Ladies on Panels, Good Friday, Friendly Skies, Loose Money and #MoneyTalk

I mentioned last week that Kerry at Squawkfox was showing more moxy and chutzpah, but she is taking it to another level, which I am enjoying. The Globe Investor is having a panel which is less than diverse. The attempt at diversity was including our friend Preet B., but there were no women on the panel. Kerry has adopted the Binders full of Women statement as her own. This binder has a list of Fantastic Female Financial Folk (sorry it is playoff time, and I start writing like Danny Gallivan), that would be perfect for any financial symposium. I offer my absolute support to this endeavor.

The Lamb a Symbol of Easter and Renewal

I am publishing my Best Of on Thursday this week, in deference to Good Friday. Good Friday is a pivotal day in Christianity, but it is a confusing day for many folks. Why is it called Good Friday? A man is whipped, crucified and you call it Good Friday? As usual there are different interpretations of why it is “Good”, but the interpretation that Good means ” … a day on which religious observance is held …” seems to fit. In romance languages it is actually Holy Friday (which does fit a bit better in the narrative).

Good Friday, if you wish to ignore the religious aspect, could be an excellent financial thematic premise. Good Friday can be the end of your bad financial world, and Easter Sunday can be the start of a better financial environment. Easter is a time of renewal and new beginnings (not just chocolate and new clothes).

I believe United Airlines use to have the phrase “Fly the Friendly Skies” as their motto. It does seem a rather ironic phrase, given the abysmal customer treatment this week. I have been bumped from flights on occasion, but haven’t been pulled off by the police (yet). As a lover of social stupidity, I just wonder whoever decided to send the police into the plane was thinking at the time. That is Customer Service with a capital K.

Why do airlines overbook? Every empty seat on an airplane is lost revenue, so overbooking has been going on for a very long time. People having multiple bookings, or not showing up for their reservation is the public reason quoted by airlines, but it all comes down to money. If everyone showed up on time to all flights, overbooking would stop tomorrow, but that is not likely to happen. Am I saying, “money is the root of all evil”? No, but I am saying, money is the cause of a lot of really lousy decisions.

Loose money might be the fuse of a big economic bomb, but the Bank of Canada is keeping interest rates low for now. The media release has the following statement about why money is still loose:

CPI inflation is now at the 2 per cent target, largely because of the transitory effects of higher oil prices and carbon pricing measures in two provinces, as well as other temporary factors. The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, on the other hand, have been drifting down in recent quarters and wage growth remains subdued, consistent with material excess capacity in the economy. CPI inflation is expected to dip in the months ahead, as the temporary factors unwind, and then return to 2 per cent later in the projection horizon as the output gap closes.

People keep buying million dollar homes assuming low-interest rates isn’t a ticking time bomb? I might be wrong, but I do hear ticking.

My Writings for Week Ending April 14th

I didn’t write anything this week, again. Life gets busy sometimes, and given I have a backlog of 272 titles  that need to be finished, I should be putting out more content, yet I am not. I do put the pro in procrastination sometimes. I guess spring financial cleaning might be extended to financial writing as well?

A Money Thought

A lovely bit of cynicism from me this week, and if you can find a Trojan, drop me a line.

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Tax Time, Housing Bubbles, Financial Easter and #MoneyTalk

There are folks out there who do not realize it is Tax Time? Yes, it is that time of the year again, so just get it done. I already have my refund, why don’t you have yours?

Where the Hogs End Up

Are you assuming that you can claim all of your dependants? Not if your dependant is called Fluffy or Rover. Get all the tax credits you are due, but make sure you are not gilding the lily on things either.

The bubble is starting in Ottawa, where housing prices are starting to pick up. There is talk of bidding wars and very quick sales, which is interesting to most, but I am not going anywhere. The biggest issue for me is where would I end up living if I sold the Big Cajun Hacienda? I suppose I could live down by the river in a van, but that is starting to get crowded too. There continues to be stories of Toronto Landlords raising rents, but they may end up killing the goose that lays the gold eggs. Doubling rents are only inviting the Provincial and Local Governments to bring in tighter rent controls.

Remember the important financial credo to live by:

Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered

Kind of a special Easter message, for those landlords trying to make it big.

Easter is coming folks, next week the week leading up to the big weekend. Another good time to start rethinking any financial plans you might have.

My Writings for Week Ending April 7th

I didn’t write anything this week, but I continue to clean up a lot of my older writing, and republishing them on social media. You should really be following me on Twitter, I am told I am a delight to read. I also tweet under my own name if you are curious as well (much more raw and rude commentary on life, technology, sports and my own odd humor). What kind of tweets might you see?

A Money Thought

Kerry is getting a little more out spoken in her tweets, but I am liking this side of her. She is showing a lot more moxy and some chutzpah too.

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April Fools, High on Life and #MoneyTalk

Tomorrow is April Fools Day, where there is usually hilarious fake news stories posted to amuse folks. Unfortunately 2017 seems to be a Fools Year, so I won’t be indulging too much in April Fools this year. Maybe they should just rename April 1st fake news first?

The True Canadian Chip

I suppose I could make some joke about the exploding house bubble causing folks to buy old shacks for over a million dollars, but who would believe that ?

Given the ho hum budget last week, the government seemed to want to end the first quarter of 2017 on a high note. Evidently they will be pushing forward with their marijuana legalization program. They are very high on this program, and hope it stops them from being stoned in the polls. Maybe this spring the grass will be greener on the other side of the bong? Let’s hope for some high times in the Canadian economy. Suddenly I want to eat a bag of all dressed chips.

You now have a month until your tax return is due, might be time to start thinking about doing something about it? The CRA is making it as easy as possible with their auto-fill capabilities too. Get the government to give it back.

My Writings for Week Ending March 31st

I went back and had a closer look at a specific part of the budget, and hoped I could encourage more folks to do their DTC (Disability Tax Credit) application themselves. I point out in DTC Change For The Better, that allowing Nurse Practitioners fill in the T2201 forms from the CRA is a step in the right direction, maybe now the government could try to make the process a little easier for folks?

A Money Thought

Mostly a money thought, since I tend to say that most of my great money decisions had a degree of blind luck involved in them (or having a horseshoe up my bum), but read Kerry’s opinion of those statements.

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Ho Hum Budget, Brackets Busted and #MoneyTalk

A very ho hum budget from our government this time with a few more tax “tweaks”  (where tweak always ends up acting like a tax increase, due to the loss of yet another deduction). The big ones for someone like me end up being:

ho hum budget

Ho Hum Indeed

Image courtesy of Ambro at

  • Disappearance of the Mass Transit usage tax deduction. Evidently it didn’t cause more folks to take the bus? Guess I can throw out my “bus pants”. I have taken the bus in the past.
  • If I take an Uber, I will have to pay HST on it. It was surprising to me,  that was not the case, no big deal in my book, I take the bus, no wait…
  • I was sad to read about the death of Canada Savings Bonds. I remember when I had CSB’s that paid 19% a year! Those were the days.
  • For RDSP and RESP the rules for what you can invest in, have been tightened. The interesting part is that it is in the section, “Closing Tax Loopholes”? Doesn’t really change anything in my portfolios, but it is sad when loopholes close (usually they make knots then). Nice to hear that they at least know the RDSP exists.

    Extend to Registered Education Savings Plans and Registered Disability Savings Plans anti-avoidance rules similar to the ones applicable in connection with Tax-Free Savings Accounts and Registered Retirement Savings Plans.

  • For Disability Tax Credit (DTC) Eligibility Certification, Nurse Practitioners are proposed to be added to the list of folks eligible to fill in the forms for you. This is really good news, and should make it easier to do the DTC paperwork yourself.
  • Booze and Smokes are more expensive thanks to higher taxes too.
  • Lots of promises for other folks, but nothing else that changes my life.

The good news is that the Capital Gains taxes and Pension Income Splitting haven’t been touched.

March Madness continues this weekend, and Formula 1 racing begins again as well. Yes that audible sigh you hear is Mrs. C8j realizing I will be a true Couch Potato this weekend. March Madness bracket picking is similar to stock picking in my books (i.e. I stink at both of them).

My Writings for Week Ending March 24th

Spring, sprang here in Ottawa, there is still snow on the ground and we had -25C temperatures, but it was Spring! I also wrote about Spring Financial Cleaning (revisited), and some of the things to do this spring.

A Money Thought

More disturbing comics from Dilbert, especially about investing.

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Naughty Banks, March Madness, Big Snow and #MoneyTalk

The CBC is flogging the “Banks are mean” story line, which has been true, but I guess they think it is a new thing. They had a great discussion on the National (see video at the bottom of this page), with Kerry and Bruce Sellery discussing how the bank is not your friend. I have pounded this point home many times, so I am glad to hear others saying this. Your bank is a business, and as a shareholder, a profitable business too. The banks need to keep finding new income streams, and you are that! All you are to your bank is an attractive income stream (and that is it).

Naughty Banks

V is not for Victory ?

Keep those thoughts in mind the next time you think your bank is helping you out, by allowing you to have a new service. The only reason they let you have it, was to make them money.

March Madness has begun, I am cheering for Deep State to take the whole thing. Curious stat I found that this time of year is when the most vasectomies occur (and around time for the Masters), so the patient can “recover” at home and watch the games in peace and quiet. Seems a little extreme just to have the family leave you alone, but, to each his own. One day I will write about my two vasectomies. Might this be March Vasness ?

Have I mentioned how much I dislike finding snakes in my car? As Bugs Bunny said, “Good Bye Florida!”.

It snowed, in Ottawa, too much. That is all.

Snow in Ottawa

It Snowed, Again

My Writings for Week Ending March 17th

I took a week off, given it is March Break. Stay tuned we will be celebrating my 12th year of being the “Cranky old man of Personal Finance”, next week!

A Money Thought

Stan Buell has the correct view on the whole, “The Banks are out to get us” statement.

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