Friday, December 13, 2013

Short Takes: Online Financial Calculator Problems and more

In addition to my appeal for help to keep my blog alive, this week I wrote about group RRSPs which generated quite a bit of discussion in the comments section:

Employer Matching in Group RRSPs

Here are my short takes and some weekend reading:

Potato finds problems with an online calculator designed to help you decide whether you’re better off renting or buying a home.

Retire Happy Blog reports that Service Canada’s online CPP calculator sometimes produces wildly inaccurate estimates of your future CPP benefits.

Where Does All My Money Go? is offering a nearly half-off deal on pre-orders of Preet’s new book Stop Over-Thinking Your Money!

Big Cajun Man describes a devious tactic used by furnace salespeople that worked on him.

Canadian Couch Potato explains when it’s better to hold a U.S.-listed ETF and when it’s better to hold its Canadian equivalent.

My Own Advisor finds out what’s in the Big Cajun Man’s personal investment portfolio.

Million Dollar Journey describes the top renovations for increasing rental income.

Larry MacDonald thinks that there will be a global economic upswing in 2014 that will benefit Canada. I hope he’s right. But just in case, I’ll stick with my investment plan instead of making any bets on my hunches or anyone else’s insights.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Michael!

    After doing some more reverse-engineering with simpler, ridiculous scenarios, it appears that the costs of selling a home are only factored in for year 30, not the given selected year. That’s also what causes the year 30 discontinuity.

    1. @Potato: When I first looked at the chart from the calculator, I wasn't sure what it meant for renting to be better in the first couple of years, worse in the middle, and better at the end. Does this mean I should own a house in the middle 20 years? This result makes no sense to me. It seems that you've figured out what's going on with the calculator more than I have in the few minutes I looked at it.

  2. Yeh, I fell for it, oh well, guess it was a "safety issue". Have a wonderful frigid weekend.

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael. Hope you had a great weekend.