The Olympics, Topless Spelunkers, and #MoneyTalk

Let the games begin! Today the Rio Olympics start, and hopefully it will all go off relatively well. Speaking as a Montrealer that lived through the 1976 Olympics and the financial aftermath, hopefully Rio has not written a cheque that will take decades to pay off. I still remember seeing Lasse Virén running up Rockland Road during the Marathon.

Lasse Virén c1974.jpg

Lasse Virén

I am on vacation this week, so I have been watching with a high level of confusion what is going on in the U.S.A.. There are even pundits claiming Mr. Trump might actually be trying to throw the election? Seems far-fetched, but I believe the main-stream media wants all of this, and would relish a Trump Presidency, just because folks would be watching the news every night! All we have in Canada is a shirtless PM wandering around caves, and then surfer PM appeared as well? #WTF?

Sometimes we forget the importance of taking time off, and as I get closer to retirement, I am starting to figure out, I am going to need to figure out how to enjoy myself, and not think about work. I learned when I got laid off, that nothing is that important at work (since the things I was worrying about the week before I got canned, didn’t matter 5 minutes after I got laid off). Learn to enjoy, and take time off, I am still figuring it out (maybe I will take up surfing?)

RESP Questrade Banner

My Writings for Week Ending August 5th

I am on vacation this week, and I finally wrote my review of the one financial tool I keep using, even though the developers seem to have abandoned it, and I vent my frustration in Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition Review . Don’t buy it. Investor Junkie has a much more positive view on things in this review, but give this year a pass (unless you must get it).

A Money Thought

As usual Kerry from Squawkfox hits the nail on the head with this tweet.

Some Huge Financial Stories

As the father of 3 wonderful daughters, I am always glad to see equality of payment (for equal work) and I was happy (and unhappy it took this long to fix it) to see my Alma Mater correct things in, University of Waterloo boosts salaries of female faculty. If they are doing the same job, they should get the same pay, that simple.

Should couples have “the money talk” before they get married? Jamie Golombek from CIBC says, “Yes they should”, however very few do, as he points out in his report For richer or poorer: Financial Planning Tips for Newlyweds (PDF). The talk should also include about whether to own or rent a home, however a lower home price (or the bursting of the bubble) may not be everything folks hope for, or so Tom Bradley says in his piece Lower house prices – Be careful what you wish for. I have, on occasion, to sit on the back deck and after a few beverages, dreamed of the future, however, Mark from My Own Advisor gives us something a bit better with, 2016 Predictions Summer Update. Mark likes the dividends, and this WSJ piece shows that tech companies might be on his radar some time soon, Tech Stocks’ New Attraction: Dividends.

Friend of this site, Larry MacDonald wrote in the Globe and Mail about another investor in his article, Mathematician opts for stability with diversified ETF portfolio. Sounds like some sensible investing ideas.Speaking of friends, Barry from Money We Have gives us 5 Money Moves to Make now.

Michael James asks Is Your Allocation to Stocks Too High? As usual the title may not reflect the opinion you think he espouses. My opinion, your allocations shouldn’t keep you awake at night. The most interesting title for the week has to go to Frugal Trader with Why I Don’t DRIP my Leveraged Smith Manoeuvre Portfolio, that is a lot of topics for one article.

Money Audio

From the Blessed by the Potato folk, an interesting audio rant from the post Passive Investing and Non-Linearity

2016 Random Thoughts

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Potato August 7, 2016, 12:57 AM

    Thanks for the mention, Alan!

  • Bernie August 5, 2016, 5:20 PM

    Re (above): “Friend of this site, Larry MacDonald wrote in the Globe and Mail about another investor in his article, Mathematician opts for stability with diversified ETF portfolio.”

    The author could have avoided all the fuss with investing in various index funds by simply investing in a one stop balanced mutual fund like the globally diversified Mawer Balanced Fund which returned 11.8% (2011-06-30 to 2016-06-30) annually instead of the author’s stated 9%. MY DGI portfolio returned a little over 13% annualized over the same period but it’s much more hands-on than the indexed ETF approach.

    • bigcajunman August 6, 2016, 6:43 AM

      So you buy a fund whose top 10 holdings are MAWER funds (mimicking what you could do yourself) and it still charges a 0.97% MER for this? And then the “Index” funds some of them have 1.5% MERs (Mawer Global Small Cap A), so you have more fees to pay? Why not just do it yourself?

      • Bernie August 6, 2016, 1:49 PM


        Incorrect. The total wrap MER for the Mawer Balanced Fund is 0.97%. The fess of the individual Mawer funds held within the Balanced Fund are waived. It would be more expensive to do it yourself.

        Of course there are no guarantees that Mawer Balanced Fund will continue to outperform the equivalent global balanced index but I’d say the odds are pretty good. They’ve been on top 14 out of the past 16 years by an average of 2.6% per year (8.2% vs 5.6%).

        • bigcajunman August 6, 2016, 2:11 PM

          OK well that is a good one to know. As you pointed out whether it can keep up the gains remains to be seen. Interesting that they create one big fund, from a bunch of their own funds, even more interesting is that TD hasn’t thought to do the same with their E-series funds too.

        • Bernie August 6, 2016, 3:32 PM

          TD has done something along the same lines with their “Comfort” series. I don’t see them as very “comfortable” though as the fees are over twice as high as Mawer Balanced Fund and performance numbers are mediocre.

          FYI…I just compared Mawer Balanced Fund’s 10 year performance to a 60% equity (20% Cdn/20% US/20% Int’l) / 40% fixed income (Cdn Bond) mix of TD e series funds. Mawer beats 8 out of 10 individual years by an average of 2.0% annually (8.4% vs 6.4%). I was only able to get 10 years data for TD (via Morningstar). The blended MER for the e funds computes to 0.44% vs 0.94% for MAW104.

        • bigcajunman August 6, 2016, 5:25 PM

          More food for thought

  • Michael James August 5, 2016, 9:42 AM

    I’m not optimistic about more people talking about money before they get married. Pair bonding is not a process dominated by rationality. Thanks for the mention.

    • bigcajunman August 5, 2016, 10:18 AM

      Yeh, they will talk about pretty much everything else, but money for some reason is taboo?


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