One of the things I learned after peppering some experts on investing is that for the most part, there are very few True Believers for any of the current investing heuristics (e.g. Passive Investing, Dividend Investing, etc.,). That was the one answer to one of my questions that I got to ask at CPFC13 that had me raising my eyebrow a little.
Surely someone who calls himself the Canadian Couch Potato would be a Kool-Aid guzzling zealot of Passive investing, but Dan proved that while he thinks that Passive Investing is a good thing, he did not unequivocally implore that folks must use this method if they want to be a good investor. The real advice was even more sensible which was, “do what makes you comfortable”.
I was a little disappointed after I poked at the Dividend True Believers, questioning whether this really was the Holy Grail of investing as has been advertised by many folks, and again, no Dividend Jihadist stood up and called me an investing infidel for making that statement. Even My Own Advisor did not rise to a direct provocation by me, I was a little crest-fallen that my jabs were ignored.
It actually ended up being an informative and intelligent discussion of investing no matter how much I attempted to turn it into a Barbed-Wire Cage Investment Match (which is a credit to the panel members, not rising to my petty commentaries).
The questions I put to the panel were as follows:
Financial Planner or DIY ? Can Canadians be trusted with something as important as their own investments?
The panel’s view was that many if not most Canadians could use some help with investing and maybe should be availing themselves of the services of some professional help.
Active or Passive Investing ? Why can’t we all beat the market?
The simple answer to the second question is, you just can’t for a long period. This is where the Couch Potato let slip his agnostic views on Passive Investing. Somewhere in the Couch Potato Investing world a spud fell into a deep
Dividend investing, what’s all the fuss ?
It ended up that the Dividend Jihadists showed moderation in their views on things, and some good points about Dividend Investing is not an excuse to eschew diversification (something I on occasion forget as well).
Is the best investment for most Canadians to simply pay down their own debt?
A sucker question from me, we all knew the answer, although again, cooler heads prevailed when I attempted to derail the discussion about how (in my opinion) there is no such thing as good debt.
Given the aging population of Canada what is your opinion of the idea that seniors should be holding a high percentage of equities as part of their retirement savings ?
The simple answer is, you invest money you are willing to lose (or lose a large part of), so if you rely on having this money, maybe it should not be overly invested in equities.
What is the “magic number” for when an investor might think they will have enough investments/money so that they don’t need to work?
I guess the panel was having a bit of a low blood sugar attack (as it was nearly lunch time), as we ended up agreeing on the answer, “it depends”, although Jason did say he thinks he can get a high certainty number for most folks if they come and talk to him.
What is the biggest NEW and EXCITING thing on the event horizon for investors (in your opinion) that worries you ?
The panel agreed that my Leveraged Chinese Housing Hedge Fund ETF might not be the best thing to be in right now.
All in all a very interesting time for me. The panel members were:
Thanks Gents, very informative