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It’s A Wonderful Life (Financially?)

When the holiday standard It’s A Wonderful Life was first released it was pretty much panned as being too treakly sweet, and having no substance. The movie languished for many years, but thanks to a disinterest by its distributor, it started being played by local TV stations at Christmas time, and thanks to that it is now the Holiday Standard that it is today.

Amazon
If you wish to purchase this classic from Amazon Click Here


Now the main reason the movie became popular was due to its distributor not charging TV stations to air it, and thus the Local TV had free content to play during Christmas (and thus they made good coin off it with their own advertisements). The rest is history (right Uncle Willy?). There is a great deal to learn about banking in the USA in this movie if you look closely, but that is not the point of this piece. My favorite quote is from Nick talking to

“Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint “atmosphere”. Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?”

What does this have to do with Personal Finance and Investing? Indulge me this one is another one of my “Hail Mary” stretches of thematic premise.

Strangely Index Funds have been around for many decades (in one form or another), but it is only in the past 10 years or so (maybe less) that they have suddenly come into vogue.

If you are to believe the media Index Funds started with John Bogle and the Vanguard Group, in fact:

Bogle started the First Index Investment Trust on December 31, 1975

So almost 40 years ago Index Fund investing began. The beginnings were inauspicious, but as with “It’s a Wonderful Life” after many “experts” scoffing at the idea, Index Fund investing (or Couch Potato Investing, or one of its many other names) is mainstream and beloved by investors all over the world (OK, now I am pouring it on a bit thick).

Of course, as we know from an 80’s video, It is a Wonderful Life

Wonderful Life – Black

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Old becomes New

After a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, as we dropped one of my daughters off at school, my son saw one of my daughter’s university buddies playing Guitar Hero on a PS/2 (evidently at University, the kids “rough it” by using 1 generation back technology), and my son was enthralled by the site of this game. His hand eye co-ordination was such that he couldn’t get the hang of the guitar, however, he remembered that we had a PS/2 in our basement, collecting dust, and I was ordered to set it up for him (well, it sounded like an order, I think he said please).

Good Fun

Previously Enjoyed Toys

Setting up the game was easier than I remember, as the TV we use for my son had a spare AVI port (you know that old Red White and Yellow cable we used to use on tube tvs?) and for the rest of the day my son was enjoying Simpson’s Road Rage (although he likes to play Air Guitar Hero (you walk around with the “guitar” acting like you are playing the game).

This all got me thinking that with my son, and how he has had many regifted toys over his life (he has  Teletubbies, Tickle Me Elmo and a Tutter from his sisters and many other older toys) and seems no worse for wear for me not spending many dollars on toys. I remember the amount of pain my wife went through to get those toys new (the Tickle Me Elmo craze was a scary time), and I am happy that they can actually be enjoyed again.

You do realize that Christmas is coming in a while, are you going to buy your kids or grandkids a bunch of toys, that may end up locked in a closet one day? What if you put some money in an RESP for them, or in trust for when they get older? Does old money get locked in a closet ?

 

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Boxing Day Mayhem

By the time you read this, the mayhem that is Boxing Day will have already begun. People will have stayed up most of the night trying to get bargains or reasons to spend any money they got for Christmas, but keep this piece of advice in mind (from our friends at Bro Tips):

and also remember my advice from a while back too:

Also very True
Also very True

Spend wisely and Respect Each Other

The people working today, are there to serve you, but that doesn’t mean you get to treat them like dirt, show them respect and thank them for being there today.

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Happy Christmas 2013

A Happy and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones from THE Canadian Personal Finance Site (Big Cajun Man sole proprietor).

 

Yup this is my actual Christmas Tree

Yup this is my actual Christmas Tree

Happy Christmas

 

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Christmas Eve is Here

Hope you are ready for Christmas, because it’s pretty much here. You have one more day to get those last things you think you needed.  Many people travel today, while some have the tradition of the major celebration for Christmas being tonight (after midnight mass), how ever you celebrate I hope you enjoy it.

A few last-minute tips:

  • Remember to have your bills paid as banks are “closed” for the next couple of days.
  • Given the bad weather we have been having, make sure you have more than half a tank of gas in your car (usually a good idea in the winter anyhow).
  • If you are out shopping today, remember everyone is stressed, but if you don’t succumb to the mayhem, you will be a better person at the end of it. Same holds true with your family as well.
  • This is a festival of joy and celebration, always remember that.

And always remember:

 

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