Friday, January 2, 2009

Short Takes: Mexico Wins, TFSAs, and more

It’s been another quiet week on the blogs, but there were a few interesting articles:

1. Larry MacDonald gathered the 2008 returns of the major stock markets in the world. I’ll spoil the ending: Mexico won with a return of -21.6%. As Larry says, mattresses outperformed in 2008.

2. Preet speculates about the possible motives of investment managers who give free advice on television.

3. Big Cajun Man recounts his experience setting up a TFSA. He’s trying to work around some fees that caught him off guard.

4. Most stock pickers only talk about their success stories, but FrugalTrader admits to some unlucky timing in his latest Smith Manoeuvre update.

5. This blog continues to be held in the doghouse by Google software. I still have to fill out one of those annoying CAPTCHAs to post an article. Google bots promise that an actual human will examine the situation within a few days, but it has been weeks. Sigh. Hopefully, the bots won’t just summarily wipe me out.


  1. Thanks for the link, I disagree with Larry's statement, I think socks outperformed matresses this year!

  2. Sorry to hear about the issue you are having with Google. I believe Dividends4Life is having the same problem although I am not.

    I am having an issue with Google though. I've paid for a new domain name (.com) and when I transfer my blog there the old address does not redirect.

  3. MG: I wish there were some way to attract the attention of a human at Google. I'd be willing to spend 10 minutes doing some extended version of a CAPTCHA to prove I'm a person if it got me contact with an actual person at Google.

    Have you tried trolling for comments by others with the same problem as you have? Maybe someone else has solved it. I suffered through sporadically being unable to type certain characters into a browser until I found an explanation in a chat room that every time you press CTRL and SHIFT together, you step through 3 modes, two of which screw up question marks and quotes.

    Another frustrating part of my interaction with Google bots is that some of the text in the explanation of what will happen now that my blog has been flagged simply isn't true. An actual human never checks my blog and sends me an email within a few days. Once a week, my status of having challenged the assertion that my blog is spam gets reset, and I have to challenge it again and read the lies about what will happen next. The threat to delete my blog in 20 days is fun too.

  4. Thanks for the link Michael. Any thoughts about migrating to wordpress or any other platform?

  5. Preet: I've thought about moving to Wordpress, but that would involve expanding the IT aspect of my blogging which is my least favourite part. It's not that I can't handle the technical aspects, but I have little patience for it.