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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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

  • 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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Happy Canada Day #MoneyTalk

🇨🇦 Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦

It is Canada’s Birthday, but it is an odd one with the COVID19 Pandemic going on. I live in Ottawa, but there are no outdoor celebrations here for the first time I can recall. Canada Day 2020 falling on a Wednesday makes for an odd work week as well. Is it two 2-day weeks? I 2-day week and a 5 day weekend? Chacun va choisir.

I continue to see the majority of folks I see “outside” not wearing masks, and many ignoring distancing as well. Let’s hope Canada does not follow the US model of simply assuming it is all OK and life has returned to normal ? I wear mine for everyone I love that I don’t want to infect, why aren’t you wearing one?

The new Ontario Math curriculum for Grades 1-8 is interesting. I think it is a good idea, but I am also a Math Graduate. The subject matter is fine, but they need to find more ways to make Math (and STEM in general) more inclusive. I would love to see program information on how the system teaches the subject. Far too many kids are “turned off” or “left out” on the subject, I want to see more fresh faces in the world of math. If you saw my graduating class in 1986 you would understand what I meant.

Evidently Financial Literacy is also being included in this program, which is important, but again, hopefully it will be taught in a way to be inclusive. Me standing in front of a bunch of 8 year olds teaching them about Bond Yields, would be less than ideal (as an example of how NOT to teach Financial Literacy).

I tip my cap to celebrate 100th Anniversary of the Negro Leagues #tipyourcap2020. The “Negro League” (apologies for using the historic term) was where segregated black players could play baseball before Jackie Robinson broke the ceiling and joined the Major Leagues (in Montreal).

My battle against unwanted email continues, it is manageable, but I am finding that many subscriptions seem to be like herpes, they never really go away.

An excellent Canadian Financial Quip is that Peter Jennings (a great Canadian Newsman), never purchased a new car (only used cars).

Inflation (year over year May 2020) -0.4 %
Bank of Canada Overnight Rate June 30th 0.25%
Unemployment Rate (as of May 2020)13.7%
GDP Growth (Q1 2020)-11.6%
Population of Canada (Jan 1, 2020)37.894 Million
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 June 19th

COVID19 Data Canada

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

Total Cases103,918
Total Deaths8,566
Data as of June 30th 2020 AM

Past Writings

I seem to find my writing muse last week and there were a bunch of articles written. The backlog of stories, dropped, a little.

  • Not Asking is Rejection by Default is very true. I have written about this previously, but it is still very true. You need to stand up for your self (while not being rude or mean either (which is the Canadian way)).
  • MER : A Worm in the RESP Money Tree has been a theme I have written about many times. The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a shorter term savings plan, so a high Management Cost in your account is taking a big bite out of your growth.
  • Banking Malware Be Aware is from my technical blogging and security blog, but very financially relevant. Do not click on anything sent to you from anyone, without being positive it is what you think it is.
  • RDSP : Quick Points started out as my notes for an interview I did with Tom Drake on the Registered Disability Savings Plan. The interview link is there as well, and it went well.
  • A Guide to Understanding the Tax Considerations When Cashing out an RESP is a Guest Post (I must be getting soft in my old age) about withdrawing funds (the right way) from your child’s RESP.

Become a Tangerine client today

Celebrating Canada Financially

There may not be a lot of fireworks and celebrating together, but still some great Canadian financial perspectives on Financial Literacy, and money.

  • Will the Supreme Court Decision against Uber change the Gigg Economy? I don’t think as much as folks hope, but any movement towards making folks actual employees is a good thing. It is a fairly narrow decision, but maybe it is a small step forward.
  • The Globe had a round up article last week, that had a section on someone asking, “What to with an RESP for $500,000“? Kind of gives you a good perspective on who reads the Globe, don’t it?
  • For those unaware Kerry from Squawkfox (a friend of this site) has been in the battle of her life, read more about it here, This could save someone’s life
  • Michael James reviews yet another books for those who have issues dealing with money, Talk Money to Me, is a good book if you really do need help.
  • Mark from the Blunt Bean Counter sums up my current views about working at home nicely in, Working from Home – Get Me Out of Here! I must admit that I am getting a little house happy these days, as well.

Tweets of the Week

First, a great public health message from a person of whom I am not very fond.


I keep having deep thoughts these COVIDy days. The thoughts can’t be turned into an actual article, but they fit a tweet well.


I am really not sure of the validity of this set of tweets, however reading the entire set of them is not surprising, more is the pity.


Videos of the Week

Think you are an expert about Money Laundering now that you have watched Ozarks, Breaking Bad and Narcos? Not so quick there slick. A real professor does some fact checking on the topic. See, you did learn something from this site.


Random Thoughts from the Past

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