Have a great Canada Day! With Canada Day landing on Friday, I’m giving my short takes a day early. Here are my posts for the past two weeks:
Visa Response to Walmart Unconvincing
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
A Wealth of Common Sense
Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:
Big Cajun Man looks at solutions to the problem of how to keep making financial decisions for an autistic family member who becomes an adult. Hint: the solution is not a power of attorney.
Tom Bradley at Steadyhand observes that few people in the financial industry are in a position to be critical of our banks, but he would like to see the much lower costs that are surely possible due to their massive scale. I’ve long thought that the best hope for lower costs will be a never-ending stream of banking start-ups (such as ING/Tangerine, PC Bank, EQ Bank, etc.). As the big banks buy each start-up, it just encourages more start-ups to give it a try. If enough enter the market, the big banks won’t be able to keep fees sky high by buying them all.
Canadian Couch Potato looks at the trade-offs between holding cheap U.S. ETFs directly versus the convenience of holding a more expensive Canadian ETF that invests in the U.S. ETFs.
Kerry Taylor has a very interesting take on the cost of getting married. She says the average wedding cost in Canada is about $27,000, but you can get married for as little as $427 in Toronto. “Shelling out an additional $26,573 does nothing to get you hitched.” So, don’t blame high costs on getting married. Getting married is cheap; it’s the party you indulge in that’s expensive.
Preet Banerjee interviews Randy Cass, CEO of robo-advisor Nest Wealth, in his latest podcast. Nest Wealth charges its customers a flat monthly fee instead of a percentage of their savings.
My Own Advisor discusses the crossover point where your savings produce enough income to cover your expenses. I think about this quite a bit and I find it difficult to decide how much safety margin to build into my expected expenses. I’ve built in allocations for infrequent purchases like a new roof, car, furnace, and air conditioner. But it’s hard to give up a steady pay cheque when I know there’s a chance I might need more money than I think.
Boomer and Echo looks at the right way to calculate your net worth. I think it depends on what you plan to do with the information.