1. The program Nova on PBS featured a documentary called Mind Over Markets this week. The subject: the raging battle between the proponents of efficient markets and the behavioral school that holds that markets are driven by emotions. Grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the video here. (Unfortunately, the video seems to be accessible only from US-based IP addresses).
  2. On a more depressing note, a reader wanted to highlight a documentary called Food Inc. that was recently featured on CBC’s The Passionate Eye. Let’s just say that you won’t see vegetables and meat arranged neatly in the local supermarket in the same light again. The entire movie (93 min. long) is available here. You may want to skip the popcorn for this one though.
  3. Goldman Sachs is in the hot seat over SEC allegations that the firm withheld material information from investors. Knowledge @ Wharton takes a look at the financial, legal and ethical issues raised by the SEC case.
  4. Larry MacDonald highlighted a recent report that found that the cost to prepare and file personal income tax returns works out to $215 per Canadian. On a related note, don’t forget that April 30th is the deadline to file your taxes.
  5. Canadian Couch Potato weighs in on why international index funds and ETFs have such large tracking errors. Part 2 is available here.
  6. Jon Chevreau highlighted a recent talk by Odlum Brown’s Murray Leith who believes the best stock returns for the next decade could come from the biggest and bluest U.S. companies.
  7. I use Microsoft Money to track spending but an ordinary spreadsheet should do just fine. Squawk Fox has a budget spreadsheet available for download.
  8. I keep important financial documents copied in a thumb drive in our safe deposit box. Another option for those not too worried about security is backing up data to online storage says a guest blogger on Million Dollar Journey.
  9. I once almost bought a penny stock called Valdo Technology International (VTI on the Venture Exchange), which has the same ticker symbol as Vanguard Total Market ETF (VTI on NYSE Arca). Preet says a mistake like this is called a fat finger trade.
  10. Michael James offers an unflattering thousand-foot view of hedge funds. For me, poor disclosure and limited oversight alone makes me want to stay away.

I’m unable to highlight all the articles worth checking out in my weekly roundup but you can check them out through my Twitter feed. Have a great weekend everyone!

This article has 7 comments

  1. Thanks for the mention. I guess one reason for avoing hedge funds suffices, but I have fun trying to list more anyway.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention This and That: Mind Over Money, Food Inc., Goldman Sachs and more… | Canadian Capitalist -- Topsy.com

  3. I periodically back up my financial information on a CD or DVD every few months. But I hadn’t ever considered putting that into my safety deposit box. An interesting concept that I will ponder.

    I like that nickname “fat finger trade”… Very cute. I’ll likely use that term in the future if that’s OK. I’m sure that it is a common problem as I’ve almost been tricked by the same thing before. It’s usually sorted out when I look at the share price and it’s totally off. But I can’t recall which stock symbol I was looking at but one time the stock prices were fairly close and I was confused as to why they had a different abbreviated name on the two screens I was looking at! Anyways, you never know, maybe you could have done much better owning Valdo Technology International!!! Hahaha!

    • Canadian Capitalist

      @Phil: Yes, “fat finger trade” is a very clever name. And purchasing VTI on the venture would not be as bad a mistake as purchasing 615,000 shares instead of 1 that Preet describes on his blog. Nevertheless, fat finger is one reason to pay extra attention to the confirm screen. I have no doubt at all that many ticker symbols refer to different companies on the US and Canadian stock exchanges.

  4. Preet’s fat-finger post was a treat, especially the story about the $264 million mistake by a Japanese investor. There are many more stories like that — of the trading desk at a bank or somewhere else hitting the wrong keys and roiling the markets. Would make for an interesting post or column to put a collection of these together.

  5. Thanks for the mention Ram!

  6. People have to realize that Goldman Sachs is taking advantage of the laws. From what we have seen lately, they might have commited mortgage frauds knowingly. Despite events that have happened, they will do whatever is going to bring them profits. This is the same thing that every other company does as well; take advantage of laws in one way or another.

    The only difference is that Goldman Sachs has the key members of congress under their control.