Friday, August 19, 2011

Short Takes: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich, U.S. Debt Rating Downgrade a Mistake, and more

Warren Buffett wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times calling for higher tax rates on the super-rich like him. He pays only 17.4% tax on his income, but average Americans pay a much higher percentage.

Tom Bradley at Steadyhand brings us an explanation of why Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt was incorrect.

Canadian Couch Potato gives an ETF investor’s portfolio a makeover. One caution for readers is that when CCP says “Canadian stocks are best held in a non-registered account,” this only applies to people who have both registered and non-registered accounts and are deciding which investments to put into each one. For the majority of people who don’t use all of their RRSP and TFSA room and have no non-registered accounts, there is nothing wrong with holding stocks in your RRSP or TFSA.

Potato describes a market-linked GIC that claims “No cap on returns, no fees, participate in 100% of return.” If you’re suspicious that’s good because you should be. The fine print reveals details at odds with the marketing claim.

My Own Advisor reviews the book Investment Zoo. One good quote: “Taxation has never been fair, since government can only take from those who have money.”

Preet Banerjee explains that statements like “there were more sellers than buyers on the market today” are complete nonsense. He also gives an excellent explanation of what drives equity prices up and down.

The Blunt Bean Counter has seen people make mistakes in naming executors for their estates and has some detailed advice.

Million Dollar Journey explains how to create a stock watch-list with Google spreadsheets. I’ve gone a step further to automatically calculate where new money should be invested and raise a flag when I should rebalance my ETF holdings.

Canadian Financial DIY reports that the Ontario government is making changes to the probate system that will add more bureaucracy and slow down the distribution of estate assets.

Money Smarts takes the novice investor through all the detailed steps of how to sell stock with a Canadian discount brokerage.

Retire Happy Blog takes a calm, analytic view of market volatility.

Big Cajun Man says that a bank acquisition may lead to a merger with his credit cards.

Larry MacDonald (this web page has disappeared) reports that a bill before the U.S. Congress may prop up the flagging housing market.

Canadian Capitalist reports on scathing criticism of the mutual fund industry.

Gail Vaz-Oxlade says that banks can withdraw your overdraft protection at any time.

Scott Adams supports the call by the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, to stop donating to any political party while government functions so poorly.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the inclusion, have a great weekend.

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  2. The Blunt Bean CounterAugust 19, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    Michael, thx for link

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  3. Thanks for the link Michael - really good to see you last night too!

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  4. Thanks for the mention Michael, enjoy your weekend and chat soon.

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  5. Hi Michael, That link to Preet's post on the stupid comment that there were more buyers than sellers makes me think there needs to be a compilation of pet peeve stupid phrases that one encounters in the world of media and finance. Here's my modest suggestion to start things off - whenever the market goes down, it is said that "investors" are worried about Greece, the USA, Japan, whatever. The people mostly doing the panic selling and perhaps the opportunistic buying too are not investors, they are traders and speculators. I'd guess that 99% of trading volume these days is not investors - who intend to hold stocks for years - but people intent on taking advantage of short-term price moves.

    Cheers and thanks for the link.

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