Cameron Passmore CIM, FMA, FCSI

Portfolio Manager

Benjamin Felix MBA, CFA, CFP

Associate Portfolio Manager
  • T613.237.5544 x 313
  • 1.800.230.5544
  • F613.237.5949
  • 265 Carling Avenue,
    8th Floor,
  • Ottawa, Ontario K1S 2E1

But my advisor has shown me lots of funds that outperform.

Are you seeing your investment returns through rose-colored glasses? Most investors are … and it’s often because their advisor has provided them with a skewed view.

Besides, colorful past performance doesn’t tell you much about your future prospects anyway. Let’s bring in a little common sense, and put investment performance in proper perspective.


Since at least 1962, a growing body of evidence has informed us that most incidents of investment outperformance are probably luck, not skill. Still, advisors pursuing active investing continue to trot out exceptional past performance as a reason to pile into past winners (especially when there’s a nice commission in it for them).

Even if we ignore the random nature of most outperformance, there’s another reason to be wary of past results. There’s a sneaky little thing called “survivorship bias,” causing the funds that “make it” to appear larger than life.

Check out today’s CSI and subscribe here if you want to get wise to these and other tricks of the trades.

By: Ben Felix | 0 comments

Do I need downside protection?

There’s no doubt about it: Losing money hurts. Even the fear of losing money is unpleasant. The financial industry is well aware of this, and sends out its sales force to peddle a comforting idea. It’s called “downside protection.” It’s supposed to allow you to continue enjoying the market’s expected returns while simultaneously dodging its correlated risks.

Or so the story goes. But when it comes to principal protected notes and other forms of downside protection, it’s usually not your interests being protected. Common sense tells us why.


The truth is, market risks and expected future returns are related. If you don’t take any risk, you should expect very low returns. This is why long-term investors are better off minimizing their costs, capturing the returns of the global markets using low-cost index funds, and controlling their level of risk through their mix between stocks and bonds.

The rest of any other sales pitch is costly smoke and mirrors. Want to see behind the subterfuge?
Watch today’s CSI, and I’ll walk you through the numbers. And subscribe here if you’d like to remain in the clear moving forward.

By: Ben Felix | 2 comments