Friday, February 19, 2010

Short Takes: New Mortgage Rules and more

Those who left a comment on one of my posts this week have noticed the word confirmation that I added to control spam. It has worked so well that I have removed comment moderation on posts less than a week old. So, your comments will begin to appear immediately instead of having to wait for me to approve them. Hopefully this will compensate for the added word confirmation step when writing a comment.

1. I’ve encountered dozens of opinions about the new mortgage rules. The most authoritative sources are Canadian Mortgage Trends’ analysis and Rob Carrick’s report. One point of confusion is exactly which 5-year rate will be used to determine homeowners’ ability to pay their mortgages.

2. Canadian Capitalist takes a critical look at C.D. Howe’s call for greatly increasing RRSP room. This one generated quite a few comments.

3. Tim Cestnick explains when you do and don’t have to declare income when bartering. This is one area where CRA’s rules seem less stringent than I was expecting.

4. Big Cajun Man is a little cynical about the annual call by the big banks to contribute to RRSPs.

5. Canadian Financial DIY reports on a new model for paying internet content creators called Flattr.

6. Larry MacDonald suggests a way to turn your spouse into a tax shelter. Saving money on taxes is a good thing but your spouse may not like the way Larry phrased this.

7. Potato’s wife gets the hard sell from a TD “advisor” who seems to know little about investing and a lot about increasing fees.

8. Where Does All My Money Go? is giving away two copies of QuickTax Standard, and Million Dollar Journey is giving away 10 UFile online tax filing coupons.

9. Scott Adams isn’t a believer in owning gold. If the economy grinds to a halt, he believes that “people who own steel that is conveniently shaped like guns will control everything, including all of the shiny rocks.”