Friday, March 6, 2015

Short Takes: Leave TFSAs Alone, Lowering Variable Mortgage Rates, and more

After a draw that gave all entries an equal chance, the TurboTax giveaway winners are Michael H., Robert H., and Ali C. Congratulations! I have contacted all 3 winners.

Thanks to everyone who entered the draw! I appreciated the kind messages many of you included with your entry.

I wrote only one post this week about Warren Buffett’s thoughts on individual investors:

How Warren Buffett Thinks You Should Invest

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Malcolm Hamilton makes the case for leaving TFSAs alone. He thinks we shouldn’t double TFSA limits, and he thinks we shouldn’t cut TFSAs back.

Robert McLister explains that your bank doesn’t necessarily have to lower your variable mortgage rate when the Bank of Canada lowers interest rates.

Potato takes on a reader question about whether to index or invest in award-winning mutual funds.

Boomer and Echo make the point that those who complain about low interest rates punishing savers need to properly account for inflation.

Big Cajun Man has a wacky and totally impractical idea for reducing the debt people take on. I’m starting to get the feeling he’s not a fan of going into debt.

My Own Advisor reviews the book The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing.


  1. Subtle is not my middle name, thanks for the mention this week, let's hope for some warmer weather too.

  2. I'm not sure why (so many) folks are against raising the TFSA contribution limit so much. Yes, general tax revenues might fall but then again folks have an opportunity to save more, invest more so they can eventually spend more. I dunno...I think we over-complicate things.

    Thanks for the mention!

    1. @Mark: The reason so many are against raising the TFSA limit is that so few Canadians need it raised. Only those who have maxed out their TFSAs can take advantage of a higher limit. This tends to be those who are already well off. We can't limit ourselves to only measures that hep the poor, but raising TFSA limits doesn't even help the middle class much.

    2. One factor is that TFSA money will not count as income in retirement (nor should it), which increases the ability of people to build up a large TFSA and then still collect government pogey, e.g. OAS (or even GIS). Whereas if your nest egg was in the form of an RRSP, your RRIF withdrawals would negate some of the other benefits. I think if the TFSA limit was raised, then some form of means-testing for GIS/OAS would have to come in that is related to net worth rather than annual income, so that these programs are not being abused.

    3. @Anonymous: I suspect that GIS rules will change at some point to adjust for TFSA assets even if the TFSA limit is never raised.