Friday, December 16, 2011

Short Takes: Expensive Trading Glitches, Cooperating Monopolies, and more

The highest bid so far in the bloggers for charity auction for a post on this blog (see here for details) is $100. Bidding will close tonight at 11:59 pm EST. I will update this note with further bids.

Jason Zweig has some examples of small investors being harmed by strange results when trading stocks. He gives some suggestions for protecting yourself against these infrequent but costly problems.

Ellen Roseman thinks that the Rogers-Bell collaboration to buy a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is bad for Canada. I agree with her. These companies' near monopoly status allows them to treat their customers poorly to increase profit. If anything we should be looking at breaking up these companies to improve competition.

Canadian Mortgage Trends says that 6.5% of Canadian mortgagors currently pay more than 40% of their income to service debts, but that increasing interest rates would drive that percentage higher.

Money Smarts finds that Canadian Tire's "1% rewards" card actually gives a much lower reward than advertised due to truncating purchase prices. Maybe they don’t have any computers and don't like working with too many digits. The next time you're there to buy something for $129.99, try offering them $100 just to keep things simple.

Potato gives a thorough and convincing explanation of why the solar electricity MicroFIT program exists despite the fact that it loses the government money.

Big Cajun Man has some snappy answers to (stupid) financial questions modeled after Mad Magazine. A couple of them had me laughing out loud.

Million Dollar Journey edges ever closer to his goal of a million-dollar net worth. Will he shut down his blog when he gets there? I hope not.

The Blunt Bean Counter wades into the crowded space of advice on how to track expenses.

Retire Happy Blog explains why investors need to pay attention to investment fees.


  1. Thanks for the mention! And importantly, the microFIT program is not an indication that all hydro is about to cost $0.80/kWh.

  2. I always wanted to write for MAD...

    Have a great weekend

  3. Thanks for the mention.

    Maybe I'll try your "rounding" offer next time I'm at CT. :)

  4. The Q&A with Big Cajun Man reminded me of this:

  5. @Patrick: That Nicolas Cage bit was very funny. I liked his take on the stock market: "I don't know what that is."