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The financial road less travelled still offers a trustworthy route

This is part 3 in our series TFSA's
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most people spend more time mowing their lawn than they do managing their money.

That may sound harsh, but the majority of people have ceded their investment decisions to the army of financial advisers employed by big banks.

Employees in Canada’s big banks “are pressured to up-sell, trick and lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and ultimately keep their jobs,” according to recent press reports.

The decisions investors face can be overwhelming:

So it’s time to consider an alternative. But how does the average person find a better way to invest and protect themselves?

You may need to spend some time doing your own research.

A growing number of people want alternatives to the status quo, so a growing number of boutique businesses offer advice and investment vehicles that differ from the mainstream products developed by the big banks.

There are few shortcuts, based on the concept of ‘communities of practice.’

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people sharing a common interest, a craft and/or a profession. A CoP can evolve naturally because of the members’ common interests or it can be created with the goal of gaining knowledge related to a specific field. By sharing information and experiences, members learn, and develop personally and professionally.

CoPs can exist in physical settings – a lunchroom, a field setting, a factory floor or elsewhere – but members don’t have to be co-located. They form a ‘virtual community of practice’ (VcoP) or a ‘mobile community of practice’ when they collaborate remotely, online or by phone, for example.

A more primitive form of CoP is an investment club, in which funds are pooled and the pool is invested. The objectives are to learn more about how investment products work and to create some wealth. But today, basic investment clubs are rare.

Now, CoPs are created regularly, for all sorts of causes, thanks to social media.

So how does the average person find a better way to invest?

And here are some guidelines for you and a CoP:

Do your homework – spending more time than you would mowing your lawn. After all, it is your money.

Joe Batty is an accountant with a specialty in new asset management. Joe has more than 40 years of experience in finance and accounting.

Joe is a Troy Media contributor. Why aren’t you?

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Joe Batty

Joe Batty, chief financial officer for Troy Media Digital Solutions Ltd., is an accountant with a specialty in new asset management. Joe has more than 40 years of experience in finance and accounting.

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