Friday, May 3, 2013

Short Takes: Tyranny of Fees, Smith Manoeuvre, and more

Here are my posts for this week:

When Should You Start Collecting CPP?

Getting a Handle on the Cost of Cars

Car Costs Spreadsheet

It’s a bit of a thin week for my short takes on some weekend reading. But I did find some very good articles.

John Heinzl explains the ‘tyranny’ of fees and how costs kill investment returns.

My Own Advisor gives us the benefit of his research into the Smith Manoeuvre (tax-efficient borrowing against your house to invest).

Big Cajun Man doesn’t think much of a U.S. effort to eliminate the collection of data used for economic indicators. I guess the idea is that as long as we don’t know how many people are unemployed we can all sleep well.

Preet Banerjee says it can be okay to indulge yourself financially, but not when it comes to big-ticket items like cars and houses.

Financial Crooks explains some quirks in the transaction history in Investorline online accounts.


  1. Think of the Utopia we could live in without the tyranny of numbers? Thanks for the link

    1. @Big Cajun Man: Yes, we could just feel our way to blissful confusion about why things don't work out the way we want :-)

    2. And just imagine: an election with no polls! And, hey, why not?! no ballots!

  2. I've been trying to get motivated to try your car expense calculations for our own vehicle. We do a road trip across half of Canada every year so it would be interesting to estimate the cost vs flying. We would still drive, though, because we stop a half-dozen places along the way between visiting friends and relatives and exploring some of Canada's intriguing opportunities. Not to mention there's no way we could fit the gear we want into a single suitcase each. (The nature guides alone would put us over the weight allowance!) I know our costs would be lower than yours because we have a 15-year-old Corolla, but it would be interesting to see how much lower as insurance etc is a big part of the annual cost. Did you really CPI each month's expenses for all those years? I'm thinking I'd have to cheat a use an annual CPI or something similar.

    And many thanks for the kind mention!

    1. @Bet Crooks: I have all my financial records going back organized enough that I was able to find it all. The only exception was estimating how much gas I've bought with cash.