Friday, January 24, 2014

Short Takes: Cult of Home Ownership, Mutual Fund Fee Battles, and more

For those who haven’t noticed, you can now follow me on Twitter (@MJonMoney). I had a full week of posts:

How to Rack Up a $7000 Tax Bill on Excess TFSA Contributions

Evaluating My 2013 Economic Predictions

Liar’s Poker

Long-Term TFSA Penalties

Last week’s post on the financial side of replacing old toilets got a mention in Carrick on Money.

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Rob Carrick says that more young people are abandoning the cult of home ownership.

Boomer and Echo take on the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) over mutual fund fees.

Tom Bradley at Steadyhand looks at the reasons why ETFs have not been taking off as fast as he thought they would, despite the fact that “for the most part ETFs are a better option than high-cost mutual funds that do little more than shadow the index.”

SquawkFox says that her drive to fill her RRSP has less to do with rational judgement and more to do with fear of cat food.

Canadian Capitalist updated his analysis of currency-neutral S&P 500 index funds. As I explained in a past post, I don’t believe that currency hedging truly produces a currency-neutral fund because fluctuations in the U.S. dollar don’t fully carry over to fluctuations in the value of U.S. companies. A so-called currency-neutral S&P 500 fund is actually a peculiar mix of owning large-cap U.S. stocks along with a partial side bet on the Canadian dollar advancing relative to the U.S. dollar.

The Blunt Bean Counter discusses property you may not have thought about for your will: reproductive assets such as sperm and ova.

Preet Banerjee’s new book Stop Over-Thinking Your Money is now available in dead-tree format as well as a number of digital formats. I think he’s written a great financial book for the masses.

Big Cajun Man runs down the RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) offerings at the big banks.

My Own Advisor lists his financial goals for 2014. The last one warms my heart: “Do not incur any new debt in the process.” More people need to add this to their list of goals.


  1. More of a run down of the non-offerings from the big banks, but thanks for the inclusion, stay warm!

  2. Thanks for the mention, Michael. I read Liar's Poker last year. Kudos to Michael Lewis for making bond trading funny and interesting. Could've made a movie about it...

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael. We'll see about our goals.

    Need to get over this cold...stay healthy!