Friday, November 13, 2009

Short Takes: Debt Gene, Long-Term Disability, and Passive Investing

1. A fascinating study shows that people with one of two variants of a particular gene are 8% more likely to carry credit card debt, and people with both variants are 16% more likely to carry credit card debt. These gene variants are low efficiency versions of a gene that “encodes an enzyme that degrades neurotransmitters — such as serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline — in parts of the brain that regulate impulsiveness and cognitive ability.” These gene variants have been linked to addictive behaviour. Does this mean that banks will want to do genetic testing to better target their credit card offers?

2. Canadian Capitalist shows that a technicality in how Nortel’s Long-Term Disability plan was set up has had devastating consequences from those who depend on it.

3. Larry MacDonald pulled some great quotes from books on passive investing. If you like the first set of quotes, he has a second and third set as well.

4. Canadian Financial DIY can’t find any advantage to foreign diversification in 22 years of investing returns.

5. Big Cajun Man has a story about the worst investment advice he ever gave a friend.

6. Preet explains how high-frequency traders make money. This is definitely not a system for the average overconfident day trader.

7. Gail Vaz-Oxlade has an entertaining rundown of the 8 reasons why you don’t save.

8. Frugal Trader lost his wallet and has some advice for making life easier if you happen to lose your own wallet.


  1. Thanks for the link, most definitely worst advice ever!

  2. Thanks Michael. My roundup would return next week. Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael! Losing a wallet can be a frightening experience!

  4. Thanks for the link Michael - good seeing you on Monday!