This weekend we celebrate the harvest in Canada, with our version of Thanksgiving. At this time, we need to remember the turkey, and the contribution it makes to our festive tables. Traditionally for Canadians this weekend is a time for families and friends to get together (nothing compared to our raucous neighbours Thanksgiving in November, however) and remember that charity at this time of plenty is important as well.

Beer Throwing Incident

There is no call for this, no matter how drunk (or stupid) you might be.

The ugly side of sports showed itself as a Blue Jay fan chucked a beer can (and almost hit) an unsuspecting Orioles player. As a lifetime Expos fan, I am unimpressed, and if I saw anyone do that at a ball game I’d point them out to authorities. C’mon Torontonians figure out who the culprit is and do the right thing. The only Knucklehead at the Jays game should be R.A. Dickey!

It is also Oktoberfest in my old stomping grounds of Kitchener/Waterloo (and Germany) (a good use of beer, as well). Another wonderful fall tradition that starts (officially) on the Thanksgiving weekend. Allegedly the PM himself will be tapping the first keg.

The big financial news for the week was Minister Morneau Announces Preventative Measures for a Healthy, Competitive and Stable Housing Market, which we shall see how it impacts the bubbling house markets in some cities in Canada.

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Stuff I wrote this week

I had grandiose plans of writing a bunch of stuff this week, but life does sometimes get in the way of my best laid plans. “It’s not quite what I had in mind” (Financially) outlines how some folks settle for bad service, with their money, and they should not. You worked hard to make that money, fight to make it do the most for you.

I keep asking the same question on Social Media, but I never get an answer, RDSP: Question for Canadian Big Banks, asks why is the RDSP such a piss poor program at most banks? I have yet to have anyone from a bank respond to it.

Deep Financial Tweets

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Translation: “What the bloody hell is this??!?”

It's not quite what I had in mind

Someone please buy me this shirt (my size is XL)

For those of you who don’t know Very British Problems, sorry for the rudeness. There is even a series on Netflix to explain things better.

What does this have to do with money? Everything!

How many times have you talked to a financial planner or an investment broker and they hand you their final report, you cannot tell me you did not think:

“What the bloody hell is this?”

yet, you most likely said something much more, socially acceptable like:

“Could you explain to me your reasons behind this?”

or better still, if you really get a dose of backbone,

It’s not quite what I had in mind.

Seriously, this has never happened to you? I had one investment person tell me, “There is this new interesting stock that you should look into, it has been getting some really good press, it’s called BRE-X“. Even I (at the time pretty much as naive as a new born babe when it came to investing) knew this was dodgy. I had another chap try to convince that Enron would be a good place to put my hard earned money.

Never, ever, feel that you cannot be incredibly blunt with folks when it comes to your money. Do not tip-toe around folks’ feelings when your hard-earned income is involved, say what you mean, no need to be rude, but, no need to be overly vague either. You worked hard for your money, stand up for it.


Bye Bye CSBs, 36 Million Strong and #Moneytalk

Evidently the government is investigating whether they should abandon the Canada Savings Bonds program, and when I hear that all I could think was, What will all the Grandmas invest in now? Evidently there is about $500M worth of unclaimed CSBs out there still too? Remember the good old days when CSBs paid out

Canada Savings Bonds

CSBs Ready to Save

1980 Nov S35 11.50% 1981 Nov S36 19.50%
1982 Nov S37 12.00% 1983 Nov S38 9.25%
1984 Nov S39 11.25% 1985 Nov S40 8.50%
1986 Nov S41 7.75% 1987 Nov S42 9.00%
1988 Nov S43 9.50% 1989 Nov S44 10.50%
1990 Nov S45 10.75%

Yes, remember those heady days when CSBs paid 19.50% . I do! I also remember 15% mortgage rates. However, for all those lovers of CSBs, don’t lament, you can still buy them this year, and set up a payroll savings program too! The population of Canada is now over 36 Million according to Stats Canada. We added 139,645 from April to July of this year! Now that is an immigration boom (or one hell of a baby boom!). Funny, it doesn’t feel that crowded, but I don’t live in Toronto either.

In Ottawa, the Glebe has decided that the stores in that area can open on Thanksgiving (and on 5 other holidays as well). Do we really need that many days to shop? I remember not shopping on Sundays.

The only comment I can make about the American election is, what I have said previously, Overt Zelotry of any kind (religious, political, or any other) worries me a great deal. How is everyone so darn sure they are right?

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Stuff I wrote this week

Another fairly lazy week for me, however, I do have many more ideas percolating in my brain (including one where I am actually asking MPs questions), but this week, I wrote about the Shocking Electricity Price in August (CPI Canada). Ontario is leading the way with ludicrous price increases for electricity.

I continue to get comments and questions from my article CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To), and hopefully folks are being helped by it (it is one of my favorite articles).

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Shocking Electricity Price in August (CPI Canada)

The game of numbers, known as the Consumer Price Index from Stats Canada (for August), continue to show an optimistic story on the surface, and a more interesting one underneath the sheets. (Remember: Lies, Damn Lies and Arithmetic)

The following two lines from the report outline things nicely:

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.1% on a year-over-year basis in August, following a 1.3% gain in July.

Excluding gasoline, the CPI was up 1.7% year over year in August, after posting a 1.9% increase in July.

Without gasoline, numbers are still not bad, but then have a look at the data in detail, where you find out that year over year, Electricity rates are up 5.2% (across Canada). In Ontario, I am sure it is even bloody higher!

Main contributors to the 12-month change in the CPI:

Main upward contributors:

  1. Purchase of passenger vehicles (+5.2%)
  2. Homeowners’ replacement cost (+4.0%)
  3. Electricity (+5.6%)
  4. Food purchased from restaurants (+2.5%)
  5. Air transportation (+5.7%)

Main downward contributors:

  1. Gasoline (-11.5%)
  2. Natural gas (-9.9%)
  3. Travel tours (-5.6%)
  4. Telephone services (-1.2%)
  5. Fuel oil (-11.8%)

See, if you look at the numbers close enough, you can really depress the hell out of yourself.

CPI by Category

CPI by Category for Past 12 Months

Bank of Canada’s core index

The Bank of Canada’s core index increased 1.8% year over year in August, following a 2.1% gain in July.

The importance of this, is that while this is still within the Bank of Canada’s “comfort zone” for inflation, interest rate increases may still happen (you just can’t blame it on Inflation (directly)). Also remember, the Governor of the Bank stated, Lower-for-longer interest rates require adjustments, better read what needs to happen to keep rates low (your sphincter might tighten a little).

Inflation in Canada

Bank of Canada Operational Guide for Inflation

Reports from the Past While.

If you want to have a walk down memory lane about how prices have gone up, here you go.


Autumn has arrived in Ottawa, which of course means that Winter is Coming, but unfortunately the financial pundits down south are also warning of Financial Winter, in the face of possible Fed Rate increases by December. If the US starts ratcheting up interest rates, Canada might follow suit, or might not, to make the dollar weaker? I can’t remember what is in vogue these days, a Weak Dollar helping trade or a Strong Dollar, helping trade?

If Financial Winter is coming, maybe it is time to think about whether you are ready or not?

Game of Thrones Financial

The White Walkers Want Your Money

The CRTC is trying to make sure our Internet Access (at home) is not only available from specific companies, however, the Monopolies (Bell, Telus, Rogers) are not playing very nice, as outlined in ‘We need to fix this’: Big telcos hoard fibre optic networks despite CRTC order. Companies like Teksavvy have been trying to compete, but continue to run into the Monopolies lack of co-operation.

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Preet and Money

We see him here, we see him there, that Preet B. is everywhere!.

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