Bank Profits, Loose Money, Used House Salesfolk and #MoneyTalk

The 3 of the big banks in Canada announced good profits ( TD, CIBC, and RBC) which has caused another jump in their value, and dividend output. Michael James thinks that the Canadian Banking system is in for a day of reckoning (i.e. their profitability will drop), but  evidently  not today.

Canadian sportscasters have been lampooning Ottawa Sens fans for not selling out every playoff game. The Sens do, however, have the highest average attendance in the playoffs of the remaining teams. Financial talking heads are annoying, sports talking heads are wastes of space.

Used House Salesfolks

A Little Too Relevant to Southern Ontario

When is the best time to buy a house? Same time as when you should buy anything else, when you need it. I am sure the Used House Industry (they call themselves Realtors, I like Used House Salesfolks) would disagree, but that is when I have bought a house. I suppose I could have rented when I needed a house, but if you need more space to live in (e.g. you are living in a bachelor apartment  and you are expecting your 2nd  child) and you have either a down payment or enough to rent, do so. Don’t become part of the lemmings being stampeded  to  the cliff of “Buy now before the prices go up!”.

Two great races are this weekend, the Indy 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco. You can guess what I will be doing on Sunday, and no, I won’t be going to Church (this week). There is also the Coke 600 if you have a few hours spare.

The Bank of Canada announced no change in their interest rates, keeping that loose money policy in place. Their reasons are getting repetitive, but worth checking out.

The Canadian economy’s adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Bank’s monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter.

They seem to imply that housing prices are going to start going up everywhere?

Ramadan begins on Saturday, so Happy Ramadan to my Muslim readers and friends.

Things I wrote this week

I did write something new this week, by cribbing Kerry’s presentation on RDSP‘s on the CBC. Being one of her researchers for her piece, I felt I had the right to use the intellectual property. The piece is called 5 Steps to an RDSP, which is a short synopsis  of  the  steps needed to  set up a Registered  Disability Savings Plan.

On the sister technology site, I wrote a short piece attempting to explain, What is Ransomware? Quite topical as Mrs. C8j was the victim this week of a FedEx phishing scam. Her boss received the infamous, “You have a package with FedEx” e-mail with a “hinky” link. Unfortunately she clicked the  link, but  luckily her anti­ virus software caught things before they got out of hand. Never trust links in an e­ mail from anyone, even on a trusted  web site, by the  way click here.

COBOL rules

For all of you lovers of FinTech, this tweet (from me) does sum it up quite nicely.

🙊 🙉 🙊 For more great financial stories click here 🙊 🙉 🙊


5 Steps to an RDSP

So I am blatantly stealing this from Kerry K at Squawkfox, but because she thought of it talking to me, I’ll take partial credit for it. Here are 5 steps to an RDSP, they may seem hard, but you can do it.

  1. Get your child a Social Insurance number. This is the first piece of the puzzle, but it is vital. Your child will also need it for an RESP too.
  2. Build your team. This was an excellent turn of phrase, because you are going to need it to get an RDSP. A Doctor, an accountant, a nurse practitioner, an Occupational Therapist and others can be valuable members of this team.
  3. With your Doctor or Medical professional fill in the CRA forms to start the process to get a Disability Tax Certificate. The DTC is another key part of the puzzle, without this, you cannot open an RDSP. Yes it is not easy, but you need to do it yourself, to ensure you get all the money you are due.
  4. Go to a Bank and open an RDSP account. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It isn’t that easy, due to the banks disinterest in the program. As I have said, the only full investment vehicle I can find is TD Direct Investment.
  5. Put money into the account! If you have low income, you will still get the Disability Bond money which adds up. Depending on your income, the government will match moneys you put into the plan.

While the whole RDSP process seems daunting, it is still an important financial tool to help out the disabled. There is help out there, but, be careful who you get help from.

Kerry’s Version

Kerry’s version is much more eloquent, I figure I should include it, given I am cribbing from it.


Avocado Toast, Victoria Day, Ransomware and #Moneytalk

The Web has gone wild discussing whether giving up avocado toast is the new latte savings plan. The implication is if you cut out exorbitant expenses, that you can live without, you can then afford a house. I feel quite proud that I gave up avocado toast in 1966 (I do not like avocado or guacamole). You should look at where you spend your money, and yes, you should cut down on luxuries if you are saving to buy a house, but don’t make yourself miserable. If an avocado toast occasionally makes you happy, indulge, but in moderation.

Avocado Toast

OK, Robert didn’t say this exactly, but he did bake the tarts!

When did avocado toast become a thing? Don’t people know about butter tarts? Evidently this avocado toast costs $19 a serving, so you should avoid having a daily “habit” that costs $19 (if you are saving to buy a house). You could buy an entire loaf of bread and a very big jar of peanut butter  for that much money, or  many butter tarts.

For most of Canada this weekend is Victoria Day Weekend, in Quebec it is Journée Nationale Des Patriotes but for most it is the first long weekend of the spring. Surprisingly gas prices have spiked here in Ottawa, but I am sure these two  events are not related.

Ransomware is running rampant around the web, which suggests folks need to be much more diligent with your network access . As mentioned in Don’t Click That, do not assume any email is what it claims to be especially if it includes a link to “click”. Ensure you have safe backups of your data, especially financial data, or you could be in a bad way should you fall prey to these nefarious nincompoops.

The other exciting technology point is that Windows XP will be patched! Why, you might ask? The Windows XP patch is so that ATMs (yes banking machines) and point of sale systems can be safer to use. You read that right, the two most used pieces of #Fintech out there are running on Windows XP. Choke that down  with your avocado toast.

Canada is turning 150 this year, but Montreal (or Hochelaga) turns 375 this year. Happy Birthday, to  my birthplace, you don’t look a day over 350!

More Toast Thoughts

Kerry from Squawkfox throws her 10 cents into this discussion about Avocado Toast as well.

[click to continue…]


RDSP, DTCs, Mother’s Day and #MoneyTalk

This week our friend Kerry K. from Squawkfox appeared on CBC On The Money and did an excellent job explaining the issues with the RDSP. The video of her interview is at the end of this post. The major things to take away are:

  • The system is daunting for disabled folks (or their families) to set things up. No argument from me, we are lucky we got help.
  • It is not used by 85% of folks eligible (over 500,000 Canadians who could use it, don’t)
  • These folks need help, but not from the “Helpful firms” that will scrape up to 30% of their tax refund to do
Going thru hell

Certainly the way it feels sometimes dealing with DTCs and RDSPs

I applaud Kerry for her hard work in this area, and her excellent presentation on the topic. She was also kind enough to mention me (by so for those of you wonder who the Big Cajun Man is watch the Video) and the help Mrs. C8j and I gave her on the topic. Luckily Kerry presented it (and wrote it), so it made sense and was easy to understand.

Let me point out that I do not claim to be an expert on the topic of DTC or RDSPs, I simply have lived the system and have many useful tips for those trying to use it.

Democracy was in evidence in B.C., when an election was decided by 9 votes (effectively). The riding of Courtenay-Comox was won by a 9 vote margin, in the Wednesday Election. There will be a recount, but if the NDP holds the seat, there is a minority Government in B.C., with the Green Party holding the balance of power. If the Liberals win the seat, they will have a slim majority. Yes, this is why you should always vote.

It is Mother’s Day on Sunday in North America, so remember your Mother. We all had one, and all she wants is for you to give her a call, and maybe visit sometimes.

The Real Estate market in Toronto might be slowing down, but in Ottawa it is starting to heat up. Have not heard of many bidding wars, yet, but maybe folks are thinking Ottawa is a suburb of Toronto?

All you folks who collect Aeroplan Points (like I have for over 25 years) must be shocked as I am that Air Canada is severing their relationship with them. I don’t have many points left, but evidently there is no transferral of points to Air Canada’s new point system either.

Things I wrote this Week

I wrote three articles this week #Wow. On Monday I wrote about an older book Preet wrote RRSPs: The Definitive Book on Registered Retirement Savings Plans, which is still topical. It was written before the TFSA, so it could use an update with the TFSA added in, but still a very good reference book.

After working with Kerry K. on her research, I came across a great quote about an issue with the RDSP program, and its horrible subscription rate. DTC RDSP Vicious Circle talks about how you need a DTC to set up an RDSP, but why some folks don’t bother with the DTC.

On the sister site to this site, I wrote about an important personal security issue, The Difference Between Phishing and Spear-Phishing,outlines what to look for in both cases. If you are under a Spear­ Phishing attack, it is most likely due to your friends having their accounts compromised.

A Money Thought

Here we have a great resource for RDSPs, reporting on their investing success with the RDSP.

👇🏼There are plenty of great financial stories to follow 👇🏼


DTC RDSP Vicious Circle

While chatting with Kerry from Squawkfox, Mrs. C8j and I did some research and an interesting point was found, about the DTC RDSP vicious circle.

The non-refundable nature of the DTC has created a situation where some low-income disabled people don’t even bother to apply for the DTC, thinking it won’t benefit them. That can often be a mistake, as DTC certification has become a necessary requirement for a number of other government programs, such as RDSPs (registered disability savings plans) and the child disability credit.   “

That one left me quite upset. There is data about how few RDSPs are out there, but this explanation rings far too true for my liking.

This issue exists with RESPs too. Low-income families, think they need to save a lot to make the RESP system work. No! Open the account, put a small amount in there, but you might be eligible for the Canada Learning Bond, which is free money.

The Canada Disability Savings Bond

Getting back to RDSPs, there is a similar benefit for low income families. The Canada Disability Savings Bond is $1000 a year that can be deposited in your RDSP, even if you don’t make a deposit. This is why it is important to help folks with the RDSP.

No one should be leaving this kind of free money on the table.

The DTC RDSP vicious circle is what caused my wife to say, “The whole system is like navigating the fire swamp in the Princess Bride”.  That is a very apt analogy.


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