Friday, June 11, 2010

Short Takes: TFSA Over-Contributions and more

1. A great many Canadians have been caught by the TFSA contribution limit rules. If you make a withdrawal, you can put the money back, but not until the next year. If you put the money back right away or generally treat a TFSA like a regular savings account, you could be hit with steep over-contribution taxes at 1% per month. Tax Guy drafted an open letter to Jim Flaherty asking for leniency for the many caught by this rule. CRA’s description of how to calculate the over-contribution tax is fairly clear. It seems that some financial institutions protected customers from these problems and some did not.

2. Guest writer Rachelle at Money Smarts wrote a funny piece about the tenant from hell: the stripper with dirty feet.

3. Canadian Financial DIY has launched a comparison of cap-weighted vs. fundamental index portfolios. He plans to report the progress of these portfolios taking into account realistic costs such as MERs, trading commission, etc.

4. Big Cajun Man had some fun with his top 10 list of excuses for being in debt. This is definitely different from the standard lists.

5. Preet outlines the pros and cons of different financial advisor compensation options. I find Preet’s insight and willingness to share information on this topic a rare combination.

6. Are you trying to decide whether to get a 3-D television set? Larry MacDonald has some information you should consider about 3-D televisions.

7. Frugal Trader addresses how to determine if the Smith Manoeuvre is for you.

8. Who wants to just be average? Larry Swedroe explains why achieving the stock market average return is actually a well above average result.


  1. Remember, the only reason I am in debt is because I spend more than I make is a real reason... a really dumb reason!

    Have a superlative weekend.

  2. Thanks for the link - I loved the "Stripper" story.

    As for the TFSA over-contribution, I'm not sure how a financial institution is supposed to protect customers from this unless they were doing the withdrawals and re-contributions with the same institution, in which case I would agree - they should have raised a red flag.

  3. @Money Smarts: In some cases the problems arose from contributions to multiple institutions, but I've read complaints from people who just made a series of withdrawals and deposits from one account.

  4. I neglected to thank you for the link as I was en route to Montreal for the race weekend - and forgot about it until now.

    Thank you!

    As per usual, I only go for qualifying and watch the race on TV. It was a blast as usual. I'm getting the itch... :)