Happy Canada Day, the land that everyone seems to want to emigrate to? When I hear someone say, “We are too highly taxed, I am going to Canada!”, I get a little worried (especially when that person is from the U.S.). Canada is the best place to live, unless you hate snow, black flies, higher taxes and gun control, then maybe it is not the place for you!

I am the son of immigrants, and I proudly remember my British and Welsh heritage on this day, but celebrate being a Canadian!

The Eternal Flame in Ottawa (not the Olympic flame)

The Eternal Flame in Ottawa

Seeing as it is Mid-Year, let us look at the year so far and the articles that you found the most interesting. As usual most of the most popular articles so far this year were written in previous years (I seem to get a lot of returning readers for some things), but let us just look at the newer stuff from this year

RESP Questrade Banner

  1. Tax Reflections for 2016 was the most popular new article so far, which is surprising, since it is a simple list of the things I noticed different in this tax year.
  2. I Just Don’t Like Saving was a commentary I heard from a co-worker that caused me to do a spit-take (i.e. I spat out my coffee), why not just say I don’t like living long?
  3. TFSA Transfer Fees outlined yet another slimey new fee from TD Mutual funds for transferring your TD Mutual Fund TFSA to another bank or investment firm.
  4. Tax Tips for Prize Winners was a guest post that sprung out of a mistaken comment I made about buying lottery tickets with points.
  5. Advice from a Rich Man shows my general mistrust of most financial advice, as I believe anyone who gives away advice, is simply trying to make money or get you to do something better for them.

You are thinking this is just a cheap rehash to try to get readers to look at old articles? I include Preet’s (who has found his razor, I am glad to say) latest for the folks at Tangerine, about Lines of Credit


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Brexit, Fete National, Enhanced CPP and #MoneyTalk

The UK has voted to leave the EU (Brexit) , which can only mean one thing, but I have no idea what that is. Brexit will mean a great deal of consternation and hang wringing on the markets and the talking heads on TV will go mad, but what will it change? I don’t know, but Brexit will change something (Brexit has caused Mr. Cameron to tender his resignation). I am old enough to remember the UK fighting to join the EEC, so needless to say, I am confused. I won’t be commenting on this much, other than from the son of British immigrants point of view.

For those of you who did not grow up in Quebec, today is La Fête Nationale or St. Jean Baptiste day, typically the start of the summer in Quebec. For me it was always the end of school, but that was 40 years ago. The rest of Canada waits for July 1st for the summer to really start (next Friday). Sort of ironic that on St. Jean Baptiste day the UK “separates” from the EU, just shows how unpredictable referendums can be.

Quebec Proud

Gens Du Pays, c’est à ton tour…

It seems the Canada Pension Plan is being revised to help Canadians retire. It seems to be to protect younger folks so more money is saved for their retirement, we will all pay higher premiums (phased in over the next little while), and the maximum payout will increase over time (but if you are already retired, you won’t benefit from this). I am still investigating, whether this will change much for someone like me who might retire within the next 5 to 8 years. I am searching for an actual Government document that explains the changes, nothing seems to exist yet. Is this a good thing? As usual, I will reserve commentary until I read an official document.

How will all of this change my retirement plans? I will comment when I can figure out how this new system works with my pension, but I suspect, at the end of it all, it won’t change my retirement plans much, but, I (55 year old) am not the demographic that these changes were put in place to help.

Will the Rio Olympics end up like the 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Games? There are many folks saying they will not be attending (or are being told they can’t attend), for many reasons. Is the Olympic movement still relevant? Yes, I think, however, the Olympic organization seems suspect.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, how much money does that mean to the City of Cleveland? It will certainly mean less jokes about Cleveland, well, maybe not. Is Lebron James better than Michael Jordan? Not in my opinion, and the Warriors team from this year is not better than the 95-96 Chicago Bulls, but, only my opinion.

My Writings for Week Ending June 24th

Another slack week for me, only writing one article, but to me, an important article, that needed to be written. RDSP the Savings Plan Nobody Knows About, came from a discussion I had with another parent about the Registered Disability Savings Plan, and how the people who seem to know the most about the program, are those who are trying to use it (not the folks who offer it, like the banks).

A Money Thought

People get very offended when you tell them how to raise their child, unless you wrote a book about it. Then they’ll pay you for it.  -ShowerThoughts Reddit

The same is true for Personal Finance.

If you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t be able to spend it, as no one else would use currency.  -More Shower Thoughts on Reddit

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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Fathers Day, Trump Housing Bubble, and #MoneyTalk

Hope you realize that Sunday is Father’s Day, formerly, the year when the most collect (i.e. reversed charges) phone calls happened (I bet there are folks who are going to have to Google what that means). As I have said, all Dad’s want is to know you are OK. As long as your Mother knows everything, Dad just wants to know you are OK.

Stats Canada published a neat survey about the Diversity of young adults living with their parents (speaking of Father’s Day), which highlights the number of young folk still living with their parents. The telling statistic that I read in the report was:

Of the 4.3 million young adults aged 20 to 29 in 2011, 42% (or 1.8 million) lived with their parents. This compared with 27% in 1981.

That is a lot of folks still living at home. Some financial folks are saying it is a symptom of the problems with the housing bubbles in major cities, I don’t think I agree. I have stated before that young folk should not aspire to live at their parents’ lifestyle when they first move away from home, but that seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Given the rhetoric coming out of the United States about whether Mr. Trump gets elected, remember that Canada welcomes everyone (however leave your guns down south). My guess is that this could be like the Draft Dodgers that moved to Toronto in the mid-60’s, and help the Canadian economy greatly. I guess another interesting question is if there was a sudden influx of “Yankee Dollars” would this cause even more inflation of the housing bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver (likely places for our American cousins to move)? A ludicrously over-priced condo in Toronto might seem cheap, if you got a 25% discount due to a low Canadian Dollar.

My Writings for Week Ending June 17th

Not much writing this week, busy time of the year, and after watching the Last Week Tonight Video, I am starting to wonder why I write.

Stealing an idea from Mr. Oliver, I wrote No Good News Has Been Delivered Using Excel, now don’t take this as me dumping on Excel, it is an exceptional tool, which anybody doing anything financial should be proficient in using the tool. My commentary is based on the fact that if someone sends you an Excel spreadsheet, the news in it cannot be made to look good.

Video of the Week

Normally I include a video at the end of this article, but John Oliver has (in 20 minutes) summed up pretty much everything I have ranted about for the past 11 years, so have a watch of this, but keep reading my stuff too

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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This week in Ottawa, a very large sinkhole opened on Rideau Street, and there were conflicting stories about whether it was a new Gateway to Hell, or whether it was simply the exposure of an existing personal gateway to hell. Either way, it just goes to show that in the Nation’s Capital when we make a hole, we really make a hole.

Ottawa Sinkhole

Ottawa SinkHole

I was downtown on Thursday for meetings, and while the downtown is a bit of a mess, all I could think was that I wished I was either in the Concrete, or Concrete Delivery business, as the entire downtown seems to be littered with Cement Delivery trucks (to fill the hole). Ottawa does seem to be prone to sinkholes, as we have had more than our share over the past while.

The Bank of Canada thinks the economy is unchanged, as it announced the Financial System Review this week, however, three risks were noted:

The Bank continues to highlight two vulnerabilities related to Canadian households: the elevated level of household indebtedness and imbalances in some regional housing markets. A third vulnerability identified is the fragility of fixed-income market liquidity.

This translates to continued big debt and ludicrous house prices in Vancouver and Toronto (and a few other places) are worrying the Bank. A major financial event (say like a recession) might cause some big issues in the current economy.

My Writings for Week Ending June 10th

I have written about how I am an attractive bag of medical conditions, but after my latest yearly check up I came up with the question What Would You Pay $213.52 For ? For me it was simple, I really, really don’t want to get shingles, so I would pay for the vaccine myself if I had to.

I must write a thank you note to TD for continuing to motivate me to write about my issues with them, and so another fine rant was written, Automatic Withdrawal Audits. I still await the results of the problem ticket I opened with TD Mutual Funds.

A Money Thought

“Never buy anything from someone who is out of breath.”

–BURTON G. MALKIEL

Surprisingly, that makes good sense!

More Disturbing Financial Images

Monopoly Rule 11

Same is True of Bank of Canada Too?!?

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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CRA Itunes Pmts, RESP Scams and #MoneyTalk

I am disturbed to read about a new scam being perpetrated by scum bags, who call unsuspecting folks and claiming that that the victims owe a great deal to the CRA and it must be paid right now. The scam is quite unbelievable if you hear it, but it has caught a few folks already. The CRA has a page for this specific type of scam, so please check this CRA Scams Web Site (by the CRA) and learn how to recognize this kind of scummy behavior. The CRA are nice folk, but they are a government agency, they have very specific rules of conduct with the public, they can’t directly harass on the phone (I don’t think). Some simple hints that this is a scam:

CRA Scams

Protect Yourself

  • Very aggressive behavior, and demanding payment within the next hour. This is a government agency, nothing happens in an hour (OK, most things never happen in an hour).
  • If they ask for a Credit Card Number, or for you to “Cable” money, the CRA doesn’t do that (and they sure as hell do not do Itunes cards).
  • Tell you that you cannot tell any 3rd parties or the like, that is the flaming red arrow that should cause you to hang up your phone.

Please, don’t be fooled, or duped.

Staying with scumbags, evidently there were folks in Toronto that were contacting new Parents to try to sell them RESPs. Evidently Rouge Valley Health System had their patient personal info stolen, and this is where these folks got the info to contact the new mothers. Don’t buy stuff over the phone, if you didn’t ask for it in the first place.

Farewell to Canada AM which goes off the air today, after 43 years. The morning show format seems to be dying off, but I haven’t really watched Canada AM for a while (sorry guys).

Will Tragically Hip farewell tour tickets become the next Tulip Bubble for Canada?

My Writings for Week Ending June 3rd

A busy week for me at home, so only one new post put in place for the week.

Bad Financial Planners Can Help points out that even if you start with a very bad financial plan, if you review it, revise it and keep it up to date, you might end up with a very good plan. Remember any plan is a living thing, and will need to change with time.

A Money Thought

This hour has 22 minutes still continues to be funny, however in this instance, I fail to see the humor of this (as a parent who has already talked about moving back in with your parents).

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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