Friday, October 3, 2014

Short Takes: Wall Street Changes People, After-Tax Returns, and more

I wrote one post this week questioning the view that Canada would be so much better off if more of us used financial advisors:

Do Financial Advisors Boost Savings Rates?

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Michael Lewis explains what happens to young people who go to work on Wall Street. I found it a very interesting read. As a lead in to how Wall Street changes people, he says something spot on about writers on the internet: “All occupations have hazards. An occupational hazard of the Internet columnist, for instance, is that he becomes the sort of person who says whatever he thinks will get him the most attention rather than what he thinks is true, so often that he forgets the difference.” Very true.

Canadian Couch Potato provides a detailed analysis of after-tax returns of many popular Canadian ETFs.

Robb Engen at Boomer and Echo examines the behavioural biases that have kept him in the active stock-picking game. It sounds like he’s going through that same process I went through as I went from picking stocks to index investing.

My Own Advisor shares 8 things he’s learned about money. The first one is a shock to most new homeowners: “owning a house is expensive.” When you add maintenance costs on top of property taxes and a mortgage, suddenly renting doesn’t look so bad.

Big Cajun Man shares his experiences with RESPs now that he’s been through it from beginning to end.

Million Dollar Journey has some advice on finding quality tenants for your rental property.


  1. I haven't quite finished, as I have not figured out how to close an empty RESP as of yet, but maybe one day! Thanks for the mention.

  2. I enjoyed the Michael Lewis piece. Yesterday I met with Larry Elford, another former broker turned investor advocate. He said it was incredibly difficult for brokers to act in clients' best interests when they saw colleagues getting bonuses that were enough to buy a Porsche or Mexican vacation home outright. But the truth is, acting in your clients' best interests will actually gain you more business in the long run.

    Thanks for the mention!

    1. @Robb: I'd like to believe it's true that "acting in your clients' best interests will actually gain you more business in the long run." However, I know a few people who were treated very poorly by their advisors for years, but they insist that the advisor is a "very nice man."

  3. I'm not quite where "Robb is" yet but my thinking is certainly changing. I enjoyed his article.

    Yes, these house things are expensive...

    Take care, thanks for the mention!