Prince George Citizen
Mark writes a weekly column in the local newspaper.  Following is an archive of his more recent articles. 

Powers that be

Choose your attorney wisely while your brain still (mostly) works.


Estate Planning for Blended Families Part 4

More on estate planning for blended families, and a showdown between a beefy biker and a skinny hippy.


Estate Planning for Blended Families Part 3

Estate planning, a Yukon poet, and a Nazi critic.


Estate Planning for Blended Families Part 2


Estate Planning for Blended Families

Marriages-es-es, kids, money, and estates. Sloppy estate planning is a wonderful opportunity to mess up everything you have worked for over your entire life.

Mmmm Baconnn

The state of the economy measured in bacon slices. Not really, but that sounds delicious.


Household Debt Canada

Three key factors that impact the BC economy. Real Estate. Real Estate, and Real Estate.


Bologna in a China Shop

Might is no sign of right. And big oafs fall hard.


Great Minds Think Differently

Can an investment manager add value?



Borrow to invest? Invest or pay down debt? Some risk and taxation implications.

Manholes - Surpluses - and oil reserves

Jed Clampett (The Beverly Hillbilly) never pretended to understand his business. Nor should the federal government try to run one it has not experience in.


Marriage Breakdown

Until life does us part.

When love breaks down, it’s time to sit down and re-assign you beneficiary designations.

This, and a few other issues arising out of a marriage breakdown are discussed.

Passive Investment Income - director's cut with commentary.part 1
The Sheriff of Nottingham ham-fists another one. Passive investment income and the case of the missing logic.

Critical illness

Taxes and Bonuses and Cold War hockey
Businesses who are not in the red, can pay a bonus. Ice rink and red are a thing too. 

Nice idea...But math
Despite what your social media feed might say, Socialism is not cute.

What the Dickens
To (sort of) paraphrase Winston Churchill: The US is the worst place on earth to invest… except all the others.

 Barney goes Surfing
Although they are difficult to ride, the waves of the ocean, and of finance, are to some extent predictable, at least in intensity.

Candy Keynesians final
When it’s Christmas every day, someone, someday will pay. 

Protectionism is Shrinkage
Some people shouldn’t have a license to drive an elephant. Just saying…

The Bank Robbery
March is Fraud Prevention Month. If I could tell all the stories, it might take me the entire month!

Riding High
The slack is out of the rope. 

something beside the obvious
Looking past the headline, to the B-side, could return A-list results. 

Fish in the Hold
The fish are in the hold, but the crew shares are reserved for those who stay on board all the way to port.

Cheeseheads and Apples
The struggle against poverty.

Whining and Nose-picking never did Pay Very Well.
Minimum Wage Legislation is a double-edged sword.

It seemed like a good idea at the time… Lessons from Lotusland, and expensive tuition.

Disruptors Part 2
The pace of change in the marketplace is accelerating

Disruptors Part 1
"Netflix is ruining my life"

Bitcoin and Year-end Discussion
Bitcoin, Inflation, and putting sugar on your Fruit Loops.

Chumps and Trade
Trade and the great white north.

NAFTA Nastiness
Tough, and completely unnecessary negotiations are underway. What might this mean?

YETP - 6

Tax code, like cat hair in your peanut butter.

YETP - 4
May the tax man not swoop down on you unawares.

YETP - 3
When attempting year-end financial or tax gymnastics, warm up well in advance of freeze up. 

YETP - 2
Don't pay what you are not required to pay. More year-end tax tips for 2017.

2017 YETP - Part 1
A (political) party of one - and the tax advantages of taking the time to know all the little rules.

We don’t always behave in financially prudent or predictable ways, but this guy just won $1,000,000 for building a structure to study that fact. 

Income Splitting 2
Working with a spouse or not, income splitting can have advantages.

Transfer to Spouse
Sometimes we dig a hole for ourselves. Maybe a spouse can help us out.

Shareholder Loans – Re-run
The dog gets his shoe-toy and the taxman gets a bite of his own.

Rate Prophecy
Best not to sound too confident when predicting interest rates.

New Government
What the first post-millennial BC NDP budget update looks like.

Dreamers and centralization.

Muttering Quietly
Keep your head down, ignore the bluster, and focus on the data.

Sweet Deals and Sweethearts
My eyes adored her… and she broke my heart. Letting go of the value trap that snapped your hand.

Location, Location, and Mountaintops
Great climbers and great investors are adventurous and patient, careful and calculated, but still interested in greater things. And the best ones are focused on the long view.

Paint That on Your Hockey Puck and Chew on It!
Free Trade is a score!

Loonie Pizza
The Canadian Dollar is sharply up this last couple of months. Currency is one of the very most difficult things to forecast. Here are some thoughts on what we might expect in the months ahead.

No Helmet

The Case for Higher Interest Rates in Canada

Global Bacon Prices and Bond Yields
Mmmm… bacon. And ho-hum, bond yields make a move.

Grand Transfer
Dividends are beautiful… and tax-advantaged.

Canada Day Economics
Happy Canada Day! Like a bold red & white t-shirt, the current economic data looks good on us, especially in Western Canada.

The advice business is a bigger deal than most realize.

Chinese Lessons
The utter fascination with, and the national necessity of bringing foreign talent to Canada.

International Students
Attracting a healthy flow of international students is an important part of stemming the demographic coagulation in our domestic population.

Millennial Women
Millennials and babies and pets and houses and video games… I blame it all on Barney, that big freaky fat singing dinosaur. These kids didn't have a chance.

Whining aside, Millennials are well-positioned.

Laying out the Welcome Mat
“Car!” A Canadianism. Cars replaced babies in my old neighbourhood, so now we need immigrants to fuel growth.

Housing Wealth Impacts
Some useful analysis of the current sizzling housing market, and what it might look like if it cooled off significantly, or even if it just failed to keep the current steaming hot pace going.

Mr. PG Has a Sore Leg
When the US gets all cranky about Mexico and China, the little-appreciated, poutine-eating neighbour to its north takes the punishment.

Loans r us. But we do want our money back.

The Matterhorn interest rate mountain of the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s was the aberration. Thanks goodness.

Token Risks
Rolling the dice on rolling the doobies – speculative risk.

Money Supply
Typo (or worse) on the earlier one fixed now. (Breaks… brakes)

Sorting Beans from Has-beens

Fair Equal Business
The legacy of a family business is worth the mountain of time and planning to get succession planning right.

Disabled Dependents and Such
999 more old rusty Plymouth Valiants… or a wedding.

War Councils and Cash and Pimples

Cake and the Eating of It
Sometimes the way we slice it matters in ways we never might have thought of.

Outright Gifts and Inheritances
The good the bad and the not so pretty facts about giving it away to your younger peeps.

It’s not just about compassion. It feeds in to our prosperity in ways that really matter.

A Strange Dream
Or was it a nightmare? Anyone who thinks they can prosper by shrinking trade relationships has failed to learn from well-worn historical precedent.

Dances with Death and Taxes
We have farmed out the medical aspects of death to a great degree, but not so much the financial aspects, despite the consequences.

To Die To-Dos
More about the things to do, well in advance of passing away.

One Question
It all boils down to one question. Do I have enough?

Children of Wealth
This is modified from an article I submitted about 4 years ago. It is a brief primer regarding managing healthy attitudes towards money for children whose parent have it.

Tax Planning Odds and Ends
Hunger seems to be more visible during the feast seasons. Tax incentives promote giving.

Year-end Tax 2016 – Businesses
Year-end tax stuff for business owners. And beware of icepick murderers.

Year-end Tax Planning 2016 – Part 1
A fresh take on an annual taxation subject.

Succession 6 – Contingency Planning
The keeper will not always keep going.  Be prepared for a transition to the next star to backstop your team.

Succession 5

Succession, Part 4: Milking the Family Cow
The mature stage of the business cycle is often referred to in terms of “milking it,” as opposed to reinvesting and reinvigorating.

Business Succession 3
For a business succession to be successful, the seceding party should first succeed. Cessation of the succession system should suffice if surface sales don’t result in sufficient surplus sums. If you get my drift.

Success and Succession 2
Time ticks. Money drips. Succession tricks.

Yellow Bricks
Saying good-bye to your business is full of emotion, and like other good-byes, too often not planned out sufficiently.

The Buckster and the Huckster
Giving seems to be tightly wound with prosperity, but the direction of the causal relationship might surprise you.

Death and Taxes 6
The 6th of a 6-part series on death and taxes, and honestly, we barely scratched the surface with these.

Death and Taxes 5
More on death and taxes

Death and Taxes 4
New Life on Death Taxes. And Salamanders. And guys who wear white pants to school.

Death and Taxes 3
More on death a taxes, and a tale of woe for my hobo father, riding the rails during the Great Depression.

Death and Taxes 2

Death and Taxes – Part 1
Death and Taxes and gardening with rocks.

Class Struggle
Focus can be challenging on a sunny day, but attention to detail can save tax.

My First Paid Job
Working and saving. Like healthy eating, the sooner the habit starts, the better.

The Sock Puppetry of Jones
Real confidence and wealth is not for show.

Caution – May Contain Nuts
Sometimes our short term plans are dashed by a setback, or a completely unexpected event. Carry on.

The Bears
Bears are cute from a distance, but scary up close. Markets are bumpy, and we all know that, but it is never much fun on the downward section of one of those bearish bumps.

Bakers, Bankers, and Bonds
The importance of being a bond.