Donuts, Graduations, Summertime and #MoneyTalk #Canada150

Guess what is back for a short time? The Dutchie! My old friend is back at Tim Horton’s to help celebrate #Canada150. For the true connoisseur of the dutchie, it is still available in the Atlantic provinces, it is just back in Ontario, for my enjoyment.

The Dutchie

Bring Back the Dutchie Tim Hortons!

I spent a lovely day a few weeks ago at my youngest daughter’s graduation from the Queens Faculty of Education. She already had a Science Degree from Trent, so this means my investments have now paid out 4 degrees, not bad pay out. There is another degree I have a small stake in, so I am hoping that pays out next year. For those parents unsure if they should put money in an RESP, yes this is a very good investment (and not just for the free money from the government).

One of the areas in Queens we visited had information on the “new” OSAP. If kids have parents that make less than $50,000 their tuition is “free”. The wording there is unclear to me. The Ontario budget stated, “Students from families with incomes under $50,000 will have no provincial student debt.“.  This is also misleading (in my opinion).

There will be higher non-repayable grants for lower-income students, which is good. Having graduates saddled with massive debts is a very American thing, let us remove it from the Canadian lexicon. Will this help lower-income families get their kids into University? My opinion is not likely that much. The funding is still too low, the tuition (and associated fees) continue to sky-rocket and the costs of living away from home at school can be very high (especially in large urban areas like Toronto).

The other part of the equation, is what will the Federal Government part of the Canada Student Loans program do?

Summer is now here, and the days are getting shorter (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere). Remember how you hated the winter months? These are the months you were waiting for.

Things I wrote

Given I haven’t put out a random thoughts post for a while, you’d think I’d have lots of things that I must have written, but I haven’t really. I did write Banking is Necessary, Banks are not , which pokes fun at the FinTech phenomenon that many folks are hyping.

Is there such a thing as Bad Budgeting ? Yes, if all you do is adjust your budget to balance your inflated spending, that is bad.

There are a few new features in Quicken 2017 update that are making it better than earlier versions. The Android and iOS clients are making things better, but there are still some odd crashes (and importing data is still kind of weird at times).

Fun Tweets

While my RDSP page is quite good, there are many people who have helped me and one of them is Milburn Drysdale. He has updated his website, and here is a great tweet to send to anyone looking to learn more about the Disability Tax Credit.

However, Michael James wins with the best retirement financial tweet of the week

👇 For more great financial articles from this week click here 👇

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Bank Profits, Loose Money, Used House Salesfolk and #MoneyTalk

Three of the big banks in Canada announced good profits ( TD, CIBC, and RBC) which has caused another jump in their value, and dividend output. Michael James thinks that the Canadian Banking system is in for a day of reckoning (i.e. their profitability will drop), but  evidently  not today.

Canadian sportscasters have been lampooning Ottawa Sens fans for not selling out every playoff game. The Sens do, however, have the highest average attendance in the playoffs of the remaining teams. Financial talking heads are annoying, sports talking heads are wastes of space.

Used House Salesfolks

A Little Too Relevant to Southern Ontario

When is the best time to buy a house? Same time as when you should buy anything else, when you need it. I am sure the Used House Industry (they call themselves Realtors, I like Used House Salesfolks) would disagree, but that is when I have bought a house. I suppose I could have rented when I needed a house, but if you need more space to live in (e.g. you are living in a bachelor apartment  and you are expecting your 2nd  child) and you have either a down payment or enough to rent, do so. Don’t become part of the lemmings being stampeded  to  the cliff of “Buy now before the prices go up!”.

Two great races are this weekend, the Indy 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco. You can guess what I will be doing on Sunday, and no, I won’t be going to Church (this week). There is also the Coke 600 if you have a few hours spare.

The Bank of Canada announced no change in their interest rates, keeping that loose money policy in place. Their reasons are getting repetitive, but worth checking out.

The Canadian economy’s adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Bank’s monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter.

They seem to imply that housing prices are going to start going up everywhere?

Ramadan begins on Saturday, so Happy Ramadan to my Muslim readers and friends.

Things I wrote this week

I did write something new this week, by cribbing Kerry’s presentation on RDSP‘s on the CBC. Being one of her researchers for her piece, I felt I had the right to use the intellectual property. The piece is called 5 Steps to an RDSP, which is a short synopsis  of  the  steps needed to  set up a Registered  Disability Savings Plan.

On the sister technology site, I wrote a short piece attempting to explain, What is Ransomware? Quite topical as Mrs. C8j was the victim this week of a FedEx phishing scam. Her boss received the infamous, “You have a package with FedEx” e-mail with a “hinky” link. Unfortunately she clicked the  link, but  luckily her anti­ virus software caught things before they got out of hand. Never trust links in an e­ mail from anyone, even on a trusted  web site, by the  way click here.

COBOL rules

For all of you lovers of FinTech, this tweet (from me) does sum it up quite nicely.

🙊 🙉 🙊 For more great financial stories click here 🙊 🙉 🙊


Avocado Toast, Victoria Day, Ransomware and #Moneytalk

The Web has gone wild discussing whether giving up avocado toast is the new latte savings plan. The implication is if you cut out exorbitant expenses, that you can live without, you can then afford a house. I feel quite proud that I gave up avocado toast in 1966 (I do not like avocado or guacamole). You should look at where you spend your money, and yes, you should cut down on luxuries if you are saving to buy a house, but don’t make yourself miserable. If an avocado toast occasionally makes you happy, indulge, but in moderation.

Avocado Toast

OK, Robert didn’t say this exactly, but he did bake the tarts!

When did avocado toast become a thing? Don’t people know about butter tarts? Evidently this avocado toast costs $19 a serving, so you should avoid having a daily “habit” that costs $19 (if you are saving to buy a house). You could buy an entire loaf of bread and a very big jar of peanut butter  for that much money, or  many butter tarts.

For most of Canada this weekend is Victoria Day Weekend, in Quebec it is Journée Nationale Des Patriotes but for most it is the first long weekend of the spring. Surprisingly gas prices have spiked here in Ottawa, but I am sure these two  events are not related.

Ransomware is running rampant around the web, which suggests folks need to be much more diligent with your network access . As mentioned in Don’t Click That, do not assume any email is what it claims to be especially if it includes a link to “click”. Ensure you have safe backups of your data, especially financial data, or you could be in a bad way should you fall prey to these nefarious nincompoops.

The other exciting technology point is that Windows XP will be patched! Why, you might ask? The Windows XP patch is so that ATMs (yes banking machines) and point of sale systems can be safer to use. You read that right, the two most used pieces of #Fintech out there are running on Windows XP. Choke that down  with your avocado toast.

Canada is turning 150 this year, but Montreal (or Hochelaga) turns 375 this year. Happy Birthday, to  my birthplace, you don’t look a day over 350!

More Toast Thoughts

Kerry from Squawkfox throws her 10 cents into this discussion about Avocado Toast as well.

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RDSP, DTCs, Mother’s Day and #MoneyTalk

This week our friend Kerry K. from Squawkfox appeared on CBC On The Money and did an excellent job explaining the issues with the RDSP. The video of her interview is at the end of this post. The major things to take away are:

  • The system is daunting for disabled folks (or their families) to set things up. No argument from me, we are lucky we got help.
  • It is not used by 85% of folks eligible (over 500,000 Canadians who could use it, don’t)
  • These folks need help, but not from the “Helpful firms” that will scrape up to 30% of their tax refund to do
Going thru hell

Certainly the way it feels sometimes dealing with DTCs and RDSPs

I applaud Kerry for her hard work in this area, and her excellent presentation on the topic. She was also kind enough to mention me (by so for those of you wonder who the Big Cajun Man is watch the Video) and the help Mrs. C8j and I gave her on the topic. Luckily Kerry presented it (and wrote it), so it made sense and was easy to understand.

Let me point out that I do not claim to be an expert on the topic of DTC or RDSPs, I simply have lived the system and have many useful tips for those trying to use it.

Democracy was in evidence in B.C., when an election was decided by 9 votes (effectively). The riding of Courtenay-Comox was won by a 9 vote margin, in the Wednesday Election. There will be a recount, but if the NDP holds the seat, there is a minority Government in B.C., with the Green Party holding the balance of power. If the Liberals win the seat, they will have a slim majority. Yes, this is why you should always vote.

It is Mother’s Day on Sunday in North America, so remember your Mother. We all had one, and all she wants is for you to give her a call, and maybe visit sometimes.

The Real Estate market in Toronto might be slowing down, but in Ottawa it is starting to heat up. Have not heard of many bidding wars, yet, but maybe folks are thinking Ottawa is a suburb of Toronto?

All you folks who collect Aeroplan Points (like I have for over 25 years) must be shocked as I am that Air Canada is severing their relationship with them. I don’t have many points left, but evidently there is no transferral of points to Air Canada’s new point system either.

Things I wrote this Week

I wrote three articles this week #Wow. On Monday I wrote about an older book Preet wrote RRSPs: The Definitive Book on Registered Retirement Savings Plans, which is still topical. It was written before the TFSA, so it could use an update with the TFSA added in, but still a very good reference book.

After working with Kerry K. on her research, I came across a great quote about an issue with the RDSP program, and its horrible subscription rate. DTC RDSP Vicious Circle talks about how you need a DTC to set up an RDSP, but why some folks don’t bother with the DTC.

On the sister site to this site, I wrote about an important personal security issue, The Difference Between Phishing and Spear-Phishing,outlines what to look for in both cases. If you are under a Spear­ Phishing attack, it is most likely due to your friends having their accounts compromised.

A Money Thought

Here we have a great resource for RDSPs, reporting on their investing success with the RDSP.

👇🏼There are plenty of great financial stories to follow 👇🏼


Thanks Prince Phil, More Old Than Young and #MoneyTalk

Prince Phlip

Terry Mosher (aka Aislin)’s view of Prince Philip in the 70’s

Prince Philip announced his retirement from Public Life, and at 95 I think he can finally stand down. Prince Philip is a man who speaks his mind, and for that I thank him. One instance from not too long ago, where a photographer was commissioned to take a picture of the remaining pilots from the Battle of Britain. The photographer flitted around trying to get the perfect pose, to which Prince Philip replied, “Just take the f*cking picture!“. Here, here good sir, they were all over 90 and didn’t have time to waste!

Prince Philip is a metaphor for millennials as well, since they will only be able to retire until 95 either.

The Census showed that there are now more oldies than young folk in Canada. This is the first time the number of folks over 65 outnumbered the number of kids under 14 by 5.9M to 5.8M. For those seniors I’d like to voice my support by shouting, “Get off my grass you kids!”. While this number seems trivial, it is an important point. Is Canada ready to deal with the explosion of senior citizens? Are there enough care spaces? Can existing pensions deal with this kind of draw ? Plenty of interesting questions.

To paraphrase The Sweet, “So recognize your age it’s no longer a teenage rampage, now!”

A Money Thought

You might want to add another useful money podcast to your list. They attract some classy crowd and butter tarts too.

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