Straight Talk on Your Money

A friend of this web site is Doug Hoyes (CA, CPA) and he gave me a copy of his book Straight Talk on Your Money to review. As most folks who have given me their books know, I am atrocious at reading and following up on books, however, Mr. Hoyes had an ace in the hole, he has published an Audiobook. I subscribe to Audible, so I used one of my credits to purchase the book and was pleasantly surprised.

Straight Talk on Your Money

Amazon Link

Mr. Hoyes’ presence and narration of the book is excellent. Many times authors fool themselves into thinking that only they can bring their story to life, but Mr. Hoyes’ experience with his podcast has served him well.

This is a book for anyone wanting to learn about how your financial plans can go awry. The stories told are of ordinary folks, who had some very bad luck, or things just got out of control. If you think you have everything under control, read the book you will feel less confident and see where your plan might need tweaking.

If you think you have your life insurance story in place, please read the There is More to Death than Life Insurance section. I did like the section about Never Loan Money to Family or Friends as well. I won’t ruin it for you, but it really does make sense to me.

The book is an excellent read and the audio book is really great to listen to while commuting or on long car trips too. Mr. Hoyes’ delivery on the audiobook is top rate (and his son engineered the book as well, and the sound balance was very good). This is not a classic How To financial book but it gives concrete examples about how life is variable and things can go wrong.

Straight Talk on Your Money is an excellent financial read.

Open Disclosure

I do like Mr. Hoyes, I have only met him a few times, however we have spoken many times on-line, and I have been a guest on his podcast twice. Mr. Hoyes  is a bankruptcy trustee (and an accountant), and he seems to genuinely care about his customers as well. Mr. Hoyes did give me a copy of his book, however, I bought the audiobook version myself. I am not receiving any payment for this review. If you click on the Amazon link I will make a small commission. Please keep this in mind reading my review.

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Fake Money News and other Manipulations

Fake Money News and other Manipulations

The headlines are full of how both Facebook and Google were bamboozled into delivering fake news during the past U.S. Election (2016), but for anyone who knows much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this is no big surprise. SEO is the pseudo-science (some say snake oil) that causes your searches to make certain articles to come out on the front page of your search pages. Fake Money news is also out there.

Gossip or Fake Money news

Money Gossip ?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Manipulating Facebook, Twitter and Search Engines to bring up “less than scrupulous” news on any topic is not as hard as you might think.

Learn more about Internet Sliminess 

Most folks don’t really understand how search engines work, and how Google, Facebook and many other sites decide what you should look at (and to be clear, they decide what you look at, you have very little choice in the matter). Large companies are out there to market websites so that they get high rankings on the Internet Major Sites (as you can tell, I do not use those firms). There are estimates on how much is spent on SEO, and it is now in the Billions of Dollars worldwide (I am also including folks who pay for advertising on Google, Facebook, Twitter and other sites). Who has that kind of money to get Fake Money News in front of you? You would be surprised to see who spends money on it.

An interesting book about the SEO world

Go to your favourite search engine and type in

I need money

Look at what sites come up first. Many short-term loan and Pay Day loan companies, because they pay good money to get on that first page. They want to find you, and they want you to find them first! Are these the right sites for you to look at?

Absolutely not!

People seem to think the Internet is a great and all knowing oracle, but don’t be fooled. It is a business, and how does Google, Facebook, or Twitter make money? Selling search results to the highest bidder. Why do companies pay so much to them? Those Internet Leaders promise that they will deliver customers to the buyers doorstep.

Does this sound like Mad Men to you? That is pretty close, it is yet another spin on the world of Advertising (without the 4 Scotch lunches, and Don Draper-isms).

Yes, you can find a few of my articles around, but you have to look hard. I have tried hard to be on the first page for Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP), but I am nowhere to be seen. Which sites are on the first page on Google? The CRA (which is good), the Banks and then a litany of firms that will help you get your RDSP set up.

If I wanted to manipulate a specific stock putting out fake news to drive the stock down or up could be simply done (and has been done to Apple and other stocks in the past). Having the next sure fire investing method is simple to push, because everyone is looking to get an edge.

What is my point?

You are being manipulated, every time you click on a search result on Google, or an ad on Facebook or Twitter. Someone paid good money (or did some dirty tricks (SEO has Black and White Hats)) for you to see that search (usually), but if you realize that, you are already better off.

A great alternate search engine is Duck Duck Go

Be skeptical about things you read on the web (yes, here too). Get different opinions, different views, use different search engines. You are being sold something every time you look at the Internet, be it news, money advice, travel advice, or so many other topics.

Ted has another angle on this subject:

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Premium Artisan Automated Investing Profiles

This is the only thing that has not been used to try to get folks interested in the alleged new FinTech world, the Premium Artisan Automated Investing Profiles .

Premium Artisan Automated Investing Profiles

Beautiful Artisan Investing Looms
Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do I mean by FinTech? Well you might ask, let’s go with Wikipedia’s view:

Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is an economic industry composed of companies that use technology to make financial services more efficient. Financial technology companies are generally startups founded with the purpose of disrupting incumbent financial systems and corporations that rely less on software.

Artisan Investing?

Artisan Investing™ would imply: Individual or customized (and naturally highly researched), investing plans and everyone likes to feel like they are not just one of the unwashed masses. Your investing would be taken care of in an Artisan way, using only the best techniques, methodologies and investing concepts. The ETFs used in your profile would only be of the highest quality, and only invest in companies that create the highest quality products.

However, if we view the term Artisan as meaning:

a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.

then the concept of Artisan Investing™ is completely ludicrous (of course), since FinTech implies automated or “… not made by hand”. FinTech implies using technology to do things well, since Artisan implies using “tried and true old school methodologies”.

Artisan is getting tacked onto all sorts of products and services, why not “new” financial technologies, as well? Soon to be available from your local trading housePremium Artisan Automated Investing Profiles.

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All Saints’ Money Tweets

Happy All Saints’ Day, where we solemly note all the saints, and remember those who have passed away this year as well. You might well ask who is the patron saint of money? I am glad you asked, Saint Matthew is the patron saint of money, as he was a tax collector for the Romans before he became a Christian (oh and Saint Matthew’s day is September 21st). I believe it is also Financial Literacy month, so watch for #FinLit tweets as well.

What spooky and exciting money tweets were there this week? Well just have a look at some of these beauties.

I always like it when Stats Canada has some fun, and they have published a very fun report to read about Halloween related information, a lot of fun this one:

Apple’s Q4 numbers looked quite good, evidently the hipsters that lover their Apple products continue to keep buying, and any tweet with a Simpsons theme is OK by me as well.

Ellen Roseman wants to make sure we don’t fall for the phony CRA calls that are happening more and more, trying to Phish information from us.

Are you ready for an emergency, Stats Canada (who seems to be stepping up their Social Media presence, so good on them) has some numbers for you on this:

I think in the big picture, we all want to be Preet, as he proves, he lives an exciting life. Can’t remember the last time I used a light sabre at work.

Some of Canada’s leading bloggers pose and show off their pearly whites, no, I am not in the picture.

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Turkey Election Talk and Money Tweets for the Week

The Canadian Election is finally within our grasp, but before that there will be plenty of interesting tweets about money and the economy that you should think about before you vote (if you have not voted already).

Heed this advice, make sure you can vote, if you do not vote, you are a fool, and you don’t get to complain. If you can’t vote, find out why, and remedy it.

An actual bank offering robo-advisor services could be a good thing, unless it is programmed to act simply like a mutual fund salesman to buy their own mutual funds. Robo-advisors can be a good idea, but it is only as good as the programmers behind it and the policies and rules that it runs with.

If you think compensation for top executives are somehow under control after the outrages from 2008, you would be sorrowly mistaken. Upper management takes care of their own, and shareholders are the only ones who are going to stop this insanity.

Remember, that teaching your children about money can never start too soon, as Kerry from Squawkfox proudly tells us

Given you have taught your children about money, I think the least they can do is take care of you in your old age?

One last thought from our friends at TVO (please support them), for those of you Planning for Your Retirement, do you know what you are using to exercise on, and where it came from?

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