Top Canadian Personal Financial Posts of 2015

Yes, it is that wonderful lazy wonderful time of the year when I can sit back and rely on statistics to write a few posts about what were the most visited, most discussed and overall top 5 articles that I have written over the past little while. This year, I have written less, however, I was hoping for a better quality of posts. I am not sure if I have succeeded, but due to the fact that I do have a day job, it was hard to keep up more than 3 posts a week (remember the good old days when I did 6 posts a week? Holy Cow).

My Top 3 Viewed Articles Written in 2015

I will break this up into a couple of groupings, first let us look at articles I wrote this year:

I actually invest heavily in the TD E-series Index Funds, but I did find an issue if you put them in a TD Mutual Fund account (which my kids’ RESPs were set up in). Over 2000 reads of this one.

TD E-Series RESP Beartrap

As usual debt seems to be a very popular topic with folks, and this one included a picture of the Road Runner, so it must have been a good one. Over 3000 reads, nice one.

Symptoms Your Debt Load is Getting Out of Control

This article was very highly read, but it is interesting that the company in question, has since got out of the RESP business, or at least don’t talk about it on their web site, they are only in the insurance business. Over 3600 total reads, not bad.

RESPs are too Hard for Mommies

All Time Top 3 Articles

It is good to see that some of my older articles are getting a lot of interest, but it does make me wonder if maybe I am not writing the right topics? Maybe something to look into some time in the new year. The other interesting point is these 3 posts have the most comments this year as well.

My review of Quicken 2015 (the Canadian edition) has brought a lot of folks over to read it, I have asked for another copy to review, but have not heard back yet about that. I may end up buying my own copy, but then I may be a little less kind in my commentary too (maybe the word blunt is the word I am looking for). Almost 5000 page views.

Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition

If you feel like you are being ripped off or not getting the best deal, A Script for Customer Retention, is a favorite, and given I have just ditched Rogers, useful for me as well. About 9000 page views this year.

A Script for Customer Retention Deals

I am very glad to see that my number one specific article viewed is one I wanted to help folks with, and CRA Child Disability (How To) is one I hope has helped a lot of folks get their child disability certificate from the CRA. The other nice thing about this one is the comment section has become a help forum as well, which is good.

CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To)

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The world changes today, with the full release of the 7th chapter of the ongoing Star Wars Saga (at least that is what the Media Hype Machine might have you believe). I am old enough to remember going to the Snowden cinema in Montreal to watch the original release (chapter 4) in the 70’s. I like the movies, but I am just not that psyched to want to go to the movie just yet. I’ll wait until January after I have heard all the spoilers on line. There is a very festive Star Wars clip at the end of this post too.

Jaba the Hut

Jaba, your cholesterol looks high too!

Have you finished your Christmas shopping frenzy? I am sure I have not, but that is part of the holiday season for me (the Christmas week panic).

Interesting to see that Shaw Communications has bought Wind Mobile (or is proposing to do so), which could mean more competition in the mobile phone industry, which is never a bad thing (in my opinion). Shaw says they won’t be changing Wind’s low-cost plans, and that would be a very good thing, especially if they improve the coverage map, but that remains to be seen.

Scheduling note:
since next Friday is the big day, don’t expect to see anything from me, other than my typical Christmas Address, but there will be my traditional end of year festivities.

My Writings for Week Ending December 18th

Our tree is up, but there are still far too many things to do before the big day:

I think I may have misunderstood the message on this one on TFSA Transfers :

TFSA Transfer? Now is the Time ?

The spirit of Dickens’ Christmas Carol got to me with Financial Hauntings

Financial Hauntings

On the sister site there was a new security update as well.

The Edge of the Network is Where Security is Most Fragile

Facebook Post of the Week

I posted on my regular feed an old article that Larry MacDonald did in 2008 with me as the subject and now everyone at work is asking me about investing questions? Larry is writing a follow-up in the Globe.


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Advent, TFSA Drops, Negative Interest and #MoneyStories

Advent continues on, and hopefully you are getting all your festive duties completed with not too much stress and strain. Remember Advent is the time of preparation in your holiday calendar. Just remember you can still get gift cards at any gas station (that is open) on Christmas Day (helpful present gift of the week).

Gift Cards, Cash

Where Great Gift Ideas Go to DIE!

The Liberals continue to do as they promised, and have announced that the TFSA limit for 2016 will be $5500. Will this cause all those rich folks to charge out and deposit $10000 in their TFSA? Not really sure but it might happen. The alleged middle class tax cut will be implemented as well, which will save you about $600 or so, unless you make more than $200000 in which case, the new tax measures are gonna hurt. I have asked the CRA whether the Family Income Splitting Tax Break is now off the table (i.e. cancelled), but haven’t heard back yet. Will the new trumped-up (pardon the pun) Nanny-gate take the shine off the Dauphin? We shall see.

There is a chance that Canada might actually have a negative interest rate from the Central Bank? The Governor of the Bank of Canada said it is not very likely, however it is not completely off the table either. What would a negative interest rate be used for? To stimulate spending, since keeping your money in a bank would cause it to decrease, but isn’t that kind of what is happening with bank accounts with 0.01% interest and $20.00 month bank fees? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. We do seem fixated on stimulating our economy.

My Writings for Week Ending December 11th

Our tree is not up yet, but I did do some writing this week:

Less jobs and more people looking for work in November

Unemployment Up in November

Isn’t redundancy a bad thing ?

Financial Redundancy

Some fun Christmas stuff from the past

Christmas Quickies

Facebook Post of the Week

Friend of this site, Kerry from Squawkfox was on the television last week talking about managing kids’ expectations at Christmas. Does this mean she is giving me a lump of coal this year?


Tweet of the Week

It was very nice of the CRA to answer my tweet and now we have confirmation that the CRA does have an RN on call to help out with the T2201 forms (learned that from a commentator ):


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The Ontario Auditor General’s report for 2015 pointed out what seems obvious, Hydro One and the Ontario Government have been mishandling the power grid and have overcharged Ontarians for their electric bills. The report is scathing in its commentary on Hydro One’s mismanagement of the power grid, and the McGinty Government increase of our hydro bills. It is well worth reading, but will it change anything, I doubt it. The Premier is already “Plan B”‘ing the whole thing by blaming it all on the previous Liberal Government?

There is also a section about Autism Support programs, called Autism Services and Supports for Children, an important read for anyone who has a child on the autism spectrum. The Audtor General states:

In 2014/15, transfer payments for autism services and supports totalled $188 million ($182 million in 2012/13).

The Bank of Canada continued on with its loose monetary policies, with no change in the key interest rates.

The Bank judges that the risks around the inflation profile remain roughly balanced over the projection horizon. Vulnerabilities in the household sector continue to edge higher while overall risks to financial stability are evolving as expected. Taking all of these developments into consideration, the Bank judges that the risks to the outlook for inflation remain within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate. Therefore, the target for the overnight rate remains at 1/2 per cent.

I think they are saying they are too scared to raise interest rates, for fear of breaking the economy?

Our friends at Stats Canada also put out a very interesting set of data in their bulletin, Developmental disabilities among Canadians aged 15 years and older, 2012 which made the following worrisome statement:

The employment rate of working-age adults aged 15 to 64 with a developmental disability was 22.3%, less than one-third of the rate for people without a disability (73.6%), and the lowest employment rate of any disability type. Even when employed, this group had a lower median employment income compared with those who did not report any disability. Those with a developmental disability were more likely than those without any disability to rely on government transfers as their major source of income (71.9% versus 18.7%).

For those of us with loved one who have been identified with developmental disabilities, that is quite scary (the 22.3% employment rate).

Advent is here, that means you can officially put up your Christmas decorations, and such.

My Writings for Week Ending December 4th

Not as much writing as last week, but still some interesting ones:

  • Up Selling in Banking came about after Mrs. C8j was accosted by a TD Teller about how our financial planning might need help.
  • The concept of the Financial Long Shot came to me after reading an interesting article on Chico Marx, and how while some folks have gambling issues, others are addicted to taking risks, and this is a bad thing financially.
  • From my archives, for those of you who are unaware I loath article with numbered lists and thus I wrote the Top 5 Reasons You Are In Debt. For someone who dislikes this type of article, I sure do write a lot of these lists.

Facebook Post of the Week

What is Preet doing above the fold line on my Friday post? This isn’t how it works, but Preet wants to help you understand the CCB


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Black Friday is here with alleged savings as far as you can see, even in Canada? The claim is that even in Canada there will be amazing Black Friday sales? What happens if you don’t really want to buy anything? The entire Black Friday thing is getting out of control, and seems to be an excuse to entice folks to spend more darn money, whether they need to, or not! Just how many deluxe, left-handed, artisan cheese straighteners do you need?

Santa at Home Depot

The Spirits of Xmas: Santa 75% off with a Monkey in a Palm Tree

Don’t spend all your hard-earned cash on Friday either, because there are the Cyber Monday sales that will be astounding and eye-popping? Again, if you really have no reason to buy anything, or don’t need anything, why would you care?

I would like to propose a new day after American Thanksgiving and we should call it Regretful Tuesday, where folks look back on the orgy of spending and eating they have done, and they suddenly get a bad case of guilt? My guess is that is precisely what does happen.

For those watching the Ontario Legislature, Rowan’s Law has been introduced and should be passed soon. There is a petition for this law, it should be interesting to see how this changes children’s competitive sports and coaching.

Ottawa’s football team is in the Grey Cup for the first time since before I moved here. It truly will be a RedBlackGrey Cup. Go RedBlackRenegadeRoughRiders!

My Writings for Week Ending November 27th

It was a buys week, as I got out 3 posts this week. It is not quite like my prodigious hay days when I used to pump out 5 posts a week, but better than usual:

  • Canadians Paid Even More For Food in October (4.1%) and things are not looking like they are getting any better in terms of Canadians trying to keep their families fed. Thanks to cheap gas (which we can’t drink) we continue to have a skewed view of inflation.
  • We were very happy to get the Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit letter in the mail, as it was in our favor in terms of tax considerations for my son’s disability. Mrs. C8j did a great job, so we can continue saving for my son’s future.
  • What the Hustler Taught Me About Banking is another one of my ideas that has been percolating for a while, in my archives of unfinished work. Given the reaction in terms of comments, other folks liked the idea too.

Facebook Post of the Week

What is the difference between a concussion and a simple bump on the head? The National Post takes a run at that question


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