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Smart Money

The Globe and Mail's Smart Money section is dedicated to giving you what you need to manage your personal finances successfully. Smart Money appears every Saturday in The Globe and Mail and on globeinvestor.com.

The blueprint for your financial future deserves better than a dusty drawer

rcarrick@globeandmail.comA pathetic clients are undermining the investment industry's attempt to make financial advice about more than just picking stocks and funds.Financial plans are blueprints on which successful investing is based, and an increasing number of advisers are putting in a considerable amount of work to provide them to clients. But there's evidence to suggest that clients are largely ignoring them.

Stocks for the long haul


Trucking companies have hit a rough patch, but patient investors should look at hitching a ride on these cash-spinning firms

The road has been a bit rough for Canada's publicly traded trucking companies this year. Underwhelming results have blunted investors' hopes that the firms would build on recent robust sales gains.

An all-in bet on rising real estate


Debt-laden couple are making ends meet for now - but they're vulnerable to any unforeseen expenses

Mel and Melanie have a home in Quebec, three rental properties and a mountain of mortgage debt.But Canadians love their real estate, so now that Melanie is back at work, they want to buy more. He is eyeing a commercial property, while she wants a vacation home in Florida that they can rent out when they are not using it.

Drilling for sustainable profits

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high net worth clients.michael@wickhaminvestments.comWhat are we looking for? Canadian oil and gas companies that have a history of profitability.

Crowd-funding: Can mass appeal translate to street smarts?


With venture capital running thin, this model of raising capital for the digital age is creating its own divides

INVESTMENT REPORTERSecurities regulators in Canada and the United States are considering endorsing crowd-funding, an unsettling prospect to anyone who thinks crowds are more inclined to generate popular lunacies than collective wisdom.

A 'patent troll' offers a way to cash in on creativity

A handful of public companies have found an inventive way to make money from patents.They're not the ones that had the brainstorms that resulted in the legal rights to make and market new products. Instead, they acquire the patents from individuals or small companies, with the aim of turning the intellectual property into a stream of cash.

Hold assets outside Canada? Estate planning gets tricky

Tim Cestnick is president of WaterStreet Family Offices, and author of several tax and personal finance books.tcestnick@waterstreet.ca I recall watching an episode of The Jeffersons many years ago. George Jefferson was reading his last will and testament on videotape as family and friends gathered around to watch the recording. George was describing what he was leaving behind to each family member and friend. As the group watched and George concluded his bequests, the Jeffersons' housekeeper, Florence, asked: ''What about me?'' Without missing a beat, the video continued with George saying: ''Florence, I bet you're saying: ''What about me?' Well, don't worry, I didn't forget about you. Anybody out there got a quarter?''

Investor Clinic's back-to-school quiz

jheinzl@globeandmail.comFrosh week is over. Time to hit the books.And what better way to kick off the fall semester than with the third annual Investor Clinic back-to-school quiz? If you're stumped by something, drop me a line and I'll discuss some of the answers in a future column.

A portfolio powered by profit gains

imcgugan@globeandmail.comWhat are we looking for? Canadian companies with rising profits. History shows that companies with ''earnings momentum'' often continue to enjoy bottom-line gains.How did we do it?

Gluskin Sheff's rich appeal


Money manager to the wealthy is bumping up its dividend. It's also a takeover target

Investors who may not have a high net worth, but want to profit from those who do, should cast an eye at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., which continues to throw dollars at shareholders through higher dividends.