Friday, June 6, 2014

Short Takes: Million Dollar Destination and more

Here are my posts for this week:

A Financial Quiz

Currency Exchange using Royal Bank Stock

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Frugal Trader at Million Dollar Journey has completed his journey and is now a millionaire. Welcome to the club. He’s looking for reader input on what to focus on next. For my own finances, I’ve been focusing lately on how much my savings could pay me per month for the rest of my life (rising with inflation) and what fraction of my current spending that represents. I’ll declare myself financially independent when this reaches 100%.

Canadian Couch Potato explains the various ways your assets are protected from the failure of a financial institution.

Larry MacDonald says that housing bears have been wrong for 6 years and that predicting short-term housing prices is very difficult. I agree. I’d be willing to make a modest wager that Canadian housing will underperform its long-term average appreciation over the next decade. But, I wouldn’t put much of my money at risk on such guesses. Of course, real estate returns aren’t fully captured by changes in housing prices. Landlord returns are boosted by rents and lowered by upkeep and property taxes.

Rob Carrick says that saving for retirement should come before paying down your mortgage. I think it all comes down to your savings rate. Any extra money you put in an RRSP, RESP, or against your mortgage is a form of long-term saving. Deduct any new debt you’re building and you get your net long-term savings. As long as you keep your net savings at a reasonable level, everything will take care of itself.

My Own Advisor says he has a better way to budget. I handle my money similarly to the way he describes; neither of us uses detailed budgeting. However, I think this works for only a minority of people. Most people need detailed budgets to avoid overspending. But few people actually do detailed budgets. Not surprisingly, lots of people overspend.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains how an estate freeze can reduce taxes when you transfer a business to your children.

Big Cajun Man came up with his financial anti-bucket list: the things he hopes never to do.

Squawkfox writes about her battle with depression. This isn’t financial, but it gave me some useful insight into a common problem that I don’t understand well because I’m not a sufferer.


  1. Thanks for the inclusion this week, it's an interesting idea to think of the things you DON'T want to do, of course dropping dead before I retire is implied on the list as well. Have a great weekend.

  2. I look forward to your weekly round-up and the subsequent introductions to other financial bloggers. I love all the points of view.

    One question - have you thought about having the linked pages open in a new page/tab? Each time I am done an article (and rabbit hole diving on the linked blog), I have to find your blog again to get to the next link...

    Just a thought,


    1. @Anonymous: Thanks for the kind words. A long time ago I did have linked pages launch in a new tab, but some readers didn't like it. They said they knew how to right-click and open in a new tab, and wanted to control this themselves. Now I have a vote in the other direction.

  3. Thanks for the mention Michael, I hope you had a great weekend. I was travelling, busy weekend, but fun.