Friday, May 14, 2010

Short Takes: Financial Literacy, Fee Disclosure, and more

1. A big fear with the federal government’s task force on financial literacy is that it will cater to the interests of the financial industry rather than helping Canadians. Rob Carrick caught up with David Hague who teaches an advanced financial literacy course at Sheridan College and has addressed the task force. Hague thinks that disclosure is the answer to financial literacy. For example, if investors were told how much they pay (in dollars) to own a mutual fund they might make better decisions. This sounds sensible to me.

2. The Wealthy Boomer questions the commitment of IFIC (Investment Fund Institute of Canada) to financial literacy. He also lists some good reading material that IFIC likely wouldn’t like to include as part of Canadians’ financial knowledge.

3. Canadian Capitalist makes a strong case for investing without hedging currency risks.

4. Rachelle at Million Dollar Journey gave some useful advice on the art of tenant selection. This sparked some debates including whether potential tenants should give their social insurance numbers to landlords.

5. Larry MacDonald sees the beginning of the end for unreasonable currency conversion fees.

6. Thicken My Wallet observes that many newer ETFs have the bad characteristics of mutual funds.

7. Preet explains that there is no such thing as a stock picker’s market. Stock pickers as a whole fair poorly in all markets.

8. Ted Rechtshaffen explains why the current model where investment advisors get paid up front is a bad idea.

9. Big Cajun Man takes on the subject of mortgage life insurance.

10. Ellen Roseman has a particularly good (or bad?) set of customer complaints including an inside view from a former employee of one of these companies.

11. Gail Vaz-Oxlade discusses the problems couples have when the woman earns more money than the man.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention Michael. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Thanks for the mention, enjoy this weekend before a long weekend.

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  3. Ted Rechtshaffen brings up something I hadn’t thought about. But I don’t think it’s a defence of embedded-commission advisers. More of an argument to become a self-directed investor using a low-cost, low-effort passive approach ….

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  4. Regarding fee disclosure, just thought I'd point out that we (Steadyhand) show clients on their account statements how much they paid us in fees in dollar terms and as a percentage of their total assets. It would be nice to see other fund companies follow!

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  5. @Scott R: I would like to see this kind of disclosure given by other fund companies as well. I'm not holding my breath, though. I think it would have to be imposed by law. Any voluntary disclosure system would likely be twisted by most fund companies enough that the average investor wouldn't understand it.

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