I was tickled pink to see that my favorite party has returned for this election, the Rhinoceros Party. This is the party who had a plank in their platform about damming the St. Lawrence River for Hydro Electric power and in Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s riding, ran another candidate with the name Pierre Trudeau (I got to vote in that election in that very riding). Their first plank for this election in their platform? Nationalize Tim Horton’s! Glad to see the return to common sense politics.

I was glad to see Steadyhand come out with the commentary Good Debt, Bad Debt which points out the alarming rise in Canadian debt. Tom Bradley’s commentaries about the Banks encouraging an already heavily in debt society that there is a concept of “Good Debt” distresses him, and I agree. With low interest rates about to go away, what is going to happen when the rates go up? Thanks to reader @Gene2u for pointing this out, very good article.

The rest of the parties seem very excited about the Mike Duffy trial, except for Mr. Harper who hopes we aren’t watching it. We’ve lost 1 or 2 candidates thanks to unfortunate tweets in their past (guess I’ll never be running for public office) as well, that is about all that has been going on in the election.

Gas prices continue to drop, which is bound to screw up the CPI for the coming months, but with oil sitting at below $40 a barrel, it is about time that gas prices dropped. Is this doing any good for Canada? Depends on where you live, if you live in Alberta, NO!

Did you realize there are 77 Expiration Dates that you Should Track? Time Magazine has an interesting list for you.

Symantec CA

My Writings for Week Ending August 21st

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

Change your bank

Keep this in mind if you want to change your Bank

Kobo Canada


I am also mentioned in this fun article too:


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Disability Tax Credit

The Disability Tax Credit Can Help Parents (Photo from Brighter Life.ca)

There was an excellent article on Disability Tax Credits for disabled children and how to apply for it (on the Brighter Life web site) done by Sheryl Smolkin, that I most heartily suggest you go read. This article and “interview” with me was what caused me to write RDSP Questions and Answers, but as usual Ms. Smolkin did a much better job on the subject, go and have a read to understand the intricacies that folks with children with disabilities must go through to get help from the CRA (getting help from other places is even more exciting). I’d like to thank Ms. Smolkin for interviewing me.

There has been a couple of interesting articles talking about frugal NFL players that are living within their means, which is a heartening topic to read about.  The St. Louis Rams evidently have a program for rookies about how to be Money Wise, but John Urschel (a noted mathematician as well) who is an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, has a roommate and drives a very frugal car. Urschel really is a mathematician he has published a few papers, which is a few more than I have (and I claim to be a Mathematician as well). Another player Ryan Broyles (a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions) is also living a frugal life, because he is aware of just how short his career might be. How short can your career be? Ask the kicker for the Steelers who tore his ACL during the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night.  My plan for Fantasy Football this year is to have Watson be my Fantasy Football Coach. Did you know that Zdeno Chara of the NHL has a financial planning certificate from Algonquin College? Not all players will squander their fortunes (but unfortunately far too many do).

We learned more about the new Ontario Pension Plan this week as well, which is exciting. The Fraser Institute had some helpful hints for the Ontario Liberals (not sure they want their help) about how best to start this new Retirement scheme.

The only excitement this week in the Federal Election is the Duffy trial and seeing if there is any new fodder for the oppositions’ cannons. Good to see Mr. Duffy back on the public payroll during this trying time in his life. The biggest excitement economically was the Chinese government’s enforced devaluation of the Yuan and it’s impact on Canada’s economy (ouch), the fragile commodity reliant Canadian Economy takes another hit.

Symantec CA

My Writings for Week Ending August 14th

Another very lazy week for me in terms of writing, but that was mostly due to being busy doing other things. It is nice to be busy with life sometimes, but I should be back to a more regular schedule in September (I hope). I am attending CFPC (which LSM Insurance is giving tickets away for) so that may really reinvigorate my writing :

  • The only new writing I did this week was pointing out that there were 6600 more jobs in Canada (from June to July) and whether anyone on the election trail will use that as fodder for discussions.
  • The continued Financial Blogger advice for young folks in debt, to move back in with their parents to “… save money…” caused me to erupt on twitter and to also bring back one of my favorite acronyms in this area K.I.P.P.E.R.S. , read it and understand why a 54 year old father of 4 might get twitchy with that kind of advice.
  • I do remember an N.C.F.B.A. that Rob Carrick attended where he erupted with a great line that I had to use as the title to an article Atrociously Dangerous Investment Advice.
  • I still haven’t heard really from my query, Dear Market Gurus: How do I get 7% Growth? Not sure if I ever will.

Kobo Canada


Poor Krystal didn’t know that she hit a nerve with me:


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The Canadian Economy keeps taking it in the teeth these days, in terms of its over-reliance on commodities and the cheaper prices on Oil and now on Gold (Au). Gold now sits at a 5 year low in terms of its price, and it is making it less attractive to mine gold, thus making jobs in mining scarce, to go along with the problems already seen in the oil patches. The lower Canadian dollar will make manufacturing jobs in Canada look more attractive, but we shall see whether that part of the economy awakes from it’s 9 year slumber. The Canadian NHL teams are going to have issues with their revenues as well (given they must pay their players in US $).

Seems like maybe we should have thought about this when the Canadian Dollar was strong, and Oil was over $100 a barrel? Just saying.

Speaking of Oil prices, glad to see gas prices aren’t dropping quickly, even with oil under $60 a barrel, but the price of gasoline has nothing to do with the price of oil, does it?

A sad farewell to Jon Stewart at the Daily Show, many a great quip has come from that show and its writers, we shall see whether it can whether Mr. Stewart’s departure.

The first “leaders” debate transpired last night, but my guess is, it wasn’t nearly as interesting as any debate that might include the “Master of Disaster” Donald Trump. He makes politics interesting again (or at least as interesting as UFC to watch). This week in the election we have had wagged fingers for the Tories and NDP calling Justin Trudeau by his first name (nice hair though), Mr. Harper promising that one day he might, if the budget is balanced, and oil goes back up in price, think about possibly bringing back the home renovation credit, and Mr. Mulcair mostly chuckling in the background, realizing he doesn’t have to open his mouth and he could win a majority. The Green party is doing something, and the Bloc has decided to run a stealth campaign of their own, maybe we’ll look back in on this lot in September?

Symantec CA

My Writings for Week Ending August 7th

Well, I didn’t really write much this week, thanks to vacations and studying for my French Exams), but I did go through my archives and found some of my favorites from the past :

Singing Horses ?

Maybe Those Horses Might Sing ?

  • A great financial understatement is really me commenting on my own dry commentary on the stock market implosion of 2008. Those were bad times, but thanks to that I managed to make some great investments? Yes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that is how things work sometimes.
  • Advice: Best Financial Advice Ever Given, is one of my favorite money related parable/joke that my Father told me, and this interesting icon on the right came from that exact same post as well.
  • To give you an orthogonal response to the previous post, The Worst Financial Advice Ever Given, is me making a big mistake with a friend (and one of the reasons I don’t give out advice, except to my kids).

Kobo Canada


People call Ottawa the city where fun went to die, I think I disagree, it is the city where
fidelity went to die:


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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?

Symantec CA

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.

Kobo Canada


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


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Diving Loonie

The Dive of the Loonie in January

Welcome back the Family Allowance, as the Tories change the UCCB to become a taxable benefit, and we return to the happy world of the Family Allowance cheque (which at the end of the program was given and then clawed back if you made enough money). Interesting that the new UCCB pays out now, but a lot of folks who don’t realize it is a taxable income source, won’t figure it out until after the election? I know, the Liberals & NDP (and me) will be pointing that out long before the election.

Now there is talk of a real deficit this year (not a big one, but no balanced budget to go into the election with either). What with all the talk of recession (check out the CBC’s panel at the end of this and their views on this) and it looks like the economy may be a liability for the Tories, instead of a rallying point for voters.

Thanks to the drop in Interest rate drops last week, the Canadian Dollar is at an 11 year low, and doesn’t really show any sign of dropping either (so if you were planning a fun trip to the USA, it is going to cost you some more). For our American friends, come on up, everything is now much cheaper than it was last year.

Bell is now being forced to share their high-speed internet home connections? I applaud the CRTC for helping make sure there is competition for home high-speed internet access.


My Writings for Week Ending July 24th

Glad to see I am living in “sin city” in terms of Ashley Madison subscriptions :

Kobo Canada


I am still on this fine list from LSM Insurance:


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