Introduction

Stock Investing For Canadians For Dummies, 4th Edition, has been an honour for us to write. We are grateful we can share our thoughts, information, and experience with such a large and devoted group of Canadian readers.

This edition is by far our most important one yet because so much volatility, uncertainty, and even scandal have become part of today’s stock market. It’s not your grandparents’ stock market anymore! Recently, all too many well-known stocks have ceased to exist — including some that many Canadians may have once considered “safe”— as the companies behind those stocks went bankrupt. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse than last decade’s Great Recession that saw the stock market plummet, new headlines arose. The Libor scandal, all about a tiny interest rate that may crash major world banks if mishandled, became the latest scare. Rogue credit derivative trades from J.P. Morgan have cost that bank billions in losses. Although the Great Recession was generally the result of mistakes by the masses, the Libor and rogue trade scandals are founded on unethical corporate and individual behaviour. The stock investor now has to be even more on the alert.

In today’s world landscape, the opportunities for great gains (and even greater losses) have reached an extreme. In some ways, our current market reminds us of Dickens’s famous novel opener, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” In terms of what faces us now — economic uncertainty, ...

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