The Best of 2014 The Canadian Personal Finance Place

Yes, it is that magical time of year, where I get lazy and rely on old content to make things look new, and the time that folks tend to publish their Top 10 lists, so here it is. I have limited this list for posts I wrote in 2014 as my most popular posts (as you will see in the coming days), were written a few years ago. Not a bad year for readership, pretty good for income on my part, and all of this after cutting my writing down to about 3 times a week, if I keep this up, maybe if I stop writing I’ll be hugely successful?

An interesting statistic is that in 2013 I had


visitors and this year I had


(so far) so basically the same number of visitors? Interesting stuff.

Enjoy this New Year’s Eve, remember you still have a little time to make a donation for this year for Charity or your RESPs, and don’t drink and drive either! I need all the readers I can get, stay safe.

Top Posts for 2014

Thanks to all my readers for coming back to read these.

Good Bye 2014 ?

Actually it is Good Bye 2014

RESP from Start to Spend

A useful discussion of the whole RESP experience that I have been living through (and plenty of regrets in hindsight, in terms of where I invested the money).

Ideal Portfolios?

Is there such a thing as an ideal portfolio? Kind of, but the ideal portfolio is the one that you are most comfortable owning (i.e. causes you the least stress).

Doubling Your Money

That title was a bit of an SEO dirty trick, but the rest of it did live up to the title. Doubling your money with very low interest rates is not easy (our parents had the 70’s and 80’s to help with their savings).

Disability Tax Credit: Please Do It Yourself

I really hope that this caused folks to do their disability application themselves, I would hate to think that those “companies” that specialize in getting you a disability credit (where they take a cut), are getting lots of customers.

Atrociously Dangerous Investment Advice

You can never go wrong quoting Rob Carrick, and then having Rob agree with you. The N.C.F.B.A. dinners can get quite raucous when spicy topics are added in.

Pensions and Spousal RRSPs

Are spousal RRSPs still a good investing idea? I think so.

“I’m an indexer. I don’t care what the indexes did today!”

This time I shamelessly stole a quote from Preet and got some good coverage around the Internet.

Free is a Good Price (but still can be expensive)

Thanks to the great Home Depot information loss of 2014, I ended up getting free Equifax, but the cost was kind of expensive (given hackers now have pretty much all of my financial info).

Here is hoping that 2015 I get a few more regular readers, and I keep up writing interesting topics.


Quicken and Transfering Mutual Funds?

So I tripped across an attractive feature in Quicken’s investment tracking feature (back in 2014). Quicken, in one transaction (well, it does the delete and add a transaction for you from what I can see), Quicken transfers mutual funds from one account to another. Big deal, you say? Well, for me, over the past few weeks, this has made my life simpler tracking my TD Mutual Fund Accounts.

Next question, why do you have TD Mutual fund accounts? Aren’t you a TD Direct Invest representative? I didn’t initially start with TD Mutual Fund accounts. Remember there are three different silos in TD, the Banking Side, The Mutual Fund Side and TD Investments. There is also insurance and a few other sides, but I shall leave them out for discussion. When I first opened RESPs and an “Emergency” account, I was a customer of Canada Trust. They didn’t have an “Investing Wing” (I wouldn’t have known what to do back then).

Quicken transfer mutual funds
Another intricate Dance to Change Things at TD

When TD purchased CT long ago, all my CT Mutual Fund accounts became TD Mutual Fund accounts. All of my CT mutual funds turned into I-series TD Mutual Funds (again, before I understood the higher MER Mutual Funds).

I finally got off my lazy derriere and have transferred all of those I-Series funds to E-series funds, using the same models as outlined in Ideal Portfolios  :

TDB909 – TD Canadian Bond Index (e-Series)
TDB900 – TD Canadian Index (e-Series)
TDB902 – TD US Index (e-Series)
TDB911 – TD International Index (e-Series)

To be able to use these Index Funds in your Mutual Fund account, you must Mail (by Canada Post, no Faxes allowed) the following:

Your TD e-Series Funds account is opened after your original, signed application, and TD e-Series Funds Understanding and Consent form are received by TD Investment Services Inc. (TDIS). Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications by fax.

This all assumes you already have an account. If you don’t have an account, might I suggest going straight to TD Direct Investing? TD Mutual fund account allows you to purchase only TD Mutual Funds. This limitation seems evident in the name but needs to clarify.

Once you get all of your “OK, you can use them” confirmations, you can go online and use Quicken transfer mutual funds to move the associated I-series fund to an E-series fund (and thus save on MERs and such).

Finally, we have reached the Quicken part of the discussion. If you have your Mutual Fund savings account set up in Quicken (and why wouldn’t you?), you would go to the account and choose Enter Transaction.

If you search down the list of possible transactions (once the dialogue box comes up), select Mutual Fund Conversion, and the dialogue box will then only ask you for:

  • Date of the Transfer
  • The Mutual Fund it is coming “from”
  • The New Mutual Fund to use (you may have to create that in Quicken)
  • How many shares were created of the New Fund
  • How much the price was (per share) of the new fund

And let it run its merry way. Quicken removes the holdings of the old security and adds the new security holdings to your account. After this, you are now tracking the suitable funds.

I have always been pretty lazy when it comes to tracking my investments, but I am trying hard to keep a closer track of all of my various investment vehicles (as I close in on retirement).

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Time is here again; I hope the day is enjoyable, and your day is all that you want it to be.

Joyeux Noël

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

King James 2000 Bible
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:


Christmas Eve is Here Again

Are you ready for Christmas? Well if you aren’t you have a couple of hours to try to pull the fat out of the fire and save the day (or you can always buy a lot of interesting things at the convenience stores, and don’t forget the power of  Gift Cards , or maybe some tasty beef jerky, and some windshield washing fluid on Christmas Eve ).

Gift Cards, Cash

Does it really all matter? If you are with the people you love, or you are where you want to be, if anybody gets upset about not getting a present (that is older than 12 years old) they should really just lighten up.

If you do have time, think about the Charities that might want your help this season, there are some fine ones mentioned here, that will gladly  accept your donations.

Enjoy the holiday, enjoy the extra long weekend (unless you work in the Retail sector, in which case, please be patient with the Boxing Day onslaught).

Drive carefully, as well, I am out there driving around, too!

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Low Gas Prices puts Inflation at 2.0% In November

Our friends at Stats Canada told us what we kind of already knew, that lower gas prices in November lowered inflation to 2.0% (year over year).

If we look at the graph of Inflation for the past little while, it is really a saw-tooth of ups and downs (but luckily all of this happening around 2.0% as the median):

Inflation Canada

Inflation for the past 5 years

How wild has gas prices been lately? Luckily Stats Canada also included this helpful graph to show us just how crazy things are right now.

Gas Price Index

Gas Price Index

Mid-year we are setting new records and now we are well below $1 a litre (in Ontario at least). Does this mean things are just “peachy keen”? Not, really, that inflation is at 2.0% with gas dropping that much suggests other essentials are going up at a higher rate.

To quote our friends at Stats Canada:

The shelter index rose 2.3% in the 12 months to November, following a 2.8% gain in October. Natural gas prices increased 14.7% on a year-over-year basis in November, after recording a 20.1% rise the previous month. As well, electricity prices were up 3.6% year over year in November, following a 5.6% increase in October.

Food prices advanced 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in November. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 3.3% in the 12 months to November, led by a 12.2% rise in meat prices. Food purchased from restaurants cost 2.5% more in November compared with the same month in 2013.

Holy cow! Meat prices are up over 12%?!? Meat did seem more expensive in my visits to the grocery stores.

Bank of Canada’s core index

Remember that the Bank of Canada measures CPI in a bit different way, and that is what they use in terms of figuring out whether to slow the economy down. Luckily we are still in the “sweet spot” for the Bank of Canada, so we are less likely to see interest rates going up (for this reason at least).

The Bank of Canada’s core index rose 2.1% in the 12 months to November, after increasing 2.3% in October.

The seasonally adjusted core index posted no change on a monthly basis in November, following a 0.2% increase in October.

What is the CPI?

This month I won’t include any of the big tables, as we have already discussed the major category increases, but Stats Canada has published on their YouTube channel a helpful video explaining, just what is the CPI, have a look.

Inflation over 2014 so far

Reports on inflation from:  January , February , March , April , May , JuneAugust , September , October

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