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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Dec 3, 2020

There is a sharp divide between those who invest in dividend-paying stocks and those who don’t. Underpinning this is the question of whether dividends are relevant to the evaluation of shares. Today we answer this question by digging into the data and parsing the maths before exploring what the future of financial planning looks like. But first, we open our episode with news from the Rational Reminder community — including the fact that we just passed one million podcast downloads. We then touch on lessons from Seth Godin’s new inspiring book, along with the latest from the financial world. Following this, we dive into a discussion on dividend stocks. We begin by unpacking the assumptions behind Miller and Modigliani’s theory of dividend irrelevance. Host Benjamin Felix presents a case study and applies the Fama-French Model to explain differences in returns on dividend portfolios and if dividends truly affect share valuation. After sharing our practical takeaways from Benjamin’s analysis, we move onto our financial planning topic for the week. From technology to retirement decumulation and demographics, we discuss the five key areas which will most impact the future of financial planning. We then wrap up another informative episode with the bad financial advice for the week. Tune in for more insights into the role of dividend stocks and the future of financial planning.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Community news, Benjamin’s 3D printing project, and celebrating our 1 millionth download. [0:00:15]
  • Drawing insights from a recent Ted Seides-Shane Parrish interview. [0:03:44]
  • Reflecting on Seth Godin’s latest book, Practice: Shipping Creative Work. [0:06:44]
  • How our culture overvalues outcomes while neglecting the creative process. [0:07:46]
  • Why having meals delivered to you helps to limit decision fatigue. [0:08:28]
  • Hear about the new TFSA limits and Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500. [0:09:25]
  • Exploring whether size affects premium in the US versus elsewhere. [0:12:28]
  • Why long-only investors may overweight small caps. [0:15:44]
  • How US junk stocks impact value and their place in your portfolio. [0:16:18]
  • Introducing today’s portfolio topic; should you invest in dividend stocks? [0:17:53]
  • Unpacking the assumptions behind Miller and Modigliani’s theory of dividend irrelevance. [0:18:45]
  • Host Benjamin Felix creates a case study to show Miller and Modigliani’s theory in action. [0:22:38]
  • Why Miller and Modigliani’s math and idea of financing are based on poor assumptions. [0:26:24]
  • The predictive power and limits of frameworks like the Fama-French 5-Factor Model. [0:27:25]
  • Applying the Fama-French Model to portfolio dividend returns. [0:28:28]
  • Key investing lessons from the notion that dividends are irrelevant to the valuation of shares. [0:31:30]
  • Reasons why people might only want to invest in dividend-paying stocks. [0:33:20]
  • The argument that firms seeking external financing may be subject to greater scrutiny. [0:35:33]
  • Introducing our financial planning topic on the paper ‘Financial planning: A research agenda for the next decade.’ [0:37:02]
  • Ties between psychology, communication, and financial decision-making. [0:39:02]
  • Exploring the five key research areas informing the future of financial planning. [0:40:16]
  • This week’s bad financial advice; invest with active managers. [0:46:31].
  • What it actually means to say that a fund is actively or passively managed. [0:47:56]