Thursday, June 30, 2011

Short Takes: Bell Slapped on the Wrist, Overpaid Public-Sector Workers, and more

Have a happy Canada Day! Here are this week’s short takes a day early.

Bell Canada will pay $10 million for using misleading advertising. The Competition Bureau found that Bell advertised prices not available to consumers without additional mandatory fees disclosed only in fine print. Bell’s defense is that their advertising is “comparable with common advertising practice past and present in the communications marketplace and other industries in Canada.” Sadly, this is largely true; many other companies advertise misleading prices.

Howard Levitt at the Financial Post (this web page disappeared) makes the case that public-sector workers are overpaid compared to the private sector. Over the years I’ve heard several people who work for the government complain of low pay compared to the private sector. However, in most cases where I had an opinion I disagreed. They tended to compare themselves to extreme examples of the pay of highly talented people in the private sector. They also failed to account for their valuable pensions.

The Wealth Steward explains a bond’s distribution rate and its yield to maturity. If you chase the highest advertised distribution rate for bonds, you could be sorely disappointed.

Canadian Capitalist looks at the risk involved in covered call investing strategies. From a technical point of view covered calls are less risky than a buy-and-hold strategy, but not in the way people usually understand the word “risk”.

Wealthy Boomer reports on Jeremy Siegel’s take on stocks “in a world of near-zero interest rates”. Siegel makes the case that stocks are the best option right now.

Rob Carrick says you should consider renting a home in retirement to free up the capital locked in your home.

Larry MacDonald makes the case that Canada Post’s union is out of touch with today’s realities.

Big Cajun Man witnessed an injury that derailed the future plans of a young athlete which prompted him to look at whether we have a “plan B” for financial disasters.

Money Smarts goes through the basics of how to buy an ETF using a Canadian discount brokerage. This is useful for novices who may feel intimidated by the process.

Retire Happy Blog explains why a “free” consultation from a financial advisor may not be in your best interests.

Million Dollar Journey explains the various ratios people use to analyze individual stocks. I used these as a starting point for choosing individual stocks to invest in, but you need to know a lot more than this. I’ve since given up on beating the market by stock selection. I’m an indexer now.

Preet Banerjee has a brief 3-point list of financial mistakes people make in a divorce.


  1. Thanks for the inclusion! Enjoy the weekend.

  2. Good round-up. A lot of interesting articles. Thanks for link

  3. Thanks for the nod, Michael. Happy Canada Day. Have a Beaver Tail for me. :)

  4. Thanks a lot for mentioning my article. Hope you had a good weekend.