Curses Broken, Doomsday, and #MoneyTalk

Chicago Cubs

Root for the Cubbies

Holy Cow! (to quote Harry Caray) the curse of the billy goat that was on the Chicago Cubs, has finally been broken, and I am glad to see it. I remember the ’69 Cubs with Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and crew making a run for the playoffs and then getting it all derailed by the Miracle Mets (yes, I am very old), so I was happy to see the Cubbies finally winning it all. It seems to be giving new hope to Blue Team fans as well.

Some think that Doomsday may be much closer after the Tuesday elections in the United States. For the record the Doomsday clock stands at 3 minutes to Midnight, so there isn’t much more wiggle room here, in terms of “the big boom”. Let us hope cooler heads prevail, and whatever happens on Tuesday, it doesn’t create the “Biblical Apocalypse” that some have promised.  In other good news, the new Russian Satan II Missile can’t wipe out Texas or the UK as previously advertised (well, not just 1 of them).  Reading that helped me sleep better (sarcasm).

Understatement

Just Saying

Evidently there is no such concept as a “No Fault Divorce From Europe”, as the UK PM is finding out. Should be interesting to see where this winding road of interesting quandaries leads.

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My Writings for Week Ending November 4th

What Do Investors Complain About the Most ?Inappropriate investing strategies seems to be a big one (like having a 75-year-old retiree investing in a tech start up?), according to the IIROC. Worth reading, but I suspect that is only the tip of the iceberg, in terms of complaints.

A Money Tweet

What happens when Preet meets up with the Blunt Bean Counter? Why don’t you listen in to find out?

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What Do Investors Complain About the Most ?

What do investors complain about the most in Canada? According to the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada), “…unsuitable investments generate the most number of complaints…”, (investors complain to the IIROC). On October 31st, the IIROC published their Enforcement Report 2015 outlining the complaints they receive (as the industry watchdog) from customers (you complain here).  The report outlines a lot of data, and some very specific cases where the IIROC has “prosecuted” their members, from what investors complain about.

What do investors complain about, ask the IIROCI received this report because I am on the IIROC mailing list, where they publish their findings on investigations they do on their members.

The top 5 complaints they received last year are:

  • Unsuitable Investments
  • Service Issues
  • Disputed Fees
  • Firm policies and procedures
  • Unauthorized trading

The IIROC points out that the percentage of complaints matches their prosecution statistics, where 50 % of prosecutions against their registered members had to do with suitability requirements. Seniors are the largest demographic that complains or makes inquiries with the IIROC.

The report is well worth reading, however, I am concerned that only 838 complaints have been received over the past two fiscal years. That numbers strikes me as being a little low, but remember this is an industry organization, investigating their members, so there may be many more complaints out there, but the “culprits” may not be members of the IIROC.

The fact that Seniors (61-100 years old) accounted for 63% of the complaints seems to  point to that group as being the target group for unscrupulous activity (and that they are the group with the most money to try to fleece).  We need to protect our Senior Citizens from unscrupulous deals, and downright bad investing advice, is the one thing I take away from this report.

An interesting table of regulatory violations investigated by the IIROC by year.

Individual – Breakdown by Violation 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Due Diligence/Handling of client accounts/suitability 19 18 19 26 20
Inappropriate personal financial       dealings 6 5 7 10 9
Misappropriation 1 1 3 9 4
Misrepresentation 5 8 3 9 4
Discretionary  trading 9 5 5 6 5
Forgery 5 4 3 6 2
Unauthorized  trading 6 10 1 6 7
Manipulative & deceptive trading 1 1 3 4 8
Outside business activities 2 3 4 4 2
Supervision 5 6 4 5 4
Gatekeeper 4 2 2 3 5
Failure to cooperate 2 5 3 4 6
Trading conflict of interest 2 0 0 2 0
Off book transactions 0 2 5 1 3
Trading order violation 0 0 0 1 2
Trading without appropriate registration 0 0 1 1 2
Fraud 0 0 2 0 0
Undisclosed conflict of interest 1 0 0 0 0
Inadequate books and records 0 2 1 0 0

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So the CMHC came out with a report this week that confirmed what most folks looking for a house already know, and that is Most Canadian Housing Markets Overvalued, Price Growth to Slow Through 2018. Houses being overvalued in major areas of Canada (e.g. Toronto, Vancouver, etc.,) is nothing new, we have been talking about the housing bubble there for years, but now there is talk of this causing a domino effect where other areas housing prices are also increasing (for no clear good reason). Will the new regulations about Mortgages  slow this down? We shall see!

Count Floyd

This Whole Mortgage Thing is SCARY!!! Isn’t it Kids?

Interesting that Belgium is the one country stopping the new trade deal with Canada, and it is not even all of Belgium, it ends up being a small minority holding all of Europe hostage? Interesting how these things happen that way. Evidently there is a compromise that has been reached? We shall see.

Seems the CIBC (specifically CIBC Investor Services Inc) were caught overcharging their customers for Mutual Funds and ETFs dating back to 2002, but because they said it was accidental, they are hoping to not have to pay a penalty? I wonder what would happen if I accidentally forgot to pay my taxes? Food for thought.

Monday is Halloween, you know what that means? Christmas season has already started, to quote Count Floyd, “That sure is scary kids!“.

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My Writings for Week Ending October 28th

I did resolve this year to move away from the TD Mutual Fund accounts that I still have open, and the first step I took was moving my Emerg Fund from TD Mutual Funds to Questrade, but I had to wonder about 10 Day Investment Account Transferals, and why does it take that long? It is only one computer talking to another.

A Money Thought

Kerry from Squawkfox laments about her generation not getting enough love from the financial world.

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10 Day Investment Account Transferrals

I have succeeded in transferring one of my TD Mutual Fund Accounts (my Emergency Account ) to Questrade (as an experiment, but also to divest from the TD Mutual Fund side of the world), and have found a few very interesting issues that can arise, but the big one for me is the fact that having Questrade took 10 days to do it. Should account transferrals take that long?

Mail Delivery account transferrals

Luckily regular mail was not used

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The nice part about the 10 days is that even though I had to fill in (by hand) a bunch of forms to authorize the transfer, I then scanned the document and sent it to Questrade, who then seemed to start working on it within a few hours (which is a bit faster than a lot of times when I have dealt with other Bank branches).

The sticking point for me was the 10 day wait to do the transfer. While I can understand it taking a while if the accounts where Registered savings accounts (RRSP, RESP, RDSP, LIRA or the like), this is just a Mutual Fund account going to a Questrade account? Seemed a little long.

I could have done this manually, by following these steps

  • Cash out all Funds held in my Mutual Fund account (however in this case it is a bit messier because they are E-series accounts, so I would first have to transfer the funds to the TD Money Market account, and then cash that fund out). Estimated time for this to take 3 days or so (if you start in the morning).
  • Take Funds from sale and transfer it via on-line banking tools to Questrade account. This could take 2-3 days until funds are in and usable in the account.

As you can see even in the worst case this should have taken 7 business days (and that is mostly due to the E-series funds being involved), so really not sure why this took 10 days?

I also tripped over the fact that either Questrade or TD Mutual Funds will not transfer assets in kind, as I was holding E-series funds. My guess is that TD Mutual Funds did not want to transfer the funds, but I never got a clear statement from Questrade about who(m) was to blame, so I was only able to do a transfer of funds (not in kind) for the account. The nice part is, I got an e-mail telling me this, I was able to update my form, scan it, and get everything back on track in about 2 hours.

At the end of it, with a few “pot holes” on the road, it did take 10 days, but I guess it is not as bad as it could have been (those pot holes with other banks might have taken an entire month). I have 1 or 2 other TD Mutual Fund accounts, that I suspect are either going to TD Direct Investing or to Questrade.

Full Disclosure: I am also a Questrade Affiliate (i.e. I put ads on my site, and if you open an account using them, I get paid).

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RDSP , New Mortgage Rules Hurts Economy and #MoneyTalk

This week I start with another big Thank you to Mark Goodfield for posting another helpful overview article (written by Howard Kazdan ) entitled, The Registered Disability Savings Plan – A Government-Assisted Savings Plan for Family Members that Qualify for the Disability Tax Credit . I have written a great deal about my misadventures with this program, as well as my issues with TD Direct Investing (still the best RDSP out there, unfortunately), but this overview is a good read for anyone wishing to get a few hints to help out a disabled loved one (financially). Remember to read the Henson Trust Article as well.

RDSP

RDSP A Path to Savings (from another great article by Moneysense)

The 3rd US Presidential debate happened… ‘nuff said.

There are dire warnings that the new Mortgage and house buying rules are going to hinder young folks ability to purchase houses, however, as usual Michael James had an excellent tweet in response (see the financial tweet area for that chestnut). The government seems to be attempting to gently let the air out of the bubble, we shall see whether it pops in spite of the gentle treatment.

The Bank of Canada announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent, which is nothing new. The reasons why are always interesting, so let us peal that onion a bit more. Interesting that the new house buying rules are mentioned in this report as well,

…This is due in large part to slower near-term housing resale activity and a lower trajectory for exports. The federal government’s new measures to promote stability in Canada’s housing market are likely to restrain residential investment while dampening household vulnerabilities….  ”.

Interesting that the Bank is almost scolding the Government for bringing the new housing rules in place? Maybe not, scolding, but pointing an accusatory finger.

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My Writings for Week Ending October 21st

Having watched the happenings down south, I had a small epiphany about how voting and financial planning are pretty darn similar (at least how we implement them), so I wrote, We Invest the Way We Vote . I have read a few articles that simply telling to populous to vote, without telling them to make an informed vote, is at best reckless at worst dangerous, and after watching what has gone on in the Republican Party, I think the theory is valid. Become informed on the topic, before executing!

New Mortgage Rules All Bad?

I think Michael James makes an interesting point with this simple tweet.

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