Dusty Typewriters and #Moneytalk

It has been a long while since I have written one of these, so I figured I’d dust off the old Olivetti and bash one out. I can already here the, “OK Boomer“, comments being sent. For those unaware Olivetti made portable typewriters. Typewriters were after pen and paper but before the Interweb.

Olivetti Lettera 22, Yes I have used this too!

What have I been up to, that I no longer pump out 5 articles a week? Life, mostly. As a proud member of the Sandwich Generation my life enjoys interesting sidetracks with my Grandkids, Children, and my Mother, all of which are important. I still have a backlog of about 300 articles in various states of publishing, so there is plenty to work on, just need the time.

For those who may look at my archives, I have actually been deleting a lot of older material that was just bad (in my opinion). Some of it really did not stand up over time.

This site is allegedly running on a better and faster platform. That remains to be seen, because it still loads pretty slowly on a PC or Mac. On a phone it seems OK (yes, there is a special smartphone version of this site!).

Election?

I am curious to see how the Minority Liberal Government goes about business. My guess is this will last about 2 years, unless there is a horrific scandal for one of the parties, in which case we might see a rare snap Winter Election! Minority governments do little, which is fine by me.

Recent Articles

Recent is a relative statement since I have written only a handful of articles this year. I’ll give you some of my stuff that I think you should read.

Movember is here, and a few years back I had a nasty episode, that scared me, but unfortunately this year I mark Movember with the passing of a dear friend from prostate cancer. Men need to see doctors, and not just to get blue pills.

The New Ontario Autism Funding system isn’t going to do much for me. I wish it paid for my son’s school, so I could actually think about retiring, but that will never happen.

I was really happy to see that the Marriage Preparation course my youngest daughter took had a section on Finance and Money, but I think it could have gone a bit farther. Money is the one thing that can destroy any relationship, so both parties need to enter the relationship with their financial eyes open.

The luxury that the rich have is that they can make financial mistakes and recover, and with 5 Mistakes Rich Folks Make I was trying to get that point across. If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, don’t take risks financially.

I do have a technology blog where I write even more rarely so Banking Security delves into that area of technology to do with Financial Technology (I don’t like FinTech it is too kitchy a term these days). The security was OK, but can always be better.

Ellen is Back

Friend of this site Ellen Roseman has returned to blogging, or retired to it? She isn’t really retired, she just seems to have stopped writing for newspapers as a job, but is doing lots of other fun and cool financial stuff. A good tweet from her about Insurance folks.

A good reply by Ellen

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Financial Winter is Coming (again)

I have continued to read many different writers, and I try to expand my horizons as well. If you keep reading the same authors, how do you learn about new things?

  • Michael James wrote about Correlation and when he talks about mathematics and large data, you really should listen to him. The clinching statement that should make you read this is, “… It’s impossible to know the correlation of two investments exactly. …”
  • Robb Engen of Boomer & Echo has officially gone off his nut! OK that is click bait but he has quit his “day job” to work full time on the stuff he likes doing. Good for him, maybe I should start doing the jobs everyone is quitting to become bloggers? Oh, I forgot I already am, I am a Civil Servant.
  • John Robertson is Taking Leave for a different reason and that is to take care of a loved one. Looks like he has a plan on how this is going to work, and he knows what he is sacrificing, but I admire him for what he is doing.
  • Christine Benz wrote a piece on Morningstar that made my blood boil, titled Not OK. Evidently a door to door financial advisor had hooked her sister who has an intellectual disability into consulting with her. Read the story it really disturbs me that people try to make money this way.
  • As I get closer to being a Senior Citizen, I keep wondering when the discounts will start, Rob Carrick wrote about The sad reality of seniors discounts. I do get cheaper coffee at McDonalds, though.

Preet brings you (through Tangerine) some help understanding Passive Investing.

Haven’t seen him look that Pensive since his last Scotch Tasting

You sure you recognize Fake news?


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Financial March Madness, Changing Frugal Lifestyles and #Moneytalk

March Madness is in high gear with the Elite 8 going on this weekend. As usual my bracket cannot win even though I still have 4 possible victors in the final four. My ability to prognosticate is pretty bad.

Gas prices are rocketing up in Ottawa, which suggests Inflation (or at least a higher CPI) is coming very soon. With the Carbon Tax there is talk of gas in Ottawa being $1.40 this summer. Maybe it is time to start looking at the Tesla again. We might all need to get a more frugal lifestyle, and soon.

With Brexit causing the UK no end of despair and confusion, this could be a very interesting summer financially. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but it does seem to be a “no win” scenario.

Remember that it is Tax Season, time to get all your documentation and get your return in to the CRA. If you owe money, you don’t have to pay until the deadline and if you are owed money, the sooner you get that money back, the better. Be patient if you call, wait times can be long this time of year.

Recent Articles

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things, but life is still quite interesting for me these days. 3 Ways To Pull Off This Season’s Coolest Financial Trend was really just a bit of click-bait. I really hate to think this is how folks are finding out information, but unfortunately click-bait continues to rule.

RDSP : A Really Long-Term Savings Plan points out with an actual example how big the penalties are for RDSP early withdrawals. I do have a few other examples of how the RDSP system works, so stay tuned.

I’d like to thank the Liberals for this easy tap-in story, RDSP and Budget 2019. They were kind enough to put in a clarification and a change of rules in their latest budget. I still haven’t got a definitive statement that this is now the law of the land, but we shall see.

Troubling and True

Kerry from Squawkfox has a very good point with this answer to a Tweet. Literacy is very important, but sometimes life serves up a big feces sandwich.

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Spending Habits

Interesting that two of my favorite reads had articles on spending habits in retirement. It is interesting to see life-time savers and frugal folk suddenly realize they have to change a habit they have had their whole life.B

  • Michael James (who surprisingly is not the most frugal person in his family) brings us Compensating for Your Money Personality. The word cheap could be used to describe someone as frugal as MJ and his wife, but that is not the right word. I think the word I’d use is driven, which explains things much better.
  • 2nd Career Search has returned from a stay in Florida, and he also writes on the same subject. Saver to Spender Transition explains how he and his wife had to learn to “loosen the purse strings”. If you don’t understand this, think of the chronic overspenders you know, and how hard it would be for them to become frugal.
  • Hoyes Michalos has made a documentary about Millennials & Debt – No Room to Maneuver. I am concerned about the life my children will be able to lead, and this does not help me sleep any better.
  • The Blunt Bean Counter gets into the spirit of Tax Season with The Top Tax Tips for Students. If you don’t take tax tips from an accountant, who should you take advice from?
  • Should you invest in pot stocks? How do you invest in the cannabis sector? That is a good question, my guess is I might enjoy some of the fruits of this new magic herb, but I doubt that I might invest in it directly.

The spring is coming, but slowly in Ottawa, but our friends from the UK might not believe it.

Our friends from the UK may not enjoy the Ottawa Spring

A Worrisome Tweet

Bankruptcy is a Growing Business

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Lent Begins and #MoneyTalk

Today is Ash Wednesday and that means in the Christian world that Lent Begins. For many folks this is a time of reflection, and a time of sacrifice. I don’t really buy into that, I view this more as a time of reflection and growth.

Lent
Lent

This Lent try to add things to your 40 day journey to help you grow as a person. Some great financial ideas might be:

  • Read. Read financial books, read philosophical books or just read something. Reading expands your mind.
  • De-Clutter: I really like this idea. Many Churches are jumping onto the Marie Kondo de-cluttering bandwagon. Try to get rid of 40 bags of things that you can donate to charity. Don’t use it as an excuse to buy other crap though.
  • Get out of Debt. If you want to celebrate at Easter, start getting rid of debt now.

Did you realize that the 40 days of Lent means you can take every Sunday off? Do the arithmetic, from today until Good Friday, that is more than 40 days.

Recent Articles

I haven’t written one of these in a while, so I do have a bit of a backlog on things I have written. Stock Picks for the end of the year, was me simply checking what my picks did over the year. I think it is not too bad, given the whacky year 2018 was.

Tangible Financial New Years Resolutions was pointing out the importance of doing measurable resolutions for the New Year. Yes, it has been a while, since I wrote one of these. CPP and EI for 2019 gives us the rundown on how much we’ll have to pay for CPP and EI this year. Remember to be careful telling folks when you have finished paying CPP.

Are we Exposed on Banks in Canada? Currently most Indexes do seem to include a lot of financial stocks. How important is your Credit Score? More important than your blood pressure levels? No! How about When to Use a Pay Day Loan Service? Never! See a trend?

Pay Taxes or Your RRSP ? Too late to decide now, but still an interesting question. I grow weary from the The Anti-Virus Shell Game, sometimes cheap, most times too damn expensive.

RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement 2019 is our yearly report on what we can put in my son’s RDSP.

Money Deep Thought

The Daily Stoic an email list I subscribe to had some very good advice about debt.

Be wary of debt. Because it is not simply a financial matter. It can be a spiritual matter as well. For to owe can mean to be owned. It can mean that you’ve given up the little bit of control you have in the world and handed it over to a capricious or an insensitive person—or just somebody who values their money more than they value you.

— The Daily Stoic
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Christmas Treats, RESPs, The Markets and Polkas and #MoneyTalk

With Advent upon us, it is not much time until Christmas will be here (and then gone). Did you realize there is actually a Financial Advent Calendar on this very site? You can consult it here.

With interest rates slowly rising, is it time to rethink short term savings? A good example is your RESPs for your kids. Should you be thinking about using GICs to ensure the money grows slowly but safely? Can you even use GICs in your child’s RESP? All good questions. Now you can get GICs with interest rates above 2%, maybe you should at least be putting your kids’ Grant money and put that in  there? Remember it is near year end, if  there is room still left you should  put a top up to get to your $2500 yearly maximum payment to the RESP.

My view of the Stock Market is it is currently having a shart. If you are unclear on what a shart means, please clock on the link. This shart might become something worse soon, given the trade stupidity going on, but for nice it is a mess caused by someone thinking they were only letting off gas.

Are planning on playing the Christmas Money Polka this season? It’s a simple game where you have bought many things on credit, and when the bill arrives in January, because you didn’t budget well you take the cash you got from family and pay off some of those bills. The money just goes round and round, and at the end of it you feel sick (just like a Polka), and broke.

Did you start your Emergency Fund with the idea that you were going to pay off Christmas with it? That’s not an emergency fund, that is a Christmas Fund. Maybe you should have both? Remember starting to plan for Next Christmas can start before this Christmas. You will have a better Christmas perspective now, than in July next summer.

Recent Articles

I really need to read letters more carefully, as I ended up blundering my way into a very large tax bill because of my inability to read letters well. I outline the predicament of my own creation in CRA and me: Assessment Excitement, the CRA was very helpful is the moral of this story.

Podcast of the Week

Finally you get to see what I actually look like, and you may realize why I have commented that I have a face for Radio. I do like the preview photo makes you wonder what I was thinking.

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GM, PC M/C Changes, Podcasts and #MoneyTalk

Allow me to be clear on my opinion of GM shutting down their Oshawa plant, F*ck you GM! You take government bail-outs (fail-outs?), and you then turn around and do this? As a tax payer I am disgusted by this attitude. Yes, I realize this is a business, and it is only a “business decision”, but as a regular person, I still think the thing stinks. I have had 3 GM cars, and all have had issues, and the last one was a Lemon. My opinion of their products is they are low quality.

I recorded yet another Podcast with Doug Hoyes last week, and dropped in on the Hoyes-Michalos offices in Ottawa.  Spoke to a few of the folks in the office, and heard about the scope of the Phoenix pay debacle has had on Ottawa. The chap I spoke to said he has seen plenty of folks who ended up being burned badly by the Phoenix “Pay” system. This included folks who didn’t get paid, and tried to live on their credit which cause the entire “financial apple cart” to fall over. I passed on my personal findings of folks who are turning down promotions, for fear of it causing a “Phoenix Profile” change and endangering their pay.

The content of the Podcast was well-defined by Doug and he had questions written down, but as usual it all broke down quickly, and I am not clear exactly what the real topic ended up being. Stay tuned on the Debt Free in 30 podcast and see how he edited it together. There were cameras as well.

Banks News?

The Banks will be announcing their results, TD already has, and they seem to be doing well. Somewhere along the line things will change, but not today.

Speaking of banks, President’s Choice has redesigned their PC Mastercard site, and have decided that an ability to download into Quicken or Quickbooks isn’t needed. You can download in CSV format (for Excel or a spreadsheet), but not directly from your bank account. Given how competitive the marketplace is for Credit Cards, taking away functionality for customers isn’t something rd assume was a good thing. I have voiced my displeasure, we shall see whether I take action, or not.

Recent Articles

It’s been a while since I did one of these so here are a few of my articles from the fall of 2018.

Never was So Much Owed by So Many outlines the latest numbers from Stats Canada about household debt, and how consumer debt is a hobby Canadians dearly love. My apologies to Mr. Churchill for such a crass paraphrasing.

Make More by Reducing Debt has been sitting in my almost finished queue for a while. Again, I am being quite cheeky about the subject, but sometimes the simplest explanations are the best. Continuing in that cheeky line, Savings Motivating System really was just a quick bad bit of humor I thought up one night. Remember with interest rates going up, a savings account might not be a bad place to put money.

Do credit cards just appear on your doorstep? In Farewell New Credit Card I outline how an old credit card (that I had forgotten about) morphed into a new card, which I didn’t want. The one really important part of a credit report is to see which credit cards you thought you closed are still open.

Deep Financial Thoughts

Doug Hoyes has thoughts everywhere, and here he is in his car telling us why high interest lenders (59% rates) are causing stress.

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