Index of forum topics, talk to us.


Postby admin » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:44 am


(advocate comment: CFP is a correspondence course designation, probably the more common one held by persons who are paid by commission sales of investment or insurance products. I consider it the "belly=button" of designations, in that nearly everyone has one, (including myself, so I might even know some of what I speak). Investment consumers should look for a CFA designation (which I do NOT have) if they wish top level professionals, who are generally not practicing product salespeople on a commission. CFP's record of following the "best interests" of customers is quite debatable. I would think that the average mutual fund customer of the average CFP, for one example, would likely find that their mutual fund purchase was facilitated at the highest choice of compensation to the seller, even if this were to cause poorer investment performance for their customer. This, by definition does not meet the promise of putting the client interest first, and it occurs in approximately four out of five sales, according to mutual fund industry sales stats)

Now to the post=========================================================================

Case Study : Opportunity for improving the FPSC complaint process
Who is the FPSC? :The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization -it states it is constructed to ensuring the financial planning needs of Canadians are well served. They develop, promote and enforce professional standards in financial planning through CFP® certification, and raise awareness of the importance of financial planning . FPSC has received ISO 17024 accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada for its role as the certifying body for the CFP®certification program in Canada. FPSC licenses the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® marks in Canada. These individuals are licensed to use the registered marks: CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo)®. CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo)® are trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. Financial Planning Standards Council is the marks licensing authority for the CFP Marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB. CFP holders pay annual fees to the FPSC which is the primary revenue source. Unlike, say engineers , FPSC is not enabled by any provincial legislation. The certification does not come from any Government Agency. Except for Quebec, financial planners are not regulated by financial regulators.
The CFP has been described by some as the gold standard of advice giving so it's critically important that its enforcement and sanctioning practices are beyond reproach. The FPSC has a number of written standards and a Code of Ethics . Enforcement is what gives these standards meaning and credibility. FPSC states that it addresses all concerns that come to its attention promptly, and thoroughly investigates all allegations of misconduct although published statistics show little enforcement activity.
Where CFP holders have been found to have breached the FPSC's professional standards , FPSC can impose disciplinary actions ranging from a letter of admonishment to permanent revocation of the right to use the CFP marks. FPSC claims to make its final disciplinary actions public. The FPSC cannot however prevent a disciplined individual from continuing to provide advice; the individual just can't claim to be a CFP . Because financial advisers often hold more than one credential, FPSC assert that they work closely with other accrediting, licensing and law enforcement agencies and organizations when they deem appropriate.
The FPSC complaint process:Financial consumers can lodge complaints with FPSC. The process is described at All complaints are forwarded to FPSC’s Standards Enforcement for an initial assessment to determine if there is a potential violation of the Standards of Professional Responsibility. Upon receipt of your complaint, FPSC will confirm that it has been received. At this point the complaint will be forwarded to their investigations department for follow up. As every situation is different, FPSC maintain that the time required to reach a decision will vary from case to case. There are no target time standards provided or published performance metrics on cycle time .
During this assessment, they may contact the complainant for further information or clarification. If it is determined that no breach of the Standards of Professional Responsibility has occurred or that a case could not possibly be made, the complainant will be informed of this, and the file will be closed. If it is determined that there is a possible breach of the Standards of Professional Responsibility, both parties will be informed and the complaint will be referred to a disciplinary Hearing Panel. Either the CFP holder or FPSC (represented by Policy Enforcement) may appeal the ruling of the disciplinary Hearing Panel if they believe that there has been a significant and material error interpreting a provision of the
Standards of Professional Responsibility or the facts. Appeal Panels are composed of three members of the FPSC Enforcement Policy Committee one of whom serves as Chair. No member of the disciplinary Hearing Panel can participate on the Appeal Panel. The Appeal Panel’s decision is final and there is no further right of appeal.
This Case Study examines how these assertions play out in practice.
Background : In this specific case, a complaint was made concerning the deficient supervisory role of a CFP holder and conflicts-of-interest. The conflict arose because the CFP was in the process of purchasing the Book of Business from the person he was supervising. The complaint was deferred because the complaint was also the subject of civil litigation . It was reactivated when the legal case was settled to the satisfaction of the complainant.
The complainant maintained that the CFP holder failed in his supervisory duties over an advisor (already under “close supervision “ constraints) under his cognizance. The clients were elderly, living on fixed income and had been sold risky mutual funds on a DSC basis. There were also serious issues regarding the administration of their accounts. It was argued that if the CFP holder had acted responsibly and in a timely manner, investment losses would have been minimal. After several months, the complainant received a letter stating that an investigation had not yielded any basis for proceeding and the file was closed. Material facts were ignored , the core of the complaint was not addressed ; instead the complainant was advised as to what the role of a Client should be. The complainant was offered no opportunity for rebuttal or appeal of the report investigation findings and was told the file was closed..The letter made no reference to the CFP's FPSC professional standards of conduct/Code of Ethics or regulatory obligations .The letter also seems to ignore, a CFP's responsibility to work with “integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, professionalism and diligence”.
The complainant disagreed and stated her objections in writing pointing to very specific deficiencies and errors in the investigation report. CFP management were dismissive and the complainant raised the issues with the FPSC Board Chairman. After a short while, the complainant was advised that the board had concluded that the complaint had been properly dealt with in accordance with FPSC rules and procedures. Not a single issue that had been raised was addressed-the complaint was not contacted. Still unsatisfied, the complainant asked for a detailed review by an independent party. The complainant was referred to a Fairness Commissioner. Only the email address was provided ( no name was given to her ) with no definition of who this was and exactly what powers the position had. It turned out that this position was filled by a former Director of FPSC who was an employee of Investors Group, an industry participant that manufactures , markets and sells mutual funds. We were told via email that the Fairness Commissioner is independent of the enforcement staff , is not a paid staff person and does not report to the FPSC president. It is also not obvious that the person is a trained complaint investigator or has relevant experience – the complex complaint review task must apparently be performed while the “Fairness Commissioner” is employed full time . At that point, the complainant gave up and ceased communications with FPSC.
As an aside, the complainant was told in writing by the FPSC Enforcement Counsel “Please note the Fairness Commissioner has no purview to re-investigate a complaint.” Yet oddly, she discovered online in the FPSC 2011 Annual Report that the role of Fairness Commissioner is to provide an objective, third-party assessment of the complaint, and to act to reach a fair, impartial solution .Although not binding, the recommended solution shall be given due consideration and weight by both FPSC and the
complainant. The role of the Fairness Commissioner was created upon recommendation by the Standards Council of Canada. The website actually states that: “FPSC provides access to a Fairness Commissioner, like an ombudsperson, so that there is opportunity for a third-party review of an FPSC decision. ”
Elements of a robust complaint process: These include but are not limited to clarity , accessibility, communication, fairness , timeliness , feedback and appeals. Here's how the FPSC process stacks up:
Clarity : There is no complaint handling brochure explaining the the process end-to-end. A reasonably good model for this would be the one in use by IIROC.
Accessibility: The complaint process is not well publicized . It took some time for the complainant to figure out that there is a complainant handling body for CFP's . The FPSC needs to better promote its enforcement and complaint handling activity.
Communication : There was little communication during the investigation. The complainant had to make numerous inquiries as to the ongoing status of the complaint.
Fairness: The testimony of the CFP holder was taken at face value while the allegations of the complainant were ignored or given lower credence.
Timeliness: From the time of complaint to receipt of the rejection letter, the elapsed time was nearly 18 months. Only by constantly following up was the complainant able to determine status and progress.
Feedback letter: The rejection letter sidestepped key issues raised, ignored evidence, attempted to blame the client and closed the file officially without any opportunity provided for rebuttal or appeal being offered. It was not an objective, in-depth investigation into wrongdoing.
Appeals: The appeal process is farcical. No reasonable person should be subjected to such a conflict-of - interest regime. Again, the complainants specific issues were ignored by the Board. The complainant reacted to this : “"With respect to your request to re-open the investigation, I have reviewed the file and am satisfied that the appropriate procedures were followed and the appropriate conclusion was reached." at the end of your letter you state " I trust this has addressed your concerns." Since you failed to address any of the concerns raised, I am dumbfounded that you could conclude this. You did not provide a single response to any of the information, concerns or factual errors we pointed out. I find this lack of response to the issues raised to be both insulting and dismissive. In effect, by putting forth no intelligent dialogue, you appear to be sweeping it all under the rug, hoping I will just go away. There is something seriously flawed in the FPSC investigation practices in play.”
This case provides multiple opportunities for the FPSC to improve its enforcement processes:
1. Adopt ISO 10002 or equivalent as the standard for complaint handling .
2. The FPSC Board should seriously consider diverting an amount of its marketing dollars and
channel it into enforcing the FPSC standards and Code of Conduct in order to provide a more credible and professional service to the public.
3. Introduce an bi-annual independent audit of compliance with complaint handling rules and an annual complainant satisfaction survey.
4. Clarify CFP obligations when acting in a supervisory capacity & any whistle blower obligations.
5. Clarify the role of the Fairness Commissioner , make this person independent of the industry and of FPSC and have it fall under the auspices of the Board of Directors.
6. Prepare a plain language brochure on the complaint process to be given to clients at first meeting and at the time a complaint is filed. The complaint intake protocols must be robust to ensure the integrity of the system. This includes understanding the complainant issue, being able to offer a language of choice, assist in formulating their issue and if appropriate referring them to other areas (privacy, human rights) .The IIROC brochure is a good benchmark.
7. Reassess the rule that blocks an investigation from proceeding if there is civil litigation. It could very well be that other clients are being victimized while the investigation is in suspension.
8. In addition to the search capability for CFP's in good standing, provide a search tool for disciplinary cases back at least 15 years.The IIROC approach is a good benchmark.
9. Publicly and prominently disclose on the FPSC website comprehensive statistics of current and historical enforcement/investigation activity .The Annual report should include as a minimum, a narrative overview of the year's enforcement operations, key operational and comprehensive complaint statistics, a discussion of key issues and trends, the major causes and sources of complaints and the steps taken to prevent recurrence.
10. Hearing proceedings should be made public. The IIROC approach is a good benchmark.
11. Require that a substantive response letter must be presented in a manner that is fair, clear ,not misleading to clients and directly addresses the complaint(s). It should include a clear statement of the complaint(s), the files and records used as evidence, the applicable standards applied , the investigative process followed, the rationale for the decision to accept/reject the complaint , the decision and what steps the complainant can take if unsatisfied with the response.
12. Incorporate the special needs of seniors, the handicapped and immigrants be a consideration in redesigning the complaint handling process.
Canadians are dependent on more than 17,500 CFP holders in Canada for their financial well being. .As the organization that sets and enforces all the CFP professional standards of competency, practice and ethics,it is imperative that if the FPSC wants to acquire the trust financial consumers need to have in CFP holders ,that a robust , trusted and transparent complaint handling process be defined , implemented and communicated .We hope that the FPSC will give these recommendations due consideration.
Kenmar Associates research team November, 2012
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:19 pm

Screen shot 2011-12-01 at 3.17.51 PM.png
Canadian Couch Potato

Another Promise of a Free Lunch
Posted: 01 Dec 2011 04:00 AM PST

Earlier this month, Mackenzie Investments produced this advertisement for the Mackenzie Sentinel Corporate Bond Fund. The banner headline reads “Think high yield means high risk?” The rest of the ad reads, “Think again. High-yield corporate bonds have produced equity-like returns with less risk.”

Two graphs then compare the performance of the fund with the S&P/TSX Composite Index from November 2000 (the fund’s inception date) through October 31 of this year. During that period, the Mackenzie fund delivered annualized returns of 5.7% with a standard deviation of just 5.8%. The Canadian stock market, by comparison, delivered just 4.5% with much more volatility: a standard deviation of 15.5%.

Those are compelling numbers: high returns with lower volatility is what every investor wants. But it’s always important to scrutinize comparisons like this. There’s nothing incorrect in the data here, per se, but one needs to ask whether the fund really did deliver superior risk-adjusted returns, and whether it is likely to do so in the future.

To begin with, the start and end dates examined here are crucial. If you look at the table under the two graphs, you’ll see that the S&P/TSX Composite returned 8.5% annualized during the 10 years beginning in October 2001, outperforming the Mackenzie fund by 2.8% a year. So by moving the start date by just one year, you get a completely different result. It may be true that “high-yield corporate bonds have delivered equity-like returns,” but only during specific periods when equities dramatically underperformed their historical averages.

Where you rewarded for taking more risk?

The ad also argues that “it takes rigorous company and credit analysis to find bonds with long-term growth and income potential. When you do, it adds up to superior returns and a smoother market ride.” In the case of the Mackenzie fund, it also adds up to an MER of 1.7% a year.

There are only two ways that a bond manager can deliver superior returns than a broad-market index. The first is by adjusting maturities—that is, by selecting a portfolio of bonds with shorter or longer terms than the benchmark. The second is by varying credit quality: by selecting bonds of lower quality, and therefore higher yields. With that in mind, did the Mackenzie Sentinel Corporate Bond Fund add value?

Justin Bender, a CFA and portfolio manager at PWL Capital in Toronto, supplied the following analysis. He compared the Mackenzie fund’s performance to a blended benchmark consisting of two indexes of federal government bonds: 60% DEX Mid Term Federal Bond and 40% DEX Short Term Federal Bond. This 60-40 mix creates a benchmark with an average term to maturity of about 5.7 years, which is identical to that of the Mackenzie fund’s portfolio. In this way, we’ve taken maturity out of the equation so we can focus only on credit quality.

Since high-yield bonds have far more credit risk than government bonds of the same maturity, investors should naturally expect higher returns. Would they have achieved them with the Mackenzie fund? Here are the numbers:

1 yr. 3 yr. 5 yr. 10 yr. Since 11/03/2000
Mackenzie Sentinel Corp. Bond 3.4% 11.6% 4.3% 5.7% 5.7%
Benchmark 5.6% 6.2% 6.0% 5.6% 6.4%

Sources: PC-Bond, BMO Financial Group, Mackenzie Investments, Dimensional Returns 2.0. Returns as of October 31, 2011.

As you can see, since its inception, the Mackenzie fund has not even outperformed government bonds of similar maturities. Over the last 10 years, it managed a mere 10 basis points of outperformance. Over shorter periods, the results are mixed. This hardly a compelling argument for the fund’s “rigorous company and credit analysis.”

And what about volatility? The Mackenzie fund’s standard deviation of 5.8% does indeed look low when compared with the S&P/TSX Composite. Yet our 60-40 benchmark of government bonds not only achieved higher returns since November 2000, but it did so with a much lower standard deviation of just 3.5%, according to Bender’s analysis.

“Finding equity-like returns with less volatility is something many market weary investors are looking for,” the Mackenzie ad says. No argument there. But the data suggest they need to keep looking. ... free-lunch
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:44 am

(advocate comment......should IFIC change its initials to IFUC?)

Another IFIC financial porno production? IFIC 2011 report on the Value of advice Your Account Agreement says you and you alone are responsible for accepting “adviser” recommendations. Mutual fund ”Advisers” have no fiduciary duty to clients. The report warns regulators “In designing regulations, governments and policymakers should recognize the important role that advice plays in helping Canadians invest and save. Policies should be designed to make it easier for Canadians to access advice and use advice more effectively." We hope that this will not deter the CSA from controlling the use of titles/designations, adding a fiduciary duty for those claiming to be advisers, requiring better fee and conflict-of-interest disclosure and providing investors with their actual rate of return on their account statements. For a more investor- friendly view of “advice” and advisors read Advisor Risk at

Thanks to Ken Kivenko for this post info.
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:36 pm

by way of but one example, here is recent commentary submitted to the Calgary Herald for acting as an "apologist" for the Alberta Securities Commission, looking the other way at indiscretions that cost Albertan's billions of dollars. I am shocked at the amount that money or the lure of advertising "favour" will sway the news we are allowed to see. (better not question the industry, or those full page mutual fund ads and bank ads will dry up.................)

Copy of correspondence sent to Calgary Herald editorial after the third article where the Herald appeared more to be an "apologist" for screwups at the Alberta Securities Commission.

I am a reader from who would like to pass along comment.

My comment is on the rather single sided coverage of recent stories involving the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC).

First was a story a while back about the ASC levying fines and penalties against various securities violators, and I tried several times to inform the reporter about two items she overlooked in her story: First being that most ASC fines are simply Public Relations exercises and are all to often not collected, and second, that whenever they are collected the ASC KEEPS the money for itself, rather than making sure that the people who were abused get anything.

This is a failure of ethical and professional practices on the part of the ASC and perhaps a failure of good reporting practices to ignore this side of the story.

Second was information given to the Herald about approximately 5000 "decisions" made by the ASC to grant exemptions to our securities laws to investment firms over the last decade or so. Firms including Goldman Sachs as well as thousands of others, who have used these special permissions to take advantage of a trusting and vulnerable public. These have damaged Albertans by billions. (Asset Backed Commercial paper sold here being just one single example that cost billions)

These exemptions are usually done in private, between the investment firm and the commission, (which is paid by the investment firms), and it makes one wonder why there is no public notice to those unfortunate consumers who end up owning tainted products or advice. One also has to wonder why the Herald would keep this information from their readers.

Today, an article about WEALTHSTREET INC doing public investment seminars for twenty years. The Herald's article says that the ASC claimed that "this person was not registered". I have to wonder if the reporter considered asking the ASC why WEALTHSTREET was allowed to operate for twenty years without being registered. It was another of a series of articles that seems to apologize for the ASC, when I hope to read in the news a bit more about the issues than an apology for a failed system.

This failed system is costing the province of Alberta billions of dollars, and making the corresponding billions easier for people like Goldman Sachs and other giant corporations to make by coming to Alberta to prey upon Albertan's.

I have no axe to grind with your reporter, but I have to say that your business reporting (in these examples) are substandard by a large measure.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I thank you for your time.

Larry Elford

web sites referenced regarding decisions to allow corporations to violate our laws: ... rders.aspx

web site for Montreal Gazette article about securities commissions being held liable for investor losses from being inept, corrupt or simply asleep....... ... story.html

web site for alberta truth telling investment expert who fees similar legal action could be filed against the Alberta Securities Commission to gain not only Concrete Equities, and WEALTHSTREET clients money back, but thousands of abused Albertans for thousands of other legal tricks played for money by the ASC

Thanks for everything. Larry 403 328-0391 cell 393 4742
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Some good explanations of how the world economy was stolen (without consequence to the thieves) found at: ... 28-62.html

The section on the systemic part played by the media was rather interesting, here are selected quotes that make sense to me:

".........the media was complicit, seduced, bought off and compromised........"

"........companies pumped billions into advertising in radio, television and the internet almost insuring that there would no undue media investigations Financial journalists increasingly embedded themselves in the culture and narrative of Wall Street by hyping stocks and CEOs.

The "guests" routinely chosen by media outlets to explain the crisis were often part of it, charges Jim Hightower, "Many of the "experts' whom I read or see on TV seem clueless, full of hot air. Many of their predictions turn out wrong even when they seem so self-assured and well-informed in making them." (BNN anyone?)

His advice: "Don't be deterred by the finance industry's jargon (which is intended to numb your brain and keep regular folks from even trying to figure out what's going on."
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:31 pm

Exposing the Council for Investor Education:

The Council for Investor Education asserts it is a national forum of not-for-profit organizations and regulators interested in
empowering Canadians with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

According to its website,the Council shares, coordinates, and promotes ideas and
initiatives that facilitate the best and most efficient use of its collective expertise.

And who's the Council Chair? : Pat Dunwoody, Vice President, Communications &
Member Services of fund industry lobbyist IFIC .
Investor advocacy group SIPA ( is NOT a member but the CBA , the banking industry lobbyist
is . Both the SRO members
( the MFDA
and IIROC) and OBSI are funded by industry fees.
Wonder what kind of education they're cooking up for us.

from ken at
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:27 pm

Does Retirement Pornography work? ... aphy-work/ According to Jim Yih ,there
are three types of Financial pornography . . . companies that sell investments use past
performance; companies that sell financial products sell the dream of getting rich as fast
as possible; and companies that sell retirement products sell the stereotypical retirement

from ken at

(advocate comment.......the business press in Canada is very, Very, VERY likely to be participating in the spreading of financial pornography. It is one of their largest advertising revenue sources)
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:28 am

It just occurred to me.........that the mainstream business media in Canada will no more report financial abuses or tricks of the trade to you than a financial seller will tell you the same. It is in their best interests to serve their own interests first. In the financial seller case, it means that four out of five investment sellers will sell you the higher cost investment or the one which compensates them more, regardless of what they or their industry says about this kind of practice. Actions speak louder than words. In the same vein, the business media must not bite the hand that feeds them, and as a result, customers reading their papers, will only get some 20% of the truth when it comes to negative practices by the financial industry. The industry that pays for full page advertisements in the papers call the tune. Readers beware. Investors beware.
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:21 am

Here is a well written article about how easy it is to show top performing mutual funds without having to do much of anything beyond gamble.........
from ... namic.html

How to Replicate the Performance of Dynamic Funds

Dynamic Funds have 7 mutual funds that have beaten their respective stock index benchmarks over the past 10 years despite sky-high MERs. Jonathan Chevreau suggests that this is reason for index fund proponents to eat crow. Both Canadian Capitalist and Canadian Couch Potato did an excellent job of explaining the problem of identifying outperforming mutual funds before they outperform. I won’t repeat their arguments. But I will show how to replicate the performance of Dynamic Funds with a dead-simple strategy.

Let’s say that we run a mutual fund company that wishes to charge a 4% MER. (Why water-ski behind a small yacht when it could be a big yacht?) But we also want 7 of our funds to outperform the S&P TSX index over the next 10 years. This sounds like a tall order, but it’s actually quite easy.

To begin with we’ll create 112 (7x16) mutual funds in our family. The reason for this number will become apparent later. We’ll invest each one in the S&P TSX index and collect our 4% MER each year. The only thing left to add is some bets.

Initially, we’ll pair off the funds into 56 pairs. Suppose that funds A and B are paired. Fund A will enter into a derivative contract and fund B will take the opposite side of the same derivative contract. We’ll stop the betting when one fund is up 25% and the other is down 25%. The type of derivative doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t matter whether fund A or B comes out ahead.

Once the betting is complete, all the funds will have returns with three components: the stock market return, the 4% per year MER loss, and +/- 25% from the derivative betting (56 winning funds with +25% and 56 losers with -25%).

Next we match the 56 winning funds in pairs and repeat the betting process for another round. The losers from the first round won’t do any further betting. When this round ends we’ll have 28 funds that have won twice and have had two 25% bumps in return.

You guessed it. We will then have another round of betting using the double winners to give 14 triple-winners. A fourth rounds gives 7 quadruple-winners. All 112 funds will get the index return less the 4% MER each year and then plus or minus the results of the betting. Note that all this betting could be spread fairly smoothly across 10 years so that the 25% bumps wouldn’t necessarily be very visible. Here are the resulting per-year returns for the funds over a decade relative to the S&P TSX index:

7 funds: +5.0%
7 funds: -0.2%
14 funds: -2.4%
28 funds: -4.5%
56 funds: -6.6%

Even after paying the huge 4% MER, 7 of the funds outperformed the index by 5% per year for a decade! We collected this high MER for a decade and all we had to do was invest all the money in an index and trade some derivatives. We never had to worry about which stocks or derivatives might perform best. As a bonus we are left with 7 funds that we can tout as long-term stars.

The reader may object that while we’re left with 7 star funds, there were also 105 underperformers. According to Canadian Couch Potato, Dynamic has about 100 funds with only 7 showing outperformance. So, my scenario mirrors Dynamic’s case quite well.

I have no idea how Dynamic Funds achieved their results, but we see that my strategy can achieve similar results with no skill at all. ... namic.html
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:37 am

i just jumped to BNN web site, the so called business news network in Canada to see if they had any comment or suggestion page on site........ironically the first thing that jumped up at me was a video ad that started out talking about "why would I want a bobble head talking to me about investments.........".

Funny, that was exactly what BNN feels like overall. Empty bobble heads selling (not telling, selling) investment products. Cleverly or not so cleverly hidden behind the guise of business news.

What brought it up was a recent chance to attend a speaking presentation by a top Canadian investment professional. I will not mention names, but 4 decades of experience qualifies this person as an expert. His comments were something like, "anyone who gets their business "news" from BNN is looking to be parted from his money".

Sadly, after three decades inside and outside the investment industry I have to agree.

BNN, please spare us the investment "infomercial" style product pitching and work some honest financial news into your mix before you become obsolete.

(you are starting to look like the saturday morning paid commercial radio programs with titles like "It's YOUR money" etc, that exist simply to sell someones investment crap)
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:36 am

i just jumped to BNN web site, the so called business news network in Canada to see if they had any comment or suggestion page on site........ironically the first thing that jumped up at me was a video that started out talking about "why would I want a bobble head talking to me.........".

Funny, that was exactly what BNN feels like. Empty bobble heads selling (not telling, selling) investment products. Cleverly or not so cleverly hidden behind the guise of business news.

What brought it up was a recent chance to attend a speaking presentation by a top Canadian investment professional. I will not mention names, but 4 decades of experience qualifies this person as an expert. His comments were something like, "anyone who gets their business news from BNN is a sucker and a fool, looking to be parted from his money".

Sadly, after three decades inside and outside the investment industry I have to agree.

BNN, please spare us the investment "infomercial" style product pitching and work some honest financial news into your mix before you become obsolete.

(you are starting to look like the saturday morning paid commercial radio programs with titles like "It's YOUR money" etc, that exist simply to sell someones investment crap)
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:30 pm

Holy flypaper Batman!! We seem to be stuck with salaried industry puppets, and media folk who act more like TV infomercial hosts.
see below commentary on a recent BNN "infomercial" for the investment dealers self regulatory organization: ... clip362219

Susan Wolbergh Jenah, head of the Investment dealers organization called IIROC was interviewed on BNN lately. The link to the video is above.

My thoughts as I listened to the video are below in case you would like to see an alternate side to what I believe to be a totally conflicted, captured organization. I believe they are an industry funded group of "yes" men and women who help the industry to professionally abuse and cause financial damage to the public. My comments below.

Before we even get one minute 30 seconds into her interview on BNN:

She refers to registrants with IIROC, as “advisor’s”, and then she refers to them as “salespersons” in the first two minutes of her interview.

This “duality” of terms speaks volumes about how even the $700,000 paid, top person at the investment dealers organization, simply DOES NOT even understand her job.

(Unless of course her job is to be a highly paid “Yes” man for the industry that is paying her)

How are customers supposed to know if they are dealing with a commission seller of product, or a trusted advisor if the head person does not even know enough to clearly define the difference?
At about 3:45 of the interview she describes what info is included about "advisors" on her new web site for consumers. Noticeably absent is "whether or not the person even owes a duty of care to place the interests of the client first". You would think a professional organization would take that matter into account...........unless they were deliberately misleading us or trying to misrepresent consumers.


From about the 4:20 mark Howard Green asks the great question about product pushing and conflicts of interest...........Susan's answer seems to indicate that it is up to the client to try and determine if product is being pushed on you.......which seriously fails to professionally address an underlying question about her organization........"why does this organization not have professional standards of duty to the customer, or fiduciary standards of care for the consumer? Why does it ask the consumer to figure out if they are being "sold" bad advice or products? This is indicative of a "kindergarden" level of regulatory oversight by her organization, buy that I mean that a kindergarden level of student could do a more comprehensive job of protecting consumers. I believe this speaks volumes again, to a case that IIROC is a tainted and corrupted organizational "puppet" of the financial industry. Buyer beware.


There is a name for this kind of violation of trust, where a powerful, or knowledgable, or expert organization or person, has an ability to sway, influence or "advise" on the actions of weaker persons coming to them for help.
(see CLIENTELISM and potentials for abuse at Transparency International anti corruption guide ... uage_guide )

For IIROC to be loosey goosey about the important foundational matters such as protecting against this abuse of the "imbalance of power and expertise" between customer and "advice giver/product seller" is again strongly indicative of a kindergarden level of organizational integrity and ethics.


At about 5:40, Susan Jenah says pretty much that it is a “trust me” game for the customer to “decide” whether or not they have a good feeling about the person claiming to advise professional standards, no specified duties of care............just “trust us” if you dare??
This woman’s naivete is incredible. Previous to his I could not even imagine how much professional ignorance or incompetence that one could buy for $700,000, but Susan is clearing things up a great deal.
(see ... e-job.html

For up to date, real world examples of how this industry is worth of “trust me”.

6:10, Howard Green buys into (and helps her to sell) the concept of “advice, and advisors) rather than letting the public be aware of the commission product sales natured role of the industry. In this regard, Mr. Green is acting as a bit of a shill for the industry, rather like the “interview guy” in a paid commercial program.


At 6:40 Susan talks about “the hard information” about your advisor.......which is rather feeble since her organization does not require her registrants to even disclose how they are licensed, how they are compensated, and if they owe “any” duty of care to the customer. Nothing better than “how do you feel” about your.......relationship. Hilarious that she would put this on the record.


At 10:15 Susan talks about “disciplinary history” reported by her web site.......without full disclosure that this would refer to actions “by” an association of investment dealers “against” investment dealers. Fine, if not for the fact that the foxes are acting as judge, jury etc, for foxes. Not exactly fair nor professional, and their track record bears this out.

(something like only 2% of IDA (old version name) decisions went against the big banks who do 95% of all industry business......judgements a tad skewed by this cozy association towards protecting favored members, prosecuting those not favored, and mostly ignoring the public interest, serving the industry interest. Same old game.)


IDA was a total shame. IIROC is wearing the same shoes. BNN seems to be helping.

larry elford, former CFP, CIM, FCSI, Associate Portfolio Manager, retired.

--youtube channel about professional investment abuses: ... ature=mhum

--xtranormal cartoons about investment industry abusers:
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:16 am

Picture 1.png

mutual fund advertising/strategies to mislead the public:

the following from

I thought this was a good addition to the blog. Even though it is a joke, it’s also is a great example of the survivorship bias on Wall Street.
Investopedia explains survivorship bias as, “The tendency for mutual funds with poor performance to be dropped by mutual fund companies, generally because of poor results or low asset accumulation. This phenomenon, which is widespread in the fund industry, results in an overestimation of the past returns of mutual funds.” This means that a mutual fund company’s selection of funds today “will include only those that have been successful in the past. Many losing funds are closed and merged into other funds to hide poor performance. This is an important issue to take into account when analyzing past performance.”
I’ll say. If a family of funds is only showing you their winners, it’s not hard to see where investors might be misled into thinking that they have good performance.
This is also true of indexes, trading systems, CTA’s etc. Take the Dow Jones Averages as an example.
According to The Motley Fool, the Dow came to life in 1896, priced at 40.94. The original companies were American Cotton Oil, American Sugar, American Tobacco, Chicago Gas, Distilling & Cattle Feeding, General Electric, Laclede Gas, National Lead, North American, Tennessee Coal & Iron, U.S. Leather pfd., and U.S. Rubber.
Today, only General Electric remains in the Dow.
So, is the rise from 40.94 to somewhere around 9500 the performance of these companies? I don’t think so, although it is a good strategy. Eliminate your losers and your track record will drastically improve.
Clients should judge managers on all funds that they have managed since they started their companies and not just existing funds. This is also true of indexes, trading systems or searching for a CTA. It is routine to see trading systems revised, or a different version released. You see CTA’s launch several programs and then confirm to the public how good they have done with the surviving successful one.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Since the average stock fund has trailed the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index benchmark over the years, imagine what it would look like if all the “deceased funds” were counted in the numbers.
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:06 pm

Toronto Sun
News Columnists / Mark Bonokoski
Life imitating art
Novel's message hits close to home
Last Updated: 17th July 2009, 5:02am

Veteran police reporter Jack McEvoy -- winner of numerous writing awards, go-to guy when the crap hits the fan, author of a best-selling book on a high-profile murder -- walks into the newsroom on this particular morning and is immediately called into the office of Richard Kramer, his managing editor.

By luck of the numbers game being played out at newspapers everywhere, Jack McEvoy finds himself being No. 99 on Kramer's list of 100 "bodies" the corporate suits say must be removed from the payroll in order to keep the newspaper solvent.

It is called the 30 List -- "30" being the ages-old newspaper code to signify the end of a story.

After 20-plus years in the game, all prime time and all productive, Jack McEvoy, along with scores of others nearing the top rung of the payroll ladder, is being issued the pink slip.

He'd been "30'd."

His replacement on the crime beat is Angela Cook, a fresh-hire from a top-flight journalism school. She is young, and because she is young, she has no cred in the newspaper game, no contacts or reliable sources, no corporate or cultural knowledge of the newspaper, and absolutely no connection with its readership.

But she is easy on the financial bottom line.

In other words, she comes cheaply.

She is also what is called a mojo, a mobile journalist able to file from the field via any electronic means -- text and photos for the newspaper or the website, or video and audio for television and radio partners -- with her ability to write well, or turn a memorable phrase, secondary to the primary factors that she is technologically savvy, can pump out a blog and, just as importantly, that her paycheque is modest.

On his way out the door, Jack McEvoy is beckoned into the office of city editor Dorothy Fowler.

"Angela's very good, and she's hungry," Fowler says to McEvoy. "But she doesn't have the chops. Not yet at least, and that's the problem, isn't it?

"The newspaper's supposed to be the community's watchdog, and we're turning it over to puppies."

And so it goes.

All "puppies" get older, of course, learn the tricks of the trade, and build sources of their own.

But it doesn't happen overnight.

In the meantime, hundreds of years of unrecoverable experience and investment on 30 Lists of individual newspapers everywhere are being shown the door through forced layoffs or buyouts.

Jack McEvoy is fiction, of course. He is nothing more than a recurring character in many of Michael Connelly's best-selling novels, second only to Det. Harry Bosch, and the main character in Connelly's recently-released The Scarecrow (Little, Brown), and a hellishly good read.

But he's also real, and the newspaper business from which he has just been bounced is also real, and the supposed good old days of hard-slog, investigative journalism are all but gone at most newspapers, and well-written columns replaced more often than not by quick-hit blurbs, titillating Twitters, mindless gossip on inconsequential celebrities and surface-skimming reportage.

The deep end of the pool is getting shallower.

As Jack McEvoy puts it, "The morning paper might as well be called the Daily Afterthought. Everything in it was posted on the web the night before."

And he is almost right.

Newspapers are becoming web-driven and, except for columnists and major features, most news hits the web before ink ever hits newsprint, all which has media experts and couch editors pondering the future of the treeware edition.

Here at Sun Media, there has been a number of 30 Lists over the last few years, with a mother lode of Jack and Jane McEvoys exiting the game because of the slashing of budgets, all taking their expertise, experience and genius with them -- reporters, columnists, photographers, desk editors, sales reps, ad developers, pressmen ... the list going on and on as newspapers downsize, merge, cut back on editions, shrink in size, and/or cease to exist.

And it has been tough to watch, and tough to listen as recession-whacked workers complain that the media doesn't understand their hardships when, under our own watchdog gaze, our friends and colleagues are also being pitched onto the same unemployment line.

Objectivity, therefore, becomes a difficult row to hoe.

But that row must be hoed nonetheless, at least until the suits return with yet another 30 List, posted on the bulletin board, and start checking off the names as they head out the door to drown their sorrows across the street at Betty's.

The last list, of course, is never ever truly the last, despite vague promises from corporate higher-ups that the worst is over.

The economy is always the governor; the bottom line always the decider; and the recession the most convenient excuse.

Once upon a time, I was one of those suits, and was put in the position, as publisher and CEO of the Ottawa Sun, to follow corporate's fiscal demand to lay off a number of employees.

The demand was legitimate from the standpoint of the bottom line the new owners at Quebecor demanded, not that it made it any easier.

They were, in fact, the worst days of my life.

The suits who wear their suits well learn early on in the game that it is best to know as little as possible about their rank-and-file employees, all in anticipation of the inevitable day that another 30 List has to be written and posted.

It is best not to know, for example, that the guy on the news desk desperately needs company benefits to take care of a special-needs child, or that the woman on the phone taking ads is working two jobs to make ends meet, or that the tough-talking sports columnist about to get axed is paying his aged mother's nursing-home bill while dishing out alimony and supporting three custodial kids.

It is better that they are only numbers -- nothing personal, just business.

Numbers, after all, are less burdensome.

Numbers can be easily looked in the eye.

But not people.

(Postscript: It has been said that Canada has only two seasons: winter and July. I am taking the next two weeks off for some R&R, hoping that winter doesn't come early. See you in August.)

Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Postby admin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:08 pm

Is anybody out there nearly thirty years late in learning some of life's basic lessons?

When I was in the financial "biz" I used to religiously read the financial daily news. The globe, the post, etc. Two or three decades of being a follower before I figured it out, and I only figured it out after leaving the industry.

The truth is that the business media will not tell the truth. Cannot tell the truth on some matters that need telling. They are beholden to business advertising revenues (from banks, financial firms, mutual funds ., etc, etc) and they often will overlook reporting on issues sensitive to these meal ticket advertisers.

So, short and sweet, I have to conclude that if you are reading the financial press like I was, you will be missing some of the most important information that would help educate, inform and protect you from predatory financial practices. These stories are often too sensitive, and it is easier for a business paper to look the other way, rather than offend advertisers.

I find business better reported in my own local paper, as they have no such advertising conflicts of interest. I can now stop my daily read of the post, and the globe, knowing that I will not be missing anything of importance to my economic protection. The media has sold its soul, like so many of the hundreds of suppliers to the financial business, which sold its soul quite some time ago.
Site Admin
Posts: 3068
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Canada


Return to Click here to view forums

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest