Friday, May 23, 2014

Short Takes: Lottery Losers, Differing ETF Yields, and more

Here are my posts for this week:

A Radical Idea about Asset Allocation for Novice Investors

What to do about the Impending Stock Market Crash

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Do These Look Even? has a take on lotteries that is one of the best I’ve read.

Canadian Couch Potato explains why Canadian and U.S. versions of ETFs that hold exactly the same assets have very different dividend yields.

Big Cajun Man does a few spreadsheet calculations to show just how devastating a high MER is to long-term portfolio growth.

Potato agrees with Rob Carrick in broad strokes on the rent vs. buy debate, but he disagrees on some of the details on how much you save by renting and how much more money renter’s need to add to their long-term savings. The most important message to get across is that your parents’ advice to buy a house may not be the best idea in today’s real estate market. Once you accept this point, Potato goes to the next level of working out the numbers.

The Blunt Bean Counter points out the folly of going the DIY route on all your tax and accounting matters. I’m a big fan of DIY, but the several situations Mark describes are clearly cases where I’d seek expert advice.

My Own Advisor draws a lot of reader feedback when he discusses how he feels about his debt.

Million Dollar Journey explains the new government rules imposed on issuers of prepaid credit cards. Some of the worst abuses have been curbed, but there is still room for issuers to apply unreasonable charges. Maintenance fees can’t start until after the first year, but it’s hard to understand why they exist at all. The financial institution holds the money without having to pay any interest, and maintenance isn’t much more than storing a few kilobytes in a database.


  1. The way typical MERs swallow about 33% of actual growth in most funds seems to be a ludicrous price to pay.