Taking stock in retirement

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Retired securities lawyer offers investors free advice on website

Marc Ryan has a rather unique retirement project.

Marc Ryan has a rather unique retirement project.

The 60-year-old Outremont resident this month launched a website (www.independentinvestor.info) dedicated to providing individual investors with independent, objective, free advice and information

He writes and compiles it, he updates it and he funds it. Solo.

Ryan, who retired in 2002 after 26 years as a securities lawyer for BCE, said he wanted something to keep him busy and stimulated, and the website fulfilled that need.

I was managing my own money and enjoying it, and that gave me the idea of building a project around that. Id worked 30 years with accountants and tax people, and you end up getting to know that area pretty well. I used to have a full-service broker but Id become more skeptical as to the value of the advice from brokers.

I was never in the financial-services industry and Im not looking to sell any financial products or services, so I like to think I can be more independent, saying things others in the industry might think but wont say.

Im not trying to take charge of anyones portfolio, just outlining the philosophical approach I take. You can make your own choices.

Ryan said he wont accept advertising or financial assistance from banks, insurers, stock brokers or mutual fund companies.

Hes not a strong believer in active investment management, convinced that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other index-linked products are the best option for those who want to direct their own portfolio .

I dont believe individual investors should even be trying to beat the market, he said. Its a noble objective but its not realistic and, for most, its not a good bet.

Those not prepared to do extensive Web research and monitor market developments probably are better off leaving management of their portfolio in the hands of a full-service broker or adviser, he said.

Ryan isnt currently receiving any direct revenue from his two sites (ones in French, the others in English), but hes hoping theyll eventually lead to speaking engagements or conferences where he can share his views.

Im having fun, thats really my motivation, he said. The only reason its off the ground is that I treated it like a full-time job for 21/2 years.

Organizations: BCE

Geographic location: Outremont

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