RRSP, Lent, Happy Year of the Dog and #MoneyTalk

RRSP season is here, but there really doesn’t seem to be the hype of previous years. There seems to be an under-current about how the RRSP isn’t all that it is cracked up to be? I don’t understand this, yes it is a before tax savings plan, but it is a savings plan. The TFSA and RRSP both have a place in your savings plans, but remember that paying off debt is more important.

Year of the Dog

Me and my favorite Dog but he isn’t around to celebrate the year of the dog sadly.

Lent began on Wednesday, a new season to try to make some positive changes in your life. You don’t need to be religious or Christian to use this as a time for positive change, just decide to change.

Happy Year of the Dog , it is Chinese New Year today and it is the year of the Dog (specifically the year of the Earth Dog). Might be an omen for investing, as the market has been a bit of a bad dog so far this year. One Astrology site gives very good financial advice for the year of the Dog:

Financially take more precautions with your security and don’t overspend. Get a budget going so you can track where your money goes.

So you can’t argue with that, it’s science!

Tax season is on the go as well folks, in fact TurboTax announced they are certified by the CRA so you can use their application to submit your taxes on-line. Yes, some folks submit early, and get their money back, a better idea than procrastinating and not getting your return in on time.



My Recent Writings

Index Investing Downsides came out of an article I read using the Ottawa Public Library’s free app RBDigital (very useful and free magazines). The article kind of sat on both sides of the argument, but I am really not sold on the value espoused by active management funds and active trading. Yes, when the market tanks, the Index tanks, but do actively managed funds really save you?

Micro Blogging on Finance

If you are reading my RDSP and DTC posts you really need to follow Milburn Drysdale because his site has far better information on how to get all this done.

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Roller Coaster Markets , Olympics and #Moneytalk

The markets went berserk, and now folks are attempting to explain, mansplain or rationalize what happened. Was it bitcoin? Was it American Inflation Concerns? Maybe I wasn’t wearing my lucky socks on Tuesday? Who knows but the mayhem continues. It is now being called a correction, so welcome to the end of the Bull Market of 2009.

Given this started with a 20 minute debacle, I doubt that many humans were involved in this, more like many trading algorithms saw their shadow and they all dumped, stock, causing the sudden deep drop. Another example of FinTech having the promise of doing things well, but has the downside of amplifying and accelerating bad things. Hopefully it will be a sobering event for Millenials who keep saying, “The Market never goes down”.

roller coaster markets

In Ottawa we learned that our LRT is delayed at least 6 months, if not longer. Given that the “Mass” Transit system in Ottawa has been a mess for 4 years, I guess another year of waiting won’t matter. I keep thinking that it shouldn’t take this long to put in a tram system, but I am not a “Mass Transit” expert either.

The Olympics have already started, and not just because Korea is so many hours ahead of us. Mixed Curling has started, and mixed team skating has started as well. Glad to see Curling made it into the Olympics. I hated Curling as a child, but that was because it interfered with watching the Bugs Bunny Road Runner hour. Go Olympics! Go Sports!

Remember it is Tax Season and RRSP season as well. I don’t espouse making those late RRSP additions for the sake of it, but remember you can use a TFSA, an RRSP, or an RESP to save for your future (or your kids’ future). My only argument against using those would be, you should pay your debts off first!



My Recent Writings

A while ago a loved one was duped into changing her Cable TV provider, but thanks to Ellen Roseman I was able to remedy the situation. Slamming Senior Citizens is a growth industry (given the baby boomers are getting older), and I am not happy about it. Don’t let these 21st Century Fuller Brush Salesfolk get fat on duping our seniors.

Micro Blogging on Finance

Crisis? What Crisis? The Markets went berserk for a while this week, but they are fine now? Maybe? Preet has some advice for you.

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Superb Owls, RDSP Deposit and #MoneyTalk

Yes, it will be the Superb Owl in Minnesota this weekend. The game is of no interest to me (as a Vikings fan), and if it ended in both teams being disqualified and no winner I’d be happy. Yes, I am a bitter Vikings fan. Put your chilli in the slow cooker, stock up your beer supplies and get ready to watch the longest football game of the season!

Spent another 20 minutes on the phone to make my semi-annual RDSP contribution to my son’s account at TD Direct Investing. No, my son’s account is still inaccessible directly on-line for deposits or transfers (i.e. I can automatically deposit to his RDSP from my chequing account). I continue to ask how to fix it, but I keep getting told that is how the system works. Evidently someone who has their own RDSP, that they can contribute to their own account, so that might be the issue, but I also continue to get no explanation from TD why I must follow the circular payment method that I do?

RDSP

The Route for Money to My Son’s RDSP

There is a very interesting set of documentaries on Netflix called Dirty Money. The first episode was about the VW Clean Diesel scandal, however, the second episode is even more insidious as it is about Online PayDay Loan companies in the USA. The dirty tricks in the agreements are shocking. The story is also about the owners and their prosecution by the Federal Government, but I was just so disgusted by the way the loan customers were tricked into believing they were paying off their loans, when in fact they were only paying a service charge to roll-over their loan to the next period. I would recommend watching the series just on the basis of the first 2 episodes.



My Recent Writings

Been a busy week for me, so I didn’t put out any new content this week, but I do continue to update and edit many of my 3000+ posts, and if you follow my Twitter feed you will see those updated articles. For #BellLetsTalk I did bring back I’m an Adult Now?, where I lamented the passing of my father 7 years ago. Also remember that Debt is a Four Letter Word.

Micro Blogging on Finance

I hope that Mr. Buckley’s comments about fee erosion is true, too many people are making too much money off my investments.

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OHIP Overload, Doomsday minus 2 minutes, and #MoneyTalk

Critical Illness Insurance

How do we pay for all of this?
Photo courtesy Freedigital.net

Can OHIP and Medicare survive? Stats Canada has an interesting report to worry you (and points out the Tsunami of Alzheimer’s and Dimentia cases), High use of acute care hospital services at age 50 or older. The aging population will tax all parts of the Social Safety net, but can our hospitals deal with this? We will need more structures, more Doctors , more Nurses and more support staff, where will they come from? My guess is the full impact of OHIP overload and other services is not completely clear (yet).

CPP should survive, but what are our OHIP rates going to be is a much better question to ask.

Maybe the Doomsday clock moving closer to our demise is a good thing? See below for further details.

This year I finally followed my advice and unlocked my Bell iPhone 5. I followed the advice of How to Save Money, on how to do it on-line, and it worked (I think). The problem is I need a SIM card from another company to test it, so I haven’t actually tested that it worked.



My Recent Writings

Thanks to a comment by an Anonymous Banker, I learned about a Canadian banking regulation, and thus I wrote, Banking Regulations our Friend. Banks cannot force you to open a bank account with them if they offer you a loan, however, they can offer you a better deal to entice you to open that account.

Micro Blogging on Finance

I follow Jason Zweig from the WSJ and he does an excellent job with the extra characters Twitter has given us, to make a bit of biting financial satire.

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Tighter Money, Best Investment, Go North! and #MoneyTalk

The Bank of Canada went and done it! They raised the overnight rate to its highest rate in 9 years! This is going to ruin the economy! The rate is now at 1.25%, oh my God! Yes, I am being sarcastic about tighter money from the Bank of Canada. Their overview paragraph from the report was quite telling.

While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target. Governing Council will remain cautious in considering future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data in assessing the economy’s sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.

Pay off Debt

Get Out of Debt

Talk about hedging your bets, I guess they are trying not to scare folks? Rates will be going up, but not in the near future, maybe? Does sound like tighter money policies are coming soon.

On the downside, the rate hike has caused all the banks to increase their prime rates, and mortgage rates, which is going to hit us all in the pocketbook. Most of the major banks have raised  their “prime” rate to 3.45% and all mortgage rates have gone up as well.

For those curious, what would be the best investment given these changing times? GICs will start becoming more interesting to folks, but what might be a good investment? Hmm… How about Pay Down Debt! It now has even higher pay backs! What other investment can give you a guaranteed pay back of around 5% (on a mortgage)? On the plus side my guess is GIC Ladders is going to be a popular search on Google very soon.

Bitcoin lost value this week. Why? I have no idea really, but as I type these letters it is worth less than $10,000, but it might have recovered by the time you read this. To say this is a murky investment area is an understatement. Are you thinking of becoming a Bitcoin Miner? Go North young folk (Northern Quebec that is). Hydro Quebec is luring Cryptominers to Northern Quebec with very low electric rates. Evidently Quebec Knows How to use their excess hydro-electric resources, to make money.



My Recent Writings

This week I queried Can I get a Deal from a Chatbot ? Given the use of automated (some might say AI) on-line and social media bots being used for customer service, it is a valid question. My guess is you are not likely to get too much from a Bot, although they may hand out occasional perks just to keep folks from complaining about the lack of deals.

Micro Blogging on Finance

The importance of keeping your important financial information safe is nicely summed up in the following meme, which is a twist on an old adage.

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