Back to School, London Calling, Basic Cable and #MoneyTalk

It is that magical time when kids go back to school, and life goes back to a more normal pace (for parents). If you just took your child to Kindergarten, what are your plans for their University Education? Might be time to start thinking about an RESP, don’t you think?

Back to School - London Calling - Lost in the SupermarketBack to school is always a fun time, Thanksgiving is around, Pumpkin Lattes are everywhere and Christmas stuff is available in Costco. Halloween candy has been available since the end of July in most stores, and we wonder why people spend so much? If I bought a box of Halloween candy in August, I would be buying more in August, September and October as well. All I can think of when I see this is one of my favorite songs by the Clash, “Lost in the Supermarket” (from the album London Calling).

I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for a special offer
Guaranteed personality

What would you do if your vacation was ruined by a hurricane? I guess that is something to check with your travel insurance. Sounds like a possible fraud too, as I got an email about making claims on my travel insurance due to the current hurricane (and I am not even on vacation).

There was a disgusting story on Reddit about someone trying to get their 80 year old mother a basic cable & phone package, and Rogers refusing to offer their basic package to the consumer. It is not that surprising, but still shows why the CRTC’s ability to police the Communication Monopolies is nonexistent.

We in Ottawa found out our Light Rail System will not be ready as planned, and isn’t likely to be ready for a good long time. Is this surprising? Not if you actually looked at the work sites daily (like those of us who take the bus). When will it be ready? No one is willing to set a date.

My Recent Writings

Haven’t written one of these in a while, so there is a dearth of things to read written by me (maybe not a dearth, more like a small pile).

On Being Laid Off (a 10 year retrospective) sums up that I was lucky to be laid off when I did, but at the time I wouldn’t have thought that was possible. Another example of right time, wrong reason can still work out. Still doesn’t take the sting out of being laid off though.

Inflation looks like it might be making a comeback, given Inflation is at 2011 levels again. If all this tarif nonsense keeps up, that could be a big contributing factor, luckily in Ontario we have a buck-a-beer.

How we Doin’ now, is more of a statement of, I am not dead yet. I am still at this, but I am kind of busy with life at the same time.

Why would you have more than one savings plan for your disabled child? Why wouldn’t you if you can, is a better question, and that is the contents of Why an RESP for a Disabled Child ?

Social Media Money

If the following Tweet does not make your blood run cold, I don’t know what will. That much income and still having financial issues? Wow.

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Tighter Money, the 13th , Hydro Savings and #MoneyTalk

Money is starting to tighten up with the Bank of Canada raising their key overnight rate by ¼ percent to 1.5%, which is great news because that mean savings accounts will go up as well? Sarcasm aside all major credit levels with most banks have gone up a corresponding ¼ %, but there has been no word about Savings account rates going up (and don’t hold your breath about that either).

bank of Canada

Personal Financial Reader, I presume?

If this increase has you worried, you really should be paying down your debt, or you need to figure out how to get out of this mess. In earlier years, the Bank of Canada has raised  rates by 1 % or higher, what will happen when these rate levels become a reality? We have a US  President hell-bent on starting a trade war with everyone, will those tariffs cause an inflationary jump? Very possible, is what the “Big C8j Magic Financial 8-Ball” answers.

If you owe $200,000.00 you now owe $500 more for the next 12 months (about), so let’s just say you owe $40 more a month. If the interest rate had gone up 1 %, you’d owe (about) $2,000 more per year or about $160 more a month. Now that is assume a single compounding and simple interest so the real calculations might be higher.

The new Ontario Government is doing what they promised they would do (and have done in the past), yet there is a howl of disbelief. Who did you people think you were electing is my only question?

Would you walk away from a $6 Million a year job, with no severance? Allegedly that is what happened to the now former head of Hydro One (in Ontario). He is getting $400,000 as payout in lieu of post-retirement benefits and allowances, but his agreement states he should have received $10.7 Million if he was fired by the board, wonder what happened there? Glad to see that he won’t be leaving penniless he will get $9 Million in stock options paid out.

Bitcoin the cryptoCurrency (note not cryptolnvestment) continues its downward drop in value. Gone are the days of $20,000 per coin (US), it is now down to around $6200 (US). Will it go back up again? Maybe, but I wouldn’t put any money into it, unless I needed to use it like currency (i.e. to buy something). Will cryptocurrency speculation move into the realm of FOREX speculation? One can only guess.

It is Friday the 13th, time to Celebrate King Friday’s birthday!

My Recent Writings

FUD is a powerful tool used by politicians and other operatives, but FUD Financial Messages is rampant. The entire Fear of Missing Out story is a simple part of the FUD. You need to be confident when you make a decision, don’t do it out of fear.

I must be getting soft because I allowed yet another Guest Post with Everything You Wanted to Know About Credit (But Were Petrified to Ask) by Sean Cooper. Do you know about Credit? Are you confident you know what you need to know?

Bankruptcies Up

Doug Hoyes gives us a worrisome statistic pointing out that bankruptcies are rising in Ontario. With higher interest rates coming, I doubt this will get better before it gets worse.

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Ganja Tourism, Sneaker Smuggling, Solar Potential and #MoneyTalk

With the new Canadian cannabis laws coming into play (October 17th) it struck me as an excellent opportunity for Canada to enter the world of Ganja Tourism. We must remember that you may only smoke in your home (or a friend’s home), and given that most hotels have a strict No Smoking rule, where could these tourists imbibe ? I think this is a huge opportunity for AirBnB to create a Ganja Tourism section. The guests can buy their legal ganja, and then enjoy it in their friends home. We shall see whether this idea catches on.

I have been busy figuring out how to smuggle more shoes across the border, but #Moneytalk returns this week. Sneaker Smuggling is evidently something else we dastardly Canadians do to our friends down south. I must admit I am guilty of sneaker smuggling about 10 years ago I was on a business trip and bought myself a new pair of shoes and forgot to declare them when I returned. I am thinking of branching out and becoming a Weed and Feed smuggler (the weeds in my front lawn are winning the battle and I can’t buy the good stuff in Canada any more).

The 21st was the longest day of the year in the Norther Hemisphere, and thus summer begins! Yes the year is about half over, time to start planning for Christmas.

The National Energy Board published Which cities have the highest solar potential in Canada? Where is the best place in Canada to have Solar Power? Regina, of course! Ottawa is better than Montreal and Ottawa (by a small Amount). Surprisingly Yellowknife is up there on the list, and not so surprising St. John’s NFLD is way down there on the list. Might be good to turn all of Saskatchewan into a Solar Array?

My Recent Writings

Ganja Tourism

The next time someone asks which is the Best ETF, I think I have an answer

It has been a while since I wrote one of these so here is the long list of the topics I have hit since my last #Moneytalk.

Risk Profiles and E-series Orders Rejected shows that no matter how optimistic I get about TD Mutual Funds, I end up being wrong. My daughter is still working to clear up the no you can’t have E-series funds fiasco that was set up.

I do enjoy Doug Hoyes’ podcast (remember I was even a guest on it), but I also enjoyed his audiobook as well, and I reviewed it in, Straight Talk on Your Money. Well worth listening to and buying the book too. Hopefully a sobering set of stories for those that are sure they have their financial world figured out.

I actually had a Guest Post but by a friend of the site, Sean Cooper (who I still hate). Qualifying for a Mortgage: The 4 Factors Lenders Consider (and WHY!) is an essay on how to get a mortgage, worth having a look at.

Phishing Phor Phun and Prophit, is a cross-post from my technology site telling you just how vulnerable you are to a Phishing attack. The bad folks are getting quite good at catching you out.

My 5 Best Investments is really just a proud Poppa boasting about his kids, but also the fact that I was smart enough to invest in their educations.

Micro Blogging for Motivation

When was the last time you changed your banking password? You might want to check this one out to figure out what you should change it to?

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Mothers Day, Counterfeit Reality, Higher Stress and #MoneyTalk

It is Mothers Day on Sunday, normally the day with the most long distance calls (if that data is still being collected). Traditionally Fathers Day was when the most collect phone calls happened. To paraphrase Keith Hampshire, “Be Good to Your Mother!”, remember all the things she did for you?  Time to start paying back a little.

Counterfeit RealityDo you realize that many articles you read are actually AI created? Not here, as you can tell by my bad grammar and punctuation no computer could easily recreate my awkward writing style. Gartner in their Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 pointed to the dawn of Counterfeit Reality 1 (analysis by:Daryl Plummer, David McCoy). The funny part of this analysis is that with the explosion of fake news via AI will be tools to combat it. It will all become an AI arms race, with your brains being the target. The best recommendation was, “…Do not underestimate the number of counterfeit reality sources that exist in the world today….”. This is very important in the world of Financial News. So much of Financial Documentation in general and Financial Media in specific is becoming AI based.

How can you tell you are getting a Real Financial Reality? For lack of a better term, guess you are going to have to do some research. Just because it is on Face-hole doesn’t mean it is the truth.

A more telling statement about Counterfeit Reality is from the same report, “By 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information” (research by Magnus Revang & White Andrews). If this is true, we end up with the liar paradox of “All financial blogs are liars, and I write a financial blog“. Good luck figuring out what is the truth, and what is fiction in the coming years, sums it all up.

What might Counterfeit Reality in the financial world look like? Maybe talking about how investing in any of the 900 cryptocurrencies (at last count) is a great idea? Just saying folks, if I was going to send Hype to pump up an investment, that is where I would start.

If you are of the belief that this is in the future, think again, the Associated Press is already augmenting their writing staff with AI (according to the MIT Tech Review). Maybe Financial Blogger won’t be a job of the future?

The Bank of Canada announced a 20 basis point increase on the Stress Test Rate, that is to be used to figure out whether you can afford a mortgage. The rate is now 5.34% according to the CBC. This means if you want a mortgage you will have to prove that you can live with a mortgage rate of 5.34%, can you?

I did enjoy a Twitter discussion this week about Financial Media Whores, well worth checking out and I will be talking more about this in the near future.


1. [“Counterfeit Reality” is the digital creation of images, video, documents or sounds that are convincingly realistic representations of things that never occurred or never existed exactly as represented (according to Gartner)]

My Recent Writings

I did write about Get Your Taxes Done Dammit ! However, you are late now. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file your taxes, just that you might have to pay penalties if you owe money. It really isn’t that hard, time to get that done, and if you are due a rebate, think how next year you can stop loaning the government money (for free).

Micro Blogging for Motivation

I do wander around the financial internet and found a very interesting article outlining a long list of things to do. Normally, I hate list articles, but this one was OK by me.

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Decisions, Bitcoin, Inflation and #MoneyTalk

This past week my wife and I celebrated our 32nd year of living in Ottawa. When we first moved to Ottawa in 1986 I was sure we would be here for only a year or two. All our friends and my wife’s family are near Toronto, so I was sure we would decide to move back, at some point. The problem was that decision was never made, so by not making that decision, we decided to stay in Ottawa. In life not making decisions, is still a decision (and some folks never quite figure out that philosophical point). Keep this in mind when you cannot decide things financially, your lack of decisiveness is a decision.

DecisionsFor those unaware Michael James (friend of this site), knows his algebra, computers and cryptography, so I have waited for him to write about Bitcoin, and write he did this week. As usual his article is pointed, and excruciatingly on the mark for those who want to dabble in Cryptocurrencies. Yes, I have called you an idiot for investing in Bitcoins, but now you are hearing from someone who is an expert in the area, he thinks you are an idiot too. No he doesn’t call you an idiot, but you can plainly read that is his sentiment.

The Bank of Canada says Inflation has returned (given gas is $1.35 a litre in Ottawa, I tend to agree with that statement). Even though they held their overnight rate at 1.25% they also warned that Inflation is here and they will need to react to it soon (in a separate statement):

Assuming our forecast remains on track, it is Governing Council’s view that interest rates will need to move higher over time to keep inflation on target.

Does this mean that Interest Rates will be going up soon? The Magic 8-Ball of Personal Finance replies, “Signs point to yes”.


My Recent Writings

Does a Credit Card Appear Out of Nowhere? That is the question that came to mind when my daughter told me about a credit card that appeared on her on-line banking page, but she never did apply for one. How is that possible? Best read and see how that happened.

Micro Blogging for Motivation

John Young and I were at the University of Waterloo at the same time, we caroused a few times together, and he is even somewhat related to me (he is my wife’s cousin), but the fact that he ran the Boston Marathon is amazing. The fact he is going to then run many more marathons this year, is even more amazing. What does John normally do? He is a Math Teacher.

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