Friday, December 6, 2013

Short Takes: Investment Decision-Making, Series D Funds, and more

I wrote about TFSAs this week:

Forgone Consumption

More Confusion Comparing TFSAs to RRSPs

Tax-Free Savings Accounts – How TFSAs Can Make Your Rich

Here are my short takes and some weekend reading:

Carl Richards wrote a piece for the New York Times explaining that data exists to help us make good decisions in sports and investing, but coaches and investors make guesses instead.

Rob Carrick reports that more mutual fund companies are creating Series D funds that have some costs stripped out. This is a step in the right direction, but the MERs are still generally above 1% of your assets every year. Because I pay less than 0.2%, I find this still very high.

Canadian Couch Potato has the most thorough guide I’ve seen yet for saving money on currency conversions using the Norbert gambit. It includes instructions for RBC Direct Investing, BMO InvestorLine, TD Direct Investing, CIBC Investor’s Edge, and Scotia iTrade.

Retire Happy Blog explains why mutual fund distributions are not the same as fund profits.

Big Cajun Man provides a letter template to ask CRA for the child disability benefit retroactively from your disabled child’s birth. It seems simple enough provided you have a legitimate claim and supporting documentation.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains how to decide whether to convert your proprietorship into a corporation. Of particular interest to me was his rule-of-thumb that it doesn’t make sense to form a corporation unless you’ll be leaving at least $50,000 (or maybe even $75,000) per year in the corporation. Apparently, you need to defer part of the income taxes on at least this much money to justify the extra costs of running a corporation.

My Own Advisor profiles the investing strategy of a dividend investor. Index investing seems simpler to me.

Million Dollar Journey is getting close to the magic million dollar mark. I assume the name will change to Two-Million Dollar Journey soon.


  1. Michael, thx for link. Way to give Gordon heck this week

    1. @Mark: It feels strange commenting on the work of a guy with such a nice grandfatherly look. But some of the stuff he says isn't helping people.

  2. I hope you aren't bringing down the Western World espousing the use of TFSAs! Thanks for the mention this week.

    1. @Big Cajun Man: I'm a supporter of using TFSAs, but not using them foolishly.

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael. As an index investor, you really should contribute to my series. You can tell people (like me) how crazy they are to invest in individual stocks and show them why indexing works for 90% of us.

    Kidding aside, I intend to answer my own questions in a future blogpost. I look forward to your comments and feedback.

    Hope you have a great weekend.