Higher Rates are Here, and May Be Here to Stay. What To Do About It.

By |Oct 3rd, 2023|

Many people in their 30s or even 40s have lived and worked their entire adult lives in a world of persistently very low interest rates. While a 40-year-old American was (barely) alive during Paul Volcker’s often double-digit interest rates during the 1980s, during their working life, rates have only exceeded 4% twice – once from 2006 to 2008, and again starting in late 2022. For much of the remaining time, rates have been well below 2%.  This was, of course, a huge benefit to borrowers, allowing them to spend more on houses, cars and other goods, whether wisely or otherwise. [...]

A Must Read from David Baskin and the Portfolio Management Committee

By |Oct 3rd, 2023|

While social media can be a negative force and always threatens to be a huge time-waster, it does have the virtue of bringing material to hand that we might otherwise miss. One of the best writers in the economics and finance sector right now is Ben Carlson CFA of Ritholtz Wealth Management. His blog, “A Wealth of Common Sense” contains not only common sense, but some real wisdom, and always good writing. Here is an essay that our Portfolio Management Committee recently reviewed together. We agree without almost everything he has to say. It is well worth your time.

Understanding The Baskin Fixed Income Pool

By |Jul 5th, 2023|

There has been some misunderstanding about the Baskin Fixed Income Pool, and the returns or losses that clients have experienced. We accept responsibility for bad communication on this issue. Fund accounting is tricky, and in this case, has been made harder to explain by two factors. We have, in the past, reinvested income paid by the Pool, issuing additional units to our clients rather than paying them cash; and the bond market experienced a record decline in value in 2022.

The other side of risk

By |May 5th, 2023|

There may be no word discussed more in the world of investing than “risk”. Risk means many different things to different people. To some, it represents how much a given investment might fluctuate in a given day, month, or year. To others, it represents the chance an investment might lose its value entirely. A third option is that risk represents the chance an investment or portfolio will suffer a permanent loss of capital that will never be recouped. At Baskin Wealth Management we typically discuss risk as the latter; and we believe it possible to significantly reduce the risk of permanently eroding one’s capital through diversification, wise asset allocation, and owning high quality investments.

Why we are buying an oil company

By |Jul 29th, 2022|

Why we are buying an oil company Not that long ago, I wrote a blog explaining why we don’t own oil companies. We recently purchased shares of Canadian Natural Resources, one of the largest Canadian oil sands producers, for many of our clients and in our equity pool. Let me explain why. Our investment strategy is to own great businesses. Some characteristics of “greatness” that we look for include a strong cash flow generation, predictable growth, and good capital allocation by the management. Despite being an oil producer that is subject to the volatility of energy prices, we believe Canadian [...]

Unprecedented events occur with some regularity

By |Mar 23rd, 2022|

If there’s anything to be learned from the last few years, it’s that unprecedented events occur much more often than one would expect. This isn’t exactly a new concept – the idea is borrowed from famous investor Seth Klarman – but the events that have taken place recently have really driven this concept home.

Chasing the Past

By |Mar 16th, 2022|

If your house is like my house, you have a box of ear swabs that you use regularly for their intended purpose, cleaning your ears. But if you read the fine print on the box, you will find a warning. You are told that you must not put this product in your ear, that it is dangerous to do so, and whatever made you think to call cotton swabs “ear swabs” anyway?

An added bonus in 2021

By |Jan 25th, 2022|

The client comes first. That, in a nutshell, is the message of the Client Focused Reforms (CFRs) put into place by the Canadian Securities Administrators in 2021. As discretionary portfolio managers, able to buy and sell securities on behalf of our clients, we have always been subject to this principle. Now, the rules have been made more explicit, and new standards have been put in place in the areas that can be broadly defined below.

Extreme Buy and Hold

By |Jan 13th, 2022|

There are lots of investment styles, and it is certainly the case that no one way of doing it will be best for everyone all the time. Some people are really traders, not investors, and seldom hold a position for more than a day (some not even overnight). Some people like following momentum, and will ride a hot name until it seems to fizzle out. We like the style usually called “buy and hold”.

2022 New Year’s Investing Resolutions

By |Jan 5th, 2022|

At the beginning of every year, many of us (myself included) resolve to eat healthy, exercise more, watch less Netflix, read more books, be more productive, etc. I always start off the year with good intentions, but within a couple of days, I'm back to my old habits. Don’t make the same mistakes with your investments. Here are some investing resolutions that we believe, if applied properly, will pay dividends for your portfolio for years to come:

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