focus on a company's share price. They should spend more time looking at a related question - how many shares the company has, and whether that number is growing or shrinking."

How to find bargains
11/10/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Great bargains can be found by sorting stocks into piles using different measures of financial merit."

Beat the pack by steering around disaster
10/27/13 Stingy Investing
"The riders careened down narrow paths while desperately trying to avoid an overly intimate encounter with the surrounding trees. Those with a sharp eye might have spotted money manager David McLean cruising by."

CMS Slides
10/25/13 Stingy Investing
Slides for my talk at the Canadian MoneySaver Seminar

Practise what you preach
10/20/13 Indexing Stingy Investing
"Problem is, even the most strident index investors I know have a tendency to say one thing and to do another. None of them strictly follow what I would call a pure approach to passive investing. Instead, they tend to slip back into some old habits."

Why cash is not trash
10/13/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Holding a concentrated portfolio that contains only a few stocks is a two-edged sword. If you pick the right stocks, they can pay off in spades. But if you don't, you might be taken to the poorhouse."

Finding value among U.S. dividend stocks
10/13/13 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"To obtain a well-rounded portfolio, dividend investors should pick up at least a few international stocks. That's why I'm on the hunt today for U.S. dividend payers that might also appeal to value investors."

A recipe for a better dividend portfolio
09/29/13 Dividends Stingy Investing
"As the weather gets colder and I get older, I've begun to enjoy the comfort provided by a warm bowl of soup. There's nothing like a delicious mix of vegetables and chicken to ward off the chill in the air. As I sat down to my first bowl of the season my thoughts turned to how I might pay for my humble repast for years to come. A few good dividend stocks might do the trick."

Fishing for a bargain among small-fry
09/22/13 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Insisting on value helps to keep the prices I pay in line, while keeping an eye on dividend growth points the way to reasonably healthy businesses."

How to choose an actively managed fund
09/22/13 Funds Stingy Investing
"There is a myth going around that most fund managers are bad stock pickers. It is undoubtedly true that some are, but it turns out that most beat their benchmarks over the long term."

A dangerous season for stocks
08/10/13 Stingy Investing
"But the idea that stocks might also have a natural rhythm is a little more controversial. It's obvious that the market isn't perfectly correlated with the seasons, but research points to a weak relationship between the two that some investors might want to try exploiting."

The case for low-fee balanced funds
08/04/13 Funds Indexing Behaviour Stingy Investing
"While balanced funds aren't a cure-all for the ails of market timing, they do represent a useful tool for new investors and for those who get a little jittery in downturns. When shopping for balanced funds it is important to keep a close eye on the fees they charge. All too many funds offered to Canadians charge outrageously high fees."

Price-to-long-term-earnings ratios
07/28/13 Stingy Investing
"The idea of using long-term earnings when evaluating companies is hardly a new one. Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing and a highly successful money manager in his own right, suggested employing a similar technique when studying individual companies."

Negative EV stocks
07/21/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Enterprise value has one peculiarity that market capitalization does not. It's possible for a company to have a negative enterprise value. That might sound odd at first but remember the calculation subtracts a firm's cash from the market value of its equity and debt."

Hedge fund math
07/21/13 Thrift Funds Stingy Investing
"The lesson here is to try to minimize your costs and employ sensible tax planning methods. While a 2-per-cent annual fee might not seem like much, it can really add up over time. Throw in a performance fee on top, as most hedge funds do, and the costs skyrocket." [Btw, the calculations included a high-water mark]

In Paris, value stocks are in bloom
07/06/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I have a soft spot for Mr. Tobik's value investing philosophy. But, much like a slice of Roquefort cheese, the tiny firms he favours aren't for everyone. If you're looking for a bit of extra flavour to determine whether these firms might suit your own palate, check out what his site has to offer."

A warning for dividend lovers
07/06/13 Markets Stingy Investing
"Even a little bad news has the potential to go a long way. Should rising interest rates slow the economy down, it's fairly easy to envision the possibility of much lower stock prices and more than a few dividend cuts along the way."

A new Graham defensive stock
06/23/13 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"It's rare to find ancient structures that have stood the test of time. But those that survive hold lessons for the modern world. One of those lessons was recently learned by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who cracked the puzzle behind Roman concrete. When used to build ports, the ancient stuff significantly outlasts the common version, which can handle only a few decades in the waves."

Too much liquidity can drain returns
06/23/13 Markets Stingy Investing
"Liquidity sounds like something an investor might need after a bad day in the market. But when it comes to stocks, a highly liquid approach is not the way to go. Instead, teetotallers are more likely to outperform."

The Top 200 for 2013
06/15/13 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Short term results are one thing but the All-Stars really shine over the long-term. If you had bought equal amounts of the All-Stars and rolled your gains into the new stocks each year, you'd have enjoyed 15.2% average annual returns over the last eight years. By way of comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite (XIC) only climbed 4.5% a year over the same period. The All-Stars outperformed by an average of 10.7 percentage points a year."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2013
06/15/13 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Canadian stocks have many fine qualities but are far less numerous than their U.S. counterparts. It's only natural to look across the border for bargains to round out a diversified portfolio. That's why we extended the Top 200 methodology stateside and are pleased to present this year's MoneySense Top 500 guide to U.S. stocks."

Stocks with a bounty
06/09/13 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I have a soft spot for old Westerns, the type where it's easy to tell the villains and heroes apart - largely because the bad guys are framed in posters proclaiming they're wanted either dead or alive. When it comes to stocks, is it possible to want them dead or alive? It might be, provided they have enough assets that can be liquidated at a profit. In such cases, investors stand to make money if a firm goes bankrupt, but can also do very well should it turn around and thrive."

8 Stingy Stocks for 2013
05/31/13 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I started the Stingy method in 2001 in an effort to beat the S&P500 by picking value stocks within the index itself. So far the results have been highly satisfactory."

Value with a touch of quality
05/26/13 Stingy Investing
"I believe that value comes first. Despite their apparent ugliness, bargain stocks do quite well, as a group, due to their low prices. But some of them deserve to trade for even less. That's why many value investors look at business quality in an effort to find stocks that are both cheap and relatively safe."

Trying to catch a falling stock
05/26/13 Stingy Investing
"Perusing the list of stocks hitting their 52-week lows inspires a little ditty called Down, Down, To Goblin Town to play in my head. It's the victory song of a horde of goblins in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, and they sing it while dragging the heroes down into the bowels of their dark lair. It neatly captures the dangers investors face when buying falling stocks."

Is saving for suckers?
05/19/13 Markets Stingy Investing
"From time to time, opting for a touch of spendthrift indolence might be the right move"

Buffett and the long view
05/05/13 Buffett Value Investing Stingy Investing
"As Warren Buffett takes the stage this weekend, it's time to ask if his flagship company is still worth investing in."

You cheeky monkey
04/25/13 Indexing Academia Stingy Investing
"Some index investors have suggested that expensive portfolio managers could easily be replaced by monkeys willing to work for bananas. Now a recent study goes even further. It suggests that a chimp can outperform not just the typical money manager but the traditional index fund as well."

Prem Watsa counsels cash
04/20/13 Stingy Investing
"Investors are often advised to buy low and sell high. But such advice has an under-appreciated corollary: They also have to be prepared to weather the bad times. All too many people crumble in the face of adversity and simply don't have any money left to buy when prices are low."

Cisco provides a lesson in patience
04/20/13 Stingy Investing
"We're fast approaching that special time of year when we celebrate the silly things our government spends money on by donating to the cause. Yes, it's tax time again."

Jolt from the blue
04/07/13 Stingy Investing
"When you're enjoying your cup of coffee this weekend, download a copy of Francis Chou's annual report. It'll help you to become a better investor."

The power of investor checklists
03/30/13 Stingy Investing
"Developing a good checklist is well worth the effort and it can save you from running aground when using stock screens. Both work well together and they allow investors to follow a consistent, well reasoned, and systematic approach. If checklists can improve the results of pilots and surgeons, they should also be able to help you become a better investor."

The perils of picking stocks
03/24/13 Stingy Investing
"There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold. Stranger still than the events in Robert Service's poem are the sights to be seen when screening for stocks. They might not be as bloodcurdling as witnessing the cremation of Sam McGee, but simple stock screens can lead you to infernal stocks."

The search for balance
03/17/13 Indexing Stingy Investing
"Even low-fee tax-optimized balanced portfolios face difficulties today because the yield on Canadian bonds is very low. To get a real return of 5 per cent on an equally mixed stock and bond portfolio you'd need to see stocks gain more than 9 per cent a year, which seems unlikely at this point. Because most people wind up in reasonably balanced portfolios, it's more critical than ever to avoid high fees. Unless, of course, they're keen on the Freedom 75 plan."

Why quality can be a drag
03/10/13 Stingy Investing
"Value investors have it easy. A far bigger challenge is making money with quality stocks."

Big U.S. banks on 3-for-1 sale
03/10/13 Stingy Investing
"Two-for-one sales can inspire mixed feelings in the aisles of the grocery store. While I love big discounts, I have a hard time accommodating an extra bag of potato chips. But I never get my fill of bargain stocks and the market is now offering a rare three-for-one deal on U.S. bank stocks."

Put cheapness first
02/24/13 Books Value Investing Stingy Investing
"EBIT/EV alone outperformed the magic formula's combination of ratios. Investors would have been better off simply looking for cheap stocks and not paying any attention to quality."

Retirement 100 (Fall 2012)
02/16/13 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Like avid gardeners, conservative investors want their stock dividends to grow. They aren't in it for a quick trade and, instead, follow a slower steadier method that requires only a little weeding and pruning from time to time. It's an approach that has allowed more than a few investors to enjoy a comfortable retirement."

What would Buffett buy?
02/16/13 Buffett Stingy Investing
"Warren Buffett is one of the best investors of our age and his extraordinary record spans many decades. Such is his renown as both an investor and businessman that even presidents seek his advice on economic matters. But Buffett isn't shy about sharing the factors behind his investment success."

Investors shortchanged by Dell
02/16/13 Stingy Investing
"In this case, the takeover price of $13.65 per share is rather parsimonious. Indeed, it has raised the ire of the smart folk at Southeastern Asset Management who believe Dell is worth much more. Their reasoning is worth reading because it shows, at least in part, how they go about valuing stocks."

6 Graham Stocks for 2013
02/12/13 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"If you had bought equal dollar amounts of the Graham stocks and replaced them with the new crop of stocks each year, you would have gained 681% (19% annualized) over the full period."

Tetanus for Tim?
02/09/13 Value Investing Funds Stingy Investing
"Spartan accommodations are one reason I became interested in a stock owned by money manager Tim McElvaine. He quipped that he felt the need to get a tetanus shot before visiting the aging headquarters of the company"

How much does that indexed portfolio cost?
01/31/13 Indexing Stingy Investing
"If you need advice on building your portfolio, indexing may not be your best option"

Make headlines with media-shy stocks
01/26/13 Stingy Investing
"If anything, the media spotlight seems to hurt stock returns, according to Lily Fang and Joel Peress in an award-winning 2009 Journal of Finance study."

Why Apple investors should remember Nortel
01/19/13 Stingy Investing
"Thankfully, most giant companies don.t implode quite as spectacularly as Nortel, but the stocks with the biggest market capitalizations tend to disappoint shareholders nonetheless."

Advice to the lazy investor: Be even lazier
01/01/13 Indexing Funds Behaviour Stingy Investing
"A peculiar investment trust put the buy-and-hold experiment into practice many years ago. The trust takes passivity to such an extreme that it makes many index investors look like a bunch of drunken day-traders."

Asset Mixer Update
01/01/13 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include nominal data for 2012.

Periodic Table Update
01/01/13 Markets Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include nominal data for 2012.

Scary beats safe when it comes to Net Nets
12/31/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Cheap and safe are two attributes I look for when picking stocks. But seeking safety doesn't always pay. History suggests that a cheap-and-scary approach may be the better way to go - if you have the stomach for it."

Small, illiquid, value
12/23/12 Value Investing Funds Markets Stingy Investing
"While the return potential of small value stocks is well known, the benefits of low liquidity may be less obvious. That's why I was pleased to read a study on the topic by Roger Ibbotson, and others, in the latest Financial Analysts Journal, which dissects mutual funds."

Focus on the numbers
12/13/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Simple numerical strategies may well represent a ceiling to returns for most investors. It's something that's well worth considering the next time you screen for stocks."

What value is good value for stocks?
12/01/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Next time you're in the bathtub, consider the dynamics of the rubber duck - an easy-to-submerge toy that quickly pops to the surface when it is released. In much the same way, value investors buy stocks that the market has pushed deep underwater because they expect these firms to turn around and head back to more normal levels."

Sculpting a portfolio by subtraction
11/22/12 Stingy Investing
"Rather than look for stocks at the extremes, I take a different tack. Instead of seeking the best, I endeavour to avoid the worst. It's like sculpting: I start with all the stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange then slowly whittle down this long list through a series of relatively mild cuts."

Value vs CAPE
11/17/12 Value Investing Markets Stingy Investing
"To probe what value investors can reasonably expect, it's interesting to look at how value stocks tend to do at various levels of market valuation."

Canadian Graham stocks
11/17/12 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"I'm a big fan of Benjamin Graham's investment techniques and frequently use strategies from the father of value investing to uncover interesting Canadian stocks. With markets looking a bit shaky in recent days, it's an opportune time to focus on Mr. Graham's defensive approach, which I've used profitably for over a decade"

Is the stock market overpriced?
11/03/12 Markets Stingy Investing
"The market is 29 per cent higher than its average CAPE of 16.5, and 31 per cent higher than its average P/PeakE of 11.3. As a result, despite their differences, it turns out that both methods point to similar levels of overvaluation."

Measures of value
11/03/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"The results are clear: You would have done well by buying stocks with low ratios"

What would Buffett buy?
10/13/12 Buffett Stingy Investing
"Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is the world's most successful value investor. Here's how you can follow his strategies to find your own bargain stocks."

Low volatility value
10/13/12 Stingy Investing
"Removing the most volatile stocks from the low-P/B portfolio boosted returns by nearly a percentage point annually and reduced volatility by almost two percentage points. As a result, value and low-volatility work well together."

Value and dividends
10/06/12 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Combining a search for dividends with a nose for value often produces good results. But let's take a look at a few practical issues you might encounter when looking for stocks with this tempting combination of features."

The school of patience and pluck
09/26/12 Value Investing Schloss Stingy Investing
"You don't need special sources of information or cutting-edge analysis to make money in the market. It helps, though, if you have patience and the willingness to buy stocks that other people despise. For proof, look to the career of Walter Schloss."

Looking for a bargain?
09/19/12 Stingy Investing
"When I explain the theory of value investing to people, they always love the idea. Everyone is excited by the notion of snapping up a dollar's worth of assets for 60 cents. Then they see an actual value portfolio. And they recoil in horror."

Why I'm a value investor
09/17/12 Stingy Investing
"Value investing is all about finding stocks (and other securities) that are both cheap and relatively safe. The two are intimately related because buying at a low price is inherently safer than buying at a high price, everything else being equal."

New Value Investing Strategy Lab
09/17/12 Stingy Investing
"Follow my value investing scribblings at the new Globe Investor Strategy Lab."

The risky new world of ETFs
08/11/12 Indexing Funds Stingy Investing
"A little more than a decade ago ETFs were rare things. The few that were available were much like the chocolate and vanilla of the investment world - plain but satisfying options. They tracked the big indexes and charged relatively low annual fees (MERs). If you pointed new investors to ETFs in those days, they would likely find reasonable funds on their own. But that was then."

Low P/Es are possible when interest rates are low
06/01/12 Shiller Markets Stingy Investing
"It is entirely possible for the market to trade at low ratios when rates are low. If anything the recent ratios have been high compared to past levels. If you just consider times when interest rates have dipped below 3 per cent, you'll find that Shiller's P/E has averaged 13.6. As a result, history provides even more meat for the bears because it bolsters their arguments that stocks are pricey."

Dividend stocks for bargain hunters
05/26/12 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Fortunately, there is good news even during a rough patch like this. Lower prices can be an opportunity for bargain hunters. In fact, a bear market can be an excellent time to track down a few juicy dividend stocks while they're on sale."

How to be a better, happier investor?
05/18/12 Stingy Investing
"You should mentally prepare yourself for the overwhelming likelihood that, as a stock investor, your portfolio will see a great many bad days even if your long-term results are good. Indeed, you'll likely spend much of your life with a portfolio that has declined from its prior peak."

Can Fairfax's bear market strategy work for you?
05/05/12 Stingy Investing
"Prem Watsa is worried about the stock market. In fact, the famed value investor and CEO of Fairfax Financial has hedged his company's stock portfolio against a market downturn. When an investor as successful as Mr. Watsa adopts such cautious measures, should ordinary investors follow his lead?"

Dividend stocks aren't fail-safe
04/21/12 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Dividend investing has many sterling qualities but protection against downturns is not one of them. With few exceptions, dividend stocks fall just as hard as other stocks when the market crashes."

Shiller's earnings yield
04/07/12 Markets Stingy Investing
"Many stock market indicators are about as useful as cracked crystal balls. But Robert Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale University, advocates one forecasting tool that has demonstrated a modicum of predictive power over the long term."

The case for being a copycat investor
03/30/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Is purloining good ideas distasteful? U.S. fund manager Mohnish Pabrai doesn't think so. He says it's a great way to make money and urges people to copy notable investors more often. You might want to take a page out of his book and improve your portfolio. "

Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2012
03/29/12 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Walking downstairs on Christmas day was a ceremonial affair when I was young. It started by lining up with my brother to descend to the living room in order from eldest to youngest. Aside from heightening the anticipation of good things to come, it allowed my parents to see our reactions to the Christmas tree, fire, presents, and perhaps most delightfully, the stockings stuffed to the brim with treats. The felling of delight I had when pawing through my treat-laden stocking is now, alas, a thing of the past. But these days I get the same sort of excitement when I look through the largest stocks in Canada for this year's MoneySense's Top 200 All-Stars. This year marks the eighth in a row for the Top 200 tradition which, I'm pleased to say, has been very fruitful."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2012
03/29/12 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"There are a few skills that every Canadian should pick up in childhood and skating is one of them. But no one tells you that it all slips away after spending years reading books and sipping hot chocolate by the fire. That's something I discovered the hard way when I recently squeezed my feet into a pair of skates and tottered out onto the cold hard ice of my local rink. The prospect of falling seemed far less painful when I was younger, slimmer, and closer to the ground. As a result, my first hobble around the rink was more a triumph of will than of good sense. Just as with learning how to skate, the first leap into the world of stocks can be an uncertain one. That's why - in an effort to help you gain your footing - we search high and low for the best stocks in the U.S. to put in the annual MoneySense Top 500."

The fine art of cashing in on class differences
03/24/12 Stingy Investing
"Dual-class stocks can provide some interesting profit possibilities. If you keep an eye on the spread between the two classes of shares, and swap at the right time, you can be handsomely rewarded."

Retirement 100: Fall 2011
03/12/12 Stingy Investing
"I'm a big fan of the British TV series Jeeves & Wooster, based on the comedic scribblings of P.G. Wodehouse. In the series a young Hugh Laurie (now better known as the acerbic Dr. House) plays the aristocratic and lovably foppish Bertie Wooster who must be regularly rescued by his clever servant Jeeves, played by an impish Stephen Fry. The show revolves around the bother caused by Bertie's newt-addled friends and unusually meddlesome aunts, who constantly interrupt his life of fun and leisure. But Bertie's carefree lifestyle is the product of inherited wealth and he would be in deep trouble without it. Such is the good fortune of the lucky sperm club. Alas, if you're like me, you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth and you have to worry about money. But fear not, there is hope for us common folk. A good dollop of thrift and hard work is all that's required to build up an income portfolio that can generate enough cash to support a comfortable retirement or life of leisure."

Index roulette
03/09/12 Stingy Investing
"The financial life of a prudent index investor is purposefully dull. You know the routine. Pick a balanced portfolio of basic low-fee funds and ETFs, rebalance occasionally, and hope to wake up comfortably rich one day. Where's the spark in that? Where's the pizzazz? Where are the piles of doubloons? To become stinking rich, you have to strap on the six shooters and shoot for higher targets."

Where to invest $100,000
02/28/12 Stingy Investing
"Standing in front of a giant glassed in freezer at the sweet shop in Tobermory, Ont., I was faced with a plethora of choices. Which sinful ice cream should I indulge in on a fine summer day? The selection of flavours, toppings, and cones was daunting. Thankfully, I had time to consider the fattening possibilities because the wee nippers in front of me were similarly perplexed. And, as important a choice as it may be, it was only ice cream. But when it comes to investing, the possibilities are vast once your portfolio grows beyond $100,000. Problem is, much like Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans (a devilish Harry Potter confection) the investing flavour you choose might wind up tasting like earwax. Alas!"

Where to invest $10,000
02/28/12 Stingy Investing
"Can you imagine anything better than studying calculus in the summer? I bet you can. But I found myself doing exactly that, late in my high school days, in a nerdy effort to graduate six months early. Aside from picking up an infinitesimal amount of calculus, I met a fellow keener in class who had the investing bug. He rattled on and on about odd things called mutual funds and how you could make a pot load of money from them. Naturally enough, I promptly forgot about funds for about a decade while exploring calculus a bit more. But I rediscovered them after I had amassed just over $10,000 by playing the part of Beaker to a series of loveable Dr. Honeydews in a variety of laboratories. At the time, I felt that $10,000 was a tidy sum for a young fellow. Not a fortune to be sure. But, just like today, more than a little walking around money. It was also enough to think about alternates to the old bank account and, after some pondering, I moved my grubstake into mutual funds. If only I knew then what I know now. But you can profit from my experience. Here's what I'd tell a younger me about investing, if I had the chance."

Investing theory collides with new facts
02/24/12 Stingy Investing
"It makes one wonder just how long the long-term should be when studying stocks. Even the 5 decades from 1951 to 2003 weren't sufficient to suss out the weakness in the lowest decile of P/B stocks. Might more trouble might be revealed if the numbers are tracked back another 25 years - or followed forward for another 25?"

A crystal ball for stocks?
02/20/12 Momentum Investing Stingy Investing
"At a very deep level, we're all suckers for patterns. The problem is, it's easy to stumble on erroneous patterns in large mounds of data. You can see the result on TV almost every night in the form of new medical breakthroughs. You know, titillating things like the discovery that eating yellow foods decreases the risk of having a heart attack. But after loading up on squash and turning a strange shade of pale, another study might come along that refutes the first and instead points to the cancer causing properties of yellow food. It's a wonder health-conscious people eat anything all. (Rest assured yellow foodies, these examples are fictitious.) The problem being, just because you've spotted a pattern doesn't mean that it's predictive or, in math speak, correlation does not prove causation. All too often what the researcher actually uncovered occurred simply by chance. That doesn't keep our love of predictable patterns from infiltrating the markets in all sorts of unexpected ways."

9 Stingy Stocks for 2012
02/16/12 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I started the method in 2001 in an effort to beat the S&P500 by picking value stocks within the S&P500 itself. Thus far the Stingy Stocks have gained 14.3% annually whereas the S&P500 (as represented by the SPY exchange traded fund) advanced only 2.3% a year over the same period."

8 Graham Stocks for 2012
02/14/12 Stingy Investing
"Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors gained ground this year and beat the market once again. It also marks the ninth year of the last eleven in which the method has outperformed, which is a mighty fine showing."

Be careful when delving too deep
02/10/12 Stingy Investing
"Value investors should be careful when delving too deep for outsized returns. It turns out that the cheapest stocks by one widely used measure are not always the best. This will come as a surprise to investors who like to rely upon price to book value as a key yardstick when making decisions."

3 villains can steal your retirement dreams
01/28/12 Stingy Investing
"Building a strong financial castle to fund your retirement is hard. If you're not careful, you may discover a hole in your vault and three villains sneaking off with the family jewels."

Asset Mixer Update
01/20/12 Stingy Investing
We've updated our Asset Mixer to include data for 2011.

Periodic Table Update
01/20/12 Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include data for 2011.

The scourge of inflation
01/14/12 Stingy Investing
"Inflation is the silent killer of retirement dreams. It sneaks in over the years and nibbles away at nest eggs, leaving people poorer than they once thought. How does it do the dastardly deed? By reducing the purchasing power of money over time."

Analyst Expectations
01/02/12 Stingy Investing
"The New Year brings with it soon-to-be-forgotten resolutions, but here's one resolution that investors should strive to keep: Take analyst rankings with a large dose of caution."

Economic omens
01/02/12 Stingy Investing
"The global economy made it through 2011 despite Europe's debt problems, high unemployment in the United States and growing worries about China's red-hot housing market. But will 2012 be as forgiving?"

Value stock scarcity
12/31/11 Stingy Investing
"Over the past several decades, the value breakpoint has averaged 0.72 - stocks that have a P/B below 0.72 have fallen into the value group those with a P/B above this level have not. As it happens, that's quite close to an old value investing rule of thumb that suggests investors buy stocks only when they trade below 66 per cent of their book value. Unfortunately, there aren't many stocks that pass such a stringent test this year. Indeed, the value breakpoint now sits at a P/B of 1. That's not the highest it's been in recent times but it is well above average, which suggests that value investors should be cautious."

It's all in the index you choose
12/17/11 Stingy Investing
"Canadian and U.S. stock markets get equal treatment on the evening news but it's easy to forget just how different they really are. Investors, though, have had the distinction pressed upon them this year, as the S&P/TSX 60 has slid 14.5 per cent, while the Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA) has risen 6.8 per cent in Canadian dollar terms. To see what's going on, you have to look under the hood. Once you do, the gaps between the two indexes loom large."

Teaching the professors how to pick good funds
12/03/11 Stingy Investing
"Imagine standing at a podium in a lecture hall and being questioned by 100 professors for two hours. It's the stuff of student nightmares. But that's exactly where I found myself when I recently addressed a bevy of professors from the University of Toronto on financial matters."

Risky business
09/26/11 Stingy Investing
""Igor! My portfolio needs a boost. Fetch me some high risk stocks", declared Frankenstein. You see, the Doc was in a pickle. Castle costs were way up and heating the drafty halls was just the beginning. His once friendly contractors rebelled and started to demand danger pay to fix the lightning machines. To make matters worse, the price of brains was getting, well, ridiculous. But his financial advisor had a solution. The Doctor could fund his exciting experiments by dialling up the risk level on his portfolio and thereby restore his treasury. While you probably don't have a moat to tend, you're likely familiar with the link between risk and returns. In fact, to many it is the most important rule in investing: The more risk you take, the higher your potential returns. But what if it isn't true? What if, in fact, after a certain point, taking on more risk actually lowers your returns?"

Cheap, safe and raring to go
09/24/11 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Do you want a bit more zip from your value stocks? Join me as I explore a combo that might put a little more spice in your portfolio. The secret is combining the thrifty fundamentals of value investing with the price trends of momentum investing"

The merry-go-round beats the roller coaster
08/27/11 Stingy Investing
"I have fond summer memories of rushing through the gates of my local amusement park and riding the roller coasters all day long. Up and down, round and round. It was grand fun. Alas, advancing decrepitude makes riding the metal monsters an exercise in nausea these days. They're almost as bad as the stock markets which are currently providing a wild enough ride of their own. If you're also turning a little green, I've some good news. You can hold placid lower-risk stocks and still achieve market-topping returns."

Graham's Simple Way: Summer 2011
08/23/11 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I like to find interesting value stocks using stock screens. One of the best screens to follow is Benjamin Graham's Simple Way, and its variants, which I've tracked for many years in both the U.S. and Canada."

Hunt for dividend stocks
08/05/11 Stingy Investing
"The beach is sparkling in the sun, the water looks inviting, and I'm sitting in front of a computer screen because Mr. Market is once again sliding into depression. But a little panic is invigorating because there are bargains to be had, and I'm on the hunt for a few good dividend stocks."

Think garage sale
07/30/11 Value Investing Funds Stingy Investing
"Fling open your closets and clear out your basement because it's garage sale time. If all goes well you might be able to shift the contents down the street. In my neighbourhood, you also get the chance to buy sugary pools in flaky cups from the friendly butter-tart lady. But the humble garage sale yields more than sugar-rush-inducing treats. It can offer lessons for stock investors."

The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2011
03/15/11 Stingy Investing
"As it happens, this was about an average year for our top stocks. If you had bought equal amounts of the All-Stars and rolled your gains into the new players each year, you'd now be sitting on a 19.1% average annual return over the last six years, not including dividends. By way of comparison, that's more than 12 percentage points higher than the annual return of the S&P/TSX Composite (XIC), which climbed just 6.5% a year over the same period."

The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2011
03/15/11 Stingy Investing
"Just like the Canadian team, the U.S. All-Stars combine the best value and growth attributes. It's a one-two punch that helped them advance 19.4% since last year, not including dividends. Meanwhile the S&P 500 (SPY) trailed the All-Stars by 6.5 percentage points but managed a gain of 12.9% over the same period."

Retirement 100
03/15/11 Stingy Investing
"Do you dream of breaking free from cubicleville and visiting far off lands, exploring castles of yore, or sipping your way through wine country? Wouldn't it be grand if your stocks paid for the experience? To help launch your retirement world tour, we've ranked the largest dividend stocks in Canada based on their ability to put cash in your pocketbook. Before we reveal this year's top picks for income investors, let's check out how last year's crop fared. Our stocks have paid big dividends since the spring of 2009, with our A-grade Retirement All-Stars shooting skyward with average gains of 58.3%. That includes non-reinvested dividends which we assumed were spent on pleasurable pursuits."

Your Roadmap to Investment Success
02/07/11 Funds Value Investing Dividends Stingy Investing
"I was pleased to talk at The Investment Show where I made the case that novice investors should opt for low-fee balanced funds. I then moved on to more advanced topics including dividend investing and value investing. Here are the slides that were used..."

5 Stingy Stocks for 2011
01/29/11 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Our Stingy Stocks climbed a phenomenal 69.4% this year and that marks the second year in a row that they've gained more than 60%."

Asset Mixer Update
01/26/11 Stingy Investing
We've updated the Stingy Investor asset mixer to include data for 2010.

Periodic Table Update
01/26/11 Stingy Investing
We've updated our periodic table of annual returns for Canadians to include data for 2010.

7 Graham Stocks for 2011
01/23/11 Stingy Investing
"Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors gained ground this year but, in a rare turn of events, it failed to beat the market. As a result, it has only bested the market in eight out of the last ten years which, as they say, ain't bad."

The virtue of simplicity
01/01/11 Stingy Investing
"'Complexity isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to picking stocks,' he says. 'The real challenge is sticking to the stocks you like and not getting scared out of them if they don't work out immediately.'"

Value Workshop: Indigo
08/15/10 Stocks Stingy Investing
"We're putting Indigo Books & Music (IDG on the TSX) under the microscope today."

Dividend investing
06/21/10 Dividends Stingy Investing
"By sticking to companies that have the means to pay high dividend yields, you not only get the added bonus of a regular paycheque from your portfolio (now electronically deposited in your investing account), but studies show that you'll likely enjoy a higher rate of return over the long run than the market typically provides."

Dividend growers
06/21/10 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Only a handful of stocks in the S&P/TSX 60 sport good five-year dividend growth records. Even fewer pay dividends that are well supported by earnings. I'll highlight four that pass both tests, and also happen to trade at modest price-to-earnings ratios."

Value investing flip books
05/16/10 Value Investing Dividends Stingy Investing
"The flip book helps to highlight a core problem for investors. Namely, the urge to swap out of a good strategy during periods of underperformance which happen frequently and can last for several years. So, be warned. Oh, and also have a little fun with the flip books."

Free online tools
02/17/10 Stingy Investing
"Looking to add stocks to your portfolio? Free online screeners might help. Just plug in your selection criteria and the software dips into a giant database to find stocks fitting the desired metrics."

Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2010
02/02/10 Stingy Investing
"Our five-year results are similarly stellar. If you had bought equal amounts of the All-Star stocks and rolled your capital gains into the new team each subsequent year, you'd be sitting on a 19% average annual return. By way of comparison, that's more than 14 percentage points higher than the annual return of the S&P/TSX Composite, which sported 4.7% annual gains over the same period. It's been quite the ride, and it got me to reminiscing. Several years ago a former professor of mine came to visit with my performance record in hand. 'Did you know that you've outperformed most mutual funds?' he asked. I didn't. But it was a gratifying observation. That memory prompted me to look up Canada's mutual fund performance over the past five years. It turns out that the Top 200 All-Stars beat every single Canadian equity mutual fund over that period. We topped the best by about 3 percentage points a year and the second best by about 7 percentage points a year. The median Canadian equity fund trailed by 14 percentage points a year."

5 Stingy Stocks for 2010
01/29/10 Stingy Investing
"It's been a good year for Stingy Stocks. The markets still have a way to go before breaking even from the big bust, but the Stingy Stocks are very close to staging a full recovery thanks to 64.5% gains this year."

Asset Mixer Update
01/20/10 Markets Stingy Investing
"We've just updated the popular Stingy Investor Asset Mixer and Periodic Table of Annual Returns for Canadians to include both nominal and real (or inflation-adjusted) returns for 2009."

8 Graham Stocks for 2010
12/24/09 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors beat the market again this year. But that shouldn't come as a big surprise because it's bested the market, often by a wide margin, in eight of the last nine years."

Is Mr. Market off his meds?
12/18/09 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"The market often behaves like a deranged manic-depressive and it was clearly off its meds this year. Just last winter it was in a deep funk, and panicky investors couldn't sell fast enough. Then all of a sudden, the gloom vanished, the market reversed course, and it shot skyward. It's all a bit zany. But how should you deal with such massive market swings? Benjamin Graham had the answer. You should help out manic-depressive investors. Buy when they rush to sell. Sell when they line up to buy."

Top 500 U.S. Stocks
12/16/09 Stingy Investing
"Hints of economic recovery are in the air and the U.S. stock market is starting to sparkle. It's true that a host of worries remain, but that hasn't stopped investors from looking beyond the economy's current troubles to the return to normalcy. As a result, stocks are up smartly from their lows. Even better, our highest-ranked stocks from last year provided some handsome returns. These high-grade U.S. stocks gained 24.1%, not including dividends. That's much better than the S&P 500 (SPY), which only climbed 4.2% over the same period."

100% gain to erase a 50% loss
09/18/09 Stingy Investing
"After recoveries of 45% or more in major stock markets since the Crash of 2008, investors may well wonder how it is they're still not back to even. There are two reasons. One, broad markets are still below the highs reached before the crash. Two, the arithmetic of loss means a 50% loss followed by a 50% rise does not mean you're back to even."

Graham's Simple Way 2009
09/10/09 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I like to use stock screens to find interesting value stocks and Benjamin Graham's Simple Way is one of my favourites. Regrettably, the bear market wasn't kind to the Simple Way over the last year. But I've high hopes that value stocks will stage a sterling comeback."

Timing Temptation
06/22/09 Behaviour Stingy Investing
"Buy-and-hold investing is a crock. That's what many investors are saying these days and, after a bruising bear market, it's not hard to understand why. If only they had sold at the top and bought back at the bottom. Problem is, getting the timing right is much easier said than done."

Even when down, bet on the best
06/22/09 Dividends Stingy Investing
"As the illustration shows, four of the current 10 "dogs" have yields above 6%: Merck & Co. Inc., Verizon Communications, AT&T Inc. and E I Du Pont de Nemours and Co. Even after massive cuts to their dividends, Pfizer Inc. still yields 4.38% and General Electric Co. 3.24%. Based on current data, Norman Rothery, founder of,would eliminate Alcoa Inc., Bank of America Corp, G. E. and JP Morgan Chase and Co. from the list. They would be replaced with Caterpillar Inc., Chevron, Home Depot Inc. and J&J, after which Rothery's updated list of 10 dogs would sport an average yield of 4.9%. Berkshire Hathaway owns G. E. and Kraft Foods Inc., while Pfizer and Home Depot Inc. are favourites of other prominent value investors. However, Rothery prefers to look farther afield than the Dow."

Income 100: Summer 2009
05/26/09 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"The good news is the top income stocks - those rated A - outperformed the Canadian Dividend ETF by 7.1 percentage points and they bested the S&P/TSX Composite ETF by a whopping 15.6 percentage points."

Just buy everything
05/11/09 Indexing Stingy Investing
"Ideally, you would have poured money into these funds when markets hit a multi-year low on March 9, but investor timing is notoriously horrible, Rothery said, noting that investors lose between three and five percentage points or more a year from trying to time the market. "They would have been better off, if they're index-oriented, to just stick with an index and go to sleep.""

Grocery giant offers investors a sweetener
05/11/09 DRPs Stingy Investing
"Grocery giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd. announced a new dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) yesterday that allows shareholders to use their dividends to purchase additional shares in the company at a 3% discount, a day after releasing impressive first-quarter profits. Loblaws follows Royal Bank of Canada, which sweetened its DRIP in February by offering a 3% discount and Bank of Montreal which announced a 2% discount."

The case for optimism
03/06/09 Stingy Investing
"The greatest reason for optimism is that stocks are now offering some of the best values in more than a decade. Many quality companies are available at sharp discounts. Second-tier firms are going for a song. Charlie Munger, the U.S. billionaire, says, 'Price is what you pay, value is what you get.' The value indicators I see say that this is the best time to buy since the early 1990s."

The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2009
03/04/09 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"The market crash of the past few months reminds many people of the Great Depression. But we have a bit of different take on things. As Warren Buffett likes to say, you make money by being fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. As agonizing as the past year has been, we think we are now in the middle of a tantalizing buying opportunity."

The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2009
03/04/09 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Warren Buffett famously warned, "unless you can watch your stock holdings decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market." Well, U.S. stocks are down nearly 50% in one of the worst bear markets ever. It's hard not to be a little panicky. But take a deep breath because there is reason to hope."

Tumbling the valuations
02/06/09 Stingy Investing
"I staggered into this December's CFA conference on Equity Research and Valuation Techniques in desperate need of a tonic. The great crash was in full swing and once-mighty companies had crumbled under the mountainous weight of dodgy debts. Here's what some of the leading lights of the industry had to say about these troubled times."

19 Stingy Stocks for 2009
01/30/09 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"In good markets and bad, I look for two qualities when hunting for bargain stocks. I want them to be cheap and relatively safe. Not surprisingly, the combination can be difficult to achieve."

Stingy Investor Asset Mixer 2008
01/12/09 Indexing Markets Stingy Investing
"Check out our new and improved Asset Mixer. Now with nominal return data to the end of 2008!"

4 Graham Stocks for 2009
01/12/09 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Over the past eight years I've used my take on Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. I'm pleased to say that the overall results have been superb. Over the last year we handily beat the index. But even our 16.8 percentage point outperformance wasn't enough to turn a profit in what is shaping up to be a whopper of a bear market."

Wicked investments
12/20/08 Stingy Investing
"What constitutes a sin stock? The answer is very much in the eye of the beholder. Tobacco, gambling and defence companies are routinely condemned by the socially responsible crowd. You might want to add various Wall-Street financial firms to the list of the damned given their recent antics."

Simply spectacular
11/21/08 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"It's been a rough year for investors. But you wouldn't have known it if you had followed Benjamin Graham's advice. Instead of bemoaning losses, you would be counting profits."

Who's buying?
10/28/08 Markets Stingy Investing
"Remember, when dealing with Mr. Market, fear is the cost of getting a good price. It looks very grim out there and it might get worse. But stock prices will reach their lowest when uncertainty reigns and expectations are at their lowest. Investors are currently very fearful and we think that it's time to get greedy."

Income 2008
09/23/08 Dividends Stingy Investing
"Do you dream of relaxing on a sunny beach, drink in hand, while your investment portfolio throws off piles of cash? That's the life of an income investor. To help you get to that beach as quickly as possible, we have once again ranked the biggest trusts and stocks in Canada based on their ability to put steady streams of cash into your wallet."

Rebundling Passive Performance
08/19/08 Indexing Brokers Thrift Stingy Investing
"Advisors using actively managed funds have taken a beating from index-fund advisors in the popular press over the issue of fees. But the argument for indexing is usually made by relying on raw index returns and usually targets investors who don't want advice. The case for indexing is substantially weaker when all of the costs associated with advice on passive portfolios are added up."

MoneySense Top 200 Summer Update
07/01/08 Stingy Investing
"For most of us, picking stocks is as tricky as ordering a seven-course dinner at a swanky new restaurant. Lots of items on the menu sound appetizing, but that's where our knowledge ends. Rather than simply point and hope, smart diners look for an expert opinion on the restaurant's offerings. To provide smart investors with a similar scouting report, we're pleased to present you with our candid take on all of Canada's largest stocks. We've worked hard to produce a rating system that's easy to use, logical, and appealing to all types of investors. We think the Top 200 provides you with a more objective look at large Canadian stocks than you're likely to find from any other single source. If you're looking for a sensible take on any large Canadian stock, you'll find the Top 200 to be an invaluable way to generate promising investment ideas."

Active Fund Performance At A Passive Price
06/25/08 Funds Stingy Investing
"Frugal investors are often attracted to index and exchange traded funds because they offer a simple way to buy a diversified stock portfolio at a low cost. But there are other options for thrifty individuals who want to take a more active approach. I explored the money-saving possibilities of buying stocks held by index funds instead of the index funds themselves in the May 2008 edition of the Canadian MoneySaver. This month, I'll investigate a similar method for active funds where the potential savings can be much higher."

How $10 trades change everything
06/24/08 Brokers Stingy Investing
"In the latest Wealthy Boomer video interview -- which went up today -- Norman Rothery of The Rothery Report comes to an interesting conclusion about online trading and $10 commissions (or $9.95, which amounts to the same thing.) With a full-service brokerage, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a convenient way to get access to multiple stocks with a single trade. But once you move from commissions in the multiple hundreds of dollars to $10 a trade, suddenly it becomes cost-effective for individual investors to buy each component stock in an index, or cherry-pick the better ones."

DRIPs a cheap way to invest
06/24/08 Brokers DRPs Stingy Investing
"There's no free lunch, even when investing on your own without an adviser. You still pay commissions to buy company shares, exchange-traded funds and income trust units. But you can get a free dessert (so to speak) if you reinvest the dividends to buy more shares, ETFs and trust units."

Value investors: Beware the value trap
06/23/08 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Norm Rothery, chief investment strategist at Windsor, Ont.-based investment research and counselling firm Dan Hallett & Associates Inc., recommends investors avoid value traps by using a nine-point system developed by Joseph Piotroski, professor of accounting at Stanford University. According to his system, returns on assets and cash flow from operations should be positive. Also, there should be momentum in fundamentals: For example, gross margins and debt should be changing for the better. Still, it's inevitable even the best of the value practitioners will stumble into value traps on occasion."

Unbundling Canadian ETFs 2008
06/21/08 Indexing Thrift Stingy Investing
"It is easy to get a simple, low fee, and broadly diversified portfolio with ETFs. Most investors can safely stop here. But perhaps I can entice you to read on about a few specialized situations. When it comes to ETFs I like to consider two options for long-term investors. The first option is to purchase the ETF and hold on. The second option is to bypass the ETF and buy the stocks that it owns. At first glance, the choice between buying a low-cost exchange-traded fund that holds many stocks or buying each individual stock appears to be obvious. The exchange-traded fund is likely to be the better bargain. However, buying stocks directly may be a good choice for some investors because the Canadian stock market is very small and it is dominated by a few big names. By holding only a few stocks you can reasonably approximate, or even fully replicate, some ETFs."

Are your stocks protected by moats?
05/29/08 Buffett Books Stingy Investing
"Thanks to The Rothery Report's Norman Rothery - with whom I had the pleasure of dining this week - I came across a copy of a book that is focused on the topic of economic moats. It's called The Little Book That Builds Wealth (Wiley, 2008), by Pat Dorsey, who is the director of equity research at Morningstar Inc. Morningstar is famous for its mutual fund ratings, but also rates individual stocks using an 'economic moat' rating system. The book divulges most of its approach to this system and makes for a fascinating read."

Find the right broker for you
04/14/08 Brokers Stingy Investing
"Your next stop is the Stingy Investor website. (Go to and search for Canadian discount brokers). It's run by Norm Rothery, chief investment strategist at Dan Hallett & Associates Inc. Here you can find up-to-date comparisons of the fees and commissions charged by 15 Canadian online brokerages (as well as phone numbers and email addresses). What you pay usually depends on how many trades you make per quarter or year, how many shares you buy at a time and how many dollars you have in assets at the firm."

Graham's metrics still apply
04/04/08 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"Benjamin Graham, the father of modern security analysis, was a professor at Columbia University, taught Warren Buffett and wrote the most famous -- and arguably the best -- book on investing, The Intelligent Investor, first published in 1949. In a chapter on stock selection for defensive investors, he said they should look for large, dividend-paying companies with little debt and a consistent record of profitability, whose shares trade at low multiples to earnings and book value. We applied Graham's criteria to the Canadian market, using the FP Corporate Analyzer program to identify companies Graham would likely find attractive."

Canadian Discount Broker Commissions
03/29/08 Brokers Stingy Investing
"Our discount broker study referred to in Saturday's Financial Post"

Do-it-yourself broker
03/28/08 Brokers Stingy Investing
"Individual investors continue to flock to online investing as a low-cost alternative to full-service brokerage accounts. As of December, 2007, Canadians had $179-billion invested in online or discount brokerage accounts, according to Investor Economics Inc. That's no trivial amount, although it's still dwarfed by the $720-billion stashed in full-service accounts, says senior consultant Guy Armstrong. "We're still predominantly an advice-oriented society.""

Small stocks, big profits
03/27/08 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Each December I grade the largest stocks in Canada for the MoneySense Top 200 ranking. But, as a personal project, I've also been grading Canada's smaller stocks at the same time, using the same methodology. The result? Over the past three years the top small stocks have actually done better than their larger counterparts in the Top 200. In 2004 the top small stocks gained 54.8%. In 2005 the tiny superstars climbed 44.6%. In 2006 the pint-sized overachievers advanced a further 18.3%. If you had bought the top-rated top small stocks in 2004 and rolled your gains into the new bunch each subsequent year, you would now be up 170%, not including dividends. That compares to a gain of about 152% for the top-rated stocks in the Top 200."

5 Stingy Stocks for 2008
02/12/08 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"I look for two qualities when hunting for bargain stocks: they must be cheap and relatively safe. Not surprisingly, it is often difficult to find stocks that are both cheap and safe."

Income 100 Update
02/10/08 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Looking for a steady cash flow? We've rated the best Canadian stocks and trusts for income investors. We've assessed 100 income trusts and 100 income-generating stocks for their ability to provide generous income for a reasonable price. The top firms get an A; good ones land a B. Our grades are based on market capitalization, yield (how much they pay out), reliability (how safe is the payout), and value (lots of assets at a low price). Use our grades as a starting point for your own research. Like any investment screen, the Income 100 is intended to help you hit upon a few good ideas that may deserve a place in your investment portfolio."

Canadian Discount Broker Commissions Updated
01/04/08 Brokers Stingy Investing
"Our list of the commissions charged for online trades by Canadian discount brokers."

Upside/downside calculator now with 2007 data
01/03/08 Markets Stingy Investing
"Select a portfolio composed of up to 11 major asset types, then pick start and end dates. The calculator tells you how much you would have made or lost."

The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2008
01/01/08 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"This is the fourth annual MoneySense Top 200 and we are pleased to say that connoisseurs have dined out very well on our past reviews. In each previous edition, we picked what we call All-Around All-Stars - stocks that score well on both our growth and value tests. Our All-Stars have consistently produced double-digit returns. The 2006 team achieved average returns of 16%, while the 2005 All-Stars gained 38%, and the 2004 squad soared an amazing 58%. An RRSP investor who put $10,000 into the 2004 picks and rolled his or her gains into the new All-Star team each subsequent year would now have $25,200. And those results don't include the generous dividends that we picked up along the way."

5 Graham Stocks for 2008
12/28/07 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Over the past seven years I've used my take on Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. I'm pleased to say that the overall results have been stellar and last year's numbers were outstanding. The performance of each year's Graham stocks, the performance of the S&P500 (as tracked by the SPY exchange-traded fund), and the difference between the two is shown in Table 1. You can see that the Graham stocks have beaten the S&P500 in six of the last seven years and often by a substantial margin. An investor who bought each year's Graham stocks, sold, and then bought the next crop of stocks would have gained 507% (or 32% annually**) whereas a buy and hold investment in SPY units would have gained only 22%."

Value that sizzles
12/27/07 Value Investing Momentum Stingy Investing
"I bought into Fairfax Financial when it was hit by a tsunami of bad news in 2002. Short sellers were betting it would collapse - which is one reason I thought it was a buy. I like beaten-down stocks because I'm a contrarian and a value investor. I think that desperate situations such as Fairfax in 2002 are the ones that hold the potential for the biggest profits. Most people, though, hesitate to wager a big chunk of their hard-earned money on distressed stocks - and for understandable reasons. One problem with investing in companies like Fairfax is that you may have to wait years to see a profit. Another problem with deep-value investing is that it's not at all unusual to buy into a beaten-down firm, then watch it get even more beaten up. This can be deeply stressful. A good way to sidestep these problems is to marry the frugality of value investing with the price action of momentum investing. You buy cheap stocks, but only after their prices have rebounded. By looking for stocks with a bit of price momentum, you are waiting for the market to signal that the worst is over for the firm."

The Top 500 U.S. Stocks for 2008
12/14/07 Stocks Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Some extraordinary qualities are needed to make our list of top stocks. On the value front, all our chosen stocks pay a dividend and sell for modest price-to-sales and price-to-book-value ratios. On the growth side, they demonstrate strong increases in sales per share and earnings per share. In addition, most generate healthy returns on equity, carry relatively little debt, and enjoy rising share prices. Keep in mind, though, that these stocks are controversial. After all, strong growth is rarely to be had at rock-bottom prices without some risk."

Is your index too active?
11/23/07 Indexing Stingy Investing
"Index funds are increasingly popular with savvy investors seeking low-cost diversified portfolios. As an added bonus, they often outperform many mutual funds. Indeed, Warren Buffett said in his 1993 annual letter to shareholders, 'By periodically investing in an index fund, for example, the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals.' But there is an astonishingly easy way to beat the index at its own game. It turns out that indexes are too active. That is, they tend to buy and sell stocks too frequently which puts a damper on their performance."

Graham's Simple Way
11/23/07 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Warren Buffett's insurance company GEICO is currently running a series of humorous ads featuring the line, 'So easy even a caveman can do it'. In a curious twist of fate, Buffett's mentor Benjamin Graham developed a way to pick stocks that even cavemen would appreciate. Graham described his Simple Way in a 1976 article called The Simplest Way to Select Bargain Stocks that can be found in Janet Lowe's book The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham. Given its recent success, these days stock-picking cavemen are dining out on mammoth steak."

So simple it works
10/14/07 Graham Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Value investing is so easy that your grandfather can do it - that is, if he follows the advice of Ben Graham, the grandfather of value investing. Back in 1976, Graham, a Wall Street financier and Columbia University professor, developed what he called The Simplest Way to Select Bargain Stocks. Investors who followed his approach have been riding the gravy train ever since."

The Income 100
08/13/07 Dividends Value Investing Stingy Investing
"A year ago we helped you target Canada's best income trusts in our second All-Canadian Trust Guide. We ranked the largest trusts in Canada and assigned each a letter grade depending upon how its financial numbers stacked up. Despite the carnage in the trust sector as a result of new tax rules introduced in late 2006, our picks hit the bulls-eye. Our top-flight trusts - those rated either A or B - gained an average of 11.7% over the past year. That continues a streak of strong performance. Since we started ranking trusts in 2005, our top trusts have gained a total of 44.9%."

No assembly required
07/30/07 Real Estate Dividends Stingy Investing
"Many of us would love to become landlords - if it just weren't for those darn tenants. Every prospective landlord hears stories about deadbeat tenants who skip town without paying the rent. And even if you have good tenants, the life of a property entrepreneur isn't easy. Nothing takes the shine off a potential investment faster than the thought of fielding complaints at two in the morning about clogged toilets or devoting part of your weekend to fixing the broken-down washing machine at your rental property. Fortunately, there is an easier way to become the next Donald Trump. Rather than buying rental units directly, why not invest in property through Real Estate Investment Trusts?"

Canadian stocks that Benjamin Graham might like
05/01/07 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"I like to hunt for U.S. value stocks using Benjamin Graham's criteria for defensive investors. The method focuses on solid companies trading at modest prices. You can read all about it in Graham's book The Intelligent Investor which deserves a spot on every investor's bookshelf. But I'm often asked for Canadian stocks that pass Graham's test. This month I've found five candidates that the master might like."

Investing by the book
03/16/07 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Investors love profits - the bigger the better. But when evaluating potential stock buys, it's important to consider more than just how much a company earns. You should also take a gander at what it owns. You can often spot valuable opportunities when you find solid assets selling for low prices. One way I like to look for bargains is by examining a company's book value. This is the historical value of all its assets minus its liabilities. The price-to-book-value ratio (P/B) that you see quoted on many financial websites compares this book value to the current price of the company's shares. If you buy stocks with low P/Bs, you're buying assets at a bargain price."

5 Stingy Stocks for 2007
02/07/07 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Since a rocky start in 2001, the stingy stocks have provided a total gain of 183.6% assuming that the old stocks were sold and the new stocks purchased each year. In comparison, the S&P500 (as represented by the SPY exchange-traded fund) lagged by 151.3 percentage points over the same period."

The Top 200 Stocks
01/26/07 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"Want to go hunting for buried treasure? Then join us as we once again dig up the shiniest prospects among Canada's largest 200 stocks in the third annual MoneySense Top 200. We're pleased to say that the first two versions of the Top 200 have been a great success. Look, for instance, at our All-Around All-Stars from last year. These were the handful of stocks that scored well for both good value and good growth prospects. Since we selected them in November 2005, they have gone up in price by an average of 37.6%. Fold in the 57.6% return from the 2004 version of the All-Around All-Stars and our top picks are up 116.8% over the past two years. Yes, you heard that right. Someone who invested in our All-Around All-Stars from 2004 then rolled their gains into our top picks from 2005 would have more than doubled their money in two years - and their 116.8% gain doesn't even include the dividends they would have collected along the way."

Eight Graham Stocks for 2007
12/29/06 Value Investing Graham Stingy Investing
"Over the past six years I've used Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. Overall the results have been stellar but last year the method hit a speed bump and posted a small loss."

Southern stars: The Top 500 U.S. Stocks
12/18/06 Value Investing Growth Investing Stingy Investing
"If you're intrigued by the results of our Top 200 listing of Canada's largest stocks, you may be interested in extending your search for good investments beyond Canada's borders. If so, we invite you to join us as we embark on a road trip through the largest 500 stocks in the U.S. Our goal? To find tomorrow's stars today."

Invest like the masters
12/01/06 Value Investing Stingy Investing
"Want to invest like a master? Then look to the works of Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, David Dreman, and James O'Shaughnessy. These four gentlemen are all great investors, and all of them have either written books on how to invest or, in Buffett's case, produced years of informative shareholder letters. Remarkably, none are shy about sharing their market-beating techniques. In this feature, we examine how each of these wizards thinks and we spell out what each looks for in a stock. But that's just for starters. We've also scoured the markets for stocks that our famous investors might be interested in buying right now."

Hit reset: online calculators
11/12/06 Stingy Investing
"Replay history: We've mentioned this calculator before and we'll do so again it's a wonderful way to see how different investment strategies would have fared over the years. You select a portfolio composed of up to six major asset types, then pick start and end dates. The calculator tells you how much you would have made or lost. Our take: A great way to try out various approaches to investing without betting a dime of real money. You may be surprised at the volatility of even the best-balanced portfolio."

A simple way to get rich
11/03/06 Stingy Investing
"I suggest taking a tip from Benjamin Graham, the legendary Wall Street financier and Columbia University professor who taught Warren Buffett about investing. Graham devised many techniques for identifying undervalued companies, but particularly remarkable is the record of his Simple Way formula, which he outlined in a 1976 article called The Simplest Way to Select Bargain Stocks. Despite its utter lack of complexity, this recipe has been a smashing success. I highlighted the Simple Way to MoneySense readers in early 2004 and I provided an update in 2005. I'm pleased to report that both batches of Simple Way stocks have performed superbly, gaining an average of 45.2% in less than 32 months, not including dividends. Over the same period the S&P500 was up only 16.3%."

Top stocks with share purchase plans
10/30/06 Stingy Investing
"The long-term risk-averse investor should consider three factors when selecting stocks with Share Purchase Plans (SPPs). First, they should demand a low price. Second, they should require earnings stability. Finally, investors should look for modest, but not necessarily spectacular, earnings growth."

The simple way
10/26/06 Stingy Investing
"Benjamin Graham is often called the father of value investing and during his lifetime provided the world a variety of useful stock-selection techniques. Remarkably, some of his simplest methods have continued to outperform long after his passing. Although many of Graham's methods are easily described, their continued success relies on the fact that they can be psychologically hard to put into practice. Very few people truly have the temperament to be value investors and while it's relatively easy to find value stocks holding them is the real test. Value stocks usually become inexpensive for a variety of unappealing reasons. As a result, even when value stocks are identified, relatively few investors want to buy them. Even worse, a few value stocks inevitable do badly and decline as their business weakens which tends to scare off investors."

Canada's best income trusts
08/22/06 Stingy Investing
"A year ago we decided to guide our readers through the murky world of income trusts. To shed some light on the subject, we ranked 100 of the largest income trusts in our first annual All-Canadian Trust Guide. We used entirely objective criteria and assigned each trust an A, B, C, D or F grade depending upon how its numbers stacked up. We figured that our top-rated trusts might provide you with a few good starting points for your own research. We're pleased to say that our humble efforts yielded solid returns. Our top-of-the-class trusts - those rated either A or B - gained an average of 29.7% (and that's without reinvesting distributions) since we did our ranking. We think most investors would be delighted with nearly a 30% annual return."

Upside/Downside Market View
06/21/06 Stingy Investing
"Select a portfolio composed of up to six major asset classes, as per your specification, and find out how it has done since 1970."

Stocks for cannibals
06/09/06 Stingy Investing
"There's nothing like cashing your first dividend cheque to develop your taste for raw capitalism. That's when it hits you that simply by buying a share in a firm you can enjoy a perpetual stream of dividend income with no further sweat or toil. But dividends are only the most obvious way that companies reward shareholders. You can also reap big benefits when companies decide to buy back their own stock."

Is that a hole in your IPO?
06/03/06 Stingy Investing
"It also nicely illustrates why most main street investors should avoid IPOs entirely. Regular investors rarely get quality IPO shares before public trading begins. On the other hand, buying at sky-high prices when trading starts can set up long-term investors for a big fall."

Monkey Business
04/17/06 Stingy Investing
"Can an active fund that charges ten times as much as an index fund be expected to outperform the index fund? The case could be made in extraordinary circumstances, but it might be more fruitful to see if index funds themselves could be made even better. Interestingly those clever monkeys might have had the answer all along."

8 Stingy Stocks for 2006
03/01/06 Stingy Investing
"I look for two qualities when hunting for bargain stocks: they must be cheap and they must be safe. Not surprisingly, it is often difficult to find stocks that are both cheap and safe."

Graham Stock Gainers
02/20/06 Stingy Investing
"Over the past five years I've used Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. So far, the results have been breathtaking."

Blue-Chip Blues
02/09/06 Stingy Investing
"I like to look through lists of beaten down stocks for good bargains. Naturally, I don't expect to find a good value every time but there are often a few candidates that make the search worthwhile. During a recent search I was pleasantly surprised to spot several gleaming brand names languishing unloved in the bargain bin."

Car bites dogs
02/09/06 Stingy Investing
"I like to begin each year by hunting for dividend income with the Dogs of the Dow and the Dogs of the TSX. Both versions of the time-honored Dogs strategy start from the simple premise that blue-chip stocks are too big to fail. The theory goes that if you can buy these stocks when they're in the doghouse and temporarily cheap, you can benefit from their juicy dividend yields and maybe even cash in on some capital gains as their share price recovers."

Is Dividend Income Safe?
01/07/06 Stingy Investing
"After the collapse of the Internet bubble many investors turned to the relative safety of dividend income. At the risk of being labeled a "gloomy Gus", I have to point out that dividends aren't 100% safe. The intrepid dividend investor must be on the constant lookout for dividend cuts, inflation and high prices."

Yankee doodle dandies: the top 1000 U.S. stocks
12/16/05 Stingy Investing
"This year we've expanded our successful stock selection method to cover 1,000 of the largest stocks in the U.S. We've focused only on the very best stocks and moved our giant Top 1,000 U.S. Stocks table online with all the detailed information that you've come to expect from the Top 200."

So easy, so profitable: Benjamin Graham's Simple Way
12/16/05 Stingy Investing
"If you're looking to pick up a few good value stocks, Benjamin Graham's Simple Way will tickle your fancy. Graham, who taught Warren Buffett, was the father of value investing. The system he outlined in his 1976 article, "The Simplest Way to Select Bargain Stocks" has since become a staple of savvy investors."

The Top 200: rating every major Canadian stock
12/16/05 Stingy Investing
"We're pleased to say that our modest experiment succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Our highest-ranked stocks gained an average of 57.6% since we picked them. That's right, you read correctly. We said 57.6%. Even our second-tier picks thumped the market by double-digit amounts."

Share Purchase Plans 2005
10/26/05 Stingy Investing
"The long-term risk-averse investor should consider three factors when selecting stocks with Share Purchase Plans (SPP). First, they should demand a low price. Second, they should require earnings stability. Finally, investors should look for modest, but not necessarily spectacular, earnings growth. I've used these three criteria to find interesting stocks for Canadian MoneySaver readers in 2001 and 2003. In this article, I take a look at the performance of my past picks and provide a new list of SPP stocks to consider."

Graham's Simplest Way
10/21/05 Stingy Investing
"Benjamin Graham is often called the father of value investing and during his lifetime provided the world a variety of useful stock-selection techniques. Remarkably, some of his simplest methods have continued to outperform long after his passing. Although many of Graham's methods are easily described, their continued success relies on the fact that they can be psychologically hard to put into practice."

The hunt for value
05/07/05 Stingy Investing
"A key premise of value investing is that markets usually overreact to negative news, pushing stocks below their true value as the herd mentality takes hold. That's when value investors swoop in and pick up shares at a hefty discount. To be successful, a strong contrarian streak is essential. Having loads of patience is also important, because the market often takes years to recognize the value it's been overlooking. And during that time, a stock can give investors fits. "Most people probably can't be value investors because they don't have the temperament for it. They'll buy a few stocks and then they'll get spooked out of them and sell," says Norm Rothery, founder of and a financial consultant with Dan Hallett and Associates Inc."

Selling Graham Stocks
05/07/05 Stingy Investing
"While discussing Graham's method for defensive investors, many people asked me how Graham went about selling such stocks. Regrettably, Graham didn't provide a clear selling strategy, but there are a few simple approaches that investors can use."

Dogs of the Dow: these dogs can bite
05/07/05 Stingy Investing
"Want proof? It turns out that 1999 was the worst year on record for the Dogs of the TSX. David Stanley, University of Guelph professor emeritus, tracks the Dogs of the TSX and rebalances his portfolio each year on May 25. Stanley calculates that the Dogs have gained an average of 13% a year since 1987, trouncing the index by 3.6 percentage points a year."

A Season for Money Market Funds
02/28/05 Stingy Investing
"Many investors suffer from procrastination and leave their RRSP decisions to the last possible moment. If you're part of this group then I'm right there with you. Although I don't leave things to the last possible moment, I have been known to top up my RRSP with only a few days to spare."

4 Stingy Stocks for 2005
02/21/05 Stingy Investing
"I look for two qualities when searching for qbargain stocks; they must be cheap and they must be safe. Not surprisingly, it is often difficult to find stocks that are both cheap and safe. Indeed, the popularity of value investing has increased and good deals are becoming rare."

High Performance Graham Stocks
02/18/05 Stingy Investing
"Over the past four years I've used Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. In many ways my series on Graham stocks was well timed because, after years of underperformance in the late 1990s, value stocks staged a strong comeback in the early 2000s. Graham's approach has certainly benefited from changed market sentiment and I'm happy to report another year of stellar returns."

The top 200: rating every major Canadian stock
02/09/05 Stingy Investing
"Our Top 200 caters to both the value and growth camps. We began by finding Canada's 200 largest companies on the basis of revenue. Using data supplied from the Thomson Baseline database, we then evaluated each of these big firms using two screens - one to test its attractiveness as a value investment; the other to evaluate its appeal as a growth investment."

Intelligent Indexing
12/24/04 Stingy Investing
"Investors hurt by the speculative bubble in internet stocks have turned from high-fee technology funds to lower-fee index funds. The relative advantages of intelligent indexing are super-low fees, broad diversification, and relative simplicity."

Unbundling Canadian ETFs
07/12/04 Stingy Investing
"Consider two options for the truly long-term index investor. The first option is to purchase an iUnit ETF and the second option is to buy the index's stocks directly. At first glance, the choice between buying a low-cost exchange-traded fund that holds many stocks or buying each of the stocks directly appears to be obvious. The exchange-traded fund is likely to be the better bargain. However, buying the stocks directly may be better for some investors because the Canadian stock market is very small and it is dominated by a few big names. As a result, one might reasonably approximate an index fund by holding only a few stocks."

Yield of dreams
07/05/04 Stingy Investing
"From 1970 to 2003 the top-yielding stocks outperformed the average stock by 1.9 percentage points a year. Their superiority was even higher if you looked at just the period between 1984 to 2003, when they showed an average annual advantage of 2.1 percentage points. And it was higher still if you focused on 1994 to 2003, when high-yield stocks beat the average stock by an average 2.2 percentage points a year."

A brief history of high yield stocks
06/13/04 Stingy Investing
Stocks that sport a healthy dividend yield are often derisively called 'widow and orphan' stocks to reflect their stable nature. As it turns out, widows and orphans have been onto a good thing.

A Dynamic Duo
05/13/04 Stingy Investing
Two remarkable value gurus provide free advice in their regular reports. Naturally, these reports should be on every investor's reading list.

A Canadian Graham Stock
03/03/04 Stingy Investing
Over the last three years I've highlighted Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors in an effort to uncover undervalued U.S. stocks. Based on the relative success of the method, many people have asked me to apply the approach to the Canadian markets.

Return of the master
02/25/04 Stingy Investing
"Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, developed some of the earliest and most successful techniques for selecting stocks. Despite all the changes in the financial world since Graham's heyday on Wall Street in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, some of his simplest methods have continued to perform unusually well."

It's RRSP season but don't panic
02/18/04 Stingy Investing
"To avoid the last minute RRSP panic, simply put new money into high-yielding short-term debt. Good old GICs, high-interest savings accounts, and treasury bills are all possibilities."

Dividends at risk
02/05/04 Stingy Investing
Income-oriented investors have recently been put between a low-interest rate rock and a risky-stock hard place. Long-term government bonds yield little real income which has pushed investors into the stock market in search of healthy dividends. Regrettably, dividends are much less certain than interest and income-oriented investors should keep a close eye on dividend stocks for signs of weakness. Fortunately, there are several ways to tell if a stock's dividend is potentially at risk.

Eight Thrifty Value Stocks for 2004
01/01/04 Stingy Investing
"At the start of each year I search through the S&P500 in an effort to uncover a few thrifty value stocks. Aside from sticking to large companies, I also look for inexpensive yet profitable businesses with little debt. So far, the results have been quite gratifying."

Graham Stocks in Short Supply
11/10/03 Stingy Investing
Over the past three years, I've used Benjamin Graham's time-tested strategy for defensive investors to uncover undervalued stocks. So far, the results have been extraordinary with significant gains each year.

The New Dividend
09/24/03 Stingy Investing
"The once mighty dividend isn't what it used to be. Although dividends have regained some popularity, they remain largely supplanted by share buybacks with nearly half of all corporate distributions going to repurchase shares. Like dividends, buybacks represent a return of shareholders' equity but they have their own unique characteristics."

Hunting Goodwill
06/30/03 Stingy Investing
"Watered stock is an old fashioned term that describes shares of companies with drastically overvalued assets. Reportedly, the term originates with the practice of ranchers feeding their cattle large amounts of water before going to market where the water-induced weight would fetch a higher price. Naturally, the buyer is not happy with this process. The crafty promoter can't take a stock to the pond for a fill up, but there are a variety of ways to mark up assets. A potential source of asset inflation is goodwill, which can be uncovered by investors who are willing to do a little work."

SPPs for 2003
02/28/03 Stingy Investing
"The long-term, risk-adverse investor should consider three factors when selecting stocks with a Share Purchase Plan (SPP). First, they should demand a low price. Second, earnings stability is desirable because most investors sleep better at night when they own stock of steady companies. Finally, investors should look for modest, but not necessarily spectacular, earnings growth."

It's RRSP season, but don't panic
02/01/03 Stingy Investing
There is no reason to make rushed decisions when it comes to your RRSP. To avoid last minute RRSP pressure simply follow the RRSP three step; buy short-term debt, consult your investment policy, and wait to buy the right securities for your portfolio. You may have to hurry to make this year's RRSP contribution but you should take the time to find great investments.

Stingy Selections & Dartboard Dynamos
12/27/02 Stingy Investing
Last year I attempted to achieve success by hand picking twelve value stocks from the S&P500. Well, I managed to avoid the success part. My twelve picks lost an average of 1.92% from December 5, 2001 to December 5, 2002. Mind you, this was much better than the S&P500 which fell by 22.12% over the same period. Normally outperforming the index by 20.20% would be cause for celebration but a loss is still a loss.

Desirable Dividends
12/26/02 Stingy Investing
Dividends are making a big comeback with investors and it's not hard to see why. Many blue-chip stocks are now paying more than GICs, government bonds or high-interest savings accounts. The tax advantages of Canadian dividends makes them even more attractive.

10 Graham Picks for 2003
11/29/02 Stingy Investing
December is filled with family, friends, and, for investors, the dreams of healthy dividends. In what has become a December tradition, I look at Benjamin Graham's strategy for defensive investors using the stock screener. Long-time Canadian MoneySaver readers will note that this is the third time I've discussed Graham's conservative technique.

Growth Eh?
11/05/02 Stingy Investing
Growth is what it's all about for investors. Every investor wants to see their portfolio grow and many attempt to generate wealth by buying growth companies. At first glance, it seems to be a simple matter to buy companies that have grown the most and, therefore, are likely to continue growing. Regrettably, as with many simple investment concepts, selecting growth stocks is fraught with difficulty.

Timing Disaster
10/05/02 Stingy Investing
"The September issue of the Canadian MoneySaver contained an avalanche of articles that encouraged investors to time the market. These interesting approaches sparked my memory. I recently had the pleasure of reading Charles Ellis' book Classics: An Investor's Anthology which contains Robert Jeffrey's article The Folly of Stock Market Timing. The article included a startling figure showing the impact of market timing based on a simple strategy. I've updated his analysis in order to provide a cautionary tale to potential market timers."

Dangerous Diversification
08/31/02 Stingy Investing
"Mutual fund diversification can quickly get out of hand and wind up costing investors a lot of money."

The Coffee Can Portfolio
06/07/02 Stingy Investing
Robert Kirby thought that investors would be well served by purchasing small amounts of many stocks and then forgetting about them for ten years. While discussing his investment counsel business he related an interesting anecdote...

Down with the dogs
03/11/02 Stingy Investing
"Investors seeking income often buy stocks that pay a healthy dividend. Canadian dividends are taxed more favorably than interest from GICs but dividends may be reduced and the initial investment is not guaranteed. Dividend investors employ a variety of popular approaches to pick stocks including dividend growth, relative dividend yield and the Dogs of the Dow. In this article I focus on the Dogs of the Dow which is wildly popular in both Canada and the U.S. but has its flaws."

Stingy Selections & Dartboard Dynamos
12/31/01 Stingy Investing
I've put my feet in the fire by taking up the Canadian MoneySaver stock picking challenge. Check out my picks and those submitted by the dastardly dartboard.

Graham revisited
11/29/01 Stingy Investing
Last December I reviewed the stock screener and found nine stocks that fit Benjamin Graham's guidelines for defensive investors. In this article I look at how these stocks have performed and provide this year's list of candidates.

Just spend it
10/29/01 Stingy Investing
I was recently asked by Jonathan Chevreau to make a few suggestions on what, given the times, should be done with a $10,000 windfall. An interesting question that is difficult to answer. Nonetheless, in this article I offer a few suggestions and take a look at the vexing choice between spending today and saving for tomorrow.

What to do with a $10k windfall
09/22/01 Stingy Investing
I make an appearance in a National Post article with a few words on how to spend some instant wealth.

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Disclaimers: Consult with a qualified investment adviser before trading. Past performance is a poor indicator of future performance. The information on this site, and in its related newsletters, is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, financial advice or recommendations. The information on this site is in no way guaranteed for completeness, accuracy or in any other way. More...