More Great Personal Finance Tweets for the Week


Another round of some of the finest money tweets of the week, hope you enjoy

Why is it that the Chinese stock market and economy confuses my simple mind?

Not sure I completely agree with Mr. Bernstein, but I think I understand his sentiments:

Some very sound advice from our friends at USA Today:

Finally this is my favorite tweet of my own this week, nice graphic:

Not sure the Bank of Canada is only concerned about commodities, but you never know, do you?

High praise when someone calls it the best investing article:

One more from Facebook, which is actually a linked in link, if you like pointers to pointers:

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The last 10 days or so have been quite volatile on the markets with wild drops, sudden spurts up and indecision and confusion on whether this is a “correction”, a “collapse” or a “great time to buy”. To quote a well-known media maven I’m an Indexer I don’t Care What the Index Did Today, although I did buy in the middle of all of this, because I had money to put in my son’s RDSP (but that is very long-term savings, so again, who cares). There is agreement that China’s economic cogitations seems to have been a catalyst for all this market tom-foolery, but we will only know for sure in a few months when we look back on things.

Is this a good time to buy into the market? Will oil stocks rebound? How will a minority government affect our economy? To quote Kent Brockman, ” Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside”.  Do you have any Gorgonzola (see video at bottom for explanation)? This and many other questions I can answer simply, “I have no bloody idea!”.

Seems like my Twitter feed might make it to 2500 actual followers (I haven’t paid for any followers, nor have I used skullduggery to inflate those numbers either).

Back to school is here again, with schools opening next week, and in some corners schools have already opened. I can tell it is back to school time, as there is Haloween candy in the stores as well.

Stick it to your broker and start trading for free. Get $50 in free trades.

My Writings for Week Ending August 28th

The summer is slowly coming to a close and an entertaining fall lies ahead (with plenty of election shenanigans and tom-foolery) :

  • More inflation numbers that seem to be ignored on the campaign front, with Gas Dampening the CPI for July. Oil at $40 a barrel is a doubled edged sword that is cutting the Canadian economy to pieces.
  • I went back to my archives for a follow-up on my problems with loyalty cards getting hacked with Auto Loading Your Loyalty Card is a Bad Idea, and it really is a very bad idea.
  • A real oldie but goody for me is to remember that In Banking All is Negotiable, and I will be going in to spread happiness at my local TD branch following my own advice.

Kobo Canada


Tweet of the week

I did a Tweets of the week already


For more great personal finance stories click here 🍁💰🍁

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Auto Loading Your Loyalty Card is a Bad Idea

I ran into a very bad issue with my Starbucks Loyalty card a while back, when all the information in the Starbucks database was hacked and my account information was stolen. This information hack allowed the thieves to create their own version of my Starbucks card, and they “went to town” on it.

Let me digress , remember that the Starbucks Loyalty “card” is not a credit card per se, it is a card which is “filled” from a money source so that you can buy things (note I said things not just coffee) at Starbucks (and collect allegiance points and such). You can “fill” the card from a bank account, a credit card or even your Pay Pal account, and you can fill it one time or you can set up the “Auto Load” mechanism. The auto-load mechanism will take money automatically when your loyalty account balance drops to zero (or a preset threshold), and this is where the hackers found their angle.

The scam seems to run like this, once your account or card is “cloned” someone goes into a Starbucks store, and buys $100 worth of things (most times just a gift card), and then the auto-load kicks in, takes money from its source (Credit Card, Bank Account, etc.,) and then the thief go to another store and will buy another card, and this continues on until the account is flagged or in my case, I saw what was going on and called to cancel the auto-load. The only reason I knew this was happening was because I got notifications on my phone telling me that the auto-loads happening.

Loyalty Card Scam

A Graphic Rendition of the Scam

In my case I was lucky enough to catch it early, and Starbucks was smart enough to refund me all the money taken (after 15 business days).

Since this incident I have gone to any other loyalty cards that I have like this and turned off the auto-load option, to stop this scam from happening again (some examples might be a Tim Horton’s card or maybe your Subway Card?).

This is not a commentary on the Starbucks Brand or Coffee (I still drink it and enjoy it), but a reminder of the fact that the easier it is for you to spend money, the easier it is for the scammers to find a way in to get at your money (and spend easily as well).

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Gas Dampens CPI for July

For yet another month the lowering price of gasoline and transport continues to dampen (and possibly hide) a CPI that has been around 2.0 % or higher for a long time (yet it continues to be called 1.0%, fun eh?). Stats Canada stated for July:

Lower energy prices continued to moderate the year-over-year rise in the CPI; however, the effect was less pronounced in July than in the previous month. In particular, the gasoline index was down 12.2% in the 12 months to July, compared with a 14.1% decrease in June.

I am sick of how these numbers are being used to hide the fact that inflation is high enough that interest rate controls on them should have been triggered months ago, but due to Canada’s population being Debt Junkies the government is too petrified of what this might entail. The other side of the coin is with oil revenues dropping, and gas prices dropping Canada is paying the price as well.

I am simply being paranoid? Maybe, but if you look at this graph, you will see my statement about 2.0% inflation (without gasoline) is maybe not as much me being paranoid, as being prudent:

CPI for past while

CPI for past little while, with and without energy

I think the center of my vitriolic commentary centers around the numbers is the following statement:

Food prices advanced 3.2% in the 12 months to July, following a 3.4% increase the previous month. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis in July. The increase in the food index was led by meat prices, which rose 6.1% year over year in July, following a 6.6% increase in June. Additionally, prices were up year over year in July for fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.7% in the 12 months to July.

Food has been over 3% growth for a good long time, and anybody who shops for food knows this, but nothing is being done about it, and the press dismisses it because gas is so darn cheap? You know what really galls me the most? None of the major party leaders have even batted an eye about this.

Bank of Canada’s core index

The nice thing about the Bank of Canada, is their index doesn’t include energy:

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.4% in the 12 months to July, following a 2.3% rise in June.


Food for thought?

The Big Graph

This graphic does an excellent job showing what is really up, and what is keeping the CPi down:

 

Year over Year CPI

Interesting that Transportation is the only one down?

 

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Personal Finance Tweets of the Week (End of Summer)

Haven’t done this for a while, but here are some of the more interesting financial (and other) tweets that I saw this week. Interesting that Twitter has also removed the 144 character limit on direct messages, so it has now become a full messaging system too.

I really liked this one, it was condemning the banks trying to encourage folks to build up more debt? Say what?

Ouch, that one is going to hurt the alleged balanced budget this year, isn’t it?

Uh oh, what about 54 year olds?

I guess the only advice that I can give is, just don’t look, or just don’t care?

What is the best way to teach kids about money? My 2 cents worth is there as well.

Glad to see the FAMSAC food truck rally went well last week. Evidently my Doppelganger (Mayor Watson) was there as well.

Remember you are not attached at the hip to your bank, if you can get a better deal, get it!

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