Playoffs, Tax Time, Beer tax and #BestMoneyStories

The Hockey playoffs have begun and the NBA playoffs begin tomorrow, and there is an F1 race this weekend as well, sounds like a good weekend to me. Will the Sens be able to come back from their first game defeat? Who knows, but it will be fun to watch, no matter what.


Springtime in Ottawa

April 30th is not that far away, have you got your taxes in yet? I have my refund already, but I must remember to sign up for direct deposit, as we also remember that Government Cheques are going away. Do a good job on your taxes, make sure you get all the deductions and credits you are allowed, and then, go to your employer and fill in a T1213 form (if you can use those credits in the coming year), so that you get paid the maximum you can, and stop loaning money to the government.

More interesting revelations coming out of the Duffy Trial this week (speaking of Senators), alleged contract shuffling and alleged payments offered to volunteers? Goodness the wacky things that go on in Ottawa. Where do I sign up for one of those paid volunteer jobs?

In Ontario, we will finally be able to buy beer in grocery stores, but for the right to do this, there will also be a new Beer Tax ? Ontario the good strikes again, and only 450 stores will get “permits” to sell beer? And a new tax on beer? Ms. Wynne allow me to add my voice to the folks asking #WTF? Remember there is a new budget coming on April 23rd too (Ontario Provincial that is).

Spring has sprung in Ottawa, and it is about bloody time!

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My Writings for Week Ending April 17th

Spring has sprung in Ottawa, and we even have crocii sprouting in the gardens, a nice change from February:

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Senators, Retiring Rich and #BestMoneyStories

Yes, Mark at My Own Advisor is in 7th Hockey Heaven, and most of the City of Ottawa is celebrating about the Senators improbable playoff run. They lose their two best goalies, bring up a guy who was not very good in the AHL (and allegedly was thinking of retiring) and they now are in the middle of a very exciting playoff fight. Will they succeed? Hey, I can’t predict stocks to buy, why would I be able to prognosticate hockey games? I will watch closely though.

Ottawa is also agog about another Senator, the Patrick Duffy trial continues on with more defecating elephants (figuratively speaking) than Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. This is going to get ugly in terms of mud-slinging, and the interesting part for me is that Mr. Duffy will start receiving his salary as a Senator again (if he isn’t somehow unseated) the day after the Federal Election is called. I think your best financial plan for retirement, is to become a Senator.

Congrats to the Duke Blue Devils on winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, excellent game, well worth watching. A brick bat to Bo Ryan Coach of Wisconsin for complaining about the officiating and “one and out” players, no place for that kind of talk coach, you are training men about life.

Seems we will have a deficit-free budget this year, but how this was all balanced is another more interesting story.

Retire Rich 2015 happened on Wednesday, and it was fun to watch the Twitter feeds from there with some of the more helpful statements included, naturally, I jumped in with my own helpful hints as well. Note that Preet’s theory of a perfect financial life is the same design that Lotus F1 cars were designed with (cross the finish line, win the race and then fall to pieces).

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My Writings for Week Ending April 10th

Wonder if McDonald’s will resurrect the Hamburgler character in their ads? Didn’t have a “best of” last week so let’s review a bunch of older stuff from me:

  • Having a little too much fun with my daughter’s Student Line of Credit, which isn’t really set up quite right, do these banks know who I am, and want me to write about them?
  • Had a little April Fools fun, which coincided with a lovely N.C.F.B.A. dinner out with Active Investors Fight Back, didn’t happen, but Preet is getting quite vocal on social media about things.
  • It was World Autism Awareness day on April 2nd, or as we call it around the C8j house, Thursday (it is also one of my daughter’s birthday).
  • Given I have an iPad, I find the lack of iPad Compatible Banking Apps to be quite annoying (some banks have them, while others rely on their iPhone app, which is not really the same).
  • I did learn something on the weekend about Lottery Tickets and Credit Card Cash Advances, I guess I am glad I don’t go to the Casino.

Asked Tangerine (who does have an iPad compatible app) about why they don’t have a Personal Line of Credit, got this answer

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Death of EPost, More Madness, and #BestMoneyStories

It does look like Canada Post’s Epost service is falling out of favor with some of their customers. I got a note from Bell stating that my bill will no longer be sent to Epost and that I should go to the Bell web site to get my bill. Bell would be a large client for Canada Post, wonder if other services are thinking of abandoning the service? I don’t really have a high opinion of the service, given I cannot attach it to Outlook or other E-mail readers (just as background).

Ant Eater

Another one of my favorite Ant Eaters actually an Aardvark (from the Pink Panther animated series)

Brackets have been obliterated by a few well timed upset at the March Madness Tournament, which is what makes the event that much more interesting. The win and go on, lose and go home format is conducive to some unpredictable results. I was sad to see that the Buffett Bracket was not happening this year due to legal entanglements. The Buffett bracket is the Wizard of Omaha offering a lot of money for anyone who can have a perfect bracket during March Madness. The chances of that is:

To calculate the total number of ways to fill out a bracket take the total number of possible outcomes for each game (2) and multiply it out 63 times: 2 x 2 x 2….x 2, or 2^63. The odds come in at one in over nine quintillion – odds that don’t seem very promising.

And my favorite team at March Madness? The UC Irvine Ant Eaters with their 7’6″ Center  Mamadou Ndiaye, great team name and a mountain in the middle, wow.

Do you have your taxes done? It is time to get it done, no time to lose on this important task.  It’s also Palm Sunday this weekend, so if you were thinking of going back to Church, might want to start this week, and beat the Easter rush.

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My Writings for Week Ending March 7th

Only in Ottawa would you have folks so excited about a hockey game that they throw hamburgers to celebrate (and the players eat them):

  • So my First Real Post from 10 Years ago, was more of a warning for the folks who might read my ideas, not to follow the advice, and please don’t sue me for that advice or opinions.
  • So the Best Financial Decision Ever that I made, I was worried might be the biggest blunder I might have ever made, but luckily it ended up working out quite well for me and my family.
  • Over on LinkedIn I updated an older story back from when I was hunting for a new job Your Facebook Page IS Your New Reference, and it is still very true today, many employers do extensive Internet searches on candidates. Another good Linked in article written by a friend is the Courage to Coach.

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Spring has sprung, but the grass has most assuredly not risen (at least not here in Ottawa). Snow is everywhere, and most folks still have their snowtires on, so Spring may be officially here, but I can assure you, it is not spring here yet.

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

I celebrated 10 years of writing here this week, with some flashbacks to my first days. Look on my twitter feed and maybe on this site for more of my more popular articles.

Basketball March Madness continues down south, and in Canada the Carleton Ravens Men’s Basketball Team continues their dominance in hoops. Given how severe a thumping that Carleton handed to the U of O’s team (cross town rivals), my guess is Coach Smart may have actually smiled for more than 10 seconds after the game. Didn’t notice if there was the Buffett Bracket this year, where if you can have a “perfect bracket” (i.e. predict the winners in every single game) you win $1B (US).

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My Writings for Week Ending March 20th

Given this is my 10th year writing here, that also means it will be my son’s 10th birthday as well, man I am old:

  • How could my 10th year not note that Employment was stable but unemployment was up in Canada? I do so love it when Stats Canada puts out those kind of confusing statements.
  • My 10th anniversary post includes a fantastic logo to commemorate the important event as well (available on mugs and t-shirts if you special order now).
  • One of my constant topics has been my bank and my interactions with it, so my first post after 10 years of writing had to be Thank You TD, for giving me so many topics to write about.

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Another fun few weeks of US College basketball (and Canadian University ball this weekend) starts up this weekend, with the entry tournaments for the NCAA March Madness Tournament, and the CIS Men’s Basketball finals (in Toronto), so I am in Hoops Nirvana. The joy is watching to see if there are major upsets in the first few rounds, and which “Cinderella Team” (i.e. a team with a low rank that still manages to get through the first few rounds) will capture our hearts.

Will She Make This Shot? She made the last one, but does that matter?

Hooping it Up!

It’s tax time too folks, you should have all of your tax receipts by now, so get your tax returns done, so you can get your refund, or wait until the last day to make your payment to the CRA. If you are wondering, “Should I do my taxes?”, the answer is Yes!

A second Friday the 13th? Yes, thanks to there being a Friday the 13th in February, there is one in March as well. It is followed by a Saturday where the Formula 1 racing season begins, so it can’t be that bad a Friday, can it? The snow is melting in Ottawa (as well), so that will make it a better Friday as well.

Watch next week, as I will be celebrating 10 years of writing on-line. Not exactly sure what that is going to entail, but remember I do have about 2800 articles to choose from.

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My Writings for Week Ending March 13th

I am still fighting off the remnants of that horrific flu that I picked up two weeks ago, but I did manage to write a couple of articles this week. :

  • Financial Daylight Savings is me having a poke at the idea of how Daylight Savings makes days longer, and how debt is pretty darn similar to that (in terms of a BIG lie).
  • Thanks for the $2000 CRA is pointing out to those who can get the new Family Credit, should make sure they are getting it. I checked over my return on Turbotax and sure enough, there it was (very nice). It would even be better without the $2000 cap, but it’s a good start.

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