Want to learn how to invest?

If you want to get started with investing or learn more about your investment portfolio, join me for an easy-to-understand session on March 25. I’m an investing instructor with 5 years of experience teaching at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and running private finance sessions. (Note that I do not sell or have any financial ties to any investing products.)

The quote “understand risk” is from the Nobel Prize winning economist William Sharpe. I think that understanding the risks of investing – and of not investing – is key to making good investing decisions that bring peace of mind. Find out more at my seminar!

When? Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 7-8pm

Watch the recording of Investing 101:


Hope you enjoy it!


TFSAs: What you need to know

Happy to announce that my first online seminar with the Toronto Public Library went well – at least my daughter and mother tell me so! It was recorded live on January 14, 2021 and you can access the recording (free) at the link below:


The Toronto Public Library is offering a range of free online personal finance seminars – check out the upcoming sessions here:


Happy 2021!


New! Online investing sessions

2020 has brought anxiety and stress into many areas of our lives. Although the pandemic has disrupted so many routines around family, work and school, I feel lucky that my immediate family and friends have been spared from the virus so far. Let’s hope that containment measures are effective and a vaccine is developed so that we can all look forward to a better year in 2021.

Starting in August 2020, I am offering one-on-one or small group investing sessions online. The cost for courses is $100/hour. A course for beginners would typically take two 1-hour sessions. A more advanced course with more detail on do-it-yourself investing would take 3-4 hours of teaching time. I design the course around specific needs and prepare slides and resources for the topics covered. The course is conducted live (synchronous) and questions are encouraged throughout.

Over the past five years, I have been teaching beginner investors – many of them young students – the basics of investing and how to get started with investing on their own. With so much information coming at investors from every angle, my students appreciate the unbiased information that I offer. I have no affiliations with any investment products, advisors, or investment firms.  Making investing interesting and accessible and giving my students the confidence to make good investing decisions is incredibly rewarding and enjoyable.

Please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more.

Cheers and stay well,






Free Personal Finance seminars at the Toronto Public Library

Our public library system in Toronto is a treasure. Not only are there incredible resources (books, DVDs, ebooks, etc.) to borrow, there are also many programs offered for free in a variety of areas. Did you know that the library has an entire series of Personal Finance talks? It’s been an honour to be part of this group and I enjoyed the 5 seminars that I gave at various library branches in 2019. For 2020, I have presented at two branches and I have two seminars coming up: one on TFSAs and one on Teaching Kids About Money.

For me, now that I am 55 and semi-retired, I want to be able to give back to my community. Sadly, the library system continues to deal with funding cutbacks. Starting in 2020, I am offering a free session to any library branch as a small way of giving back to an institution that gives Toronto residents so much: a quiet, comfortable, accessible and welcoming place for everyone to read, listen, learn and gather as a community.

As a long-time avid reader of hard copy and now ebooks, thank you to the Toronto Public Library for countless hours of reading and learning over the years!


Personal Finance series:


My upcoming seminars at the Toronto Public Library:

TFSAs: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 from 2-3pm at New Toronto Branch https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT442155&R=EVT442155

Teach Your Kids About Money: Saturday, May 23, 2020 from 2-3pm at Bloor-Gladstone Branch

My completed seminars in 2020 (they went great!):

TFSAs: Wednesday, January 22 from 6:30-7:30pm at Runnymede Branch https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT428799&R=EVT428799

TFSAs: Saturday, January 25 from 2-3pm at Northern District Branch https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT429165&R=EVT429165





My next investing course at U of T

I can’t believe this is already the fifth time I teach my investing course! Time flies when you are having fun, it seems. We have some great guest speakers lined up, including Dale Roberts (check out his fantastic web site at Cut The Crap Investing), and Andrew Kirkland from Justwealth, one of Canada’s automated investing firms (aka robo-advisors).

Please get in touch with me if you would like more information about the course. Here is the link to sign up for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies course: U of T SCS: Course 3154

If you are interested in other seminars I am offering, check out my upcoming free sessions at Toronto Public Library branches: TPL Personal Finance Programs

JPEG Flyer 3154 005 2020

Free financial literacy seminars

I’m excited to start working with the Toronto Public Library to offer free financial literacy seminars in Toronto this fall! I will have two sessions on “How to Teach Kids about Money” and three sessions on “Investing for Millennials.”

The dates and times at the Toronto Public Library branches are listed below. No need to register in advance, and admission is free:

Teaching Kids about Money: College & Shaw Branch: Tuesday, October 1, 2019: 6:30-7:30pm

Teaching Kids about Money: Humber Bay Branch: Saturday, November 2, 2019: 2-3pm

Investing for Millennials: Northern District Branch: Saturday, November 16, 2019: 2-3pm

Investing for Millennials: Toronto Reference Library: Monday, November 18, 2019: 7-8pm

Investing for Millennials: Jane & Dundas Branch: Saturday, November 23, 2019: 2-3pm

TPL Money

TPL Inv 2019

Sewing for Tatum

In my downtown Toronto community is a lovely family who is raising funds for life-changing surgery for their young daughter. My goal is to sew gift/wine bags as a fundraiser for them.

You can find out about Tatum and her family’s inspiring journey here: https://ca.gofundme.com/keep-tatum-on-her-feet

Why am I doing this? Two reasons – 1) I want to do something concrete to help Tatum, and 2) I think we should all try reusing items instead of buying throw-away items. In our household, all of our Christmas presents are wrapped in home-made fabric bags and I’ve been making these wine/gift bags for years to give away.

If you would like to order one of the wine/gift bags, they are $5 each, with every cent going to Tatum’s fund. I’m happy to make as many as possible – until I run out of fabric! The bags are wider than a typical wine bag so they can be used for other presents as well. They will have either a crocheted tie or a fabric tie.


Two pickup/delivery options: If you are in Toronto, you can pick up from my home. For mail orders within Canada, please add $2 per bag and include your mailing address.

Order details:

Number of bags:

Colour choices: random or see picture

Pickup: from my porch (Riverdale, Toronto) or mail within Canada (add $2/bag)

Payment options: e-transfer or cash

email me to place order: tc@numeracybasics.com

Thank you!

(For those going to the Withrow School Silent Auction, I am donating a fabric Happy Birthday table runner (pic below) and a set of Happy Birthday gift bags)




My top 3 investing sites

When it comes to investing, less is sometimes more.  There is so much information out there, that it’s hard to find the key information that you need. My recommendation is to find reliable sites where you can start your search.  Here are 3 great web sites – all free – that provide excellent information for investors. Also important, they are easy to navigate to find exactly what you need.

Get Smarter About Money – Clear information about investing products, using an adviser, calculators for investment returns, net worth, etc., information and links about pensions (CPP, OAS), tax sheltered plans (RRSP, TFSA, RESP), and much more: .https://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca

Canadian Couch Potato – Excellent blog with up-to-date investing advice and information for index investors. Model index portfolios, spreadsheets for rebalancing, plus in-depth research for those who want the full details: .https://canadiancouchpotato.com

Young and Thrifty – Extensive information about investing and personal finances for the cost-conscious investor. This site includes guides to robo-advisers, discount brokers and much more. User-friendly, clear and to-the-point:  https://young,andthrifty.ca

Happy investing!

Teri Courchene


We knew it was coming at some point, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach a stock-market correction. What to do?

If you are a passive investor – keep calm and carry on. Don’t check your investments all the time. You are in this for the long term and you have to expect some bad years along with the good ones.

If you are an active investor – it’s equally important not to panic! The trouble with being an active investor is that you have to check on your investments often and adjust your positions as needed. That means going back to the reasons you  bought your investments and verifying that the investments are still what you want to hold.  There may be some stocks that have been a great buy and are doing fine amid this turmoil. More than likely there are some stocks that have done worse than the overall market. For those stocks, is it time to dump a bad investment or trust that the stock will recover? Your call. It’s very easy being an active investor in a rising market, but a bear market will test anyone’s nerves.

If you want to get informed and become confident about your investments and your long-term investing goals, consider taking an investing course. There are many great courses out there for investors at all levels.

My next investing course starts in January 2019 at the U of T School of Continuing Studies. For more information, check out SCS 3154 or email me at tc@numeracybasics.com

Teri Courchene

December 18, 2018

Trying to make sense of the stock markets?

Could this be the start of a bear market?  The pause before markets continue on up?  The fact is that no one is certain.  My favourite new investing quote is from Howard Marks, of Oaktree Capital:

“You can’t predict. You can prepare.”

So how do you prepare for the future as an investor?  The key is understanding what you are investing in and the potential risks and returns.

If you are looking for an easy-to-understand and clear overview of what you need to know to be a successful investor, take a look at our Investing Workshop at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies:

Investing Workshop: co-taught by Ellen Roseman and Teri Courchene

We will talk about the world of investing and give you the tools to be prepared for the future. Below are some of the highlights of what will be covered in our 1-day Investing Workshop on Saturday, November 3, 2018:

  • Setting your short-term and long-term goals
  • Understanding your risk tolerance
  • Figuring out what type of investor you are
  • Finding the lowest-cost/best-value solution for you
  • Staying the course by focusing on the long term

For more information, please get in touch!



Flyer 3248 November 2018 JPEG