Post by Mack Chen


Pension manager loses $4-billion on investment bet gone wrong  by Mack Chen

The Alberta Investment Management Corp. — which manages pension assets, sovereign wealth, and other public money — lost billions of dollars on wrong-way volatility trades when markets crashed earlier this year, and then shut down the strategies... Read More

Most actively managed funds failed to beat benchmarks  by Mack Chen

Most actively managed Canadian mutual funds failed to beat their benchmarks over a one-year period, the mid-year scorecard from S&P Dow Jones Indices says.   ix out of seven fund categories underperformed against their benchmarks, the report... Read More

8 big SEC enforcement trophies in fiscal 2018  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission released its  annual enforcement report  for fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30. The agency touted what it called a “high level of activity” comprising 821 enforcement actions that resulted in $... Read More

Essential tax numbers: updated for 2019  by Mack Chen

Working clients Maximum RRSP contribution : The maximum contribution for 2018 is $26,230; for 2019, $26,500. TFSA limit : In 2018, the annual limit is $5,500, for a total of $57,500 for someone who has never contributed and has been eligible for ... Read More

731,000 Canadians borrow money to pay for prescriptions  by Mack Chen

Some 731,000 Canadians borrow money to pay for drugs prescribed by their doctors, according to new research by the University of British Columbia.   Among those who reported borrowing to pay for prescriptions, 33 per cent said they borrowed to p... Read More

Questrade to pay $2.9-million settlement to OSC  by Mack Chen

Questrade will make a $2.9-million payment to the OSC as part of a settlement agreement over conflict of interest.   The day after announcing the sale, Questrade purchased approximately $15 million in WisdomTree ETFs for its client portfolios. T... Read More

Canada-model pensions are most efficient system  by Mack Chen

Using a Canada-model pension plan, employees would see $5.32 in retirement income for every dollar they contribute compared to the typical $1.70 resulting from an individual approach. The World Bank has defined Canada-model pension plans ... Read More

Half of U.S. institutional investors don’t invest  by Mack Chen

more than half (59 per cent) of institutional investors use commingled and mutual funds. Fewer (37 per cent) use separate accounts, overlays (27 per cent) and direct securities (26 per cent). As for asset classes, two-thirds (65 per cen... Read More

Three Toronto men charged for illegally trading securities  by Mack Chen

Carlos Da Silva, Sei-Jin Ki and Kamal Singh “Bobby” Athwal were business associates who sold approximately $140,000 worth of securities in Toronto Scientific Medtech Inc. to Ontario investors in 2016 and 2017,... Read More

4 Big Rip-Offs To Avoid  by Mack Chen

Mortgage life insurance Extended warranty coverage Balance protection insurance from credit card lenders  Door-to-door sales pitches >>> Read More

IIROC fines TD Waterhouse $140K for inadequate supervision of advisor’s trading  by Mack Chen

The advisor, David Gary Durno, traded in securities and government bonds for two senior clients from 2010 to 2015 that were not in their financial interests and generated large commissions, the IIROC  settlement agreement  says.   Th... Read More

TD Ameritrade fined $500,000  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission  fined TD Ameritrade Inc. $500,000 on Monday for failing to file certain required suspicious activity reports after the firm halted business with 111 independent investment advisers.   Activities of ... Read More

access your own money, please pay 16% of interest  by Mack Chen

About 10,000 investors — many of them retirees — were swindled out of $1.2 billion they had sunk into a now-bankrupt real estate developer that federal regulators say was a  Ponzi scheme . A couple of weeks ago, a little-known hedge f... Read More


A Toronto financial advisor has been fined $150,000, inclusive of disgorgement. Durno “recommended and implemented active trading in new issue securities and government bonds” for two clients over a period of five years (2010 to 2015). The two ... Read More

RFMI paid its reps 10 basis points more in commission for selling RBC PS Funds over the other RBC and third-party funds  by Mack Chen

RFMI paid its reps 10 basis points more in commission for selling RBC PS Funds over the other RBC and third-party funds, says the settlement agreement. The higher commissions added up to more than $24.5 million and average additional annual commission... Read More


Taxpayers are on the hook for the unfunded liability of federal pension plans.  “Ottawa’s unfunded pension liability is nearly $100 billion worse than stated.” These defined-benefit pensions have pension promises guaranteed by ... Read More

Embrace volatility with dollar-cost averaging  by Mack Chen

Dollar-cost averaging is defined as “buying a fixed dollar amount of an investment on a regular schedule, regardless of price,” says Dustin Barrow, a certified financial planner with Abacus Wealth Management Inc. in Edmonton. The “cost... Read More


The company formerly known as Yahoo is paying a US$35 million fine to resolve federal regulators’ charges that the online pioneer deceived investors by failing to disclose one of the biggest data breaches in internet history.   Personal da... Read More


The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) received three times as many public complaints about financial planning in 2017 as in the previous year. Of the 76 complaints received, 21% were public complaints, compared to 6% in 2016. More than half... Read More

Build Flexibility Into Your Retirement Plan  by Mack Chen

If your retirement plan only works as long as nothing goes seriously wrong, you are not properly prepared for retirement. It’s important to plan ahead. Knowing how you will handle certain crises can go a long way toward minimizing the financial fallo... Read More


Trailing commissions paid to brokers who sell mutual funds are under fire in a proposed class action against TD Asset Management (TDAM). Siskinds LLP in London, Ont. and Bates Barristers P.C. in Toronto have filed the class action, a release said... Read More


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says PNC Investments LLC, Securities America Advisors Inc., and Geneos Wealth Management Inc. failed to disclose conflicts of interest and violated their best-execution duties by putting clients in higher-cost mu... Read More

10 low-tech stock funds beating the S&P 500  by Mack Chen

VictoryShares US 500 Volatility Wtd ETF, 12-month return: 17.77%. BlackRock Advantage Large Cap Core Fund, 12-month return: 17.89% USA Mutuals Vice Investor Fund, 12-month return: 18.37% BrandywineGLOBAL - Dynamic US Large Cap Value... Read More

Carleton University support staff strike to defend DB pension  by Mack Chen

Carleton University employees are beginning job action Monday morning in defence of their defined benefit pension plan. Staff is arguing that the university is attempting to strip pension language from its employees’ collective agreement.&nbs... Read More

How Retirees Can Make Good Use Of TFSAs  by Mack Chen

Taxes may be the single biggest expense in retirement, especially once you convert a large  RRSP to a RRIF . Forced minimum withdrawals often put retirees in the position of having to take out more money than they need, pushing them into a higher ta... Read More


40% of Canadians have made a withdrawal from their RRSPs. Those who have done so have withdrawn an average of $20,952—an increase of $3,739 compared to last year’s average of $17,213. The reasons for withdrawing from RRSPs include: purc... Read More

Claiming Your Investment Expenses  by Mack Chen

You can save on your taxes by claiming certain investment expenses which can reduce your taxable income.   You can claim the fees you pay for that investment advice; any fees paid for the management of your account;  fees for accountan... Read More

Almost a million Canadians cut food, heat spending to pay for drugs  by Mack Chen

Almost one million Canadians cut spending on necessities such as food and heating to afford prescription drugs in 2016, according to a report by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, McMaster University and t... Read More

Canadians estimate $756K will provide a comfortable retirement  by Mack Chen

Canadians estimate, on average, they’ll need $756,000 in personal savings for a comfortable retirement, according to the survey. Millennials believes they’re need the most, at $917,000, compared to generation X ($842,000) and baby boomers ... Read More

A Sensible RRSP vs TFSA Comparison  by Mack Chen

When you put money in an RRSP and invest the tax refund, you’re using pre-tax dollars. The money grows inside a tax sheltered account and then you pay taxes on your withdrawals years later in retirement. The opposite is true of a TFSA – you ... Read More


Federal prosecutors are charging a group of traders with manipulating U.S. futures markets through a practice known as spoofing.    That’s when a trader places buy or sell orders with the intent to cancel them before the transactions ... Read More


National Bank has been ordered to pay a $700,000 administration fee for failing to provide timely delivery of disclosure documents to investors who purchased ETFs.   The delivery failure affected a total of 128,199 ETF purchases involving 44,857... Read More

Using Annuities To Create Your Own Personal Pension In Retirement  by Mack Chen

The reason why retirement planning is so difficult is because the one variable we need to know – how long we have to live – is impossible to predict. Sure, we have mortality tables and family history to help guide us, but statistically speaking... Read More


  Tuition, education and textbook credits .  As of Jan. 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook credits were eliminated. However, clients can still carry forward unused amounts from previous years. Also, with certain conditions, t... Read More


Faces a more than $260-million pension deficit and has laid off roughly 15,000 employees, Sears made a $102-million dividend payment on Dec. 31, 2012, and a $509-million dividend payment on Dec. 6, 2013. Hundreds of millions of dollars of dividends dole... Read More

Legislation would make it harder for investors to sue mutual funds over high fees  by Mack Chen

Legislation that would make it more difficult for investors to sue mutual fund companies for excessive fees was poised to advance in the House on Wednesday.   The House Financial Services Committee was set to take up  a bill  that wo... Read More


The Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado filed the claim against BMO, Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, TD and three others at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Fr... Read More

Massive investment fraud  by Mack Chen

For almost five years, the SEC said the Woodbridge Group of Companies operated a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, taking advantage of 8,400 investors, many of them elderly. What is striking about the alleged fraud is that it operated in plain sight.   ... Read More


The owner of two Massachusetts-based investment advisory firms has pleaded guilty to defrauding his investors of millions of dollars to fund his own lavish lifestyle.   Federal prosecutors say 44-year-old Yasuna Murakami, of Cambridge, pleaded g... Read More


Kirkland earned about $477,000 in net commissions in 2013 and 2014 as a result of new issues purchases, the agreement says. BMO earned fees and commissions on these same purchases of about $1,908,900.   “The commissions paid to him by BMO ... Read More


More than 90% of Canadian families with children will pay more once Canada Pension Plan (CPP) increases are fully implemented.   All (almost 99%) middle-income Canadian fami­lies with children (incomes ranging from $77,839 to $110,201) will ... Read More

7 Income Splitting Strategies For Families  by Mack Chen

Our Canadian tax system has graduated tax brackets that result in people with earnings in higher tax brackets paying a greater amount of tax.   Income splitting is a tax planning technique designed to shift income from a high-income earning taxp... Read More

Biggest Finra penalties of 2017  by Mack Chen

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fines have been climbing for the past decade. Last year the brokerage industry saw a dramatic year-over-year increase in the Finra fines against broker-dealers, hitting a record and totaling a staggering $173.8 milli... Read More

New CPP, OAS benefit amounts take effect for 2018  by Mack Chen

With the new year underway, recipients of Canada Pension Plan and old-age security benefits are getting a modest increase from the federal government.   Effective Jan. 1, 2018, CPP payments will increase by 1.5 per cent for those already re... Read More

How Will The New CPP Changes Affect You?  by Mack Chen

The Federal and Provincial finance ministers met again earlier this week to pursue their ongoing discussions on how to improve the Canada Pension Plan. The majority of the provinces agreed to make the following changes to CPP: 1. “Drop-out&rdqu... Read More

10 Financial Lessons To Share With Friends  by Mack Chen

  1. Avoid credit card debt like the plague It’s impossible to go through life without incurring at least some debt. I’ve had student loans, credit card debt, a car loan, line of credit, and finally a mortgage. Carrying a balanc... Read More

Important information for 2017 RRSP Contributions and 2017 Tax Reporting  by Mack Chen

2018 1 st  60 Day RRSP Contribution Key Dates Jan 2 nd , 2018 to March 1 st , 2018 3pm acceptance cut-off on March 1 st , 2018 for direct trades 4 pm cut-off on March 1 st , 2018 for wire trades (coded Current Period)   ... Read More

Woodbridge bankruptcy burns advisers and real estate investors  by Mack Chen

Woodbridge Group of Companies, a luxury real estate developer, last week missed payments on notes sold to investors and yesterday filed chapter 11 bankruptcy.   Based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Woodbridge has raised over $1 billion from investors.... Read More


The Bank of Canada is considering the merits of establishing a digital currency as interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin reaches a fevered pitch. There are merits to creating a central bank digital currency as society starts to move away from cash, ... Read More

How Emotional Investing Can Cost You  by Mack Chen

When choppy market returns are accompanied by uncertainty and volatility associated with major world events, even the most experienced investors can find it difficult to tune out the noise and stay disciplined.   In the face of disappointing sho... Read More


An Alberta Securities Commission panel has sanctioned Wayne Loderick Bennett for breaching Alberta securities laws in connection with the distribution of securities of Environmental Sentry Services Inc. (ESSI).   The ASC says that Bennett was th... Read More

5 Reasons to Start an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan)  by Mack Chen

Government grants mean free money!   The federal government puts in 20 cents for every dollar you contribute to an RESP – up to $500 per year – under a program called the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). That is a guaranteed 20... Read More


Canada is the only G7 country without a plan to increase its age of eligibility, after the Liberal government scrapped the plans of its predecessor to increase the age to 67 by 2023. (In some cases, such as in the U.K. where there’s a plan to ra... Read More

What Happens If Your Child Doesn’t Go To School?  by Mack Chen

Question:  My wife and I have a child, and have an RESP – Registered Education Savings Plan – individual plan for her education savings. We’ve been doing a good job of contributing to the RESP since our daughter was born so there&rs... Read More


“When we called the call centres of Canada Revenue Agency and we posed our questions, about 30% of the responses that we got back were not right,” Ferguson told a news conference—a “very concerning” finding that could be causi... Read More

Ontario pension regulator seeks Sears pension windup  by Mack Chen

Ontario’s pension regulator is seeking the windup of the Sears Canada Inc. pension plan as the company continues the liquidation process.   The move comes as the court dealing with Sears’ restructuring under the Companies’ Cr... Read More


Canadians overwhelmingly admit that restaurant food is their most popular financial guilty pleasure, reveals a survey by Capital One Canada and Credit Canada. Almost three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed say they dine out more than a few times a month, wh... Read More

Estate Plan Mistakes  by Mack Chen

1. Using a will when privacy is at stake While many individuals prefer a will-based estate plan, wills create a record for public consumption, whereas revocable trusts protect the privacy of an estate.  “They both do the same thing: [dic... Read More


Thousands of retired French workers are protesting in cities around the country over a new tax hike on their pensions. The retirees are joining a growing crowd of critics of French President Emmanuel Macron — he’s already faced pro... Read More


Service Canada found that for average monthly survivor pensions starting in March 2017, those younger than 65 received $429.33 (approx. $5,200 annually), whereas those 65 and older received $315.77 (approx. $3,800 annually). In comparison, a 65-year-old qu... Read More


Sue Earl, a 38-year Sears Canada employee, was shocked when she found out she would only initially receive 81% of the value of her pension as part of the company’s insolvency process.   The 64-year-old from Cobourg, Ont., had assumed her d... Read More


A 2017 study by the Fraser Institute, referred to as the  Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2017 edition , finds the average Canadian family continues to spend more on taxes than housing, food and clothing combined. The index tracked the total tax bill o... Read More

Taxes surpass housing as biggest expense for Canadians  by Mack Chen

The average Canadian family spent 42.5 per cent of their income on taxes last year, more than they spent on housing and other expenses combined, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute. The total tax bill considered in the study reflects tax... Read More

Montreal police and city reach agreement on pension changes  by Mack Chen

Montreal police officers have voted in favour of a new contract that puts an end to a long-running dispute over pension reforms.   The city’s police union, the Montreal Police Brotherhood, says 95.3 per cent of officers who voted approved ... Read More

Sears Canada retirees launch motion to force windup of pension plan  by Mack Chen

The dispute over the fate of the pensions of Sears Canada Inc. retirees and employees will be back on the agenda this week as lawyers go to court to seek the windup of the company’s defined benefit plan.   Last week, counsel for the employ... Read More

Ontario aerospace workers facing 25% pension cut  by Mack Chen

Workers about to lose their jobs at Northstar Aerospace’s operations in Milton, Ont., are now facing the prospect of a 25 per cent cut to their pensions.   After returning from the holiday break last year, workers “were given th... Read More

Ex-Sears Canada employees facing 19% cut in commuted-value payments  by Mack Chen

Former Sears Canada Inc. employees who opt to take the commuted value of their defined benefit pension are facing an immediate 19 per cent reduction in their entitlements.   According to an update to former employees from their legal counse... Read More

RBC to pay $560,000 for transferring retiree's pension  by Mack Chen

A Finra arbitration panel has awarded a Wyoming couple $559,612 in a claim against RBC Capital Markets and three of its brokers for having transferred funds improperly from a defined benefit plan.   The transfer, from the account of claimants Jo... Read More

Canada facing $13.4-trillion retirement savings deficit by 2050  by Mack Chen

Canada is facing a $13.4-trillion retirement savings deficit by 2050, up from a $2.7-trillion shortfall in 2015, according to a new report by Mercer and the World Economic Forum. Among all eight countries included in the  report  &mdash... Read More


Scotia Capital admitted it failed to adequately supervise two registered representatives when they recommended unsuitable securities transactions for clients.    Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Scotia Capital agreed to the following p... Read More

Sears Canada agrees to continue special payments to DB plan, retiree benefits  by Mack Chen

Sears Canada Inc. has reversed course and will continue to make special payments to its defined benefit pension plan and provide post-employment benefits plans until Sept. 30, 2017.   The agreement, which the company reached with employees and r... Read More

Continued DB special payments would imperil Sears operations, CFO warns  by Mack Chen

Requiring Sears Canada Inc. to continue special payments to its defined benefit pension plan would put the company’s operations at risk...   The affidavit follows the company’s motion in June to suspend the special payments of $... Read More

Finra makes up for 2016 operating revenue hit with big increase in fine income  by Mack Chen

Finra's operating revenues dropped to $844.6 million in 2016 from $898.7 million in 2015,  according to the report . But fines increased to $173.8 million in 2016, up from $93.8 million in 2015. >>>   Read More

Sears Canada motions on pension, health benefits ‘concerning to retirees’  by Mack Chen

The initial court order filed Thursday requires the company to pay all outstanding and future wages, as well as health and pension benefits, “to the extent that such expenses are . . . payable by the Sears Canada entities,” he says. But the ... Read More

Sears Canada seeking to suspend special payments as pension found to be 81% funded  by Mack Chen

Facing a monthly obligation to put $3.7 million a month into its pension plan to make up for a funding shortfall, Sears Canada Inc. is planning to ask the court to relieve it of its special payments while it restructures. “Sears Canada cannot affo... Read More


Desjardins Financial Security Services faces a fine of $200,000 and costs of $25,000 after the MFDA found it failed to investigate and prevent the dealings of a former advisor.   Between February 2007 and December 2015, while regi... Read More

Sears faces $300M retirement benefit shortfall as retailer seeks CCAA protection  by Mack Chen

While Sears Canada Inc. shareholders deal with stock losses as the company moves to file for bankruptcy protection, pension plan members and retirees face worries over a $308.6-million deficit related to its retirement benefit obligations. Accordin... Read More

7 common investment mistakes to avoid  by Mack Chen

1. Falling in love with the story If you fall for the story behind a company, or its product, you may not see fundamental flaws, poor market conditions, or overpricing of the stock. Marketing experts agree the best sales job is achieved through telling ... Read More


Dividend taxation can be confusing, but it’s part of our tax system’s theory of integration: the idea that an individual should pay the same amount of tax whether income is earned personally or through a corporation. Dividends are distributi... Read More

4 Reasons Why You Make A Lot Of Money But Have None  by Mack Chen

Why does it feel like no matter how much you make, you never have enough money? The obvious answer is you're spending too much. But where is it going? And  why  are you spending so much? Let's be honest, it's partly because no one l... Read More

Why You Still Can’t Trust Your Financial Adviser  by Mack Chen

Your new financial adviser has a well-decorated office, a firm handshake, and a bright smile. After an hourlong meeting, you leave with what you think is a state-of-the-art investment portfolio. You feel financially secure, taken care of. It’s als... Read More


Federal MPs are hearing testimony from former bank employees today as they explore allegations of questionable — and even illegal — sales practices by some of the country’s largest financial institutions. The committee will hear from f... Read More

Most Canadians expecting to fund own retirement  by Mack Chen

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of Canadians don’t believe government benefits will still be available when they retire, according to new research by Natixis Global Asset Management. Its survey of 300 Canadians found 78 per cent expect to fund their ... Read More

More Canadians seeking CPP disability benefits have denials overturned on appeal  by Mack Chen

Nearly half the Canadians who seek to have decisions denying them access to Canada Pension Plan disability benefits are successfully appealing the rulings, according to a new statistic that is giving experts cause for concern. Michael Ferguson’s F... Read More

21% of Canadians believe public pensions will be defunct when they retire  by Mack Chen

One-fifth (21 per cent) of working age Canadians believe public pensions will no longer exist when they reach retirement, according to a new report by HSBC. Its  annual look at the future of retirement , which surveyed more than 18,000 people in ... Read More

Biggest pension systems face $224-trillion funding gap by 2050  by Mack Chen

By 2050, the six countries with the world’s largest pension systems will have a combined funding gap of $224 trillion largely due to demographic trends, according to a new study by the World Economic Forum. The report found Australia, Canada, Japa... Read More


The  BCSC found  that Brendan Schouw accepted $1 million from an investor, redirected some of the funds into his own account, and spent about $75,000 of it on his personal mortgage payments and a separate property management business. The in... Read More


As a result of Yaskiw’s investment recommendations, a Saskatchewan couple planning to retire lost $125,000 of their savings, says IIROC, which finds Yaskiw frequently traded in high-risk securities, largely in the energy sector, and employed speculat... Read More


James Harvey diverted $2.5 million of investors’ funds for his own use and failed to report it as taxable income, evading federal taxes of $673,871, CRA says in a release, citing court records. Cameron has not yet been sentenced. The CRA says... Read More

Fake news! Some investment research is a sham  by Mack Chen

The SEC has warned investors that information purporting to be unbiased investment research actually may be undisclosed paid stock promotion. In an investor alert, the Securities and Exchange Commission advised investors to use many sources and never to... Read More


Millennials (aged 18 to 29) make up 14% of Ontario insolvencies, up from 12% in 2015, finds the report. As expected, one third (31%) of insolvent millennials have student debt. But, more concerning, 38% have payday loans. That compares to 25% for insolvent... Read More

Pimco has agreed to pay US$81 million to settle the lawsuit from its founder Bill Gross  by Mack Chen

Pimco has agreed to pay US$81 million to settle the lawsuit from its founder Bill Gross,  reports the  Financial Times . Those familiar with the deal say Gross claimed he was illegally ousted from the firm in 2014, says the report.&nbs... Read More

Federal employee pensions should move to shared-risk model  by Mack Chen

According to a 2016 report from the C.D. Howe Institute, the undisclosed market value of these plans’ obligations were $269 billion at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, or $118 billion more than reported. As it stands, these defined benefit plans p... Read More

Adviser gets seven years for Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

Patrick Churchville, the owner and president of ClearPath Wealth Management in Providence, R.I., has been  sentenced to seven years  in federal prison for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $21 million. According to  the SEC... Read More


Hundreds of current and former TD Bank Group employees wrote to Go Public describing a pressure cooker environment they say is “poisoned,” “stress inducing,” “insane” and has “zero focus on ethics.” Some e... Read More

An investor won a $357,000 arbitration award against Wells Fargo Advisors for unsuitable energy and housing investments.  by Mack Chen

The investor, Anthony J. Pryor, claimed fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent supervision, among other causes of action. The  arbitration award  did not provide any further detail about the allegations. T... Read More


Brian Porter, president and CEO of Scotiabank, received a pay bump in 2016. His total compensation was $11.8 million, compared to $10.9 million in 2015. His direct compensation for the year—which doesn’t include his pension and other compens... Read More


Manulife Financial Corp. confirmed Monday its banking unit was penalized last year after Canada’s money-laundering watchdog concluded it failed to report a suspicious transaction and various money transfers. Last year, Fintrac fined the bank $1.15... Read More

15 OFFENDERS JAILED IN 2016  by Mack Chen

In 2016, more than 23 years of jail time were handed down to 15 offenders for Securities Act violations. That compares to about 10 years of jail time handed down last year. Further, 13 people were found guilty under the Criminal Code. Nine people were s... Read More


IIROC says Scotia Capital admitted that it failed to properly supervise the conduct of Krishna Sammy, a portfolio manager at DWM Securities, to ensure compliance with the dealer member rules. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Scotia Capital agreed t... Read More

31 Toronto hospital staff fired for benefits claim ‘irregularities’  by Mack Chen

Thirty-one employees at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have been fired in relation to “irregularities in some employee health benefit claims,” spokesperson Leslie Shepherd confirmed in an email to  Benefits Canada . The irreg... Read More

SEC, Morgan Stanley settle charges related to inverse ETFs  by Mack Chen

Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay an $8 million penalty and admit wrongdoing to settle charges related to single inverse ETF investments it recommended to advisory clients. The SEC's order said that Morgan Stanley did not adequately implement its pol... Read More

York Region police officer fired for benefits fraud  by Mack Chen

An officer from the York Regional Police Service was fired yesterday for benefits fraud, two years after pleading guilty and being suspended with pay. In the original hearing on Dec. 10, 2015, York Regional Police superintendent Graeme Turl ruled t... Read More

Reduced pension benefits among possibilities facing Manitoba government workers  by Mack Chen

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has raised the possibility of unpaid days off and reduced pension benefits for public-sector workers as part of its drive to reduce a billion-dollar deficit. The Tories have already floated the idea o... Read More


Only 46% of Canadians plan to contribute to RRSPs this year, reveals part one of a BMO survey, but that figure paints only half of the grim picture. Part two of the survey reveals that 38% of Canadians have withdrawn RRSP funds this year, before ag... Read More

Economic council suggests backtrack on retirement age  by Mack Chen

The advisory council believes allowing CPP and old-age security deferrals beyond age 70 would encourage willing older workers to remain in the workforce for longer. In its report, it suggested the government could also explore ways to make deferrals... Read More

Nearly 60% of Americans don't have wills  by Mack Chen

Only 36% of U.S. adults with children under age 18 have a will or living trust, and just 42% of all U.S. adults have such documents,  a new study from  finds. In terms of wills, the survey found that 58% of Republicans have one, v... Read More

SEC hits Citigroup advisory unit with $18.3 million penalty for overbilling clients  by Mack Chen

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. agreed to pay $18.3 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it overbilled investment advisory clients, the agency announced on Thursday. From 2000 until 2015, the Citigroup unit overcharged approxi... Read More

Without a will, Prince lost control of his music  by Mack Chen

Now, because he failed to leave a will, his wishes are taking a backseat. His estate, represented by music industry veteran Charles A. Koppelman and entertainment lawyer L. Londell McMillan, is racing under a court mandate to get the most from a catalog of... Read More

SEC hits Morgan Stanley with $13 million fine  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $13 million penalty to settle charges that it overbilled investment advisory clients. The firm also violated the custody rule pertaining to annual surprise examinatio... Read More

SEC charges two brokers with fraud in excessive-trading scheme  by Mack Chen

The SEC alleged brokers Gregory T. Dean and Donald J. Fowler used a “high-cost trading strategy consisting of the excessive buying and selling of stocks” that led to “enormous losses” for clients but benefited them through “su... Read More

Social Security program to run out of money in calendar year 2029  by Mack Chen

In fiscal year 2016, the $905 billion spent on Social Security benefits accounted for nearly one-quarter of federal spending, with 84% in the OASI program. Without changes to scheduled benefit payments or laws governing taxes and spending, Social Security ... Read More

Former N.Y. State Common Retirement Fund fixed-income director arrested  by Mack Chen

Both complaints alleged a long-running conspiracy between Mr. Kang and the two broker-dealers, who paid for gifts in return for his recommending to the $184.5 billion New York pension fund that their firms be hired to manage fixed-income investments. ... Read More

Finra bars former JP Morgan, RBC brokers  by Mack Chen

Finra on Friday barred two former brokers for violating firm policies, one from RBC Capital Markets and one from J.P. Morgan Securities. John Simpson, who has been registered with Finra since 1980 and worked at RBC from March 2009 to February 2016, was ... Read More

Former LPL Financial rep gets more than five years for Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

From May 2012 to December 2014, Mr. Fackrell ran his Ponzi scheme, misusing funds from at least 20 clients. He was a registered broker with LPL during that time. Mr. Fackrell “used his position of trust to solicit victim investors and steer them a... Read More

Financial adviser pleads guilty to theft of more than $1.6 million  by Mack Chen

A former financial adviser has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.6 million from the beneficiaries of three trusts that he managed, according to a statement from the New York City's district attorney's office. From approximately May 2007 to... Read More


EU regulators on Wednesday fined banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole a combined US$520 million for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates. JPMorgan Chase was fined 337 million euros, France&rsquo... Read More

It is true - Dallas mayor files suit to stop pension withdrawals  by Mack Chen

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to stop the Dallas police and fire pension system from allowing retirees to pull their deferred retirement funds from the ailing system. “Because [deferred retirement] participants do ... Read More


The bank, which was bailed out by the government shortly after the share sale, says it will pay as much as 800 million pounds ($1.02 billion) to settle the claims of all five groups. Royal Bank of Scotland says it has reached a settlement with three of ... Read More

Merrill Lynch to pay $7.03 million in Finra case for inadequacies in leveraging customer brokerage accounts  by Mack Chen

Merrill Lynch  will pay $7.03 million in fines and restitution to settle charges brought by Finra for inadequacies in overseeing customers' use of leverage in the wirehouse's brokerage accounts. In addition to a $6.25 million fine, Merrill... Read More

LPL sued by Galvin over top producer's alleged variable annuity abuses  by Mack Chen

The broker, Roger Zullo, “for years has defrauded his clients, lied to his supervisors, and fabricated client financial suitability profiles, in order to enrich himself and LPL by selling scores of identical, illiquid and high-commission variable ann... Read More

Regulator said Pimco misled investors about the performance of its actively managed Total Return ETF  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Pimco will pay nearly $20 million to settle charges that it misled investors about the performance of Pimco's Total Return ETF (BOND), one its first actively managed exchange-traded funds. ... Read More

STRESS TESTS: Barclays, RBS, and Standard Chartered found to have capital inadequacies'  by Mack Chen

LONDON – Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, and Standard Chartered came up lacking  in the Bank of England's stress tests. The three banks had to submit plans to the regulator detailing how they would raise capital and boost their resilie... Read More

Ontario spent $800K on ads after cancelling ORPP  by Mack Chen

The Ontario government spent $793,925 on new advertising out of the budget for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan after cancelling the program, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through a freedom of information request. ... Read More

Manitoba to introduce pooled retirement pension plans  by Mack Chen

The government of Manitoba has announced it will introduce pooled retirement pension plans as a new option to help the province’s employees save for retirement. Manitoba will likely make PRPPs a voluntary option for employers as Hamilton notes the... Read More

Minnesota adviser gets six-year prison sentence for Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

“Lindemann abused his position of trust as a financial adviser to steal from his clients, including  the elderly ,” Mike Rothman, Minnesota's commerce commissioner, said. “Lindemann defrauded his victims by promising to put the... Read More

Get off to a good savings start with this budget calculator  by Mack Chen

This budget calculator by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada will let you dig deep into where your money goes. Before using it, make sure you have a paycheque and recent credit card or chequing account statements handy. If you have utility bills or in... Read More


Sun Life will now be offering coverage of more than $3 million for people living with HIV. The insurer will also eliminate routine underwriting requirements such as medical exams, ECGs, stress ECGs, oral fluid samples and urine HIV tests ... Read More


IIROC says Dahl admitted he made unsuitable recommendations for two clients, failed to update the account information of two clients after their circumstances materially changed, and placed discretionary trades on behalf of two clients. Dahl also agreed... Read More

JPMorgan to pay $264 million to resolve China hiring probe  by Mack Chen

JPMorgan Chase & Co ( JPM.N ) has agreed to pay U.S. authorities $264 million to resolve allegations it hired the relatives of Chinese officials in order to win banking deals, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department sai... Read More


The regulator alleged that from 2009 to 2013, Davis borrowed $80,000 from a client, “thereby giving rise to a conflict of potential conflict of interest.” He used the money to open a tax preparation business, Davis and Associates, the MFDA foun... Read More

Edward Jones hit with second lawsuit over excessive 401(k) fees  by Mack Chen

The lawsuit,  Schultz et al v. Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. et al , alleges the broker-dealer and several employees overseeing the retirement plan breached their fiduciary duties by selecting high-cost mutual funds when identical, lower-cost ones... Read More

Finra bans LPL broker for depositing client funds into own bank account  by Mack Chen

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred an  LPL Financial  broker for depositing client funds into his personal bank account. The broker, Dominic Thomas DeBruin, was investigated for placing client funds into a bank accou... Read More

401(k) record keeper sued over 'pay to play' scheme  by Mack Chen

Xerox HR Solutions, one of the largest record keepers for defined contribution plans, has been sued over an alleged pay-to-play scheme with managed-account provider Financial Engines Inc Plaintiffs, a trio of participants in the Ford plans, allege Xerox... Read More


After two civil trials, one in Quebec (filed in 2002, concluded in 2011) and one in Ontario (filed in 2002, concluded in 2012), Thibault was ordered to pay Empire Life $35.8 million for misappropriation of funds. Yet Thibault was able to continue his ca... Read More


Edward Jones admitted to insufficient retail account supervision. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Edward Jones agreed to the following penalty: A fine of $250,000. Edward Jones also agreed to pay costs in the amount of $50,000 >>... Read More


This year’s top Canadian fund family winners are: Phillip, Hager & North, for bonds and overall Mawer Investment Management, for equity and mixed assets BMO, for bond ETFs Vanguard Investments, for equity ETFs A full list of Ca... Read More

Manitoba launches consultation on Canada Pension Plan  by Mack Chen

Manitoba is launching public consultations to hear ideas and suggestions on enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan. “We believe Canadians will receive the most benefit from the Canada Pension Plan if the provinces and the federal government work ... Read More

What does a Trump presidency mean for U.S. employers?  by Mack Chen

Health insurance During the election campaign, Trump promised he’d repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, within the first 100 days.  Paid leave Paid leave regulations have also been a hot topic on the campaign trail. ... Read More

Winning strategy in election year: Guns, booze, tobacco and gambling  by Mack Chen

When Americans are worried, they reach for guns, tobacco, slot machines and booze — and that's one reason USA Mutuals Vice fund (VICEX) has done so well this year. Unlike funds that seek to make the world safer and healthier,  USA Mutual... Read More


92-year-old Jessie and her 93-year-old husband Clarence, who had been living together at a retirement home in Grimsby then were sent to different homes, one in Grimsby and one in nearby St. Catharines. >>> Read More


The San Francisco bank has been under fire since it was discovered that employees, to meet extremely lofty sales goals, opened as many as 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customer authorization. The company has since fired more than 5,000 em... Read More

Finra fines eight broker-dealers $6.2 million  by Mack Chen

Finra imposed sanctions against Voya Financial Advisors, five broker-dealer subsidiaries of Cetera Financial Group, Kestra Investment Services and FTB Advisors Inc., according to its action notice. The firms entered into the settlement without admitting no... Read More


IIROC reports that, of the 838 complaints it received from clients of IIROC-regulated firms over the past two fiscal years (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016), unsuitable investments topped the list with 222 complaints. Other complaints roundi... Read More

Adviser allegedly took $529,000 from investors in Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

Stephen S. Eubanks has taken at least $529,000 from friends, neighbors and their families over several years, according to a complaint notice from the office of the secretary Tuesday. Investors are seeking to recover their money. The complaint notice sa... Read More


CIBC has  reached an agreement  with the OSC to compensate customers for collecting excess fees for certain mutual funds and investment services over 14 years. According to an OSC statement, short-comings in systems and controls at CIBC Worl... Read More


1. Between February 2005 and June 2014, Papp maintained brokerage accounts outside of his Dealer Member, without the knowledge or consent of his Dealer Member 2. Between February 2005 and June 2014, Papp made untrue and misleading statements t... Read More

Pension solvency continues to slip despite increase in returns  by Mack Chen

While fund managers outperformed the report’s third quarter benchmark of between 4.1 and 4.3 per cent for diversified portfolios, the solvency ratio of the average pension plan fell by about 2.2 per cent, according to the report. The market produc... Read More


The MFDA has settled with Edmonton advisor Nathan Charles Garries, who admitted to falsifying or using pre-signed account forms for more than a dozen clients, among other issues. >>> Read More


The ability to pick the best securities in a specific market is much less important than your choice of which markets to invest in. Consider the example of emerging market equities, which underperformed U.S. equities by more than 55% over the five years... Read More

Canada’s retirement system receives B grade from global pension index  by Mack Chen

Canada’s retirement system maintained its score of a B on the 2016 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, indicating a sound structure, many good features and some areas of improvement. To improve, Canada could develop a product for employees... Read More

202,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year  by Mack Chen

This year, 202,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer, a study from the Canadian Cancer Society predicts. Half (50.4 per cent) of the diagnoses will be lung, bronchus, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers, and men (45 per cent) are sli... Read More


Gail Shea, minister of National Revenue, says that Ottawa will use the courts to get the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to hand over leaked data naming people who have allegedly used offshore tax havens. “As announced in Economic Action Plan 20... Read More

The company had been operating for years like a Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

The Nasdaq stock market has delisted UDF IV shares - real estate investment trust United Development Funding IV . UDF IV, with $684 million in assets according to SEC filings, is a mortgage and development REIT. UDF branded REITs and private deals ... Read More

Adviser suspended for five years for overcharging clients  by Mack Chen

Jens Pinkernell, the principal adviser and founder of his firm, J. Pinkernell Global Wealth, in Gunter, Texas., was ordered to repay the two clients $46,915. His company's investment adviser registration is also suspended for five years. Accord... Read More

Former UBS broker barred for inflating customer account value  by Mack Chen

A former broker with UBS Group AG's wealth management unit was barred from the brokerage industry after providing a customer with false weekly account statements over a period of six years, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. ... Read More


Only one-quarter of Canadian equity funds (26.4%) outperformed the S&P/TSX Composite Index over the one-year period. Only 38% of dividend and income funds outperformed the S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index over the same period. Only... Read More

SEC sets record in enforcement actions against investment advisers  by Mack Chen

The SEC filed a record number of total enforcement actions across their purview — 868 — and a record number of standalone cases — 548. It collected more than $4 billion in disgorgement and penalties. >>>   Read More

Should I work past 70 while collecting CPP and OAS?  by Mack Chen

If you plan in any case to work until age 67 or 70, then that’s probably when you should start collecting your CPP. You can use the tool at  to make an exact calculation, one that factors in some variables you’ve n... Read More

Ontario Teachers’ to partially restore inflation protection for newer retirees  by Mack Chen

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will use part of its $13.2-billion surplus to restore some inflation protection for teachers who retired after 2009, according to the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government. The rem... Read More

Finra fines Ameriprise $850,000 for failing to supervise broker preying on his own family  by Mack Chen

The registered representative, who worked as a sales assistant and office manager, took more than $370,000 from five Ameriprise customers from October 2011 to September 2013, according to a  Finra statement Wednesday . The customers included his mot... Read More


If you found out your doctor had been permanently banned from practicing medicine, would you want her to be your pharmacist? Likely not. But  an investigation  has identified nine cases between 2013 and 2015 where reps were perman... Read More

56% of Canadians over 50 don’t have a retirement savings plan  by Mack Chen

More than half (56 per cent) of Canadian pre-retirees aged 50 or older don’t have a retirement savings plan, according to research commissioned by the Ontario Securities Commission. 36 per cent are doing so through an employer-provided pension pla... Read More

How you pay for mutual funds  by Mack Chen

That payment comes in two parts: Sales charge Management expense ratio The sales charge is a one-time fee. It’s a percentage of your investment, usually no higher than 7%, that you either pay up-front (called a front-end sales charge) or... Read More

Pension solvency funding a growing challenge as B.C. deficits mount  by Mack Chen

British Columbia’s defined benefit pension plans continue to face funding challenges as solvency deficits mount. In its report, the  regulator reviewed  196 defined benefit plans in the province and found that, as of Dec. 31, 2015, the... Read More

ETFs are shuttering at a record pace  by Mack Chen

ETFs are shutting down at a record clip. Last month, 41 ETFs shut down, and 11 more are already slated to close in September. That compares to 40 closings through the first seven months of the year. That's up from 1,770 ETFs and $2 trillion in ... Read More


A California woman who lost her life savings in a real estate investment scam offered by an insurance agent was awarded more than $15 million . Ramirez was the first of 98 people who have sued after being bilked in a $200 million real estate fund scheme... Read More


The federal agency said real gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 1.6% in the three-month period, due in large part to the wildfires that destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alta. That’s the biggest quarterly decline since the second qu... Read More

CMHC reports rise in troubled mortgages in Alberta, Saskatchewan  by Mack Chen

Canada’s mortgage insurance agency is reporting a 52% increase in the number of insured home loans in arrears in Alberta, as low oil prices weaken the provincial economy. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says in its second-quarter report th... Read More

N.W.T company seeking pension relief amid insolvency proceedings  by Mack Chen

Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Union of Canadian Transportation employees have retained a law firm to represent the pension interests of its employee members and retirees as insolvency proceedings move forward. In August 2011, all participant... Read More

Retirees lost $140,000 - concentrated them in energy, gold  by Mack Chen

The four investors, who all retired from the same bus company in California, lost a total of about $140,000 as result of their investments being “unduly concentrated” in gold and energy stocks, according to the complaint. All the elderly retire... Read More

SEC fines advisory firms $2.2 million for spreading false claims  by Mack Chen

The SEC found the firms “accepted and negligently relied” on F-Squared's claims that its "AlphaSector strategy" for investing in ETFs had outperformed the S&P 500 Index for several years, according to a statement by the regul... Read More

With bankruptcy case concluded, investors stand to recover $400 million - another Ponzi case is over  by Mack Chen

The seven-year unwinding of the billion-dollar Medical Capital Holdings Ponzi scheme is over, with swindled investors receiving more than $400 million. According to court documents, close to 9,000 Medical Capital investors were owed approximately $1.08 ... Read More


Myth  – CRA has a role to play in reducing housing costs. Fact  – CRA does not have any role to play concerning the affordability of real estate. Myth  – Real estate flipping is illegal. Fact  &n... Read More

At BlackRock, even a 40% gain can't save ETFs from the scrap heap  by Mack Chen

BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, plans to shutter 10 exchange-traded funds this month despite all posting gains this year. One soon-to-close fund, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America ETF, is up 38 percent. So why are th... Read More

Your top five tax questions answered  by Mack Chen

1. Should I contribute to my RRSP or TFSA? “One key ‘rule of thumb’ to consider is your marginal tax rate today and your expected marginal tax rate in retirement, including the possible clawback of government benefits. Generally, if yo... Read More

Android and iOS now account for 99.1% of the worldwide smartphone market  by Mack Chen

Android and iOS now account for 99.1% of the worldwide smartphone market. (With Android well out in front.) Their closest competitors, Windows 10 Mobile and BlackBerry OS, make up 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. Both of those figures are  down  sl... Read More


The average price of a new low-rise home in the GTA has surpassed $900,000 for the first time, says the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). The average price of new detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes was&nbs... Read More

A U.S. mutual fund firm is suing the embattled Quebec drugmaker  by Mack Chen

A U.S. mutual fund firm that used to be one of Valeant’s largest shareholders is suing the embattled Quebec drugmaker for allegedly pursuing “a fraudulent scheme” that ultimately cost investors billions of dollars. “This case ari... Read More

5 things to do before buying your first home  by Mack Chen

1) Save up for a down payment:  It will help to cut down mortgage payments going forward. You should save up at least 5% of the price of the home for a down payment, but 20% is better, as you won’t have to buy mortgage default insurance. 2) ... Read More

Canada’s best places to retire  by Mack Chen

Your home town might not be the best place to get the most out of your retirement. The  top 10 places to retire  are: 10. Nelson, B.C. 9. Kingston, Ont. 8. Collingwood, Ont. 7. Port Credit, Ont. 6. Joliette, Que. 5. Victo... Read More


The Department of Finance may soon require banks to share risk with mortgage insurers. “In a briefing note to Finance Minister Bill Morneau and released under Access to Information, department officials say they are studying an option to introduce... Read More


Between May 1, 2008 and November 30, 2011, Cloutier failed to exercise due diligence to ensure that his investment recommendations in leveraged ETFs constituted a suitable investment for one of his clie. The hearing panel imposed the following penalties... Read More


The following NBA and NBF series funds will be terminated, effective on or about October 21, 2016: BMO Bond Fund (both series) BMO Asset Allocation Fund (only NBA) BMO International Value Fund (both series) BMO U.S. Equity Fund (both series) ... Read More

SEC charges San Francisco adviser with stealing money from client  by Mack Chen

“They claimed assets under management in the millions when in fact they did not manage any client assets at all,” the agency said. “They fabricated a hypothetical portfolio of investments earning 20% to 66% annual returns and passed it of... Read More

Former Eagle player defrauds football coaches, others out of $6 million  by Mack Chen

Former Philadelphia Eagle Merrill Robertson Jr. defrauded his former coaches and other investors out of about $6 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a complaint filed on Wednesday. Mr. Robertson, Sherman Vaughn Jr., and the compan... Read More

Americans have $12.29 trillion of debt — here's what it looks like  by Mack Chen

Americans are still adding debt. Household debt — which includes things as varied as  mortgages  and credit cards — increased to $12.29 trillion in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of $35 billion, or 0.3%, according to the... Read More

Yale, MIT and NYU targeted in excessive-fee lawsuits concerning retirement plans  by Mack Chen

A trio of renowned universities — Yale University, New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — were sued on Tuesday over allegations that their defined-contribution plans charged employees excessive plan fees, leading th... Read More

State Street Global Advisers to shutter 12 unloved ETFs  by Mack Chen

Most of the ETFs being liquidated are international with an out-of-favor BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) flavor. For example, the SPDR S&P BRIC 40 ETF (BIK), clearly a play on the  BRIC fad , accumulated about $74 million in assets, but a... Read More

Cornwall retirees out of luck in battle over benefits  by Mack Chen

Sensient Flavors Canada Inc. had notified the retirees that their group benefits would end on April 20, 2016, despite language in the collective agreement that stated that, “upon retirement, all present employees, surviving spouses and dependants, sh... Read More


The top financial priority for 30% of Canadians is to reduce or eliminate debt, says a study by BMO Wealth Management. The BMO report released Tuesday found slashing debt was also the most important priority for people aged 35-54. Fo... Read More

Finra charges broker with fraud for churning blind widow's account  by Mack Chen

The “deceptive and fraudulent scheme” generated $243,000 in commissions for the broker, Hank Mark Werner, and caused the 77-year-old customer $184,000 in net losses over a three-year period, Finra alleged. Mr. Werner isn't currently regi... Read More

Severance payments criticized as Ontario puts ORPP spending at $70M  by Mack Chen

The Ontario government spent up to $70 million on developing the now-abandoned Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, according to new figures released by the province. The costs include $25 million spent by the government itself between 2013 and 2016 in seve... Read More


The tentative changes will see the amount Canadians receive from CPP increase from one quarter of their eligible earnings to one-third. The maximum amount of income covered by CPP will also increase by 14% to roughly $82,700 by 2025. That means workers ... Read More

If you bought stocks only at the 3 latest market tops, you'd still be up 26%  by Mack Chen

If you bought stocks only right before the 2000 and 2008 market tops — and then bought stocks  again  only when they got back to May 2015 highs —  you'd still be making money . This chart, which comes to use from Raymo... Read More

10 pieces of personal finance wisdom  by Mack Chen

Create spending  priorities : Tax your  fast-food : Don’t leave the finances to  one partner : Forget the  fancy wine : Don’t buy into  retail therapy : Cut the  coffee : Be open ... Read More

Decades after ban from industry, Alpharetta man again accused of fraud  by Mack Chen

An 85-year-old Alpharetta man who was barred from the investment industry 45 years ago for fraud was back at it again with the help of his 55-year-old son, according to federal investigators. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thomas D. Co... Read More

OSC targeted 90 for misconduct last year  by Mack Chen

The OSC took action against 90 firms or individuals during the fiscal year ending March 31, the securities regulator says in a year-end report. Of that 90, seven had their registrations suspended and 11 were referred to enforcement, the OSC says in the... Read More


U.S. authorities have arrested an HSBC executive for his alleged role in a US$3.5-billion currency frontrunning scheme,  Bloomberg   reports. Mark Johnson, HSBC’s head of foreign exchange, was taken into custody at New York’s Ke... Read More


Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. and its affiliate, AlphaPro Management Inc. have launched Horizons Global Currency Opportunities ETF, which provides investors with low-cost, actively managed exposure to worldwide currency markets. Units of t... Read More

Prudential fined $950,000 for failures in elderly customer's variable annuity account  by Mack Chen

Finra has fined Prudential Annuities Distributors Inc., a unit of  Prudential Financial  Inc., $950,000 for supervisory lapses in an elderly customer's variable annuity account in which a rogue broker stole more than $1 million. The Fina... Read More


National home sales fell 0.9% from May to June. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 5.2% above June 2015. The number of newly listed homes rose 2.2% from May to June. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 13.6% year-over-ye... Read More

Canada’s Top 10 best growth stocks for 2015  by Mack Chen

Company Ticker 1-year revenue change (%) PEG Ratio 5-year EPS growth (%) 5-year revenue growth (%) Agrium Inc. AGU 2 0.8 2.6 68 Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ATD.B 6.8 1.4 38.3 ... Read More

CPP expansion will do little to boost rate of return  by Mack Chen

The expanded Canadian Pension Plan will bring only a slightly higher rate of return for retirees — 2.5 per cent in the expanded plan compared to 2.1 per cent in the current plan, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute. In May,  th... Read More

IBM ordered to pay $23M to staff in connection to pension change  by Mack Chen

IBM has been ordered to pay more than $23 million to 451 active and retired employees of its plant in Bromont, Que., a decade after its decision to unilaterally amend a clause in its defined benefit pension plan. The case is a warning to employers about... Read More

Almost half of working-age Canadians not saving for retirement: report  by Mack Chen

Nearly half (48 per cent) of working-age Canadians are not saving for retirement,. The report, which surveyed more than 18,000 working-age individuals and retirees across 17 countries including 1,037 in Canada, found that this figure is higher in Argent... Read More

Market volatility raises the bar for retirement income savers  by Mack Chen

A 55-year-old would need $17.64 saved today to generate each dollar of annual retirement income starting at age 65, according to the CoRI tool. Based on that estimate, a 55-year-old with a $500,000 nest egg could expect $28,435 in annual retirement income ... Read More

Being early is the same thing as being wrong  by Mack Chen

This year through July 7,  financial-sector funds are down an average of 6.72%.  The only sector doing worse is health-sector funds, down 7.65% over the same period. The S&P 500 Index is up 3.86% so far this year. While some see the v... Read More

Dawn J. Bennett barred from industry; ordered to pay $4 million in fines, disgorgement  by Mack Chen

From at least 2009 through 2011, the ruling states, Ms. Bennett and Bennett Group claimed to be managing between $1.1 billion and $2 billion, when in reality the firm never managed more than $407 million during that time period. “Bennett is not fi... Read More

What are U.S. pension plan sponsors’ top concerns?  by Mack Chen

Investment volatility (52 per cent), retirement benefit costs (49 per cent) and regulatory compliance (47 per cent) are U.S. employers’ top three concerns now and for the next two years,  “The fact that one in three retirement plan... Read More

Canada Post labour dispute: A look at the company’s existing DC plan for some workers  by Mack Chen

The proposal to close the defined benefit pension to new employees and switch to a defined contribution one is a key issue in the negotiations leading up to this week’s lockout notice. If the company is successful in the negotiations, the defined ben... Read More

Andrew Caspersen pleads guilty to scamming friends, family and a charity out of millions of dollars  by Mack Chen

Andrew Caspersen admitted to scamming friends, family and a charitable foundation out of millions of dollars, telling a judge it was all due to a gambling habit that spiraled out of control. Mr. Caspersen's victims, including the foundation of billi... Read More

Treasury bonds beat stocks the past 10 years. You heard it right  by Mack Chen

Long-term Treasury securities have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index for the past 10 years. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has gained an average 7.27% over the past decade, according to  Morningstar Inc.  But the iShare... Read More

Investment adviser to plead guilty to running a $21 million Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

A Rhode Island investment adviser has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for orchestrating a $21 million Ponzi scheme, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Aside from that scheme, Patrick E. Churchville, 47, also used $2... Read More

American Century employees sue for excessive 401(k) fees  by Mack Chen

Employees of American Century Companies, Inc., parent of asset management firm American Century Investments, have sued over the firm's 401(k) plan, the latest in a string of lawsuits targeting financial services companies for their own retirement plans... Read More

House passes bill to protect advisers reporting elder financial abuse  by Mack Chen

The House of Representatives Tuesday night unanimously approved legislation that would protect financial advisers from liability when they try to stop the financial exploitation of seniors. The measure, the Senior Safe Act, passed the House, passed the ... Read More

Goldman Sachs allegedly 'misled' its Libyan clients into placing a $500 million bet  by Mack Chen

A former Goldman Sachs salesman used a "misleading" presentation to encourage Libya's sovereign wealth fund to sign a deal exposing them to $500 million of Citigroup stock right before the 2008 financial crisis, a London court heard... Read More

SEC fines WFG Advisors $100,000 for overcharging clients in alternative investments  by Mack Chen

WFG Advisors, the registered investment advisory arm of Williams Finance Group , will pay a $100,000 penalty for overcharging clients, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. From January 2011 through August 2013 the firm overcharged clie... Read More

Finra alleges former broker put clients in risky ETFs to hedge against financial doom  by Mack Chen

From at least March 2011 through July 2015, Richard William Lunn Martin recommended that his customers hold non-traditional ETFs in their accounts because of his prediction that the monetary and financial system was going to collapse, according to a Finra&... Read More

Fidelity takes on Vanguard by cutting prices on index funds, ETFs  by Mack Chen

Fidelity Investments  announced Tuesday that it will lower expense ratios on 27 index funds and ETFs on July 1, as the competition for investor assets drives costs down further. >>> Read More

The wealth gap between American blacks and whites is actually greater today than in the 1980s  by Mack Chen

By 2013, the median net worth of white households ($144,200) was about 13 times that of black households ($11,200). Back in 1983, the median net worth of white households ($98,700) was about 8 times that of black households ($12,200). >>> ... Read More

Someone owns you money - Pension association asks CRA for help locating pensioners  by Mack Chen

The Association of Canadian Pension Management has submitted a letter to the Canada Revenue Agency asking for help to locate missing pension plan members. >>> Read More

Feds confirm $250M price tag for CPP deal as premium details released  by Mack Chen

Expanding the working income tax benefit to offset increased Canada Pension Plan premiums for low-income workers will cost the federal government $250 million per year, Finance Canada estimates. Besides the CPP premium and benefit changes, the federal g... Read More

Merrill Lynch hit with multiple fines by SEC, Finra  by Mack Chen

The wirehouse, owned by Bank of America, admitted to wrongdoing in a record $415 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which charged it misused customer cash and failed to safeguard their securities. Separately, it was fined an ad... Read More

GL Capital Partners' former CEO Daniel Thibeault sentenced to nine years in prison  by Mack Chen

Daniel Thibeault, former CEO of the asset management firm GL Capital Partners, was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to make restitution of $15.3 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Thibeault had  pled gui... Read More

Fines seven firms $238,000 for role in Realty Capital proxy fraud  by Mack Chen

The securities regulator says agents for the firms submitted unauthorized proxy votes for nontraded REITs controlled by a Nicholas Schorsch firm The seven broker-dealers hit with the fine are:  Voya Financial Advisors Inc. ; FMN Capital Corp.;&nb... Read More

Retirement calculators show 'dramatically different' results  by Mack Chen

Corporate Insight found a 60% variance in monthly income projections, and an even higher 85% in the suggested retirement goals of these calculators. Specifically, even though the same investor profile was plugged into the calculators, the projected reti... Read More


Norway’s consumer watchdog is suing the country’s largest bank, DNB, on behalf of 150,000 customers, claiming it has overcharged them 690 million kroner ($83 million) in management fees in “falsely active funds.” In one of Norway... Read More


In 2013, total underground activity in Canada was valued at $45.6 billion, says Statistics Canada—that’s equivalent to 2.4% of GDP. In fact, the UE has increased 3.8% from 2012, growing at the same rate as GDP. Canada’s undergroun... Read More

More older Americans are working than at any time since the turn of the century  by Mack Chen

More older Americans are working than at any time since the turn of the century. 18.8% of Americans aged 65 and up — about 9 million people — report being full-time or part-time employees, according to a new report by  Pew Research Cen... Read More

Mutual fund investors continue to suffer from buying high, selling low  by Mack Chen

“Investors tend to buy high and sell low, missing out on a fund's gains in value,” said Russel Kinnel, chair of Morningstar's North America ratings committee.Mr. Kinnel evaluated U.S. open end funds and calculated Mutual fund investo... Read More

71% of U.S. households fall below the $100,000 asset threshold for advisers  by Mack Chen

Almost three-quarters of Americans don't have enough savings to be worth the while of most financial advisers, but they may find a home with robo-advisers or some combination of both. Almost 90 million, or 71%, of U.S. households have investible assets... Read More

Medical Capital executive gets 10-year sentence for fraud  by Mack Chen

Over 11 months in 2008 and 2009, Mr. Lampariello misappropriated funds invested with one of the MedCap series of deals and used the money to make payments to prior investors and to pay himself administrative fees, according to a statement from the U.S. Att... Read More

Red flags on Canadian public pension investment  by Mack Chen

Canada spends “significantly” less on publicly funded pension support – through programs such as the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement – than other OECD countries, the bri... Read More

MassMutual settles 401(k) suit with its employees for $31 million  by Mack Chen

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.  has agreed to a nearly $31 million settlement in an excessive-fee lawsuit involving the firm's own retirement plans, joining the ranks of other prominent retirement services providers that have settled all... Read More

The 5,000-year history of interest rates shows just how historically low US rates are right now  by Mack Chen

So to make things a bit clearer, we put together an annotated list of key historical episodes and the corresponding interest rate of the time,  using the data  from "The Trader and His Shadow." >>> Read More

See how much the new child benefit saves you  by Mack Chen

Use this calculator to determine an estimate of how much those defunct programs helped your family—and what you can expect the CCB to deposit in your bank account. >>> Read More

Canadians overly confident about retirement preparation  by Mack Chen

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of the employees surveyed don’t think they’ll be financially prepared at retirement. More than a third (35 per cent) save less than 10 per cent of their current salary for retirement and, on average, plan to withd... Read More

Expect retirement savings law by 2018  by Mack Chen

Retirement and policy executives at asset management firm  State Street Global Advisors  expect Congress to pass comprehensive legislation overhauling the U.S. retirement savings system by the end of 2018. The firm's expectation is that ... Read More

62% of Canadians would pay for better retirement benefi  by Mack Chen

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of Canadian employees would be willing to pay more out of their paycheque in order to receive a more generous retirement benefit, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Can... Read More


Several of Canada’s biggest banks are upping the fees that they charge customers even as they continue to rake in hefty profits, and experts say Canadians are likely too complacent to do much about it. TD Bank boosted a number of the fees associat... Read More


The penalty decision document says IIROC stated during a January hearing that the “respondent recommended high-risk, leveraged exchange traded funds to several of his clients […] The respondent overlooked or disregarded clear, unambiguous disc... Read More


In  a settlement agreement  with the British Columbia Securities Commission, HSBC Investment Funds (Canada) Inc. (HIFC) and HSBC Private Wealth Services (Canada) Inc. (HPWS) have agreed they charged excess fees in some client accounts. ... Read More

Investors haven't hoarded cash like this in 15 years  by Mack Chen

Investors surveyed by the firm now have 5.7% of their net holdings in cash, the highest percentage since November 2001. Recall that in November 2001 the US was mired in recession while dealing with the fallout of both the tech-bubble bursting and the Se... Read More

The 81-year-old Voya Corporate Leaders Trust beats most by doing nothing  by Mack Chen

Now in its 81st year, the fund has beaten the Standard and Poor's 500 stock index the past 15 years, according to Morningstar, the Chicago investment analyst. Voya Corporate Leaders is up an average 7.75% a year, vs. 5.58% for the S&P 500 index. Vo... Read More

Mutual fund industry needs to change  by Mack Chen

My thesis is that ETFs are fine as long as you don't trade them. As long as they're not traded, they can be more convenient for some people. The problem with some ETFs is how weird they are. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at trip... Read More

SEC fines Morgan Stanley $1 million for data-protection failures  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Morgan Stanley with a $1 million penalty to settle charges related to failures to protect customer data, the agency announced Wednesday. A former broker working in Morgan Stanley's  wealth managem... Read More

Retiree benefit plans shrinking quickly  by Mack Chen

The poll of 289 Canadian organizations found that in the past four years, 22 per cent of respondents had made reductions to their retiree benefit plans and 14 per cent had made improvements. But in the future, just four per cent will make improve... Read More

Fines not tax-deductible for broker-dealers  by Mack Chen

The Internal Revenue Service has indicated fines and penalties levied by the brokerage industry's primary regulator are not tax-deductible, which could end up costing those firms hit with such financial damages. In a  memo  published Fri... Read More


The bank insists it wasn’t aware of his actions, but Kerviel argues that his superiors knew what was going on. He has become an icon for critics of the banking world. French bank Societe Generale has been ordered to pay about 4... Read More

T. Rowe Price would pay about $194 million to fund shareholders and other clients for an error it made on buyout of Dell  by Mack Chen

At the time of the buyout , T. Rowe Price thought that the $13.75 share price offered by Michael Dell and others undervalued the company. “Several T. Rowe Price funds, trusts, and clients subsequently filed a petition with the Delaware Court of Chan... Read More

Ontario passes ORPP bill  by Mack Chen

Ontario has passed the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2016 today, despite the impending  meeting of Canada’s finance ministers on June 19-20  to discuss enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan. The government said in a news ... Read More


For the small number of seniors considered low income who receive an average of $3,610 from the Canada Pension Plan each year, enhancements to the national pension may not be beneficial, according to a new study from the Fraser Institute. By l... Read More

Momentum Investment Partners fraudulently failed to disclose higher fees  by Mack Chen

Avatar's clients paid almost $111, 000 in additional fees from May 2013 to March 2014 for no additional advisory services, according to a  complaint the agency filed the same day  in federal court in Connecticut. The firm had been investing... Read More

Fidelity sued by Delta 401(k) participants over alleged fiduciary breach  by Mack Chen

Participants in a Delta Air Lines Inc. 401(k) plan have sued units of  Fidelity Investments , alleging fiduciary breaches in Fidelity's record-keeping role. The participants, who are seeking class-action status, alleged that Fidelity “w... Read More

Fed, China fears force investors to check out of Asia  by Mack Chen

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Having dumped Asian shares on resurgent worries about China's economy, the specter of more aggressive U.S. interest rate rises is now forcing global investors to sell the region's bonds and currencies. A net $3.2 billion le... Read More

CPPIB’s fiscal report reflects long-term challenges for pension funds  by Mack Chen

While the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s modest 3.4 per cent investment return announced last week will have minimal short-term effects, its investment income will have significant ramifications in the future. The CPPIB acknowled... Read More

Retiree benefit plans shrinking quickly  by Mack Chen

The poll of 289 Canadian organizations found that in the past four years, 22 per cent of respondents had made reductions to their retiree benefit plans and 14 per cent had made improvements. But in the future, just four per cent will make improve... Read More

Citi was fined $425 million for rate manipulation — here are the secret trader transcripts  by Mack Chen

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission  fined Citibank a combined $425 million (£288.5 million) on Wednesday  to settle  various rate-fixing allegations from 2007 to 2012 . The allegations center on the manipulation of Libo... Read More

Excessive-fee suit targeting $9 million 401(k) plan could be 'harbinger' for industry  by Mack Chen

A new class-action lawsuit targeting excessive 401(k) fees in a $9 million plan could herald a new frontier of sorts in this type of litigation. The suit,  Damberg et al v. LaMettry's Collision Inc. et al , alleges plan fiduciaries breached t... Read More

Here's who actually owns the stock market - it is owned by the average joe.  by Mack Chen

It's easy to think that the stock market is the playground of  hedge funds  and day traders, but in reality  most of the stock market  is owned by the average joe. In fact, the largest chunk is doing one thing: helping people... Read More

The 'black swan event' that could send oil to $25 a barrel  by Mack Chen

Oil's had a pretty good year. The commodity's seen a nice rally in light of a  weaker US dollar , stronger economic data from  China , decreasing non-OPEC  production , and a continued rise in demand. ... Read More

Deutsche Bank's credit rating was downgraded to 2 notches above junk  by Mack Chen

Deutsche Bank's credit rating was lowered by Moody's on Monday, citing difficulties with the lender's plan to stabilise itself in a world of low growth and low interest rates. The bank's credit rating for senior unsecured debt, which is... Read More

She could face a maximum sentence of 287 ½ years in prison.  by Mack Chen

A Winnebago County judge has ordered a two-week trial for a former Oshkosh financial adviser accused of stealing $4 million from elderly clients. The trial for Jean A. Walsh-Josephson, 56, is set for Feb. 20 through March 3, 2017, according to online co... Read More


In 2012, the SEC says, Walters called Mickelson, who owed him money, and urged him to trade Dean Foods stock. The SEC says Mickelson did so the next day and made a profit of $931,000. As a relief defendant, Mickelson is not accused of participating in i... Read More


The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board saw its net investment return for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 drop to 3.4 per cent, a decline of nearly 15 percentage points since last year’s return of 18.3 per cen... Read More

Massachusetts investment adviser Gregg Caplitz sentenced to prison for fraud, SEC says  by Mack Chen

Investment adviser Gregg Caplitz was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.89 million to more than a dozen victims who lost retirement savings because of his fraud, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Read More


FINRA has fined Raymond James & Associates and Raymond James Financial Services, US$17 million for widespread failures related to the firms’ anti-money laundering programs. Raymond James & Associates (RJA) was fined $8 million and Raymond ... Read More

Former Thrivent broker barred from securities business for defrauding woman he met at church: Finra  by Mack Chen

Miguel Angel Hernandez has been barred from the brokerage industry after allegedly lying to obtain $25,000 in cash from an elderly woman he met at church, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. While a registered broker at Thriven... Read More


It’s long been accepted that interest rates can’t fall below zero, however, eliminating the possibility of negative rates “limits a central bank’s ability to provide further stimulus to the economy through conventional decrease... Read More

Why the ETF acronym can be misleading  by Mack Chen

'EXCHANGE' -   In fact, approximately 40% of all ETF trading is done "off-exchange," according to a study by Bloomberg Tradebook.  'TRADED' -  There are now 1,900 ETFs in the U.S., and about 400 of them po... Read More


A settlement hearing in the matter of Brian Blundell was held on May 12.  In the settlement agreement, the respondent admitted that: between March 2010 and May 2014, he obtained, maintained and used to process redemptions 10 pre... Read More

Former star LPL broker who was fired seeking $30M in arbitration claim  by Mack Chen

James "Jeb" Bashaw, a top-rated adviser by Barron's magazine, is seeking $30 million in an arbitration claim filed Tuesday with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., naming both LPL and LPL's CEO Mark Casady as respondents. ... Read More


Fortysomethings have competing priorities (e.g., jobs, kids, parents, debt, saving), and they may feel ignored by the media, which focuses on boomers and boomers’ kids. Help them clarify their priorities, but don’t ask, “What do you want ... Read More

Planning for new parents - How does RESP planning work?  by Mack Chen

Q. How does RESP planning work? A. Let’s consider a few hypothetical situations. Each assumes the parents/child are able to receive the $500 per year education grant, and that their income is too high to receive additional income-tested grants. ... Read More

The state-backed pensions lifeboat is 'a pyramid scheme with a dwindling number of members'  by Mack Chen

The state-backed Pension Protection Fund (PPF), charged with paying the pensions schemes of collapsed companies, is "a pyramid scheme with a dwindling number of members," a leading commentator has told MPs. Philip Coggan, a columnist for The E... Read More

Google faces data breach from benefits management provider  by Mack Chen

The company sent a data breach  notice  to its U.S. employees on Monday, explaining its benefits management provider had mistakenly sent a list of employees’ names and social security numbers to a benefits manager at another company. &... Read More

Former Wells Fargo broker agrees to Finra ban  by Mack Chen

Wells Fargo & Co.  broker Christopher John Pierce agreed to be barred from working with any firm registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. after allegedly stealing from customers' banking accounts. Mr. Pierce, who wa... Read More


There are 912 offshore entities with Canadian links named in the Panama Papers. The Canadian firms included: Bennett Jones LLP as an intermediary ( here ) Blake, Cassels & Graydon (Calgary) as an intermediary ( here ) Haywood Securiti... Read More

Madoff sons' fight over cash persists years after their deaths  by Mack Chen

Mark and Andrew Madoff died without resolving a 2009 lawsuit accusing them of squandering $150 million of investors' money and recent settlement talks with the estates have hit dead ends. Their ex-wives and other relations cut deals years ago. The brot... Read More

Twitter is banning US spy agencies from using a service that can detect terrorist attacks early  by Mack Chen

Twitter has reportedly banned US intelligence agencies from using Dataminr, a service it part-owns that provides real-time alerts for breaking news like natural disasters, terror attacks, and actionable business events. The Wall Street Journal reported ... Read More

Louis Martin Blazer III took about $2.35 million from five clients to invest in movie projects in Ponzi-like fashion  by Mack Chen

A financial adviser in Pittsburgh stole money from several professional athletes to invest in movie projects in which he had a stake, according to charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Louis Martin Blazer III took about $2.35 million from f... Read More

RBC agrees to give CRA names of clients linked to ‘Panama Papers’ law firm  by Mack Chen

The Canada Revenue Agency had sought a court order against the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to compel disclosure and that the bank would not be challenging it. Royal Bank confirmed the story. “We respect the confidentiality of our clients within the... Read More


Anyone born after 1955 (retiring in 2021 or later) will receive a modest return on their contributions of 3.0% or less. Any CPP-eligible Canadian born after 1971 (retiring in 2037 or later) who worked full-time will receive an annual return of just 2.1% in... Read More

Deutsche Bank is being investigated for suspected market manipulation  by Mack Chen

A prosecutor in southern Italy is investigating the German bank's sale of 7 billion euros worth of Italian state debt as Italy approached a debt crisis that eventually brought down the government of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Deutsche ... Read More


Apple has lost a legal fight with a Chinese company that a Beijing court says is allowed to use the iPhone name on wallets and handbags. The court said Apple failed to prove iPhone was a “famous brand” in China before the local company appli... Read More

MetLife to pay record Finra fine for misleading annuity customers  by Mack Chen

MetLife Inc.  agreed to pay $25 million to settle a probe of abuses tied to variable annuities, the highest-ever penalty for those products by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The sum includes a $20 million fine and $5 million to be pa... Read More

7 banks have agreed to settle rate-rigging claims  by Mack Chen

Seven of the world's biggest banks have agreed to pay $324 million (£222.7 million) to settle a private US lawsuit accusing them of rigging an interest rate benchmark used in the $553 trillion (£380.2 trillion) derivatives market. The se... Read More

Apple shares closed down for an eighth-straight day on Monday  by Mack Chen

Apple shares closed down for an eighth-straight day on Monday — the first time this has happened since July 1998. The stock has lost 11% since April 26, when the company reported first-quarter earnings  that fell short of analysts' expe... Read More

Atlanta firm to re-pay $10 million feds say it short-changed investors  by Mack Chen

A unit of Atlanta money manager Invesco agreed to restore almost $10.3 million to investors to settle a federal complaint that it violated retiree protections by using clients’ money to shore up an investment fund. The U.S. Department of Labor, wh... Read More


Mendelman admitted he borrowed funds from a client and engaged in outside business activities by facilitating off-book investments by his clients, without his firm’s knowledge. IIROC adds Mendelman also shared non-public, material information co... Read More

Pension administrators burdened with tracking down missing retirees  by Mack Chen

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has 34,000 inactive members for whom it has no address or an incorrect one or who don’t respond to communications. The burden lies in finding members over the age of 71 who don’t have any da... Read More


Deutsche Bank saw net profit fall 58% in the first quarter from the same period a year ago as turbulent financial markets deterred client activity. Germany’s largest bank made €236 million ($335.3million) net profit, down from €559 milli... Read More

Dominic Tersigni effected unauthorized trades - IIROC REP SUSPENDED, FINED OVER UNAUTHORIZED TRADES  by Mack Chen

between February 2009 and May 2014, Tersigni effected unauthorized trades in the accounts of two clients, contrary to IIROC Dealer Member Rule 29.1. Tersigni is also required to pay costs in the amount of $25,000. The ... Read More

Schwab shuns load funds in DOL's wake  by Mack Chen

The move away from sales loads, and higher fund expenses in general, will become a sign of the times  under the DOL rule “We expect more firms to look to no-load options for investors as advisers and their clients become more cost-conscious,... Read More

59% of retirees worry about making retirement savings last  by Mack Chen

More than half (59 per cent) of retirees are worried about making their retirement savings stretch for their remaining years, according to a new survey by Investors Group. Some 64 per cent of respondents said they find it hard to strike a... Read More

Apple blows earnings, stock drops 8%  by Mack Chen

Apple delivered  its March-period earnings report on Tuesday afternoon. It missed estimates for earnings per share by $0.09, and the stock is down 8% in after-hours trading. As expected, the company posted its first year-ove... Read More

J.P. Morgan broker-dealer and custodian fined $1 million  by Mack Chen

Broker-dealer and custody affiliates of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. have been fined more than $1 million by an industry regulator for a number of operational, supervisory and record-keeping deficiencies at the firms. The Financial Industry Regulatory Auth... Read More

Deutsche Bank co-CEO acquitted of fraud charges  by Mack Chen

Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen has been acquitted of attempted fraud charges related to the bank’s long-running battle with the heirs of a now-deceased media mogul. Deutsche Bank paid Kirch’s heirs 925 million euro... Read More


WisdomTree Investments has formed WisdomTree Asset Management Canada. Pending regulatory approval, the company will distribute domestic ETFs. The company’s funds will track the following Canadian dollar-based WisdomTree indexes: the WisdomTre... Read More

You can open digital savings account with a deposit from as little as $1.  by Mack Chen

Goldman Sachs is getting in on the online-only bank action, offering a digital savings account at a rate of 1.05%. And you can open it with a deposit from as little as $1. The new online-only US savings account,  on , comes as part of ... Read More

$20M benefits fraud, kickbacks case underway in Sudbury  by Mack Chen

Kickbacks for health benefits billed to multinational industrial company Atlas Copco are at the centre of a criminal trial underway in Sudbury, Ont., that’s being billed as the one of the largest frauds in northern Ontario history. The allege... Read More

How Canadian Tire connects retirement to profits  by Mack Chen

Canadian Tire Corp. was an early adopter of profit sharing as a way to include all of its employees in the success of the company, but a big feature of the program that sets it apart is its use as a retirement savings account that automatically registers e... Read More

Jailed Hedge-Fund Manager Sues Lawyer Over `Rushed' Home Sale  by Mack Chen

Convicted fraudster Michael Balboa, who sold his house to pay for U.S. defense attorneys, is suing a British lawyer whom he blames for the “rushed sale” of his property. Balboa, a former hedge-fund manager at Millennium Global Investmen... Read More

The more you pay, the less you get from funds  by Mack Chen

Investing in an actively managed fund with high fees is like betting on a smoker to win a marathon, according to a new study released by Morningstar. Morningstar's active/passive barometer measures actively managed funds against a composite of relev... Read More

Did Fidelity cheat its own client out of millions of dollars?  by Mack Chen

Peter Deutsch is seeking as much as $400 million to $500 million in damages from Fidelity in Finra arbitration before a Finra panel. The wealthy wine merchant was on a risky mission. He'd decided to buy control of a troubled Chinese company and then... Read More

Half of Toronto-area workers have faced mental-health issues  by Mack Chen

More than 1.5 million employees in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area have experienced a mental-health issue, according to new research by CivicAction. The study, the result of research supported by Morneau Shepell and the Canadian Centre for Ec... Read More


In February, Canadian investors rotated assets out of U.S. equities and into emerging market opportunities, says Prab Sagoo, associate director at Nasdaq Advisory Services, in his weekly market commentary. Over the same period, he adds, U.S. i... Read More

Investors poured $32 billion into bonds in March with Vanguard, BlackRock dominating  by Mack Chen

One reason for the strong flows to bonds: The stock market's extreme volatility in January and February. From the first of the year through its Feb. 11 bottom, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell 10.5%, and closed the first quarter with ... Read More

Joseph Nacchio and his wife, Anne M. Esker, were recently awarded $14.2 million in a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs  by Mack Chen

Convicted felon Joseph Nacchio and his wife, Anne M. Esker, were recently awarded $14.2 million in a lawsuit against a division of Goldman Sachs for a breach of advisory duties that resulted in disappointing performance of their life insurance. The couple ... Read More

Employers face up to $10K penalty for not complying with ORPP  by Mack Chen

Employers that fail to comply with the rules under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan could face administrative monetary penalties of up to $10,000, according to new legislation introduced yesterday. The details came in Bill 186, a new piece of le... Read More


The SEC alleges that John Afriyie found out about an impending acquisition of home security company The ADT Corporation when prospective acquirer Apollo Global Management approached the Manhattan-based investment firm where he was employed and discussed po... Read More


about one third of European government bond yields are trading with a negative yield and, globally, about a quarter of government bond yields have a negative yield That means more than $6 trillion worth of bonds are trading in negative yield. >>... Read More


Nearly half (48%) of the retired Canadians surveyed agreed with the statement: “I’m worried about my money lasting my lifetime,” while   roughly one-in-five (19%) strongly agreed. This anxiety is shared by substantial numbers ... Read More

88% of U.S. employees are stressed due to personal finances  by Mack Chen

The majority (88%) of U.S. employees are stressed or worried on some level about their personal financial situation, according to a new survey by Workplace Options. More than half (55%) of respondents said their level of stress had reached eit... Read More


Canadians for Tax Fairness (C4TF) hopes the global blow-out from  the Panama Papers  will pressure the federal government to prosecute one of Canada’s top accounting firms. The Ottawa-based tax watchdog has called on CRA to charge KPMG... Read More


The number of sales was up about 16%, compared with the same month and quarter last year. The average selling price for all types of residential property in March was $688,181.That’s up about $74,000, or 12% from the March 2015 average price of $6... Read More


Canada’s trade deficit grew to $1.9 billion in February, more than triple the shortfall of $628 million the month before, Statistics Canada says Tuesday. Economists had expected a deficit of $900 million for January, according to Thomson Reut... Read More


According to the SEC’s complaint, Paul and Ellis created fraudulent marketing materials including some with performance numbers that were “cut and pasted” from another firm’s website.  The complaint further alleges that Quay an... Read More

Canadian pension solvency takes hit in first quarter of 2016  by Mack Chen

The solvency position of Canadian pension plans declined in the first quarter of 2016, an impact of volatile markets, according to two reports published this week. According to the Mercer Pension Health Index, the median solvency ratio of the consu... Read More

Most women don't trust financial advisers  by Mack Chen

More than 90 percent of the respondents to a recent survey said they felt financial services companies were more interested in  selling them products  than providing advice. They may be on to something. A 2015 discussion paper published by t... Read More

SEC charges brothers with $2.7 million Ponzi scheme targeting elderly  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two brothers with orchestrating a $2.7 million Ponzi scheme targeting unsophisticated elderly investors. As part of his scheme, he created a Robbins Lane website, as well as a brochure advertising an op... Read More


An Ivy League-educated former executive at a New York investment bank was arrested Monday on charges he tried to defraud investors of more than $95 million as he led what a prosecutor called a “shameful charade” to cover his tracks. Andrew C... Read More

John Bivona “orchestrated a Ponzi-like scheme that has defrauded investors in up-and-coming technology companies,”  by Mack Chen

An unregistered investment adviser who raised more than $53 million from investors and marketed investments in pre-IPO technology companies instead used investor money to pay his nephew's credit card bills, income taxes, a car loan, attorney fees and t... Read More

LPL stock buyback cost shareholders $115 million: lawsuit  by Mack Chen

LPL Financial  Holdings Inc. is being sued for a stock buyback program that cost the company and ultimately its shareholders $115 million, according to a class action complaint filed Tuesday. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in the Sout... Read More

Broker-dealer owner indicted in $17 million pump-and-dump scheme  by Mack Chen

The owner of a New York broker-dealer was charged with fraudulently inflating the price of two micro-cap stocks before selling them to investors, generating $17.2 million in gross trading proceeds. Guy Gentile, 39, was indicted in federal court in Newar... Read More

Nearly one out of five older Americans have been victims of financial swindles  by Mack Chen

Seventeen percent of elderly Americans have been financially abused, a decline from six years ago and evidence that such abuse might be curbed with the help of medical professionals, according to the  Investor Protection Trust . The elderly Ameri... Read More

Texas adviser barred for fraudulent sales of life settlements  by Mack Chen

The regulator also said Mr. Poe received 10% commissions for the product sales from 2011 to 2015  even though he wasn't registered as an agent of the firm. James Poe, a Fort Worth-based adviser and president of Jim Poe & Associates Inc... Read More


Nationwide, the collection rate for firms is 100%, compared to less than 20% for individuals. In Ontario, there is over $20 million in outstanding fines against individuals (since 2008). The Ontario collection rate for individuals for the current f... Read More

Retirement confidence plateaus in 2016  by Mack Chen

Retirement confidence is strongly correlated to participation in retirement plans such as 401(k) plans or ownership of an individual retirement account. These workers are twice as likely to be “very confident” when compared to those without suc... Read More

Broker took in more than $1.7 million in commissions churning accounts at Craig Scott Capital  by Mack Chen

Broker Edward Beyn collected more than $1.7 million in commissions and fees by excessively trading his clients' accounts while registered at Craig Scott Capital, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s Department of Enforcem... Read More

Triad Advisors to pay more than $200,000 for failing to give sales charge discounts on unit investment trusts  by Mack Chen

Triad  Advisors, a Norcross, Ga.,-based broker, has agreed to pay more than $200,000 in fines and restitution for failing to give some of its customers sales charge discounts on unit investment trusts, according to a settlement letter with the Financ... Read More

Morningstar expands access to ESG fund scores for socially conscious investors  by Mack Chen

Morningstar Inc. 's new mutual fund sustainability rankings have been rolled out to the general public, giving individual investors a new tool for determining how well specific funds score when it comes to environmental, social and corporate governanc... Read More

Vanguard has raised expense ratios on 52 funds over the past six months  by Mack Chen

Mutual fund expense ratios can go up and down — even at  Vanguard Group  Inc. The company has raised expense ratios on 52 funds in the past six months, although they're still lower than an ant's shoelaces. “With the relea... Read More

GL Capital Partners' former CEO Daniel Thibeault pleads guilty to $15 million fraud tied to loan fund  by Mack Chen

Daniel Thibeault, former CEO of the asset management firm GL Capital Partners, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges he defrauded fund investors of $15 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Thibeault, 41, used money in the G... Read More

Three independent broker-dealers formerly operating under AIG's umbrella have been fined $7.5 million and ordered to pay restitution of $2 million to clients  by Mack Chen

Three independent broker-dealers formerly operating under the umbrella of the AIG Advisor Group have been fined $7.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission and ordered to pay restitution of $2 million to clients for persistent failures to use lo... Read More

Genworth to pay $219M to settle securities lawsuit related to long-term-care insurance  by Mack Chen

Genworth Financial Inc.  has settled a class-action lawsuit alleging misrepresentations over its long-term-care insurance business for $219 million. Genworth, the largest long-term-care insurance carrier, announced after the market close on Friday... Read More

Investment advisers becoming more frequent target of SEC enforcement  by Mack Chen

Agency brought 126 actions against more than 230 adviser or company defendants in 2015, about 15% of the total enforcement cases last year The agency brought 126 actions against more than 230 defendants in the investment adviser/company area in 2015, ac... Read More

Barred broker Claus Foerster indicted for fraud  by Mack Chen

Claus Foerster , a former broker in South Carolina, was indicted by a grand jury for defrauding clients of $2.8 million over a 14-year-period. Mr. Foerster perpetrated his fraud from 2000 to June 2014 while employed as a financial adviser at Smith Barn... Read More

Ex-JPMorgan broker gets five years - stole millions of dollars from customers  by Mack Chen

Michael Oppenheim, who at one point had about 500 clients and almost $90 million under management at JPMorgan, got so deeply in debt that, according to his lawyer, even his bookie expressed sympathy for him. The former broker also got a break from U.S. ... Read More


The Bangladesh central bank says it is working to recover some US$100 million allegedly stolen by Chinese hackers from an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Authorities have given few details about how the money disappeared. But Finance Mi... Read More

Couple files Finra arbitration claim against Morgan Stanley in connection with energy investment  by Mack Chen

A retired couple from North Carolina has filed an arbitration claim against Morgan Stanley, alleging it failed to adequately disclose the risks involved in a proprietary energy-related investment in which they've lost more than $100,000, according to t... Read More

Wells Fargo & Co. were sued by a U.S. regulator for allegedly misleading investors  by Mack Chen

After being hired to find financing for Schilling's 38 Studios LLC, Wells Fargo failed to disclose that the $50 million raised from a bond offering was at least $25 million short of what the company needed to bring the game to market, the Securities an... Read More

Canadian pension solvency ratio down in February  by Mack Chen

The median solvency ratio of Canadian defined benefit pension plans stood at 80.8% as of Feb. 29, a decline of 2.1 percentage points from the ratio on the first of the month, according to Aon Hewitt. Its  Pension Plan Solvency Survey , which trac... Read More


Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) found that Wasseem Dirani misappropriated funds from clients, executed unauthorized trades in client accounts, engaged in personal financial dealings with clients, and f... Read More

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg It Just Got Even Harder to Trust Financial Advisers  by Mack Chen

Nearly 20 percent of financial advisers at Oppenheimer & Co., with more than 2,000 advisers counted in the study, have misconduct records, according to the new paper. A new working paper  by business school professors at the Universi... Read More

How a Financial Analyst Did a Favor for a Friend and Uncovered a $7 Billion Ponzi Scheme  by Mack Chen

In late 2008, the world was reeling from a global financial crisis. As markets tanked and funding became scarcer by the day, two massive Ponzi schemes unraveled. One was the $17.5 billion Ponzi  run by Bernie Madoff, the other was a smaller but no l... Read More

Quebec shakes up pension landscape with shift to going-concern funding  by Mack Chen

In a move that has drawn significant attention in the pension community, Quebec has introduced a potential solution to a major conundrum for employers: how to keep their costly defined benefit pension plans sustainable in the long run. Under the new leg... Read More

Up to 600 TTC employees involved in benefits fraud  by Mack Chen

Up to 600 TTC employees are under investigation for their involvement in a benefits fraud scandal. The false claims for health benefits totalled more than $5.1 million. The details are included in an annual report from auditor general Beverly ... Read More


A Belgian judge charged Swiss bank UBS on Friday with money laundering and “serious and organized tax evasion,” saying it directly sought clients in the country to help them skip taxes. UBS said in a statement it takes note of the Belgian au... Read More

Money manager's mea culpa cost him nearly $1 million  by Mack Chen

 Mr. Chou, who was named fund manager of the decade in Canada by  Morningstar Inc , decided to return $918,468 to the fund, a sum equal to most of last year's advisory fee, according to a regulatory filing. The mutual fund slid 22% last yea... Read More

Employees facing less comfortable retirement than parents: survey  by Mack Chen

Nearly three-quarters of Canadian employees believe they are facing a less comfortable retirement than their parents, according to new research by Willis Towers Watson. The generational divide goes even further than retirement, according to the research... Read More


Thirty-four percent of Canadians have withdrawn money from their RRSPs before retirement, according to a poll by BMO Financial Group. The study examined the reasons behind Canadians’ decisions to make these withdrawals and their concerns about the co... Read More

Think your stock fund is risky? Try these ETFs  by Mack Chen

Exchange-traded funds have achieved a new feat, producing dozens of products that are riskier than the most volatile individual stocks. The primary purpose of all funds, including ETFs, is to reduce risk to the investor by diversification. A portfolio o... Read More

Broker-dealers that sold UDF REITs to face investor claims  by Mack Chen

Independent broker-dealers that sold the distressed series of UDF real estate investment trusts could soon be facing arbitration claims from angry investors. IMS Securities Inc.,  Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. ,  Centauru... Read More

56% of employers with DC plans think staff are saving enough  by Mack Chen

More than half (56%) of Canadian employers with defined contribution pension plans think their employees are saving enough for retirement, while just 24% of employees feel the same way, according to new research. Another 55% think their e... Read More


Isaac, a 45-year-old single man earning $58,500/year in Ontario, wanted to know the best place to invest the $5,500 he had saved over the past year. He also plans to save this amount each year, indexed for inflation, until he retires at age 65. We assum... Read More

Healthcare company ordered to repay US$1.7 million to profit-sharing plan  by Mack Chen

Alliance Home Healthcare has been ordered by a federal judge to repay a total of US$1,736,339 to its profit-sharing plan. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in Chicago found that the Illino... Read More

ORPP ads reflect misplaced priorities  by Mack Chen

It’s not in existence yet, but the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is already coming under scrutiny from the auditor general. In this case, Bonnie Lysyk is taking the Ontario government to task over its recent ads for the new pension scheme. In her a... Read More

Swiss watchmakers are hurting thanks to Apple and Samsung  by Mack Chen

Apple and Samsung led the growth, with each accounting for 63% and 16% of the overall smartwatch market, respectively. "The Swiss watch industry has been sticking its head in the sand and hoping smartwatches will go away," he wrote. "Swis... Read More

Aequitas Capital alts platform implodes, while investors and advisers are kept in the dark  by Mack Chen

The sudden and stunning collapse of Aequitas Capital Management continues to unfold. The obscure alternative investments platform is under investigation by both the SEC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nearly $600 million was bet on a diverse arra... Read More

How to manage tax-efficient drawdowns in retirement  by Mack Chen

The conventional wisdom goes as such: Take distributions first from taxable accounts, such as a brokerage account; then from tax-deferred accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs; and then from tax-exempt, or Roth, accounts. That traditional way of thinking i... Read More

General Motors plans to sell 20- and 30-year notes to make a payment on its huge U.S. pension obligation for hourly workers.  by Mack Chen

The Detroit company filed a prospectus for the offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that did not specify an amount. But Moody’s Investor Services said it would be $2 billion in senior unsecured credit. At the end o... Read More

Operating for years like a Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

The firm, which also manages nontraded REITs, has seen its stock price fall 81% in the past two months after a hedge fund alleged it was operating for years like a Ponzi scheme. “The FBI is lawfully present and conducting law enforcement activity&... Read More

Canadian retirees are living on 62% of the income they had before retiring  by Mack Chen

88% of retired Canadians described life in retirement as positive, with 32% saying their biggest financial surprise is now they were able to manage on a reduced budget. Another 10% said they are spending less than expected. On average, retirees are spen... Read More

Co-op Atlantic staff facing 30% pension reduction  by Mack Chen

Some 1,200 employees and retirees of Co-op Atlantic are facing a 30% reduction in their pension. According to pension administrator Eckler, which was appointed after Co-op Atlantic filed for creditor protection last year, the 30% reductio... Read More


Nearly half of Canadians surveyed last month are within $200 per month of being unable to pay for their bills and make their debt payments  one-quarter of the 1,582 people who responded to the poll were already unable to cover their bills and debt ... Read More

Canadians think they’re in a worse financial position than they were two years ago  by Mack Chen

About one-quarter of Canadians think they’re in a worse financial position than they were two years ago, finds Manulife’s Investor Sentiment Index. Canadians are increasingly viewing housing as a less attractive investment, having dropp... Read More

Canadians’ retirement savings ‘wholly inadequate’  by Mack Chen

The value of retirement assets of Canadians aged between 55 and 64 without an employer pension is “wholly inadequate” at an overall median value of just $3,000.  among this age group, 32% have less than $1,000 in retirement savings... Read More

IT'S OFFICIAL: Global stocks are in a bear market  by Mack Chen

That's it: Global stocks are officially in a bear market. On Thursday, the MSCI all-country world index closed down 20% from its recent high to meet that technical definition. The index tracks large and mid-cap stock performance across ... Read More

Lawsuit filed against IAM pension fund  by Mack Chen

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) National Pension Fund and its board of trustees, citing multiple violations of the  Employee Retirement Income Security Act . The lawsuit, ... Read More


IAS Inc. admitted that it failed to take reasonable measures to ensure that two of its representatives, and some of its supervisors, possessed the required knowledge and understood the features and risks inherent in leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds, and fai... Read More

CPP Fund ended 2015 up nearly $10 billion in assets  by Mack Chen

The $9.7-billion increase in assets for the quarter consisted of $12.3 billion in net investment income after all CPPIB costs, less $2.6 billion in CPP cash outflows. The portfolio delivered a gross investment return of 4.6% for the quarter, or 4.5% n... Read More

The stocks Wall Street analysts love most are getting crushed this year  by Mack Chen

According to the analysts at Bespoke Investment Group, companies with the most "Buy" ratings from Wall Street analysts have done much worse than the rest of the market. "The stocks with the most Buy ratings by analysts have gott... Read More

Obama aims to double SEC funding to target adviser oversight  by Mack Chen

President Barack Obama wants to double the SEC's funding over the next five years to protect investors by helping the agency better regulate investment advisers, the White House said Tuesday. In the president's fiscal 2017 budget proposal, the S... Read More

Ontario spent $600K on ORPP ads during election  by Mack Chen

The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation asked for the figure through a Freedom of Information request and was told that $592,834 was spent between Aug. 2 and Oct. 14, five days before the federal election. Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending nearly $60... Read More

Assets of largest retirement funds tumble 2.3% for year  by Mack Chen

Asset movement among defined contribution plans in the top 1,000 was relatively flat, down 0.3% to $3.01 trillion, while defined benefit plans decreased 3.3%, to $5.83 trillion. Among the 200 largest plans, DC plan assets inched up 1.5% to $1.81 trillio... Read More

Global stocks have already lost over $6 trillion in 2016  by Mack Chen

It's ugly in global markets right now.  Really ugly . In the US, stocks had their  worst start to a year ever . In Europe things haven't been much better with  bad news coming out of Berlin, London, and Athens ... Read More

Broker charged $11M in commissions for nontraded REITs and BDCs and lied about it  by Mack Chen

A broker has been charged by Finra for lying to a Native American tribe about the $11 million in commissions he charged when he sold the tribe $190 million in nontraded real estate investment trusts and business development companies. From June 2011 to ... Read More


A federal appeals court in New York has agreed to rehear the appeal of the insider-trading conviction of a former board member for Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday issued an order saying it will r... Read More

Finra cracks down on firms for missing discounts on UIT sales  by Mack Chen

The three firms, Next Financial Group Inc. , Key Investment Services and Stephens Inc., were charged $1.2 million with failing to apply sales charge discounts to certain customers' eligible purchases of unit investment trusts, or UITs, and related su... Read More

Why Is the U.S. Still Sitting on $4 Billion in Madoff Money?  by Mack Chen

There’s a $4 billion pot of cash at the Department of Justice for victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Thousands of them have been trying to tap the fund since it was set up three years ago, without seeing a penny. Many are elderly and ... Read More

Pension plans feel effect of January’s volatile  by Mack Chen

The health of Canadian pension plans suffered the effects of January’s slumping equity markets and declining bond yields. At January 29, median solvency stood at 82.9%, more than three percentage points below the ratio as at January 1, 2016. Onl... Read More

Student debt is clouding future retirement income  by Mack Chen

52% of Americans are at risk of a shortfall in retirement, based on data that includes an average student debt load of $18,000. If you raise that debt burden to $31,000 — the 2013 average for recent college students — and increase the universe ... Read More

Texas securities regulator cracks down on firm selling pension streams  by Mack Chen

SoBell executes agreements with the recipients of pension benefits to sell their income stream to investors for at least $35,000 to more than $1 million, offering annual returns of 7% to 8%. SoBell and Mr. Gamber have engaged in fraud by selling unregis... Read More

CPP more costly than other public sector pensions: report  by Mack Chen

It found that the CPP, which is the largest plan with $269 billion of assets, had the highest expense ratio at 1.07% of its assets on average for the whole period between 2009 and 2014. The OTPP, the next largest plan at $154 billion of assets, had th... Read More


The government is addressing a structural deficit of about $600 million, with a provincial debt that is roughly $12.4 billion. A goverment official has told  The Canadian Press that measures will include cutting 30% of civil service managers, pha... Read More


IIROC has a lacklustre record of collecting fines levied against individuals. Kriegler notes that while some rule-breakers don’t pay because they don’t have the money, others skirt fines by ceasing to be IIROC registrants. “In Ont... Read More

Hollywood makes it tough on advisers to build trust  by Mack Chen

Richard Dreyfuss, as well as an upcoming HBO movie on the events that features Robert De Niro, could remind an already distrustful public that investing with the wrong financial adviser can ruin lives. A trailer for the film shows a squirrelly-looking M... Read More

Bay St., Wall St. sink at the open  by Mack Chen

Soon after the open, the TSX fell 185.38 points or 12,639.75. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 77.94 points, or 0.47 percent, at 16,388.36, the S&P 500 was down 9.67 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,930.57 and the Nasdaq composite was down 26.98 p... Read More

New bill would provide universal retirement coverage for U.S. workers  by Mack Chen

New legislation introduced Thursday would establish a retirement plan for U.S. workers who have no access to a workplace plan, building on other recent retirement coverage initiatives undertaken at the federal and state levels. The American Savings Act,... Read More

Adviser accused of fraud boycotts SEC's in-house administrative trial  by Mack Chen

An investment adviser accused of fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has a new way to defend herself at an internal agency trial. She's boycotting the proceeding. Dawn Bennett failed to show up to the in-house court in Washington ... Read More

The iPhone lost market share in most of the world last year  by Mack Chen

The iPhone juggernaut is finally slowing down. Growth slowed to a crawl in the last quarter of 2015, and on yesterday's earnings call, Tim Cook admitted that iPhone sales will probably drop next quarter (quarter comparisons are from the previous year).... Read More


IIROC has released its  reasons for the decision   (dated January 14, 2016; posted on IIROC’s website January 26, 2016). They include: serious lack of accounting and reporting controls and risk management resulting in misstatem... Read More

Apple has been here before  by Mack Chen

Growth in the last quarter of 2013 (Q1 '14 here, as these are fiscal quarters) was similarly low, as consumers didn't see enough new bells and whistles in the iPhone 5S compared with the iPhone 5. Meanwhile, a lot of consumers were favoring&nb... Read More

ORPP design and feature details announced  by Mack Chen

The Ontario government has announced a series of design and feature details for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) this morning. A clearer definition of employment so that employers can determine which employees are eligible for the plan.... Read More

Scotia downgraded, RBC’s outlook revised as rating agencies see risks  by Mack Chen

Two of Canada’s biggest banks have attracted the attention of credit rating agencies. Bank of Nova Scotia was downgraded one notch by Moody’s over what it calls a “shift away from the bank’s traditionally low risk appetite.” ... Read More

Ontario pension solvency down at end of 2015  by Mack Chen

The median solvency ratio of defined benefit (DB) pension plans in Ontario was down very slightly in the fourth quarter of 2015, to 83% on December 31 compared to 84% on September 30, according to a quarterly update from the Financial Servic... Read More

Fidelity fields record calls for 401(k) advice as markets tank  by Mack Chen

As key indexes first started going south earlier this month, almost 4 million people contacted Fidelity on January 4 alone, either online or by phone, to check on their retirement savings.  >>> Read More

Recent class-action surge ups the ante for 401(k) advice  by Mack Chen

Eleven major class-action lawsuits were filed in federal courts around the country against 401(k) sponsors or providers of retirement products in the fourth quarter of 2015. All involve alleged fiduciary breach claims of, among other things, excessive fees... Read More


In early 2014, Bob Hoye, a Vancouver-based financial analyst, predicted that oil prices had nearly peaked and soon the price would fall up to 75%, reports  Maclean’s .  With oil trading under US$30 lately, his prediction has come true. ... Read More

Millennials clueless about retirement savings plans  by Mack Chen

Almost a third (32%) of millennials admit they are “not at all knowledgeable” about retirement savings plans (RSPs), according to new survey by TD. The survey found that only 50% of those aged between 18-33 know that the ... Read More

Buying real estate from non-residents  by Mack Chen

If the seller doesn’t get a clearance certificate, the responsibility shifts to you, the purchaser, to remit either 50% of the purchase price for depreciable property, or 25% of the purchase price for other capital property. Section 116 of th... Read More

Ex-Goldman Director Rajat Gupta Back Home After Prison Stay  by Mack Chen

Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta, who went to prison for leaking tips to hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, is a free man. Jailed in June 2014, Gupta spent about 19 months in a federal prison in Devens, Massachusetts. He was free... Read More

62% of millennials have started saving for retirement  by Mack Chen

Almost two-thirds (62%) of millennials have started saving for retirement and almost half (46%) started before the age of 25 millennials also have their sights set high, with 40% of respondents believing they will need more than $1 million saved fo... Read More

Myths about hedge funds  by Mack Chen

Myth 1: Hedge funds are risky and highly leveraged Hedging is a strategy used to guard against the risk of loss. The perception of hedge funds as riskier than traditional investment vehicles is incorrect. In fact, the traditional, long-only approach to ... Read More

Halifax Chronicle Herald union votes to strike over pension benefits  by Mack Chen

Unionized workers in the newsroom of Canada’s largest independently-owned daily newspaper voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking Saturday if a contract cannot be reached next week. The Halifax Typographical Union, which represents 61 unionized... Read More


Goldman Sachs said last week that it will pay roughly $5 billion to settle federal and state probes of its role in the sale of shoddy mortgages in the years leading to the housing bubble and subsequent financial crisis. Coming nearly eight yea... Read More

SHERIFF OF WALL STREET: We're no longer able to bring certain insider trading cases  by Mack Chen

US Attorney Preet Bharara, often called the '"Sheriff of Wall Street," in December gave up on a  big insider trading case .  That was the direct result of an earlier, successful appeal against the SEC's case again... Read More

Goldman Sachs to pay $15M to settle SEC charges  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that Goldman, Sachs & Co. has agreed to pay $15 million to settle charges that its securities lending practices violated federal regulations. According to the SEC’s order instituting a ... Read More

The stock market just did something it's done only 3 other times in the past 100 years — and it's not good  by Mack Chen

On Wednesday  stocks got crushed and officially entered a "correction," defined as a 10% drop from recent highs. This is the second time in the past six months that this has happened — remember, stocks fell 10% in August in just a... Read More

Which states' residents are best at managing money?  by Mack Chen

These are the 10 best states when it comes to how well investors count quarters and live within their means, according to a study, which compared each state's average credit score with its median income. Read More Read More

Police make arrest in CRA scam  by Mack Chen

Police say the alleged victim was contacted a week ago by someone claiming to be from the CRA saying that the person owed back taxes. The elderly person complied and deposited a sum of money into an account provided and then contacted police. Investi... Read More


On December 18, 2015, a hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) accepted a settlement agreement, with sanctions, between IIROC staff and Xavier Cheng Kuo Li. Li admitted that he made discretionary transactions ... Read More

Many Albertans struggling to save for retirement  by Mack Chen

Saving for retirement is a top priority for most Albertans, but nearly half (48%) aren’t meeting their goals, up from 40% in a July survey, according to the latest  ATB Investor Beat . Those who are falling short of their savings goals cite... Read More

The stock market hasn't made sense in 14 of the last 20 quarters  by Mack Chen

Earnings are what investors ultimately want out of the companies they invest in. Earnings, and the expectations for earnings growth, are therefore what give stock prices their value. However, stock prices and any revisions to earnings expectations ... Read More

Key 2016 dates for retired Americans  by Mack Chen

Jan. 1 CLAIM SPOUSAL BENEFITS Clients who are 62 or older by Jan. 1, 2016 retain the right to claim only spousal benefits when they file for Social Security at age 66 or later, allowing their own retirement benefit to grow up to age 70, assuming the ... Read More

Massachusetts regulator charges securities firm with improper sale to elderly investor  by Mack Chen

Mr. Galvin, the secretary of the commonwealth, is seeking restitution from the firm, Citizens Securities, for the unnamed investor, who lost about $7,000 when she got out of the investment portfolio, according to a statement from his office. Read More ... Read More


Millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 are saving a median of 7.5% of their pay for retirement, including whatever match they get from their jobs, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments of 4,650 households with at least $20,000 of annual income. ... Read More

New benefit amounts for CPP and OAS came in from January 1, 2016  by Mack Chen

CPP benefits will increase by 1.2% for those already receiving the benefits. For 2016, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,092.50 per month, an increase of $330 for the year compared to the maximum in 2015. ... Read More


The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that J.P. Morgan’s brokerage business agreed to pay $4 million to settle charges that it falsely stated on its private banking website, and in marketing materials, that advisors are compensated &... Read More

Most Americans' savings still fall short  by Mack Chen

45% of Americans are now on track to live comfortably in retirement, up from 38% reported in the previous study conducted in 2013. However, that means more than half — 55% — are still at risk of being unprepared to completely cover essential li... Read More

Finra restitution to investors triples to $96.2 million in 2015  by Mack Chen

Over the last year, Finra has become much more assertive in returning money to investors ripped off by brokerages. In 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. secured $96.2 million in restitution, almost triple the $32.3 million it recorde... Read More

2015 ended on a down note for Canadian pensions  by Mack Chen

The median solvency ratio of the pension plans of Mercer’s clients stood at 85% on December 31, 2015, down from 88% at the beginning of the year, with around nine out of 10 plans still being in solvency deficit position. Recognizing the challengin... Read More

compliance lessons from a tough year  by Mack Chen

Here are seven compliance messages that rang loud and clear in 2015 and will likely be heard throughout the new year. Read More Read More

RCAP files for bankruptcy  by Mack Chen

Cetera Financial Group, with 9,500 financial advisers at 10 different broker-dealers, will not be part of the bankruptcy proceeding,  Read More Read More


26% of respondents named debt reduction as their key financial goal for 2016, the sixth-straight year it has topped the list. Read More Read More

Apple will pay 318 million euros in Italy tax fraud probe  by Mack Chen

Apple has agreed to pay up 318 million euros in Italy to settle a probe into alleged tax fraud, a spokesman for the tax office said Tuesday. The company's Italian subsidiary has been under investigation for allegedly failing to declare more than one... Read More

Barclays Capital to pay $13.75M over mutual fund sales  by Mack Chen

Finra continued its recent push to hold broker-dealers accountable for the suitability of product sales and saying today that it had reached a settlement with Barclays Capital Inc. in which the firm would pay restitution of more than $10 million to clients... Read More

stocks went nowhere in 2015  by Mack Chen

The S&P 500 closed 2014 at 2,058.9. On Tuesday, it opened at 2,060.5. In other words, the stock market has effectively gone nowhere this year. Read More   Read More


BMO Life Assurance CEO Peter McCarthy is being sued by David Hébert, formerly the vice-president of business development at BBA Groupe Financier and now a vice-president at Canaccord Financial. Hébert alleges BMO executives caused his demo... Read More

Summary - The global financial markets in 2015  by Mack Chen

  The turbulence in high yield was really not a big deal when compared with the performance of other risky assets, including equities US stocks down 1% and stocks in core Europe up 7% EM equities at the extremes, with Brazil down 13% and Ru... Read More

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $150 million to public pension funds  by Mack Chen

Huge losses from transactions booked through the London office of JPMorgan’s chief investment office caused the bank’s stock value to plummet, harming investors. The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the state’s largest public p... Read More

Morgan Stanley ordered to pay $8.8 million for unsupervised trading  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it has ordered Morgan Stanley Investment Management and brokerage firm Societe Generale Americas to pay $8.8 million and $1 million respectively for what the regulator claims was unsupervised prearranged tra... Read More

Face time just as important to younger clients  by Mack Chen

Fifty-four percent of clients between the ages of 18 and 44 want to communicate with their advisers face to face. That's the same level of interest seen face-to-face interaction seen in clients between the ages of 45 and 54 and higher than the 48% leve... Read More

IIROC suspends Jacob Securities Inc.  by Mack Chen

Following an Expedited Hearing held on December 17, 2015, with notice to Jacob Securities Inc. (“JSI”), a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) ordered the following Read More

Must Read - Top 10 Advisor to Client stories of 2015  by Mack Chen

This year, many of the stories our readers found most compelling were about making sense of the financial world. That’s why some of our top stories explain how advisors are paid, why interest rates are so low and how to best use RRSPs, for instance. ... Read More

JPMorgan to pay more than $300M in settlement over wealth management conflicts  by Mack Chen

JPMorgan Chase & Co.  will pay more than $300 million to settle U.S. allegations that it didn't disclose its preference for putting clients' money into the bank's own investment products. America's largest bank by assets admitt... Read More

Fidelity targeted in another ERISA class-action suit  by Mack Chen

A unit of  Fidelity Investments  has been targeted in a class-action suit for fiduciary breach under ERISA as a result of its alleged mismanagement of a stable value fund. The fund's low investment returns and high fees made it an imprudent... Read More

Canadians postpone retirement to support children  by Mack Chen

Many Canadians are sacrificing their own financial well-being to provide financial support to their children, according to a new report by BMO Wealth Canada. The report,  The Family Bank – a source of comfort for everyone , found that ... Read More


Most Canadian seniors (93%) prefer to live and age at home, finds the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Also, according to HomEquity Bank, 30% of Canadians nearing retirement have $50,000 or less in savings. And, almost 70% of those... Read More

Third Avenue fund collapse may be 'much bigger problem' for bond ETFs  by Mack Chen

Last week when the  Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund (TFCVX) announced it was shutting down , but that investors might have to wait months for their money, the high-yield bond market kicked into high gear, as illustrated by increased trading of the ... Read More

United Development Funding IV, the Texas REIT was operating like a Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

United Development Funding IV, the Texas REIT hit by anonymous allegations late last week that it was operating like a Ponzi scheme, provided fresh details Monday on an unnamed hedge fund or funds that it claims have been illegally distorting its share pri... Read More


Vulnerabilities in the housing sector have edged higher, the BoC says today in its  Financial System Review (FSR) , while the overall level of risk to Canada’s financial system has remained roughly unchanged since June. The BoC continu... Read More


The association is estimating Alberta’s average housing price will fall in 2016 by 2.5%. The decline in Saskatchewan is expected to be 1.2% and in Newfoundland the decline is expected to be 1%. Read More Read More

SEC to limit use of derivatives by mutual funds, ETFs  by Mack Chen

Federal regulators are moving toward imposing restrictions on the use of derivatives by mutual funds, aiming to protect investors in funds that rely on the high-risk transactions. Read More Read More


More than half of Ontarians without workplace pensions (58%) saved nothing for retirement over the last year. As such, 83% of respondents fear that without better pension coverage Ontario will be headed for a retirement income crisis, where senior pover... Read More

Market Dips as Oil Dives: 3 Things to Know  by Mack Chen

Oil continues to grease the skids for the stock market. Oil prices fell to a seven-year low last week, with the TSX following to the tune of a 4.3% decline. The S&P 500 fared better, declining 3.8%. This highlights the question: is the tail or the dog ... Read More

Texas REIT in free fall after Ponzi allegations  by Mack Chen

Shares of United Development Funding IV have plummeted after an investor website published a report that alleged the real estate investment trust has operated for years like a Ponzi scheme. Read More Read More

Elderly woman awarded more than $1M in churning case against ex-Morgan Stanley broker  by Mack Chen

Arbitrators recently found in favor of Genevieve Lenehan, 92, giving her punitive and compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, and other costs that amounted to $1.06 million. Ms. Lenehan asserted that a former Morgan Stanley broker, Justin Amaral, bot... Read More

TFSA BACK TO $5,500 AS OF JAN. 1  by Mack Chen

It’s official. The $10,000 TFSA limit is rolling back to $5,500. The change is effective January 1, 2016, so clients will not be affected for 2015. That means there’s no rush to contribute, says Jamie Golombek, managing director, Tax and Est... Read More

Is it a good idea? - Smaller pension plans starting to invest like big ones  by Mack Chen

Smaller and mid-size pension plans are taking advantage of what used to be the exclusive domain of larger pension funds. Halifax Regional Municipality Pension Plan (HRM)  -  The $1.7-billion plan is allowed to allocate 50% of its portfolio ... Read More


There’s a difference between the robo-advisors operating in Canada versus the U.S., says CSA. “Online advisers that have been approved to carry on business in Canada are not ‘robo-advisers’ of the kind that are operating in the Unit... Read More

Broker-dealer settles variable annuity allegations for $475,000  by Mack Chen

Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing Inc. has agreed to pay $475,000 to settle allegations that the firm failed to reasonably supervise representatives' sales of variable annuities, among other complaints. Read More   Read More

Employees have options to fund their own defined-benefit pensions  by Mack Chen

Some plan providers now offer deferred annuities within group retirement plans for employees who feel more comfortable knowing what their payments will be in retirement. It’s not right for everyone but it may be good for investors who can’t han... Read More


Toronto police have arrested two men in a pyramid scheme they say raked in more than US$93 million. The Financial Crimes Unit alleges the Banners Broker scheme operated between October 2010 and March 2013 — luring victims with the promise of doubl... Read More

Why does iShares S&P TSX 60 (XIU), with the highest management fee, have the most assets?  by Mack Chen

Five of the six ETFs we’ll discuss in this column (see “ Canadian equity market ETFs ”) have management fees of 0.05% or less. Canada, the originator of the ETF, can now boast the lowest-priced ETF at 0.03% (including a 4-bps rebate): H... Read More

Merrill to small advisers: Work harder for same pay  by Mack Chen

Bank of America Merrill Lynch telling its second-tier brokers this week that they need to sell more products and services to earn the same pay in 2016. For the first time since 2009, Merrill Lynch is formally changing the levels of advisers' payout ... Read More

Madoff victims get early holiday gift with $1.1M checks  by Mack Chen

Bernard Madoff's victims are getting an early holiday treat as the trustee unwinding his fraud begins sending out a total of $1.2 billion in recovered funds, with checks averaging $1.1 million each. The biggest payout to victims in more than three y... Read More

Canada lost 35,700 jobs in November  by Mack Chen

The Canadian economy shed 35,700 jobs in November to reverse a rise in temporary work likely generated by October’s federal election, Statistics Canada said Friday. The number of public-administration jobs fell by 32,500 in November to offset ... Read More

Canadians risk paying more tax if they wait  by Mack Chen

It’s important to act now before the holiday season begins if you hope to have enough time to take full advantage of tax-savings strategies for 2015 and beyond. With less than two months left before the calendar turns over, Canadians run the risk ... Read More

if you choose to delay application for CPP, you take the risk of premature death and the loss of any future payouts.  by Mack Chen

CPP provides a death benefit to a maximum of $2,500 for eligible pensioners—not even three months’ worth of retirement payments. So, if you choose to delay application for CPP, you take the risk of premature death and the loss of any future pay... Read More

$3 million settlement with Massachusetts Securities Division over complaint  by Mack Chen

RCS Capital Corp. said Wednesday it is shutting down its wholesaling brokerage division in the wake of declining sales of nontraded real estate investment trusts and allegations of fraud. Realty Capital Securities, was a cornerstone of his nontraded REI... Read More

What is an RRSP?  by Mack Chen

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan is an account that helps you save money for the period after you stop working permanently. To encourage you to save, the plan has three advantages: You can reduce your taxable income immediately You can grow ret... Read More

Why high-net-worth investors should avoid living on dividends alone  by Mack Chen

Dividends from Canadian (although not foreign) companies are taxed at a favourable rate relative to interest on bonds. Because of the mechanics of the dividend gross-up and tax credit, if an Ontario taxpayer has no taxable income other than their Canadian ... Read More

Canada out of recession, GDP grows 2.3%  by Mack Chen

Canada has climbed out of the recession that nudged the economy into reverse over the first half of 2015, but a rebound in growth during the third quarter has already shown signs of lost momentum. Statistics Canada says Tuesday that the GDP grew at an a... Read More

Canadian banks shouldn’t bear mortgage losses - Do you agree  by Mack Chen

Homebuyers with less than a 20% down payment are required to get mortgage default insurance, either from CMHC or one of the private mortgage insurers, when borrowing from a bank. That insurance covers the banks in cases where borrowers default on their loa... Read More

Holiday season not the time to buy retail ETFs  by Mack Chen

Retail-oriented ETFs tend to underperform the market during this time. In the nine years since retail ETFs began to trade, investors would have been better off just sticking with their boring old S&P 500-stock index fund. Read More Read More

Can you retire early through extreme frugality on a normal salary? Yup.  by Mack Chen

Now in his early 40s, this Canadian retired about 10 years ago by using his own form of extreme frugality. He saved at least 50% of his take-home pay and invested the remainder. He wasn’t making crazy money. His starting annual salary was $41,000 ;... Read More

Toronto’s financial clout is increasing  by Mack Chen

The financial services sector directly accounted for 780,000 jobs and 6.8% of Canada’s GDP in 2014, finds a Conference Board of Canada report. At 33.3%, Toronto has the largest share of financial jobs, and its portion is rising. In 2004, Toronto h... Read More


British authorities have fined Barclays 72 million pounds ($108 million) for failing to safeguard against the risk that the bank would be used to facilitate financial crime. Read More   Read More


Morningstar’s Fund Awards were announced last night in Toronto. Are your clients in funds that got top honours? Read More Read More


1. Eliminate its current requirement for firms and individuals to be qualified to offer a full range of investment products, and instead allow firms and individuals to offer only mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (with appropriate adjustments for the ... Read More


Many Canadians can improve their financial well-being simply by following a budget, says  a report by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Though 93% of people who have a budget stick to it most of the time, only 46% of people have a budget. ... Read More

Tax tips for first-time homebuyers  by Mack Chen

1. Use the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) You’re eligible if you meet CRA’s definition of a first-time homebuyer. To qualify, you can’t have lived in a home that you, your spouse or common-law partner, owned in the last four years. In t... Read More

Ontarians worry about poverty in retirement: Poll  by Mack Chen

More than half of Ontarians without workplace pensions (58%) saved nothing for retirement over the last year, according to a new Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan poll. More than 80% of respondents fear that without better pension coverage Ontario will... Read More

How investors get yield wrong and how dangerous that can be  by Mack Chen

The way many retired investors think about the yield of their investment portfolios is complicated and puzzling. Too often, they blur the distinction between yield as an investment characteristic and yield as a source of income for retirement spending. My ... Read More


The Canada Revenue Agency says a prominent Ottawa lobbyist and federal Liberal party strategist has been sentenced to house arrest and fined $396,259 for tax evasion. Read More Read More


In all five of the countries listed above, between 68% and 71% of adults are considered financially literate. The study says, “On average, 55% of adults in major advanced economies, [including] Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdo... Read More

Missing Victoria advisor’s fund license revoked  by Mack Chen

A missing MFDA rep and former Canadian Olympic rower has had his licence terminated by a mutual fund company in the midst of a fraud investigation. Investia Financial Services is investigating Harold Backer, who hasn’t been seen since November 3rd... Read More


On November 3rd, 2015, a hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) accepted a Settlement Agreement, with sanctions, between IIROC staff and Robert Connor. Connor admitted that he made unsuitab... Read More


The vast majority of people who work with advisors (96%) say the advice they receive is valuable, according to an Advocis  national survey . The survey also examines the level of satisfaction clients have with the array of services they receive a... Read More

6 retirement plan traps  by Mack Chen

Government-controlled plans - Government-controlled plans are connected to the stock market, leaving you susceptible to a significant market loss that can take a long time to recover from. Compounded fees - Average fees levied by retirement plans me... Read More

How Canadians are squandering retirement savings  by Mack Chen

As many as 28% of Canadians fail to create plans before retiring, and 19% of retirees still don’t have adequate plans in place. Many Canadians are saving enough for retirement, but are at risk of improperly managing those savings, says a new repo... Read More

CEO sentenced after defrauding investors of $130M  by Mack Chen

The former head of an Oregon-based chain of retirement centres was sentenced by a federal judge on Tuesday to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors of about $130 million. Prosecutors say Jon Harder operated what amounted to a Ponzi scheme, raising... Read More

U.S. multi-employer pension plans fuel record $76.4B deficit  by Mack Chen

The deficit racked up by the U.S. federal agency that insures pensions for about 40 million Americans has increased 23% to $76.4 billion over the past year. The agency’s program for so-called multi-employer pension plans continues to account for a la... Read More

AIG Advisor Group for sale  by Mack Chen

One of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the country, the AIG Advisor Group, recently hired a law firm, which in turn will select an investment bank to begin discussions with interested buyers, according to two sources with knowledge of... Read More

CPP has lost out on $7B  by Mack Chen

Failure to divest carbon assets has cost pension plans $22B. Failure to divest carbon assets has cost pension plans $22B, report finds - Business - CBC News An analysis by Canadian research company Corporate Knights suggests that some of the world... Read More

Ontario pension funds lost $2.4B from oil, coal investments: Report  by Mack Chen

Ontario pension funds lost $2.4B from oil, coal investments Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan: $1.77 billion Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System: $192 million Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan: $53 million Ontario Pension Plan: $1... Read More

F-Squared haunts Virtus as fund distributor pays $16.5M to settle false performance claims  by Mack Chen

Virtus Investment Advisers agreed to pay a $16.5 million fine to settle charges it publicized false performance data for the AlphaSector exchange-traded fund, the Securities and Exchange Commission reported Monday. According an SEC statement, Virtus pub... Read More


A jury in King County Superior Court has found the firm of Ernst & Young negligent and liable for half of more than US$20 million lost by a Washington state investment company in the wake of Bernie Madoff’s multi-decade investment scam. Friday... Read More


The Canadian retirement system is at a crossroads due to a convergence of forces, as people live longer, interest rates are low and equity markets are volatile, say the actuaries. Further, new types of pensions such as shared risk/jointly-sponsored and tar... Read More

How much do you need to save for retirement?  by Mack Chen

The average Canadian couple can count on at least $30,000 in combined annual CPP and OAS payments once they stop working,  Canadians have annual retirement income expectations of about $47,000 in after-tax income—and the good news is that lev... Read More


The majority of Canadians (79%) aren’t confident they’ll achieve their financial goals, finds a study by Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). Further, just 18% say they’re knowledgeable about financial matters. Read More Read More

What is a mutual fund?  by Mack Chen

The advantage for the average person is straightforward: With $1,000 to invest, you may able to afford one or two shares in Google. But if you put that same $1,000 into a mutual fund, you join a group of investors that owns a basket of investments. This... Read More

Canada’s growing retiree population expected to suppress bond yields  by Mack Chen

Over the next decade, 3.5 million people will reach retirement age — the biggest increase in that cohort in Canadian history. And that means trouble for the economy. That retirement wave comprises “nearly 1,000 [people] per day, every day, f... Read More

Massachusetts' Galvin charges Realty Capital Securities with proxy vote fraud  by Mack Chen

The state of Massachusetts Thursday charged Realty Capital Securities, part of RCS Capital Corp., with fraudulently rounding up proxy votes to support real estate deals sponsored by Nicholas Schorsch's AR Capital. In an administrative complaint, Mas... Read More

NBA star files suit against ex-financial advisor  by Mack Chen

Spurs star Tim Duncan has filed another lawsuit against a former financial adviser he contends has cost him millions of dollars in lost investments. The lawsuit filed last week claims Charles Banks of Atlanta urged Duncan to invest $1.1 million in a cos... Read More


Alberta is bringing in two benefits to give more money to low-income families. They are the new Alberta Child Benefit and enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit. All families earning less than $41,220 per year, including those receiving Assu... Read More

Canada’s DB plans approach risk proactively: Report  by Mack Chen

Canadian DB pension plans are taking a more proactive and long-term approach to risk in an effort to better cope with volatility. These are the Canadian results of Aon Hewitt’s Global Pension Risk Survey 2015, which polled more than 100 DB plans w... Read More

Canadians worry about retirement  by Mack Chen

Many Canadians in their late 40s and early 50s have large amounts of debt and little savings for retirement, CBC reports. On top of that, a number of pre-retirees see their homes as their retirement plans, but the story says that’s problematic bec... Read More

Working longer for more savings? Don't count on it  by Mack Chen

According to  Wells Fargo & Co. 's  most recent annual retirement study , half of retired respondents retired earlier than planned. Many left the workforce due to reasons beyond their control: 37% due to health and 21% due to an emplo... Read More

How to understand your credit rating  by Mack Chen

Finance expert Bruce Sellery tells CityLine the importance of our credit rating and how often we should check it. Read More Read More

NBA's Tim Duncan files a second lawsuit against his financial adviser  by Mack Chen

NBA star Tim Duncan has filed another lawsuit against his former financial adviser, this time claiming to have lost $1.1 million through an investment in a  bankrupt cosmetics company.  The original lawsuit, charging $20 million in losses, ... Read More

Forget boomers and millennials, Gen Xers need advisers' help the most  by Mack Chen

The adviser, Emilie Goldman, set up a budget with monthly allotments for clothing, cars and a dozen other spending categories. She also set up a plan to ensure that the couple won't outlive their money. “It's completely freeing,” sai... Read More

The pitfall target benefit plans need to avoid  by Mack Chen

Target benefit plans (TBPs) have been making significant inroads in the public sector of late, more so than most of us realize. Not only are they found in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, where governments have adopted a variation of TBPs for their ... Read More


Two British ex-bankers were convicted Thursday of conspiring to manipulate a key interest rate to earn money for their bank and colleagues who traded securities affected by interest rates. Anthony Allen, 44, shook his head and dropped his head onto a ta... Read More

Why global dividend stocks have become one of the best plays in the market  by Mack Chen

Equity income investing has become one of the best plays in the market, with quoted companies paying out a record $1 trillion in dividends last year, according to the Henderson Global Dividend Index. And relative to other asset classes, dividend-paying ... Read More


After the financial crisis, CPPIB took a hard look at its investment strategy and decided to re-vamp it , says Edwin Cass, senior VP and chief investment strategist for the CPPIB. Cass spoke about CPP’s investment framework at the CFA&rs... Read More

Retirement saving still a worry  by Mack Chen

Worried about saving? You’re not alone. Although saving for retirement is a priority among many Canadian employees, a new Mercer survey says they also see it as a worry. Mercer’s  Inside Employees’ Mind Survey  shows tha... Read More

TD wants 500 more advisors  by Mack Chen

“We have 4.3 million mass affluent clients and 500,000 high net worth clients. And today, we only bank 10% of them with an advice investment solution. So incredible opportunity to increase,” said Leo Salom, executive vice president, Wealth Mana... Read More

Time to expand the tool kit for delivering retirement income  by Mack Chen

With the prevailing mindset around retirement planning today being one of accumulation, retirees often are left ill-prepared to shift their focus to generating income. Successfully converting accumulated assets into an efficient lifetime income stream is a... Read More

Finra to seek a 'significant fine' from MetLife over variable annuity sales  by Mack Chen

MetLife Inc. , the largest U.S. life insurer, said the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's staff has indicated the agency will seek a “significant fine” from the company's broker-dealer unit as part of a probe into possible viola... Read More

7 common investment mistakes to avoid  by Mack Chen

1.Falling in love with the story 2.Believing things are different this time 3.Confusing good ideas with good investments 4.Reaching for yield 5.Doubling down 6.Focusing on the near term 7.Riding winners too long Read More Read More

Former Ameriprise Advisor Receives 88-Month Prison Sentence, $1M Fine  by Mack Chen

Susan Walker will serve seven years and four months in prison for a scheme involving stolen retirement money used to pay for a “lavish lifestyle.” On Monday, the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis sentenced former Ameriprise advisor Susan El... Read More

Profits 'scam' at greedy Camelot  by Mack Chen

Dow Jones Newsletter THE operator of the National Lottery was yesterday accused of "making a mockery" of its monopoly after revealing profits of £71million - while chances of winning the jackpot have fallen dramatically. Annual accounts ... Read More

Tackling the retirement readiness challenge  by Mack Chen

With the snowballing shift from DB to DC pension plans over the last decade or two, Canadians have grown more accustomed to owning responsibility for their retirement planning. But retirement readiness is another issue. There’s still a big gap for mo... Read More

Pimco Total Return suffers 30th-straight month of investor outflows  by Mack Chen

Redemptions at the Pimco Total Return Fund reached 30 straight months in October as the former world's largest mutual fund fell to $93.7 billion in assets. The Pimco Income Fund continues to head in the other direction, surpassing $50 billion in ass... Read More

CRA sets 2016 max pensionable earnings  by Mack Chen

The Canada Revenue Agency has announced that the maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan for 2016 will be $54,900, up from $53,600 in 2015. As such, contributors who earn more than $54,900 in 2016 aren’t required or permitted to ma... Read More

Sharp decline for business conditions: RBC PMI  by Mack Chen

The latest RBC Canadian Manufacturing PMI survey pointed to another downturn in overall business conditions. That’s due to a decline in output, new orders and employment. Also, new export sales dropped for the first time since April, with survey r... Read More


Two former executives from the defunct real estate firm First Leaside Group must pay $18 million in penalties and restitution after Ontario’s securities regulator found they had defrauded investors by not disclosing a report critical of their busines... Read More

Tax and pension tips for immigrants  by Mack Chen

There’s a lot to like about a Canadian dual citizenship. It allows you to fully take part in Canadian life while retaining most of the rights, privileges, (and sometimes obligations) of your home country, provided it recognizes dual citizenship. A... Read More

10 scary retirement facts  by Mack Chen

At first it looked like Medicare premiums for some retirees could increase by a record-breaking 52% in 2016. Now it looks like the base amount will increase to $120 per month for new enrollees in Medicare in 2016 and anyone who is enrolled in Medicare but ... Read More

Canada posts only 0.1% growth in August  by Mack Chen

Statistics Canada says the pace of economic growth in Canada slowed in August. The agency says the economy grew by 0.1% in the month, following increases of 0.4% in June and 0.3% in July. The result matched the expectations of economists, according t... Read More

New bill aims to curtail elder financial abuse  by Mack Chen

The Senior$afe Act of 2015 is sponsored by Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the chairwoman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The Act would protect banks, credit unions, investment ad... Read More

Yes, public pensions are cheaper  by Mack Chen

These expenses can be considerable. For example, an estimated 40% of the $1 trillion in Canadian mutual fund assets is retirement savings-related (e.g., RRSPs and TFSAs). If the holders of this $400 billion pay the reported average mutual fund fee of 2%, t... Read More

How to report foreign exchange gains and losses to CRA  by Mack Chen

Why read this? You are a currency trader; have foreign-denominated securities; and/or own foreign currencies. What to do When to calculate gains or losses CRA says a foreign exchange gain or loss happens when a transaction occurs — not ... Read More

Assante fined $400,000 over failed Tier 2 supervision  by Mack Chen

On October 13, 2015, a hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepted a settlement agreement, with sanctions, between IIROC staff and Assante Capital Management Ltd. In that agreement, Assante admitted that it failed... Read More


Federal prosecutors in the U.S. are on the cusp of laying criminal charges in a case centring on confidential information leaked by a Federal Reserve Bank of New York employee to a former colleague who had taken a job at Goldman Sachs. Read More Read More

Another five firms ordered to pay $18M for mutual fund overcharges  by Mack Chen

Finra says Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., Janney Montgomery Scott, Axa Advisors and Stephens Inc. failed to waive sales charges for certain retirement accounts and charities Read More Read More


The SEC has charged credit rating agency DBRS Inc. with misrepresenting its surveillance methodology for ratings of certain complex financial instruments during a three-year period. The firm agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle the charges. &n... Read More

Fidelity charged by Massachusetts with dishonest and unethical behavior  by Mack Chen

At least 13 unregistered Massachusetts investment advisers used Fidelity's platform, according to a statement from secretary of the commonwealth William Galvin. For those advisers, “Fidelity served as a haven from regulatory oversight as it ig... Read More

Latest sentencing in $1.2B Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme  by Mack Chen

Five years after a South Florida lawyer went to prison for running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, his financial adviser faced his own sentencing. In 2010, Scott Rothstein, an attorney with Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler in Fort Lauderdale was sentenced to 50 ... Read More

Ontario will proceed with ORPP for now: Wynne  by Mack Chen

Wynne says her Liberal government will proceed with mandatory payroll deductions starting Jan. 1, 2017 for the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which essentially mirrors the CPP for anyone who doesn’t already have a workplace pension. Read Mor... Read More

Fidelity charged by Massachusetts with dishonest and unethical behavior  by Mack Chen

Fidelity Brokerage Services was charged in an administrative complaint Monday with dishonest and unethical behavior by the commonwealth of Massachusetts for allowing unregistered investment advisers to make trades through the Fidelity broker-dealer platfor... Read More

What will my tax bill be under the Liberals?  by Mack Chen

Rate for taxable income between $44,700 and $89,401 would drop from 22% to 20.5%, for tax savings worth up to $670 a year per person. Tax rate for income above $200,000 would increase from 33% to 29%. On a $250,000 income, this would mean paying up to $... Read More

10 best financial adviser jokes  by Mack Chen

10. 'I have bad news and worse news ...' ... a financial adviser says to his client. "Which would you like to hear first?" “The bad news,” the client says. “All your money will be gone in 24 hours.” “Oh ... Read More

3 arrested for alleged online fraud  by Mack Chen

The three people who have been arrested are connected to what police are calling an international fraud and money-laundering scheme allegedly run by a secretive, violent Nigerian organization with affiliates around the world. In a cautionary tale for yo... Read More

It’s time to offer female-only retirement education  by Mack Chen

When I get ticked off with something a man does, I usually say, “Well, they die sooner.” And that’s true: Statistics Canada’s 2009 numbers put life expectancy for men at 79 years, compared with 83 for women. But will women have enou... Read More

SEC files record number of enforcement cases and highest fines in 2015  by Mack Chen

The SEC filed 807 enforcement actions and obtained orders for $4.2 billion in penalties and disgorgements of ill-gotten gains for the year ended Sept. 30. That's a 7% increase from the previous year's record of 755 actions in fiscal year 2014. Fine... Read More

Franklin Templeton suffers big profit drop as investors pull cash from mutual funds  by Mack Chen

Franklin Resources Inc., the manager of the $58 billion Templeton Global Bond Fund, reported a worse-than-expected 44% drop in fiscal fourth-quarter profit as the slump in emerging markets and energy eroded assets and prompted record investor redemptions. ... Read More


The 180 MPs who were either defeated or didn’t seek re-election in the election will collect $5.3 million in annual pension payments, estimates the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. In total, pensions will be worth a cumulative $209 million by the ti... Read More

Retirement savings crisis grows  by Mack Chen

Tim Egan has been working since he was 14. He's now 56 and has spent most of his career as a restaurant manager. He has virtually nothing saved for retirement and, until last month, never had a 401(k) account. Little wonder: Only two of the 20 resta... Read More

ETFs having a tough year after roaring 2014  by Mack Chen

At this time last year, 66% of ETFs were up. The recent selloff in the biotech sector has also erased names from the leaderboard, and now just seven ETFs have returns above 10% for the year. Last year it was 114 ETFs. Read More   Read More

Mutual fund fees under fire  by Mack Chen

A report commissioned by the CSA and prepared by The Brondesbury Group calls for an overhaul on how fees are paid on mutual funds. “There is conclusive evidence that commission-based compensation creates problems that must be addressed,” The... Read More

Warren Buffett's top stocks are dogs this year  by Mack Chen

IBM shares sank nearly 6% Tuesday and are down 12% year-to-date. Those kinds of lousy returns seem to be par for the course for Buffett in 2015. Shares of megabank Wells Fargo ( WFC ), Berkshire's second-largest investment, are down 3%. ... Read More

How to give money to grandchildren  by Mack Chen

Using a will to benefit grandchildren is the preferred approach for most grandparents. There are fewer uncertainties, since the grandparent may not know what he can comfortably afford to give away while he’s alive. And, the income attribution rules n... Read More

Former adviser agrees to $2 million settlement in scheme to defraud mostly elderly clients  by Mack Chen

Michael Donnelly, former president of Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. in Wilmington, Del., admitted to defrauding 13 clients — at least 10 of whom were older than 65 — of nearly $2 million from 2007 through August 2014. Read More Read More

Think of retirement as '35 years of unemployment  by Mack Chen

“I explain that we are not using the word 'retirement,' and instead to think about potentially being unemployed for 35 or more years,” said Michael Goodman, founder of Wealthstream Advisors. Such a change in thinking can help them co... Read More

Using whole life insurance  by Mack Chen

Insurance plans must be able to withstand the pressures of time, while delivering what was promised years earlier. So how do you determine which ones will work both today and tomorrow? Looking back, we see whole life (WL) has performed well through economi... Read More

Central banks running out of options  by Mack Chen

Domestically, we haven’t seen any QE yet, and the BoC’s policy rate is at 50 basis points, says de la Durantaye. “So there’s still marginal room to lower interest rates in Canada.” But investors would worry if we experience an... Read More

Financial adviser sentenced to 5 years for bilking disabled woman out of inheritance  by Mack Chen

With a supportive family, and, until three years ago, a father in Upper Arlington who cared for her, she got by working as a grocery-store greeter and other jobs and lived on her own. But two months after Robert Yeamans died, Beaver put her complete tru... Read More


The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced enforcement actions against six firms, including more than $2.5 million in monetary sanctions and, in the case of one previously sanctioned firm, an order barring the firm from participating in stock off... Read More

Finra fines six IBDs for failing to give discounts on large REIT sales  by Mack Chen

Voya Financial Advisors Inc.,  Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc.  and four other independent broker-dealers failed to give clients appropriate discounts on large sales of nontraded real estate investment trusts and business development compa... Read More

2015 Top 50 DC Plans  by Mack Chen

So you want to change your DC investment lineup, switch recordkeepers or adjust plan member fees…but you’re worried about how your plan members will react. Going about any change the wrong way can lead to unmet expectations and unhappy members... Read More

Generation X is likely to be worse off in retirement than the baby boomer generation  by Mack Chen

Generation X is likely to be worse off in retirement than the baby boomer generation — making the cohort the first post-war generation to be more ill-prepared for retirement than the previous one, according to a new study from J.P. Morgan Asset Manag... Read More

UBS in $19.5 million setlement over misleading investors  by Mack Chen

UBS Group AG will pay $19.5 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over claims the bank misled individual investors about the risks tied to debt securities packaged with derivatives. The Swiss bank misrepresented a proprieta... Read More

Industry minister warns U.S. Steel of court action over pensions  by Mack Chen

Canada's industry minister has warned that the federal government will take U.S. Steel Canada to court if it does not satisfy its obligations to pensioners. "It is unacceptable that U.S. Steel Canada is abandoning these workers and their famili... Read More

Canada’s top cities to buy real estate in  by Mack Chen

1.  Thunder Bay (Ont.) 2.    Calgary (Alta.)     3.    Barrie (Ont.) 4.    Brantford (Ont.) 5.    Edmonton (Alta.) 6.    Winnipeg (Man.) 7.   &nb... Read More

Your essential RRSP questions answered  by Mack Chen

1) What is an RRSP? 2) How much can I contribute to my RRSP this year? 3) When is the contribution deadline? 4) What kind of investments should I hold in my RRSP? 5) Should I change my RRSP investments as I get older? Read More

What does it mean when Retail Brokerage lets Due Diligence Team GO?  by Mack Chen

RCS Capital Corp. is cutting expenses and showing the door to the due diligence team at Cetera Financial Group, its retail brokerage unit. Read More Read More

Pension plans should prepare for low returns  by Mack Chen

Report authors Steve Ambler and Craig Alexander project a 1% rate of real return for risk-free investments will form an anchor for the returns on other investments including bonds and stocks. Three-month treasury bills currently earn around 0.42%, howev... Read More

Recession buzz is heating up on Wall Street  by Mack Chen

Wall Street is getting increasingly nervous about the prospects for recession, both on a global and domestic level. The $73.5 trillion global economy is expected to grow 3.1 percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2016, according to the latest  Interna... Read More


A New York judge has ordered the Bank of China to hand over detailed information about Chinese bank accounts used by a counterfeiting ring that allegedly sold millions of dollars of fake Gucci handbags and wallets in the U.S. The decision could hav... Read More

Pension funds to face lower investment returns  by Mack Chen

In the Canadian context, the impact of an aging population is expected to lower the rate of growth in real income per capita to an average annual pace of between 0.75% and 1.35% over the next couple of decades. Taking the lower end of that range as a floor... Read More


The International Monetary Fund has cut itsgrowth outlook for the Canadian economy to just 1% for the year, due to the drop in oil prices and reduced investment in the energy sector. This forecast, issued Tuesday, is down from the IMF&rsq... Read More

Why the TPP is such a big—and good—deal for Canada  by Mack Chen

Yes, there will be costs. But on average, we can expect TPP trade liberalization to deliver higher productivity, higher GDP, and higher incomes to Canadians The TPP will lower tariffs as well as lower non-tariff technical barriers almost across the boar... Read More

Tips when investing in rental property  by Mack Chen

When markets are down, you can hold with little risk, as long as your carrying costs are manageable. When markets rise, you can make solid returns. Still, there are considerations, especially if you intend to rent out the property. To get approved for a... Read More

ETFs having a tough year after roaring 2014  by Mack Chen

At this time last year, 66% of ETFs were up. The recent selloff in the biotech sector has also erased names from the leaderboard, and now just seven ETFs have returns above 10% for the year. Last year it was 114 ETFs. A look at the five best performers ... Read More

What do investors really want?  by Mack Chen

•    83% say it’s important for their advisors to help them stay calm when markets drop. •    92% want help maintaining a long-term investment perspective. •    80% want an ongoing underst... Read More


SEC has filed fraud charges and obtained asset freezes against a worldwide pyramid scheme that falsely promised investors would profit from a venture backed by the company’s massive amber holdings. California resident Steve Chen and 13 California-... Read More

J.C. Penney to reduce pension obligation  by Mack Chen

J. C. Penney says it will reduce its US$5 billion pension benefit obligation by up to 35% without requiring any cash contributions from the company. The retailer has recently completed a lump-sum offer for select participants in its pension plan and als... Read More

Employees prefer benefits to higher salaries  by Mack Chen

The majority of American employees (79%) would prefer new or additional benefits or perks to a pay increase, according to the the Glassdoor Q3 2015 U.S. Employment Confidence Survey. Specifically, looking at the 79% of employees who reported they want ... Read More

Tough summer for pension plans  by Mack Chen

The health of Canadian pension plans declined sharply in the third quarter due to market volatility and declining bond yields, reports from Aon and Mercer say. The median solvency ratio was 87.6% on Sept. 24, a 5.3 percentage point decrease from the pre... Read More

QPP offers lessons for ORPP  by Mack Chen

The underfunding the QPP saw during its early years offers lessons for the upcoming Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)—as well as for a potentially expanded version of the CPP, argues a new C.D. Howe Institute report. Read More Read More

Mystery shopping catches some advisors off-guard  by Mack Chen

A mystery shop of advisors across Ontario between July and November 2014. The review didn’t find any serious misconduct, but of shops that made recommendations, 14% made unsuitable ones, 21% did not conduct thorough KYC and 29% didn’t discuss f... Read More

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has been hit with a suit  by Mack Chen

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has been hit with a suit from an African-American financial adviser who accuses the company of racial discrimination, including making changes last month to its internal arbitration policy to prohibit employees from publicl... Read More

B.C. introduces new pension standards  by Mack Chen

The British Columbia government is announcing new standards for workplace pension plans, creating options that could be activated even before an employee retires. The province says modernized standards will improve security and options for more than 900... Read More

Canadian seniors outnumber kids for first time ever  by Mack Chen

Canada’s seniors have edged out the number of children under the age of 14, according to the latest population figures that experts say contain further evidence of a long-projected shift in the country’s demographic makeup. The latest round ... Read More


A settlement hearing in the matter of Neil Rutley was held on September 24, 2015, at which the hearing panel approved the settlement agreement between Staff of the MFDA and Rutley, as a consequence of which Rutley: has paid a fine in the amount of $10... Read More

Workers not discussing the financial impacts of becoming disabled  by Mack Chen

67% of employees aren’t discussing the financial impacts of becoming disabled. 95% of working Canadians agree that a disability could happen at any time.   Read More   Read More

The OSC recently restricted fund companies’ ability to use industry awards in their advertisements. This news was largely unexpected and has been met with criticism by the industry  by Mack Chen

The OSC recently restricted fund companies’ ability to use industry awards in their advertisements. This news was largely unexpected and has been met with criticism by the industry. Ostensibly, the rule regarding advertising performance ratings is... Read More

SEC seeks to prevent damage from runs on mutual funds, ETFs  by Mack Chen

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules Tuesday to help ensure that mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can redeem shares when investors want to exit during times of market turmoil. Read More Read More

Post-mortem planning - to reduce the overall tax liability for the estate and its beneficiaries  by Mack Chen

Depending on the circumstances, an executor may be entitled to file certain elective tax returns. For instance, if the deceased had earned income from what are known as “rights or things,” the executor can choose to report this income on separa... Read More

The SEC has charged six men, including a father and three sons  by Mack Chen

The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, charges John Galanis, his sons Jason Galanis, Derek Galanis, and Jared Galanis, along with Gerova president and chairman Gary T. Hirst and investment adviser Gavin Hamels. John Galanis h... Read More

7 retirement blind spots  by Mack Chen

1. Down market -  holding enough cash and bonds  2. Up, up and away - 65-year-old couple will need $220,000 to cover health-care expenses  3. Inflation - 4% "rule" factor in the role of inflation 4. Taxes - owe ordinary in... Read More

NO RECESSION IN CANADA? Really?  by Mack Chen

Calgary, the white-collar heart of the oil patch, has seen scores of layoffs in recent months, and Calgary is ranked last out of 13 cities when it comes to forecasted real GDP growth in 2015.   Read More Read More

Workers use retirement savings for emergencies  by Mack Chen

Thirty million Americans tapped their retirement savings for an emergency within the past year. 21 million Americans aren’t saving for retirement at all. Read More Read More

Own Real Estate Funds? 8 Questions to Ask  by Mack Chen

For over a decade, direct real estate has gained an increased presence in the portfolios of Canadian pension funds. After the Great Financial Crisis, real estate allocations have increased further for many sponsors as they continue to search for higher ret... Read More


A report commissioned by the CSA and prepared by The Brondesbury Group calls for an overhaul on how fees are paid on mutual funds. “There is conclusive evidence that commission-based compensation creates problems that must be addressed,” the re... Read More

Not saving money is top financial stressor  by Mack Chen

When it comes to money, there is no shortage of financial stressors keeping Canadians up at night even though the majority think they have their financial goals on track. An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Interac Association finds 73% of Canadians th... Read More

Majority of Canadians uncertain about retirement finances  by Mack Chen

With Canada’s long-cherished retirement safety net seeming less sturdy all the time, a study suggests 56% of Canadians have doubts about their ability to afford the life they want during retirement. The GfK results show Canadian women are slightly... Read More

Majority of Canadians uncertain about retirement finances  by Mack Chen

With Canada’s long-cherished retirement safety net seeming less sturdy all the time, a study suggests 56% of Canadians have doubts about their ability to afford the life they want during retirement. The GfK results show Canadian women are slightly... Read More

Seniors a 'bulls-eye' for scams uncovered by the states  by Mack Chen

About a quarter of the enforcement actions brought by state securities regulators last year that track victims by age involved alleged scams targeting senior citizens. In a new report, the North American Securities Administrators Association found that ... Read More

PMAC wants national policy to regulate all advisors  by Mack Chen

PMAC supports the Ontario government’s recent efforts to address the regulatory gap in the financial space. But the association says it’s just the first step. “We urge the Ontario government to work collaboratively with other provincia... Read More

IIROC ends CSI monopoly  by Mack Chen

The Canadian Securities Institute’s (CSI) monopoly on proficiency services for IIROC licensure has come to an end. Read: CSI’s contract expiry provokes heated industry reaction In advance of CSI’s contract expiry in January 2016,... Read More

10 key principles of an ideal retirement system  by Mack Chen

Clear  objectives  A minimum level of  funding  Cost-effective and attractive  default arrangements Administration and investment  costs  should be disclosed Read More Read More

Financial adviser who downloaded client data to a home server, some of which ended up on a public website, pleaded guilty  by Mack Chen

A fired Morgan Stanley financial adviser who downloaded client data to a home server, some of which ended up on a public website, pleaded guilty to accessing the bank's computer network without permission. Galen Marsh transferred confidential inform... Read More

Canadian employees can expect an average total salary increase of 3% in 2016, that is up from this year’s estimated average salary increase of 2.8%,  by Mack Chen

Canadian employees can expect an average total salary increase of 3% in 2016, an Aon survey finds. That is up from this year’s estimated average salary increase of 2.8%, and suggests that employers are expecting an improvement in business conditio... Read More


1.  Report OAS and GIS. › Enter the taxable pension in Box 18 of your client’s T4A(OAS) Statement of Old Age Security onLine 113 of her return. › Enter the net supplement in Box 21 of&... Read More

Canadian lawyer and stock promoter John Briner is settling with the SEC on allegations that he orchestrated a mining stock fraud scheme.  by Mack Chen

Two audit firms, and seven audit professionals have also agreed to settle the  SEC charges, which were filed in January  alleging that they engaged in sham offerings of stock in 20 purported microcap mining companies.   Read More Read More

Some people have no clue what retirement will look like for them  by Mack Chen

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about your options. Do you really   want   to retire?   Should you rent or own? Is travel in the cards? Where should you live? Is your retirement plan workable even in a down... Read More

Leave bond picking to the pros  by Mack Chen

Diversifying the fixed-income portion of your portfolio means going beyond Government of Canada bonds. But choosing what to buy is tricky business—arguably trickier than picking stocks. That’s because the documents that explain the terms of ... Read More

Five worst investing mistakes that millennials make  by Mack Chen

When Christine Nguyen graduated from university with a whopping $35,000 in debt six years ago, investing for retirement was barely a blip on her financial radar. And even if she could afford to invest, the Toronto resident admits she couldn’t tell a ... Read More

CSA’s plan to enhance fixed income regulation.  by Mack Chen

The CSA has published for comment CSA Staff Notice 21-315 Next Steps in Regulation and Transparency of the Fixed Income Market, which describes the CSA’s plan to enhance fixed income regulation. The notice sets out the steps CSA staff are taking... Read More

Employers want to help employees in retirement  by Mack Chen

Employers are revisiting how they view their retirement programs and how they view their role when active employees become retirees, said Nigel Branker, partner and leader of Morneau Shepell’s DC pension consulting practice in Ontario, at the firm&rs... Read More

Goldman Sachs goes low cost in bid to attract investors to ETFs  by Mack Chen

The firm will waive a portion of its management fee and limit expenses for at least the first year of the large-cap version of its so-called ActiveBeta ETFs, according to a regulatory filing Friday. That will make the expense ratio 9 basis points, or $9 in... Read More

Finra cracks down on 'cockroach' brokers  by Mack Chen

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. barred from the securities industry 10 employees, including the president, of a now defunct New York City-based broker-dealer, Global Arena Capital Corp., where the regulator said brokers were using misleadi... Read More

Canada ranks among the world’s most economically free regions  by Mack Chen

The top ten countries of 2015, in descending order, are: Hong Kong; Singapore; New Zealand; Switzerland; United Arab Emirates; Mauritius; Jordan; Ireland; Canada; and the United Kingdom. Read More Read More

Franklin Templeton posts worst fund outflows in decades  by Mack Chen

Once a contender for top sales among all mutual fund firms — Franklin Templeton reached third for net sales among mutual fund companies in 1997 — the firm now faces the potential for its first year of outflows since the financial crisis in 2008... Read More

IIROC suspended the membership of Edgecrest.  by Mack Chen

Following an expedited hearing held on September 10, 2015 in Toronto, with notice to Edgecrest Capital Corporation, a hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada suspended the membership of Edgecrest. Read More Read More

Wall Street exec charged with manipulating stock prices  by Mack Chen

The founder of a Wall Street firm who lost a recent sexual harassment lawsuit has been arrested on securities fraud charges. Benjamin Wey was arrested Thursday at his Manhattan home. He is the founder and president of New York Global Group, an investmen... Read More

Half of Canadians are unsure what they can hold in a TFSA.  by Mack Chen

Despite their lack of knowledge, the majority (80%) have never talked to an advisor about how to make the most of their TFSAs, with half admitting they need advice.   Read More Read More


Bankrate Inc., an online publisher of widely read consumer-finance data, has agreed to pay a US$15-million fine to settle federal regulators’ charges that it manipulated its financial results to meet Wall Street’s expectations. The SEC annou... Read More

Firm inflated numbers from at least 2009 to February 2011 to try and lure in clients to their new firm  by Mack Chen

An adviser and host of a radio show called “Financial Myth Busting” has been busted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly inflating her firm's assets under management by as much as five times the actual amount and exaggera... Read More

Vast majority of Canadians are nowhere near reaching their retirement savings goals  by Mack Chen

The Canadian Payroll Association survey reveals that the vast majority of employees are nowhere near reaching their retirement savings goals, and more than one-third (35%) expect to work longer than they had originally planned five years ago, with their av... Read More


On August 24, 2015, a hearing panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepted a settlement agreement, with sanctions, between IIROC staff, and Brian Douglas Bergen and Leede Financial Markets. Bergen, along with Leede Financi... Read More

One of Canada’s largest auto insurance providers is working to tailor products for the Uber ridesharing service.  by Mack Chen

Intact Financial  says its intention is to market the products under the Intact and Belairdirect brands. The company is Canada’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance, collecting $7.5 billion in premiums annually through its variou... Read More


Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and “carbon-negative” housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, U.... Read More

On which planet can people afford to set aside half of what they make in savings?  by Mack Chen

Bank of Montreal says Canadians should save three to six months’ pay for emergencies like job loss, medical expenses or car repairs. Right. On which planet can people afford to set aside half of what they make in savings? Probably the planet... Read More

How to raise financially savvy kids  by Mack Chen

Recently, I overheard my seven-year-old son and his best friend talking about mortgages. “People need a mortgage because they don’t have all the money to buy a house,” he said. “Houses cost a lot of money,” concurred his... Read More

Sergei Fedorov's ex-manager convicted of fraud  by Mack Chen

Joseph Zada, Fedorov's ex-financial manager, was charged in 2013 with scamming 28 investors, including Fedorov. Federal documents show that Zada was also found not guilty on one count of making a false statement on a loan. Fedorov ,45... Read More

The Quebec government will reduce income taxes while increasing the provincial sales tax by about 1%.  by Mack Chen

Finance Minister Carlos Leitao told reporters today the government would reduce income taxes first before following up with sales tax hike. Leitao says the move is recommended in a report examining Quebec’s taxation policies published in March. ... Read More

Check your insurance before travelling  by Mack Chen

Don’t let a dream vacation turn into a financial nightmare. While you can’t always avoid falling ill, you can limit the impact on your wallet. If you haven’t read the fine print in the exclusions and limitations section of your insurance ... Read More

America’s Incredible Shrinking Stock Market  by Mack Chen

U.S. industries have lost over 50% of their publicly-traded peers. To put that in perspective, the number of firms listed in the U.S. today is now lower than it was in the early 1970s. And, back then, the U.S. real GDP was just a third of what it is now. ... Read More

Which credit card is right for you?  by Mack Chen

  MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard comes out at #1 in  MoneySense ‘s cash-back category. It offers $428.80 back annually based on spending of $2,000 per month. Read More Read More


Yammer is the hidden gem of Microsoft’s business offerings. It lets any-sized business set up private social networks for communicating. Like Facebook, its main screen is a collection of comments, web links and photos. But, unlike Facebook, it has th... Read More

Pension giant - CalSTRS dumping $20B in stocks  by Mack Chen

Pension giant CalSTRS ponders dumping $20B in stocks and bonds in favor of alt strategies Read More Read More

Young workers in target-date funds hit hard by market drop  by Mack Chen

Young workers who have all their retirement funds tied up in long-range target-date funds may have been the hardest hit. The average 25-year-old fully invested in a 2060 target-date fund series saw a 10 percent decline in account value from the market&r... Read More

Investors in UBS's Puerto Rico closed-end funds have filed more than $1.1 billion of claims  by Mack Chen

Investors in UBS's Puerto Rico closed-end funds have filed more than $1.1 billion of claims, the Zurich-based bank said in a July 28 filing. Investors have alleged that UBS steered customers into risky funds that invested mostly in securities issued by... Read More

CFP Board sanctions two planners for improper use of 'fee-only' label  by Mack Chen

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. has punished two more planners for inaccurately calling themselves fee-only advisers. In a list of disciplinary actions released Friday, the CFP Board said it sent letters of admonition to Garrett ... Read More

The 2015 Workplace Benefits Awards finalists  by Mack Chen

Absence Management Award Cineplex Entertainment PepsiCo Canada Providence Health Care Benefits Plan Communications Award ABB Canada Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group) Chemtrade Logistics Read:   Adopt a no-s... Read More

The two stocks down 70 percent in a year  by Mack Chen

Two stocks that have gotten hit hard are now down more than 70 percent over the past year, making them the worst performers in the S&P 500:  Freeport-McMoRan  and  Chesapeake Energy Read more Read More

Many Canadians living paycheque to paycheque  by Mack Chen

However, 24% of respondents say they had hardly anything set aside and more than half (56%), reported having less than $10,000 in emergency funds. Read more Read More

Canada officially in a recession  by Mack Chen

Canada’s economy recoiled for the second-straight quarter of 2015, knocking the country backwards into a technical definition of recession, Statistics Canada data reveal Tuesday. The federal agency says real GDP contracted at an annual pace of 0.5... Read More

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) questions whether a CPP supplement is needed  by Mack Chen

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) questions whether a CPP supplement is needed, given the saving options already available to investors. In a release, it says, “It may not even make sense [since] voluntary supplemental pension p... Read More

Long-term care worries aging Canadians  by Mack Chen

the greatest healthcare-related aging concerns include: losing the ability to live independently (40%); not having enough money to pay for adequate health care (17%); and not being able to afford to remain in their own homes throughout their lifetimes (15%... Read More

Inflation’s impact on retirement savings  by Mack Chen

Inflation is a big worry for most people heading into retirement, and for good reason: it eats away at the purchasing power of your savings. But the problem’s worse than you may realize. One of the Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of infl... Read More

Where the rich Canadians live, and how they spend their millions  by Mack Chen

Canada’s wealthy aren’t just clustered in downtown Toronto, along the water in Vancouver, or in Calgary’s suburbs. Some of the country’s toniest areas are in Halifax, Winnipeg and Montreal. Read more Read More


Some of Canada’s biggest banks are defending their verification practices for mortgage applications in light of recent news that mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. cut ties with dozens of brokers over fraud allegations. A number of mortgage b... Read More

Strong equity returns of the past unlikely to continue  by Mack Chen

The forecast for global growth has yet again been downgraded, this time by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to 3.3%, the slowest pace of growth since the global economy shrank during the recession in 2009. This downgrade by the IMF includes the Canadi... Read More

4 ways to improve Canadian healthcare  by Mack Chen

Healthcare is the purview of the provinces in Canada, but health leadership—setting big-picture goals, helping achieve best practices across the country and providing long-term, sustainable funding models—is the role of the federal government. ... Read More

Dividend investing in international markets  by Mack Chen

Dividend strategies have gained a foothold with equity investors seeking outperformance potential and attractive yield. Please click here for more detail Read More

Creating value for elder clients  by Mack Chen

Elder abuse has become a mounting concern in 21st century America. The term is broadly defined as actions or omissions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to an older person (generally age 60 or older) by a caregiver, family member, trusted &l... Read More

How to pay for college  by Mack Chen

What you need to know about saving and federal student aid. Here for detail... Read More

solving the couples conundrum  by Mack Chen

Couples represent 60% of the average adviser's business—but one partner often dominates the adviser relationship. Learn how to build enduring relations with both partners.  Read More

Focus on tax-aware investing  by Mack Chen

These articles from the Investments & Wealth Monitor focus on tax-aware investing including a look at the trinity of asset location—taxes, returns, and time horizon , tactics and strategies for tax-efficient investing, and an after-tax target f... Read More

What happened when financial industry veteran looks for an adviser  by Mack Chen

Today, I recalled my own story after I read this story on Globe and Mail  about a financial industry veteran looks for a financial advisor.  I asked the following question during a lunch with a group of financial industry veterans when I was w... Read More

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