Schulich prof writes about investing and risk in The Wall Street Journal

Sit back for a moment and ponder something unpleasant: How would a large, sustained drop in the stock market affect your personal finances? asked Moshe Milevsky, finance professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, in an article for The Wall Street Journal June 14.

Consider this an exercise in personal risk management…. I’m not asking whether you are bullish or bearish. That is not what personal risk management is about, even if it is how most people practise it. The issue here is: If the bear returns for a prolonged visit, regardless of your subjective view of these odds, how would it affect your current and future earning power? And – more important – are you properly considering it when creating your investment portfolio?

I doubt it. In fact, I worry that one of the problems plaguing both investors and their financial advisers is that asset-allocation decisions are based excessively on how people feel (risk-averse or risk-tolerant) and what they believe (bullish or bearish about the stock market) as opposed to how much risk their personal balance sheets can tolerate.

To put it in even more-basic terms: As part of any asset-allocation strategy, you need to determine whether you are a stock, with earnings that can fluctuate wildly with the market, or a bond, with earnings that are less flashy but steady. You will likely find that the overall level of risk you are taking is much higher or lower than you think.

The Journal noted Milevsky is a professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University and in York’s Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics.

She was true to herself and a mentor to others

As a child, York grad Agatha Schwager (BFA Spec. Hons. ’84, MFA ’86) lived through Nazi-occupied Holland, wrote The Globe and Mail June 14 in an obituary. As a visual artist, she lived through it again with an exhibit that used innocent childhood memories from her war-ravaged hometown.

Schwager died on May 2 in Montreal from a heart attack at the age of 70, the day after a collection of her ink paintings went on exhibit in that city. In the early 1970s, the Schwagers moved to Canada where Walter would become the sean of social sciences at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Agatha moved to Toronto in 1979, earning both a BFA and MFA from York University, while Walter remained in Sudbury and spent his time off in Toronto.

While at York, she presented The Memory Room, a series of conté sketches that brought to light those early memories and dreams from her childhood in wartime Holland. Many of her close artistic relationships were formed at York, as were her views on politics, anthropology and art history.

Newcomers who make Canada better

They come from all over the world to make Canada home and, in their own way, make it a better place for everyone through their achievements, wrote the Toronto Star June 14 in a story about the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards that included York grad Rafael Fabregas (LLB ’05), a Toronto immigration lawyer.

Armed with a university degree in agricultural business management (“something that my parents chose for me”), Fabregas was sponsored by his wife, coming to Canada in 1999. He studied English literature at the University of Toronto, attended York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 2006.

While articling at Parkdale Community Legal Services, Fabregas met many Filipino live-in caregivers who needed legal help with their immigration papers and in battling exploitative employers. He has since become their advocate.

“It really opened my eyes,” said Fabregas, a lawyer with Mamann, Sandaluk. “I view the award not as a recognition of my accomplishment, but a step, hopefully, in improving the profile of the Filipino-Canadian community. There is nothing to be ashamed of being a live-in caregiver. And I encourage them to dream and aim high.”

Legal team pushes for laws against marital rape in Africa

Making marital rape a crime is just the start and there is bound to be a ferocious backlash, wrote reporter Sally Armstrong in The Globe and Mail June 12 in a story about a weeklong meeting then being held in Nairobi, where human-rights lawyers from Canada, Kenya, Malawi and Ghana were putting the finishing touches on a plan to alter the status of African women.

Yet even the men in Kanjuu [who oppose the law] admitted the law would likely pass once it came to the legislature. In Kenya, that may be as early as August. (In Ghana and Malawi, it may take two more years.)

Reforming the way an entire continent treats half of its population became the aim of Fiona Sampson (DJur ’05), human rights director of the African & Canadian Women’s Human Rights Project, after she met several African women lawyers at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2002. But it was her personal sense of urgency that made the concept take flight.

Who doesn’t get into Canada?

The average wait time for someone wishing to bring a spouse into the country through Kingston, Jamaica, has ballooned to 15 months, fully three times the processing time in 2006, wrote Maclean’s June 10 in an article about government selectivity about the preferred countries for choosing immigrants. A similar application lodged in New Delhi takes just six months.

Luin Goldring, a sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and a research fellow in York’s Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean, who has studied the difficulties faced by Caribbean and Latin American immigrants, questions “the whole business of looking at people as economic units. It divides the person into their economic role and social role,” she says, when studies have shown that all classes of immigrants integrate more smoothly if they establish strong family support networks.

Power from high-altitude wind answer to polluting plants, says research

A Jalandhar researcher who works at York University along with a team has done a [study] giving a new dimension to the [term] “power technology”, wrote June 14. Graduate student Raj Seth, who is originally from Naugajja village in Jalandhar city, had conducted research on an electrical conduction mechanism of polymer thin films in Punjabi University, Patiala. He worked with Professors Brendan Quine and George Zhu of York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, on his research on power technology.

The researchers claim that the technology has a potential to improve the existing socioeconomic setup, which could largely benefit future generations. If it comes to a practical shape, they say, it will prove to be far better than the polluting grave fossils and nuclear power technologies.

Access MBA tour includes Schulich

Offering prospective MBA candidates the opportunity to meet face to face with the world’s top international business schools, the Access MBA One-to-One Tour is a unique and effective way to find the right MBA, wrote Toronto’s 24 Hours June 14.

The tour includes more than 100 prestigious business schools that are accredited and internationally ranked. Participating schools include… the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Forum on women in politics June 17

Women and Canadian Politics is the name of a forum to feature a panel discussion on the participation of women in Canadian democracy, wrote June 11. Barbara Cameron, a political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, will be among the panellists.

On air

  • Marcel Martel, Avie Bennett Historica Chair in Canadian History in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about the history of the Beatles’ visit to Toronto in 1964, on TFO’s “Panorama” June 11.
  • John Saul, professor emeritus of political science in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about South Africa’s economy and the cost of the World Cup, on CBC News June 13.