Friday, October 15, 2010

Short Takes: Credit Card Arbitrage, Overdraft Fees, and more

My Dollar Plan has an update on Madison’s amazing credit card arbitrage strategy. She borrows a 6-figure sum at a cost that is lower than the interest rate she can get in a savings account. Beware: there are many potentially costly traps for the unwary with this game.

Big Cajun Man has a few choice words for anyone (including himself) who complains about bank overdraft fees.

Larry Swedroe shows that low expense ratios are a better predictor of good mutual fund performance than Morningstar’s star ratings.

Money Smarts finds some problems with the free online financial advice service Matthew McGrath promises to address Mike’s concerns.

Canadian Capitalist plans to stay on the sidelines for now with Claymore’s new commodity ETF (CBR).

Thicken My Wallet wades into the debate about when it makes sense to buy a house and when it makes sense to rent. The hard part to factor in is the intangible value of owning versus having a landlord. I can see renting later in life, but even if someone proved to me that I’d be ahead $100,000 right now if I had rented for the past 20 years, I’d still be happy with my choice to own.

Financial Highway explains that friends and family are a significant risk for identity fraud.

Preet Banerjee goes through the ins and outs of investing in someone else’s mortgage.

Million Dollar Journey has poll results on people’s income and savings rate showing that the average reader of this blog is very different from the average Canadian.

My Own Advisor tells the story of Grace Groner, a heroine for dividend investors.

Canadian Couch Potato put together the Cheapskate’s portfolio with a mix of ETFs with an average MER of only 0.183%.


  1. Thanks for the mention Michael. Grace Groner's story is inspiring but I doubt the results are typical.

  2. @CC: If only becoming rich were that easy. Just figure which small company is destined to become a very large company in a couple of decades.

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael!

    Yeah, no way I'll get the returns Grace got. Heck, I just hope my dividends continue to pay :)

    Have a great weekeend.

  4. Thanks for the mention MJ - will you be joining us on Thursday?

  5. @Preet: Yes, I will. Have we chosen a place and time yet?