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Good Friday, COVID continues, XRP, Tax Time and #MoneyTalk

Good Friday is a day of reflection. Why is it called Good Friday? (click here to find out) It is a day of endings, but of new beginnings too. If you need a milestone to start new behaviours Easter is actually better than the New Year. In the Christian perspective Easter is the New Year.

The old problem? We still have COVID, and all the associated issues. Vaccines are now deploying, but not as fast as they should. Businesses are failing, jobs are being lost and people are dying. Amazing what you get used to, I suppose. I have not been jabbed yet, even though I am over 60, but that may happen soon? Given all the vaccinations going on, why are the numbers so bad today? People are people.

How about Bitcoin? I keep getting asked about it because I am a Technology Geek and I write this, and my answer is simple, what? I have always viewed Bitcoin as currency (at best), and I have shied away from Currency Arbitrage whenever I could. I am not investing directly in Bitcoin, although the Index Funds I hold might do something with it. What about other Cryptocurrencies? What about XRP ? It is actually being used as a currency, but no one really talks about that. Axios (on HBO) episode 6 season 4 does a segment on XRP, very interesting. There are many cryptocurrencies out there.

Tax Time is here! I have already submitted my return and got my refund. I have also realized I may not have claimed something and may need to send an update. Tax Time is a wonderful time of year, so go get it done.

The good new is the Suez Canal has been cleared, so shipping can start again. The better news is the number of Memes that are created because of it. See farther down for only a few of these classics.

Inflation (year over year February 2021) 1.1%
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate April 2nd0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of February 2021)8.2%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q4 2020)(quarterly change)2.3%
Population of Canada (Est January 2, 2021)38,048,738
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of April 2nd, 2021

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases971,715
Total Deaths22,900
Data as of April 2nd, 2021

Past Writings

So, haven’t done one of these in a long while. I am reworking some of my older articles, and attempting to start writing a bit more often. Maybe I’ll try to become an #Influencer? 💩

  • CPP and EI for 2021, never mess with a winning topic. The deduction allowances have changed and here is where you can read about it!
  • Quick Financial Thoughts just a few financial ideas to read about.
  • A Mortgage Changes You no matter what anyone tells you. You either learn to be fiscally responsible, or you lose your home.
  • Chutzpah in Job Interviews a rewrite from before I got laid off, when I was interviewed by an interesting chap. I assume he was well intentioned, but still, don’t use a term when you can’t pronounce it correctly. Also, never correct someone interviewing you either.
  • The One Thing That Helped me Get a Job is back when I was hunting for a job and the things I learned about how to find a job.
  • Paying Off Debt is Risky ? An odd comment on Instagram (when I was trying to become an influencer) caused me to erupt here.
  • My CRA Error ERR.021 what happens when the CRA gets advice about possibly hacked accounts? The hilarity that follows, is astounding.
  • RDSP Grant Entitlement Statement 2021 for another year we can put $1000 into our son’s RDSP.
  • How do You do your Taxes? A rewrite of an older commentary on doing your taxes.
  • Property Tax Alternative idea? Property taxes are becoming more and more expensive and it is mostly due to the sky-rocketing prices of homes in major Canadian cities.
  • Advice for New Grads? Another rewrite of some notes I made for an interview, for a magazine, that no longer exists.


Easter, a time to rebuild and restart?

As I have said many times, Easter is a great time to restart things. How about those resolutions you made on January 1st?


Sobering Message From Preet B.

At the end of it, somebody gets paid

Rick Mercer’s Nasty View on Taxes

I don’t think there is a more descriptive video for Tax Time than this Rick Mercer classic.

Rick Mercer for Governor General

That looks Stuck

That is what most of us thought of…

Hoyes Nails It

At the end of it, somebody gets paid

Canada is #1 But Maybe Not For a Good Thing

At the end of it, somebody gets paid

Random Thoughts from the Past

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Financial Year That Was 2020

The year 2020 is a year to be remembered. Unlike 2008 where there was a financial apocalypse, 2020 gave us a Pandemic. The pandemic has caused a financial apocalypse of its own. Whether there will be a quick recovery from it, remains to be seen.

In previous years I have written over 200 articles in a year. In 2020, I wrote a great deal less than 200 articles. I continue to have a huge backlog of unfinished titles, but 2020 was an interesting year. Here is the entire list, missing my #MoneyTalk compilation posts.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

CPP and EI Maximums for 2020, was my most read and searched article all year. I have done these every year for a while, so not sure why it was so popular, but here it is. I have in fact already published CPP and EI for 2021 to see if it is as popular.

My CRA Account another highly searched article, outlining how to set up your on-line CRA account. You really should set that up.

When to Put Money in RRSP I created a step by step reasoning, and naturally someone complained it wasn’t a waterfall. Seems there is no pleasing some folks.

Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:

Miscellaneous

The Hidden Cost of Land Transfer Taxes is a rework of a much older article. Funny I never hear about this being part of the purchase of a home. This is not an insignificant lump of money.

Moving Expenses for Students are things to remember if you have just graduated. These costs can help lower your initial tax bill.

What to do with Found Money (update) with some added ideas. Remember to wait before making any big money decisions.

Not Asking is Rejection by Default is a simple yet very true statement.

The Financial Echo Chamber is a dangerous place. Many of us live in bubbles, that really don’t help. You need to see opposing opinions, to understand the whole picture.

I Like My Money Like I Like My Coffee a bit of click-bait, that no one seemed to think was funny. Nice photo of a cup of coffee though.

Free Credit Bureau Access sounds lovely doesn’t it? Unfortunately the reasons for it, are not so lovely.

The Dangers of Automatic Reloading I have written about this before. Keep this in mind, when you automate things. The Perils of Automatic Payments is also an area you should audit regularly. If you pay bills from PayPal or a Credit Card, make sure you restrict access to only those bills you want paid.

Credit Card: One Time Services can help if you are late paying your bill. This only comes into play, if you are a customer who normally pays things off on time.

RESP – Registered Education Savings Plans

RESP withdrawals and Taxes was a guest post by a chap from UFILE, a little thin in spots, but still interesting.

A Guide to Understanding the Tax Considerations When Cashing out an RESP was a guest post, that was OK, but missed a few aspects of things, as well.

MER : A Worm in the RESP Money Tree especially if you use the wrong Mutual Fund. Using low MER ETF’s or Index Funds is the way to go there.

RESP Only For the Rich ? There is an argument that this is how it ends up. The poor, don’t open accounts, even though they can earn money without deposit. Banks don’t market them to those with low incomes, thus, RESP’s are for the rich.

RDSP and Disabled Loved Ones

RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement 2020 another yearly post. I get this document outlining how much money will received matching grants in my son’s RDSP.

Henson Trusts another way to save for a disabled loved one. Some good links to help out, if you wish to go in this direction.

More RDSP Talk in preparation for my chat with Tom Drake a few thoughts came to mind.

RDSP : Quick Points are the notes from my Chat with Tom Drake about RDSPs. As usual a little disjoint, but usable for research.

Specified Disability Savings Plan – SDSP – How Does it Work ? The RDSP is a very long-term savings plan, but there can be exceptions for early withdrawal of funds. The rules are very precise for these early withdrawals.

RDSP after DTC Lost is now much clearer in terms of what to do. The RDSP no longer must be closed within a year, which is a good thing.

Microsoft Canada Surface Book 3 English

Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business and Self-Employed was an excellent article written by my daughter. She is a small business member and COVID has impacted them a great deal.

COVID-19 Are we F*cked ? really was prophetic. The pandemic has made a mess of so many financial things. Interesting to see the comments as well.

Doomsday Finances was an old article I recycled. Whenever you can talk about Star Trek and money together, you know you have a winner.

Post COVID-19 Budget ? but when will you be able to use it? Soon, is the hope, but remember, right now, your life is different. Maybe you can bring some good habits forward, but maybe not.

How to Open a Kids Bank Account in the time of COVID was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. Still had to go into a bank storefront to complete it, which was annoying.

The Year to Come?

As I have said, don’t count on 2021 being a complete turn around year. I can be better, but it could even be worse. If anything 2020 has taught us is, you can never guess what might be coming next. If you want try some New Years Resolutions, but don’t look too far ahead, you might trip on something in front of you.

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Happy New Year 2021 and #MoneyTalk

Happy New Year, and with this new year we can finally say, “Hindsight is 2020”. Sorry for the Dad Humour, but that is only way I can laugh at 2020. Truly a year that will be one we talk about for a long time.

Planning any great New Year Resolutions? I think they are for suckers, you can change any time of the year. I’ll bet the Gyms take a big beating as most are closed and all those folks who want to get in shape for the New Year can’t sign up for a year long subscription. I am not dissuading you from making a Financial Change, just be realistic. Start with small changes, they add up slowly.

Many folks think that the New Year will be a panacea for how bad 2020 was, but I am skeptical. This year has potential to be better later on in the year, but the Winter has potential to be as bad as 2020. Hope is a good thing, as I have mentioned before, but don’t get your hopes too high.

Will we all be working at home more, after things settle down? Maybe, but don’t be so sure it will continue as it did during the Pandemic. I can work remotely, but many teams cannot for many reasons. I am hoping for a hybrid solution for me. Less days in the office, would be nice, but I am not sure it will happen that way.

I turn 60 this year, so that makes me a Senior, I suppose. Given I am part of the privileged class (old white guys), I don’t feel that privileged. Must be subscribing to the wrong magazines?

Inflation (year over year November 2020) 1.0% ⬆️
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate December 24 th 0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of November 2020)8.5%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q3 2020)(quarterly change)8.9%
Population of Canada (Est July 1, 2020)38,005,238
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of December 31st 2020

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases572,982
Total Deaths15,472
Data as of December 30th 2020

Past Writings

As the year closes, I realize I have not driven too much this year. I will write more this coming year, but not sure on which topic. More on RDSPs, but maybe a few other topics. Maybe I’ll try to become an #Influencer? 💩

  • The Perils of Automatic Payments outlines why you need to audit your automatic payment situation. If you use PayPal or allow companies to take money from your bank account, you need to know who is doing it. I was astounded to see how many were set up on my PayPal.
  • Merry Christmas 2020 are my Christmas wishes for this year. I also linked to all my previous Holiday Wishes. I have been doing this a long time.
  • Weirdest Boxing Day Ever? Certainly from the retail store perspective it was. In Ottawa most stores only did curb side sales. The Costco near me was not busy at all. On-line things may have been different.


Good Bye 2020, and Good Riddance?

This belief that 2021 has to be better than 2020, is naive. For some folks 2020 was a great year (ask Jeff Bezos). It is all a question of perspectives.


Password Security

PC Magazine published a list of the most common passwords. I have written previously about insecure pins, but these are wild. Take advantage of the year end to update your passwords!

Most common passwords for 2020
From PC Magazine’s Best Products of 2020 https://www.pcmag.com/

Internet Gouging?

Ellen Roseman points out that Canadians are getting gouged, and not just at the pump.

Canadians continue to get gouged for their Internet

Dancing Robots?

Great now even Robots dance better than me?


All Those Happy New Years

Yes, for about 15 years I have wished you a Happy New Year

  • A happy new year for 2021 ? Well it started pretty grotty, but it might get better.
  • I must have had an inkling about 2020, as I didn’t wish you a Happy New Year to start things. Hopefully with this post I have helped make the year better?
  • In 2019 I was too practical with Tangible Financial New Years Resolutions but still worthwhile thinking about it, eh?
  • For Happy New Year 2018 I had a great photo of being stuck on the 401 during a snowstorm, and links to previous New Year Messages.
  • 2017 I pointed out that you start paying CPP and EI again, so your net pay is going to be lower.
  • 2016 Happy New Year, just didn’t happen, not sure why, must have been having a grinchy holiday?
  • 2015 Happy New Year and I included a really bad joke about it being the year of the RAM in the Chinese Calendar.
  • 2014 Happy New Year again I pointed out that CPP and EI rates were increasing as well, I really am a kill joy.
  • 2013 was a Happy New Year, a celebratory Sunday was the photo to start the year.
  • 2012 I used to post best of Twitter posts, and it seems to have fallen on a Sunday as well.
  • Merry New Year! It All Starts again…  was how 2011 started, and I included a bunch of resolutions in that article.
  • 2010 New Year began with me in a new job, which was very nice, given I had been unemployed for a while.
  • 2009 started a little bleak, in that I was unemployed, and was looking for a job, during a major economic crisis.
  • Belated Happy and Prosperous New Year was how 2008 started, the economy was booming, employment was high, but there were hints of the systemic failure that was coming soon.
  • A New Year Brings Tax Breaks? The tax breaks appeared in 2007 but later disappeared, unfortunately.
  • 2006 I was still figuring out what this whole thing was going to be, but I did show some signs of a ranting good time.

Yes, I really did start in 2005.


Random Thoughts from the Past

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Vaccines, Here Comes Christmas and #MoneyTalk

Looks like we have a vaccine story, so I guess the answer to “COVID are we f*cked?“, is, “Not so much, but not great yet“. There are multiple vaccines, and as usual some interesting issues. The reactions from allergic folks shouldn’t be too surprising. Does this mean the end is near? Not quite yet, my guess is we have a pretty dire Winter ahead, but things are looking better.

How can the government afford all this spending? Old folks like me quibble about the National Debt, but evidently Modern Monetary Theory suggests, Government Debt doesn’t matter. I don’t agree, but we shall see, maybe I am wrong (again).

If you received CERB, you might be getting a note from the CRA asking for the money back. There was some interesting wordsmith work done, which changed the context of eligibility.

Nice to see the prime rates at the banks are steady, however, given their “High Interest Savings Accounts” are mostly pay 0.1% or lower, doesn’t mean much to me. EQ bank seems to be paying a bit more, at 1.5% currently (see ads on this site).

Inflation (year over year October 2020) 0.7%
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate November 17th 0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of November 2020)8.5%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q3 2020)(quarterly change)8.9%
Population of Canada (Est July 1, 2020)38,005,238
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of December 12th

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases442,069
Total Deaths13,109
Data as of December 10th 2020

Past Writings

Here comes Christmas at a break neck pace. Going to be a very different celebration, given the lockdowns going on. Haven’t done one of these posts in a while, it seems:

  • I got absolutely no comments on I Likes My Coffees Like I Likes My Money, which leaves me scratching my head. I figured someone would post a snarky comment or something, or rail at me about my last comment about women, but nothing. Maybe all my “readers” are actually just me?
  • When to Put Money in RRSP is a very good question, luckily I created a diagram, that a bunch of trolls said, “That is not a waterfall”. You get what I mean though.
  • Free Credit Bureau Access sounds like a great deal, however, as before free comes with costs. Thanks to having Desjardins accounts, I am now worse for wear. I NEED credit bureau access (for 5 years no less).
  • Convenience always has a cost, and The Dangers of Automatic Reloading outlines that cost.
  • The Hidden Cost of Land Transfer Taxes I wrote about this before, but somehow managed to resurrect the topic again. Land transfer taxes are rarely mentioned as part of your Real Estate costs, but they do add up.
  • How to Open a Kids Bank Account in the time of COVID is more complicated than you might think. It worked, but I wish I’d been able to use one of the on-line banks. Kids accounts are not usually part of their portfolio.
  • Specified Disability Savings Plan – SDSP – How Does it Work ? This is an important way that someone who is going to die in the next 5 years can take money out of their RDSP. Yes, the RDSP is complicated, but still a great very long-term savings option, for the disabled.
  • If you make a credit card payment late, there is a Credit Card: One Time Services that you can ask for. You can’t do it very often, and you better have been paying off your cards regularly.
  • The Government has finally gotten around to cleaning up the question RDSP after DTC Lost question. Naturally the response is complicated, but the account no longer needs to be collapsed within a year of losing the DTC. The assumption is that the person with the disability most likely will get their Disability Tax Credit back (in time).


Christmas is coming, but do we care?

Given many parts of Canada are going to be under lockdown over Christmas, how will we celebrate? Hopefully in a more sedate fashion? I ask that you follow your local authorities rules about congregating together.


Tweets of the Past While

This is so truly English. The gentleman’s biggest complaint about getting the Vaccine? He couldn’t find parking so he was late!

Can he be any more English?

He isn’t wrong

What do you do with a 3 stories tall Grinch? Save Christmas, that is for sure!

The Grinch Saves Christmas Again

Random Thoughts from the Past

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COVID19 Opening Up, Middle Aged Canada and #MoneyTalk

Slowly we attempt to return to a semblance of normalcy, in our new COVID19 dominated world. In Ottawa, most businesses are “open” but under strict rules about distancing and masks are to be used pretty much everywhere.

Don’t expect Interest rates to go up any time soon.

The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds.

Bank of Canada July 2020 Monetary Report

They are ready to react if Inflation occurs, but it sounds like they are not expecting that any time soon. Cheap credit continues on.

Not sure about the whole kerfuffle about wearing a mask. I wear it to protect my family and to protect the folks I interact with. Why folks are yelling at minimum wage employees of firms, is beyond understanding.

Can we nominate Dr. Fauci for President? Asking for a friend. Border being closed is good for Canada overall, but bad for tourism and those towns that rely on our American visitors.

On the topic of masking, my battle against unwanted email continues. I have not slain the dragon but it is wounded and my influx of spam has slowed.

The median age in Canada is 40.8 years old? I was not aware of that (the data is from July 2019). Seems like the country is not aging nor is it getting any younger.

There are more Seniors than Young Folk and it is only going to increase in the future.

Of those old folks most of them are Baby Boomers too. Stats Can’s definition of a Boomer is born between 1946 to 1965. That is interesting because for the longest time I wasn’t a boomer, but now I am included in them. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not?

Inflation (year over year May 2020) -0.4 %
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate July 17th 0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of June 2020)12.3%
Real GDP By Expenditure (Q1 2020)(quarterly change)-2.1%
Population of Canada (Est April 1, 2020)37,971,020
CIBC current prime rate2.45%
BMO current prime rate2.45%
Scotiabank prime lending rate2.45%
TD prime lending rate2.45%
Tangerine prime lending rate2.45%
Some Useful Financial Data for Canadians as of July 17th

COVID19 Data Canada

Click here to find an up to date graphic from the Government of Canada

Total Cases109,264
Total Deaths8,827
Data as of July 15th 2020

Past Writings

Thanks to a bad tooth infection I have been distracted with other things. It is slowly being repaired, but I will hopefully have an implant to replace the missing teeth soon.


The Economy Limps Forward

While businesses slowly reopen, can they survive in this environment? That remains to be seen. Real Estate, however, continues to defy logic, in terms of market elasticity.


Tweets of the Week

I have said, Don’t Click That, before, I guess some folks will do anything if a Celebrity tells them to on Twitter.


For those who thought that somehow the Financial Industry was an ethical place.


An interesting perspective from our friends in Reddit.


Random Thoughts from the Past

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