Elections, Heat, Cheap Oil, and #BestMoneyStories

Here comes the election (evidently)(maybe). Rumor has it that Prime Minister Harper may dissolve parliament and call an election for October the 19th, making this the longest election campaign (ever). Why? Maybe the MPs don’t want to come back from their summer break and to only have the election start after they have done a weeks work? I have no real reason, but I do know that as soon as Mr. Harper announces this, the three suspended Senators all start earning pay cheques again, so that is good, right? The theory seems to be (on why the election campaign is going to be so long) that the Tories want a protracted election campaign as they have more money in their war coffers? Another theory put forward is the Tories are giving either Mulcair or Trudeau as much time as possible to put their foot in their mouths? No matter what reason this is going to get pretty redundant, quickly.

Needless to say it is very hot in Ottawa, but it is almost August, and that is to be expected (and enjoyed, since I moaned so darn much last winter about how Cold it was). Haven’t seen anyone cooking on the road but it is still pretty darn hot.

If Oil stays below $50 a barrel, don’t expect the Canadian economy making a comeback any time soon. The break even for the tar sands is estimated to be around $90 (by some analysts)  a barrel, and if oil stays down not only Russia will be feeling the pain (Alberta will as well).  Interesting that gasoline continues to be well over $1.10 a liter here, even with oil being so cheap, but I would never imply price-fixing for gasoline, that would be irresponsible, wouldn’t it?

Windows 10 is finally here as well, do you have it yet? Do you like it? July is over as well, you do realize there is less than 150 days until Christmas, right?

My Writings for Week Ending July 31st

It was International Tiger Day this week as well, but don’t tell any Dentists about it :

  • Are Employer Pensions in Canada Dying ? Stats Canada has some numbers that suggest the traditional concept of the pension is certainly changing, and the idea of your employer directly helping your retirement may be transmographying as well.
  • What are your Money Motivations ? I took a run at a motivational quote I found on-line, remember as each minute passes, you are 1 minute closer to the end of the  {Day|Week|Month|Year|Decade|Your Life}.
  • Rob Carrick was kind enough to include me in one of his Best Reads posts and included my oldie Surreal Paragraphs Found in Credit Card Statements, glad he pointed out I pay off my credit card bills.

The Holy Potato put up a great graphic on the Twitter Machine:

Will Lions Start Hunting Dentists Soon?

Bank Fees

High Bank Fees ??! Really?

J.D. Powers published their annual Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction study and found that Canadians are less happy with their banks this year. In similar news, the sun rose this morning, and bears still enjoy defecating in the woods. This astounding news surprised me, as I have only written 10 years worth of articles whining about bank fees, poor service and the like.  Mark from the Blunt Bean Counter (turning to actual information) continues his summer hiatus, but reminds us Ways for Dealing with the CRA (and he should know, he does it for a living).  The CRA’s biggest issue is the same as most government agencies, they are too big, and customer service is not a “core value” either. In other astoundingly obvious news, More Millenials are Living With Their Parents, wow, given every financial blogger (except ME!) is telling Millenials to live with their parents to pay off their debts, how surprising is this?

Scotia Bank Value Visa

Say you embezzled $9M where might you hide your ill-gotten gains? How about in Comic Books? Comic Con Man outlines how this actually happened, an interesting idea (not that I would embezzle that much money or buy comic books). Speaking in the felonious vein, Marie from Boomer and Echo wants to know Are Your Elderly Parents Easy Targets for Financial Scammers? I hope that in the next life, there is a special part of hell for these kind of folks (the Scammers that is). Here is a morbid question, if you die, does you debt die with you? How about if you are a student with lots of loans? The Atlantic talks about the U.S. view in Debt After Death: What Happens if You Die with Debt, but I am not sure this is how it works in Canada, anyone care to comment?

The Economist has started an interesting discussion on Linked-In about the global push for a higher minimum wage, with A global movement toward much higher minimum wages is dangerous, or is it? My concern about a higher minimum wage in Canada is it makes those jobs much more attractive to be either automated or out-sourced. Yes some jobs can’t be out-sourced, but automation is becoming much easier for many menial jobs. The contrary to that argument you can read on Ralph Nader’s OP Ed in the Boston Globe Raise the Minimum Wage.

Speaking of out-sourcing and such Barry from Money We Have asks Are Immigrant Children Better Off ? I am the proud child of immigrants, and went to school with many first generation Canadians, the one thing I saw was that many of the kids I went to school with inherited their parents drive to succeed, but maybe that is changing with the Millenials ?

Mark from My Own Advisor has been enjoying some time off, but comes back with Lacking consensus on Retirement Withdrawal Strategies, which has been a very hot topic this summer with most of my regular reads. I guess you could just drop dead at work, and then not have to worry about retirement strategies, but that is not my current plan. I have told my kids that if I did have the misfortune of passing away at work, they should remind folks, “… my Dad died really pissed off that he died at the office!”. Looks like Mr. Money Mustache is moving to Toronto, or at least that is what mentions in Rent vs. Buy: If you have to ask you should probably rent, he makes Toronto out as a cheap place to live? Guess it is all relative.

Michael James is catching up on his reading list this summer and brings us a review of Your Retirement Income Blueprint (by Daryl Diamond), which he views as an OK read with a few glaring flaws in logic, but still worth reading.

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!

TFSA Changes

One of the more contentious issues for this election will be the TFSA changes made, so here is Preet just giving us a refresher on what has changed and how it changes things for you:

What is Running the NY Subway?

How old is this?

Why Shouldn’t I Smoke?

Listen to the late Brother Sellers explain the dangers of John Barleycorn, and other temptations

2015 Random Thoughts

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • My Own Advisor August 2, 2015, 8:37 AM

    Anyone that kills or rolls back the TFSA contribution room will not get my vote!

    Thanks for the mention – have a great weekend!

  • Michael James July 31, 2015, 11:59 AM

    I hope we never catch up to the Americans with the length of the election cycle. (Has anyone begun campaigning for 2020 yet?) Thanks for the mention.

    • bigcajunman July 31, 2015, 12:24 PM

      Yeh, that is insane, and yes I am hearing about folks talking about the 2020 elections…

  • Tawcan July 31, 2015, 10:18 AM

    I’m wondering about the rationale for this long election campaign as well. Seems to me that the longer the campaign, the more advantages to the Tories. I’m already getting tired of the attacking ads. I wish we can see more ads on “what we can do for Canadians” rather than attacking the other candidates.

    • bigcajunman July 31, 2015, 10:20 AM

      Agreed, this is all going to get very tired very quickly.


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