Friday, April 29, 2011

Short Takes: Who Benefits from TFSAs?, Detecting Ponzi Schemes, and more

Wealthy Boomer makes the case that TFSAs benefit the middle class and not just the wealthy. I agree. I’d go even further to say that TFSAs benefit those with incomes just below middle class levels. However, in discussions of increasing contribution limits, the higher the limit the more the benefit shifts to the wealthy. The first $5000 each year is useful for much of the middle class, but an additional $5000 per year would tend to benefit the upper middle class, and further increases would tend to benefit only wealthier Canadians.

Larry MacDonald (this web page has disappeared) observes that the terms of Warren Buffett’s early investing partnerships made them opaque and would trigger fears of a Ponzi scheme if they were offered today. Of course, Buffett never ran a Ponzi scheme, but Larry is right that it seems crazy to trust anyone as much as Buffett’s early partners trusted him. I see this as further evidence that it is very difficult to predict in advance which stock pickers will beat the index over the long term.

A Loonie Saved has a good laugh at a pamphlet from the National Association of Realtors that implies buying a house can make your kids smarter among other supposed benefits.

Canadian Capitalist doesn’t think much of Garth Turner’s advice. This one generated quite a few comments including an insulting reply from Turner.

Million Dollar Journey offers opinions on which credit cards are the best for small businesses in Canada.

Money Smarts gives us the benefit of experience with saving money on hotel rooms using Priceline. The main downside I see is the fact that you need to commit to paying a price for a fixed set of nights long in advance. If you’re sure that your plans won’t change, this could be a good way to save money.

Preet Banerjee cuts through the justifications we use for extravagant spending.

Tom Bradley doesn’t think much of the newest entrants into the Canadian ETF market.

2 comments:

  1. Glad you're back!

    You don't have to book that far in advance with Priceline - it can be done right up until the last minute.

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  2. Thanks for pointing to the Realtor pamphlet. It was absolutely hilarious.

    Thanks for the mention!

    ReplyDelete