Friday, May 14, 2010

Short Takes: Financial Literacy and more

1. A big fear with the federal government’s task force on financial literacy is that it will cater to the interests of the financial industry rather than helping Canadians. Rob Carrick caught up with David Hague who teaches an advanced financial literacy course at Sheridan College and has addressed the task force. Hague thinks that disclosure is the answer to financial literacy. For example, if investors were told how much they pay (in dollars) to own a mutual fund they might make better decisions. This sounds sensible to me.

2. Rachelle at Million Dollar Journey gave some useful advice on the art of tenant selection. This sparked some debates including whether potential tenants should give their social insurance numbers to landlords.

3. Larry MacDonald sees the beginning of the end for unreasonable currency conversion fees.

4. Preet explains that there is no such thing as a stock picker’s market. Stock pickers as a whole fair poorly in all markets.

5. Big Cajun Man takes on the subject of mortgage life insurance.

6. Ellen Roseman has a particularly good (or bad?) set of customer complaints including an inside view from a former employee of one of these companies.


  1. Thanks for the mention, enjoy this weekend before a long weekend.

  2. Regarding fee disclosure, just thought I'd point out that we (Steadyhand) show clients on their account statements how much they paid us in fees in dollar terms and as a percentage of their total assets. It would be nice to see other fund companies follow!

  3. @Scott R: I would like to see this kind of disclosure given by other fund companies as well. I'm not holding my breath, though. I think it would have to be imposed by law. Any voluntary disclosure system would likely be twisted by most fund companies enough that the average investor wouldn't understand it.