Friday, November 6, 2009

Short Takes: Defending ETFs, Garbage Collection, and Verbal Contracts

1. Canadian Capitalist looks at the numbers to refute Mackenzie Financial’s marketing campaign against ETFs.

2. Big Cajun Man isn’t too happy about the city of Ottawa’s plans to more than double garbage collection fees and charge for them separately. With the trend toward cities charging fees for services, eventually property taxes will pay for nothing but the bloated administration that adds nothing to the actual services delivered.

3. Ellen Roseman is concerned about the use of verbal contracts by telecommunications companies.

4. Frugal Trader feels conservative for using excess cash to invest instead of increasing leverage. In my books that’s somewhat aggressive; using excess cash to pay off the leverage loan would be conservative.

5. Jonathan Chevreau reports that Visa has revised its financial literacy web site (the web page with this article has disappeared since the time of writing). Apparently, Visa thinks the 20-10 rule makes sense: “never borrow more than 20% of your yearly net income” and “monthly payments should not exceed 10% of your monthly net income.” I have a better idea: never borrow more on your credit card than you can pay off at the end of the month.


  1. Thanks for the mention have a superb weekend, and figure out how we don't have to use the Garbage Service too.

  2. Hey Michael, thanks for the link! I guess everyone has their own definition of conservative. :)

  3. Thanks for the mention and congrats on the Carrick mention.

    Actually, I think our property taxes will be used to find defined benefits pension payouts of retired civil servants; we can't afford to hire new bureaucrats. After all, isn't that what this country is about now? Supporting our public workers?

  4. I like the credit Visa's advice. It's a bit like "make sure your annual payments never exceed your net income". Yeah, great advice there.

  5. Thicken: I find myself looking over my stuff to throw things out in anticipation of getting older and moving into a smaller house to cut down on property taxes.

    Patrick: Maybe the advice should be more direct: "never pay more or less in interest than the maximum you're capable of paying."

  6. That's what happens when credit card companies do financial literacy. What's next? Brothels funding abstinence courses? Cigarette companies funding "Stop Smoking" campaigns? Come to think of it, I believe the latter exists. Never mind. Thanks for the link!