Old Financial Technology Habits Die Hard

For the longest of time, I refused to deposit cheques in the ATM machine (after reading horror stories about stolen cheques and the like, from nefarious false fronts which steal cheques), but after a while, I started using this technology (usually because the lines for the tellers were so long). I have written previously about not wanting to use my home WiFi (and absolutely never use public WiFi) for on-line banking, just because I am that kind of paranoid guy, but now I find myself doing most of my on-line banking using my laptop which is connected via WiFi (but not public WiFi).

ATM Machine

Old Technology?

Image courtesy of cooldesign, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last night I caught myself in another one of my “still thinking like an old cranky guy” habits, and that was taking cheques with me to work, so that I could deposit them on the way home at the ATM machine at the bank. I dutifully went out of my way to stop at the bank, and deposited the cheques, but since TD has gone to a new ATM interface, it dawned on me, why wasn’t I just doing the “take a photo of the cheque” deposit method?

The TD ATM machine is simply photographing the cheque, and ‘parsing’ it (although they also keep the cheques, although I have no idea whether the darn things are archived or just shredded after a few days), the same methodology as if I was using my phone. Why didn’t I simply use my phone? My only explanation I can give is old habits die hard, and I keep forgetting about some features available from my bank.

I do still feel some paranoia, so I tend to photograph my cheques with WiFi turned off, and using my Cell Phone Providers network (which is marginally more secure), but I have to remember that the feature exists in the first place.

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Women Rule, Less Jobs and #MoneyTalk

The Canadian Ladies are carrying the load for the Canadian Olympic team, and, as the father of 3 amazing daughter, I am proud to see it. Maybe Canada has tripped into a new funding idea? Equally funding female athletics, since we seem to win in those areas? How about equal funding, because that is what is fair? Just saying. Oh, and don’t mention Women’s Beach Volleyball attire to Kerry from Squawkfox, you might get an earful (rightly so, of course).

The Canadian Economy in general seems to be losing jobs currently, according to the latest Labour Force Survey from our friends at Stats Canada, employment dropped by 31,000 jobs, and full-time employment dropped by a much nastier 71,000 positions (over the 12 month period). The confusing statistic to throw in is that the number of hours worked over the 12 month period ending with July 31st is actually up by 0.4 % ? So less jobs, but more hours worked?

Unemployment is up 0.1% to 6.9% (year over year), which is still lower than some of the darkest days of this century, it going up is never a very good thing.

In my age group (the over 55 crowd) there are more jobs, but that is a bit mis-leading, because there are more of us (and luckily we brought jobs with us). There are fewer folks working in the Public Sector as well (the Private Sector is unchanged), but I keep saying it is better to have a strong Private Sector (in terms of employment).

Employment and Unemployment in Canada

Employment and unemployment rate, Canada, seasonally adjusted

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My Writings for Week Ending August 12th

I didn’t write anything this week, or more precisely, I didn’t publish anything this week. I have a backlog of 245 started but unfinished works. I was thinking of publishing a poll and asking what you want me to write about, but feel free to leave a comment here saying what you’d like me to look into. This is not to say that I have not been active on Social Media (I am a Social Media Madman). As millennial age, the question of retiring early comes up, so my article How Do I Retire at 35 ? keeps getting a lot of reads.

Fun Graphic for the week

I would love to find a graphic for Canada like this, but it is fun to see who are the most rich folk in the U.S. of A., funny there is no Big Cajun Man mention there…

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The Olympics, Topless Spelunkers, and #MoneyTalk

Let the games begin! Today the Rio Olympics start, and hopefully it will all go off relatively well. Speaking as a Montrealer that lived through the 1976 Olympics and the financial aftermath, hopefully Rio has not written a cheque that will take decades to pay off. I still remember seeing Lasse Virén running up Rockland Road during the Marathon.

Lasse Virén c1974.jpg

Lasse Virén

I am on vacation this week, so I have been watching with a high level of confusion what is going on in the U.S.A.. There are even pundits claiming Mr. Trump might actually be trying to throw the election? Seems far-fetched, but I believe the main-stream media wants all of this, and would relish a Trump Presidency, just because folks would be watching the news every night! All we have in Canada is a shirtless PM wandering around caves, and then surfer PM appeared as well? #WTF?

Sometimes we forget the importance of taking time off, and as I get closer to retirement, I am starting to figure out, I am going to need to figure out how to enjoy myself, and not think about work. I learned when I got laid off, that nothing is that important at work (since the things I was worrying about the week before I got canned, didn’t matter 5 minutes after I got laid off). Learn to enjoy, and take time off, I am still figuring it out (maybe I will take up surfing?)

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My Writings for Week Ending August 5th

I am on vacation this week, and I finally wrote my review of the one financial tool I keep using, even though the developers seem to have abandoned it, and I vent my frustration in Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition Review . Don’t buy it. Investor Junkie has a much more positive view on things in this review, but give this year a pass (unless you must get it).

A Money Thought

As usual Kerry from Squawkfox hits the nail on the head with this tweet.

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Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition Review

Quicken has come out with a new version of Quicken (Quicken 2016), which has many great new features. I’d love to be able to write that, but there is no way I can, as usual the 2016 version (in Canada) is similar to Quicken 2015 in its complete lack of new features (in the Canadian edition).

If you look at the US Edition and all of its fantastic new features (including a version that runs on the Mac!) you’d think things are going great, however in the Canadian edition, you get:

  • Nothing new. Some bug fixes, but no new functionality (that I can see).
Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition

Quicken 2016

In fact, if you look closely at the “About” entry in the “Quicken 2016” that I paid about $100 for, you see:

Release R 2 (25.2.8)
Canadian Edition
© 2015 Intuit Canada ULC

Excuse me? It is not even copyrighted for this year? Suggests to me, this is a simple bug fix release, and not even a “new” version, however when I downloaded it, the name given was:

Quicken Home & Business 2016 – Download

In fact, Intuit Canada, seems to have nothing to do with Quicken Canadian edition, you have to go to the Quicken.com/Canada web site to find information out about it.

Why did I buy this? My Quicken 2015 wouldn’t actually work anymore, so I figured I’d try the new version and that does seem to have fixed my issues, except I still can’t download investment information without it crashing. If you read the Quicken web site, you can see they are encouraging folks to keep upgrading your system:

In an ongoing effort to provide reliable high-quality products and services, Intuit periodically retires (also known as “sunsets or discontinues”) older versions of Quicken, thereby discontinuing online services and live technical phone and email support for these versions….. Sunsetting older versions of Quicken allows us to focus resources on enhancing our products and providing support for more current versions, which are used by the vast majority of Quicken customers.

Review of Quicken 2016 Canadian Edition

If your Quicken 2015 (Canadian Edition) is working just fine, then give Quicken 2016 a pass, maybe something better will show up next year? Note there is no link to where you can buy this product, and I do not suggest you do so, wait and see what Quicken will do about this product.

I will continue to use the software, but that is because I have no other option (even though I am mostly running in a Mac environment ).

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Unknown Long Weekend, Windows 10 and #MoneyTalk

In most places in Canada this is a long weekend ahead (except in Quebec), but in Ontario, we are so lazy we don’t really even have a name for it. Here in Ottawa it is Colonel By day, near Toronto it is Simcoe Days, elsewhere, who knows? I do appreciate the fact that the Ontario government is busy trying to Tax Taxes, or make large payouts for programs that never happened (i.e. the Ontario Pension Plan), but could we not just name this silly thing and be done with it?

Corpse Flower Stinky

A Corpse Flower is Blooming in New York ? (no not a commentary about US Election)

The on-going reality show (masquerading as an election) down south, does seem to be helping Canadian tourism, as with all sides claiming if the opposing side wins, folks will be moving north (and the Brexit crowd too), we might have to put in a few new cities? Immigration is what made Canada great (being the son of immigrants), so all are welcome, just remember to wipe your feet before entering, and be polite to your hosts.

Remember the “Free Windows 10 upgrade” is now at an end for folks. Funny my Mac comes with a free OS, that seems to load from anywhere, but that is me just being a “Neo Zoom Dweebie” isn’t it? Do your upgrade or be forced to fork out some money.

Did you realize that Canadian Financial Bloggers actually meet every year? I’ll be there too.

Speaking of smelly things, evidently A Corpse Flower Has Started to Bloom After a 10 Year Wait at the New York Botanical Garden, why would you want to go there?

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My Writings for Week Ending July 30th

I posted two things this week, the first one, a commentary on the data from Stats Canada, Zap! Electricity Prices Pushes Inflation in June, and the price of electricity in Ontario is beyond ridiculous. I grew up in Quebec, and for all the commentaries you wish to make about La Belle Province, they got the electricity thing right (on the backs of 1st Nations and Newfoundland, admittedly).

For those of us with kids that are in Post-secondary programs, about now is when we get the Tuition Bill for the fall, and I had a look at one from Queen’s and was floored by the additional fees, so, naturally, I had to write about it in, The Business of University Fees. I should start my own University bet I could make some money (yes that was a Trump jab).

A Money Thought

Every time I browse /personalfinance, I end up reading posts by people half my age complaining about making twice as much as I do. from Showerthoughts

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