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Perplexed by P/E ratios? Baffled by bonds? Messed up by MERs?

This column is for you.

Since I launched Investor Clinic three years ago, I've built up an extensive archive of articles covering these and scores of other topics. You can find the column archives – along with my Investor Clinic videos – on Just click on the "Investment Ideas" tab above and scroll down toward the bottom left of the page.

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I realize that not everyone has the time or inclination to sort through three years' worth of material – as scintillating as it is. So today I'm going to try to make your life easier. I've selected 25 of the most common questions I get from readers and provided links that will take you directly to relevant articles or videos in the archive.

Feel free to e-mail this column to a friend. If you've got a question that doesn't appear on the list below, drop me an e-mail and I'll try to answer it in a future column.


Can you explain how bonds work, please? I find them very confusing

What's the difference between a management fee and a management expense ratio?

How can I find a fee-only financial planner?

How often should I rebalance my portfolio?

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I want to file a complaint about my adviser. What are my options?

What is tax-loss selling, and what rules apply?

What does "return of capital" mean with mutual funds?

What does "return of capital" mean with real estate investment trusts?

How many stocks do I need for proper diversification?

What is a P/E ratio? (more on ratios here)

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Should I put dividend stocks inside my RRSP? (more on RRSPs here)

What's with the "gross-up" of dividends? (more here)

What's an appropriate weighting of stocks and fixed-income securities for my age?

I've just inherited a chunk of money but I know nothing about investing. What should I do?

What's the best place to hold my U.S. dividend stocks? (more here)

What's the difference between dividend yield, yield-to-maturity and earnings yield?

Can you explain how ETFs work?

What are preferred shares, and who should invest in them? (more here)

What is an investment policy statement?

What percentage of my nest egg can I safely spend annually without running out of money?

What qualities should I look for in an adviser?

How can I find the true yield of my dividend ETF?

How can I find the true yield of my bond ETF?

What is a fund's TER and how do I find it?

What are the most common investing mistakes people make? (more here)

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About the Author
Investment Reporter and Columnist

John Heinzl has been writing about business and investing since 1990. A native of Hamilton, he earned a master's degree from the University of Western Ontario's Graduate School of Journalism and completed the Canadian Securities Course with honours. More

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