When a friend asked Doug, 50, and Jeff, 53, to help fund his fledgling restaurant, the Vancouver couple jumped at the chance. Doug, an HR manager at a large corporation, and Jeff, a VP of advertising, had always played it safe, opting for secure jobs rather than the financial hazards of entrepreneurship. But this restaurant venture fulfilled their desire to get out of their comfort zones a little and make an investment that could really pay off.
Their friend Ray was an experienced restaurant manager armed with what Doug and Jeff believed was a winning concept. The couple made a $175,000 investment in what Ray assured them was likely to become a successful chain. But Ray located the restaurant in a marginal neighbourhood of Vancouver and it didn’t survive. Doug and Jeff were sick about the investment loss that had eaten into their savings. Worse, the experience has made them gun-shy about investing and, for the last two years, they have largely made RRSP contributions in the form of either GICs or bonds.